Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The identity crises of the specialists

Dual specs. Hybrids getting buffed. Specialist dps:ers being marginalized. This seems to be the topic of the day and for some reason it stirs up a lot of emotions. There have been quite a few very thoughtful, eloquent posts, and a lot of equally interesting comments.

If someone missed it, Forever a noob wrote an angry rant, ending up I a list of demands, including a tanking spec for mages and a healing spec for rogues. Tobold’s take on this is milder, but he agrees that class balance is an issue with the changes. Big Bear Butt has also showed his understanding for the frustration that rogues and mages can feel.

Spinksville on the other hand harsher towards complaining mages and rogues, arguing that we should have thought about those issues before we rolled our toons. If we wanted to be able to heal we should have picked a hybrid class. I’ve heard this before and I must say that I don’t quite buy it. I had no clue at all about raiding when I rolled Larísa – I didn’t know such a thing existed. My interest and insight about the different roles and the demand for certain classes is something that has slowly evolved over time, and to be honest, with my limited gaming time it’s too late to change course now and roll something else. I’m as stuck as you can get. If Blizzard wants to get mages out of the game – well then I’m out of it too.

David at Alt Fanatic agrees with Spinksville, saying that mages and rogues should grow up and stop to want to feel special.

The probably best summary of the arguments comes from Aurik at /hug, who wrote an anti-rant. However he shows quite little understanding for the point of view of a mage.

Feeling cheated
I’ve been arguing with myself whether to comment on this or not. I do see that the pro-hybrid posts with the mages-grow-up-approach are right in many ways. I understand where you’re coming from. It must have been horrible to be a moonkin druid, not being able to get a raid spot. But at the same time I AM a mage and I can’t quite rid myself of my specialist glasses and my somewhat hurt feelings. I feel a bit cheated.

Even though I didn’t have much of a clue about the game when I started it, I do remember that I gave this aspect a thought. It was presented as that you had a choice: either to become a generalist, good at several things, and therefore handy and attractive in many situations. Or you could specialize into one thing and become really good at that and only that.

I saw it like athletes in the Olympic games. You can specialize for sprint or high jump or long jump. Or you can compete in the special class for those who do a little bit of everything, the multiple-athletes. They’re not as good in each separate class as a specialist, but they’re damned good sportsmen.

I chose to become a specialist, trading the loss of flexibility for being slightly better. That was how it was at that point in the game, but since then it has clearly changed. We don’t get rewarded any way for our focus. Does that really make sense?

The need to be special
Stop qq:ing, Alt Fanatic says, stop wanting to be special. It isn’t so easy. Everyone wants to be special. Everyone wants to feel needed, valued, appreciated. It’s quite basic needs we’re talking about. If you make a druid do the same dps as a mage, with the difference that the druid instantly in the raid instance can switch to becoming an additional healer or a tank when needed (and that is needed sometimes, as you know, it varies from boss to boss in multi-boss instances, which Ulduar with be), I seriously can’t see what the point is of bringing mages to a raid.

There would be a point if mages had more unique utilities – dps:ing isn’t all we do, after all – but the trend goes against that as well. Blizzard tried to equalize everything, smoothing it out, handing up buffs and utilities so that it isn’t unique for a class anymore.

Now, I’m not overly scared of the changes. I don’t expect myself to lose my raid spot and get kicked from the guild just because the hybrid classes will get another buff by the dual spec thing. I’m not in that kind of a guild. But in the long run, I can’t see anything but that the demand of mages in raiding guilds probably will go down. It will become harder and harder for mages and rogues to find a home, unless Blizzard comes up with something else to rebalance the game once again.

Gone are the days when we were the specialists of dps or the specialists of decursing or buffing intelligence. No one is asking for our sheep, and it doesn’t help that we turn them to cats, rabbits, turtles or pigs – cc isn’t needed. Even the demand for taxi services is going down with the free portals in the capitals and now the nerf of the cooldown of the HS.

I think that the mage class is in the middle of an identity crises. We’re not specialists any more. We're not doing better dps than any other class. Fine. But then, what are we? What's our reason for existens?

30 comments:

Syrana said...

As a warlock, I hear ya on feeling a little cheated. I understand and respect that many hybrid class players have already been doing this spec swap dance.

I also understand I don't "have" to purchase the dual spec training.

However, I'm having a hard time finding a way that it would/could be useful for my main. Some of my hybrid alts, most definitely, but not my main.

We shall see, I suppose.

Aurik said...

I personally wasn't trying to say 'mages grow up' though you probably know that :) But I think you're wrong in saying I am 'not understanding the role of a mage'.

I think you forget who my main in TBC was - a rogue. No, I know, not a mage but rogues have faced the same difficulties in Wrath - in fact I'd say worse since mages at least got a damage buff and rogues did not.

I will also point out to you, though, that most of the mages in my guild are intending to take dual specs - although they realise they will not be quite the difference as it is to a hybrid class, they're all discussing taking an FFB / Arcane for bosses where movement will mean they can't use their evocates reliably or a pvp survivability secondary build.

If I want to have a pvp spec I lose any flexibility to have a PvE dps spec - in that way dps only classes have the advantage.

To me, mages were never a class who gave up flexibility for damage - same for rogues - for me both gave up *survivability* for damage. In this vein I have liked Wrath a lot as plate wearing DPS has a lot less stamina now on their dps gear - bringing them closer to the health pools of other dps classes and thus making it fairer (mages don't die much easier than warriors if they're in the fire ;P)

As a resto shaman I will dual-spec elemental. I will be able to play my main character more outside of raids because it will no longer be painful to kill creatures. I will likely never raid as elemental but I will be available for my guild if one of our 6 mages doesn't show up ;)

I think people may feel a little different once these changes are actually live - I'm looking forward to seeing how WoW players deal with it socially.

/hugs

spinksville said...

I do understand wanting to feel special. I play a protection warrior, back in vanilla WoW we were the only serious tanks. In Wrath, all tanks got buffed but people still preferred warriors for progression raids - we felt special and had a special role.

Now things have been evened out. Every other tanking class can do what I can, and most of them can do it better (and they never stop talking on the tanking channel about how much better they are than warriors :) ). Old resentments die hard.

We're never going back to the old scheme in which every class feels special again. And this isn't something that has suddenly been dropped on us, we all saw it coming.

If people are feeling cheated because other classes are so happy about dual specs, it's because you never had to respec as often as we did. But I understand that you'd like to get something special in the patch that would make you as happy as DS makes the tanks and hybrids.

I just don't think there is anything they can offer that would do that. It wouldn't hurt anyone if pure dps classes were tuned to do a bit more dps than anyone else, no one would be upset and many people would be happy. So they should get on and do it!

But they can't ever be allowed to be significantly ahead. I remember my sister crying because no one wanted her druid in groups (as a healer, mind) in vanilla wow - people just wanted priest healers. There's no role in WoW for a generalist, that's why the old design didn't work.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

The big thing I want is to be able to use the talent template ability that the dual specs offer, without having the 1,000g ability to do it anywhere, anytime.

I would just like to be able to pay the usual respec fee, but not have to completely recreate my trees each time...

Otherwise I am not fussed... I pVp a little, so it wont hurt

Gevlon said...

Skill > gear (and class, and spec)

So YOU will always have a raid spot, because you are a skilled player. Granted, you cannot switch to healer, but you don't AFK out in a bossfight, don't stand in the fire and don't do 1500DPS. So YOU are better than 90% of the druids.

Granted, dual spec will mostly remove special DPS classes from uber-topguils. Those who go for world firsts will have 1 hunter, lock, mage, rogue out of the 25, the rests are DPS/heal hybrids. They practice the movement with 16 healers, and when they can live until the enrage, they decrease healer number to have enough DPS.

But in the non-worldfirst-HC segment, the bigger challenge is finding the good PLAYERS, not classes. You will always have a spot.

Eishen said...

To want to feel special is not IMO to want to be BETTER than the rest, It is having a place on equal rights with the rest of clases.

I used to think more DPS for us was the solution, until I readed a post from ghostcrawler stating that no RL would take a balance druid only because "he can heal" if his DPS output were sensible inferior to a mage.

Then I became to think that special "buffs" were the way togo, but Blizz ways are in the other way, not making a single class necesary for a buff.

In the present state of things I feel like pure DPS classes should be allowed to put more DPS but not LOADS of it, but be the second to none, and pair that with giving us ample choice of how to do it and gear for it. I feel mages are in the correct way if they make (as promised) spirit a good stat for us and take all three main specs to competitive PvE damage output.

Kromus said...

Your right, Larisa- this has been the most hot recent topic (along-side a few others)- and for good reason.

I think it'll be much clearer once live comes out- im not worried just yet, and its not being cowardice-- i just trust blizzard (atm).

My solution if i was Blizz is if people did start rejecting mages and rogues: give them certain buffs and more advantages in other fields. I dont know what buffs but its a start.
I'm hoping Warlocks and mages can still tank certain bosses.(if so, bring on Desturction-Demonology offspec:D)


I can understand why this is such a controversial topic.

Stoico said...

Im one of the guys on the other side of the pawn. I do look forward to this change alot. I play a paladin, so this will save me good amounts of gold.

Will I be more viable in raids, maybe. But as Gevlon so fine say it, skill > gear. If you are a good player, you should have nothing to worry about.

I honestly dont think it will break anything this change. I dont think there will be less spots for pure dps'ers. I would be more worried being a tank or healer. As there spots could be switched for a hybrid dps, which could off-heal/tank if needed. Not the other way around.

I may be right or wrong, as many says. I think we have to wait and see how the community evolves when 3.1 hits the servers.

Remember when shamans came into the picture, paladins cryed out. No spots for paladins anymore, shamans can do our job better. What happend, very little. And today I dont think alot really suffered for it.

Dont be to scared of the changes, im sure the community will adjust and there will still be enough room for all.
(Even the M&S, ... :) )

Stabs said...

On the issue of Feeling Cheated the problem really stems back to fundamental game design issues that were not fully anticipated by Blizzard.

The specialists were promised excellence in a role and the hybrids were promised flexibility and this initally worked well in 2005 in 5 mans and 10-15 man groups. The tank would die so the shaman would take over. The healer would die so the balance druid would start healing. All fine and fun in Scarlet Monastery and UBRS.

It didn't really work in Molten Core. Firstly just about every person with a healing spell was required to heal. We were no longer hybrids we were healbots. Secondly if the tank died a Resto Druid couldn't just go Bear and take over, the demands on gear and talents were too great.

Because the hybrids were "cheated" out of their hybridicity at that stage the game has seen a steady drift towards making hybrids more viable in all their roles, gradually attaining specialist levels of competence. (They weren't really intentionally cheated of course, it was simply the way the game developed).

Now there are two directions for the game designers to go in:
1) specialists are better. This will cause people to lose interest in playing hybrids for fear of being forced to heal. At level 70 the least popular 4 classes were paladin, shaman, priest and druid - the four classes that are capable of healing. This system is unfair on hybrids because they are increasingly forced to heal when they rolled their character to be hybrids.

2) hybrids are comparable. This means that dps spots are shared between 10 classes that can dps with the other 40% or so of raid spots being reserved for hybrids. So hybrids get their own special spots plus some of the dpsers's spots. This is unfair on dpsers because there are less raid spots per person playing the class

So what's the solution? There isn't a simple one. There isn't a fair one.

The picture is further muddled by other factors. Feral Druids are a great pick for a dps spot because they bring combat ress and innervate. Boomkins, Enhancement Shamans and Ret Pallies still bring way more raid-affecting buffs that any dps class despite doing excellent individual dps. You'd be crazy to bench your only boomkin for a second mage if the boomkin will lift your whole raid's damage with unique buffs. In fact you could have 2 druid tanks 2 druid healers and still be in the position where a boomkin is a better dps pick than a second mage because of those unique buffs.

At the end of the day someone has to lose out. Giving healers a better deal than dps makes sense because healer numbers are the choke point in terms of how many raid groups a server can support. A server will usually have plenty of surplus level 80 dps and not enough healers to allow them to raid. If you make dps a better option relative to healing or hybriding more people play their dps characters and the problem becomes more acute. When people at 80 spend too long with no raid, no chance of getting a raid, no chance of competing in arena because it's too hard they will leave.

I think that is Blizzard's main motivator here: it is better for the business (and arguably for the game too) to allow more people to raid by giving healers a good package deal than boost dps and see half the server bored with nothing to do (like all the surplus Rogues and Hunters back in the 60 days).

I've written about it on my blog over here just in case you're still interested in reading more after that wall of text!
http://deathknightspree.blogspot.com/2009/03/dual-specs.html

Carra said...

I'm playing a DK but I do feel with the pure classes. As it is now, I'm doing more damage then most of our "pure DPS classes". If I'll also be able to tank... However, I will still need good tanking gear. That's of course no problem with healer/caster druids, priests and shamans. They can use the same gear! So I think they will benefit most from these changes.

I do think it's ok that hybrids do similar (5 a 10% less) damage then pure classes. To solve this, pure DPS should get more utility. Would give a reason to bring them. However, in the past Blizz has given hybrid specs that utility so they could join raids (eg: mana regen for paladins, priests). Take that utility from the hybrid classes and give it to the pure DPS?

Pure DPS can also have two DPS specs of course. Maybe one purely for AOE damage and one for single target. Or one for long fights and one for short fights. Or... This might give them the edge they need to top the meters. (Yes, I could give my DK two DPS specs too...)

Esdras said...

I was against it but now am for it as bith my characters ar hybrids so its so benefitial for me.

What i do think needs to happen is that pure dps classes like Mage, Rogue, Lock etc should get a little dps boost as it makes no sense to have a ret pally or shadow priest beat them in dps and then have the opertunity in 25 man raids to either switch to tank spec for trash or to holy to heal on harder fights.

It WILL make raid leaders take these out and out dps classes less unless they are like they was in TBC topping the charts at damage, becasue just now as a sjadow priest im top 2/3 every raid dps wise and for me to have the chance to then swith to holy and heal on harder fights is a bit unfair.

Carra said...

Addendum: it's interesting to see that we're in the same situation as at the end of vanilla WoW. Then, hybrid DPS or even hybrid tanks were not welcome in instances. Blizzard solved this by
-> Give them more utility
-> Give them more DPS
-> Buff the hybrid tanks

Two years later, we're at the other end of the spectrum. We are afraid that one more hybrid buff in the form of dual specs will endanger the spots of our pure DPS brethren. Time to give DPS more DPS and utility :) And wait another two years...

Larísa said...

@Syrana: Well, I don’t see it as useless. Since I’m not much into PvPing, I’ll probably end up with one arcane and one fire spec. If we’re several arcane mages in the raid it will make it easy for me to swap over to fire if I end up as the scorcher of the night. But this isn’t any huge improvement to me, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel useful for the raid.

@Aurik: I probably used the wrong word (“understanding” has a double sense, at least in Swedish.) What I meant was that you didn’t show much of compassion for our feelings.

Well, we’ll see soon enough what the effects will be, if the recruitment of mages will decrease. I really think it will, but no one would be happier than me if I turned out to be wrong.

@Spinksville: I wouldn’t mind if they made the encounters in such a way that there WAS a given role for a generalist. But on the other hand – then we’re back to bring tha class-not the player, which was to be avoided… It really is a dilemma. I’m glad though to hear that you wouldn’t mind mages be given a little better dps.

@Gnomeaggedon: no, I guess it isn’t a problem to you, but then you aren’t trying to sell yourself on the raiding spot market. Everone needs a USP (unique selling point in the language of marketing). Currently mages haven’t got any.

@Gevlon: yeah, I’m not overly worried about my own situation. But still it’s nice to feel that you really provide something important to the raid. And on behalf of other mages, who’re still trying to find a home, I’m a little bit sad and frustrated.

@Eishen: Yes, a bit better damage and three raidable trees would be a great start.

@Kromus: It’s been quite a while since mages had any perticular role. They had in Gruul, but since then? But yeah, maybe I should put more trust to Blizzard. But I really don’t see any signs that they’ve realized that mages are in trouble. And that’s worrying.

@Stoico: Skilled players will always find spots. But if you’re just an average one? Not a M&S, but just a plain mage, nothing more, nothing less… You’ll end up in a worse position than you were before this change. But how much worse it is – yes, that remains to be seen.

@Stabs: your analysis is a bit depressing, it doesn’t give me much hope, but I think it makes sense. I wonder if they’re coldly calculating that the addiction to the game is bigger than our resistance to reroll a new char just to get a raid spot? I think they might be wrong. Unless they launch several new hero classes starting at a higher level. Then maybe a few pure dpsers will give it a go.

I wasn’t around in the game in 2005, but it was interesting to get the history of the changes over time.


@Carra
It’s really like a pendulum, going back and forward. So in that case I just hope it’s reached its outer position, from now on it will turn and buff the pure dps classes…Nah, probably they won’t. But you can always dream, can’t you?

@Esdras: thank you for your support!

Chimeran said...

It's nice to see a balanced and well thought out view of the dual speccing crisis and its affects on the more specialised classes. Althouhg i do enjoy a good rant it seems to be to overly common in this argument and far less thought out and that clearly have. Well done.

*vlad* said...

Perhaps they should allow some class-swapping for those who only have a dps spec.

For example, a Rogue should be able to respecc to a Tank; a Mage/Warlock to a Healer/Dark Mender.

What? Nonsense? but isn't that what Priests, Paladins, Shaman and Druids can do right now?

The fact that some classes can swap Healing/dps/protection and others can't is what is the issue here.

I think asking for Hybrids to be nerfed compared to single spec dps is not the right argument. Giving single specs similar choices is.

Barrista said...

My alt is a mage and I'm not too worried. I've done Gluth with a mage freezing everything and with a pally kiting. I'd say that mage is much better and less of a strain on healers.
I like my pally. I am asked to throw out the occasional off-heal and I have healing gear ready for dual spec. I like my mage though simply because I don't have to worry about doing those things.

Ben said...

My main is a Holy Paladin, soon to be replaced by the Warlock I'm leveling. I completely agree with you about specialization. Thankfully on the healing front I'm constantatly "outhealed" by Priests, as I should be.

Frankly, as a hybrid class I don't want to be able to tank as well as a Warrior, DPS as well as a Rogue and Heal as well as a priest. It's not right.

Darraxus said...

I am looking forward to the change. I doubt that people will be getting replaced by hybrids. You bring the player, not the class. Mages also give the all important intellect buff as well as mage food.

Another thought I had on dual specs it the possibility of one of the Paladins having to be a buffbot for their second spec by speccing into the improved blessings in each tree.

Will said...

I completely understand where you are all coming from. I play a hunter and really don't care about the dual spec all that much. I can also understand the argument for bringing the hybrid over the pure dps class so they can fill multiple rolls.

All of that makes sense. Many hybrids are looking forward to trying other specs and saving the respec fee. But how many of them are looking forward to dual spec for raiding purposes? I would be willing to bet that the vast majority pick a spec, that they enjoy, and work hard to master it, the spec. Many will change their specs and master all available abilities. But how many of them will raid in a different spec?

I know many tanks and healers that have no desire to perform any other role. Now with dual specs they may not have a choice. Not too mention the vast amounts of gear necessary to perform both roles.

So, what about the flip side of dual speccing? What about the boomkin that hates healing or all things melee? What about the Shadow priest that can't stand healing or the Holy priest that can't stand being shadow?

I guess the real question is how much is this really going to affect your average guild? Personally I don't think it will make very much if any difference at all.


BTW I am thouroughly enjoying your interview on TNB.

Rhii said...

If the dual spec change won't cause a problem for people like Larísa who are already skilled at their classes and well established in their guilds, I wonder if this will make things harder for new raiders? Will it make breaking in a newbie pure dps player less attractive than breaking in a hybrid (since both are equally lacking in raid experience) or will it make it harder for a beginner hybrid to get a spot if they haven't perfected two different raid roles yet?

Funny how I immediately translate this to how it applies to wannabes... ;)

Klepsacovic said...

Hybrids and specialists are a mess from a min/maxing perspective. If the specialist does more damage, why bring a hybrid? The flexibility doesn't matter in that case, the min/maxer will gladly switch people in and out on a per-fight basis. However if hybrids are the same, then specialists are just half a hybrid and even the min/maxer will see the value of not having to spend time switching people in and out.

The last compromise we saw was a DPS vs. utility thing; specialists brought straight DPS while hybrids brought less DPS but enough utility to result in overall higher raid DPS. This made the first specialist most useful, then a hybrid, and then after you have all the utility, you get more specialists. But this isn't very good for bringing the player not the class.

In the old days hybrids didn't bring so much damage, or healing, or even tanking (except warriors who had the privileged position of being the only tanks and also competitive DPS). Hybrids tended to be role-fillers, replacing dead or OOM people and fixing bad situations. Now gear and specs are so specialized that this is impossible for the most part and there is limited flexibility of role within a fight.

What is to be done? Well the min/maxers will always create trouble because they care too much, so I'd just ignore them, let them deal with the messes they create. For everyone else, put DPS a little ahead, give everyone some utility, and add a loading screen tip: Stop jerking yourself off to a DPS meter.

Rohan said...

I completely understand your position on specialists, Larissa. I approached it from the other direction. I wanted to be a generalist. That's why I rolled a paladin.

What the specialists are missing is that you can't be a generalist in a large group. The larger the group, the easier it is--and the more effective it becomes--to replace the generalists with multiple specialists.

So the generalist classes had to specialize in order to be viable for raids.

Granted, dual spec will mostly remove special DPS classes from uber-topguils. Those who go for world firsts will have 1 hunter, lock, mage, rogue out of the 25, the rests are DPS/heal hybrids. They practice the movement with 16 healers, and when they can live until the enrage, they decrease healer number to have enough DPS.

LOL! This makes no sense. It would be far more efficient to start with the minimum amount of healing and maximum DPS, and only add more healing if absolutely necessary.

High DPS reduces the amount of healing required, because it kills things that do damage faster.

Larísa said...

Good grief! Another 10 comments on this one… I thought that this topic was pretty much dealt with already and didn’t expect that much interest. But it DOES stir up emotions. After all it ends up in a question (no matter if you’re specialist or hybrid): will they let me into the team? Am I appreciated? Will people want me or will they prefer someone else?

@Chimeran: thanks!

@Vlad:well that’s what Forever a Noob suggested, but people didn’t seem to take him seriously. Honestly I can’t see why it’s such a joke. But on the other hand I must admit that I doubt that I’d ever WANT to tank or heal as a mage. I haven’t got a clue about how to perform either role, so it would take quite a deal of learning to get to a point where I’d be somewhat useful… On the other hand, maybe I’m just a bit lazy and cowardish. Maybe trying a healing spec is EXACTLY what I ought to do to keep having fun in the game.

@Barrista: well, I can understand you’re not worried since it’s your alt! I’ve only got my mage to raid on and by the way my only upcoming alt (lvl 73) is a rogue, what a joke, thinking about the recent development… I honestly wouldn’t like to kite Gluth, I think I’m far too squishy. We always let paly do it and I’m very happy with that.

@Ben: Thank you for your support and compassion for the specialist view!

@Darraxus: mage food, come on! If it was buff food at least, but it isn’t. People aren’t that short of money and bagspace anymore, carrying some bought food isn’t a big issue. I don’t think many guilds will replace specialists right away either. If you have a spot you have it. But it will be more difficult to get a home for a new player if you’re not a hybrid. It’s just a guess ofc.

@Will: if you’re really interested in raiding I think you’ll gladly take two specs that make you more attractive for a raiding guild. It’s like the young people of today who often have double exams from university: one in economy and another one in marketing (just an example). They’re very much more attractive than older people like me with only one exam. If I will get myself two specs, it will be two specs for raiding and nothing else. Arcane and fire is quite likely.

Assembling enough gear for having two specs as a hybrid isn’t such a huge thing anymore. We disenchant huge amounts of gear in Naxx nowadays and many items go for offspec, probably a majority. Only very few items go for main spec. Meaning that people already have built up decent sets for other roles. I don’t think we’re that unique in this aspect.
And thank you about the interview!


@Rhii: I think both experienced players AND new ones may experience difficulties. As many have pointed out, hybrids are much more flexible and you don’t really NEEED anymore than one mage in a raid. Since they’re not doing significantly more damage, what’s the point of bringing them?
@Klepsacovic: haha, I loved your last suggestion! :)

@Rohan: actually that’s why I rolled a paladin too at first, because it seemed cool to be able to do anything (those descriptions Blizzard provides in the 4 year old manual are SO outdated and misleading, aren’t they?). But since I failed terribly I deserted her, convinced that they were 1.weak, 2. Complicated and 3. Ugly. That’s another story though…
Yeah, I understand the reasons for making the generalists more attractive. But there is no really fair and good solution to this, it’s a dilemma that can’t be solved. Someone will end up as a loser, and now it IS the specialist, and it sucks to lose. You feel a bit cheated and hurt and you want to sulk a bit. I guess that’s what we’re doing right now. I don’t expect Blizzard to change a bit because of my and other mages concerns.
If they ever read it they’d probably say the same thing as always: Works as intended.

Dinaer said...

You know, I wasn't really serious about a healing spec for rogues and tanking spec for mages. It was just thrown out there as an extreme (an ridiculous) example of the direction the game is going.

Although that would be cool. And it would be in line with the recent trends in WoW - removing most traces of uniqueness in classes and characters in the name of simplicity.

Anonymous said...

My main is a mage and I don't play any alts. I'm glad you wrote this article Larisa, it really brings out what I've been feeling since Blizzard came out with their 3.1 notes. I do intend to purchase the dual spec..I'll probably use the other spec for pvp'ing. It would be nice, as a dps class, to always find ourselves at the top of the dps meters but life isn't always fair and I can deal with it. What I would like to see from Blizzard is some actual interest in the class. Sheeping rabbits? This is what they come up with on a major patch release? So am I to assume next patch I'll be sheeping birds?? You can't tell me they don't have some smart people at Blizzard who could come up with a few new ideas that would keep the class interesting.

David said...

It's important to remember that someone will not become an equal or more powerful dps player just by paying their 1000g and filling out their second talent tree. They need gear. They need gems. They need enchants. Most importantly, they need experience and skills in their role. I have an 80 druid and an 80 mage. If I log off my druid and mage at the portal to Naxx and swap between them at will, is that a cause for concern for the pure dps classes I'm up against? Well, my mage is geared terribly and I've never raided with him. Maybe if I played him as much as my druid he could become a concern ;)

Tristan Johnson said...

I think this is a case of bring the player not the class. Ghostcrawler has said that they are not going to anticipate dual spec in any boss fight so I wouldn't be too worried on that. Also this means Hybrids are dutybound to twice the utility meaning twice the gear needed...

Larísa said...

@Dinaer: serious or not - I actually liked your passionate rant. I'm not quite as angry as you see but I share some of your views.

@Anonymous: yeah, I really don't want to come out as a whiner - mages are known to whine a lot. But right now I guess I feel a little bit envious and neglected.

@David: making a second gear isn't half as much and boring job as it is to level up a new character from scratch. As I pointed out above, Naxx is very much on farm and provides tons of gear so I think it won't be too much of a problem for the double-spec-classes to be competative in two roles. Managing the role is different though, admitted. But if you're a decent player I don't think it would take you too long to get the basics of your second role.

@Tristan Johnson: no, I fear that this may turn out to the opposite to bring the player not the class. You have to be a damned good mage to compete with a player who easily can switch from dps to healing if the next fight needs another healer. My question remains. Many other classes have convincing reasons, unique selling points, making them worth to bring. Mages don't, not the way the fights are these days at least. If there were more need of spellsteal and sheep it might have been different.
I can't feel sorry for hybrids about "duty" to collect gear. Gearing up is one of the fun things in the game. Right now there isn't much gearing up for me to do.... What's so fun about that?

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Let's be honest, there aren't enough healers for alot of servers, and that is the main reason for dual specs. The second reason is to give people easier access to a pvp spec. The third reason is for boss fights that only need 2 or even 1 tank, and leading up to the boss you had 3 or 4. Now you can have off-tanks switch to dps for the boss fights (which they were just dps for anyways).

Once all is said and done and blizzard makes they're goal for how much damage hunters, mages, rogues and warlocks do compared to hybrids, we'll see a very valid reason for bringing pures. Also mostly "pures" have the most valid CC and replenishment. The exception for all this is rogues (sap can't be used in battle), and paladins (which have replenishment, and a decent CC).

As a raid leader I'd rather get one guy who's geared and knows his stuff then one who is mostly geared and kinda knows his stuff, but can heal/dps.

Then again, I've always played hybrids because they are the most interesting for me.

All I can say is goodluck and hang in there, you'll get your spot.

Pangoria Fallstar said...
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