Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Unspoken Hybrid Class

Do we have to be what people tell us to be? Do we have to become what people expect of us? In real life, I can't tell you how devestated my parents were when I told them that I was dropping Pre-Med/Computer Science for Architecture. In the WoW, certain expectations are just as strong. There is the preconceived notion that you must conform to certain party structures, certain class structures. Hybrid healer classes have for so long been faced with extreme performance stereotypes. You picked a class who CAN heal, therefore you’re main purpose is to heal. People don’t ask you, they just expect that’s what you’re going to do.

There was a huge, huge debate back when we were in Cykos, my old raiding guild, about a certain Shadow Priest. Not many guilds at the time even allowed any of their priests to spec shadow or druids to go Moonkin. Every raiding guild was always short on healers as is. But the issue came up regarding allowing the Shadow Priest to play the way they wanted to vs. how the raid needed them to. Even loot distribution was a problem. Locks vs. Shadow Priest priorities came to a head on one particular night. There was a ton of arguing and I remember a statement being made about how certain classes should perform the way they were meant to. What does that mean?!

What made this case special was that we had invited the guy into the guild with the full knowledge that he was proposing to stay shadow. And yet we were holding all of these prejudices against him. I remember saying, “Maybe we’re not ready to accept that certain classes can be more than what we know them to be”.... In the end, the guild decided to allow him to stay Shadow but he got last priority on shadow/dmg gear and last priority on healing gear. The ultimate SHAFT! That night and that debate stayed in my head and I promised myself one day I’d put myself in his shoes.

Nearly 10 months later, here I am. In his shoes. Level 70, ready for end-game content and I’m CRINGING every time people say to me, “yo, let’s go run something, you can heal and I can do damage.”

They don’t even ask me if I want to heal, they just assume that’s what I do. And it kind of pisses me off.

The funny thing is that I don’t mind healing. I think it’s fun, an adrenaline rush, it’s a real challenge and I feel great when I’m able to surmount some of the most difficult boss or pvp encounters by healing efficiently.

But that other people get to make gross assumptions on how they want me to play, that’s not cool with me. It makes me want to rebel. “Hey! I do as much dmg as the warlock, damnit, plus I heal while I’m doing dps! I’m valid!! VE FTW!”

Will I try out the Holy tree? Most definitely. I’d love to be the main tank healer for awhile. But I want to do it of my own volition...not because someone says I HAVE to because it’s what my class is supposed to do. That’s just BS.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of the Shaman.

I, just like you, decided that while healing CAN be a shaman thing...I want to smash, I decided to spec elemental and go two hand weapon spec...what do I do in instances? heal.


Starman said...

I think people can't pull themselves out of the old-world mentality. I'm guilty of having done it myself. What Blizzard should do is put some kind of title or spec note next to the person when you do a /who on them.

eg: /who Starman

Anonymous said...

most groups i've been with i treat our hyrbids how they want to be treated. moonkin druid? aiight we still need a healer then, what's that? you'll throw in some spot heals when needed to? sounds great. most of the time i don't find this to be a particular problem in my experience. i totally agree. if there's a hybrid that isn't healing respect it and move on. to touch on another note. in a way i almost see hybrids as some of the best classes to party with. i don't mean any offense to them, but my personal opinion is you should be doing what you want, but if things get sticky, don't be an a-hole and just stand there. if you can heal, do it when need be. your main healer might be draining on mana so help them out. i've been in a few groups where the hybrid, for example my moonkin druid member, will have it so hammered into his brain he thinks he's a mage, won't even attempt to heal the poor platey.

Alachia said...

absolutely. that's what being a hybrid class is all about. it's about being able to utilize all parts of your abilities with the choice to specialize in whichever you want.

I main heal fine with my shadow priest actually. Taint went on a vacation for like a week and I was exteremly suprised at how easy it was to keep a 5 man party up as the only healer....and at times, I even had the luxury of going into shadow form to help with dps.

That's what is so amazing about hybrid classes...that you're not relegated to one specific ability type.

And if you're only using one of the abilities, then I suppose it's your loss. Because it's the diversity and flexibility to conform to the needs of the party that make hybrids so kick ass.

My problem is when the needs are designated to strictly healing as some kind of game default.

Anonymous said...

"If Warriors had the ability to heal, they would be forced to the back line and made to wear dresses"

Maclort said...

You studied computer science? And you couldn't help me lol.

Yeah I agree ive got a few alts who have some healing spells, but I always preferred to heal so it didn't bother me.

Lol and nice point Gasgul, but those dress wearing warriors are known a paladins *cough* scum

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008