Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reply to: Simplification of Stats is NOT a bad thing

I was trying to catch up on the Warcast forums today and was reading some commentary ( on the homogenization controversy we keep bringing up on Warcast. I keep getting the feeling after reading a lot of emails and comments that people just think I'm qq-ing over a feeling and not a fact. So anyhow here was my reply to the forum posts. I hope it brings to light more of the point I keep trying to get across. I also had an example about priests I wanted to use to directly speak about stat changes but left it out because the reply was getting too long. This one deals more with class homogenization.

I think it's really important to look at the over-all picture. I'm not qq-ing because of a few changes over the past months. I'm making an observation over the last five years. And while I have come to terms with these changes (it does take old dogs longer :)), I know for a fact that the homogenization is real. It does make the game simpler but it doesn't mean it hasn't made the game more fun... for some.

A lot of people point to the example of mages when they try to make this argument that the homogenization = more complexity in class play. "back in vanilla wow, all mages did was spam fireball or frost bolt" and now with wotlk, you're seeing mages use mods to monitor arc missile procs from arcane blasts assuming you don't have your four set bonus yet. They have to be careful with their timing and not waste procs. It's more fun for sure. It's more complex than spamming frostbolts for sure and you do amazing pew pew.

However, that's not the whole story. Five years ago, shamans could not decurse and resto tree druids couldn't do it in form. This left the duty mainly to mages who had decurse assignments. In addition to that, mages were always in charge of crowd control. Setting up focus macros to maintain your cc'd target was huge. Counterspell was also very common in a lot of the boss fights which were directly assigned to mages as well. In addition, there were a lot of really fun nova rotations you had to factor in and as well as a few really nifty aoe blizzard or flame strike combos with a mixture of frost and fire mages.

Homogenization has made it less critical for cc, aoe, counterspell, and decurse specializations from mages. Now they are pretty much prue dps soldiers. Shamans do the the decursing and can also counterspell, everyone and their mother can aoe effectively, and CC is almost an urban legend. These used to be part of the arsenal of a certain class and they are all but gone. You can ask almost any mage now that played in vanilla and they'll say, "yeah, it's a little bit more work than spamming one button but we sure as hell have far less buttons to worry about."

It's the tiny nuances that I struggled with losing. I'm not saying it's not for the best as I have submitted that this game isn't designed for the likes of me anymore. I had a great love/hate relationship with unbalanced chaos of class warfare.

And that's fine but I'm not just lamenting over some grand lie about how WoW is shifting to simplifying roles and gear. They are and their blue posts don't try to deny it. Does this free the devs up to create more balanced and fun gameplay for each class? Maybe. But I think the reality is that it's just creating more accessibility of gameplay for a wider audience who just don't give a crap about that stuff and just wanna pew pew and get phat lootz and play with their friends.


Matt Tan said...

Hey Alachia,

with all this homogenization between classes, do you find that there is still the mind set that some classes are more viable than others?

I'm not even talking for raids. I remember a time when it was near impossible to get an instance run because I played a hunter or my priest would only be invited if it wasn't shadow.

Is this still the case? It's been a while since I played and when considering playing again, I'm just concerned about going through the same experiences.

Alachia said...

@Matt- Hey Matt,
All classes are viable now. The only classes I have seen that seem a necessity in terms of DPS is the mage... the food table is sweeeet.
But homogenization was designed specifically to eliminate that alienation of classes and to finally put an end to the class warfare. So hunter, rogue, whatever, it's all doable with raids. The only balancing I've seen is wanting to balance out casters and melee because some fights require more movements than others and it's easier if not all your raid are melee and on top of the boss.

You will not see the type of class stereotype you saw pre-wotlk.

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008