Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Sympathy For The Devil

The above title is not in reference to Blizzard's Lead System Designer, but some people may view Ghostcrawler that way. Personally I think he does a great job, but occasionally he does get it wrong, but usually for the right reasons.

Great Leaders tend to make great speeches. Winston Churchill was immortalised with his wartime speech,

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

Martin Luther King is forever linked with his impassioned speech,

"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

The list goes on and on, and please don't take this the wrong way that I am implying that Ghostcrawler to be on the same level as Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, but he is always good for quote. His style is that of the modern day Politician and he is always good for a soundbite.

The Godmother has been exploring one of these quotes and it would appear that,"Bring the Player, not the class." is more about the sentiment than the actual words he used. The latest context for this quote is that of the data mined Triple-spec feature, that is destined never to see the light of day.

It seem odd that such a brilliant feature like Dual-Specialisation, becomes a serious problem when expanded to 3 different specs. The expectation placed on the hybrid classes becomes enormous. All Paladins, Druids and Monks would be expected to fill in for any of the 3 roles, Tanking, Healing and Damage Dealing. The second spec is for fun, the third would be for utility.

Last night I encountered this utility not once but twice, and whilst it was great in the fact that it served a purpose, it is wrong for everybody to be expected to perform such Heroics.

The first example I have from last night, is my feeble attempt to benefit from being Valor capped. My Resto Shaman, was pushed through his paces, in 2 scenarios and then a 5 Man Heroic. I have healed in both Guild 5 Man runs and stayed largely anonymous in LFR, but this was me healing on my own with no safety net, in LFD. Due to the largely unknown instances, I have no idea what to expect and when to expect it.

The RNG Gods gave me Gate of the Setting Sun, an instance that I have only completed once as a Hunter. The instance started well enough and then after a few minutes the Tank dropped for no reason. Did anyone die? was it my fault? No is the answer to both, but we were left to queue for the rarest of rare things, a Tank doing an Heroic 5 Man. A 4 man Party sat, talking and waiting for a 5th member and more importantly a Tank, just a few yards away from a boss. The Mage said to the Death Knight, "Can you Tank?", to which the Death Knight responded, "I can give it a try but the Healer will need to heal like a God, LoL.".

No pressure whatsoever, a man down, no recognisable Tank and an inexperienced Healer, what could possibly go wrong? The answer was of course absolutely nothing. It is a real anti-climax I know, but sometimes people like our Death Knight will try something unusual for the sake of the team. We did however get a Tank before the next boss, but we didn't care we would have quite happily carried on as a 4 man team.

Next up was LFR - Guardians of Mogu'shan, and for some reason we lost both Tanks. Two druids volunteered to go Bearform and the Raid was able to continue, until the Tanks turned up. Two runs and three people willing to change and adapt for the greater good. It matters not to me what standard they were, it was about the sacrifice. I would swap from Damage Dealer to Healer, but I would never Tank an instance.

"For those about to Tank, we Salute you." and I mean that it in the most sincere way. You guys have my utmost respect for even attempting to stand at the front and be the Meat Shield. Without you, there is no endgame.

If Blizzard had implemented Triple-Specialisation, then there is no hiding place, and there would be an expectation that you will have a Tanking spec. Such pressure would force me to stop playing Druid, Paladin and Monk in one swift move. I can't Tank, and I won't Tank, but you have my full respect if you do the thing that I fear.


  1. Even if people have a tanking spec it would not mean they have tanking gear or tanking skill. I see what you mean however. My shaman's offspec is elemental now that I lost enhancement because I got sick and tired of gearing two sets of gear.

    I DPS in my healing gear, my priest does the same. My warrior, paladin druid, monk and DK use the same gear to tank and DPS in, even if they all are tanks.

    The biggest problem with dual spec and soon tri spec is not that people need to know how to play two things, they need to have the gear for it to pull it off effectively.

    People will just assume that my paladin has a healing spec, when even if it does thanks to tri spec I have no gear for it. Unless you want me healing in mostly greens and blues from last expansion that I need to sell off from my bank, which was the last time I healed with it.

    People will just assume that my shaman can go melee and not give a crap that I vendored off my agility gear and switched to elemental because I would rather have the bag space.

    With how horrible the gearing system is this expansion and the horrible, or should I say beyond horrible, drop rate of gear to begin with, gearing alts for a second spec is not worth the time and effort.

    So no matter what, tri spec will at best be for the people willing to gear for three sets when most are having a hard enough time keeping one up to snuff.

    I have no issue with my having all three specs on my hunter, as a matter of fact I am looking forward to that. All it is for me is a matter of some reforging basically as I switch and there is a mount for that. All DPS specs it is great for. Have all three rogue specs, all three lock specs, all three mage specs. Fine and dandy. Sure some gemming and enchanting might be different between the specs but not so much so that it would make a huge difference to the casual player. All three of those classes and their respective specs use the same type of gear, so that is why it is no big deal.

    And then imagine the raid leaders (of which I am one) that will have their raiders gearing for specs they do not want to play. I think our paladin should have a healing spec and so should our druid. Now they both have no excuse for not having one. I've even already informed them of such and told my healers they need to have an effective DPS offspec now that we will have other healers to rotate in depending on the fights. If they do not have an effective DPS spec and the others do not develop an effective healing set, I will have to replace them, all thanks to tri spec.

    If all gear was class specific and not spec specific I can see tri spec being embraced much more open armed by the community but as I see it right now all it is, is the game telling me now I have a third freaking set of gear to collect when I am still missing pieces from my main spec. No thank you.

  2. From my understanding, triple-spec is something that is not going to happen. Blizzard are already regretting the ease at which people are changing specialisations and glyphs on the fly, in Raids to suit the bosses. This is the kind of Micro management that Blizzard wants to eradicate from the game.

    I agree totally with you about the gear, and in particular, I am annoyed about the amount of junk I am required to carry around with characters - especially all the raw foods, and Special bags are just too inflexible in my opinion.

    Maybe you are right and class based gear is the way to go. I would be happy to have a token for each boss, and so many tokens make a Tier piece of your choosing. This will not happen because you currently get infrequent drops in LFR and Valor only awards one piece every other week. Blizzard wants to stem the speed in which we acquire gear, and then they give advice about swapping useless Justice for Honor, so that you can farm PvP gear to your hearts content.