On class balance and homogenization, pt 2

not coding wrote a very nice rebuttal to my original post about class balance.

It takes all types to play this game. WoW has an amazing ability to appeal to PvPers, hardcore raiders, social butterflies, crafters, pet lovers, and even trade channel trolls. But each of these types has their own priorities in the game.

For some people, the first thing they ask about the changes is “how does this affect PvP?”  For others, its “How does this affect my guild’s raids?”  or “How fast can we get to the level cap and start endgame?”

not coding and other commenters immediately thought about the positive impact that the class rebalancing can have on raiding. I see that, and I agree with those conclusions.  Many guilds will have an easier time putting together raids if there are no “required” classes for certain boss fights.

My first thoughts about the changes were not “how will this affect raiding?” but more of a gut-feeling reflection of my dislike of the blurring of the lines between classes.

My reasoning has nothing to do with game mechanics or raiding. Its more of a lore-based line of thought,  coming from someone with a very long history of playing tabletop RPGs and reading fantasy genre literature.  I expect a lot of people will not see it as I do because they are not coming at it from that perspective.  To me, the classes should be as distinct from each other as possible, because that’s what makes them different classes.

This was originally another rambling post with lots of examples, but I feel like I’m not expressing myself clearly, so I cut it short.  Suffice to say that there are certainly going to be positive aspects to the changes, but at the expense of some of the flavor and charm that the game had before.  I guess I’m a big fan of flavor and charm.


4 Responses to “On class balance and homogenization, pt 2”

  1. September 21, 2008 at 1:50 am

    For what it’s worth, I too have a long history of playing tabletop RPGs and reading fantasy literature, and I’m almost entirely in favour of the changes. Too much long-term fun (or at least, too much of my long-term fun) in WoW is dependent on game mechanics to be able to ignore them for the sake of flavour. If I’m playing D&D or Exalted and a mechanics issue threatens to spoil the fun, the GM’s able to say “no, forget that, we’ll do it the fun way”. WoW doesn’t have that ability, so the game mechanics have to be as close to ‘fair’ and balanced as they can possibly be.

    Just my 2 coppers 😉

  2. 2 Kulvir
    September 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

    “My first thoughts about the changes were not “how will this affect raiding?” but more of a gut-feeling reflection of my dislike of the blurring of the lines between classes.”

    I completely sympathize. I was more unhappy than excited when finding out that druids were getting a normal res spell. Having only a battle res made druids unique, and now they’re closer to other generic support classes. It may be that in raids, druids can offer more to reduce downtime, or that in PVP we can res teammates in arenas, but MEH.

    I’m one of the “how does it affect pvp” guys. I love the new abilities for moonkin; I think Blizzard has done an amazing job of adding new spells and talents while retaining the uniqueness of each class, even if the end result of certain spells makes each class more generic (like giving everyone better AOE).

  3. September 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I also only really care about how it affects pvp. Blizz will never truly screw up PVE so that area is safe really.
    Found you on blog azeroth. Like what you are doing. Feel free to check out my wow blog at Wow Blogger.

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