Soles, roles, and hybrids

Looking For Dungeon role choice selection

Your choices are: Tank, Heal, or DPS.

Should hybrid DPS equal or outmatch pure DPS classes as a matter of course (all things being equal)?

No. Pure DPS classes should out DPS hybrid classes. Since pure classes can only do one thing, they should be best at that one thing.

Hybrids have their advantages. Pure classes should have theirs.

From the World of Warcraft Getting Started Guide by Blizzard:

Some classes are designed specifically for one role, while other classes can perform several. The best example for a “pure” healer, for example, is the priest class (although shadow priests are a notable exception), while druids are a good example of a “hybrid” class that can effortlessly fill the role of tank, healer, or damage dealer.

Who should lead DPS?

It’s a bit of an unnecessary question in an ideal world—did the monster die? then your DPS is high enough—but it’s not an ideal world and people cling to damage meters like planks of wood after the ship’s sunk, so, they matter.

Here’s how the order should be:

  1. Pures.
  2. Hybrids.

More detail (alphabetically within each rank):

  1. Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Warlock
  2. Death Knight, Priest, Shaman, Warrior
  3. Druid, Paladin

What separates the ranks is the number of roles each class can select in the Dungeon Finder.

Why differ?

If a class can only do one thing, it should be best at that one thing. It’s the expert at that thing to the exclusion of all other things.

Otherwise, the reason to have a pure class is weakened. If there’s a desire, particularly in raids, to have room and a reason for all classes to participate and be invited, then there needs to be a reason for pure classes that matches the advantages of hybrids. That reason is superior DPS.


What’s the advantage to choosing either a pure or a hybrid? For a hybrid, it’s being able to perform more than one role. It allows more contribution in the guild, shorter wait times in the Dungeon Finder, and of course more variety in day-to-day playing of the game.

What’s the advantage of a pure? I think it should be performing that role better than a hybrid. It’s analogous to any specialized verses general occupation. An ear doctor should be better at diagnosing and treating ear maladies than a general practitioner. The GP has the advantage of being able to work in a wider variety of places, but the ear specialist is better at ears.

Speaking of the Dungeon Finder, not only does DPS have a long wait—but pures are doubly so since there’s nothing they can do about that wait, since they can’t choose any other role at any time, regardless of circumstances or preference. Also, during a raid or even forming a raid, being able to fill two roles is twice the advantage over pure classes in terms of role/compensating for sudden roster change (drops), &c.

The Fix

Complaining isn’t good without a solution. Here are a few:

  • All classes should have more than one role. This is the most difficult and unreasonable fix, but it would address the problem by putting everyone on a nearly even level.
  • Eliminate meters. Wouldn’t it be nice if the math behind everything was so well hidden that we were left to concentrate entirely on how we wanted to play? Alas, this is even less likely to happen.
  • Give pures some love. They need it! 😉

About Administrator

Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on November 10, 2011, in Mechanics, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A test comment.

  2. Pures have plenty of advantages. They don’t have to try and maintain multiple gear sets in order to be forced into a role they don’t want to fill for the good of the group. They don’t have to try and master more than one role. They get to be selfish. In an MMO, your selfishness costs ME. I have to pick up the slack of your choice.

    Yesterday you argued that frost should effectively be an RP choice, that all mages should be roughly equal. You should be able to have the flavor of a frost mage and do competitive top DPS. If that’s the case, why shouldn’t I be able to do the same using 2h weapons? That’s my RP choice. I like 2h weapons. There’s NO pure DPS class that uses them. If you should get your flavor choice, so should I.

    Being a hybrid and being able to tank isn’t advantageous for ME. I have tanks in my guild already. It’s advantageous for YOU because you can always sit back and DPS sure that you’ll never have to do the other job. You can play how you like! If I’m in a five man and the tank leaves, I’m often expected to step up even if I don’t have the gear or spec to do so. Why is that my advantage, exactly, that I get to go from having fun to carrying the group on my back? If I wanted to tank, I would have signed up to tank.

    All DPS specs should be as close as possible, and whatever differences exist should be based on things like how friendly to melee vs ranged they are. Trying to make pures do better dps and ignoring the massive, massive utility (Time warp, rogue CC, rogue poisons, vanish, invisibility, frost mage control, hunter and warlock pet tanking) those classes bring is far, far more imbalanced.

    If it’s not balanced by spec, so that DPS specs are competitive, it basically means “You can tank, so be my tank bitch so I can have fun”.

    • >They don’t have to try and maintain multiple gear sets in order to be forced into a role they don’t want to fill for the good of the group.

      No one can “force” you to play something you don’t want to play. That’s obviously ridiculous. You can do something you don’t want to do at the time for the greater good, as we all have as good guild members, but even that’s not forced behavior.

      >If you should get your flavor choice, so should I.

      Then you should argue for a pure DPS class that uses two-handed weapons, because that’s what you want.

      >Being a hybrid and being able to tank isn’t advantageous for ME.

      Then don’t do it. My guild has priests, for example, who’re only DPS and never heal. We know they don’t, we don’t ask them to because we know they can’t. They don’t have the gear or the disposition or experience. Not a good match.

      If your guild can’t handle that practice then you need to try to change that within the guild or find a different guild or whatever. Whatever the secret is to not playing the second role, the code can obviously be cracked. That, at least, is not a pure-vs.-hybrid problem.

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