Category Archives: Mechanics

UI four three

There’s a nice article on WoWHead.com about UI improvements in 4.3. Let’s discuss, shall we?

First, bag search:

bag search in 4.3

Bag searching is for the weak! Well, everyone after 4.3 who hasn’t taken advantage of Void Storage, that is. Everyone should have clean, neat, and organized bags after their first visit, right? Hopefully, this feature will be little used! 😉

Reforging

Reforging UI in 4.3

This is nice, I’m sure, but to be honest I don’t reforge enough to really warrant noticing a profound UI change.

Guard directions

Guard directions in 4.3

I actually use guard directions a fair amount. I can never remember where a profession trainer is for an alt, for example. And where’s the nearest general store? Can a guard tell me that? Having new things at the top and labeled is for people who’re new to the game, and this will help. Change approved.

Altitude

Altitude UI in 4.3

If this can be used for nodes and quest givers, I’m so for this. A dimmed dot means underground, sure, but right now there’s nothing for above. When one’s searching for elementium in Deepholm, it would be handy to know whether the node is on that shelf above or in the valley below.

Tracking

Tracking UI in 4.3

Submenus now for tracking. I wasn’t finding the current UI cluttered—but then again I rarely change the tracking. Mayhaps this is more important to hunters who, you know…can track things.

 

 

Some thoughts on the matter of Blizzard’s Class Balance and Design part two

World of WarcraftMore from Blizzard about the recent Class & Balance Q&A:

Mage
We offered some buffs to Fire mages to help them compete with Arcane. Frost is viable in PvE, but at high-end raiding we understand that its damage isn’t perceived as comparable to Arcane or Fire. The problem is that Frost has a lot of control and survivability, and if their damage were also identical, there would be no reason to choose Arcane or Fire. Note that the 5.0 talent design is partially to fix this specific problem, where specs have either higher DPS or higher utility.

Well, now, ‘no reason to choose Arcane or Fire‘ doesn’t sound too bad, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Hee! Seriously though, I’m sticking to my guns that all specs should be equal in DPS for raiding purposes. How that comes about is almost wholly immaterial, whether this or that is buffed or debuffed or whatnot. What’s important to me is being able to frost bosses. 😉

But one fix that, it seems, would be viable is having a separate “raid” configuration for each spec. That wouldn’t be too difficult to implement.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s going to happen. As ‘specs have either higher DPS or higher utility‘ makes it clear that if you want to do X then you will choose Y spec. I’m assuming that if you want to PvP then your only-and-obvious choice will be Frost. Bleah. I’d much prefer that we all have the flexibility to raid or PvP with any of the specs.

Time will tell, but I’m not excited by this.

Plenty of time for me to get jazzed about it though! There’s a long time between now and 5.0.

Meanwhile, I’m quite excited for 4.3! O.M.G. can not wait a minute more. Word on the street is that it’ll be released on November 29th. Why then? This explanation right here seems reasonable.

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.

Advantage

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! 😉
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