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  1. #1
    Bloodsail Admiral DonQShot's Avatar
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    A Thesis on an hypothetic support role

    We now have 11 classes that can bring basic, essential and common buffs to the party/raid and I will deduce this situation is balanced at the moment. So, by taking the previous assumption as granted, I believe that a support spec should not interfere with these buffs but instead be worked around unique buffs that are not homogenized and don't affect the current ones. With all things considered, support specs were made to have rotations that enhance their buffs as opposed to the other classes that revolve around dealing damage or healing or taking damage with their rotations and in which the buffs are just a bonus(remember I am talking about party buffs not self-buffs). This way, the support role would focus their rotations on providing buffs in disadvantage of damage bursts or defensive abilities etc. and limiting these to very specific benefits so that no support spec would be superior to others in more than one chapter of its abilities. Of course they would need to have basic dps and whatnot to get around doing quests in solo or survive in pvp but these would be very underpowered and secondary compared to the other classes, but should work just fine thanks to the self-supporting abilities, anyway.
    As a way of integrating the support spec in raids and dungeons and as I explained before, each support spec would bring unique benefits to the team, but since these benefits are limited to a short range of players due to not only the limit of targets but also the allies’ own specifications and unless the team consists only in either melee dps or only ranged dps or magic dps or slow plate wearing dps etc., a good pair or trio of different support specs will always be a good help. In LFR/D, this problem does not even present itself in my opinion, as its integration on LFR/D is easily manageable by making a requirement for support specs in a party and because a support spec would be useful in challenge modes and heroic dungeons.
    The second part of the support integration in the game, is that each spec has its specific role in a party/raid because they are good at doing one thing and bad at the rest. Bringing dps brings damage but cannot help in anything else. Bringing healers can guarantee the survival of the team, but not the death of your enemies. As tanks go, we can count on them to take the damage and get the attention of the enemies but the rest is up for everyone else to do. As a support spec, the only thing it can affect the game is in supporting, whether it be by actively participating in the dps conflicts, staying aside and stepping in only when the tank has been mind controlled or worse, or help the healer by improving its range and/or effectiveness, but obviously it cannot compete with the healing, dpsing or damage mitigation of others, which is a good thing, as it keeps things balanced.
    The third advantage of a support spec in wow is, again, its help in filling the missing buffs that I mentioned before as the common ones and, with some mastery and skill, improve either the dps or the tank or the healer. As I said, a support spec's range of skills is very limited in terms of classes so they do not bring buffs that can benefit the entire party in equal effectiveness so it means players would not just limit themselves to passively bringing the buffs while sitting back and watch the others do their parts.
    Fourthly, a support spec works good in various other games, so why not take what's good from these games and add it to WOW? Fifthly and Finally, I think this would shake the game up and be really cool to play with and against.


    So plz, any counter arguments are well in order and if you have none then I will rest my case Thank you very mucho ^^.

  2. #2
    Moderator Shangalar's Avatar
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    I remember this question being brought up during the Mists of Pandaria Beta several times and the only thing I thought of was "Hey, I actually wouldn't mind playing a Support Arcane Mage".

    That's as far as my thoughts go to this day. But I do potentially see Arcane, Beast Mastery and Discipline as potential Support specs.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral Aurust's Avatar
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    Terrible idea and would never work in WOW.

    Now i will proceed to formulate a counter thesis and propose, with an array of verifiable facts,

    Wait no i wont......

    Love people trying to sound smart over the internets.... Undergrad kids thinking they know everything now that they are in big ole college in their first semester.

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    Last edited by MoanaLisa; 2012-11-06 at 08:57 AM.

  4. #4
    I really think it is far, far too late to introduce a fourth paradigm into this game. Maybe in a different game.

    Plus it'd inflate queue times!

  5. #5
    Bloodsail Admiral DonQShot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shangalar View Post
    I remember this question being brought up during the Mists of Pandaria Beta several times and the only thing I thought of was "Hey, I actually wouldn't mind playing a Support Arcane Mage".

    That's as far as my thoughts go to this day. But I do potentially see Arcane, Beast Mastery and Discipline as potential Support specs.
    Lol, I'm afraid I can't agree with you on everything... I like how arcane mage feels and works atm and I think its potential has been fully achieved, in terms of gameplay at least. But I do feel like a type of powerful wielder of arcane arts would be a good addition as a support spec. Maybe you should check out the blue spec for the Dragon Sworn class I made and see if fancy it . U can check it through my sig.
    Now, beast masters I dont really see why they can't become a support spec but to be honest, neither do I see why they should =S. When I play mine, I feel like its a bit cluncky in the way I have to reach out for Kill comand sometimes, but maybe that's just me =P.
    I never played Discipline so I wouldn't know

  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    So the idea is to have a class that is bad at everything and doesn't really participate? Why would anybody want to be the guy following the mage around and giving him bloodlust?
    Did you like the above post? How about sending me a dollar? I'd have adverts here but apparently that'd break ToS.

  7. #7
    Bloodsail Admiral DonQShot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommypilgrim View Post
    So the idea is to have a class that is bad at everything and doesn't really participate? Why would anybody want to be the guy following the mage around and giving him bloodlust?
    No, the idea is to have a class that can fend for itself in solo, that is just as good as any other in pvp(this is a big variable as it depends mostly for the number of allies nearby) and that excels in pve by actively helping the teammates with better than regular buffs or debuffs. The thing about what I see support spec being, is a very specialized type of player that if in the situation presents itself and/or with the right type of allies and/or by playing skillfully and carefully the ideal ability, it can be a very prolific, useful and helpful addition to every party.

  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonQShot View Post
    a very specialized type of player that if in the situation presents itself and/or with the right type of allies and/or by playing skillfully and carefully the ideal ability, it can be a very prolific, useful and helpful addition to every party.
    Ah. So it'd be like every other class then, only bad at everything and not really participate.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurust View Post
    Terrible idea and would never work in WOW.

    Now i will proceed to formulate a counter thesis and propose, with an array of verifiable facts,

    Wait no i wont......

    Love people trying to sound smart over the internets.... Undergrad kids thinking they know everything now that they are in big ole college in their first semester.
    You seem quite the bit more enlightened. Why not share the insight of your experiences with the rest of the class?

    OT: A support class would be fun for some players, but, unfortunately, as Aurust so eloquently argued, it wouldn't work in WoW. They have made the classes in this game to be able to fill multiple roles: A healer, a damage dealer or a tank. Also, each class needs to be able to do the majority of the solo content...well...solo.

    When you take these two factors into account, coupled with the very real possibility that players will whine that their one support tree (asusming full support was only one tree out of three) wouldn't be able to do dailies (the -new- way to distribute content) with the argument that they should be able to play the way they want, with the role they want, and still be able to progress. If you didn't know, this was a very common tank complaint in the past, and Vengence not only helped tanked "scale" threat better with better gear, but also allow tanks "more ease" when trying to complete dailies.

    Blizzard completely gave up on trying to force people out of tank speccing for out of raid/bgs. Blizzard won't do that again. It'll take too much time to come up with a new mechanic a pure support role could gain to allow "more ease" with daliy-ing, so, instead, they'll just stick with what they have.


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  10. #10
    The problem is that it's almost impossible to balance such a class. If they buff strong enough to make up for carrying one less DPS/Healer/Tank, then they become mandatory. If they don't make up for the loss of a traditional class, then why bring them? For arguments sake, we'll say that you replace a DPS for one. If you break even on DPS after his buffs and contribution, your HPS and tanking ability will be higher. Now it's mandatory. If you don't break even on DPS but need the extra healing, it'd be easier to bring a Smite heavy Disc Priest or a Mistweaver.

    And if you can get the logistics to work for say, 10m raids, then the buff class becomes OP in 25m. If you nerf him to not being OP for 25m, he becomes useless in 10m. You'd have to have a mechanic where the strength of his buffs change dependent entirely on the group he's in. It'd make for both a confusing spec, and one that's hard to make from a design perspective.

  11. #11
    In a game based on health and hit points, damage is progress. The three roles currently in the game are entirely based around that: one deals damage, one prevents or redirects damage, and one heals or prevents damage.

    A support role, while a sound idea in theory, would face a number of issues. Does the role directly increase the damage of his party members? If so, it risks granting too much damage too easily, especially in larger group formats. Does he grant extra damage indirectly, by way of mechanics such as snares, bloodlust-like buffs, and sunder-like debuffs? If so, he risks swinging a pendulum - there's a fine line between WHOA LOTS OF EXTRA DAMAGE and not enough damage to be noticeable. Does he prevent damage via interrupts, movement and attack speed debuffs, and absorb shields? If so, he risks not doing enough to mitigate his lack of damage output. This third model could theoretically replace a healer instead of a dps, but in that case, you risk turning the tank into a damage sponge.

    I don't think it would be impossible to add a support role to the game. I think a lot of games, most notably Guild Wars 2, benefit from having that role available to the players. However, I do think that in the current state of WoW, especially given the way boss damage and aggro are handled, it would take too many resources to maintain a balanced support role - resources that could instead be used to make raids, questing zones, or updated graphics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurust View Post
    Love people trying to sound smart over the internets.... Undergrad kids thinking they know everything now that they are in big ole college in their first semester.
    And you, sir, need to shut your face.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamber View Post
    You seem quite the bit more enlightened. Why not share the insight of your experiences with the rest of the class?
    You just took the bait.
    Regardless it won't work. Unique abilities aren't on the table anymore as groups that can't bring xyz class will cry till the forums are flooded and Blizzard just hands those abilities out to at least two other classes.

  13. #13
    Sounds like paladins in Vanilla.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bajskorv View Post
    Sounds like paladins in Vanilla.
    Sounds like Druids in vanilla as well.
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  15. #15
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    There is a way this might work, but probably not. Tack on a fourth support spec for all the classes (except druids) and make the buffs they provide inclusive (i.e. a support spec mage brings the same buffs as a support spec priest).

    Then again, it is an awful lot of work for a few buffs, and content would have to be balanced around it. So no, if the game does not include support roles at the outset then introducing them later down the line is an unecessary complication.
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  16. #16
    Considering the rage directed at Blizzard for making Blood the DK tanking tree and taking tanking away from Frost and Unholy it's pretty likely that, for your idea to work, they'd have to introduce 4th trees to the classes they wanted to have support roles. Personally I'd be interested in trying out a support role but I'd probably go back to dps, healing or tanking because those roles have far more visual impact.

    Healers, with the more visually-noticable spell effects, can be seen to heal the team.
    Dps spells are always flying at the targets or swinging / stabbing it with weapons.
    Tanks are right there, in front, going toe-to-toe/chin/tentacle/abs(Kologarn) with the target.
    Support would be... I'm not sure.

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  17. #17
    This is how the game used to work back when Blizzard still had competent designers. Then the new designers headed by GC came in and either were just too bad to keep the old system going or too lazy, and opted to just homogenize everything. The way buffs are designed in WoW is a textbook example of horribly bad game design. You know that any random group you build will have all the same buffs so they add absolutely nothing to the game and should just be either removed or redesigned completely.

  18. #18
    Many people don't play as healers or tanks already because they don't directly damage the boss (apart from having more responsibility).

    The mechanics you speak of are already there, they are mostly part of the different encounters or spreaded among the different specs.

    You have shields and dps boosts when you do something during a certain phase, or you debuff the boss by killing some add. And, as a certain class, you can use a cooldown that helps your group directly or not.

    As a new role, not only it would be difficult to balance but it would also bring many issues with already existing encounters. And in the end, not many people would want to play that way. It also wouldn't make much sense in a PvP enviroment.

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  19. #19
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeophor View Post
    This is how the game used to work back when Blizzard still had competent designers. Then the new designers headed by GC came in and either were just too bad to keep the old system going or too lazy, and opted to just homogenize everything. The way buffs are designed in WoW is a textbook example of horribly bad game design. You know that any random group you build will have all the same buffs so they add absolutely nothing to the game and should just be either removed or redesigned completely.
    Because desperately searching for a shaman was oh-so-fun, right?

    If anything, the buffs need to be spread out more; particularly the 5% spell haste buff.
    Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
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    There is a modern myth that people have always tended towards democracy, constitutions, electoral rights; but in truth, love of freedom has never been the predominant note of popular politics. At most times, popular demand has been for a strong government.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    Because desperately searching for a shaman was oh-so-fun, right?
    At least it was a game mechanic, unlike the current buff system which could be removed without any impact to the gameplay at all. And if you were "desperately searching for a shaman" you were doing it wrong. Or more accurately, your guild leadership were failing at recruiting the right people.

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