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  1. #1

    Class Specific Buffs and Homogenization

    I saw this post on the general forums and wanted to repost here.

    TL;DR:

    Total homogenization isn't worth it. Having buffs like Mark of the Wild, Auras, Blessings and Totems are enjoyable. Even though only a few classes can provide them it allows players to be more unique.

    https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20752559640

    In the Paladin class fantasy thread, I saw Ornyx mention Auras contributing to the whole "bring the player, not the class philosophy".

    I want to make a thread just about that philosophy in general.

    Since release, I've seen the full gamut of evolutionary states on that topic. Playing a Shaman as one of my main characters early on, I remember being loved for bringing my totems to the group. Even having to deal with people fight it out to see which Air Totem I would use. Shamans were also the one and only Bloodlust at the time.

    I remember establishing a good friendship with a Fury Warrior who was always eager to group with me for Windfury Totem, because just me being able to provide that buff made his experience more enjoyable.

    And for me, being able to buff my buddies was a good part of my enjoyment of playing a Shaman.

    So I realize the other end of the spectrum is what Blizzard worries about - groups feeling the HAVE to have every particular class to provide their each individual buffs or they feel gimped.

    I personally have never seen this actually play out except when I was in the most hardcore of raiding groups. Obviously Bloodlust was a big deal, but I've never seen a raid called because we didn't have a Druid on to provide Mark or Gift of the Wild. That just doesn't play out in reality for 99% of the players in the game.

    I'm sure all of the WoW devs have thought long and hard about that philosophy, but as a long time player, I just want to provide some enthusiastic feedback that may encourage a second look at it.

    Bring the player, not the class has only ever been relevant to the hardcore end of the playerbase. And maybe that's fine? Seems reasonable to expect the most hardcore players to be a bit more deliberate with their group makeup. However, most casual guilds and players are always going to bring the player not the class. There has been a TON of homogenization. I never thought I'd see the day where we've totally lost some of the most iconic buffs in WoW like Arcane Int/Mark of the Wild/Etc. (Just about every other design choice other than the buffs has been extremely positive imo btw).

    It's when you let specs be a little rough around the edges that you can have all different types of players find their niche. Something like Bloodlust being spread around to another class or two is absolutely fine. Powerful, raid wide stuff like that makes sense, but completely gutting smaller, FUN buffs like Windfury Totem or Blessings just feels completely wrong.

    As someone who is more on the casual end but plays with more hardcore friends, I'd love to be the guy who can just make those guys better. This way I feel like I can provide more to the group's effectiveness than just personal #'s.

    Why not make room for talents like this? As a shaman I can either take a passive, an active CD, or a group buff/aura/totem. While that talent will lower my personal dps a bit, it can buff the group.

    Yeah, it will always need to be balanced, and it might have to also be balanced around being just as effective in smaller groups vs larger groups so it's not just infinitely scalable... but still don't believe 100% perfect balance should ever be a goal, let alone even possible.

    There is always going to be something that edges out the other thing, and a small percentage of players with the intent to min/max will try to exploit that. Who cares? This isn't what most players will care about.

    I would, and I'm sure most players would take a personal dps loss to provide a fun buff to their buddies. I got Windfury for you guys! I'll be your mana battery healer! These are enjoyable roles to take on in multiplayer games.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the player who defended the old Paladin Auras in the Paladin class fantasy thread. The feeling of being able to provide a more enjoyable experience to your fellow players and groupmates as more of a Support role is something that should be considered a bit more that it appears to be now.

    From my perspective, I just see more and more balance and homogenization as the killing of fun. And fun (not perfect balance) is really what this game should be about first and foremost.

  2. #2
    I completely agree. I would even go as far as to introduce purely support specs / class in the next expansion. For some people, like me, there is no better way to play the game than buff your friends.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral
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    I actually agree as well.

    They've now crumpled around the other extreme by basically eliminating most of that stuff and making everyone a carbon copy with a few twists of each other that it's just boring.

    And NOT fun...

    Where's the fun?

    (Obviously it's still there and not everyones a copy of each other but I hope you get the point)

  4. #4
    Stood in the Fire ArMeD_SuRvIvOr's Avatar
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    I agree. The problem is the general mindset of Blizzard and people in general. This mindset is a practicality based one where if an ability doesn't have a defined, clear job or functionality in a setting such as a raid or pvp, it is deemed useless (by Blizzard and spreadsheet heroes). Therefore, every class has an interrupt, a gap closer, a movement ability, a heal, a ranged damage ability, short range damage ability, a DoT and so on. NOTHING can ever go outside this box, or it is deemed USELESS.

    We need auras, totems and unique effects back. They are what makes the game fun. Seriously, ret paladins, frost dks and warriors all feel the same thing with a different coat of paint.
    Really sucks if they start to limit their vision for an expansion just to get the next one out faster.
    BLOOD DPS. Never forget. Still campaigning to get you back, babe.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ArMeD_SuRvIvOr View Post
    I agree. The problem is the general mindset of Blizzard and people in general. This mindset is a practicality based one where if an ability doesn't have a defined, clear job or functionality in a setting such as a raid or pvp, it is deemed useless (by Blizzard and spreadsheet heroes). Therefore, every class has an interrupt, a gap closer, a movement ability, a heal, a ranged damage ability, short range damage ability, a DoT and so on. NOTHING can ever go outside this box, or it is deemed USELESS.

    We need auras, totems and unique effects back. They are what makes the game fun. Seriously, ret paladins, frost dks and warriors all feel the same thing with a different coat of paint.
    Yeah I totally agree with this. I used to love being able to switch between any of my melee alts and they all had different flavors. Now they all just boil down to : resource generator/resource spender/+dps cooldown.

  6. #6
    Yeah I really enjoy my 3 second battle rez cast when other classes can do it instantly.

  7. #7
    The Patient Vaelanor's Avatar
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    Honestly it's been like this for years now... Can't remember when they had more diversification. The main obstacle is...balance. There was a reason why classes were so different early in the games history but were also so poorly balanced.

  8. #8
    The Lightbringer Gemini Soul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cracked View Post
    I completely agree. I would even go as far as to introduce purely support specs / class in the next expansion. For some people, like me, there is no better way to play the game than buff your friends.
    The ONLY way support specs/class would EVER work is if they made them needed for dungeon like tank/healer. Then they would need to remove 90% of CC and raid buffs to give to the support specs/class.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Soul View Post
    The ONLY way support specs/class would EVER work is if they made them needed for dungeon like tank/healer. Then they would need to remove 90% of CC and raid buffs to give to the support specs/class.
    Why? make them balanced so that they buff you for what another dps in their spot would do. Blizzard is already shit at balancing this game, so why stop adding variables now.

  10. #10
    The Lightbringer callipygoustp's Avatar
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    "Less is more" has been working well since Wrath. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  11. #11
    Stood in the Fire Kyux's Avatar
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    I agree too.

    But how about a compromise? Blizz doesn't want raid leaders to feel like they need one shaman, one druid, one paladin, etc, because of their group-wide buffs. But what if those classes could only buff a few people? The player who gives the buff still feels like they are helping and buffing people, yet the buff itself is not mandatory for the raid. it might be a 5-10% increase for one player, but not the raid as a whole. You could even talent it to make it two players.

    Personally, I think classes should have theirs buffs back. Something like Thorns for druids was a fairly minor buff but it was fun and precisely the class fantasy. Something like Omen of Clarity being cast on another player would be cool too. That was an interesting buff and wouldn't be mandatory if it was one target only.

    Do you think this is a good compromise?

  12. #12
    If the game was new - sure. But the game is over a decade old - everyone is busting their ass to optimize every single aspect of their characters, and do so successfully. And then questions arise - why should druids be the only ones with Mark, or why should mages give 10% SP, etc. as not all groups have the same classes, especially with raid sizes going down and class variety going up.

    a lot of the changes (things being cut) were done with that goal, except maybe removing reforging which was a step back in players abilities to optimize.

    if you compare optimizations over the years - during tbc/wrath, excluding gimmicky specs, you were ok without really optimizing 110%. These days if you dont sim, mr robot or use whatever external info, you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind everyone else, because people hear about simcraft before they even start playing WoW.

  13. #13
    Isn't half the problem that buffs don't stack? So your 2nd drood adds 0.
    Let buffs stack - yes you will now get the problem that you'll get stacking of the "best" buffs, but at least you can bring players without them feeling they will get kicked if a missing class logs in.

  14. #14
    I think Blizzard would nail it if they made

    a; completely different specs, with REAL strengths and weaknesses
    b; make them "easy to learn hard to master"
    c; everyone has access to every spec - or a lot of them, you name it

    You still need to get proper relics, AP, legendaries, but filling a missing sweet Typhoon, Root, another "soaking" mechanic like Ice Block/Turtle, Mass Dispel, etc. would be easy.
    But, you still need to play the game properly, invest time in gearing/filling that spec, and making a great raid composition.
    This will be the true "Bring the player not the class" theory they wanted.

  15. #15
    The Lightbringer Gemini Soul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cracked View Post
    Why? make them balanced so that they buff you for what another dps in their spot would do. Blizzard is already shit at balancing this game, so why stop adding variables now.
    They tried that with Ret pallys and GBoM, it failed and was taken out.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Soul View Post
    They tried that with Ret pallys and GBoM, it failed and was taken out.
    Ret pala gbom was a failed attempt at a buff, it had all of the downsides and none of the upsides. I want a spec that actively spends time buffing others, not putting 3 spells at the start of the raid on people. Picture something like a monk spec that runs from dps to dps and applies buffs to them.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    I agree to a degree. I do like having buffs but I feel all major fight-changing cooldowns should be shared among a few specs/classes so you're not forced to take a really subpar shaman, for instance, for lust over a great mage. So have some fun buffs so people feel good having their class but not place that buff only on one specific spec and class.

    I absolutely disagree that only "hardcore" need "bring the player, not the class". Even my casual, heroic-only guild expects some level of performance, if you're really bad you're not going to remain with us no matter what unique buffs you bring. Any group wants to have a good, well-working collection of people, not just those at the top.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Cracked View Post
    I completely agree. I would even go as far as to introduce purely support specs / class in the next expansion. For some people, like me, there is no better way to play the game than buff your friends.
    This was one of my favourite things back in BC. I was a shadow priest back then I love the idea of playing mana battery. It gave me a real kick to be a dps class that provided mana to the raid group. And the better I performed the better the mana return. It made it an engaging spec for me.

  19. #19
    I was Shadow in the early days of BC too and really liked it, but in the end it was all about maxing your dps (and you did alot early, you were a top dps during t4 and early t5).
    The most I enjoyed my Enhancer later in Sunwell, I did less damage (not by alot, because I did ALOT for my class ), but my group was so much better with me in there, I really liked it
    If they introduce a support class again, I would insta reroll from tank to support

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by skitzin View Post
    This was one of my favourite things back in BC. I was a shadow priest back then I love the idea of playing mana battery. It gave me a real kick to be a dps class that provided mana to the raid group. And the better I performed the better the mana return. It made it an engaging spec for me.
    Exactly, I loved being depended on and dependable. It made me feel like i was synergizing with the rest of my raid instead of competing on dps meters. Sure, there was some of that too, but it just made me feel so much better while playing that spec.

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