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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Comparing 'Specs' from Vanilla to Legion

    I often see discussions about how 'spec xyz' wasn't viable in Vanilla. There's arguments for change and against change, but I won't argue that here. What I'll talk about is how the class design was completely different in Vanilla than it is today, and many people don't acknowledge this.

    Today in Legion, there are essentially 36 Classes. Technically there's only 12, but functionally there's 36. All 36 specs play VERY differently. Functionally, they could be separate classes. It would make sense to have a Sorcerer, Pyromancer, and Ice mage class. Or a Gladiator, Barbarian, Blademaster. Crusader, Paladin, Knight. etc. The game today plays as if there are 36 unique classes (for the most part).

    In Vanilla, there were only 9 classes. Crusader wasn't a class yet. Knight wasn't a class yet. Paladin (healer) was. Now, you could choose to select a talent path that made you a pseudo knight, or a pseudo crusader, but you're playing a Paladin. All 9 classes available in Vanilla were viable. Many of them even had multiple different viable talent paths, something that could be argued against in today's wow.

    Making 'Ret Paladin' viable is the same as adding a new class: Crusader. Crusader exists in Legion, but it didn't in Vanilla. Just as Death Knight didn't exists in Vanilla. People have to realize that there were much fewer classes in Vanilla, and maybe we shouldn't be adding 30+ classes to Classic. Maybe we should.

    A final note: During vanilla, when somebody IRL asked what class you play, you answered "Warrior", or "Shaman", or "Priest" or whatever you were playing. Today? "Shadow priest", "Survival Hunter", "Affliction Lock".

    Before anyone blasts me, I'm not arguing for or against class changes, just trying to prove a point and start a discussion!

  2. #2
    You are correct. The reason I would disagree somewhat is that core abilities were only accessible as you went down the tree there may be optimal talents in Legion but not to the same extent. So spec was a thing and it referred to how deeply you accessed trees and why.

    But I will agree that the difference became more pronounced as trees grew 10 points longer and added more synergy in advance of TBC.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by barrsftw View Post
    A final note: During vanilla, when somebody IRL asked what class you play, you answered "Warrior", or "Shaman", or "Priest" or whatever you were playing. Today? "Shadow priest", "Survival Hunter", "Affliction Lock".
    Not really. People in Vanilla say Fury Warrior, Holy Priest, Demonology Walock, Fire Mage, Subtlety Rogue, etc..

    I don't see the point you are trying to make.

    The only tangible issue to your argument I can think of is that on Vanilla: Paladins can only be rolled on Alliance . Shamans can only be rolled on Horde. Is this where you got lost?
    Last edited by Vineri; 2018-02-15 at 07:34 AM.

  4. #4
    I played Ret in Vanilla. It played differently to Holy and differently to Prot. There were some crossovers between all 3 specs but those still exist today.

    SPECIALIZATION is the main thing. Classes being closer in Vanilla means very little, as a Full Spec frost mage may have used 1 or 2 Fire spells but they were specialised in Frost. It's why when you look at things like WoWhead Talent Calculator there is a "class" list for abilities and then Spec specific. Spec specific used to come from huge Talent Trees, but with the change to Talent trees as they are now, the talents the trees would have given anyway were just baked into a chosen spec.

    There is no large difference between Vanilla and Legion for 90% of classes.

  5. #5
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by barrsftw View Post
    I often see discussions about how 'spec xyz' wasn't viable in Vanilla. There's arguments for change and against change, but I won't argue that here. What I'll talk about is how the class design was completely different in Vanilla than it is today, and many people don't acknowledge this.

    Today in Legion, there are essentially 36 Classes. Technically there's only 12, but functionally there's 36. All 36 specs play VERY differently. Functionally, they could be separate classes. It would make sense to have a Sorcerer, Pyromancer, and Ice mage class. Or a Gladiator, Barbarian, Blademaster. Crusader, Paladin, Knight. etc. The game today plays as if there are 36 unique classes (for the most part).

    In Vanilla, there were only 9 classes. Crusader wasn't a class yet. Knight wasn't a class yet. Paladin (healer) was. Now, you could choose to select a talent path that made you a pseudo knight, or a pseudo crusader, but you're playing a Paladin. All 9 classes available in Vanilla were viable. Many of them even had multiple different viable talent paths, something that could be argued against in today's wow.

    Making 'Ret Paladin' viable is the same as adding a new class: Crusader. Crusader exists in Legion, but it didn't in Vanilla. Just as Death Knight didn't exists in Vanilla. People have to realize that there were much fewer classes in Vanilla, and maybe we shouldn't be adding 30+ classes to Classic. Maybe we should.

    A final note: During vanilla, when somebody IRL asked what class you play, you answered "Warrior", or "Shaman", or "Priest" or whatever you were playing. Today? "Shadow priest", "Survival Hunter", "Affliction Lock".

    Before anyone blasts me, I'm not arguing for or against class changes, just trying to prove a point and start a discussion!
    Well you see the problem is that at character creation, paladin is called a holy warrior or crusader, cant remember, but its basically stated that they can tank, heal and dps... The reality? They can heal. That's it.

    Now I do hope you realise how dissapointed someone might be once they level all the way to 60 as their proud Holy Knight bashing face after face, only to reach group content and being told to put on a dress and heal/buff.

  6. #6
    The distinction was less pronounced in Vanilla that it is now, but it's pure revisionism to try to claim talents weren't defining characteristics or that people didn't identify themselves based on their preferred specs, especially with hybrid classes.

    There absolutely were ret paladins and enhancement shamans and feral druids in Vanilla. People who rolled the class based on a specific concept the class allegedly could fulfill. Hell, there were even subtlety rogues and survival hunters and the like and the distinctions there were even more granular.

    The only time you really saw there being no distinction was in scenarios where there wasn't really a choice, like Frost in MC.

  7. #7
    My favourite characters in WCIII and TFT were paladins. I loved them. I loved paladins ever since I played my first D&D session. And perhaps even before that when I read about King Arthur or even templars. So yes when I created my main as a paladin in WoW, I thought indeed that I would bash skulls in with warriors and rogues alike in dungeons and well... I never expected to raid. Honestly I did not even know what a "raid" was until I was invited to PvP at Crossroads.

    In dungeons it was ok to be a weak dps. I could offheal. I provided nice buffs and do some damage... be it very little. I liked that role and did not really mind that I traded in some damage because I could shield, heal and cleanse. And the difference during my leveling period wasn't as high anyway. Probably because I played so much, I was decked out in the best blue gear (and world epics) and therefore was able to beat "pure" classes in dps at times or stayed close. So it was never an issue.

    It became an issue when I stepped into Molten Core. I was obviously told to heal, buff and cleanse. So because I was already never expecting to actually enter a raid, I did what I was told gladly. I felt humbled and honored to be taken into MC. I felt it was a place for the elite of the player base. And I felt at the time that I was not even close to be "up there". With hindsight in mind, it turned out that no one really was "up there" as far as the imagined level of being skilled in my mind went. Everyone was just a noobish as me. The only thing that was different from me and most players who did not raid, was time and commitment.

    I could play hours upon hours. Raiding was only natural to be into. Same as PVP. I loved pvp back then, even though I was on a PVE server. The BG's were awesome.

    Anyway to come back to the specs. I was required to spec deep into retri for Blessing of Kings. As it was the 31th talent in the tree. The rest went into Holy and perhaps a few in protection for the armor buff for devotion aura.

    And honestly if you think about it, all the paladin trees did not matter much at all. No really. If you got 12% more HP out of healing spells per cast, but your output was only 500 health anyway... A lot of people remember paladins crossdressing right? And paladins did in fact crossdress. But the bulk did not. The bulk still wore plate with intellect on it. The lightforge set for example. That is what paladins were after mostly. I started to crossdress a bit late. Only after I was half decked in epics from MC, did I start to see the "light". Still it did not matter much on the meters.
    What I am trying to say is that the trees did not have any impact on the raids. The only things that were actually important were Blessing of Kings, Sanctuary, Illumination (where if you crit, you get a refund in mana), Divine Favor (100% crit) and seal of command. Not that Seal of command was used in raids. I am just saying that this was an ability which was actually useful. The rest was just meh. If you get a % based bonus but the actual stat that it would be applied to is next to nothing, you gain next to nothing. Obviously this statement does not hold true for Naxx where every buff was important. But then again, all the small buffs make a huge one.

    And for example.. healing wise: paladins were preemptive healers mostly. Not sure about the rest. So we overhealed a lot simply because damage was spikey. So you needed to just cast a heal and hope that right before the heal lands, there is damage waiting to be healed. If we healed reactively, we would never be able to keep the tank healed up enough to insta heal a crushing blow or something similar in spikeyness.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by VileGenesis View Post
    Well you see the problem is that at character creation, paladin is called a holy warrior or crusader, cant remember, but its basically stated that they can tank, heal and dps... The reality? They can heal. That's it.

    Now I do hope you realise how dissapointed someone might be once they level all the way to 60 as their proud Holy Knight bashing face after face, only to reach group content and being told to put on a dress and heal/buff.
    The reality is that they can tank, heal and dps. They can't tank raid bosses, which is not the same than 'they can't tank'.

    Also, reading some background info about the class you're going to roll in new game is recommended. There are people who aim for being raid healers and paladin is very good tank healer.

    As a minor side note, i'm amazed healing is still looked as a role you MUST do if you can't do anything useful like tank or dps.

  9. #9
    Over 9000! ringpriest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vineri View Post
    Not really. People in Vanilla say Fury Warrior, Holy Priest, Demonology Walock, Fire Mage, Subtlety Rogue, etc..
    Or Frostfire, or PoM-Pyro, or any of many other builds - yes, yes, all builds were not "viable" (or even playable) in endgame raiding, which most of the playerbase didn't do; this is something I think the discussion here is mostly missing - Blizzard isn't making this for you, the savvy and committed gamer - they're making this for the millions of casuals who had a good time, never took it that seriously, gave them a ton of money, and quit sometime around Wrath because Blizz had taken their massively successful social mmo rpg and turned it into... something else. That's a niche that still isn't filled today; it will be interesting to see if Blizz tries to build some sort of Facebook plugin or the like to Classic when they (eventually) re-release.
    "In today’s America, conservatives who actually want to conserve are as rare as liberals who actually want to liberate. The once-significant language of an earlier era has had the meaning sucked right out of it, the better to serve as camouflage for a kleptocratic feeding frenzy in which both establishment parties participate with equal abandon" (Taking a break from the criminal, incompetent liars at the NSA, to bring you the above political observation, from The Archdruid Report.)

  10. #10
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by barrsftw View Post
    All 36 specs play VERY differently.
    Can I have whatever it is OP's smoking?

  11. #11
    It all depends on what you mean by viable, optimal in a raiding scenario or merely useable, if it's garbage in PvE but fantastic in PvP, is it viable then?
    Every single spec WORKED in vanilla raiding, except for Prot paladins maybe, not having a taunt simply meant there were some fights you functionally couldn't do.

    But besides that... feral druids could tank and DPS, warriors/rogues did it much better, but it could be done, and in PvP feral was perfectly fine, maybe even OP in 1vs1, oomkins could dps, mages and warlocks did it better, but again... it could be done, and again in PvP oomkins were perfectly fine, against any class that had no self healing they were monsters at kiting, healing and slowly wearing them down.
    Prot paladins were FANTASTIC 5 man tanks, especially in the endgame when you were rushing through dungeons, having a good paladin tank was SWEET, you could finally AoE to your hearts content, and their solo AoE farming was kinda crazy, as for Retribution, again a dedicated melee dps could do it better, but no vanilla bosses were tuned for min maxing dps, so like feral and oomkin, the dps didn't really matter, it was fine.
    Then we have Shamans, elemental, like oomkin, have mana problems in long fights, but with proper consumables can deal with it and like the other dps hybrids, end up in the lower middle of the pack, and in PvP, elemental was kinda terrifying, their burst was kinda mental, and enhancement? Same deal again, meh dps, but brought good buffs for a melee group, just stick him on nightfall duty and it would be kinda hard to argue that he was a "wasted raid spot", and we all remember how messed up a good enhancement shaman could be in PvP.
    So who's left of the "unviable" specs? Shadow priests? Beasts in PvP and after the ZG patch, a critical part of the ranged dps team, not to mention how fantastic they were on Loatheb, one of the hardest fights in Vanilla.

    All of these hybrids... sure, they werent topping any meters in long raid fights, but the gulf between "viable" and "optimal" is huge.

    IMO, "unviable specs", were simply not a thing in vanilla, they all had their place, their strengths, and their weaknesses, meassuring viability by a raid damage meter is a silly way to go about things.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by VileGenesis View Post
    Well you see the problem is that at character creation, paladin is called a holy warrior or crusader, cant remember, but its basically stated that they can tank, heal and dps... The reality? They can heal. That's it.

    Now I do hope you realise how dissapointed someone might be once they level all the way to 60 as their proud Holy Knight bashing face after face, only to reach group content and being told to put on a dress and heal/buff.
    Literally my story in Vanilla.

    OP, sorry but whatever you say there is nonsense simply because of this.

    Back in Vanilla most players had no clue, especially at the beginning, I rolled Paladin because it was "cool a holy warrior, I gonna lay some holy smackdown on stuff", what I got was a healbot.

    Heck even knowledge sources sucked, as it was mostly various bullshit opinion pieces and delusions at the beginning - "look at muh uber melee swing + seal of command crit recking, Paladins teh dammage!", this was the metric in the beginning, so you did not even know whether the person was genuine or just some hallucinating noob, just like you have here with all the non-warrior tank aficionados.

    Your 9 specialized classes nonsense is basically something you have in your head simply because you know how it ultimately went and being a smartass 13 years later when this shit is done to death is a whole other thing.

    But at no point in time when you created a character it wrote "lol u gonna heal like a bitch, because it's not a Paladin, but Holy Paladin".
    Last edited by Gaidax; 2018-02-20 at 09:19 AM.

  13. #13
    The Lightbringer therealstegblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    and quit sometime around Wrath because Blizz had taken their massively successful social mmo rpg and turned it into... something else.
    Which is why Catalcysm had the single highest point of subscribers and why sub numbers routinely bounce back up to around 10 million around new expansions, huh?
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  14. #14
    Over 9000! ringpriest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by therealstegblob View Post
    Which is why Catalcysm had the single highest point of subscribers and why sub numbers routinely bounce back up to around 10 million around new expansions, huh?
    They stopped announcing sub numbers in 2015:

    Blizzard Entertainment typically announces World of Warcraft subscriber numbers every three months in its quarterly earnings report, but that's coming to an end. The company has confirmed that this week's announcement of 5.5 million subscribers is the last time the company plans to divulge those numbers.


    If that's changed, feel free to link your info - and in any case, your comment is tangential to my point: millions of people used to play WoW for its social and rpg aspects. There are tens of millions of accounts that aren't playing (or paying), and Blizzard pretty obviously hopes to get some revenue (ideally, ongoing revenue) from those once-active players (such as myself).
    "In today’s America, conservatives who actually want to conserve are as rare as liberals who actually want to liberate. The once-significant language of an earlier era has had the meaning sucked right out of it, the better to serve as camouflage for a kleptocratic feeding frenzy in which both establishment parties participate with equal abandon" (Taking a break from the criminal, incompetent liars at the NSA, to bring you the above political observation, from The Archdruid Report.)

  15. #15
    The Lightbringer therealstegblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    They stopped announcing sub numbers in 2015:



    If that's changed, feel free to link your info - and in any case, your comment is tangential to my point: millions of people used to play WoW for its social and rpg aspects. There are tens of millions of accounts that aren't playing (or paying), and Blizzard pretty obviously hopes to get some revenue (ideally, ongoing revenue) from those once-active players (such as myself).
    I know Blizzard stopped announcing sub numbers publicly, but there have been leaks of their sub numbers. The Pixel interview where Tom Chilton accidentally slipped up and stated that Legion boosted subs up to 10.1 million , for instance.

    Even without solid numbers: the fact is clear, no one cares if you don't like the game anymore, WoW expansions have historically (and will probably continue to for some time) bump failing sub numbers back up, at least momentarily before slipping down again. WoW's primetime days are over and it's in a state of gradual decline, but it has a very long ways to decline.

    The rest of your argument is just a bunch of boring "i think the game died during wotlk/cata because it did things i dont like and i consider that to mean it's not a social rpg anymore boohoo dungeon finder".
    i am not the real stegblob. My blog where I review books and crap.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by therealstegblob View Post
    Which is why Catalcysm had the single highest point of subscribers and why sub numbers routinely bounce back up to around 10 million around new expansions, huh?
    Not sure if trolling. The data is insufficient since a quarter is missing, where Blizzard did NOT report numbers around Cata launch. If you go my mmodata, you see simple a straight line. The portion omitted from stakeholder reporting was when LFD was released. Coincidence? It was bad. With Cataclysm sales, they just drew a straight line and pretended late-WotK LFD didn't exist.

    On point though, I guess you need to understand that Cataclysm was also the period when Blizzard stopped taking gains for granted. Rather, it was all about losses. It's nothing to brag about, I'm not sure why you even brought it up. Cataclysm was the single point in WoW's history, where more people were leaving than those joining.
    Last edited by Vineri; 2018-02-22 at 05:54 AM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Vineri View Post
    Not really. People in Vanilla say Fury Warrior, Holy Priest, Demonology Walock, Fire Mage, Subtlety Rogue, etc..

    I don't see the point you are trying to make.

    The only tangible issue to your argument I can think of is that on Vanilla: Paladins can only be rolled on Alliance . Shamans can only be rolled on Horde. Is this where you got lost?
    the point is

    that in vanilla class had priority over spec

    whereas in legion spec has priority over class

    in terms of design

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by shaunika123 View Post
    the point is

    that in vanilla class had priority over spec

    whereas in legion spec has priority over class

    in terms of design
    So if I get into a spec with Legions, I'm glued to it for my raid? This is bad.

  19. #19
    The Lightbringer therealstegblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vineri View Post
    Not sure if trolling. The data is insufficient since a quarter is missing, where Blizzard did NOT report numbers around Cata launch. If you go my mmodata, you see simple a straight line. The portion omitted from stakeholder reporting was when LFD was released. Coincidence? It was bad. With Cataclysm sales, they just drew a straight line and pretended late-WotK LFD didn't exist.

    On point though, I guess you need to understand that Cataclysm was also the period when Blizzard stopped taking gains for granted. Rather, it was all about losses. It's nothing to brag about, I'm not sure why you even brought it up. Cataclysm was the single point in WoW's history, where more people were leaving than those joining.
    I'm not sure if you're the one trolling. Blizzard did release sub numbers from Cataclysm.



    I'd love to see whatever source you have that verifies "LFD made so many people quit that they didn't publish sub numbers!!!".
    i am not the real stegblob. My blog where I review books and crap.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by therealstegblob View Post
    I'm not sure if you're the one trolling. Blizzard did release sub numbers from Cataclysm.
    A fairly soggy release, aye? For such a major endeavor, these sub numbers included both those excited to come back, and those leaving. The numbers leaving won over.

    Quote Originally Posted by therealstegblob View Post
    I know Blizzard stopped announcing sub numbers publicly, but there have been leaks of their sub numbers. The Pixel interview where Tom Chilton accidentally slipped up and stated that Legion boosted subs up to 10.1 million , for instance.

    Hmm

    A subscriber can mean a lot of things, as we learned over the years. The sales numbers aren't adding up. These do not include trial account, guest accounts, or Chinese accounts, for example. They also don't take into consideration those who still subscribe but do not actually play (or upgrade ever).

    So Chilton's numbers are worthy of the land of Oz.

    Made up numbers to the press =/= made up numbers to stakeholders. The former is a "whoopsie" moment. The later is jail time.
    Last edited by Vineri; 2018-02-22 at 06:59 AM.

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