1. #1
    Mechagnome Sagenod's Avatar
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    Mechanical overlap vs thematic overlap in classes/specs

    Which do you think is worse in terms of newly designed classes/specs? Are you bothered more by unoriginal gameplay or unoriginal aesthetics?
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  2. #2
    Banned Teriz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    Which do you think is worse in terms of newly designed classes/specs? Are you bothered more by unoriginal gameplay or unoriginal aesthetics?
    I believe that thematics influence mechanics, so you want to try to avoid overlap in both categories.

  3. #3
    Literally , developer can add any mechanic they want to theme they want , people call it Imagination or Creativity.
    Overlap would exist only is said developer wants to make it, so even if both mechanic/theme overlaps its still possible to do it in some unique way and make it interesting ,with smart developer there should be no "worst" case , just appeal to majority or minority .... and we know that "ELF players are majority".
    I want these classes in new x-pac Necromancer,RuneMaster,Warden,BladeMaster,DarkRanger,Dragonsworn,Alchemist,Bard,Spellbreak er

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    WoW classes are full of overlapping mechanics, especially since all dps specs use some variant of builder/spender pattern, topped up with one damage amplifier, one CC against a specific type of enemies and a couple of utility spells (which tend to be the most iconic ones).

    All healers basically use some variant of the infamous "three heals" set from Cata: a mediocre but mana efficient heal with a long cast time, a more powerful but mana inefficient heal with a 1.5 secs base cast time, and an even more powerful instant heal, but with a cooldown. All of them have magical dispels and a damage/heal amplifier cooldown. The only exceptions are disc priest and, to a lesser extent, resto druid.

    As for tanks, all of them have a taunt, a stun and a shield wall, and all of them use some variant of (relatively) spammable mitigation skills. Finally, all of them have strong self heals, except warrior, since VR is unreliable af and useless against bosses unless talented.

    Therefore, saying that X class cannot be introduced because Y class already has A and B type of skills, is either stupid or disingenuous. Thematic differences are the way to go, and Blizzard has shown that they can do those just fine.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    Which do you think is worse in terms of newly designed classes/specs? Are you bothered more by unoriginal gameplay or unoriginal aesthetics?
    enhancement shaman for SL.

    IMO it doesn't have any real flow to it, suffers from a "too many buttons" problem.
    i get that they were trying to move away from builder/spender, and that they were trying to find some way to reincorporate old buttons into the rotation to justify the unpruning, but ENH just feels like a spec where executing your basic rotation requires staring at your hotkey bar waiting for the next of the 7 buttons in your basic rotation to come off CD, and none of it connected to anything else you're doing.

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    Mechagnome Sagenod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    WoW classes are full of overlapping mechanics, especially since all dps specs use some variant of builder/spender pattern, topped up with one damage amplifier, one CC against a specific type of enemies and a couple of utility spells (which tend to be the most iconic ones).

    All healers basically use some variant of the infamous "three heals" set from Cata: a mediocre but mana efficient heal with a long cast time, a more powerful but mana inefficient heal with a 1.5 secs base cast time, and an even more powerful instant heal, but with a cooldown. All of them have magical dispels and a damage/heal amplifier cooldown. The only exceptions are disc priest and, to a lesser extent, resto druid.

    As for tanks, all of them have a taunt, a stun and a shield wall, and all of them use some variant of (relatively) spammable mitigation skills. Finally, all of them have strong self heals, except warrior, since VR is unreliable af and useless against bosses unless talented.

    Therefore, saying that X class cannot be introduced because Y class already has A and B type of skills, is either stupid or disingenuous. Thematic differences are the way to go, and Blizzard has shown that they can do those just fine.
    So then which is worse to you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    So then which is worse to you?
    It's pretty clear that mechanic overlaps are inevitable, which leaves the thematical ones up for discussion. But even so, thematic overlaps can be justified with an appropriate backstory, e.g. both Priests and Paladins using Light spells, or DHs/Warlocks using Fel magic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    The Jailer's first ever appearance involved chucking him [Baine] off a cliff for being too shit to even qualify as a Maw trash mob.

  8. #8
    Mechanic overlaps are unavoidable in a game with 12 classes having 3 specs each. The trick is imo to use the thematic differences as inspiration for mechanical differentiation.
    That of course would require strong thematic identities for every class, and for the most part wow is pretty good at that.

    Answer: Thematic overlap is worse than mechanic overlap, cause it can actually negatively affect it.

  9. #9
    Mechagnome Sagenod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    It's pretty clear that mechanic overlaps are inevitable, which leaves the thematical ones up for discussion. But even so, thematic overlaps can be justified with an appropriate backstory, e.g. both Priests and Paladins using Light spells, or DHs/Warlocks using Fel magic.
    I agree. Mechanical overlap is inevitable, but that can be somewhat subsided by variation i.e. Warrior Taunt vs Monk Provoke. Thematic overlap is fine so long as the classes/specs in question can stand on their own mechanically and canonically. As in your Priest and Pally example, where the priest is mechanically a spellcaster, canonically a spiritual advisor and the paladin is mechanically a magic knight (to put it in simple terms), canonically a champion of the Light.

    So yeah, they definitely go hand in hand. Would you say that it would be appropriate to create classes/specs using existing thematic archetypes at this point in the game? For example, do you believe there is enough design space for a Necromancer to be differentiated enough from the DK/Warlock? Or a spellblade that is differentiated enough from the Mage/Rogue? Is following the pattern of the Pally/Priest, DH/Warlock acceptable, wherein a class uses the same source of power (Light, Death, Fel, etc.) provided there is enough mechanical difference? In this case there being a "might and magic" class for each domain
    Last edited by Sagenod; 2021-03-08 at 01:30 PM.
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    Banned Teriz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    So yeah, they definitely go hand in hand. Would you say that it would be appropriate to create classes/specs using existing thematic archetypes at this point in the game? For example, do you believe there is enough design space for a Necromancer to be differentiated enough from the DK/Warlock? Or a spellblade that is differentiated enough from the Mage/Rogue? Is following the pattern of the Pally/Priest, DH/Warlock acceptable, wherein a class uses the same source of power (Light, Death, Fel, etc.) provided there is enough mechanical difference? In this case there being a "might and magic" class for each domain
    In a game with multiple specializations and talents, and where those numerous specs get changed or reinvented every expansion, I would say no. WoW classes need enough design space to be improved and changed.

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    Mechagnome Sagenod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    In a game with multiple specializations and talents, and where those numerous specs get changed or reinvented every expansion, I would say no. WoW classes need enough design space to be improved and changed.
    I am in agreement, for the most part. I believe there is enough remaining design space to make new interesting classes/specs, though Id say that design space is limited.
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  12. #12
    Banned Teriz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    I am in agreement, for the most part. I believe there is enough remaining design space to make new interesting classes/specs, though Id say that design space is limited.
    I agree. The Tinker and a dragon class based on Wrathion would be an example of classes with plenty of design space.

    Necromancers and Dark Rangers would be examples of class ideas with highly limited design space.

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    Mechagnome Sagenod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    I agree. The Tinker and a dragon class based on Wrathion would be an example of classes with plenty of design space.

    Necromancers and Dark Rangers would be examples of class ideas with highly limited design space.
    A rather partisan reply, given your history. Not sure of the point in drawing such an arbitrary distinction. For the Tinker sure, the diversity of technology allows for more design space than the others you mentioned, but I don't see how a dragon class is any more or less restrictive than the necromancer.
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  14. #14
    Mechanical overlap is the most important.

    You don't see people complaining about Priest-Paladin or Warlock-Demon Hunter comparisons because neither of their compared classes/specs play too similarly to each other. If a Holy Paladin played much more similarly to a Holy Priest for example, I think there would be a lot more negativity of the overlapping themes and mechanics. I think the mechanics ultimately control a lot more on the perception of specs being different than the visuals can. Hell, Demon Hunter is utilizing Meta -- something that Warlocks literally had before -- and while it looks different to old Warlock Meta, it being so mechanically different I think is what makes it less of a pain point in terms of the mechanic/visual overlap.

    But obviously both are important. They can't be too similar visually or mechanically or it doesn't feel like a new class.

  15. #15
    Banned Teriz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    A rather partisan reply, given your history. Not sure of the point in drawing such an arbitrary distinction. For the Tinker sure, the diversity of technology allows for more design space than the others you mentioned, but I don't see how a dragon class is any more or less restrictive than the necromancer.
    Check out Alexstraza, Deathwing, and Chromie in HotS. A dragon class designed with those abilities would be very unique from existing classes.

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