Secret Design of WoW PvE: Variety vs Specialization

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

If your class can do many things, don't expect to be unqualified best at any of them.

There are three roles: tank, healer, damage (dps). But really, every class can do damage–you have to be able to put out some kind of damage in order to play the solo game. So it's really two specialized roles, plus the common role that everyone has. Some classes specialize completely in that common role: hunters, rogues, mages, warlocks. The rest can do multiple things, and this article concerns them.

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Secret Design of WoW PvE: PvP vs PvE

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

No class is globally better at PvP than every other class. WoW PvP is a huge rock-paper-scissor game, where there's an answer for every move, or in WoW's case, Class A always feels overpowered to an opponent of Class B, Class B over Class C, and Class C over Class A. (except expanded out to an 11-way graph) While no class is universally dominant in PvP, some builds are universally better than other builds in that environment.

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Secret Design of WoW PvE: Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

Your ability to solo partially determines the experience you'll have in groups. If you have an easy time in the leveling game, you are going to have a more difficult experience in the endgame/group game. The following list goes from easy-to-solo to hard-to-solo.

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Secret Design of WoW PvE: Introduction, and a call for comments

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

It occurred to me that people who haven't been grouping or raiding a lot don't know what role various classes have in a raid, or of class design in general. You can go read the page on the worldofwarcraft website, but they make every class sound equally great at everything. That's just not the reality of it. So I can keep complaining about how many people get stuck between little knowledge and expanded knowledge, or I can take my shot at fixing it via explanation.

If you don't know how a particular character or spec of a character fits into the group game that follows the leveling game, this is for you.

It's possible to find out everything I'm about to write from various places online, but as far as I know, there's not one place where it's all connected. Most articles are written from the point of view of one class or another; every guide is written by that class, for that class.

This is going to be the top level view, how raid leaders (and possibly Blizzard designers) look at classes and their role in the game.

Continue reading Secret Design of WoW PvE: Introduction, and a call for comments

Commenting is now wide open

Matt from World of Matticus convinced me to open comments to anyone, not just registered users. If you've registered already, thanks much–you're in the GoW club.

His blog has been running longer than mine, so I can't refute his advice, because I have no idea what I'm doing. He also runs WordPress on Dreamhost, so if he can make wide open commenting work, then I guess I can too.

If your blog has been running longer than his and you disagree, please let me know. At least you won't have to register to do so.