Secret Design of WoW PvE: Solo Performer vs Group Utility

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]

In group­ing, not all class­es are sim­i­lar. Some pro­vide sim­ple and eas­i­ly defined ben­e­fits, while oth­ers pro­vide aux­il­iary ben­e­fits beyond their basic stat­ed role that more than make up for an appar­ent lack of out­put in that role. That was wordy, let’s talk examples.

Rogues are pure dam­age deal­ers, so giv­en the same skill of play­ers and same gear lev­el for all toons–(Rogue x5) should do more dam­age than (Cat druid x5), (Enhance­ment Sham­my x5), (Beast­mas­ter hunter x5), or (Fury War­rior x5). Rogue is a pure dam­age class, so this makes sense.

How­ev­er, oth­er class­es bring valu­able ben­e­fits in enhanc­ing the per­for­mance of their allies in sim­i­lar roles. Enhance­ment Shamans bring the almighty wind­fury totem. Fury War­riors bring Bat­tle Shout. Cat druids bring Leader of the Pack. Beast­mas­ter Hunters bring Fero­cious Inspi­ra­tion and Improved Hunter’s Mark. All of these buffs work together.

So, a group that is (Rogue, Fury War­rior, Cat Druid, Enhance­ment Sham­my, Beast­mas­ter hunter) mag­i­cal­ly fit togeth­er like pieces of a puz­zle and will do more dam­age than (Rogue x5). Their sum is greater than their com­po­nents. The rogue will still top the dam­age meters, but that rogue will know that of their chart-top­ping dps, almost half of it is due to allied buffs, and far above any­thing they could gen­er­ate with­out those allies. Enlight­ened raid­ing rogues love hav­ing an enhance­ment shaman and the oth­ers near­by, even though those friends do less dam­age than the rogue does. PvE is a team game, not a dam­ageme­ter race.

Like­wise, (Mage x5) do great dam­age because they’re a pure dam­age class, but (Mage, War­lock, Boomkin, Shad­ow Priest, Enhance­ment Sham­my) does even more damage.

So group util­i­ty also plays into raid roles.

How­ev­er, group util­i­ty is a strange thing. Most of these buffs are lim­it­ed use only. So hav­ing two enhance­ment shamans side by side does­n’t give you twice as much wind­fury ben­e­fit. Like­wise with the cat druid dam­age buff and fury war­rior dam­age buff. And so, like hybrid roles, there are a lim­it­ed num­ber of spots in raids for sin­gle-role utility/buff people.

More Words!