The Pleasant Surprise

In The Incred­i­bles, Dash is the young son who can run and move very very fast, like the Flash. There’s a scene where he’s run­ning away from some mer­ce­nary vil­lains, through a jun­gle. So he’s zip­ping between trees and jump­ing over logs, but his vis­i­bil­i­ty ahead is lim­it­ed because the jun­gle is so thick. Sud­den­ly the for­est ends and there’s a tiny bit of beach before a large bay of water, with him bar­rel­ing towards it far too fast for him to safe­ly turn away. Dash clench­es his eyes closed, expect­ing to wipe out spec­tac­u­lar­ly… and then opens them to learn that he can run across the water’s sur­face. Sur­prise! He lets out this mis­chie­vous, joy­ous, relief-filled laugh, then zips away. It’s a great scene. (Brad Bird for over­lord)

In World of War­craft, my wife and I have had that laugh many times.

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Maximum Performance Isn’t Always Maximum Fun

This is a thought in progress. A lit­tle ram­bling.

My wife is a com­bat rogue. Always has been. When she joined the game she fell in love with being a rogue, and she asked what the high­est dam­age ver­sion of rogue was. I went off to the inter­nets, and came back with the answer: Com­bat Sword build. So that’s what she chose. When we got to the endgame, she did the most dam­age in our 40-per­son raids, vir­tu­al­ly every raid. She gave the oth­er dps peo­ple fits. (although she nev­er spammed dam­ageme­ters) She flour­ished in that role.

When TBC was released, the raid­ing game was sus­pend­ed and every­one is back to the beau­ti­ful lev­el­ing game for a while. In TBC lev­el­ing, there are quest dag­gers giv­en through­out the lev­el­ing process, with rogues in mind. She thought, “why not exper­i­ment?” and then rebuilt as Com­bat Dag­gers.

Guess what? Com­bat Dag­gers is sim­ply more fun to play than com­bat swords. Man­ag­ing posi­tion and Back­stab is more fun than mash­ing Sin­is­ter Strike x1000. To non-rogues, I’m sure this sounds like a minor dis­tinc­tion. It sound­ed that way to me, and I told her so.

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Secret Design of WoW PvE: Your role in a PvE raid

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]

This is how every tal­ent tree of every class fits into a pve raid.

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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.

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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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