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Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:54 pm

And yet with each expansion, the playstyle changes, and often there are specs that people used to like to play that they don't anymore.

Destro used to be for warlocks who didn't want to have to manage dots. Not so much anymore. I used to like being a boomkin until Cata, then I stopped playing my druid because the whole eclipse thing was so unwieldly. Paladins got Holy Combo Points, and had we not pitched a fit would have had huge holes in our "rotation". Subtlety rogues have been best, worst, and in-between for rogue DPS even within the same xpac (see: Wrath). Enhancement shaman used two-hand weapons, then magic weapons, then physical, then back to magic, then back to physical... DKs used to tank in Frost spec, now it's blood...

So even if they can't consolidate Warlocks without destroying playstyles, I don't know that would stop anyone from doing it. They destroy playstyles all the time "just because".

Heck, they even change group playstyles. First we CCd everything, then we just mowed everything down without thought, then we CCd stuff again, and now we once again mow stuff down. Healers had to budget mana, then it was plentiful, then back to budget, and now it's plentiful again. It used to be if the DPS died, it was their own fault for standing in the fire - now there are more encounters where the DPS take the same damage regardless of what they do, or are supposed to stand in the fire in order to share it. Then there's tank threat...

The game changes all the time, and playstyle preservation does not seem to be an important consideration.


They develop the playstyle just because - I sacced a pet and spammed Shadowbolt to top meters wasn't really a "playstyle". What they've done as the game has progressed is take out some things that made overly complicated specs overly compilcated (e.g. Mangle going to 1 min instead of 12 seconds, that was a HUGE change in Kitty), and added in a few things to make overly simple specs have that bit more complexity (usually in the form of procs, in some cases altering a resource/secondary resource). Holy Power is a direct result of that. Hunters shifting to Focus is too. The heartbeat of the playstyle wasn't particularly altered in those regards. (Fire Destro existed at the same time as Shadow Destro, which was Demonic Sac and spam Shadowbolt, in a form similar to what we have now, it was just never used because it didn't work with raid synergy - Survival Hunters retained the heartbeat of Explosive-Steady cycles, except it became Cobra Shot, and because Focus is Focus, you have a bit more interplay with LnL and Arcane Shot now)

The few areas where they've actually "destroyed" a playstyle are in examples like DK's - where it was done simply because they could not actually get all 3 specs being able to tank as well as dps. Things they had in Vanilla, when several specs HAD no place as far as things like raiding were concerned that were destroyed aren't really relevant to now - Enhance has forged its identity as a dual wielding Nature damage melee that flings spells and lightning bolts for 3 expansions now. Surival as a spec has a distinct identity relative to BM. It's not about "changing" a playstyle to fit where they think the game should be by adding procs and rotations so that it isn't the 1-button spam or faceroll that it was in Wrath, that's not deleting a playtyle. The question is about DELETING a spec entirely. Proposing that four classes have only one spec is a vastly different scenario to saying "Okay, this experiment at having 7 different specs with 3 Talent trees isn't working - go to 3 talent specs, Blood will be the tank spec". It's the same reason that they're bending the system to split Bear and Cat now - having two specs within a tree wasn't working. It's also why they're removing a fair few cases of overlapping base abilities and making different specs get "new" base abilities - like Bear not having access to Rip and Shred, or Prot Paladins not having access to HW.

Whereas Assassination, Combat and Subtlety all being viable but favouring different fights different is a completely different scenario to the idea that in trying to stop Unholy tanks from being overpowered while not affecting tank balance while allowing Unholy DPS to not suck, they made them useless.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:20 pm

Actually, Saccing your pet and using shadowbolt was a playstyle. The style was a very simple spell rotation for people who didn't want the complexity of affliction.

This is similar to the balance druid playstyle, which went from keeping up some dots and spamming a spell to managing another resource that determined which abilities were preferable to cast.

There are people who just want to spam away while dodging the fire - that's a playstyle choice. There are people who want to micromanage everything they do - another playstyle choice. There are people who doggedly stick to less optimal specs, determined to prove they can be viable - yet another playstyle choice.

Playing a paladin tank because it affords me a stable platform from which to lead a raid is a playstyle choice. I could play another tank class, but I prefer the more structured Paladin to the rune-tetris of a DK because I can pay more attention to what is happening around me.

If that changes dramatically, I will be forced to reassess my choice of class/spec. Being an old geezer, I don't have the spare brain power to play tetris while herding cats. That's my playstyle choice.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:11 pm

There are people who just want to spam away while dodging the fire - that's a playstyle choice. There are people who want to micromanage everything they do - another playstyle choice. There are people who doggedly stick to less optimal specs, determined to prove they can be viable - yet another playstyle choice.


That's why not every spec is JOHN MADDEN FERAL. It doesn't mean that one-button/faceroll specs represent a playstyle - they don't. Hitting 1 for lewts is not a thing - it was for some specs, and that got turned into actually having to play the game to do well, making the playstyle stronger. Fire Destro existed at the same time - no one used it because Shadow Destro was just that much better as far as raid synergy went.

It's also the reason every single spec in the game right now has at least more than one thing going on with it that you switch up in combat. For Prot, it's things like Grand Crusader, SD/Inq which vary things up so that we aren't mashing face on keyboard to pull off 9-6-9-6. It's possible to ignore it and still succeed, but that's what separates people pulling everything they have and people who aren't. Destruction Warlocks are still less complex than Affliction (especially on encounters where Affliction can multi-dot), Ret is still less complex than Feral and Sub, but while it pushes most of the same buttons it did in WotLK with the same goals, there's a bigger effect coming from the player controlling the Paladin.

But if you say that that alone would drive you to reconsider playing the game, do you not see how DELETING 8 specs and turning 4 classes into 1 spec each would have a much greater impact that way on a larger number of players?
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Nèlya » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:21 am

Model Five – Don’t have multiple DPS roles
This is the most controversial model and the one that would require the most change, meaning we are almost certainly never going to do it. For sake of completeness though, you can argue that classes never should have been designed with multiple specs that fill the same role. In this model, either Arms or Fury goes away and gets replaced with something. (Archery? Healing?) Warlocks and other pure classes would need a massive redo to end up with say a melee and tanking warlock. Everyone becomes a hybrid. The hardest decisions becomes whether you want to be the ranged or melee DPS version of your class (like druids or shaman). This idea is elegant from a design perspective because it un-asks all of those questions about how much more damage pure classes should do than hybrids to justify their narrower utility. But, perhaps counter-intuitively, elegant designs often aren’t the strongest ones (I could write a whole blog on that topic alone). Model Five is the kind of rhetorical question you could go back in time and ask before WoW launched, but not the kind of thing we could change today without taking an enormous amount of effort, to say nothing of the irate players who would feel bamboozled that we were so dramatically changing their character out from under them. I try to never say never, but this model isn’t the kind of change you make in a mature game. It’s here only for completeness and because I suspect some of you will bring it up.


I don't see anything about deleting specs in this model. It's about replacing them for hybridisation.
I never found holy power more complex than 969. Ok, may be the GC procs, and the misses on HP generation can be a little distraction form the actual combat. Mana is still not a ressource for prot unless you are in a situation where you tend to skip a lot of judgments (and when you do that you should be aware you're doing that).
I never understood that love for 2D-interface-based complexity the devs and some fan players have.
Just my opinion, but I really want a challenge in a 3D-world fight, where my actions meet the actual events caused by ennemies and environments, I don't care at all fighting a 2D poping buttons game.
Are the fights so boring themselves that we need all the complexity to be backed into characters interface?
I agree with the opinion, seeing my rerolls from the 10 classes who exist since vanilla for some of them, that they nearly all where destroyed and recreated numerous times, so I don't see how the argument about not disturbing players is relevant in any way here.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:38 am

I was talking about someone else's suggestion. Option 5 of hybridising and adding ranged Warriors or tank Locks or healing Rogues isn't really the sort of thing that jumps out as a real solution - because you're still stuck with what the Ranged Warrior or the Melee Warrior does, the differences within, class stacking for fights, whether that Warrior is better than a Rogue, and then compounding the issue by adding more tank or healing classes to balance where they've never gotten it right to begin with. And there's nothing that makes that any easier or better to deal with.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Jabari » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:09 am

Nèlya wrote:I never understood that love for 2D-interface-based complexity the devs and some fan players have.
Just my opinion, but I really want a challenge in a 3D-world fight, where my actions meet the actual events caused by ennemies and environments, I don't care at all fighting a 2D poping buttons game.
Are the fights so boring themselves that we need all the complexity to be backed into characters interface?

// sarcasm below directed at devs, not anyone here...

Because they have to put the complexity SOMEPLACE, seeing as how a whole host of buttons and skills are completely unused at "top level". I guess it's easier to design "spell rotations" than it is to design encounters where mages actually have to find their Polymorph button...

// slight sarcasm mode off

Check my posts on the LFR thread. The only thing that counts is DPS, and as people said before here...

Darielle wrote:It doesn't mean that one-button/faceroll specs represent a playstyle - they don't. Hitting 1 for lewts is not a thing ...

But if they NEEDED to have the Succubus out, at least some of the time, to Seduce? Would it be a "thing", then?

And anyway, how is Sac/Shadowbolt really any different than DoTs/Wrath/Wrath/Wrath/Starfire/Starfire/Starfire/refresh DoTs/etc? All that either "playstyle" really measures is your equipment, not your skill.

In 5-mans, I can't count how many times I've saved a healer with a quick Cyclone, but that skill is completely meaningless in raids. All that matters there is that I "watch the 2D crap" to make sure my DoTs don't fall off and that I don't accidentally hit the "wrong spell". Cyclone/Hibernate/Roots don't even belong on my action bars.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby rodos » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:03 pm

I think there's a place for "easy" specs and rotations. Lets say a pure dps class has a complex spec with DoTs and procs and whatnot, that does X maximum theoretical dps in the hands of an elite player, but only 80% of X to an average player who doesn't use DoT timer addons and takes more than a GCD to respond correctly to procs. And say that class also has a 1-2 button spec that does 85% of X at maximum, but can be played to 95% efficiency by a monkey (like me). Would that be bad? Everyone gets to have fun and do acceptable dps, but the elite still get a chance to challenge themselves show their skill.

It's like car racing games that give you a choice of manual transmission at full power or automatic with reduced performance. Less-skilled players will perform better with the easy under-powered option than they will struggling with something more complicated than they can handle.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:26 pm

It's funny that you say that, because of late interrupts, stuns, knockbacks have made a HUGE impact on fights, and they also lead to class limitations. That's the other reason it seems they have cut it down in Dragon Soul, and the reason they're throwing these effects at everyone in the Pandaria talent trees. For the most part, T11 had what we could argue was the least emphasis on pure DPS and the highest impact from "special things", and from a role point of view, it had the same issues.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby benebarba » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:16 am

rodos wrote:I think there's a place for "easy" specs and rotations. Lets say a pure dps class has a complex spec with DoTs and procs and whatnot, that does X maximum theoretical dps in the hands of an elite player, but only 80% of X to an average player who doesn't use DoT timer addons and takes more than a GCD to respond correctly to procs. And say that class also has a 1-2 button spec that does 85% of X at maximum, but can be played to 95% efficiency by a monkey (like me). Would that be bad? Everyone gets to have fun and do acceptable dps, but the elite still get a chance to challenge themselves show their skill.

It's like car racing games that give you a choice of manual transmission at full power or automatic with reduced performance. Less-skilled players will perform better with the easy under-powered option than they will struggling with something more complicated than they can handle.


This is why I don't understand why some folks talk like every spec should have a sub-rogue like rotation or something crazier.

In the great meta-game of whack-a-mole that we all play, I happen to prefer to know where my moles will be or not have too many of them. If I wanted to twitch game, I'd be playing an FPS... but since some do like the no-holds barred whack-a-mole, I figure having the odd proc or two (or similar mechanic) isn't too bad - since someone who isn't in the top 10% can still get a reasonable performance while the top can still shine.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:59 am

This is why I don't understand why some folks talk like every spec should have a sub-rogue like rotation or something crazier.


I don't think I've ever seen a player take like that, and even if a player did, Blizzard would never take on something like that.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby benebarba » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:07 am

Darielle wrote:
This is why I don't understand why some folks talk like every spec should have a sub-rogue like rotation or something crazier.


I don't think I've ever seen a player take like that, and even if a player did, Blizzard would never take on something like that.


I can definitely recall some posts being thankful for more complexity being added to some specs in 4.0 (though more that bemoaned the loss of faceroll specs, admittedly), as well as the promise of DK-like active mitigation specifically because it would provide a bigger gap between the 'goods' and the 'bads'.

But as you say, thankfully Blizz doesn't always listen.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:14 am

I can definitely recall some posts being thankful for more complexity being added to some specs in 4.0 (though more that bemoaned the loss of faceroll specs, admittedly), as well as the promise of DK-like active mitigation specifically because it would provide a bigger gap between the 'goods' and the 'bads'.


Active mitigation and DK-like never really meant sudoku puzzles to mitigate damage - it just means people have buttons that reduce damage or heal it back up and will actually use them and have to not use them badly. For Bears, it's hit stuff, generate rage, use Rage to reduce damage. That's not complex or Sub-Rogue-worse-like, but it still does the job of a bigger gap between goods and bad than now where you hit buttons to Mangle things harder.

When Blizzard mentioned DK's as the example for active mitigation, they were clearly talking about "your will be more focused as a tank will be on hitting buttons that heal you and hitting those more often instead of buttons that give you 200 more dps and giving you more shield slams", as opposed to "we're going to layer runes on top of mechanics that contradict each other, and then make you go squish, and then give you randomness, and then add another timer than contradicts this timer but you need to do both things, and THEN you're tanking like we want you to!"
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Shoju » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:44 am

Darielle wrote:
I can definitely recall some posts being thankful for more complexity being added to some specs in 4.0 (though more that bemoaned the loss of faceroll specs, admittedly), as well as the promise of DK-like active mitigation specifically because it would provide a bigger gap between the 'goods' and the 'bads'.


Active mitigation and DK-like never really meant sudoku puzzles to mitigate damage - it just means people have buttons that reduce damage or heal it back up and will actually use them and have to not use them badly. For Bears, it's hit stuff, generate rage, use Rage to reduce damage. That's not complex or Sub-Rogue-worse-like, but it still does the job of a bigger gap between goods and bad than now where you hit buttons to Mangle things harder.

When Blizzard mentioned DK's as the example for active mitigation, they were clearly talking about "your will be more focused as a tank will be on hitting buttons that heal you and hitting those more often instead of buttons that give you 200 more dps and giving you more shield slams", as opposed to "we're going to layer runes on top of mechanics that contradict each other, and then make you go squish, and then give you randomness, and then add another timer than contradicts this timer but you need to do both things, and THEN you're tanking like we want you to!"



If "Active Mitigation" works the way that DK tanking does in 4.3, It will be a success. But then, they really need to stop worrying about tanks caring about 2 more green stats. That is for the birds, and probably why, while I like DK tanking, I absolutely abhor the idea of Active mitigation.

Dk's on a whole though, are a great class, and Rune Tetris never felt like the math problem everyone makes it out to be. I never felt like it was crippling me to do it, I don't think that I was "bad" at it, and I don't think I was hard to heal on "most" content that I got to tank.

I do think that they are trying to find a way to dual resource most classes. The problem that I have with that, is that Runes and Runic Power were designed together, Combo Points and Energy were designed together.

For me, Holy Power, and even to an extent Soul Shards, feels tacked on.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Darielle » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:17 pm

It's a bit more like mana's a relic that's still there because Holy uses mana and Prot and Ret have only one resource - Holy Power. There's a blue bar there because they haven't gotten rid of it yet.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - The Role of Role

Postby Shoju » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:34 pm

Darielle wrote:It's a bit more like mana's a relic that's still there because Holy uses mana and Prot and Ret have only one resource - Holy Power. There's a blue bar there because they haven't gotten rid of it yet.


I had sort of felt like Prot's main resource mechanic was Cooldowns/GCD's, because mana was so laughable. When your mantra is: OOM? Pull MOAR its not a very good resource.
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