Regional FlagI miss Class Uniqueness (Show MVP Posts)Source
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#1 - 2013/04/22 08:26:00 PM
For those of us who played back before Cata may know what I am talking about when I say class uniqueness. In terms of balance, blizzard seems to be homogenizing all the classes. Every caster has some sort of instant, dot or burst ability. Every class has some sort of Burst CD, or stun.

Classes in my opinion are slowly losing their uniqueness and play style in the sake of easily balancing the game. You may not agree but that is the way I see it.

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#60 - 2013/04/23 01:12:00 AM
Didn't people complain about class favoritism whenever a class got something special?

And now people complain about this. Figures.

We still strive to make the classes as unique as possible while offering a balance that doesn't lead to anyone feeling useless in raids (which was a very real concern a few years ago), and to a greater or lesser extent, I think we accomplish that goal. When I play a Warrior, Death Knight, Rogue, or Monk, for example, there are certainly similarities--they are all melee classes, after all. Crucially, there are also significant differences that span the entire experience of playing each class, and which contribute to a distinctly different feel for each one. Even among "pure" classes, each spec can feel quite distinct from the others, and that's certainly the case amongst hybrids.

So, for fear of using an often tossed buzzword, "homogenization" is a matter of degrees. I personally don't feel that we've at all crossed a threshold where playing one class feels essentially like playing another. I find myself reading posts where players are talking about the buffs a class brings to a raid, or listing off the abilities a class has like a litany. These lists are, themselves, devoid of context though. More classes bring more buffs because that was a problem we needed to solve. Classes have similar abilities to encourage flexibility in group composition. If these are the only measures by which you judge how similar classes are, then I think that you're missing the trees for the forest. Nuance matters. "Feel" matters. How a class toolset interacts with itself matters.

I would make the case that, for the purposes of game play, how a given spec or class plays is really what makes it distinct from the others, even if different classes can sometimes share similar roles. After all, that's nothing new to World of Warcraft; we've always had healers, dps, and tanks. Players have greater flexibility than ever to choose a class that they enjoy playing for the raw experience of playing it, rather than for what buff it provides.

I don't mind so much the same effects on different classes to even out raid need but I do wish that the classes were different enough that just by eying a piece of gear you could tell what class it was meant for even if it wasn't a set. A good example was back in BC when you could tell the difference between Lock oriented gear and Mage oriented gear by the amount of Stamina on it.

This is intentional. There was a lot of "wasted" gear back in the day.

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#85 - 2013/04/23 02:17:00 AM
04/22/2013 06:15 PMPosted by Crepe
There was a lot of "wasted" gear back in the day.

How do you feel it's "wasted"?

Many people reach for individuality. So the more choices out there for them, the better (within reason, of course).

It was very common to go into a raid without a full assortment of classes (which was also common, because some of the classes simply didn't have enough to offer in a raid), and get gear that wasn't good for anyone in attendance. It didn't prove to be a good item design then, and I suspect that it wouldn't work much better now. We've done a lot to solve problems like this over time.

Introducing actual choices in gearing is extremely difficult, because when it comes to player power, all it takes is a spreadsheet showing that item A is better than item B, and suddenly item B is "trash". It becomes a let down to get it, even though ostensibly it's supposed to be an upgrade.

Is that why rogues all feel the same?

Rogues are something of an edge case, and moving previously spec defining abilities into the talent tree probably contributes to this, though I'd argue that it's resulted in a class that's more fun to play overall. Still, I find that Combat feels different from Assassination feels different from Sub. The differences are admittedly more subtle (no pun intended) than some other classes, though.