Friday, October 31, 2008

One Small Step for Forums, One Giant Leap for WoW-kind

As reported by, Nethaera appeared on the official forums yesterday to inform the community that as of November 6, the official class forum subsections will disappear. In their place will be subsections for Tanking, Healing, and Damage Dealing.

Now, at face value this seems like a great idea. In the past, having holy, prot, and ret paladins in the same place has caused chafing and arguments - namely holy paladins saying "lolret," ret paladins saying "ewww healing," and prot paladins saying "somebody love me!" Putting them into the same forum with their role-counterparts will encourage collaboration in bettering each other at their own roles and halt the bickering amongst intra-class hybrid players. This will effectively put an end to the "Paladin Civil War."

However, I think this will trade one snark for another. Now, prot paladins will wander into the damage-dealing forum for advice on off-spec retribution and be told "go back to the tanking forum, noob" or something of that sort. Not very productive.

Also, the damage-dealing forum is going to be overloaded. Tanking is simple logistics-wise: 4 tank classes, ~3 tanks per raid, that's 12% of the raid that are tanks. Healing: ~8 healers per raid, 4 healing classes, 32% of the raid. The rest of the raid, which is over 60%, is damage dealers. Plus, every class has a damage-dealer option. That forum sub-section is going to be flooded. I'm thinking that Blizz should split the damage-dealing forum into either ranged/melee, or physical/magic. A rogue has no cares about what a mage does for damage-dealing - they work on different resource systems, different schools of damage, and attack from immensely different vantage points.

Also, as BBB noted, hybrids are also losing a place to talk about their class-specific nuances, like shapeshifting macros for druids or seal-related debates for paladins. None of the warriors in the tanking forum are going to care about the prot paladins babbling about Seal of Righteousness versus Seal of Vengeance for threat generation.

So yea, good idea, but poor implementation, and lacking a little bit of foresight.

EDIT: Fixed some typos and phrasing.


Suicidal Zebra said...

Sums up my thoughts pretty well.

I'm hoping that they are closing the official class forums only temporarily in order to give the three new forums a head start, and hence after a few weeks they'll be back open for all and sundry to spam in.

In fairness, they've chosen the best time to experiment and close the class forums. With everything going through a reset for Wrath and some weeks lag-time before any of us Raid at 80 and/or enter into the Arena most conversation would have been nerf-calls, buff-calls and spam. Which brings up another point, if there are only going to be 3 discussion forums moderation is going to have to be rock solid.

As we all things, we'll see what transpires over the next month or so.

Argent said...

From what I read, the old class forums will remain for class-specific issues (e.g. Paladins discussing blessings, talents, etc).

However, the class-specific forums won't be considered much when it comes to class balance, because Blizzard would like the players to actually have to face some opposition from other classes if they're asking for too much.