Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Revisiting Hybrid Theory

Today I verbally eviscerated another paladin from my realm very methodically on the official forums in a discussion about WotLK retribution specs (scroll down to post #39, end of the page, for my comprehensive response to the discussion).

If you do click through, be forewarned that page 1 is terribly formatted because post #14 by poster "Johalonos" contains no spaces. Scroll down and ignore that poster before continuing if you value your sanity.

The discussion migrated toward out of the box thinking when speccing ret for PvE, and retaining the ability to heal. That discussion brought to mind previous posts by Rohan of Blessing of Kings.

To date, Blizzard has been moving hybrids toward specialized roles, handcuffing their abilities to be fluid hybrids (that is, switch between roles mid-stream in an encounter). It dawned on me in the course of the aforementioned evisceration that we've reversed direction, in a good way. Talents like Sheath of Light and Art of War, coupled with unified physical/spell crit rating, are allowing traditionally modal hybrids to act a little bit more like fluid hybrids. Now, stacking my strength/AP will increase my spell power, so that the heals I throw won't be utterly puny. And Art of War allows for quick Flash of Light casts, so that I'm not just at base healing ability.

What do you think? Are these talents a sign that Blizzard is attempting to move hybrids back toward a fluid model, rather than strictly defining them in modal roles?


Honors Code said...

I had not considered that, but you have a good point.

Things keep going like they are for Prot and I might be joining your ranks sooner rather than later.

Paul said...

I saw that as relatively obvious from the introduction of Sheath of Light and Touched by the Light in the relevant trees. Blizzard wants us to be hybrids in the same way that Shamans will be and arguably Feral Druids were. Ret got it better than Prot did because of the crit synergies you've already mentioned.

When they were talking about nerfing Ret after the initial ridiculousness on Beta, I hoped it wouldn't be at the expense of this newfound hybridity. (Is that a word? If not I'm exercising my right as a Brit to make it one!) And my hopes have, in that respect been rewarded. Ret seems to be a powerful Melee DPS option with some non-sucky offhealing capability.

Josh said...

I'm not sure that the addition of Sheath of Light is an obvious indication of a paradigm shift. There's quite a difference between patching things over so there's consistency and parity between semi-equivalent specs (enhancement shaman Mental Quickness, spell caster hybrids having singular scaling through spell power for both damage and healing), and consciously saying "we're giving this class these abilities so they can swap between roles more fluidly."

Did the Blizz devs code Sheath of Light so that ret heals pack a punch and a ret can serve as an emergency healer in an instance, or is it just to keep up with the other hybrids in visual equality and to allow for a heal or two to become simply more commonplace in a solo/PvP situation? It may sound similar, but there's a distinction.

Lance said...

I have tried healing as retry with my tier6 Holy gear and I was surprised that I heal for larger chunks than my Holy toon on the PTR. I got more SP. I give some nice aura gimmicks to a group. And I am talking 51 points in retry and the rest in healing talents in Holy (only 10 atm but you get were I am getting at...).

As I state in my blog it is quite possible if `Wise' works favourably that this is a very promissing incarnation of a paladin, very close to what many signed up for. One that smacks and heals more or less at the same time. And slaps the melee gear for the next encounter...

I need to test it more to determin if the logevity is adequate. Presumablt it will seem so at 70, but at 80 were the heals will cost more and Wise will return the same mana the logevity will decrease. Mana per 5 might also help in the long run.

Its worth checking nonetheless and any feedback is more than welcomed.

DRM said...

I've actually been thinking about how to make hybrids feel more like hybrids lately and I think I've come up with a pretty decent solution. I've posted on the suggestions board. Feel free to check it out.

I know it seems like shameless pandering, but I'm really curious about this and would love some feedback.