Monday, March 23, 2009

I Forgot To Title This One

Ghostcrawler wrote, in response to this forum thread entitled "Hybrids and thier dps 'tax'" (spelling not corrected):

"Why am I a hybrid if I am only there to do dps?"

Here are two situations:

1) Your guild is forming the raid. The raid leader has all the dps slots full. The mage isn't going to come. The shaman can say "Hey, if I respec to heal, can I come?"

2) Imagine a rogue and warrior compete for dps slots. Imagine the rogue beats the warrior and for purposes of this argument assume the warrior cannot possibly improve his skill or gear. If the player is really frustrated, he does have another option. He can give up his dps career and be a tank. Yeah he'll lose some good gear, but it won't take that long to get another set. He may already have some pieces.

Now flip that situation around. The warrior does better dps and nothing the rogue can do will top that. The rogue's option: reroll.

Because of situations like these, we don't think there would be many pure dps players unless they knew that it was theoretically possible for them to "win the meters." The risk of being useless would be too great.

If you are a warrior who promises never to tank, or a shaman who swears you will never ever heal, then I am sympathetic. However, to flip things around still risks the above problems, which we think are the greater of the two evils.

Again, the difference is so small that realistically, very few of your guilds will even notice it. If you have bad rogues and good warriors, the warriors will be on top of the meters. For nearly all of the people reading this thread, you have many things you can do that will improve your dps by 5% or more, such as get good gear, experiment with a better spec, or just learn to play better. If you are in the top one or two guilds on your server, then you probably will notice dps differences among the classes. However, you are probably not the ones at all worried about losing your raid spot.

Reading that post, I have a worry. I understand that "pure" classes need some incentive to stick with it otherwise they'll feel useless. However, the "hybrid" classes are usually only able to flip between two roles.

Priests can DPS or heal.

Shaman can DPS or heal.

Warriors can tank or DPS.

And so forth.

Paladins, however, can DPS, tank, or heal. In terms of the holy trinity of MMO's, paladins can do anything. Does this factor in to the DPS tuning of retribution? This is what I'm wondering. In light of the fact that paladins can do anything game-wise, is retribution tuned to do less damage than anyone else?

A penny for a developer's thoughts...

EDIT: And as uke pointed out in comments, I'm stupid - druids can do all 3, too. Sorry druids! I sometimes forget you crazy cats/trees/moonkins/owlkins can do it all. Question stands though - are ret/balance/feral DPS tuned to a lower standard because of both class's ability to tank and heal?


uke said...

If you want to be techincal, druids are the only class that can be *everything* in tanking, healing, melee AND ranged dps. Paladins can only do melee dps.

The ironic thing is that boomkins are kicking butt right now.

Josh said...

Dammit, I forgot about druids.

Good catch, uke.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Ghostcrawler's worldview is that there already are tons of pure dps players out there. We aren't in danger of them all re-rolling, because only an incredibly small percentage of the playerbase would seriously consider re-rolling for those reasons; GC himself has stated that only a small percentage of players are even capable of seeing the DPS delta that he's designing for, and those who would see it, hate it, and actually re-roll are clearly a subset of what he's said is already a very small percentage.

So then we aren't designing raids around an incredibly small percentage of players anymore, but we are balancing around them, apparently.


Calas said...

Ghostcrawler has stated that Blizzard balances classses dependding on whether they are hybrids are not. They do not take into account whether or not you have the option to be 3 roles as a paladin or only two (in cases like priests or warrior, for example). They balance all the "pure" DPS classes in the top tier of DPS, and then all the hybrids (regardless of how many roles they can fill) in the lower tier.

Here is a link to the GC statement in the forums that stated just this:

Josh said...

True, the crab has said that much. However, based on the above quote from another thread, what GC says regarding the reasoning behind why hybrids do "less" damage seems to be that it's because the hybrid can respec and still be useful to the trinity.

If you follow that logic, the paladin can respec for anything in the trinity. Would it not follow that they have lower DPS than any of the other hybrids because of their increased flexibility?

Vaadren said...

I'm still wondering what happened to the "I play my class because I like its mechanics" mindset.

As Ghostcrawler says: "We don't think there would be many pure dps players unless they knew that it was theoretically possible for them to "win the meters.""

Are people really rolling a class because of a chance to top some meters? Call me naive, I actually rolled a Paladin because I liked the feel of it, because it fit my playing style.

Calas said...


I haven't seen anything indicating that Blizzard balances in that way. Everything I have seen appears to imply that there is only one "tax" for hybrids, not that paladins get taxed twice, or druids are taxed thrice. In any of GC's quotes that I've seen, it seems that he groups up all of the hybrids into one group (for instance

Nonetheless, I can understand why one might read the quote you posted and think that we paladins might be taxed even more than other hybrids. In my mind, it seems like the 5% tax is to placate the pure DPS classes. I certainly haven't seen any posts by GC that state that they intend to do the same thing for the other hybrid classes that can "only" play as one other role (like priests, shaman, or warriors).

Suicidal Zebra said...

New Ret Pally changes on the PTR:

* Divine Storm now causes 110% of weapon damage to up to 4 enemies within 8 yards.
* Righteous Vengeance now also affects Crusader Strike.
* Crusader Strike is now An instant strike that causes 110% weapon damage. In addition, if you strike a player while they are casting, their magical damage and healing will be reduced by 50% for 6 sec.
* Judgements of the Wise now immediately grant you 25% of your base mana. (Up from 15%)


Josh said...

I think I need to take a moment to jump for joy. Thanks for the heads-up, Tim.

Anonymous said...

Just for foodthought, the hybrid classes:

Druids: Tank, DPS, Heals
Warriors: Tank, DPS
Priests: DPS, Heals
Paladins: Tank, DPS, Heals
Shaman: DPS, Heals
Death Knight: DPS, Tank

Now, I don't know about you, but I see very few classes, Hybrid or otherwise, topping ANY charts if there's an even remotely equally geared Death Knight within 40 yards of the raid group, whether he's grouped or not.

If Ghostcrawler wants to back this up, I think sooner or later a lot of disgruntled people will be rerolling from their Death Knights, claiming that they somehow need 1k more DPS than most other classes (note "MOST", lol) to be "viable".

My advice to everyone, is to not even try to line up what the devs say about class balance to what they do about class balance (though some people manage to form some kind of general idea of where they're going). No matter what they do, SOMEONE will be unhappy. Pures will be unhappy because Hybrids can tank AND provide competitive DPS, while Hybrids will be angry because obviously they cant tank of they're DPS'ing, so why should they be screwed?

Every MMORPG, no matter where you go on this world, has this same issue. The difference is, WoW has become a DPS-whore. If you are a DPS class, you are there to DPS, and no matter how good your utility, the raid leader will not bring you along if you cannot keep up DPS-wise. It's the sad truth.

Anonymous said...

That being said, some new retchanges I'm excited about, I'll add my thanks to SZ too :)

Anonymous said...

@Peregrine - I'm wondering if you've fallen prey to extrapolating your own experiences to form your view of DPS classes worldwide. Meaning that people whose guild runs are dominated by DKs (or even one DK) tend to assume that DKs do the best DPS, period.

I on the other hand have run with some truly strong players, and have never seen a DK top the meters. The best performing DPSer I have ever seen is a Fury Warrior - he would win the meters on every single encounter in Naxx25, in a group that cleared in about 3 hours if there were no wipes.

In my guild, I'd say I am probably on average the 2nd best DPSer. The top spot goes to a warlock more often than not. There is a DK who is possibly 3rd, although a mage and a rogue are also in the mix. Note that although we have a number of warriors, none of them are in the running for the top spots, despite what I've seen from the aforementioned Fury Warrior.

All this suggests to me that there is something close to parity. It definitely doesn't suggest to me that DKs are OP at the moment.


HP said...

I really feel that Blizzard is very uneven when it comes to handling hybrids. Honestly, I feel druids have been treated very well in comparison to the paladin class. Then again, I guess you could call me biased.

Donkey Kong said...

To be honest you could say some of the hybrids have more roles than what you initially said. The druids have a total of four possibilities with spell/melee dps, tanking, and heals. Also shaman have three with spell or melee dps and heals. by this vein Paladins seem almost cornerholed into either healing or some form of melee be it tank or dps.

Priests really only have two roles still because in my opinion if you can use the same gear still between the specs and preform within about a 10% margin that doesn't count as a new role. It is a different variety of healing MT vs. Raid, but its the same basic principle; don't let people die.

Anyway, I also play a Rogue and it is very sad to see Death Knights jump in and outpreform us in DPS wearing Plate gear and with the ability to tank. It is honestly a necesity to get that in hand. Blues have already said that they like where rogues are right now and that everyone else needs to get knocked down a peg. I'm glad I decided to roll one right when they became the low end of the totem pole :P

knife said...

As Uke said- druids can actually do all 4 things.

To Ghostcrawlers point, that would mean druids should be absolute bottom on damage, not be great as tanks, not be great at melee and not be great as healers.

Then there that whole "reality" thing...whatever that is.

Show me a raid where a druid healer doesn't absolutely top the charts. Meters, especially healing ones, aren't everything, but when you're pumping out in some cases double what the next closest person is doing, something is seriously wrong.

Then there are boomkins...essentially Star Wars (military, not sci-fi) satelites shooting pew-pew layzer beemz and being ridiculous all over the place.

It's almost like Ghostcrawler decided to completely and blatantly ignore raid-reality, choosing instead to make a statement in hopes it would placate the masses of QQing classes who can only choose from a measly 1 or 2 completely different specs. 1 if you're pure dps.

Anonymous said...

@knife - similar to my comments to Peregrine, I have never seen a Boomkin top the charts.

I think to be scientific we'd need to get a decent number of WWS reports from very high-end guilds; top 100 at the least.

On Sarth+1 last night, two Ret pallies topped the charts, with me doing just barely more damage than the 2nd guy. A DK, a rogue, and a shadow priest rounded out the top 5.