Flavor over function

I was doing a bit of reading today and came across an interesting article  on Married IRL.

Not to spoil it for you but she feels strongly that with the removal of priest racials priests should be allowed to do a paid race change for their character. Actually she does not mention priests specifically but it is what brought it up. I see the point to what she is saying and decided to throw out my 2 coppers worth on it.

I originally was against the removal of the priest racials, despite having a human priest who really loses nothing. Now I am not only in favor of reworking them for priests, but for all classes. No one should ever feel pigeon holed into taking a race they don’t like simply to get a “must have” racial ability.

I got grief Horde side for leveling a troll hunter instead of an orc. Simple, I took him for the bonuses with bows and the berserking for the haste it provided. I intended him to be an MM hunter all along and so the extra pet damage was not my priority. The lore and look was better for the tauren, but I chose skills that would help instead of the character I wanted.

I was asked why I chose a human for my priest. I chose him because of the bonus to reputation. He was a rerolled character and I had no desire to grind to revered with every shopkeeper and his dog in outlands just to run heroics. The spirit bonus and extra Zomg! heal of desperate prayer played into that as well.

Both of my hunters Alliance side are Draeni. not because I like them particularly but because they get a bonus to their hit rating and an extra heal over time with Gift of the Naaru. It’s a bit harder to kill my pet with 2 hot’s ticking on him than with just mend pet. And it also comes in handy raiding to keep myself up when the healers are busy. All things being equal I would have rather had Dwarves.

I had this Epiphany when I was looking into the Death Knight I intend to roll when the expansion hits. I want a Dwarf or Human for the look and lore, but I was thinking more on the racials than anything else. That is what made me decide that the way they are set up now needs to be reworked.

What we need are racials that give no in combat advantage. There are already several out there like that. Humans diplomacy for rep gains, Dwarven treasure finding, Tauren with herbalism, and Gnomes with engineering bonuses come to mind right off. I know there are more. I don’t want the racials to define the class, merely to give it more flavor.

Reworking them so that there would be no groundbreaking “must have this to get my raid spot” skills, just ones to give the race flavor, would be a great start. An even better one would be when the reworking is done to treat it kind of like refunding talent points. The next time you log into that character you could, one time only, change from the race you thought you had to take to the one you wish you could have.

2 Responses

  1. You make excellent points, though I’ll have to admit that I was one of those players who initially reacted with almost tangible pain when I learned of the removal of priestly racials in the expansion. I very much like that each of my girls have different abilities and benefit from all of them, even the ones that seem less effective. Feedback? Try it in PvP or even when you’re fighting multiple mobs that have mana bars. Starshards? It’s a free DoT that’s effective when thrown into a damage rotation or during PvP to prevent people from bandaging or drinking. I can’t even tell you how much I’d miss even Elune’s Grace, especially given the fact that my kal’dorei priestess is Discipline and intended for Arena combat. I think a lot of it has come from the fact that I am a priestaphiliac and have leveled some four priests to 60 and beyond, with a slew of other girls waiting in the wings. And I’ve purposefully chosen multiple races to experience their differences.

    I think that I could live with the changes if the vast majority of the priestly racials were available in the game after the removal of their racial specialization other than just Desperate Prayer, Devouring Plague, and Symbol of Hope. I’m honestly going to miss Feedback, Chastise, Shadowguard, Consume Magic, Starshards, Hex of Weakness, and the remainder of the abilities that I haven’t mentioned.

    And rolling a human priest? You should be rejoicing after the changes to a Spirit-based mana regeneration! That 10% increase to Spirit is absolutely phenomenal, especially for Holy priests who have talents already in-game to benefit from that stat. It’ll become even more apparent when Wrath comes out and it seems like every class and every tree benefits from Spirit. I think that I’d exhibit more outrage if they took away my The Human Spirit racial! Though I did get flack in the past for having had a human as opposed to the dwarf, pre-expansion.

  2. I really think you hit the nail on the head with regards to the need for more Flavor in WoW. I believe the most important aspect of game design is the marriage of flavor with function, and some of the racials simply do not fit from a flavor perspective, despite the usefulness of their functions.

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