Why did I not see this before?


 A thought came to mind last night as a group of guildies and I were finishing up heroic ToC. We had two DK’s with us and were remarking on how much easier The Black Knight phase two was with two armies plus our two ghouls fighting the adds.

We even wondered at the possibility of speccing five DK’s into tanking builds that generated a lot of self-healing and trying to run instances with only that. It was only speculation mind you, but it got me to thinking about the differences between the pure Dps classes and the hybrids.

There has been a lot of going back and forth about just how equal hybrid classes should be Dps wise to pure Dps classes. Now, before anyone gets their panties in a wad and starts telling me I have no idea what the hell I am talking about keep in mind a few things.

  1. I am not taking sides in this, merely making observations about the game as a whole.
  2. My three primary characters are a Hunter (pure Dps), a Priest (Holy/Shadow hybrid), and a Death Knight (Dps currently, gathering a tanking set). I see this from all three sides.
  3. I am curious where things will go with this, not angry.

Ok, we all know that there are three roles in any instance, Tanking, Healing, and Dpsing. Those are a given.

Once upon a time there were five things to consider when building a group. You needed a tank, you needed heals, and you needed three Dps just like now. Then again, this was before the great homogenizing of 3.0 and Wrath.

Back before these times we live in now there were two other things that one looked at when building a group.

Class Specific Buffs.

Players were selected for the buffs they brought. They made classes special. You want Fort? Bring a priest. You want Mark of the Wild? Bring a Druid. You get the idea. This was not restricted to any one class, everyone had something to bring to the party.

Kind of like when everyone shows up at the beach party and pours a bottle of something alcoholic into the cooler full of  Hawaiian Punch. You never really know what you’re going to end up with, but it will certainly get the job done.

With the advent of spread the buffs around to every class that is no longer the case. 

Ok, there a re a few exceptions like Heroisim/Bloodlust from Shaman and the Druids battle rez. For the most part though the buffs are spread out well.

Buffs are only part of what once made the pure Dps stand out. Think of one thing that the four of them (Warlock, Mage, Hunter, and Rogue) have in common. Something that the hybrid classes either lack or are not nearly as good at.

Go ahead, name a few things.

I’ll tell you what pops to mind for me.

Crowd Control. 

Once upon a time pure Dps brought the four most versatile types of crowd control to the table. Yes, I know Priests can shackle undead. I think that was actually useful back in Karazhan, for some horses and one boss fight.

Now the buffs spread out and the Dps output from most Dps specs (hybrid or pure) is roughly equal. The only thing I see that could make a pure Dps’r stand out is how great they are at crowd control.

Oh, wait. There is no such thing any more.

Crowd control is now called AOE tanking.

There is nothing left for a pure Dps’r to do, no skill to develop beyond “Don’t stand in the fire, hit your spells as they come off cooldown.”

I guess after writing this I do have a opinion after all. I truly hope things change in Cataclysm, but if I had to suggest a class to someone who is just starting…

I’d tell them to roll a Hybrid, probably a Druid.

Why bring a single tool when you can have the whole toolbox for the same price?

Now me on the other hand, I this weekend the latest addition to Team Dechion made level 15. I am having a blast on my behbe Rogue.

I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the box, but most would agree that I can be a tool.

Oh, and back to the five DK instance. Can you imagine the mayhem on a boss fight when we pulled out five armies of the dead at the same time?

That would be a sight to see.

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4 Responses

  1. There is a video out now of a Death Knight soloing A’lar in Tempest Keep. He straight up admits that he no longer runs heroics with a group because he doesn’t NEED a group.

    My Prot Paladin can already solo the trash in most heroics (can’t say all since I haven’t tried all), and he’s not even that well geared.

    At the same time my Warlock sits in LFG for 30 minutes looking for a group.

    Hybrids get all the fun! 🙂

  2. Coming from my position as a person with a hunter and a prot paladin… we are a land divided in one epic comment.

    As a hunter, I miss crowd control. I wasn’t the best at trapping, but it was nice to feel needed for something other than just being a warm body that went pew pew PEW! I remember many raids being cancelled in BC for want of a mage or other such CC, heck, we couldn’t even START TK without at least two to get all that stuff on the FIRST PULL taken care of properly/reliably. The first. trash. pull.

    As a prot. paladin, I love love love AOE tanking. It is fun as hell, and if you have not had the chance to try it, you should if the opportunity ever arises. It’s like doing the hokey pokey in the middle of a mess of damage, and you don’t take any even though everything is pounding on you and the dps is pew pewing away trying to get aggro from you and they CAN’T because your hokey pokey is the best damn thing ever and the mobs can’t take their eyes off you. No lie. I think my paladin would be a lot less fun to play if I had to be careful of where I put my consecrate and whatnot to avoid breaking the CC. It would go from fun fun zergfest to STRESS.

    Seriously, a good chunk of the reason I never wanted to tank in the first place (my pally was ret and going to STAY THAT WAY thank you very much, until hubby convinced me to try something different) is the responsiblity of keeping all of that straight. I was scared of letting a group down. But knowing I can just spew holy vomit all over the mobs and they love it… I cannot get enough of that!

  3. While we did miss the things back in BC, it really made it a bit of a hassle not being able to do things because these classes were not present. Yes running heroics back in BC required CC, but that took like what, almost an hour or even more to go through a single instance just because of that?

    What we need is more gimmick fights on bosses. Think Mimiron or Lich King. Lots of movements, adds to make it harder and several phases to even make it more interesting.

    And while pure DPS classes don’t do anything else except do damage, what I suggest Blizzard should do is give each pure DPS class a unique raid/party-wide buff that stacks among what we already have right now. Or perhaps abilities that benefit the raid/party as a whole. Mages, for example, can maybe have an ability to make an exact copy of a friendly player in a raid once every 20minutes or so, control it for a few seconds before it goes away. What’s the use? Well replicate the tank, lasts 5 seconds, that should help during phases where a boss hits very-hard while the real tank gets a breather for a few seconds. This could also mean saving from a wipe because the boss soft-enraged, no tranq from hunters coz they’re dead or kiting a mobs, tank has a few seconds left before his defensive CD is available. =D

    • Well, all the announcments for the Cataclysm class changes are starting to roll out today. (Shaman is out at this point, awaiting the others.) I guess we will see what the future holds.

      I still favor rolling a Druid, in fact mine is sitting at 32 right now. Since there is no down side to being able to do everything I no longer see a point in playing a pure DPS class.

      As for more gimmic fights, personally I am not in favor of them. Gimmics are all about learning to dance to the tune of deadly boss mods instead of having to react to a changing situation and improvise.

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