Bring the Player Not the Class

For a while, Blizzard followed a “bring the player not the class” mantra… or tried. Now whether or not they actually stick to this isn’t really what I want to debate. My big question here is why can’t it be both? Why can’t we look to the person who plays their class best AND plays a class that brings something interesting, unique, and needed to a group or raid?

I believe that every class should offer something useful and be so different from the other classes that you can’t so easily bring one over the other. I want to make a distinction here that I’m not saying every class should be mandatory. I’m saying that no class should be at a distinct advantage, and no class should be unwanted. If two DPS classes are both LFG, one should not be at a disadvantage because their DPS is inherently inferior and they offer nothing else to a group but their raw damage output.

Similarly, I don’t think that every class should be an easy ‘push a button and win’ combination. If Rogues are the “best melee DPS”, not every Rogue should be the top DPS. If Clerics offer the best direct heals, not every Cleric should immediately be the best healer just because they play a Cleric.

And lastly, no one class should be able to do everything.  Duh [At least you’d think so.]  Homogenization is a detriment to fun.

TLDR: Balance the classes, please. And while you’re at it let truly skilled players stand out above the rest. Bring the player, AND bring the class, for the RIGHT reasons.


  • Completely agree. If I thought I could dabble in accountant, physician, lawyer, and car mechanic without a downside I probably would. Sounds like more rewards.

  • Regarding the “If Rogues are the “best melee DPS”, not every Rogue should be the top DPS.” statement, that is definitely the case now. When I was raiding a few months ago, Beast Mastery hunters were one of the top DPS classes/specs. All of the hunters that we raided with were Beast Mastery. Only one of them came anywhere near her top simulationcraft numbers. Most were between 50% and 70% of their simcraft numbers and that was for Gruul, which is a fairly straight forward boss where hunters have very little downtime due to running out of the bad.

    So, don’t worry, the game is sufficiently complicated enough to separate those who put a little effort into figuring out their spell priorities and those who don’t. It’s hard enough to get players to fully gem/enchant their gear let alone learn how to properly play their class.

  • After the last blog I was thinking about wow and the homogenization it has gone through, and to me it seems like they are sticking with it. They do seem to be trying to make each spec play differently, but ultimately come to the same end.

    Perfect reasoning for this is proving grounds. Proving grounds are the same for each class, they are set up in such a way that every class has an answer for each of its mechanics, ranging from: AoE, single target sustained, Cleave, Single target Burst, dodging bad things.

    Same for heals/tanks, they can all do the EXACT same thing they just do it differently. Sure some classes do much better in the proving grounds than other. But the fact that the overall strategies can be accomplished by all classes is not something that used to be the case back when I actually used to identify with my wow character.

    I feel like back when i played I chose a class because It represented what I wanted to play, I didnt care that a ret paladin didnt have a lot of buttons to hit, It was a paladin, It made me happy to have armor/spells that reminded me of glory/justice. Now the game has morphed into, give everyone some sort of cleave, some sort of burst CD, some AoE. Lets just make sure they “match” the class.

  • It’s tough. A lot of players can’t accept that with certain fights it might be better to bring a different class. They feel left out, and often angry.

  • I agree that it has made for a much better gameplay, but at the same time its part of the reason i cant seem to stick around for longer than 2-3 months. Watching those old vanilla videos of whatever my favorite class of the time was and wanting to emulate them, is part of what drove me. All you have now is a 2-3 week grind and you are pretty much on the same lvl as anyone else, outside of the 1%.

  • Yes absolutely. It’s too easy to compare the value of dps classes in current WoW, because their value is the damage meter and nothing more. Even early WoW had differentiating factors like buffs, battle rez, bloodlust, etc. All of these things have been spread to multiple classes so no class has anything really unique. It’s even better when there are more class unique abilities, like EQ, where damage output is only one part of the equation. Do we want the geared high dps guy, the FD puller, or the evac guy with offheals?

    I disagree with this one part though
    “TLDR: Balance the classes, please.”

    Blizzard has done nothing but balance the classes. They’ve smoothed them out to the point that we’re all pretty much playing the same class. I’d prefer less balance, more variety. Can you imagine the 2015 Blizzard developers having the balls to make an entire class unique to horde and one unique to the alliance? The guys with the cajones are long gone.

  • @Jenks. The damage meter might actually be the worst thing ever invented for this genre.

    @Table. Exactly. But the 1% aren’t any different really. They just have way more playtime and more organized.

  • It’s developers fault for painting themselves into this corner. Why, for most encounters in most MMOs, the only elements to victory Damage and Longevity?

    I say most knowing that some encounters have interest mechanics, but not enough do. In the end, it comes down to the same resource battle (Your Effective HP + Your Healing Power VS the Mob’s Effective HP and it’s healing power).

    What if, in some encounter, the MT had to die by the mobs hand during a window of opportunity (and therefore, must be kept low enough but not prematurely dead) in order to deal damage and be revived (or plain old sacrificed).

    How about classes do different damage types (this isn’t a new concept) and mobs have varying resistances against different damage types? Perhaps Classes could even specialize in certain damage types to gain an advantage, or bring themselves up to par with the Class that naturally matches that damage type. It would give knowledge of the encounter more value.

    Maybe during an encounter, ground spawns must be harvested and crafted into an item for success. Or the ground is suddenly littered with traps and your valuable rogue DPSers must now focus on disarming the traps. EQ2 (imo) has the best “Priest” class concept, in that there are 3 different types of heals, and along with their Mitigation formula, each is better suited to certain situations and healing certain types of tanks.

    If we can’t abandon the HP vs Healing Resource Battle:
    Perhaps DPS are more limited in how frequently they do damage. Rogues strike very frequently for smaller amounts while some other class strikes slower but with more power. Designing mobs with the concept of Flat Damage Reduction would harm High Frequency, Low Damage DPS far more than Low Frequency, High Damage DPS.

    Create less of an expectation that every attack is going to hit. Allow certain mobs to dodge attacks more than others and create a type of DPS that may be lower overall, but has a higher hit rate.

    At this point in my experience, I wouldn’t play an MMO because I thought I was feeding my need to be skillful. Even then, I Multibox in order to even glimpse the need for skill. MMO *skill* is, imo, equal to the time spent empowering your character and the time spent educating yourself, and the latter is mattering less and less. It’s less about making the right decision at the right time. And if you call min/maxing a skill, that, unless you are the innovator, is looking something up on the internet and then mimicking it, and that’s not skill.