How do you decide on a class?

So, we’re practically on the starting blocks for Cataclysm. Blizzard have made some tentative class previews and announced plans for raid changes. They finally confirmed yesterday that the Friends and Family Alpha test of the new expansion has begun. And amidst all the intense discussions between raid and guild leaders on how to adapt to the potential changes, people have started to think about which class to play or which alt to pick for the new Cataclysmic era.

But how do YOU go about picking a class?

  • Do you take the pragmatic approach? (What might I want to do? Which class is most likely to let me do it? Which class looks as though it’s going to be stronger/more desirable in PvE/ PvP?)
  • Do you have a list of desired qualities, and just mark off different classes until you end up with the best match? (e.g. must be able to heal, must be mobile, must be able to be a gnome, etc.)
  • Do you like to try something new? (e,g. must be something I haven’t played before? must be able to be the new race/ class? must be the one with the cool new mechanic?)
  • Do you stick with an old favourite?
  • Do you pick that class that always made you jealous? (e.g. if you can’t beat them, join them!)
  • Do you secretly admire a character in your guild/ raid and plan to emulate them? (e.g. I always wanted to be …. a shield tank?)
  • Do you get together with a bunch of friends and pick classes together for a levelling group?
  • Do you like to do a lot of research, or just try a few different classes and see what sticks?
  • Do you just say ‘oh, to hell with it’ and plan on having loads of alts so that you don’t have to choose yet?
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25 thoughts on “How do you decide on a class?

  1. I take all the classes into account, and find one that I feel that would be useful in a group, but also soloable. I usually stick with hybrid healers/tanks because of this.

    But what usually happens is halfway through leveling the hybrid, I see someone else having fun with another class and wind up rolling an alt. Then months later I go back to the original class I created and kick myself in the arse for not sticking with it hehe.

  2. A mixture of 7 and 9 here.

    I love sitting down and planning new 5 man instancing groups with friends or new Duo’s with my wife. I’ve had a lot of fun recently with this aproach and in fact a lot of my favorite characters grew from this process. I find I need motivation to level and this planning provides a framework.

    That done however I see Cata as the great unknown still. I am actively planning to have multiple alts (mostly duel speced ‘swing role’ rather than the ‘do it all’ Droods and Ploddies) ready for whatever I feel like leveling and endgame at 85. Touch of 4 there as I suspect Uzi will get leveled first but once at endgame I’ll see how everthings shaken out and make a call then.

    Okay I’ll admit I rolled a priest last night so I can have 2 healers around in case I dont like Resto Shammies in v4 or I want to heal in multiple raid groups…

  3. In Wrath I discovered I wanted to heal, totally by accident. I had a pally, people kept begging me to heal, so I tried it, and I loved it…

    But I wouldn’t have rolled a pally if the point was to heal. I’m much more drawn to the multi-target style of shamans and holy priests. So for Cata, I’m planning to use the “If I could do it all again” method of choosing classes.

    And for the new race/class allure, I’m planning to roll a goblin hunter just for tourism and soloing fun.

    • I decided to go with Spinks for Wrath because I’d read all the protection changes and thought they sounded cool. And I was hoping that I’d like tanking because heroics really drove me nuts in TBC.

      And …yeah, the rest is history. I do enjoy it. I think the preview which most caught my eye this time round was the paladin healing one, there’s just a hint there of something very different (the notion that you might need to run in and out of melee appeals to me.) So I might try to have a pally alt on hand, just in case.

  4. Usually I browse them to see if there is a monk or bard class. I like the idea of unarmed warriors and troubadours. The wife often goes rogue. Failing that, we’ll pick classes that appear to be suiting for duo play, i.e. 1 more tank/dps focused and the other with some healing. In WoW we ended up playing Shadow Priest (me) and Paladin (her), and it worked very well.

    Oh, and I always play human. Always. I just have no desire to play non-human. Any non-human character I ever create ends up rotting from lack of use. So that restricts my class choices a little in most games.

  5. I am in the process of consulting with two very important people who get a vote in what I choose…my kids. Mainly because they like to watch me play, so they don’t want to be bored.

    We joke about how funny it would be to have a Worgen with a wolf for a pet. Well, they think it’s funny, it’s a simple amusement.

    When I get to choose my own toon, however, I’ve noticed that I have little patience for classes that can’t heal themselves. I enjoy DPS-ing with my priest, shaman, paladin, druid, etc because they can heal themselves – which makes soloing for me easier; and I can take on more solo challenges because of it.

    Eventually I want one of each class at max level, some day my mage and rogue will have to move past lvl 24…some day.

  6. If I’m stuck with picking a single class, I pick the one that gives me the most utility and flexibility (soloable and groupable). In WoW, that’s a Druid, though Paladins are good fun too. Curiously, Hunters also are fun for the flexibility they have in training new pets.

    One of these days, I really need to try a Mage, though, if only to see how they play. If I’m really bored, I’ll try a Priest. (I have this notion, correct or not, that they are agonizingly slow to solo. That’s why I’ve avoided them.) It’s fun to try out the different options.

  7. I like to attack from range, do damage, and I like pets.

    Subsequently, I have a hunter main and I’m working up a frost mage alt. :)

    I cannot explain how my paladin got to level 80 or why he ever got rolled in the first place. I can tell you that his sole purpose in life now is to mass-produce glyphs and enchantments to fund my hunter and the new baby mage, though.

  8. Rolled a hunter when I first started WoW. Had never played an MMO before, but liked the idea of a pet and using bows.

    During the WotLK lull last Summer rolled a priest because It was so hard to get into a PuG, and healers seemed to be in demand.

    Then right when it hit 65, the Dungeon Finder came out. Went back to Hunter and geared up, got bored. Went back to the priest and leveled Discipline in randoms to 80. I like healing. It can be frantic, and it definitely requires more concentration that DPS.

    Now I’m leveling a mage. I’d never run any lowbie dungeons other than solo. It’s a whole new experience…

    You gotta try a little of everything. DeathKnight is at 68 just waiting for a little tank loving…

  9. Uh… this is a tough one. I have one of all 10 classes at 80. So largely this assumes we get more character slots on each realm.

    That being the case I really have no choice but to level something familiar…. so I’m going to level the classes that I look back and enjoyed the most. A hunter for primarily solo and adventuring… and a priest for group play and a bit of a lvling challenge.

    Worgen hunter and priest? I think I could live with that :D

  10. I’m going through this decision process right now: Priest or Paladin for a healer in Cataclysm. For me, the decision lies in versatility and PvP ability. I want to be able to effectively heal any PvE content I want (solo healing heroics while being undergeared or doing hardmore 10s) as well as be competitive in the ranked battlegrounds that are coming.

    Another, albeit smaller, caveat is that I have to love the way the class looks. I //love// the way Shaman healers play. I heart me some Chain Heal and Riptide and Earth Shield. Unfortunately, I do not love me some Shaman armors except for Tiers 2 and 6, which unfortunately, don’t do me any good. I do typically love Paladin/Priest armor, so that area’s a toss up for me at this point.

    Right now the decision is based entirely on PvP utility when equally geared and whether prevention or throughput is what I desire more in a healer.

    • I suspect you’d be better waiting for more class information before making a final choice on that one. Chances are they’ll both be great, but don’t assume that paladins will have the chokehold on healing throughput in Cataclysm that they do now.

  11. I’ll stay with my trusty priest because I enjoy healing most. But reading all those comments something came to my mind: Regardless of the usual “triple-hybrids are sooo imba because of all the switchiness” there were very few people who simply said “I don’t even need to think about it, I’ll just do a /roll and everything below 50 means Druid and everything above means Paladin”. Most people have a specific reason why they like their class and “I can switch speccs if the current one annoys me” is usually not it. The only way the hybridness of my priest affected my decision to play one as a main was that I figured out that if for some reason Blizzard would nerf one healing-spec I could still switch to the other one.
    Thats why I can’t take the whole hybrid discussion serious.

    • I think with the hybrid discussion there’s a sort of undercurrent of “will more people be my friend if I play a hybrid and can switch to whichever role people need?”

      I mean, as well as wanting to maximise chances of getting a raid spot or something like that.

  12. That’s a very good question…
    I tend to play the same classes : hunter, healing druid, healing priest, shaman, DK. And can’t play other classes.

    I cannot play casters. Mage, warlock, moonkin, don’t appeal to me at all. I tried moonkin on my druid and got all frustrated. I tried several melee classes and the only ones I can play are DK and shaman, but only as soloers. I tried tanking too… No comment, let’s say I need practice…

    My favourite roles are healing and hunter.

    I duo-levelled my druid as resto and my priest as disc with my bf’s tanks, and I’m solo-levelling my shaman as enhance/heal. I love healers, but I can’t seem to get a grip to level a paladin. And I just don’t know how I levelled a non-healing class in the first place…

    And my main character, the first I ever made on this game, is my dear hunter. This class just feels right to me. I love the dynamics, I love being ranged. I love my pet. I love all the tools this class have.

    I’m a little worried about hunter’s changes in Cataclysm : what if I don’t like the gameplay anymore ? That’s why I level my healers, so I can choose. But I hope the changes will be cool and fun.

    So how I choose a class to play : feelings. It’s all how I feel playing the character. I also tend to play the same races : night elves or trolls. For the same reasons. As strange as it may seems, it’s a gut feeling.

  13. My first choice in any MMO always seems to be a heavily armored male melee char with a focus on attack. Basically, a Knight. Not a tank protecting the weak, this is only a cliché for the class that came up in literature and MMO gaming at some point! :)

    Ultima Online: Male Swordsman, later female Mage/Tamer
    WoW: Male Paladin, later female Warlock
    GW: Male Warrior/Monk, later female Necromancer
    LOTRO: Male Champion, no real alt or new main so far
    Aion: Beta female sorcerer, release female Gladiator
    STO: Federation – Male tactical officer (~DPS) in an Assault Cruiser (~Tank). Klingons – Male tactical in a Bird of Prey (My choice due to supreme cloaking and universal Bridge Officer slots, otherwise I would pick a cruiser immediately)
    EVE: Male Amarr speccing in the “tank” battleships of the Amarr with energy cannons. Hate for long-range missile launchers.
    Dragon Age: Male human noble knight erm warrior. ;)

    I simply cannot stand rogues in squishy armor doing wtf damage. Stealthing, backstabbing and poisoning are things that give me a feeling of guilt and treachery.
    I like to play with archers/hunters in any game as I like their animal companions, but I simply cannot play them myselves. Even if their travel powers in LOTRO are so superawesome that I am always jealous. They are probably the best choice for an explorer, much like the Warden, but this one lacks the attack orientation of the Champion.

    In Age of Conan, the class that stirred my interest was the “Conqueror”: a heavily armored dual wielder or two-handed fighter. But initially, they SUCKED. I dunno if they still suck, they are now better at buffing. Guardian and Dark Templar were too defensive for my liking. Rogue classes like Barbarian or Assassin… I don’t play rogues!

    So I rather picked my second choice: female caster. The Tempest of Set Priest was an unique mix of DPS and healing, and in fact they were and still are tremendously overpowered and ideal for soloing and good for groups.

    My dislike for rogues became pathological when I played my Warlock, unlike my Paladin she really had trouble with them.

    For SWTOR, if I ever play it (I simply do not like the Star Wars universe as MMO setting, it is like a fantasy world in space sheep’s clothing to me) I might pick the Trooper class. The Bounty Hunter seems too rogueish to me.

  14. I always choose hybrids, my 3 80s are pala, priest and druid. All 3 specced for DPS as main spec and heals as off spec. Paladin is main, priest is recently dusted off alt, druid is unplayed.
    I don’t really enjoy healing and I don’t think I fall into the ‘play whatever fills others’ whims/desires’ that was mentioned above. I play DPS because I enjoy it, I have (on my main) a decent gear/skillset for healing simply because I like to be a good player.
    Pala was my most recent 80, and I chose the class honestly because I love achievements and soloing old content and paladins tend to be good at that.
    I plan to keep with her through Cata (as well as keep priest as alt).

  15. I like having loads and loads of alts. I like trying different classes to compare them, especially when people start riding the horse “this class is fotm and faceroll and uber OP and that one is nerfed to the ground and unplayable”. I usually find out they exaggerate a hundred times.

    On the other hand yes, I look “which class will allow me to do what I want”, I soon realized I dislike playing dps in groups and I like playing in groups more than solo in the end. So all my chars are now tanks and healers and I still mourn the loss of my Warlock, but she simply had no future – because “always and forever solo player” didn’t sound encouraging to level that char further. I liked the class as a design, I just suck at dps.

    I do some research but nothing beats testing stuff in the battlefield! I’m like a small kid who’ll jump first towards new shiny feature – but will I stick to it only time will show. I can swear I will roll a Goblin and Worgen but I can’t say will they ever pass level 20-30. I highly doubt the Worgen will, because I’m not much into werewolf mania, but who knows?

    But in the end, the “main of all mains” will probably still be my old favourite, the one I have most memories of, achievements, history, vanity items and so on. My favourites gravitate towards, oh how surprising, druid and paladin. Because they can tank and heal… I like my priest, I like my death knight, but there’s always that moment when I wish they could perform the other role. For example when my death knight has to do some pvp (for achievement, honor, quest), I dislike pvp but out of all evils I’d rather stand and throw some heals than cluelessly try to “dps” some folks. Or when my priest faces lfg queues or elite quest I wish she was the one taking stuff on her face rather than being the squishy-clothy wimp in the back having nothing to say.

    I’m kinda sad “hybrids” get a lot of hate recently. Sadly this game isn’t designed to have “pure healers” and “pure tanks” as classes any more, so nothing else to do…

    One thing I stopped to care about is “which classes are wanted”, I know everyone wants that goddamn shaman but I really can’t force myself to play a class as a main if I don’t find it more fun than other alts.

  16. You know, I rolled a dwarven pally first, since I had played a dwarven cleric in DnD, and the pally was fun enough.
    Then I rolled a mage, figured slinging fireballs was fun, and that was ok too. And the rogue was fun being a sneaky snake and ganking hordies and whatnot. Same with the hunter, standing back and blasting away with the guns. All good fun.
    Then, one day, on a whim, I rolled a dwarven warrior.
    I went out into Dun Morogh and charged a boar, and smashed it into sausages. I looked up, and what do you know? Another boar! Charged that one too, and beat it into a tasty pork chop. Stopping to pick a plant here and there, and mix a potion or three, time flew.
    Suddenly, I looked up, and my little warrior was 40, and I had a revelation: I could use TWO massive, hordie beating twohanded weapons? WOW! And I could charge as fast as anything in the game? In COMBAT!?! Double WOW! AND I get plate armor too? Triple WOW! And add an endless supply of healing potions, a sweet set of self heals via the herbilisim perk and enraged regeneration, It’s all sorts of warrior schenanagins! (That’s suprised a would be ganker a time or two!)

    Now all of the sudden, my little warrior is 80, still merrily charging everything in sight, still waving those big, sharp objects around, still ruthlessly hunting hordies and exacting payback for all the times I was killed while finding my true calling: The Way of the Warrior.

    As for Cata? I’m not worried. If I can charge, I’m good. I have found my way, and while it might be a rough road at times, I don’t need to pick a new class. I already have mine. :)

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