In which I suffer class preference angst

Since the last patch I have now had some more time to play a few of my alts and there have been just a few cases where I’m now weighing up my preference order (ie. which classes I like most).

This has been most striking to me with paladins. It’s a class I never really got my head around, I was never even interested enough to get an alt to Outland, never mind Northrend. But right now, Retribution is way more fun than it used to be, at least at low levels. I keep finding myself comparing it with how the Arms warrior plays, and I think I prefer the paladin on the whole.

This tends to mess up my class priorities because I have always compared my warriors with paladins in the mindset that, yes they get more utility and a healing spec but I prefer how my warrior plays for both tanking and dps. So I stick with Spinks because she’s more fun.

It’s a checks and balances thing, you look at the shopping list of benefits and drawbacks (in which ‘most fun’ is probably the most important benefit for me) and make your decision.

But if I do prefer the paladin’s dps spec to the warrior’s – let’s not discuss Fury because that way lies the madness of feeling forced to roll on every single melee weapon that drops in the next expansion – that changes the weightings. I’m not that interested in paladin tanking but again I keep hearing that it feels closer to the warrior. And then there’s the healing spec, which is a bonus playing style.

I feel that with the plate tanks, because there is such a huge overlap of roles (Death Knights, Warriors, and Paladins can all be tanks or dps) that it can sometimes be a very hard call to make. When the playing style is very different, then you just pick the one you prefer and that’s fairly straightforward.  But if they start feeling more similar to each other, the extra utility of one class starts to trump the rest.

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17 thoughts on “In which I suffer class preference angst

  1. Warrior powah forevah! I admittedly haven’t tried the new paladin yet, though I am planning to roll me a holy cow somewhere eventually. I am not a big alliance player, so my paladin has been 78 for several months.

    Now that buffs overlap so much, I don’t particularly feel that a paladin still overs that much utility that I would covet playing one for the extra stuff. Blessings have been so streamlined. There’s no more Divine Intervention for wipe recovery. I am just not really seeing any reason that extra utility would trump here.

    For low leveling, paladins are probably a lot easier than warriors, due to being hybrid, but with the changes to Victory Rush, I feel the gap is a lot more narrow than in the past.

    I feel more positive about warriors than I have for a long time. There was this long stretch of time in WotLK that I felt extremely threatened by protection paladins, and I just don’t anymore.

  2. It’s the Age of the Hybrid. Specialists lose out if they are not better than the Generalists.

    That’s the eternal dilemma. Make Jack of all trades 2nd best at everything, they might be forever the 2nd choice only if the intention is to fill one of the three roles perfectly. But if specialists are not noticeably better, they get trumped by versatility.

    Now that the Horde has seen the Light as well, will you end your sinful undead existence and become a Holy Cow or maybe even return to Stormwind? :)

    • It’s not that so much but another balancing factor coming into play. Originally hybrids in WoW tended to be simpler to play because they had fewer abilities for each spec. Blizzard have fiddled with this (cat druids got very complex, for example) but it was still one of the reasons I preferred my warrior since I like a more involved playing style.

      But after the last patch, they’ve tried to even that up to some extent. I think this is why I’m finding that Ret plays about as involved as Arms or Frost (comparing DK also).

      So this isn’t so much about which class is more powerful, I agree with Kadomi that prot warriors seem fine. It’s more that if all things are equal and classes are equally fun to play (which they never used to be for me), why not pick the one that has more role options?

      ps. Stormwind sucks!

  3. I think that Blizz is secretly planning to remove all classes from the game except paladins. Paladins get everything.

    I am enjoying how prot plays right now. Haven’t tried the dps specs. But ultimately I think they have the warrior all wrong. The priest is the only class that has two healing specs. They have worked hard to defuse the idea that priests are the uber healers. True, they are not. they are simply more diverse healers in that they have two healing specs. Ok, fine.

    Give warriors two tanking specs and one dps spec. Concentrate the best dps goodies in the one spec and then make one tanking spec use a shield and the other use a two hander. That would be a diverse tank.

    Besides, what warrior wouldn’t love to legitimately swipe the DK’s two hander drop because your tanking in that spec. Bwahahahaha.

      • I’m intrigued as to why you’d want it. What was the appeal of DW tanking? I always found it very unimmersive, I just cannot imagine how it’d work (with a 2 hander you can kind of imagine the parrying but I’ve seen people fight with two swords and it’s really not defensive.)

      • I cannot imagine someone tanking with a 2 hander. That thing is so huge and bulky that an enemy which is facing you would probably dodge every swing. And when you lift that huge thing most part of your body would be completely unprotected for a long time.

        On the other side, DW tanking with two fast tank weapons meant that you stroked every second. You were not a “tank” but a ninja. Slicing and dicing the enemy.

        It was incredible “cool” and FOR ME much much more immersive FOR ME then tanking with a 2 hander.

        My DK is only an alt but I considered DW tanking to be the coolest char I’ve ever played in WoW.

        I can easily see how other people see that different. But I cannot see why Blizzard completely fucked up the class for those people who prefered DW tanking after two years. That’s like removing magic from a mage or a shield from shield tanks or to change the druid tank form to a squirrel…

  4. I levelled my DK as a Blood Tank, got to lvl 79 then 4.0.1 hit and changed things around. My DK is now 80 but I’m not sure that I like it and I am not speccing DPS, if you wear plate you should be tanking (or healing) in my opinion. Where I am having fun is my Rogue, melee DPS is the one role I haven’t played yet and even among the big AOEing craze my lowly little early 30′s Rogue can actually keep up and it’s FUN!

    • Dude, if you haven’t tried dps on your death knight, I’d really recommend it. Unholy and Frost both look like really fun specs, and I don’t really see why wearing plate is an issue there.

  5. You’re not going to use your dual spec on healing/tanking. You’re using if for tanking/DD or healing/DD. Reason is that there are fights in a raid where a tank switches to a DD or a dd switches to a tank (mostly in 25 mans) and there are fights where a heal switches to DD or a DD switches to heal (happens a lot in 10 mans).

    If you’re tanking/heal dual spec, then you’re basically just a tank or just a heal as there is no fight where a tank switches to heal or vice versa.

    Therefore, for a primarily tanking paladin it isn’t an advantage that he also can spec heal. He won’t. Same for druids. And that therefore isn’t an advantage over tanking warriors.

    There is an advantage for primarily DDs as a paladin DD can choose if he likes to tank or heal for a faster LFD queue. A warrior can only choose to tank for a faster LFD but not heal.

    • As a matter of fact, we’ve had two players (both Druids, rather than paladins, but the point stands), who have had Healing/Tanking specs since Dualspec was introduced – who saved many a raid during the summer lull. Although, I’ll grant you, that was through the auspices of being one spec more or less for the night, not changing on the odd fight.

      Either way, the point, as I read it, was the option of healing, which is not exactly the same as saying “I would be dualspecced into Protection and Holy”.

      Oddly enough, I’ve been feeling close to the opposite to Spinks – I’m looking at a Warrior and envying the green grass myself. If it wasn’t for the achievements, titles and mounts that my Paladin boasts, she’d probably be retired for Cataclysm. While, as she mentions, Retribution is a rather well designed specialisation right now, Holy Power feels like a badly glued veneer to Protection.

    • Part of the reason I’m conflicted is that I’d already decided that I feel a bit tanked out plus I know I’m going to be busy with college, so I’m planning to focus more on dps next expansion.

      Warriors are great, and I love mine to bits. But I don’t really fancy feeling forced to switch spec every time a new weapon drops or Fury gets another tweak. Also, holy spec for paladins is also quite fun at the moment.

      So I feel like I’m picking between dps/ tank (warrior) vs dps/heals (paladin). And if I felt like tanking on a paladin, I could do that also, even though it doesn’t really interest me right now. And as a bonus, retribution has proper crowd control and much better ranged abilities, not to mention paladins getting perks like crusader aura for free.

  6. No offence Spinks, but you’ve been having paladin-angst for quite a while now, at least as long as I read you. Get it out of your system and play one already. I strongly suspect that you’ll find it’s A) quite fun, as well as B) not as world-changing as you make it out to be. Certainly not better than a warrior :D

  7. I’m shocked – you always give the impression for being Warrior 4 Life. I haven’t dared pick up my paladin since they made lots of changes. I’d only just got the hang of it, dammit. Can’t you just stick to the warrior for tanking, and the paladin for DPS? Or does that miss some subtle complexities of the situation :) (I, too, am having class angst – I secretly want to be a druid for Cata).

  8. I’m in the same boat. I’m flopping between my Hunter, DK or Mage at the moment.

    I’m not sure about the Hunter. BM seemed okay at first, but now it’s too easy. MM has lost some of the instant shot value it had with Aimed Shot getting a cast time and Silencing Shot not doing any damage. I haven’t played it as much as BM, but it just seems meh – focus is a bit of a pain in that spec. I have yet to try SV but I might swap out MM for it.

    The DK is just too much fun and I find it has some more utility; root, silence, pull, etc. It’s just feeling more fun now.

    The Mage is also a lot of fun, definitely out of whack for balance. I suspect it might get to be boring like BM though, because the spells used are all about the same. On the bright side, they get decent AOEs and some other options. I think this will just end up being on par with the Hunter only Mages are ridiculously overpowered. Hunter? Not so much.

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