What goes up must come down

It is part of the general cycle in MMOs that some classes are seen as more powerful than others (maybe better at their roles, easier to play, fewer disadvantages, more flexible, have access to some overpowered ability, etc). Over the life of the game, as balancing tweaks are made, the class on top will probably change.

Although people mock ‘flavour of the month’ players who switch from one powerful class to another, there’s no special reason not to do this if you have time spare to level and gear another class. Or rather, there’s no real in game reward for sticking with a class through thick and thin.

Hopefully if balancing goes well, there should never be a huge gap between classes. They should theoretically always be close enough that people can just play whichever they prefer without being disadvantaged. But for some people, even a small gap is too much when there’s no advantage to make up for it.

Do you think there are advantages to sticking with your favourite class when it is on a downswing? It will be rarer, for a start. People will know that you play it because you love it. Maybe those are social advantages. Or are you also more likely to get bitter and burned out, especially if your class then gets some love and all the flavour of the month players flock back?

11 thoughts on “What goes up must come down

  1. It certainly feels that way? I was pretty much alone as a raiding resto shammy for a long time in hte circle of folk I knew. I was eventually joined by another one, who also turned out to be a class act…I felt quite cool as if either one of us showed up people used to be impresed.

    Then I switched over to Spink’s server and there were a gazillion of us (oddly the other shammy from my old server ended up here as well). It did make me feel less of a ‘special snowflake’.

    It can also be the case that a player can make a class role ‘their own’ within a raid com or guild and edge out the competion. Probably unintentionaly. But why try and compete with Mr Uber-Tankadin when you can go ret or roll a DK-tank or level a bear and offer something different?

    I know thats been the case for a few people after the rarer tank or healer spots I’ve seen. Certainly various tanks especially have been leveled from scratch just to raid and so entirely for their raiding capabilities….I’ve seen it with healers more than once as well 😉

  2. There is the very real advantage of becoming really comfortable with your class, knowing its ins and outs down to the last bits, being naturally familiar with its strengths and weaknesses. One day, the pendulum swings in your favour, and then you are the master, while the FotM-ers will be just that. Best evidenced by the paladin population over the last ~year, where the good ones could really shine, and the wannabes .. not so much.

    And then there is the even more real advantage of playing what is most fun for you to play… but fun is obviously a very subjective measure!

  3. In the current state, I see no advantage of sticking to your favorite class.

    Thanks to the Min/Maxing extreme, you can adapt the rotation of any class into your routine, within a few hours.

    I have tried this, with all tank classes and once you became familiar with their concept it is perfectly doable.

    Of course, every class has a wide set of abilities, some even unique, but when it comes to fullfilling a certain role, you usually end up with a basic routine, that will do the job at the best.

    But how did that happen?

    Well, it is already within this blog.

    At first, Blizzard faced the problem, that in order to achieve certain victories very fast or easy. Some guilds simply swapped classes for their unique abilities during a raid. So for Boss 1 they brought a Elemental Shaman because of its Bloodlust, for Boss 2 they kicked the Shaman for their shadow priest.

    So instead of having set Raid-Members and trying to find a solution for the problem with the given pool of abilities, they brought the easiest match for the problem to the raid.

    In order to do this, you need more than 10/25 people during one raid periode of course. This ultimately ended in people fighting for the same raid slot.

    Blizzard tried to end this, by making Raid-Puzzles solvable just by the use of core abilities.
    In their eyes, this would bring more people to stady raiding, and in fact it did. The guys that sat on reserve during a raid, waiting to be invited for a certain boss, now formed their own raids.

    By limiting fights to core abilities, they made classes compareable. A rogue DPS was compared to a hybrids DPS, although the hybrid may offered certain utilities that could be of help, but since you can not measure utility but DPS, they were “balanced” around their DPS.

    At the moment you can easily follow this discussion at the example of the tanks. In nearly every of Ghostcrawlers articles about tanks, he is explaining, that they will not give the same abilities to every tank. But this is what the “crowd” demands. Paladins asked for “last stand”, and received “ardent defender”, now Warriors are asking for “ardent defender” and so on.

    So we, as players are asking for “egaliterianism” of our characters, which in fact makes learning a class in depth obsolete.

  4. No class is really rare anymore as everybody has a bunch of alts these days. And all these alts wear T9 within weeks so they are geared more or less as good as mains (the difference is smaler then it was).

    There is no room anymore to feel like a special snowflake just because you play a warlock. That was very different in vanilla, where you really were. 🙂

    I’ll stick to my main, which is easy, as the main is the character you don’t really play because there’s nothing left to do. You raid a few evenings and that’s it.

    But I’ll definitely play the alts which are “better balanced”.

    E.g. I stopped playing my druid with 3.3 because I have no interest of seeing cloth upgrades get shared because of the new system. And I’m not interested to create groups through /trade for the ICC% instances to gear my char up just to have a geared char who could then use LFD but doesn’t need it anymore.

    And I stopped playing my paladin tank and replaced it with my DK as the mana problem was driving me nuts. In todays gogogo-rush heroics a tank who needs mana brakes just doesn’t feel right. And using less abilities to conserve mana isn’t my idea of fun.

    That’s ok, I can switch to another alt. 🙂

  5. This is another example of why hybrids are good. If they nerf one aspect of your class (eg dps) it’s shattering for a Rogue but not so devastating for a hybrid. You have usually got some role to fall back on.

    • A rogue will just switch to another tree and continue to do damage. It’s rare that all 3 trees are completely useless. A hybrid will be forced to fulfill another role and collect different gear to do that. I think that’s an advantage for the non-hybrids.

      • While thats true you may not _like_ the other trees. I’ve never got on with anything but affliction on ‘locks for example. I know mages that cry if they cant be Frost …

        I know come Cata as I have no idea what will end up being viable my ‘main’ will be a hybrid. Either my Dk or my Shammy. Much as I love my lock i want the option of being able to raid as DPS/Tank or Heals/Ranged. Probably the later as I prefer ranged to melee and heals to tank. I love my ‘lock but limiting myself to DPS will give me less flexibility both for leveling and 5 man content and then again for raiding.

      • That’s bad, I agree.

        But switching from frost to arcane is less a change of play style and feel then switching from Enhancement to Resto.

        And you can use the same gear for frost and arcane. An enhancement shaman probably is 1 tier behind on resto gear.

        Both might not be what you want but I think this is an advantage of the pures as every class always has at least one tree which is raid viable and for the pures this is guaranteed to be a dps tree.

  6. I have seen a few times where the Warrior Tank has been asked to DPS and the Pally Tank get ‘priority’ on the tanking role, even though neither character has DPS gear.

    But jumping on a different bandwagon each month is not the answer (imo) – there are so many DKs, and they have essentially been tarred with the same brush: 14 year olds who can’t play their class. Not true in the vast majority of cases, but deemed that way by the actions of a mindless few

  7. There is reward to sticking with a class: You end up far more skilled at it than if you bounced from class to class the moment things became ever so slightly difficult. This means the ups are even uppier and the downs aren’t all that down.

    I don’t mean people should never switch classes or never play alts. I believe alts make people better at their original class by showing different ways things could be done and possibly adapting those tactics to your main. Or if you’re just not having fun, regardless of power, it’s stupid to keep playing that class.

    I was originally a shaman, but I switched to a paladin a few months into BC and have stuck with it ever since. When I had less fun I played other classes. I learned from having moderately high level alts of every class (60+) except for mages. They baffle me.

  8. I tried other classes but my Main was always my Hunter for a good 3-4 years. When BC came out and my Rogue threatened to ding 70 before my Hunter I shelved her to get him there first, it just felt like the right thing to do. Um, I mean, it’s not like I had feelings for the little chunk of data & pixels or anything. What? I didn’t! Stop looking at me like that!

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