Describe the Aspects of the Game

| Sunday, April 12, 2009
Forum thread started by Crygil.
It's commonly held that there are three or four main segments of the game: Ranged/Melee DPS, Tanking and Healing. What does that mean to you and what defines each role in your mind? If you had to break down each class, and section it into its most appropriate area, where would you place them? After hashing that out, which segment do you fall into and why do you enjoy playing in that segment?

I think it should be broken down even more and isn't even complete yet.

DPS is a combination of dichotomous: melee-ranged and physical-magical. Classes may do more than one of these, though usually with some focus. For example magi are magical ranged while hunters are physical ranged, though with a little bit of magic. Rogues are pure physical melee while shamans are a mix of physical and magical melee, though definitely based around physical.

Tanking is a subset of an overall group role of damage mitigation. Mitigation, aggro, interrupts, and CC are distinct roles.
- Personal mitigation (armor, avoidance, cooldowns)
- Group mitigation (bubbles, armor multipliers)
- Crowd Control, this is the ultimate mitigation because it is often a total damage elimination, at least from one mob.
- Interrupts
- Aggro control, keep aggro off the rogue (low mitigation) and on the tank (high mitigation)

Healing is pretty straightforward: undo damage. In comes in two types: magical ranged and physical melee (bandages).

Buffing some of these overlap due to how stats affect multiple aspects
- Damage increases: more AP or crit or whatever
- Healing increases: SP, crit, healing multipliers...
- Stat increases: Prayer of Fortitude, Arcane Intellect, Blessing of Kings

Did I miss anything?

If I had to pick my favorite role, I'd say mitigation and aggro control. I've argued in the past that healing is the last thing to fail. Healing is the final action, it's the backup plan. Tanking? That's the first thing you do. If no one can survive the hit, you're done. There's nothing to heal and the DPS won't live.


Kiryn said...

I'd separate healing into proactive and reactive healing. I'm sure preventing the damage in the first place as a discipline priest is far different than what I'm used to doing on my druid.

Stabs said...

In terms of how needed they are to do group content

1) Healing

2) Tanking

3) Replenishment

4) DPS

That is how I'm looking at players when building groups or raids.

If you're wondering why dps is last you can do a 5 man with 2 tanks 3 healers perfectly well, probably even raids. Plus you would never be in that position since there's always plenty of people willing to nuke while the first 3 roles are all shortage roles.

Klepsacovic said...

I tried to separate how things are from how they must be; in other words, I tried to not think of how Blizzard groups roles as the only way. For example, this meant that while things like power word: shield or sacred shield are used by what we call healers, they're actually forms of mitigation. My friend Iapetes argues that they're just proactive heals, which I suppose is true. If mitigation is healing, is armor a HoT?

Stabs, you can do a 5-man with tanks because tanks do damage as part of their aggro generation. You didn't bring anyone specifically for DPS, but that doesn't mean there's no DPS. On mean note, maybe you value replenishment so highly because with no DPS the fights are taking too long. :)

Stabs said...

Heh I value Replenishment because it comes attached to a pretty good dpser. Generally Ret Pallies, Surv Hunters and Shadow Priests are on the high end of overall damage in addition to providing the buff.

I've had quite a few odd groups. Obviously the 5 Death Knight group at the start of WotLK. That's actually a great format because you can all tank, leech life and taunt. Ping pong the aggro and you shouldn't die.

I did a 5 Warrior group. Abusing the Taunt mechanic meant no one died but the downtime was a killer.

I think my point really is that dps is a kind of ghetto role at the moment. Everyone can dps. If your answer to "why should we invite you?" is "I can dps" then you're just filler.

I think what I'd like to see is everyone gets solid dps as standard with something else - cc, light healing (not full healbot spam), light damage reduction or whatever rather than the Holy Trinity model. It worked reasonably well for Diablo 2.

That's what I'd like to see: what I am seeing is you are either tank, healer, replenisher or filler. Since there are so many random filler players around it's never a problem to find them for groups but I don't think it's much of a model.

I think eventually WoW will move off this model, or if not WoW then WoW2. Everyone is a hybrid might be a good model.

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