Tag Archives: classes

Class Warfare … in WoW

No, this isn’t an article about the proletariat rising.  But whatever happened to the Druids’ mutual non-aggression pact of years gone by?

One element of Warcraft’s user community that has always intrigued me is the artificial turf battles that gamers cook up to keep the forums and blogs active.  Part of it disturbs me;  I fear it is proving a philosophical posit that human nature requires each of us to define ourselves and our neighbors by the differences between us and them, not by our similarities.

But mostly it amuses me.

The clearest examples of the division and derision that you will find is aimed at whichever class is momentarily topping damage meters or dominating some aspect of the game-play.  When I first began playing, that was the Warlock class.  … Fear was the ‘I win’ button.  Just so O.P.  Have you ever looked up “warlock” on Wowhead and read the first entry in the comments?  It is a tongue-in-cheek description of the tactics a 25-man raid group may employ to try to bring down a single Warlock in PVP.  The odds did not favor the raid group.

After Warlocks came Death Knights.  If you are not familiar with Oxhorn’s side-splitting machinima series, “Inventing Swear Words” at least watch the fifth and final episode to hear Blizzard developers discussing the next hero class, the Lightning Templars.  ‘That sounds balanced, doesn’t it?’

Then came Paladins and the delicious tears as they fell from grace with Cataclysm.  At any point along this path, the players of those favored classes felt it was their right to be at the top of the game indefinitely and quashed nay-sayers with damage meter output spammed to chat.

The second obvious battle is the one that rages between Warlocks and Mages.  (I do not know how Shadow Priests escaped becoming embroiled in this.  …probably by being lazy in some way.)  Most blog entries written by the resident Mage guru or Warlock guru (link) at WowInsider include a jibe or dig at the other’s expense.  This competition has always been explained as Mages and Warlocks being locked in battle for the same game-play space, that of the ranged caster.

With the new races introduced in Cataclysm, we have also thrown fuel on the old Mirage Raceway competitions and one-upmanship between Gnomes and Goblins.  Now that Goblins are a playable race, and the racial tensions have persisted through the flooding of the Thousand Needles and relocated to Fizzle and Pozzik’s Speedbarge, I expect the players will take this idea and run with it.

And, don’t forget, everybody hates a Hunter.  They are usually described as the easiest class to play and might, therefore, be favored by new or less adept players.  Personally, I don’t know why everyone is so anti-hunter.  I think they are as difficult to play well as any other class.  Moreover, I have seen statistical compilations that show hunters are one of the classes preferred by female players of WoW (along with priests and warlocks … racking up all 3 of the classes that I currently play.  I’m male; Don’t read too much into that.)

On the beneficent side, I once read a charming piece of Druid game-play history.  Apparently on certain servers in the early days of WoW, Druids had a tacit agreement not to attack each other in BG’s or world PVP.  This long-abandoned camaraderie is an obvious fall-out of the neutral Moonglade zone, which Druids of both factions could access relatively early in the game and start intermingling within.  But, I think the non-aggression pact actually was driven by the relatively rarity of Druids at that time and by the challenges of overcoming the then-larger hybrid tax to play one.

I’ve also seen mention of gamers who refused to kill Trolls.  Again, I think it is an issue of rarity.  Trolls are among the smallest minority on both of my servers according to Warcraft Realms.  And a rare thing is worth preserving, I guess.  Especially when dey dance so well, mon.

Choose Your Class

Has this ever happened to you?  You go to a restaurant, one that you’ve heard good things about.  You order; you get a meal that doesn’t really interest you.  Maybe you sample from the plates of some friends or maybe you return a few times and order different things, but always with the same disappointing results.  All the while, everyone you dine with is quite pleased with their meals and want to come back from more.  How about next week?

Not only does that describe my relationship with the American restaurant chain, P.F. Chang, but it also portrays my problems selecting a player class in WoW.

I’ve never found the class that had a style of game-play that made me stand up and shout, “This is the one for me.”  If I ever do, I will probably risk serious addiction to the Game.  Also, I would volunteer to write for WoW Insider.  But, in spite of many attempts, I have not discovered my Azerothian soul mate.

I pushed a Fury Warrior all the way to level 80.  (Remember, I am a casual player.  That feat too most of 2010 for me.)  It was done just to complete one faction’s quests (The Alliance’s) before Cataclysm came out and changed everything.  But, melee isn’t really for me.  I’m more a ‘big picture’ person and prefer to stand back from the action … you know, at a safer distance.

I leveled a Holy/Discipline Priest to 69.  It was interesting.  Nothing really worried me, with all the defensive capabilities.  But, golly, it was slow.  As a Shadow Priest, I could never tolerate the miniscule rotation at the early levels, so that never lasted more than one day.

Level 40, or so, is as far as I ever got with a Mage, a Rogue, or a Warlock.
 – Aside, along the lines of the standard tripe, “A guy walks into a bar … and says, “Ouch.” …:  A Warlock, a Rogue, and a Mage walk into a bar.  The Warlock says, “Curses.”  The Rogue says, “Where’d that come from?”  And, the idiot Mage posts an angry diatribe on the forums claiming that bars are OP.  … Now back to our regularly-scheduled program. –
The Mage was a distaster from which my ego shall never recover.  The Rogue just wasn’t any fun at all.  I’d try a Warlock again, though.

I have had Druids, Paladins, and Hunters into their 20’s.  For all of the Druid’s vaunted flexibility, its damage form at that level is only a cat, which is a Rogue, which doesn’t do it for me.  The Paladin never made sense because it was slow (like my Holy Priest) and there were no buttons to push (like a Shadow Priest).  Worst of both worlds.  Just start attacking and go get a drink from the kitchen; you’ll be fine.  And, the Hunter was also a bit dull, but greatly enhanced by the opportunity to have a highly-customizable sidekick (a.k.a., your pet).

Worst of all is the one class that I tried first.  Having read all the literature, I was convinced, before I ever downloaded the Game, that I was the perfect match, in temperament and interests, for a Tauren Shaman.  OK, right.  Several tries later, I don’t think I have ever gotten a Shaman past level 17.

So, what does the future hold for my class indecision, that is when I get back to playing WoW again?  I’d try a Hunter once more, since it really has been a long time.  But, I already know I will spend more time trying to get an ideal pet, some rare spawn probably, than on questing.  I certainly plan to work on a Warlock again.  The early game-play was shaping up well in patch 4.0.1, which was the last time I was on the Game.  And, I would like to give another chance to a Shadow Priest, but as of 4.0.1, that was still a very limited style of play.

Has this ever happened to you?