Tobold's Blog
Monday, March 26, 2007
 
Gimping your group talents in World of Warcraft

I played in a couple of groups this weekend, and ended up getting a wide range of qualities from perfect group to absolutely horrible group. And for once the problem was less with people leaving early or anything, but really two groups in the same dungeon against the same group of mobs faring very much differently. And in the bad groups the problem was usually a player with a "solo-friendly" talent build that sucked in group play. The dps warrior trying to tank, or some healing class without healing spec. The only ones where it was hard to notice a difference between good and bad was the damage dealing classes, because they don't get any opportunity to gimp themselves for groups.

I leveled up a priest to 70, being holy/discipline spec all the time. That made me a less effective soloer than a shadow priest, but whenever I joined a group, I was able to perform my class role, that of a healer, very well. I'm currently leveling up my warrior with a protection build, which is exactly the same thing, slower soloing, but much better performance in a group. One day I'd like to level up my blood elf mage a bit more, but he doesn't have that problem. His talent trees are different, dealing different types of damage, and having some variation in crowd control and mana management. But whatever branch he goes for, he will be a good damage dealer in a group. Unless he is specialized in a damage form against which the mobs in the dungeon he is in are resistant (fire mage in MC), he will be able to perform his class role. A bad mage might have a bad timing of his spells, but at least you won't find one telling you "Damage dealing? I'm not spec'd for that!".

And I wonder why the talent trees for other classes can't be the same. A warrior should have three different protection branches in his talent tree. Maybe one that works more on damage reduction, another that works on him having tons of health (like the current druids in bear form), and a third that specializes in aggro management. Priests should lose the shadow branch and get another sort of healing branch instead. The hybrid classes can have more variety, but for example a paladin should have the choice between tank and healing, and don't have a silly dps talent branch.

The reason why pickup groups so often go bad is that you get a dps warrior, a dps paladin, a dps priest, etc. together, and then wonder why this isn't working as a group. If people like to deal lots of damage, they should play a damage dealing class, and not take a class with a totally different role and gimp it. But because damage dealing is good in solo PvE, and essential in PvP, Blizzard gives every class the opportunity to gimp themselves for group play, and so many people take them up on that offer that it makes group play a lot less pleasant than it should be.
Comments:
My main is a Shadow Priest, and I've never had any trouble getting groups- or performing in them, whether I'm on DPS or healing duty. I'm not sure what you're running into, but it sure as hell isn't

And you're about the last person I'd expect to pull this inane "CLASSES MUST PLAY THEIR CLASS ROLES" nonsense. You sound like the hardcore raiders that used to dominate the LJ WoW community. You're arguing, essentially, that every class should be able to do a single thing. Go back to FFXII, man, there's worlds outside the dungeon and they're way more interesting- and our characters are way more interesting- than you want them to be.
 
Bah, first paragraph should read "...isn't people specializing in ways that inconvenience you."
 
A shadow priest can't main-heal in the harder BC dungeons. If you want to deal shadow damage, then why don't you play a warlock? Why does my warrior find himself in a group with a priest, a shammy, and a druid, and we can't do a dungeon because none of them wants to heal? You simply can't make a good dungeon group when everybody in the group is dps spec, just because dps spec is better for PvP and soloing.

My worst group this weekend was with my priest in a group where the tank was dps specialized and simply couldn't hold aggro. He ended up being always the *least* hit person in the group, with me having trouble healing the various cloth wearers including myself.

Yes, there's a world outside the dungeon, but the talent tree that works in that outside world is not the same that works inside. If you spec for outside and then join a group inside, you are basically asking them to carry you on their backs, which is unfair.
 
i think the key is to be upfront about what your spec'd for. if your a fury warrior.. DON'T TANK... if your a shadow priest.. for gods sake don't try to heal in the harder dungeons. It comes down to picking a talent tree, and sticking to it.. and ALSO letting other know.. it's better to tell the party "sorry i can't tank" than to slap on a shield, and not hold aggro or mitigate damage. I think the Amory page has given people alot more imformation.. whenever someone wants to group, i check out thier armory page, and know if they're able to do what they say.
 
This is THE class balance issue of WoW. For DPS classes it doesn't really matter how you specc - you still can do PvP, solo, 5-man and raiding. Sure some speccs are better in some areas than others, but you don't have to make any real sacrifices. Not so with tanks and healers - we have to chose what part of the game we wan't be decent at. Which contriputes to lack of healers and tanks, when everyone rolls a hunter.

I bring this as somewhat a counterpoint to the argument in earlier posts that balancing classes both for PvP and PVE is the issue. I don't think so, given dropping PvP still leaves solo, 5-man and rading, all which differ in gameplay.

ps. Shadow is the min-max build of the moment for priest raiding. They turn paladins into Duracel bunnies of never ending healing. :)
 
I think saying DPS classes don't need to be careful how they spec is remarkably shortsighted. You bring Mage to the table, which is interesting, because you can:
1. Spec for excellent raid utility and damage output at the expense of control or survivability.
2. Spec for excellent burst damage at the expense of downtime.
3. Spec for excellent control at the expense of damage output (DPS or efficiency).

You can also spec purely for PvP, which will give you a horrible build for raiding, and so on. DPS classes [i]do[/i] have to choose how to spec, but the choices effect them in different ways. A Mage can't spec for healing no matter how much they may want to.

Hunters and Rogues have talents for utility over DPS as well, so they get to chose whether they get a lot of damage or some control. These "primary DPS classes" always tend to bring something else to the table that's raid friendly, such as improved traps on hunters, or improved sap on Rogues. You could spec for more damage without those talents, but arguably they're more important for grouping.

I think you have touched on quite an important problem with WoW, which is that now "everyone can do DPS." This is a bigger problem than might first be experienced, because people who play traditional DPS classes (hey, Rogues) are being sidelined in preference of "Hybrid DPS" classes. And I'm not talking about Druids or Paladins or Shamans (the "true" Hybrids) - I'm talking about stuff like Shadow Priests. They have some viable heals, group buffs, and respectable damage; with their overall utility it could be argued in 5-mans they're more important than something like a Rogue (which can be a liability with some of the AoE cleaves etc.).

My basic gripe with WoW is that they're destroying the ability for everyone to be a hero, by providing this "DPS is fun, DPS is the way to win!" mentality. It dilutes the pool for DPS classes and offers more traditional classes filling other roles the chance to really screw up :)
 
See, Tobold, this is the exact inverse of the solution I'd suggest, which is:

Make respeccing free.

Being locked into a single build means I do one thing well, and if I want to play with my friends one day and solo the next, I need two different characters. Which is great for Blizzard's bottom-line, because I have to invest twice the time to level, but it SUCKS for me.

In that sense, Guild Wars is light-years ahead. I can do anything my class combo can do, effectively, for no expense. It makes running around with different groups (or none) much, much more fun.
 
Yes, free respecs, or at least two builds between which you can switch for free, would solve the same problem.

I think the Amory page has given people alot more imformation.. whenever someone wants to group, i check out thier armory page, and know if they're able to do what they say.

Difficult in the case of guild mates. I announce in guild chat "looking for tank for shadow labs", somebody says "take me", and then I check his armory page and tell him I won't take him because his talent build sucks?

The bad tank I encountered this weekend wasn't a guild mate, but everyone else in the group was, and it was them who invited me, not the other way round. Due to a permanent lack of tanks they apparently had picked up somebody. Not being the party leader its very hard to persuade your group to ditch their only tank.
 
RL friends who are in your guild and suck at their class are a problem; how do you tell them that you don't want them along?
 
Or just downgrade your expectations ? Drop down a "level" or two of instance if you have a mixed group.

You never know, it might be actually turn out to be fun ;) Heaven forfend people actually playing games for relaxation and fun of course !

I find it interesting to play in non balanced groups. The "OK, so who the heck is going to tank, we are all clothies" scenario. What do you do ? Sit around and plead in guild chat for a tank, or try to come up with something that works ?

Hybrids are fun because they present you with two distinct opportunites in groups. At your DPS level, and at a lower class-specific. I can heal Ramparts OK as a ShadowPriest even with a poorly balanced group, but can DPS Underbog too.

As long as you are honest about your abilities, you are fine.

I do fail to understand why we can't have two specs to swap between. It would not make much difference to the overall class balance, would it ? That would be ideal, as DPS can be a bit boring at times !
 
If you guys need a healer in a 5-man, bring a paladin. There is really only one good tree for paladins and that is holy, so 90% of paladins will take holy. They can pvp and raid with this spec. Sucks about our other two trees tho. I know from experience, i've leveled in retro and then holy. This past 2 weeks I was full protections. I was able to tank end game 5-mans with ease but I couldn't solo or pvp worth anything. Also I got kicked out of atleast 5 groups by idiots who told me I wouldn't be able to hold aggro because I'm a paladin, before we even tried. So due to the lack of good talents in retro/protection, most paladins will be holy. Take a paladin to heal.

If you guys want a tank? Take a feral druid. A feral druid works in both PvE and PvP, just like a holy paladin mentioned above. There are lots of feral druids. I'm guessing more feral druids then balance or resto. The great part about this is that the feral druid didn't have to respec to become a good tank, and then respec to be a good dps kitty. He gets it both. Even after the recent nerf, I know first hand that feral druids can still tank, and they are common, unlike protection warriors.

It seems pretty stupid that you bring hybrids to do the job of what should be "primary" roles, but thats how blizzard wants us to play the game. I would concour with Mr.To-Bizzle that the warrior talents should have been differnt forms of tanking trees, priest should have three trees of healing. I think for leveling DPS specs are fine, but end game you need to get on the ball. If priests didn't have a shadow tree then leveling would suck.

I think in coming expansions blizzard is going to be putting down new classes, hopefully they will intruduce two classes, one full tank, one full heal. They can really assist these classes by giving them decent base line dps. Making them easy to level or solo on will get some more people to play them, and when it comes to speccing, no matter what they decide, they will be fulfilling their primary function. Perhaps with a few dps talents spread out between the three trees, nothing that will impact their primary roll tho.

Now if blizzard can weed out the idiots who play these classes....or weed out the stupid mages that don't think a protection paladin can hold aggro, or tells me paladins don't even have a taunt. Paladins hold aggro better then anyone, we have just have bad itemization and low stamina/health.......damn....ok thanks for lisening to my rant.
 
I have a 70 retribution paladin who can heal shattered halls and steamvaults just fine. Of course I've had to do a lot of dungeon runs and get a full set of alternative healing gear which I enchanted.

Thus if your going to be a damage build for soloing make sure you have appropiate high level healing gear for grouping. Right now my paladin is sitting on +1240 healing and +179 mana regen.
 
The reason why pickup groups so often go bad is that you get a dps warrior, a dps paladin, a dps priest, etc. together, and then wonder why this isn't working as a group. If people like to deal lots of damage, they should play a damage dealing class, and not take a class with a totally different role and gimp it.

While I could reroll a warlock, the world (of warcraft) would lose yet another healer.

Even though I am specced for damage now, I am still requested to heal on a daily basis. Reread that, a daily basis someone, somewhere asks me to heal for them. And while I may not be as powerful as a holy priest (definitely not as powerful as a holy paladin), I am able to get the job done.

I have solo'd healed instances like Black Morass and Botanica WITH a full shadow spec. I have been one of the healers for Karazhan.

If I was a warlock I couldn't do that. And what is in more demand but harder to find? A healer or a dpser?

That's what I find odd, people say if I'm a priest why don't I stay holy. But if I stayed holy I wouldn't play my priest at all. Being gimped everywhere else except inside instances no longer appeals to me.

So, I have to ask you. Would you rather I shelve my priest for a warlock or mage? Or would you rather I keep my shadow priest and still be able to heal that instance that you've been standing around for an hour waiting for a healer to show up?
 
And I have to agree with your first poster Tobold. I'm surprised you would have this kind of opinion.

Not saying you're not entitled, just surprised by it. ;)
 
RL friends who are in your guild and suck at their class are a problem; how do you tell them that you don't want them along?

If they're a RL friend, the you are perhaps the best person not to tell that that you don't want them along, but to educate them on how they can spec themselves to better benefit the group.
 
@yet another ne,

I personally would prefer you stay a shadow priest. You may no longer be a primary healer but shadow priests are amazing. With out a doubt a shadow priest and a paladin are the best match up in the game. With a good shadow priest I can spam high rank holy lights every 2 seconds and don't go OOM. The rest of the group stays topped off on health thanks to VE.

A shadow priest who rolls shadow to do leet dps, should roll a warlock. A shadow priest who rolls shadow to support his group with heals, mana and dps is always a good thing.
 
I'd rather you dps in shadow and give my party some of that sweet sweet VE/VT healing/regen along with 5% more spelldmg from misery. mmmmm....shadowpriests...
 
A friend of mine is a shadow priest, and in the last 2 weeks he has solo healed Old Hillsbrad (admittedly lower level), Shadow Labs and Black Morass in groups I was in. Heck, after Tobold built up how hard Black Morass was I was dreading it, and we 1 shotted it with a shadow priest as the only healer. We had a druid and he never shifted out of bear to help the priest out.

At the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not people truly know their classes. Can a shadow priest outheal a holy spec priest? I really hope not. But if the shadow priest is on top of his class, if he has an understanding of mana conservation and rarely wastes mana with overheals? Isn't that shadow priest better than the holy spec priest who spams heals because he has enough mana to do so? You just have to be good enough to overcome the shortcoming that inherently come with playing a spec that isn't as group friendly. Plenty of players are good enough.
 
@ albatross

I just attempted black morass for the first time this weekend as well. I was on my mage, and it was super easy. The first few minutes I was unorganized about the adds but after I got their pattern down it was a piece of cake. The simplest thing I ever did. I too was worried about BM due to Tobolds blogs on it, and wow forum posts. This leads to believe they possibly nerfed the place? I did it three times, all three times cleared it the first attempt. The first group I went with didn't know how to do it either, we were all BM newbs except for one. Please tell me it got nerfed ?
 
When you start doing heroics, you're going to want that shadow priest or enhance shaman or insert hybrid here. In fact, I am convinced TBC was the expansion for hybrids (minus prot warriors or feral druids, we need more of them!).

The tougher heroics (shadow labs and shattered halls, and to some extent the 3 tempest keep 5 mans) need as much dps and you can squeeze out, along with needing 1 dedicated and 1 offhealer.

Having an weird group without the holy triad works, I think player knowledge of their class and an understanding of how aggro works overrides a good number of bad class group balances.

I've done regular mode dungeons without a "real" tank, or having an off spec healer heal.

My main is a holy/disc priest, and having a shadow priest in my group for the 55 minute shattered halls gauntlet run is almost a requirement.

And Black Morass regular mode wasn't nerfed to my knowledge. I think it's just people's gear catching up to the place.
 
BC 5-mans are moreso about DPS and CC than healing/tanking these days, tbh.

Bring "average" DPS players to a dungeon, and then bring "excellent" DPS players to that same dungeon with the same tanking/healing. Notice the difference between wipe-free free loots and fat repair bills.
 
I haven't been in BM since I got my key. But a friend of mine who has been in before and after swears it has been nerfed and is a lot easier now. Not that you'd hear anyone complaining about that on the official WoW forums. But healing isn't the issue in BM anyway, so a shadow priest might be even better than a holy one in that instance.

So, I have to ask you. Would you rather I shelve my priest for a warlock or mage? Or would you rather I keep my shadow priest and still be able to heal that instance that you've been standing around for an hour waiting for a healer to show up?

What if you not being spec'd right turns an instance that should have been an easy 1-hour run into a 2+ hour fiasco with several wipes?

I can't say how good a healer you are as a shadow priest. Going to Karazhan isn't any proof, because you weren't the only healer there, and you recharging a paladins mana was probably more help than your heals. Did you try being the only healer in Shattered Halls or Shadow Labs?

I'd rather wait for a real healer or tank to show up than group with a wannabe who can't fulfill his class role, and ends up being responsible for wiping the party.
 
I rolled, and have been, a shadow priest forever. I used to have no issues healing in raids, but healing in BC has been tough. I have a healing set, and even my base DPS build has +800 healing. I was just about ready to switch to a holy build, in the interest of group viability, but after seeing how incredible the paladin healing-to-mana talent works, I've found new joy in grinding. In fact, when we ran into the MC-created constant spawn bug in SV we had no deaths despite 5 straight waves. He had enough mana from my quick dots and mindflays to keep us up. And on bosses, they want me to go crazy on DPS because not only does it hurt the bad guy, it recharges the paladin.

I used to hate them. Now, I just group with them. It's perhaps the most effective group combo in the game.
 
First, I have to admit, I've never encountered a situation where someone specced for soloing seriously hindered us in a dungeon.

That said, I personally wish more people would go with their alternative specs. Not necessarily pure soloing, but like all the rare ones, balance druid, shadow priest, ret paly, etc. The fun I see there is in figuring out how to work with a non-optimal group or set of specs. Sure, in some situations that is counterproductive, and sometimes isn't a good idea. But sometimes, it's only detrimental because people are set in the standard ways of how to do things, that they don't try to be creative in how to handle a dungeon.

Just because there is one known way to handle a group of mobs doesn't mean it's the ONLY way (I won't argue whether it's the best way or not). It's probably the easier way as far as mental effort goes; much easier to use the tried and true methods to defeat a dungeon rather than go to the trouble of actually having to think up a new strategy for how to beat a boss or even a pull. And yet, where is the fun in defeating a boss with a strategy that someone else came up with 2 months ago and has been passed around to everyone in the game? Sure you get phat lewt, and obviously you couldn't have killed him when you were level 10, but when you really think about it, was it that big of an accomplishment? I think that's why all the elite guilds enjoy beating the latest hardest raid bosses, because since so few other guilds have beaten them, they're having to figure out how to win on their own, without having the answer given to them.

If people were a little less rigid about these things, they'd get the opportunity to come up with their own answers to the problems posed in even ordinary dungeons, and that ultimately, can be even more rewarding and satisfying than leet epix.
 
What if you not being spec'd right turns an instance that should have been an easy 1-hour run into a 2+ hour fiasco with several wipes?

I'd look at my playing ability and gear long before spec. Then I'd look at everyone else's ability, because maybe if I was holy, it'd be easier for one of the dps classes, but then again, maybe they're having a hard time more because they suck and me not being group specced gives them less room for error.

My main's a mage, and I rolled a priest alt for Mindflay. And the ability to heal or dps or MC or dispel, etc. (fyi)
 
Yep, I'm convinced that people wiping groups because of their spec is largely a myth. I suspect that it's much more that folks specced for soloing or pvp or whatever probably are more likely to not know how to play their class properly in dungeons.

No joke, I ran with a full prot warrior and a holy/disc priest for a while, and they were pretty horrid. Playing with better players now, with "worse" specs, makes all the difference.

(Also, just to beat my same old dead horse, DPS classes do have to make choices in their specs like healers and tanks. If I spec PvP, my PvE damage takes a dump. If I spec PvE, I can't stay alive in PvP. [I'm a mage])
 
But healing isn't the issue in BM anyway, so a shadow priest might be even better than a holy one in that instance.

Not sure what you mean by this.

What if you not being spec'd right turns an instance that should have been an easy 1-hour run into a 2+ hour fiasco with several wipes?

I'd say this can occur in some heroics, or the top instances. But for your run-of-the-mill instances, shadow priests can heal. We don't really want to, but we can do it. I haven't had the opportunity to solo heal every instance that exists, but it is my plan to do so, just so I can prove (to myself) that it can be done.

A lot of it has to do with how important it is for me to be viable outside instances - being able to log on and complete a quest by myself if I so desire.

I can't say how good a healer you are as a shadow priest. Going to Karazhan isn't any proof, because you weren't the only healer there, and you recharging a paladins mana was probably more help than your heals. Did you try being the only healer in Shattered Halls or Shadow Labs?

I was using Karazhan as an example, as it is one of the higher level instances in the game currently.

I was a healer for Shattered Halls just recently, swapping out to dps on the last boss. In that same group, we had a druid tanking, a pally dpsing and a warrior dpsing. I haven't solo healed a Shadow Labs yet.

I'd rather wait for a real healer or tank to show up than group with a wannabe who can't fulfill his class role, and ends up being responsible for wiping the party.

I think, just maybe, you had a bad day...can I ask that you revisit this when you've had some time to think about it some more?

You may come up with the same conclusion, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinion again.
 
Again, my shadow priest friend did solo heal Shadow Labs. It was a warlock friend of ours, me (rogue), and 2 PUGs (hunter and warrior). The warrior was even a bit low for the instance and remarked after the run that he'd never had so much fun because he never felt like he was close to dying. Now the shadow priest, myself and the warlock all used to be raiders and (hopefully) know how to min/max and how to play our classes but in the end that entire run really relied only on the shadow priest and he was more than adequate.
 
I think that a lot of this post stems from dealing with a pug player rather than a full-guild run, or even a sub-standard group matrix from within the same guild. I've been on guild runs that I would still consider to be pug-worthy, just due to the nature of the classes/specs that we ran and the players behind the toons. Were we successful? Depends on your definition I suppose...we killed all of the zone bosses, but there were many wipes and we all had hefty repairs.

I guess it really depends on how much you want to run an instance. If your desire to get particular quest done or boss down or whatever outweighs your desire to do the task quickly and with little error, you're going to have these kinds of problems more often than not.

If you're throwing out general rules of wisdom for the masses who need to "L2P", this might be useful advice. I'd think, however, that your normal readership is past this poin. This particular post smacks of a min/maxer type of attitude that is a bit surprising coming from you, Tobold. We're all entitled of course...it's just surprising. :)

P.S. Great blog overall by the way. I really enjoy reading about your experiences and all. Keep up the good writing.
 
WoW isn't in any way, shape or form hard. If you are having trouble with 'off spec' characters it's because they are bad players, it has nothing to do with their spec. Throw that DPS warrior into the same situation as full prot spec and I guarantee the mobs would have still been all over you.

The bottomline is most WoW players are pretty bad at playing their class. They also have a poor understanding of group play. That has nothing to do with spec.

A good player, who knows how to gear themselves, will be able to fulfill any roll their class is capable of. For instance, all warriors have the basics available to tank. If you throw them in prot gear, if they know how to play they'll keep agg. He'll be slightly harder to heal and the group will have to be a tiny bit more careful to not over agg, that's it.

Blame the player, not the spec. Just because some 13 year old DPS warrior who doesn't realize he has defensive stance ruined your run doesn't mean all warriors need to spec prot to be viable tanks. Just because some shadow mage didn't realize he had to get out of shadow form to MH your group doesnt mean a shadow priest can't MH a group. Bad players come in all specs, as do the good players.
 
I have to call total BS on this post. I am, and always have been an arms-specced warrior and I am the main tank for our guild (we dont hit instances as much as most guilds do, but we just cleared all of Shattered Halls on the first attempt this past weekend). Do I try to tank in Battle Stance with my two-hander? No... unless we're fighting a bunch of non-elites. I swap out my entire outfit for defensive-oriented equipment and put on my shield and one-hander. I may not mitigate damage as well as a protection-spec warrior, but I dish out a lot more damage as I'm tanking, making up for my lesser protection abilities by cutting time off the fight.

And as for the idea of warriors having ONLY 3 variations of tanking abilities... I just have to shake my head sadly at that concept...
 
Tobold, you claim to represent the casual player, but your line of reasoning here really doesn't fit with that claim. At the end of the day, people can only choose from the talent builds Blizz makes available.

Bottom line, people should choose the talent build that is the most fun for them to play, regardless of class. If a holy priest is found to be less fun by the majority than a shadow priest, well, then that's that. If you don't want to run dungeons with them, that's your choice. But don't tell them they're playing the game wrong.

As the posters above have made quite clear, creativity and fun trumps the Conventional Wisdom when it comes to playing games. If your idea of fun is only to have smooth groups / raids, then you're a lot more hardcore than you thought.
 
I have a similar take to some posters. While in the case of two players of similar skill and similar gear, then one with a "primary" spec will have the obvious advantage.

But it's my opinion that a player's ability to multitask, understand their role in a group, reaction time (the previous three fall under the catagory of "skill"), and gear play a far greater role.

Gear, especially for classes with multiple roles (Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Priest, and Druid) is probably one of the hardest things b/c most off-spec players first instinct is to grab an item that will increase their DPS, since that will help them solo or DPS. But making sure you have a good tanking and/or healing set in addition to is vital.

Under the "skill" grouping, you're not likely to be able to vastly improve your reaction time or ability to multitask. On the other hand, improving your understanding of how to play your class inside a group is vital. A stupid Holy Priest who spams Holy Nova (lol it haels and hurts at da same tiem) is worthless. But by your post, this Holy Priest would be superior to a Shadow Priest who realized his own shortcomings, and maximized the use of his more limited abilities.

Finally, having spent a good amount of time during the 60-70 leveling process doing 5-man instances with a smart Balance Druid, I can say I'd rather run instances with her as my healer than with another one of my guildies who's a Resto Druid, but can sometimes be a bit flakey. (PS: Both are pretty well geared)
 
Tobold's not necessarily hardcore... but he is a Holy priest, and many Holy priests carry a huge chip on their shoulder when it comes to their shadow brethren. Tobold's views were somewhat justified in the pre-TBC days, when Holy priests reigned nearly supreme as healers, but today the priest's optimal group spec is shadow, and ironically it is Tobold who is gimping his group or raid by refusing to part with his Holy/Disc spec. If he had wanted to heal, he should have rolled a paladin! ;)
 
Had an interesting thought. Back before TBC, this kind of a discussion was almost exclusively reserved to raiding situations. It was all about being min/maxed for your guild so you could progressin 40-mans as fast as possible. I find it interesting now that the context has changed to more about 5-mans needing a specific spec. I never remember that being an issue in the 5-15 mans before TBC; not even when they changed the caps in scholo and strath to 5 and UBRS to 10.

Could this mean that Blizzard has reduced the amount of content available for casual play by making some 5-mans inaccessible or at least annoyingly difficult to nothing less than absolute min/maxers?
 
Could this mean that Blizzard has reduced the amount of content available for casual play by making some 5-mans inaccessible or at least annoyingly difficult to nothing less than absolute min/maxers?

While you could be right, I disagree. Did they make things harder? Oh there's no doubt about that. But it's hardly requires min/maxing. At worst, if you're really getting stomped in one of the endgame dungeons, just go back a little and work on getting some better gear. Maybe you missed some good quests, or maybe there's an earlier dungeon with drops you want. That's all it takes.
 
Wow. Just... wow. I run into this sort of tripe every once in a while, but your blog is the last place I expected to see it, Tobolds. Judging others like that, acting all self-righteous... sheesh. Did a shadow priest spit into your morning cornflakes or something?

I won't repeat what others have said. I will, however, mention one very disturbing trend that rears its ugly head from time to time. Some people act as though others have an obligation to make their gameplay more fun. See that shadow priest? Or that enhancement shaman? Yeah, those guys. Well, here's a newsflash for you: none of them are obliged to choose a different spec so that your group works better. Got that? No? Well, keep re-reading it until it sinks in. These guys are paying for their own accounts, and until you start footing their bill, you have no right to demand anything at all, regardless of their contribution to your group.

(Well, technically... you can't make such demands until you pay for their accounts AND for their time, but I won't go there)
 
Please visit the second part of this series to see the completely opposite position argued.

And thanks all for noticing that *this* post isn't my usual position, I was just playing devil's advocate for the sake of argument and getting the subject started. Worked very well I see, getting all of the people that agree with my usual position without ever saying anything to come out of the woodworks. :) Sorry for the deception.
 
=P Was fun though. And very interesting.
 
It had crossed my mind that you had your wife or brother or something gain access to your blog without knowing it.

Never occurred to me that you were just deceiving us.

I'll always read your post with the suspicious eye from now on! :)
 
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