Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How to drive your Healers away to another MMO

Step 1: Make sure that only specialized healing sub-classes can heal end-game content.
Check: Have you met a shadow priest/retribution paladin/feral druid who could heal black morass or arcatraz?

Step 2: Make sure these same specialized healing sub-classes can't solo.
Check: Being a healing specced class is like being in Kintergarden again, your not allow to do anything or go anywhere unless you have a buddy.

Step 3: Make sure healers have to constantly watch health bars because of insane burst damage.
Check: In Heroics/Raids just pretend every class's health bar has only two states: full life and almost dead.

Step 4: Make sure end-game healing requires intense concentration and provides no graphical stimuli to the player.
Check: Yup, still just looking at health bars in raids. Maybe I should reroll a dps class so I can actually see content while in a raid.

Step 5: Buff a healing class while ignoring the crappy holy priest talent tree.
Check: Well priests have lightwell so lets give paladins something just as good, "How about free mana on all crits?"

Step 6: Nerf the same healing class a few months later while ignoring the crappy holy priest talent tree.
Check: The priests have all been forced to specced shadow to feed paladins mana and now they can't use lightwell. Well we know what to do.

Step 7: Issue a major nerf patch to your now primary raid healers right before the release of a new PvE centric MMO.
Check: Hey where they hell did all our healers go and how did LOTR get 1 million people into their open beta?

While I don't believe Lord of the Rings is that much better then World of Warcraft it has a couple of things going for it which are going to make it stand out. The first thing is that because of its focus on PvE its classes are going to be a lot more stable. As it stands now each set of WoW patch notes oftens causes a class to have to change their primary raid role or start collecting a new primary stat.

While change is good, it shouldn't affect the current work a player has put into their character. Frankly at this moment Blizzard depends too heavily on releasing content way overpowered then nerfing it until it fits the current game balance. This "we can nerf it later" methodology is getting old and isn't a good idea when decent competition exists. Every nerf causes resentment against Blizzard and makes a fresh, new game look more and more likea good idea.


Anonymous said...

Step six was the end for me. I hate Blizzard more than my cable provider right now. Enjoy this game folks because it isn't going to be back to normal until the next expansion, when the whole cycle will start over. F$*# WOW and the G#* D#*$# Arenas

Anonymous said...

The current incarnation of healing in wow is idiotic. The game has drifted much too far away from traditional RPGs to savage the mess they have made.

However, 2 years and 8 million players isn’t a bad run. Here’s to the future.

Relmstein said...

I think despite its many shortcomings World of Warcraft will stay the most played MMO for a couple more years. I don't really see any new games coming out with the broad appeal of WoW.

Warhammer is probably the closest but is sure to have some problems since its putting a majority of its emphasis on PvP.

Kaziel said...

My feeling is that WAR will win in the PvP preferring population, drawing a large portion of that group away from the mess in PvP that WoW is.

One of the things that I think is problematic for PvP in WoW is the constant struggle between PvE balance and PvP balance, not to mention that in PvP each class is being attemted to be balanced vs. the other eight classes in the game. It also doesn't help that each class can further specialize, making it harder to figure out what is potentially unbalancing about a single class, and harder to fix.

WAR is taking a much more simplified approach, it seems to me. Each race has 4 classes:
Ranged DPS
Melee DPS
Tanking (with the way EA/Mythic is approaching it, tanking in PvP may very well be quite valid)
While there are variables between each class, I would imagine that it will be easier to balance because you just need to balance vs. the other classes in your grouping, instead of every class in the game.

Anonymous said...

Step 8: Introduce talents to your nemesis class that you may have had a chance against before, insure your death 100%.

Check: Cloak of Shadows (once a 41 point talent now free to all rogues). At least Hunters need to spend 41 talent points for Silencing Shot.

Notes: I quit a tier 2 priest because of Cloak of Shadows.

Every patch and month that goes by since then -- a smile crosses my face each time I read the patch notes -- I've made the correct decision.

Anonymous said...

Healing on its current incarnation is a train-wreck. The fact that spirit and mp5 are separate stats screams bad design, +healing and +dmg/healing as separate stats is an even worse design decision. The UI dependency you have as a healer is yet another sign of the lack of care that Blizzard has put on the healing mechanics and roles of the healing classes.

I am sick of it all. I'm seriously considering switching to EVE Online till Warhammer is available.

Relmstein said...

One of the problems with healing is that it really hasn't evolved much since very early RPGs. WoW conintues the tradition of making healers not as involved with combat as other classes. Its been whack-a-mole since the 90's and no one has changed it yet.

Eventually a MMO (maybe warhammer) will introduce a more interactive healing class and then everyone will copy it.

Tobold said...

I'm quite enjoying playing the LotRO healer class, the minstrel. Interesting combat system, good dps, no sub-classes where somebody could ask me to spec this way or that (traits are as good, but less obvious). And some people actually complain that minstrel is the best soloing class, even Penny Arcade had a comic strip about that.

Saylah said...

I can pretty safely say, that I will never roll another healing class, in anyone's game. WOW has left me with 3rd degree burns. First screwed Holy tree in a class that scales even worse in TBC. Now rape the healing class that I race off to because I retired that stupid priest. So much time, pain and annoyance wrapped in playing a healing class. I won't be bothered again, unless WAR's turns out to be as viable as they are claiming they will be, but that remains to be seen.

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