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Reader Comments (4)

Posted: Feb 5th 2009 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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I can only say that, as a gamer and MMO player all around, choosing a class (or classes) in RPG's is a matter of style.

Ive always found that every game is made different, and its really how you* connect with the game is what determines how you enjoy playing it.

For example, I was a RaCaseal in PSO, I focused on full accuracy and defense, and at range, did little damage but provided special effects to large groups, in essence, I was the only real CC class. I enjoyed it because I could swap in any weapon with a particular special ability and use it at range, to solo everything.

I had a gun that quartered the targets health, I had a gun that instant killed a target, I had one that freezed the target, stunned the target, created a fiery explosion, shot bolts of lightening, made the target hit the nearest thing it could find.
(Sounds like a WoW Mage right?)

But in terms of RAW damage, I had none.

Now In Anarchy Online, I played a Atrox Keeper, and I could withstand alot of damage, and alphastrike a player in pvp. I did pretty consistent damage in pve as well. And self heal consistently with a certain spec.
(Sounds like a Ret Paladin, Right?)

In Star Wars Galaxies, I was a Rifleman/Creature Handler, I sent my Rancor at my target, but usually eye'shotted him to near death, before he would even notice my existence! From range, with my sliced T-21.
(Sounds like a Hunter, right??)

All of these Role Playing games, and yet, in World of Warcraft, Ive sampled all of the classes. (On PTR's)
With endless hours of playtesting, I'd still choose my geared Fury Warrior for PVE play over ANY OTHER CLASS.

I get an evil grin in pve with Recklessness/whirlwind nearly instakilling a clothie, or Topping dps meters in raids, I find myself striving to do more, to do better, all of the time.

You just gotta put yourself in the game before you play, see yourself in the future, on the edge, where are you in the game; are you raiding; are you playing arena's; are you running heroics; are you playing the auctionhouse. How are you doing these things, what class seems to fit your playstyle, does it play well in the game.

P.S. For the record, I do like Ret Paladins, Marks Hunters, and I HATE MAGES.

Posted: Feb 1st 2009 8:26AM Tom in VA said

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This was a thoughtful, funny, and well-written essay, Craig. Well done!

I, too, have often wondered in what ways a person's preferred class choice reflects hid or her true personality.

In WoW, I tried just about everything, and priest and warrior were my two *least* favorite classes. I think that's because they are both so critical in groups, and perhaps I just don't like that kind of pressure. Moreover, regardless of spec, I found soloing with either one of them (which is what I do, mostly) to be harder than for other classes.

If WoW were to offer some sort of "insta-spec change" wherein, say, a shadow priest could switch to a holy priest on the fly, I'd reconsider either of these classes, but as they are now, meh. Much too group-dependent.

My favorite WoW classes were Mage, Warlock, and Hunter -- because of their soloability, their ranged attacks, and (in the latter two cases) the pet.

Now, here, with the pet thing, is where my self-psychoanalyzing gets really ... disturbing. I really like the "group feel" that having a pet gives you. It recalls, for me, what you get in single-player, party-based games such as Baldur's Gate. There's no drama, you can depend on the pet to be there for you, etc. Real people can range from great to just awful and, while I enjoy grouping, it's not my preferred playstyle. A pet does what you tell it to do (usually!).

My favorite classes all "blast from a distance" (I prefer ranged combat) and they are all, more or less, dps/support classes. I don't want a leading role in group situations; I am very much a follower. So, my preferred classes also fit that playstyle best.

In addition to my primary favorite ranged/dps classes, I also like the hybrid classes -- Shaman/Druid/Paladin. I like being able to be flexible depending on the needs of a group, but without the pressure that Warrior/Priest bring with them. If I play a Paladin and have to act as healer, I do well and get appreciated a lot more than as a priest, because everyone knows that healing or tanking is not really my "main thing." Groups are much more likely to harsh on a priest who fails at healing than a pally, at least in my experience. :)

Posted: Feb 1st 2009 1:00PM (Unverified) said

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Awesome essay!

I'm fascinated with this topic, and I'm always surprised at the variety of readons people give for their choices. For me, I require solo-ability (work schedule makes me solo or PUG only; though I've been in guilds they are never the fulfilling experiences others describe) and I like to always make interesting choices. This beats utility or dps or anything else - if I am making interesting choices, then the game stays fresh for me.

In WOW, this means Enhancement Shaman - totem or not? Switch to healing when the s*** hits the fan or can I dps it down faster? Anyone need an offtank? I like being the second-best healer in a group - you generally only have social upside. Afflication Warlocks are also fun. I like buffing, support, and enabling roles that let my teammates excel, which I think mirrors my real-world personality.

But I have one friend who, despite being a consumate team-player in RL, is a ruthlessly efficient max-min'er in game who wants only to be the one spec that can dominate others in pvp. For me, I just don't get that much happiness out of dominating others.

Another friend, who is loyal and committed and honorable to a fault, is that rogue who will stun-lock you when have 10% health and the camp your corpse and taunt you. Why? Because in his reading of the lore, Alliance and Horde are in a ruthless struggle, and the rules of engagement make this sort of behavior acceptable. For me, I could never disengage the fiction from the real person playing that ganked character.

The three of us seem to be looking for different things from our game: low-commitment affirmation and gameplay (me), superiority over others, or role-playing.

The one role I was happiest with across all games however was a Rad/Dark Defender in City of Heroes. For those who are not familiar, you're a debuffer/healer with medium ranged attacks. It was so fun to figure out which would make my team more successful 5 seconds into a fight: a well-placed AOE heal, one of 5 debuffs, or some DPS. If WOW gave me that sort of choice today, I'd be grinding to 80 in a heartbeat.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 3:47PM (Unverified) said

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I like to think each of my toons embodies a different part of my personality. But i definitely see trends in play style based on roles and class in other players.

I had a resto druid for the longest time in BC, and loved healing and raiding as resto. When I was on him, it a kind of guardian spirit feeling: I keep the group healthy, I prevent death. I was also pretty laid back when I healed and complained very rarely unless the group was really messing up. Healing was great because they were in such short supply all the time that everyone was grateful to get one (even though I rarely got thanked for keeping together a failed pull or fail group).

I leveled a prot warrior next. I got her up to 61 just through tanking instances and the occasional quest. At 70, I loved being the leader of instances and raids. It was a position of power and respect. MT always had lead in my case, so if someone wasnt listening or messing up, I kicked them. As a tank, it was definitely a lot more stressful, but you also had to have a level head to pull a group together. It also required being knowledgeable on every fight, since they always hinged on whether or not you knew a particular phase of a fight.

Lastly I leveled a DK when Wrath hit. Being an OP dps'er, I just wanted things done fast. I was really impulsive while on this toon; killing things just because they were in the way. In dungeons I get very irate when tanks couldnt keep aggro and similarly when healers couldnt heal me after i got said aggro. It was also a really competitive feeling knowing that I was only as good as my DPS, so i really pushed it to inch out other players on the recount charts. But as a DPS, I also knew of my interchangeability: if i fuck up or the tank doesnt like what Im doing, its very easy to replace me. As a result, I was always very grateful when I was chosen to go over other DPS.

Now having leveled my DK to 80 and raided a bit with him, I went back to my tank which I know I love the most. Its the leadership role thats most appealing to me i think. Though I only play on my tank when I know I can be "on the ball". Im a damn good tank too, but at least I get thanked for it .. hehe. I also like kicking rowdy DKs.

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