Thursday, June 18, 2009

Staying True?

Upon meeting a fellow WoW player, the first question that is invariably asked is "What class do you play?" Many of us become identified by the classes we play to the point that we know that Joe is the Paladin, Bob is the Warrior and that mysterious Blood Elf mage named HermioneX, but never talks on vent, is probably a guy masquerading as a girl.

Sad, but true.

To get to the point where we players become identified or self identify as a particular class, we spend countless hours playing that one character and/or favoring one class over others. Typically, we call this character/class our 'Main' and refer to others as 'Alts'. However, with the cyclical nature of class strength, there are times in which our favored classes outperform others and times where a raid spot is more of an active charity than of actual need. The same applies to the world of competitive Arena PvP where class success for an average player can vary drastically from season to season. As an example, back in Season 5, Survival Hunters were absolutely ridiculous, but after a heavy round of nerfs, have dropped back down to obscurity.

The question that begs to be asked is: What makes one stick with (or abandon) a certain class when it's average success rate is consistently average to below average across multiple seasons (or raid tiers)? In this case, I'm not talking about weak classes that are being piloted by pros to the top of the ladders, as pros will succeed regardless of class strength. I am referring to an average player comparing themselves against other average players.

I happened to choose two classes that have been perennially strong since Season 2 (Priest/Druid), however, Season 5's Paladin dominance made me question the choice of my classes. The 3.1 buffs to my classes and nerfs to Paladins have rekindled my desire to continue playing my characters, but I was on the precipice of rerolling if the demographics didn't change. Unfortunately, I have friends who have been affected by the dominance of other classes over their preferred class across multiple seasons and some are to the point that they are struggling to find the fun in the game. Yes, there is probably an overemphasis on class comps and on Arenas with it comes to determining class viability in WoW, but shouldn't there be parity when it comes to having fun regardless of the activity that is chosen?

It just so happens that my friends are staying true to their relatively weak classes because they enjoy the gameplay of the classes more than the gameplay of their alts, but I suspect that without positive changes to their classes, this may be a subscription cancelling point.

I hope it doesn't come to that but from my experience with Season 5, I can see where they're coming from.

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