When all things are equal

Guestpost on BigHitBox on Feb 26, 2009

Blizzards view, according to the blue posters, is that pure classes, should “all other things being equal” do slightly more damage than hybrid classes.

I’ll assume that hybrid classes are defined as: “classes that can multirole (i.e. heal, dps, tank)”. If this is incorrect, please correct me.

The justification is that since hybrids can multirole, they shouldn’t do quite as much damage as the pure classes. Which seems fair enough?

However, what is the benefit of being a hybrid, if your hybridization is not needed in a raiding situation? In other words, am I to be penalised as a fury warrior, because I can tank? Is the elemental shaman to be penalised because they can heal?

Some will say: “Yes of course, because you can tank. At a moments notice, you can switch to tanking, and the elemental shaman can switch to healing. With 3.1 even more so, albeit out of combat.”

While that is correct, the inherent ability to do things, does not equate to actually having a need for doing things. You can argue that its semantics, yet if Blizzard insist on the hybrids-vs-pures line of reasoning, I, for one, would like to see the examples of it utilised as more than a simple argument for differentiating between damage output.

Taking an example in a 10man raid (I raid 10 mans only, due to being in a small guild). The agreed upon setup for entry level in a raiding instance is usually 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 dps. How many encounters need 3 tanks, or 4 healers? None. However, you do need at least 2 tanks in most cases, essentially taking the offtanking position into the realm of fulltime tanks.

The main point is here: How is it justified to say that hybrid classes should do less DPS, if the utility gained from their hybridisation is nullified by the encounter mechanics, or not used by the majority of raiding groups?

Are we going to see encounters that need more tanks in Ulduar? Are we going to see encounters that need healing rather than DPS? Somehow, I doubt it, since it will grossly favour small raiding groups bringing hybrids rather than pure classes. Which isn’t fair either?

So if hybrids are not needed to perform their multiroling, because the risk of pushing pure classes out, why are they doing less damage? If you bring a fury warrior, fully intending them to do nothing but DPS, why aren’t they allowed to do the same DPS as a mage, all other things being equal?

Perhaps it is worth considering bringing back the viability of CC? Or even the need for it in raids. Currently, most CC is done by the tank, and consists of holding mass aggro while mobs are being nuked post haste. It’s a topic all of its own, so I’ll merely pose one question here:

Given that the pure classes are traditionally the ones with most of the CC, would it not make sense to let that offset the hybridisation ability of other classes?

In other words, let “…but you can tank!” be offset by “And you can sheep.” It will take a lot of encounter design, and will cause problems of its own. But seeing as most people would rather be of use apart from “just being there to bring the numbers”, would it not be a way forward? Let DPS be equal, but let people have a use for their class abilities, which in reality differentiate classes much more than the name or size of their nuking ability.

The above is of course taken from the perspective of a DPS warrior. From a protection warrior, or other mainspec tank, it would be quite a different position. Is it wrong? Is it right? Is it completely irrelevant? Is it just me asking silly questions?


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