Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Main Event

This is simply a blog post to get down on paper my thoughts on what I’m going to make my main in Cataclysm. I’ve been playing all 4 of my 80s extensively, and while I realize that they will play differently in Cataclysm, I haven’t seen anything that radically changes the play style of any of them yet.
I think if I had a mage, he’d be a very strong candidate for my new main. They look to have gotten a great update with Cataclysm. You get full pure DPS with Bloodlust. On top of that you get Portals, Tables and Invisibility. The only downside is ridiculously long LFD queues as DPS. I’d also have to wear cloth and be squishy. I’m not sure I’d like being squishy.
The biggest drawback to the Mage is that I’d have to level him up from Level 1. Now I want to level a new toon from scratch in Cataclysm. I’ll either level a Mage or a Shaman, Goblin, natch! I’ve heard Shaman are insanely fun after level 40, but I’ve always abandoned the class somewhere in the 30s because it hasn’t really grabbed me. The Shaman is also a healer which works against him. Is it fair to level a Shaman with no intention of going Resto on him? But healers can get groups pretty quick in LFD.
The other major concern I have about the Mage and Shaman is they are both Mana based. The Developers have elucidated their vision to make mana a bigger concern for healers in Cataclysm. I wonder how they will do that, yet not have mana based DPS struggling for mana as well. This could be part of why Hunters are going to Focus in the Expansion.
My plan right now is to rush one of my 80s up to Level 85, and then work on my new lowbie Mage/Shaman on off nights or nights where I have to sit out because we have too many people on. I realize that as a DPS, I’ll be asked to sit more than I would as a Tank. That’s just reality.
I have 4 candidates: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Warrior. Each of them has been the leader in the clubhouse for my new main at one point or another over the last couple of months. But I came to the realization last night, that one of these guys has been voted off the island. I knew I’d have to start whittling my choices eventually but I wouldn’t have called that this guy would have been the first to go.
Tivonicus, the Druid, please bring your torch.
Tiv was a strange toon. I never got into the Boomkin rotation. I hated waiting for Eclipse procs. If the Boomkin rotation was bad, the Kitty rotation was worse. It about made my head explode. Bears are tanks and well I’m not really looking to have a Tank as my main. Which leaves Resto. The crazy thing about this, I really liked Resto as long as I was in a 5 man. In a 10 man, I didn’t like it nearly as much. People always died when I healed. While I understand that it isn’t always the healers fault (fire is bad m’kay?), I felt like a failure every time someone in the raid died. I see them dead and think that I should have prevented that. That’s not something I want to do as a Main.
In addition to not really finding a shape for my druid that fit me, early indications are we will have at least two main spec Druids in Cataclysm. One will be a Bear taking over my old Tanking spot, and the other is our Boomkin extraordinaire.
So that leaves the Hunter, the Warrior, and the Paladin. I really like all 3 toons. I happen to believe that Death Knights are going to amazing tanks in Cataclysm. Blood self healing is going to be a major strength if the Developers hit their vision. When mana is the constraint, a tank that gives you mana free heals is a boon. Giving Death Knights Blood self heal with talents like Will of the Necropolis and Boneshield is going to make for very, very strong tanks.
The Hunter and the Warrior are not tied to Mana which I really like. It’s basically pretty easy at this point. I need to decide if I want to be melee or Ranged DPS. If it’s ranged, I’ve got the Hunter. If I go melee, its a decision between Rage and Mana. Both Honors and my Warrior give the group the option of a backup Tank if one of our Main Tanks can’t make it, which is a nice added benefit. They also can use the near instant Queues that Tanks see.
Traditionally, Ranged DPS has had the advantage over melee. Bosses would typically punish melee DPS more than Ranged. But that has started to change in ICC and several fights in there are more melee friendly than ranged.  It will also be interesting to see how many Hunters, Warriors, and Paladins we wind up with in our core group as that will have some influence on me as well. From what I understand right now, we are more range heavy than Melee, and we have at least two other people considering a Hunter, but no one considering a Warrior. And yes, in case you are wondering, the irony of the situation if I pick the Warrior is not lost on me me.
The Paladin is like an old girlfriend. We’ve got history together. He’s got the most achievements, gear, and non combat pets of any of my toons. I’ve actually taken to wearing Hand of A’dal in heroics as if to say ‘Old School Paladin’ here.  In my bank, I still have full or partial suits of Freethinkers (Zul’Gurub Set), Soulforge (Tier 0.5), Righteous (Dungeon Set III), Justicar (Tier 4), Crystalforge (Tier 5), Lightbringer (Tier 6), Redemption (Tier 7), Aegis (Tier 8), Liadrin’s (Tier 9) and Lightsworn (Tier 10). Is that history simply going to trump everything else, or do I want a fresh start in Cataclysm?


Anonymous said...

Go ret with honors and blast your way through as dps. I don't think you would be happy as another class in the fact the qualities the paladin represents are ones you admire in real life and draws you towards them.

I tried many other classes on off raiding time, but could never get another one to level cap in that I just couldn't enjoy them the way i did my pally. The lore, the abilities they have and the love of them, is why i can't leave the class, and i think you are much the same way


Salt said...

I'd say go warrior, but ...where would I go to read about awesome paladin adventures, then?

Ryan said...

I'm in a somewhat similar situation as you. I have my main prot pally and then a rogue, lock, hunter, and 72 warrior that I've been working to 80. My only really geared toon is the pally, the others have been on the shelf for quite a while.

My pally like yours has the most achvs, pets, mounts, etc. I cringe at the though of leaving that all behind, especially when I get my violet proto drake in a few weeks. I've been trying to get all my alts to 80 in case I do have a change of heart, but in the end, I know my pally will still be my main.

I think for a change of scenery I might just make ret my main spec. Good luck on your decision.

Anonymous said...

I went Ret during Naxx and haven't looked back. It's a lot of fun, does great DPS, and I'm still "me" - I'm still playing the same main that I have since day one, I'm still a Paladin.

I really don't believe that the results of the "hybrid tax" are visible in WoW anymore. Playing well is what really matters. Maybe in the top 50 world guilds all of the Rogues beat all of the Ret Pallies, but not in the "normal" world. For example, during Ulduar I was one of our best DPSers, and often topping the charts on a boss fight. Some folks were saying that Ret needed to be nerfed. Then Ghostcrawler came out and said that Ret's DPS needed to be buffed!

The only reasons to choose a different DPS class, imho, would be if you enjoy them more or are better at them. Hybrid is not an issue, and I also don't think boss fights punish melee as much as they used to. I know on movement fights like Prof Putricide (if you do the two position method), my Elemental Shaman is hating life because of both shifting sides and avoiding environmental hazards. I can't tell you how frequently slime will pop up underfoot when I'm in the middle of one of my lengthy spell casts.

And hey, whatever you decide today, you aren't deleting the rest of your toons. I would definitely say make your Paladin your first option; that's where the history is, and you can always change later. Blizzard is making it very easy to bring along an alt mid-expansion with things like ToC (all versions) and the ICC 5-mans. They seem to have realized that no one playing WoW 3.3 wants to run Naxx ad infinitum just so they can graduate to Ulduar, while their friends are raiding ICC.

Good luck in your decision making!

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Hunter is that the upcoming change is so large it is likely to be constantly tweaked during all of Cataclysm, possibly to an even worse extent than Paladins were this time. Also the energy system will really make it very much like a ranged rogue / feral druid and you said you didn't liek that. I'd stick to Ret, you'll level fast with a mix of questing and tanking dungeons, and won't have to wait to LFG.

Ardent Defender said...

Shamans can be rather fun to play. When i leveled and played my Shaman I really had a good time on my Shaman and became one my favorite to play. I played Enhance and though I never got to really try Elemental it was a bit fun to try it out a few times since it was my off spec.

All a choice in what you find fun to do or play in whatever you decide.

Capn Skillet said...

Personally, one reason I decided to make my paladin my main in Wrath (switched from Hunter) is because of the hybrid factor. My guild needed tanks badly so I made my paladin a tank.

Later during Naxx, I was inconsistent in my availability, so I switched to Ret as main spec and someone else tanked who was able to be on more, but I still went a lot of times as DPS.

Eventually, I went back to tanking when my schedule stabilized, but then during Ulduar, we were short on healers a lot, so I switched my off spec to Holy and found I enjoyed healing. I was Prot/Holy until very recently. I have a druid healer, so I switched back to Ret off spec.

My point is that after playing a hybrid and enjoying all aspects, I do not think I could enjoy the game as much playing a dps main exclusively. I grow bored of things easily and switching roles keeps the game fresh for me.