Dealing with off-spec characters in World of Warcraft. ⇒

    5 October 2006, early morning

This is a post from my link log: If you click the title of this post you will be taken the web page I am discussing.



  1. Off-spec characters ‘can’ work, but you usually need to be uber rich and have the best gear to make it work well. I’d assume that in WoW raids, it would also require your raid party to adapt their strategy to fit your experimental ideas. To most people that don’t have the patience/time to attempt these risque strats, it seems stupid waste of time and puts an extra burden on them.

    In FFXI, people change up the strats ALL the time since not everybody with the correct jobs will be playing, and you have to adapt. So you get Paladin/Ninja’s tanking fafnir alongside White Mage/Ninja’s and Bard/Ninja’s spamming Mazurka, White Mage/Warrior’s kiting King Behemoth, Warrior/Dragoon’s in experience parties with massive haste gear, DD build ninjas instead of the classic evasion build ninja’s etc.

    I think it’s probably a lot easier to be a fringe player in FFXI than it is in WoW since you have the whole subjob variable that can drastically change how you use your class. But without fringe players with the gear trying new stuff out, you wouldn’t have people beating Kirin in less than 10 minutes now when it used to take 2+ hours.

    That said, when you’re working with others, you work to make the team better. Doing things that don’t really have any chance of working will definately hurt your group as a whole. Like if you show up in damage dealing gear and your group REALLY needs you to help heal, there’s a problem.

  2. I think everyone doing what is expected of their class is kind of boring. It’d be more interesting if Blizzard worked to make it less common for one particular build to be the defacto way to spec your character. The whole point of the talent tree is that it should make your character different than other characters, but this is rarely the case.

  3. There are examples in the comments of people who have off-spec characters and do really well at playing different roles. The comments suggest that the cookie-cutter teams are perhaps more important when you start off in an end-game instance because it’s all new, but once you get good as a team you can be more creative with who you bring out for an instance. (It’s easier to have your priests spec’d for healing, but not needed.)

  4. I actually think this commenter makes a good point as well:

    What I think the downfall of MMOs (and what leads to this kind of conversation) is the drive for efficiency. If you arent maximizing your potential, speccing just the right way to fulfill the role your class is most efficiant to fill, then people say you are playing your character wrong.

    I think a lot of people who play the game fall into this sort of trap. Sometimes I worry I’m not playing the game ‘fast’ enough, since I’m only level 41 now. If you think about it though, that’s kind of silly since there reallly is no reason to go through the game at any particular pace.

  5. Well, playing ‘fast’ enough is just the difference between being a hardcore gamer and the casual gamer. The ones that play fast enough and do everything to the optimum of efficiency, get to be the ones that try the new things first and formulate the strategies required to beat mobs, instances, raids whatever. That’s really fun when you realize you’ve figured out something on your own instead of relying on some cookie cutter strats that some other guild has documented and laid out for your guild to follow.

    Then again, if you play too fast, then you lose out on the ‘smelling roses’ part. In the end, just play however you want. Though, the trade off is, if you play how you want all the time, you end up playing alone rather than with other people.

    You see it in all MMO’s. The casual players can’t hack the hardcore efficiency requirements of the stronger guilds and end up just sitting on the sidelines when the new content gets released. New content is basically just there to keep the hardcore players satisfied. Casual players probably won’t ever get through all the content of the original release before they get bored of the game.

  6. Your first point is kind of mute, since you can do everything on your own without looking at guides if you just don’t look at the guides. Of course, being the first to do something is probably what a lot of the hardcore guilds are going for. People make a big deal out of the world firsts in WoW; I imagine this is true for FFXI and other MMORPGs I think there are also probably enough people playing WoW that you can probably find someone who plays as slow (or as fast) as you do. Though I don’t think there is a good system in place for finding groups and guilds in WoW really.

  7. Another thing that the poster said in that comment was that keeping stats a secret would make it so that people can’t analyze efficiency.

    That’s a very shortsighted solution. FFXI blatantly hides stats and effects of almost every item in the game. Especially on the thousands of items that have ‘Latent Effect’, which is another way for Square Enix to say “The item works a certain way and has special effects but we’re not telling you what the conditions are to trigger it, or what the effect is, or how potent the effect is, etc etc.”.
    But people have analyzed every aspect of the game using parsers and extremely thorough tests to emperically determine the stats that are used and the exact calculations for every spell, buff, weapon skill damage, defence, food effect, accuracy %, haste modifier, monster level, the speed at which mobs gain TP, different modes that the monsters can go through depending on their remaining HP and current TP, etc etc.

    In the end, it’s all about efficency. If you’re not doing your job to the best of your ability and contributing to your guild in the best possible way (be it playing a certain style, or finding better ways to do things), then you’re letting 80+ people down.

  8. People underestimate the dedication people put into games like this. I think most people think to themselves, no one is going to sit there and try and figure out XXX, when in fact that is exactly what people are willing to do.

    Blizzard just released 4 new realms. Who plays WoW here again? Anyone want to make characters on one of the new servers?

  9. Maybe I should try it out again. Might try on a PvE server.

  10. I have no clue what any of those acroynms mean. It’s strange how these games have their own language of sorts.

  11. heh. BLM, DRG, MNK, NIN, WHM are all jobs (Black Mage, Dragoon, Monk, Ninja, White Mage). NM is “notorious monster”—certain monsters that spawn under certain conditions, that have (a chance of) dropping unique loot. I don’t know that anyone ever agrees what the “H” in “HNM” stands for (hyper, hard, high, etc.) but it’s just a really difficult NM. Linkshell (LS) is a guild, basically, so an HNMLS is basically an endgame guild. Think of the guys grinding every day to raid MC every night. MND (mind) is just a character attribute); TP is…tactical? points (basically when TP > 100% you’re at what other FF games have called “limit break”).

  12. NERDS!!

  13. I couldn’t have said it better myself..

    Wait, aren’t you part of the reason why Ram started playing WoW in the first place.. And so by that logic, doesn’t that make you a NERD too? Maybe even a Bigger one?! :P heh.

    But don’t worry, I hear Nerds are all the rage right now! Or was it Geeks? :s

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