Monday, November 3, 2008

Blizzard announce three new "role" forums: Tanking, Healing, Damage Dealing

Blizzard have announced that they have added three new "role" forums for tanking, healing, and damage dealing. Originally they were going to add these forums and scrap the old class forums, but it seems now they have abandoned that half of the plan. I'm so glad they did; I would have hated to lose the druid forum. Although it is often filled with rubbish threads - which is par for the course with such a large community - there is still a lot to be learned from other players, and a lot of threads simply wouldn't fit into one of the above three categories. Class guides and questions that don't relate specifically to tanking, healing or dps would be left in limbo.

For example, where would someone go to ask about macros for shifting, seek help with their aquatic form quest, or announce druid events? Where would we lament our lack of feral form customisation? And with the future dual-spec system, I'm certain there will be questions and discussions about synergy between two specs - will the healer forum really care about someone asking for advice on whether to go balance or feral on the side?

Although I predominantly play resto spec in a PvE raiding guild, I have other druids so that I can dabble in other things. I used to do a little bit of 5 and 10 man tanking; I really enjoyed it back then, and I'm really, really looking forward to speccing resto/feral (when we get dual specs), so that in my spare time I can solo as feral and also help out my guild by tanking instances and heroics. But... it's been about 18 months since I did anything as a feral druid in groups. I'm VERY rusty - so pretty soon I'll need to start getting a better handle on that.

On top of that, I don't really enjoy playing balance, but the undeniable fact is that with the new spellpower changes, my resto gear will be moderately effective as "balance" gear. Pick up a few different pieces, gem for hit, etc, and I could turkey it up in 5 mans - but I would prefer to know a little about how to do things properly.

The addition of dual specs has opened up more opportunities for me to play healer, dps, or tank, at any time I want, according to my mood or what my guild needs at the time. I need to dust off my bear suit and get back into the tanking groove, and with the spellpower changes, I should learn a little more about nuking effectively. I have to re-learn the other two aspects of my character that I have neglected for so long.

The point is - despite the often low signal-to-noise ratio of the druid forums, it's still a one-stop-shop for all three of our roles. If they ditched the class forums, I would have to go sift through three different forums to learn about how to play one character. The new forums should be helpful for topics and discussions that are healer-centric, but I'm definitely glad they left our class forums intact. My only gripe at this point is that without going looking for them I can already see thinly veiled "my class is better than yours" posts. I sincerely hope that bringing different classes together and consolidating them under a single role will encourage people not to squabble over which class "wins" at healing.


Camel said...

Personally I'd be lost without the druid forums. Once upon a time I failed to read the tooltip and was only putting one lifebloom on every tank. Very embarassing I know but the forum guides helped me out there. That and I love the druid community despite regular visits from disgruntled pvpers inquiring as to the effectiveness of lifebloom and cheetah form in arenas. I espescially love the excellent screenshot threads of everyone displaying the leet gear... in bear form. The picture told a thousand words... and there were a thousand pictures...

Hana said...

For both my druid and my paladin my goal has always been flexibility. If the situation dictates I should be able to perform as TWO of the three party roles of tank, heal, and dps (not necessary at the same time, but if needed I should be able to step in). It's just part of why I like being a hybrid. Without uniquely druid or paladin forums (or any class really) we would have lost a haven where were could learn to play our classes as a whole. Some solutions and problems are unique to each class and it would have been too easy to lose them in the clutter of three primary forums.