I thought I’d start taking some of my posts on the old Blogspot blog regarding aspects of World of Warcraft and moving them here, updating them now that I’ve been playing the game for an additional year or so since making them.
I’m amazed that even after all this time I still see “which class is best?” arguments pop up all over the place. They’ve changed in character slightly, which is a minor relief–at least now they’re sometimes a bit narrower, concentrating more on issues like “which class is best in PvP?” which is in some small part more meaningful than the broader question. However, the question is still semi-meaningless.
I think discussions of the pros and cons of a class are interesting, but usually these discussions boil down to statements like, “warriors suck for PvP” and “no they don’t they own!”; “my rogue beat up two warriors last night,” “well my warrior beat up two rogues last night!” and so on. That’s pretty useless, in my opinion, and pretty meaningless to boot. (“My class’s daddy can beat up your class’s daddy!”)
First off, there are so many ways to customize a character that any over-arching statement of a single class’s utility is at least partially meaningless. Equipment can substantially alter the focus of a character, and how you spend your talent points does even more to affect your abilities and focus. A protection-specced warrior is good at much different things than a fury- or arms-specced warrior.
The truth is, different people have different play-styles. Different people find different types of play easier or harder. One person will find a rogue’s fast-paced intricate style of play very natural, while someone else just won’t be able to keep track of all the variables or simply won’t be able to master stealth. Another person will be able to make a mage’s ranged attacks work in very deadly fashion, while another will find mages unworkably fragile.
Take five different people and you’ll probably find five vastly different play-styles. I know people who find Warlocks intuitive but can’t make heads or tales of a Warrior, and vice-versa. People learn and think in very different ways, and this is reflected in what they find easy or difficult in a game such as World of Warcraft. This is also reflected in how effective they are when playing a given class. Thus, player A might be incredibly effective when playing PvP with a warrior, while player B can’t get anywhere at all.
You’re best off finding out what works best for you rather than asking which class is best. If you want to ask questions, instead ask what the strengths and weaknesses of a class are. Ask what the pros and cons are. Ask people to tell you about their favorite and least favorite aspects of their class. Compare those to your own play-style, and perhaps try a character class out for a few levels to see what you think.
It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how often these questions and disagreements come up, everyone still tries to see the issue in terms of absolutes based on their own limited experiences, as though their experiences must apply to everyone. If you’re handing out advice, remember that your experiences aren’t universal. If you’re asking for advice, don’t ask someone an absolute such as “which class is best” or “which talent tree is best”. Ask more specific questions that will allow you to judge responses based on your own talents and interests.
I remember two people arguing about how difficult a particular instance dungeon was. One kept arguing that it was very difficult (and thus a third character was too low-level for it), while a second kept arguing that it was really very easy and that only “a retard” would think it was difficult. Finally I couldn’t help myself and broke in with, “good grief. Different players have different play-styles and find different areas difficult or easy. Cope.” I didn’t actually expect that to end the argument–I was just venting my spleen–but amazingly enough it did.
So ask yourself a different set of questions. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player? What do you find easier or more difficult? What characterizes your individual play-style? And what are the strengths and weaknesses of the classes you might play? Use that to figure out what’s best for you.
If you find a class difficult, try out a different one, or try a different set of talents. If you find a particular type of quest difficult, move on to something else. One of the good things about World of Warcraft is that it’s filled with such a variety of things that unless you’re bound and determined to complete each and every thing in game, you can skip around and do the things that most appeal to you. Take advantage of that.
People seem to think that their very first character in-game is the one they should take to level 60. However, I think most people would be happier if they created a small handful of characters of different classes and races, mucked about with them until they discovered what they liked best, and then took that to 60.