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Poster: Azou at 2006-09-28 14:19:18
Subject: On Kalgan and "Human Factors"
The Quote
Shortly after the druid talents were posted, Kalgan offered several comments, among them:

Q u o t e:
Frankly, I don't think it's this black-and-white. In the world of theorycraft, guilds min/max their raid compositions "perfectly". However, the reality is that raid composition can vary pretty significantly (if the guilds that have beaten Naxxramas are any indicator), yet still be successful (ie: one guild beating Nax with 1 hunter, another with 6 hunters in the raid).

I believe that the class mechanics need to get you to the point where raids can choose their participants based on the skill of the player behind the controls, rather than based on the mechanics themselves, despite the inevitability of class preferences (not to be mistaken with requirements) that are not only based off the class' mechancis, but also on the encounters themselves.

Now, while it may or may not apply to this particular case, I've found that time and time again, players mistake being excluded from raids as a failure of the class, when the reality is that the officers responsible for selecting players are excluding the player based on either that player's skill (but they often don't actually say this to the player in question) or other "human factors".

Now, while Kalgan doesn't say that the PvE Druid Issue is 100% Player problem, I am concerned that he is even considering it to be true. This isn't trying to be a whine, but merely seeing what was meant when he said this. Does Kalgan truly think that poor players are the source of our woes?

Part of the the quote is true: min/maxing is not really set in stone. A variety of factors determine your raid make-up. But, this really only applies to numbers. While we will eventually see Shadow Priests dpsing in Naxx or a druid tanking some boss, it's merely novelty. These are just things done after the raid has practiced the encounter enough and is well-geared for it. With the exception of warriors, it seems min/maxing is solid in terms of roles. Your rogues always dps, your priests heal, and so forth. This is very static, and only deviates from the norm for bragging rights. "Hey, our hunter tanked Nefarion! Of course, we've cleared AQ40..."

If "human factors" are truly the major cause of druid problems, it implies several things:

Healing Druids are the only skilled players: There's no question: healing druids are the most common druids in raids. Does this imply that the majority of "good" druids are healing druids?

Feral and Balance Druids are not good players: With very few exceptions, you will not see a druid main tank or dps. If what said is true, that we are our own worst enemy, wouldn't there be more of these classes in raids? Is feral and balance some engima that only the top few can solve? Is healing simply the druid "easy mode"?

Other Mechanics are fine: This is where my concerns lie. If you, Kalgan, feel that skill is limiting us, it means you feel our talents, spells, itemization and other aspects are adequate. This simply isn't true: some of the best druid tanking items are blue trinkets with no feasbile upgrades. There is no feral off-hand. Our best tanking weapon is a 43 epic. "Tanking" gear is merely dps gear with lots of armor, and while that's great for PvP, it's not so hot for PvE.
We have three healing raid sets, which wouldn't an issue if the there was non-set gear to compensate for other roles. AQ40 was a step forward, but Naxx was a step back. Hugehoss, a main tank in his raid., and advocate for druid tanking as more than mere sideshow, sadly voiced announced that Naxx itemization offered few upgrades and would eventually step back to healing as the warriors outpaced him. Are you going to tell us that he stopped tanking because he wasn't a good player?

I'd say the mechanics for non-healing are NOT at the point where raid leaders can pick or reject druids on skill.

I don't want this post to come off as a whine. But recent comments have concerned me, whereas before this week I was confident the developers would fix our lingering problems.

It's not that we don't want to heal, we just don't want to do one thing all the time. I want long-term flexibility, switching my role from fight-to-fight. This doesn't mean I want to be an all-powerful entity that wishes to render other classes useless, either. I just want to be that swiss-army knife.

We don't want to punish the raid because they don't have access to feral or Balance druids, because that too is forced speccing, which is a bad thing in my opinion. We just want to the other aspects of our class to get their time to shine. I think there are plenty of skilled druids who simply need that last push in terms of itemization in order to be a compelling (but not mandatory) choice for a raid leader.

I thank you in advance for any comments or insight.

[ Post edited by Azou ]

I'll keep it brief as not to babble.
Tanking? Healing? Damage Dealing?
Yeah...I dabble.
Poster: Kalgan at 2006-09-28 17:36:19
Subject: Re: On Kalgan and "Human Factors"

Q u o t e:

Now, while Kalgan doesn't say that the PvE Druid Issue is 100% Player problem, I am concerned that he is even considering it to be true. This isn't trying to be a whine, but merely seeing what was meant when he said this. Does Kalgan truly think that poor players are the source of our woes?

I think it's important to think about at the quote within the context of what I was responding to, which was the claim that raids will perfectly min-max their raid compositions.

I believe the implication was that if raids perfectly minmax their raid compositions, that it would follow that hybrids would have to operate at 100% of the effectivness of the classes that specialize in a particular core role in order to be effective/desired in raids.

I don't think that this means I am operating under the assumption that all non-resto druids happen to be poor players, and that Moonkin, bear tanks, and cat dps'ers are just dandy and have no room for improvement.

Hopefully that should clarify the intent somewhat, although odds are this clarification will be interpreted by some as a slap in the face. ;]

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