13 March, 2007

Hybrids: Resurrection

There is only one true hybrid class, and that is the Druid and they said it themselves at Blizzcon.

Then there are officially two semi-hybrid classes which is the Shaman (Heal/DPS) and the Paladin (Heal/Tank). And I guess if you want to be modern, you can throw in Priests (Heal/DPS) and Warriors (Tank/DPS) there too.

I love it when Priests say try to explain the prevalence of Shadow Priests all of a sudden with scoffing at that their Holy tree sucks. I disagree. I'd say that Holy Pallies and Holy Priests are quite even when it comes to healing power, but that Pallies absolutely suck when it comes to anything else than single-target healing. Priests live the good life with plenty of tools to their disposal whereas Pallies are left with two options (and a marginal third at best). Pallies have greater mana efficiency. That's about it.

The Shadow tree is too good! It even out-hybrids the real hybrid.

Shadow Priests are this patch's Feral Druids.


Anonymous Suicidal Zebra said...

Caution PvE argument only ahead:

I've got a slightly different take on this. To me, Priest single target DPS is fine given that they are a cloth wearer that deal damage in with single elemental school and have limited aggro control abilities. Even more so, they have to spec heavily to get this level of damage, much like Druids need to in their feral tree. And I definitely don't want a situation where Priests are seen as a 'must-have' in 5-mans or 10-mans (25-mans being a different beast of course).

What Priests have in spades that the other hybrids have only in limited quantities is something that I think of as 'Utility in DPS'. Essentially, as they DPS they bring more to the table than just their DPS. In this case, they contribute additional healing (Vamp. Embrace), mana regen (Vamp. Touch), Shadow DPS for the now resurgent warlocks (Shadow Vul.), and spell damage through Misery. Now, I think that 'off-specs' getting a role in raids is great, but I want all classes to have this perk, especially the in-design 'hybrid' classes.

Paladins, Shaman and Druids need to bring this level of utility the table to make their hybrid DPS spec competitive. I can't talk too much about Shaman and Druid DPS specs because I don't have much experience with them, but looking at it rationally skills like Leader of the Pack (and Imp. form), Unleashed Rage and Sanctified Crusader just don't compare. Esp. given the increased healing required from being in melee range.

Looking at Paladins specifically, debuffing Judgements are the most obvious analogue to the Priest Shadow-tree utility effects, but we know that any paladin can Judge once every 20secs and move out of AoE range. Fundamentally, you don't need a Ret Paladin to get 99% of Paladin utility, and don't need a Ret Paladin meleeing to get 100% of the utility. Sanctified Crusader is good, but it doesn't provide near as much utility as all that the shadow tree provides, and Vindication doesn't work in most instances. Tie that to a judgement (JotC) that is essentially without other utility and in most peoples minds Paladin DPS+Utility simple doesn't warrant a place where Priest DPS+utility most definitely does.

In the end, to make the off-specs truely viable in a non-game breaking way for PvP/Solo PvE, you need to buff their utility or make that utility specific to both a spec and a method of playing, but not buff their DPS. In this way the Pure DPS classes are still necessary whilst a non-healing specialised hybrid brings a lot to the table and can heal in a pinch but not as the norm. Inevitably given the way the game is designed this leads to a 'Proc: Something neat happens for your party for a short period' talent, but I am sure that something more interesting can be designed.


3:15 AM  
Blogger Vaelin said...

Retribution needs much more group utility generated via beating on things. For starters, I think Crusader Strike should heal the Paladin's party for the amount it deals as damage to an enemy.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shadow Priests have ALWAYS been good utility DPS. In 2.0, the addition of Vampiric Touch (41 point shadow talent) added more utility in the form of group wide mana regeneration. The reason that Shadow Priests seem overpowered now, is because most Shadow Priests focus on spell (shadow) damage only in their itemization, yielding a higher damage output, thus more utility. The latest patch removed 20% of the threat reduction that Shadow Priests had, effictively preventing them from being capable of producing much more damage than a pure DPS class. If you see a Shadow Priest on top of the damage charts, it is because the tank awesome, not the priest. (anyone can spam Mind Blast/Flay and keep DoTs up)

Paladin utility does not scale with gear, which is why they aren't often used outside of the tank/healer role.

Priest healing output is fine. Priest survivability is not. The Holy Priest is a glass cannon healer, and can easily get 2shotted by any untanked mob. (havent seen a Holy Paladin have this problem outside of a raid)

Shaman DPS is on par with every pure DPS class. Enhance Shaman are as gear dependant as DPS warriors, and Elemental Shaman that stack spell damage/crit can compete with mages for burst DPS. It requires alot of skill/practice to play a DPS Shaman well.

Druids are well balanced now. In bear form, they can still easily steal aggro from a Prot Warrior, but have lost quite alot of DPS. Druids can be better than everyone at everything, when speced/geared for it (including Moonkin(OOMkin, BOOMkin, or DOOMkin whatever you call them).

To sum up:
Hybrids that are skilled and well geared can be as good as pure classes in their chosen role.

Prot Pallies tanking ability needs tweaked. Ret Pallies need melee DPS based utility. Holy Pallies need more tools to heal with.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cs healing party for 100% of it's damage? Would be a bit overpowered imo


just take a look at that ^^
Even unbuffed you can easily get CS-Crits ~2k on cloth

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Proudfoot said...

Well then make an "improved CS" talent... maybe two ranks of 20%-40% of CS dmg is done in healing for your party.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Yes, we Shadow Priests are awesome right now. I think we need to stay that way. I don't want to play a pure healer all the time, it gets old. (In retrospect, I wouldn't have rolled a Priest, but WoW is my first MMO and I didn't know what I was getting into.)

I think Paladins just outright are supposed to have crappy DPS, and it seems like Blizzard wants to keep it that way. I still bring Ret Paladins along on 5 mans.....but mostly for their buffs and their ability to quickly turn into a tank or healer if a given encounter demands it. I know that may not seem exciting, but those are great reasons to bring a Paladin and I'm always happy to have one along.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

Yes, but we're not always happy to be "brought along" and play the footnote to the "real" party.

It's really not fun to be the party's lapdog. People tend to bring Paladins for three reasons - they can heal, they can buff, and they can cleanse. Let's face it - dealing damage tends to be "more fun" for "most people". Why do you think you see so many people complaining about their crappy damage?

Anyway... I hate to say this, but it seems to me that to make the Paladin a bit more... Paladin-esque, a reduction in base healing potency is required, while base tanking and damage skills need to be raised slightly to compensate. The talent trees need to be more intensely specialized, with REAL REWARDS for speccing so deep into one of them.

I bet that sounds ludicrous, doesn't it?

It is my opinion that Hybrids should start out as your classic tabula rasa - a clean slate which you decorate as you will.

Paladins in particular suffer because their base healing abilities are so powerful so early, with such a small talent point investment. With 21 points in the Holy tree, your healing throughput is NEARLY as powerful as it could possibly be, barring a single talent further up in the Holy tree. Your efficiency mechanic is unchanged barring one talent at the top of the holy tree - the extra +crit% is icing, the mechanic is already in place.

Oddly enough, we must put at least 11 points in Ret to unlock our true damage potential (luck based), and 41 points simply to get another attack (with a 10 second coolown).

I'm rambling. I think you might get the idea. The basic design of the Paladin - and other Hybrids - are broken. The vision was unclear at the beginning, but has no solidified into the vision of a Cleric.


See you in WAR. =D
(But I'm going to be smarter next time and play a more "core" class.)

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Paladins are supposed to have crappy dps", How big of you alex, ever thought that all paladins dont want to be 100% healers for 100% time? that is why we didn't take priest.

It is funny how paladin class should always sacrifice all fun in game for other people.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paladins are Tank/Healing hybrids. DPS is not listed there, and it seems like alot of Paladins are up in arms about it for some reason...
That to me seems about as strange an idea as Priest wanting to tank, or a Rogue wating to heal.
Accept the roles that your class can effectively play, or reroll a class that better suits your desired playstyle.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every class needs a certain amount of dps to be viable. Paladins are the only class, who isn't 'supposed' to be a dps-class anyway.
Warriors are dps/tank, shaman and priests are dps/heal, druids are dps/tank/heal, warlocks, hunter, mages, rogues are dps;
Interesting, that the dps-statement is only missing on the Paladin? ^^

Anyway, Paladins are able to carry all those big dps-2h weapons and still shouldn't be able to do any dmg? We don't even ask for outdpsing anybody, we just want more utility in our dmg-tree, to make us viable in raids.

And for the tank/healer hybrid. The Paladin is supposed to be this, since the release. Yet it took blizz two years, to make a competitve tank out of the Paladin and still he is the weakest in terms of migtiation and hp

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paladins are tank/healing hybrids, but there's no real reason that they shouldn't be able to dps at least decently well; particularly if they're geared and specced for it. The standard arguments I see are that it's unfair for a paladin to be able to dps, because they've got heavy survivability and healing potential; but I cry bullshit there. I've never been around the mythical ret paladin who could on a moment's notice become as good of a healer as a holy one, or as solid of a tank as a prot one. To say nothing of the fact that with new expansion stats, gear is going to be more essential than ever to doing anything at the high end; and we can't switch that mid-combat anymore than anyone else can. If we go in with a huge amount of attack power, modest stam and crap all for int and spelldamage, we ought to be able to dps well enough to be kept in a group on our own merits, because we're surely not going to be able to stop and draw healing capacity from the ether. At least a druid can just jump forms long enough to throw out some HoT's and go back into cat or moonkin when they're dpsing. for us it's either heavy heals that are even more costly on a limited int budget, or little heals that we can chain and stop dpsing altogether, for meager healing done. being worthwhile for being ret specced means Dps worth having and utility, and we currently only bring so much utility, and most of it is nothing that a ret paladin is any more useful for than any other type.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this whole argument does indeed simply boil down to Utility.

To suggest that Shadow Priests are brought to Raid's for DPS is a gross over simplification.

Without Vampiric Embrace & Vampiric Touch & a Shadow Priests synergy with Warlocks you wouldn't see many Shadow priests going "DPS" in a PVE setting

Ret Paladin's will never get a substantial boost to DPS unless Burst Damage is normalized...

So then you make a Ret Paladin viable in PVE & kill it in PVP.

The only simple solution as mentioned here & there is to Modify the output of Paladin Damage to return Health/Mana or some other useful buff/debuff.

For Example just Modify improved Santctity such that

10%/20% Of a Paladin's Damage is returned as Healing to group memebers.

That way a Ret Paladin in Melee is more useful than a Ret Paladin Healing... Seem's pretty simple to me...

The more you hit the more you heal

2:58 PM  
Blogger Micah said...

To anonymous above me - indeed.

That would make for quite the potent Paladin, imo.

Coupled with their buffs, Sanctified Crusader, +6% healing with Sanctity, and mana back when healed...

Your idea could do a lot for the Ret Paladin.

Imo, one of the selling points of the Paladin is "self sufficiency". Your Ret change would significantly help a DPS group or even an OT or MT group. Coupled with a Shadow Priest, your mana would be essentially endless, you could keep up the other Paladin's buffs, and supply ample healing.

Of course, this will never happen. Blizzard supposedly doesn't like to "copy" ideas between the classes. Shadow Priests will retain their ability - Paladins will never get it. =-C

It would make for some interesting OT builds. Holy Shield, Consecration and imp Sanctity... mm.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Wes - 70 Paladin, Fasrstriders USA said...

Ive though of alot of this stuff acctuly, in my idea of paladin changes. Link to the most updated here:


3:39 AM  
Blogger Rousseau said...

You miss the point about the holy tree.

Yes, holy priests are about as good as holy paladins for healing.

It’s just that non-holy priests are way better at healing than other classes who aren’t specced for healing.

This is because the holy tree sucks and doesn’t really help healing much.

Imagine a tree with a 21 point talent, a 31 point talent, and a 41 point talent you never use. This is Priest holy (spirit form, lolwell, circle of healing).

Unfortunately as is, if the holy tree were made into a respectable tree, then holy priests would be overwhelmingly the best healers.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paladins are Tank/Healer hybrids, not in any particular order. First, this statement is new, and my paladin is not. Blizzard has made a trend of toning down ret damage output. At the point that a tree for damage isn't the strongest PvP tree there is an issue.

Leave retribution dps at 2.0 levels. Move holy talents around so every 41 point ret toon can't have illumination. That was our "damge" tree sacrifices something signifigant in the name of dps. After all, isn't that what the mangle nerf was about?

9:46 PM  

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