Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aspects of the game: Soloing

I've tried to find out why I suddenly go all out with my shammie, when I could just as well be levelling my priest or druid. I have a theory. Bear with me, I need to start somewhere.

World of Warcraft combines many different types of game into one. The major parts as I see them:

  • Soloing: Most notably levelling, but also grinding and dailies. You (or your pet) will be the only aggro targets. If you mess up, you've got noone to bail you out, but you won't pull anyone else down the drain with you.

  • Instancing: Includes normal and heroic dungeons and raids. You have a defined role you're supposed to do, and unless that's tanking, you're not the usual target of aggro.

  • Battlegrounds: Apart from the actual battlegrounds, I also include Wintergrasp here. Though it is slightly different, it shares many of the same traits.

  • Arena: Different rules than battlegrounds, not least of them that you only live once.

There are also several minor parts of the game. Well, minor for most players:

  • Grouping outside instances: Usually for group quests. However, some people level like this rather than soloing.

  • World PVP, aka ganking: Where there's no reason for the conflict other than the interest in crushing your enemy.

  • World PVP objectives: Removed in Northrend in favor of Wintergrasp.

  • Duelling: A part some love and others completely avoid.

Finally, there's the social parts of the game. However, unless you're an avid roleplayer, they're not connected to what class you play at the moment. You might also count exploring and professions as special parts, but it is (at least techically) without any class restrictions.

Most players concentrate on some aspects of the game. Indeed, many players hate some other aspect of the game to the point where they try to avoid it completely.

While levelling through Outland, I tried a lot of different aspects. This time, I'm mostly doing soloing, with the occasional instance and group thrown in.

Now, soloing has some special "rules" about it. Like most PVE, almost all incoming damage is physical, and most are done in melee. And since every class is supposed to be able to solo, the damage must be moderate, because some classes have very low physical mitigation. Of course, this means that classes with high mitigation have a significant advantage while soloing, in the fact that they take less incoming damage.

To pull the analogy to myself: I'm now levelling a character that has a very acceptable physical mitigation of almost 50%. My priest and druid mitigates less than 20% damage. As my blog name implies, I love healing. But while a paladin has even higher mitigation, he's unable to do ranged dps which I prefer, and thus I end up with the three others.

Granted, a moonkin can have even more mitigation than me, but at the price of healing. And if they shift out, they're suddenly really squishy and risk dying faster than they can heal against elites. I feel I've got better survivability combining high-power healing with good mitigation. While a bear have way more mitigation (add dodge and demo-roar), they got way less healing even when shifting out than a moonkin.

The last piece in the argument here is that I like staying alive. As long as I can survive, I can beat every elite I come across, even if it takes time. I do belive that not everyone have the same preference as me. Many players would for example prefer superior dps to survivability. So what if they can't solo everything, they can still kill 99% of the mobs out there, and faster than I am able to while heal-tanking something.

However, I suspect that once I start PVP, I might be rather tempted to return to my priest, or perhaps even my druid. While physical mitigation helps, there are a lot other ways to mitigate damage in PVP. Various passive talents (Focused Will or Blessed Resilience, for example), or active abilities such as dispelling dots or frost nova to avoid getting caught in a shatter combo.

Bottom line, I'm wondering if I won't be more envious of other healers once I start serious PVPing at lvl 80. I already envy the number of instant heals priests and druids can throw around, and of course the all-mighty bubble of pallies.

Edit: Seriously, I mus've been really tired when I first wrote this. Forgot to explain the reason why I like high mitigation.

1 comment:

  1. You know what I do with my mighty paladin bubble in PvP?

    I scream like a girl and heal until it wears off. Then I die.