Monday, January 24, 2011

The Theory of Hybrid Tax

I had an argument with some guild mates, some agreed with me, some did not, about hybrids and if there should be a hybrid tax.  We all have our own opinion but as the saying goes, but mine is right.

I am a firm believer that there should be a hybrid tax.  Always have been since I first heard of it and always will think so.  There is no reason there should not be.

In theory the hybrid tax is meant to be 3%-5% of maximum theoretical DPS.  3%-5% is minimal at best.  This is what people are complaining about really.  That is roughly equivalent to going to the store and you were supposed to get a 1.09 change and the person gives you 1.08 change.  We are only talking about a penny here.  A theoretical penny at that, not even a real penny.

Why are people that are so against the hybrid tax all so think headed that they rage whenever a pure class talks about it?  They come up with arguments like "But I am DPS and should do the same DPS" or "I can't tank because I am not speced for it so I should not have to deal with a hybrid tax".

The funny part is that if the healer goes down, a good shadow priest will throw off some heals to try to save the group.  Wait a second here, I thought you where not a hybrid?

The funny part is that if the tank goes down, a good feral druid will switch to bear and try to tank for that last 3% of the boss.  Wait a second here, I thought you were not a hybrid?

This is why those hybrid classes saying "but we are DPS we should not have a hybrid tax" are as full of crap as your standard congressman.  Nothing they say is to be believed.  They just want the best of both worlds and do not understand there needs to be some sort of balance.

However, they are missing the real point of what a hybrid is.  It is only a small part that a shadow priest can throw a heal if needed.  It is only a small part that a cat can play bear for a while.  It is about the fact that they can have two different types of specs that to two completely different things.  That is what makes them a hybrid.

They can heal or DPS at will.  They can tank or DPS at will.  Both with full and complete ability.  A rogue is a melee DPS, even if he switches specs between fights he is still only a melee DPS.  A hunter is ranged DPS, even if he switches specs between fights he is still only a ranged DPS.  Sure, a hunter can pet tank for a short time and a rogue can evasion tank for a short time but neither can ever actually tank straight out.  They do not have a spec for it.

The hybrid that people talk about in hybrid tax is that you can switch specs.  Not that you can do some other things with minor effectiveness while in your DPS spec.

Take the ICC daily when you had to have another person tank Donavan.  Hey there Mr. DK, can you switch to your tank spec and tank him in the back of the room.  Okay.  That is a hybrid.  How about dreamwalker?  Even an average group needed a third healer on that fight.  Hey there Mr. Shaman, can you go resto for this fight.  Sure.  That is what people talk about with why there should be a hybrid tax.

Lets say you have a resto shaman healing and a shadow priest DPSing and a certain fight would be easier on a holy priest, they can switch rolls because they are hybrids.  They bring more to the table.  They give the raid leader the ability to choose the perfect breakdown for a fight.

This is why hybrids should have a tax.  As a raid leader myself, given the option and all things being equal, I would never have any pure DPS in my raids.  Sad part is I am a pure, so I would have to kick myself out.

Having more ability to rearrange the crew based on the fight is sometimes very important.

Warrior: Tank / Melee DPS
Paladin: Tank / Melee DPS
Paladin: Healer / Melee DPS
Paladin: Tank / Healer
Druid: Tank / Ranged DPS
Druid: Tank / Melee DPS
Druid: Healer / Ranged DPS
Druid: Healer / Melee DPS
Druid: Tank / Healer
Druid: Ranged DPS / Melee DPS
Priest: Healer / Range DPS
Shaman: Healer / Range DPS
Shaman: Healer / Melee DPS
Shaman: Melee DPS / Range DPS
Death Knight: Tank / Melee DPS

I count that I would have 15 people for 10 raid spots to start off with.  Just in hybrids.  All of these people offer flexability so if we are having issues with a boss we can switch tactics easily.  Add more Melee, add more ranged, add another tank, add another healer.  I can fill my raid with just these combos alone.  If they are all equally capable of DPS as pure DPS classes then where is there any argument to bring a pure DPS class?

The only thing I can see where pures have an advantage is in CC or threat management.  Not that hybrids are useless in CC but over all nothing can ever beat a hunters trap.

The only argument I see there is that one ranged DPS might be a nice addition so you do not have to have 2 of the same type as ranged.  So that might get a Mage, Warlock or Hunter the occasional spot if someone is doing something that might want more ranged.  So where does that leave the Rogue? Five of the six classes that are hybrids can melee DPS.  Why would you ever want to carry more?  Rogues have to take the long trip hope because they just got their bus pass taken away.  There is no reason to invite one at all.

Are you aware how they will most likely decide on which ranged to take, with all things being equal of course?  Who offers the best little extra.  The mage can port us home after and brings food.  The warlock has candy and can summon.  The hunter really only brings some CC and MD which for a raid isn't as needed.  So it is a mage or a lock that will be coming along.  If anything.

So, with all things being equal, pure DPS really get the shaft.

The people that argue against the hybrid tax will say, but if I do 5% less DPS they will take a pure over me.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Do you have a healing offspec?  Then you just earned your spot.  Do you have a tanking offspec?  Then you just earned your spot.  You, as a hybrid, can offer 1000 times more then 5% DPS equals in the end.  In the end, if you are missing an enrage timer it will not be that you needed that 5% extra damage, it will be that your entire group probably needed it.

And lets go back to the hybrid tax being a theoretical maximum potential. 

Lets say my maximum potential is 20K and the 5% less feral druids is 19K.

If I am working at 80% of my maximum potential it would mean I am doing 16000 DPS.  (This is a very generous number too, most players will never even come close to approaching 70% of the maximum potential.) Lets us say the person that plays the druid is a better player then I am.  He is playing at 85% of his maximum potential then he is doing 16150 DPS which is oddly more then I would be.

Do you see now that it is skill that will make up that 5%.  Add to the fact that druid can drop a tranquility if there is an emergency need for it.  They can drop a battle rez if needed.  They can switch to tank spec on the next fight. 

So hybrids that are against the tax, but want to keep all their other goodies, are being selfish.  There is a way to fix that.  When you are in feral spec you should not have access to any healing spells or rebirth or even bear, you get to choose one, bear or cat, not both.  Then, you would be a pure DPS while in feral spec.  Until that point comes, and it won't ever come, then you are a hybrid.  As such, a 3%-5% theoretical max difference should not be a problem.

Remember, game designers said they want to keep all specs within 1%-2% of each other which basically means the hybrid tax would then become a 1%-3% theoretical maximum DPS difference.

Personally, on my hunter, I would gladly give away 3% to have some extra tools.  Lets say you give me a revive for 1% and give me a small selections of heals for another 1% and then add the ability to get instant query for the random dungeon by being able to be a tank for the other 1%.

Yes please.  I, as a hunter, love the hybrid tax and I want the hybrid tax for myself.  Can I have my revive, heals and tanking spec now and you can take 3% of my DPS.

Hybrid tax should be in the game.  It has a place.  It has a reason.  It just needs to be a hell of a lot higher then it was (is, being some people swear it is still in game).  3% less damage for having so many other abilities is not really what someone could call a balanced system.

I would love to see it one way or the other.  Put the hybrid tax back in and make it much heftier then it was originally intended or give me my new abilities.  Given the option, I'll take the abilities. 

I can always get better at playing my class to make up for the 5% I lost by being a hybrid.  I can't heal unless they give it to me.  The choice is easy.  I'll take the tax and healing ability please.

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