Friday, July 18, 2014

When Things Change, and You Can't

The game has been through many changes over the course of the years.  Some small and some large.  I remember not so long ago when hunters switched to focus many people who has been playing hunters gave up the class, others tried to adapt and never could so they just switched mains.  While it might seem odd that someone could not, or did not want to, adapt to a chance like that it happens.

Old habits die hard.  I do not tank all that much, mostly just for raids for my guild.  I do not do random dungeons as a tank, I most definitely do not do looking for raid as a tank, and I rarely pug as one unless there are people I know going with me.

Recently while solo tanking garrosh (my first kill as a tank on it) I found myself resorting to some old habits, ones that really are not needed any longer.  I would wrap up the adds and I would tab through them throwing a shot on every one of them even if my AoE was more than ample to keep aggro on them.

Anyone that tanked back when aggro mattered remembers those days when you needed to get a shot in on all the adds or you would lose them relatively easily to someone that had any reasonable DPS burst.  I saw myself doing this, I understood in my own mind I did not need to do this, but I just did it anyway because that is how I learned to tank so it is still how I tank.

Can I change?  Most likely.  If I was a more active tank and was doing it all the time I would probably get out of the old habit of doing that.  It got me to thinking of myself as a relic, something from the past.

When I am on my hunter filling the role of a damage dealer I always wait behind the tank.  It is the tanks job to pull and I let them do so.  Even now when I do a dungeon, where I can solo them and have been soloing them since ToT gear level with little or no problem, I will still let the tank lead because that is how it is supposed to be.  That is how I learned to play.  Another thing that sometimes makes me feel like a relic.

One other little old habit I have never been able to kick, and most likely goes unnoticed, more so because it is not needed as much, or at all, as it used to be is my obsessive protection of my healer.

I remember early on in my play when aggro was still an issue I learned that if the healer went down we all went down and I started to get into the habit of keeping an eye out for my healer.  I would throw a trap at their feet or save my misdirect to try and get something off of them or just pull it to myself to make sure they did not get hit.

I got some odd comments from healers on occasion from doing so.  Ones like why are you trying to trap me from healers that apparently never played with a protective hunter or from healers that realized what I was doing I would get a thank you.  It is really rare that someone notices you do the little things that really matter, or mattered back then, so it made me feel good when someone did say thank you.  In the end however, it was just one of those things you were supposed to do.  Just like the tank was supposed to tab sunder, I was supposed to protect the healer.

With classes changing all the time it is not only a change in habits like the one I mentioned, but a change in how you play the class you play as I started out this post mentioning.  Some times people can not adapt, some times changes to how a class works can chase someone away from playing it.

While it is really no big deal if I tabbed through adds to get in a shot on garrosh and it is no big deal if I drop a trap at the healers feet now because it is not going to hurt anything in either case so the fact I can't change the way I play because that is how I learned there are some things that are not negotiable.  If your class chances you need to change.  No ifs ands or buts.  If you wanted to keep playing a hunter back then you needed to adjust to focus.  That is a much larger task than some people can handle.

I am a stubborn person and I like what I like.  Perhaps that is not really being stubborn because there is nothing wrong with liking what you like but because of that there are some changes I don't think I could ever adapt to.  I don't think I can change.

It made me think, what change could happen to your class that would make it impossible for your to change, to adapt, to say, I just can't do it any more.

As a hunter I thought about that a lot when focus was coming out.  Would be it be something I just could not adjust to.  In the end I figured I would get used to it, like it or not, because the feel of my class, even if functioning differently, would basically remain the same.  I like playing a hunter more than any other class because it is a very active class.  There is always something to hit, it has a quick global cooldown, it has a lot of tools, so I always feel like I am doing something.  I like the quick pace of the class and that is what keeps me coming back even after changes like the change to focus.  New resource and all but I was still that rapid firing fast cooldown always something to do machine of death that I had always been and that is what keeps me coming back for more.

Seeing some of the changes coming for hunters and not being overly excited about any of them and down right upset with quite a few of them, I started to think once again, what would be the last straw for me.  What would be the change I would need to make that I couldn't.

The answer ended up being very simple for me.  I did not need to think about it as much as I thought I would.  As long as I can still be a hunter as I know a hunter, I can change.  But if they were to ever move to a resource system or change it so that I needed to wait to do things, like waiting on energy as a rogue or a feral druid, then that would be when the time would come where I would hang up my hat.

I would not be willing to make a change like that.  Perhaps it would not be a case of can't change but it would be a case of won't change.  I do not like that style of play.  I do not like the wait on resource system.  I like the always have it, always generate it, always use it fast pasted action of being a hunter.  All other damage dealing classes just bore the ever loving crap out of me because it is a waste on resource, wait on cast time, or wait on cooldown based rotation.  If hunters ever changed into that sort of class I would drop it as fast as you could imagine.  I can not play a game like that.  If anything I sometimes think even the 1 second GCD is too long.  Ever been spamming your next shot over and over so that when the time came for it to fire it doesn't?  Yeah, that is me.  I hit my next shot sometimes 20 times in that one second so as is that one second is still too slow for my liking.

So what would be the thing that could change that would make you switch your classes, or just quit the game.  Blizzard is changing all the time, as if they do not even understand that change can sometimes be bad.  What would that bad change be for you, a change that you just can't adjust too.

For me it would be if they ever made hunters like everyone else.  People who sit around and wait to do things.  That would kill it for me.  I am a hunter, I am better than that, I am constantly doing something.  That is the beauty of the class, or one of the many.  Hunters hunt, they do not sit and wait like those dirty rogues.


  1. I wrote an absolutely monstrous comment here, and Blogspot ate it.

    The short version - Enhance shaman in Wrath were hasty, complicated, noisy and fun. Cataclysm turned the best buttons into the worst (Wolves now suck! Thunderstrike hits like a damp noodle and now sounds like an apologetic zap instead of a thunderstrike! Enjoy your expansion!).

    Wrath Resto Shamans in ten man were complex creatures that could switch between single target healing, raid sniping or raid healing. They also loved haste because they only had a single instant cast heal with a cooldown.
    Cataclysm turned healing into a disaster (Heals don't heal! Haste makes you OOM faster without actually healing anything! Enjoy your epansion!)

    And that's why I'm a rogue now. (Sorry!)
    Blizzard seems to have accepted that rogues are to game design what crocodiles are to evolution - a basic design so simple and yet so effective that they haven't changed much over the course of time. They're really good at what they do, and they'll always be doing it.

    If it helps, I recently got my hunter to 90, but I cry when I see the DPS numbers you seem to think are unacceptably low. I may have auto-attack and focus (How are you expected to play ranged without auto-attack???) but my Murder of Crows button laughs at me, unplayed, due to its steep focus cost. I have much to learn, Senpai...

    1. Murder can be murder (excuse the pun) to get enough focus for. But once you get into a grove with managing focus you can prep for it and it becomes no big problem. I am sure that if you play it a little you will get a feel for it. Hunters have the best resource in the game because we can always have it at our disposal because we have an ability that generates it.

      People say hunters are the easiest class to play and they are easy, to an extent, but just like all other classes they take a little practice to get rolling with them. Try some random content and practice watching your timers and focus level so you can make sure to always have focus for crows and then as soon as you get used to it you will do it without even thinking.

      I just can not play a rogue and see "needs more energy" or "you can not do that now" 20 times a second. It is just annoying more than I can even say. But you are right, rogues as so well designed and worked out perfect they are probably one of the least changed classes in the game.