Monday, July 24, 2006

Horde Paladins and the End of the World Show

World of Warcraft is coming to an end. No really. Ignore the burgeoning conflict in the middle east or the crumbling edifice that once was our democratic system. The real drama is the utter and contemptuous destruction of SACRED LORE within World of Warcraft. You see, after the new expansion, the new Horde race will be able to create the formerly alliance-only class of paladin and the new Alliance race will be able to create the formerly horde-only class of shamen.


I have never in the entire history of the game seen such concentrated wailing, screaming and gnashing of teeth and general grief that something as horrendous as this could be being brought into play. People are now constantly threatening to quit the game and worse. It is hilarious.

OK, lets take some of the 'facts' being quoted and see whether they stand up:

Apparently, the only thing that seperated Alliance and Horde was the Paladin/Shaman thing. Hot races and geography and starting areas and lore and quests and quest hubs. No. Two classes. A subset of these whines have been the people who have realised that the game isn't actually that diverse *shock* Only about a year late on that one then...

Yes, apparently this change is 'against Lore'. Lore, for those that don't know, is the word used for the established backstory of Warcraft, as established through the three Warcraft games and their expansions. It explains who, for example, Thrall is, where he came from and why he never moves from his throne in Orgrimmar. For an elite subset of folks, for whom Lore is everything, changes to Lore are devastating. It's heinous. How could it happen? What's even better is they think they have more of a connection to the lore than the developers at Blizzard or even the Chief Lore Monkey at Blizz. NEWSFLASH - they don't call them developers for nothing. The Lore is not held in a static holding pattern at the end of WC3. It moves, it develops and it changes. All ready, WoW has introduced new places, new legends, a massive joint effort on behalf of both sides in Silithus and at Naxxaramas. Things change, the lore changes.

Oh and there is nothing so hilrious as someone called 'IPWNNOOBS' crying about the fate of the blessed lore....

3. IT's IMBA!
Thats 'imbalanced' for those of us still capable of using real language. Yes, apparently the changes will make the horde/alliance imbalanced in pvp/pve and thus cause the demise of existing paladins/shaman (delete where applicable...). Now, historians of the Warcraft forums will know that two of the major threads that have been flying around for ages have been:
  • Nerf Shaman because they are IMBA with their totems and shocks and self res
  • Nerf Paladins because they are IMBA with their blessing and healing and bubbles

So now, each side is equal and still apparenly it is IMBA? /sigh

I'm going to make a generalisation here - paladins have more pvp useability than shaman. I could be wrong, but the whining voices of 1000 posters couldn't be wrong, could they? The question being raised is - why would you put a shaman into a raid when you could have a paladin? Now, coming from a guild where we have a pretty laise faire attitude to class allocations this seems a little mad, but upon closer examination... We know that we have a problem sometimes with Shaman who think of themselves as Mages in Chainmail rather than Priests with Shocks. Getting some of our Shaman to heal is a nightmare - indeed on a recent raid two shaman were outhealed by a bandaging warlock! Paladins are more actively used as healers and therefore they are, apparently, less likely to suffer this culture shock. And they have blessings and blessings are far more useful than bloody totems!

However, to all the shaman who are bemoaning the demise of their raid place, my only reaction is ... cry me a river! As a feral druid I have HAD to change the way I play and the equipment I wear to become a raid healer. Why? Because thats the part of my hybrid class that the raid needs me to do the most. So what makes you think you are so special that your horridly mana inefficient burst dps is going to make a snot of difference to the raid? Adapt your class to the raiding mentality or be cast aside. I have a L60 Shaman and I would be hard pressed to justify her coming to MC because I could not see where I could be of assistance with anything like the utility that my druid does.

And saving the silliest to the last - apparently it is a quick cop-out on balancing the sides. Let me see - I'm at work and we have a problem, and we have a quick, efficient easy solution that answers a number of other problems we have faced and cuts development time on future products down too. Do we take it? Hmmm.... well, the only reason not to would be if it was going to be a massive marketing looser.

And herein lies the real comedy of this all - EVERY SINGLE CHANGE MADE TO WORLD OF WARCRAFT IS MET WITH THE SAME REACTION - and therefore the WoW community has fallen into the trap of the boy that cried wolf. If you are going to leave en masse in a protest at the raping of the SACRED LORE then for Gods sake, do so now. NOW. Not later, N-O-W. Because Blizz have grown used to the willy waving and the sabre-rattling and they simply will not reverse their huge plans for you. Mr 14-year old computer user who will next year discover sex and never play their game again.

Change - learn to love it, or living in angsty horror for the rest of your days!


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