What's the "right" class and spec to be playing right now? What's going to make the biggest splash on the scoreboards? Why do players choose the classes that they do? WoW Insider readers, who generally enjoy theorycrafting and playing their classes to the absolute hilt, are a savvy lot when it comes to class balance and what specs are hot, hot, hot. Log in, though, and you're much less likely to encounter players who are concerned with theorycrafting or running up whatever spec is considered the new hawtness. In game, players seem concerned about how to get a fair shake with their character of choice.
We logged in during prime time last night on The Forgotten Coast (PvP) realm to see what players had to say about the classes of 2008 -- who's hot, who's not and how it all affects their characters and play styles. Who got the raves, and who's chalking up the most bad press? Read on to find out ...
As it turns out, rogues and mages overwhelmingly received the most mentions from players we asked about class balance. We started off Hordeside, among the most polite, mature and friendly group of players Gamers on the Street has yet visited. (Well, we did get one n00b who /spit on us for even suggesting that he talk to us about class balance – but everyone else responded enthusiastically.)
Polymath, Level 52 Tauren Druid <Armor Nex>
Gamers on the Street: So what class and spec is the hawtness right now for PvE and raiding, in your opinion?
Polymath: Well, in my opinion, I think feral druids are doing really well in PvE, some of the leading guilds take feral tanks over warriors. I have had a lot of different characters, both Horde and Alliance, but I have decided to make this my main.
So have you raided at level 70 with other characters?
Yes. I was the main tank for my old guild. I'm planning on Arena for this 'toon.
Why the change to feral druid for Arena?
I enjoy challenges. Everyone says feral is useless for Arena. I'm set out to prove them wrong.
What strengths do you think your druid will bring over a warrior?
Definitely more versatility, I believe the main weakness of a warrior is always having to have a support class to maximize efficiency -- although as a druid, I will be able to heal myself, which is a great bonus for PvE and PvP.
Have you PvPed much with your warrior?
Yes, a lot. (I appreciated) the ability to just charge into anything and always be a large threat to the other team. I disliked the fact that I would be useless without a healer.
Anything else you'd like to add about current class and spec balance? Anyone you feel is ahead of the pack or lagging behind?
For PvE, druids definitely are ahead -- although for PvP, I have yet to discover. Many say we are gimped for PvP. Well, apparently feral DPS is a joke, and we have limited crowd control. But I believe (with) a hybrid class, this is to be expected; one must intertwine all the elements in order to be successful.
Liquidswrds: Level 70 Undead Rogue
Gamers on the Street: What class or spec do you think right now is the hot class for PvE? What about PvP? Who do you think is the standout?
Liquidswrds: 17/0/44 rogues for PvP.
And that would be ... YOUR spec? ;)
So what sort of PvP are you doing these days? And why do you think your spec works so well for you?
Arena and battlegrounds. I like the ability to catch up to hunters when they try to kite with my Shadowstep. Also, I can keep most people stunned 'til death.
How do you think rogues like you are doing in PvE content? Do you raid?
I do raid -- and I have to change specs to combat swords.
Ugh! Do you flip back and forth?
Speaking of flipping, let me flip our focus around. What class/spec do you think is really having a hard time right now (either PvE or PvP)?
I'd have to say mages in PvP. They don't have that much survivability. Ice Block is nice, but it's not a fear bomb or stun now, is it? And ice mages aren't that fun when you don't see the 7k crits.
I take it you don't think twice about jumping a mage in a BG or Arena?
Not really – plus, I have a 70 mage on Aegwynn (Alliance).
Do you PvP with him?
I used to -- but I rerolled Horde.
Thefridge: Level 70 Tauren Warrior <Vampiric Embrace>
Gamers on the Street: Is this guy your main, or do you have other 70s as well?
Thefridge: This is my first 70.
So are you into PvE or PvP with him? Or maybe a little of both?
Total PvE, really, at the moment. Actually, I'm waiting for Kara invites right now.
So who do you think is the hot class or spec for raiding right now? Who does everyone wanna be when they grow up?
Well, I would say that any multi class like pally or druid is the way to go right now, actually, 'cuz depending on what spec you are, you can do different jobs.
I'd have to agree -- they've got it pretty good. What about the other side? Who do you think is really struggling?
Well, I can't really see anything that has to much trouble if they are specced and geared right, but ret pallies are pretty hard to make a raidable class. I mean, it's hard to make classes like a pally be better for PvE and not make them gods for PvP -- but yeah, I really think they are nothing compared to a rogue or a mage for DPS.
I hear you. Anything else you'd like to add about current class and spec balance?
Ha! Well, I guess that they got to do something about a warlock -- they are kinda overpowered, any spec.
LOL I guess it had to be said, huh?
After our visit with Thefridge, we deleted poor Gamots the journalist and remade him Alliance-side, where Stormwind was buzzing with activity (and goggles seem to be in style). We talked first with a hunter who mirrored the comments made earlier by Liquidswrds the Horde rogue.
Anwamane: Level 70 Night Elf Hunter <Bloodline>
Gamers on the Street: Is Anwamane your main right now?
Anwamane: Yup. 50/50 (PvP and PvE) -- at least I try.
Nice. Who do you think is the hot class or spec right now?
Well, I think it's almost all around good. Rogues are a little sick.
You think they're overpowered?
In PvP, yeah. Well, they can get a way from any one 100% and break anything someone can cc them with. No other class can do that. ... Shadowstep and something else.
So what about the flip side -- is there a class or spec that you think is really struggling?
Pallies are sick, too, but other then that I think most is going good.
What about hunters? How do you think your own class is doing?
They seem to be doing OK. Other then rogues and pallies, I can hold my own on most, when played right.
Ferizze: Level 70 Gnome Mage <Avatar>
Gamers on the Street: Who do you think has got it best right now, in terms of class or spec? What class is most powerful right now?
Ferizze: Well, mages are good at PvE on a normal (non-elite) basis, but they die easier when in melee and they suck at PvP.
Do you mostly raid with Ferizze?
I just turned level 70; haven't done any raids (instances) yet.
Is this your first 70?
Grats! Have you PvPed with this guy yet?
Nope -- only when i am attacked. (I'm not planning to PvP) in PvP arena ... I know I would die. Mages die way too easily in PvP -- kinda not fair.
Do you have much trouble when you're jumped? What classes give you the hardest time?
Just about all of the melee ones. For instance, if I get into a fight with another 'toon, I usually die -- and they have over half of their life (hit points) left. I hate that.
You think it's your spec, your gear, your class overall ... experience?
I think it is class. I'll tell you why. I can go PvE in environment and take on three to four enemies my level and not die. I have killed as many as eight at a time that were two levels lower than me (with Freeze and Arcane Explosion). But when I go up against another player who cannot be frozen or slowed, then I don't stand a chance. A level 70 melee player can usually hit me three or four times, and I am dead. Even when I can slow them, they still beat me -- and I have good gear. I have seen a rogue hit me for over half my hit points in one shot ... then two more hits ... dead.
Anything else you'd add about class balance right now? A class you think is overpowered, or a class you think is having a hard time?
Well, mages are having a hard time PvP as I noted, an extremely hard time -- so much so that I made up my mind that I would not waste my time doing them, even though I really would like to. As far as a class with advantage, I would say prob rogue. I have a level 29 twink warrior. I have been in a BG fighting against a rogue, and he dodged everything -- and I was twinked out to the max. We stood still hitting each other and when I died after using a potion; he still had about 30% hit points.
Hatman: Level 70 Gnome Rogue <Waiting on Warhammer>
Gamers on the Street: We're wondering -- who do you think is the hot class or spec right now, for either PvE, PvP or both?
Hatman: I think that rogues are pretty good with the Shadowstep outside of stealth.
What about PvE? How are different classes doing there?
I think we need more rogue DPSing and some more mages. I say warriors are best tanking.
What does Hatman do primarily? Do you concentrate on PvE or PvP?
ATM, I'm raiding with my guild, and I'm doing PvP on my spare time. I also do heroics.
So if you had to play any other class for PvE right now, what would it be?
I would say mage. They can do some kick-ass spell damage.
What about for PvP? Who would you pick and why?
I would pick warrior, 'cause they are so damn hard to kill when geared.
What about their dependency on healing? Would that bother you, compared to your ability as a rogue to get away?
Really, other classes are stopping you from getting away. Warriors can have some good DPS when (specced) arms.
Who do you think is the big underdog class right now? Who's really struggling?
Struggling class I think would be mages. Mages are so fast to kill. I can get some mages down without them moving.
Take care – and give those mages a break every now and then!
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