Latest in

Image credit:

New Player's Guide: Class Psychology

Mark Crump

This week, we get to tackle a fun topic: personality disorders. I mean, how your personality type can help determine what class you might feel comfortable playing. Now, it's prudent I mention that I am not a degreed mental health professional -- heck, I'm not even a degreed writer. I tried to play a doctor on TV but was told I had a face made for writing, preferably in seclusion in a fortified compound. So, while these may do a good job at matching your personality type to a class, I'm not making any judgment on whether I think you're nuttier than a bar mix. There's also a certain amount of tongues and cheeks involved here, as well. In fact, if you pretend the guy that does the voice-overs for the "Real Men of Genius" ads is reading these you'll get an idea of how tongue in cheek they are. Aside: Holy Cow, the original Survivor vocalist does the background singing on those? I did not know that.

  • The Tank: Your job is hold the monster's attention. Your going to have decent defense, but your main job is just generating threat. You may not contribute a ton of damage towards the kill, but keeping the monster's attention focused on you will make it a smooth ride.
  • The Healer: Primarily, your job will be keeping the tank alive. Sure, you'll also be healing the rest of the party, but the tank will be your focus.
  • Damage Per Second (DPS): With the tank contributing slow but steady damage, and the healer, well, healing, it's your job to actually bring the monster down.

I'm going to break down the classes into the following types of the people:

  • You need to be in the front of the action.
  • You're much happier supporting the action.
  • You just want to do as much damage as fast as you can.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side, or you're really indecisive.
  • Oh, yeah, I forgot, the misanthropist who hates groups.
  • Here's to you, he or she doing whatever you darn well feel like anyway.

You need to be at the front of the action:
The first word out of your mouth when you were born was "charge" and we won't even go into how you marked your targets when you played Army. Richard Marcinko is your personal hero. His Rogue Warrior's Guide to Leadership has earned a permanent spot on your nightstand.

You. Sir (or Madam) are a Warrior. Standing in the front of the action, yelling "climb on my back, boys," knowing that the success or failure of the instance run is your hands. Oh, now we all know the four other people behind you are just as vital, but not in your mind.

You're much happier supporting the action:
My friend, you are a Priest. You probably work in the support industry, either as a call center person, crisis manager, roadie, or are just an all-around "I'll be there for you, really" person. You're more than happy letting the tank take the credit for how well things went, because, unlike him, you know your heals were what saved the day. You realize that not everyone can be a rock star, but also know that what makes rock stars, rock stars is a ... never mind.

The grass is always greener on the other side, or you're really indecisive:

You probably stand at the store shelves way too long, comparing two brands of shampoo. "This one will make my hair light and wavy," you say looking at one bottle. As your gaze shifts to the one on the right, "But this one gives a deep clean, and a natural sheen." The class you play is fantastic. It's like the developers knew this was the class for you and lovingly created it with your vision in mind... until next week when you think clearly the developer hated you, what did you ever do to deserve this? You could be prone to indecision, or, you just like to keep your options open. Sometimes you might want to tank, sometimes you might want to heal, sometimes you might just want to do damage. As the commercial said, sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't.

Consider rolling a hybrid: Paladin, Druid, or a Shaman. Both Paladins and Druids can make effective tanks. Yes. I know. We had this argument already. Shamans and Druids can also switch between dps and healing. In fact, if you're really indecisive and don't mind a lot of respec fees, you can make an argument that the Druid is the most versatile. However, versatility comes at a cost: while hybrids are good jack-of-all-trades, they don't have the singular specialty that tend to make "pure" classes preferable when forming groups. However, depending on how far into the endgame you go, these differences may not even come into play.

You just want to do damage. Lots of it. As fast as you can do it:
Your destiny lies in DPS, so look at a Mage, Hunter, Warlock, or Rogue. However, like Anakin Skywalker, you're going to need to learn to control your anger. Unleash too much damage, and you'll end up with an upset monster attacking you, and an even more upset healer and tank trying to get things back in order. Most, if not all, of these classes will have a secondary job: crowd control (when more than one monster come on a pull, often you will want to freeze one of them in place). Arguably, Mages are the best at this with their sheep spell. Hunter traps have cool-downs and a decent chance of being resisted. Warlock's banish only works on demons and elementals -- and while they can fear, ,it's often not a good idea to send a monster scurrying away, and Rogue's sap only works on humanoids (plus you need to sneak up on it). As an aside, Warriors also can be specialized for DPS, but I'm not going too far down that road right now.

Oh, yeah, I forgot, the misanthropist who hates groups
As a card-carrying member of this Local, if you really, really hate playing with people, allow me to point you to these other fine Blizzard products. While it's possible to solo just about any class to max level, once you hit the cap, it's a grouping game, so that's gotta be your bag, baby. If you really want to solo, take a look at the Hunter class since it's one of the better solo classes.

Here's to you, he or she doing whatever you darn well feel like anyway:
While I've tried to match some personality traits to character roles, there's one final, but important piece of advice: Play whatever class you think fits you best. Blizzard has thoughtfully described all of the classes here. If you read them, and even thought you're a type-a, lead from the front type of person, but I "said" you shouldn't be a Priest and you really want to play one, ignore me. Play the Priest. See if I care.

[edit: Looks like Part Time Druid had the same idea (and two weeks ago to boot. Talk about synchronicity.). I'm giving them some link love for accidentally cribbing his idea.]

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr