Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

The Queue: I work harder at DPS than I ever did as a tank

Matthew Rossi

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

This isn't meant to imply that one is harder, or a better benchmark of skill, or what have you. It's simply a personal realization based on thinking back on the past years of World of Warcraft and the changing roles I've played.

People who've read the site know that I tend to fall into certain patterns - I start an expansion tanking, switch to DPS for a big chunk and then, somehow, I end up tanking again. I did this in classic WoW, where I played as a DPS as I leveled until about level 40, then tanked until Four Horsemen in Naxx 40. Cut to Burning Crusade, and while I tried to level as a tank, the rage problems and lack of AoE threat meant that I went DPS for a while, only to end up tanking post Karazhan as bosses began to hit harder and the ranks of tanks willing to endure it thinned out. Wrath of the Lich King I tanked for the same guild, left and ended up a DPS for most of Naxx 25 and Ulduar, only to switch to tanking in Trial of the Crusader and stay there until Arthas was dead. Cataclysm? I tanked 10 man Tier 11 raids, switch to DPS in 25 man Firelands and stayed there for most of the expansion only to switch back to tanking for Dragon Soul. And finally there's Mists of Pandaria, where I began as a draenei tank, switched back to a pandaren DPS warrior, went through my orc phase, DPS'd as a tauren for a while and am now a worgen arms warrior.

Last week Adam wrote a piece about how tanking changes you as a player. What's interesting to me is how much I have to unlearn from tanking. There's a DPS mindset, where you learn to watch for spell effects, learn to avoid damage if at all possible (rather than learning how to survive it) and to Always Be Attacking, to constantly get as much activity translated into damage on whatever it is you need to be damaging. Tanking comes second nature to me. I could go tank right now and be fine. DPS requires much more attention from me, it's more demanding and while I'm competent at it, it's always something i have to consciously work at. It's made me a better tank because it's challenged my preconceptions. DPS isn't easy. Especially not being good DPS. There's a ton of work that goes into it.

I just wanted to say that, as someone who has tanked and DPS'd, I admire really skilled DPS players.

Adam ‏(@Adamdm_) asks on Twitter:

Saur-priests say saurok were created by mogu, but they mention a belief they evolved from devilsaurs. Which is more likely?

We have plenty of evidence that the mogu meddled in saurok evolution. Between the Dagger in the Dark scenario, Primordius' existence in Throne of Thunder, Progenitus on the island proper, archaeology in the game, we know the mogu made the saurok to serve as soldiers. What we don't really know for sure is what, exactly, they made the saurok from. There's no dinosaurs on mainland Pandaria, but there's plenty of them on the Isle of Giants to the north, and there's no reason the mogu couldn't have included a few in their experiments to make the saurok.

SintraEdrien asks:

Question that may have been asked before: Given the canonical random bloodlust that all Lich-King produced Deathknights have, why are they not walking sha-bait? I should think that they would become sha-possessed almost immediately when one of these episodic events takes place on Pandarian soil.

For that matter, why does my warrior, who literally harnesses rage and furious anger until he is actually so enraged that he catches on fire, not fall victim to either the Sha of Anger or the Sha of Hatred, much less the Sha of Violence considering all the violence he employs? Come to think of it, I'm a worgen, so I'm constantly seething in bestial fury and letting animal instinct come to the fore, yet again, no Sha possession.

I could argue that in both cases, our characters are simply too strong willed to fall easily for the Sha and their tricks. I don't know about everyone, but my DK faced down Yogg-Saron itself. He marched up Icecrown Citadel mob by mob and faced off against the Lich King, the very same being that tore him from death's embrace and trapped him forever as a mockery of his former life. He went toe to toe with a being that had the power to destroy all of Azeroth. I imagine his self-possession is extremely high. In many cases, it seems that the Sha need people to succumb to despair, anger, fear or what have you. It's not enough that you feel these emotions, you have to be mastered by them. Our characters seem to be more the masters of their emotions than their slaves.

However I also suspect that the game wouldn't be a lot of fun if my warrior had to suddenly stop Hulk Smashing his way through problems and try peaceful coexistence. Same with DK's, rogues, and everyone else that tends to solve problems via making them dead.

ArneusJanssen asks:

Q4TQ Do you think open betas do more harm than good? Obviously the game has fewer bugs, a good thing. But it seems like it has lost any sense of exploration and wonder.

Honestly, I was wondering this myself after the Mists beta, but not because of the idea that we've lost any sense of exploration and wonder, but because we seem to have discovered a whole new thing to feel irate and entitled about. The levels of people furious that they hadn't gotten an immediate beta invite due to their annual pass purchase floored me.

See, I work at WoW Insider, I got into the beta early, I roamed all over the continent doing as much content as I could, and I still find new stuff I didn't find during the beta. But the rage and indignation over beta invites made me wonder if letting so many people into the beta was a mistake.

Then again, the Mists of Pandaria launch was pretty smooth, especially compared to other recent game launches, so maybe all that beta tumult ultimately had a positive outcome.

wolfpup61 asks:

Do you think we have too many ability/skills? I try to keep all my abilities/spells to two hotbars, but I am starting to get overwhelmed and thinking I might need to up the number to three. I know there is an old post of if we have to many buttons to push. Do you think we need to do another purging or just get used to having alot of buttons?

Honestly, yes, I think we have too many buttons. It's not a new thing, either.

Button bloat happens because each new expansion gives us new abilities, and they accrue around the core of our older abilities, encrusting our characters. Mists of Pandaria actually trimmed and pruned some of this bloat away, but it's the nature of the beast for a constantly evolving game like WoW to end up with ability bloat. What's really weird is, there's always a bunch of abilities you rarely use, only to suddenly discover they're incredibly useful on X or Y fight or in Z situation. I find myself regularly using Intervene, for instance, especially on high movement fights.

Will we have another purge? Almost certainly. Will new abilities be added? Absolutely. It's the way of the persistent MMO.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr