Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thoughts on Nihilium Interview at Insider

So anyway, here at WoW Insider, they scored an interview with Awake, a player from Nihilum, the guild that got world firsts on all of the content released in the past year or something like that.

First: How crazy is that? You're so successful at a videogame that people want to interview you, and then tons of other people care enough to read it. That's a fascinating kind of impressive.
Second: I have spent the last few months (the period during which I was aware the guild's existence) thinking that their name was "Nihilim". Oops.

Third: This guy comes off as very cool, laid back, and professional, like someone who enjoys the challenge of the game but isn't entirely wrapped up in it. Not at all like the typical forum postin' raider's response to, say, SSC and TK attunements being lifted. I was really impressed by him. He doesn't curse out the less hardcore players for ruining his game or anything. But onto the main stuff.

I hope I'm not wrong in counting this guy's opinion higher than some random schmo's, but I feel like anything he says about what's a good strategy and what's effective is much more likely to be correct than Joe Forum Poster's opinion. While the entire thing is a good read, I want to focus on one part.
"We aim for efficiency. So no, we do not use any Moonkins, Protection Paladins, Retribution Paladins or anything that is way below the standard classes that can do a much better job at said task."

Now, a lot has been said about the effectiveness of those specs. Just a few days ago, I suggested that some of the stigma against those specs, in terms of their actual in-game potency, may be undeserved. However, if a guy with an important position in what's indisputably one of the most successful guilds in terms of making progress says they reject the use of them, I'm inclined to believe that those specs are just not suitable for raids. These people aren't stupid. They do what has to be done to clear the content. If there's a strategy that's effective, chances are that these guys are doing it.

Let's hit the other side now. This doesn't mean that Ret and Prot specs are no good for anything, or that you should always take a prot warrior over a prot pally as your tank. It just means that, the way that the very highest-end instances are set up now, they aren't friendly to those specs. It'd be easy to read way too much into Awake's comments and conclude that ret paladins and prot paladins don't have a place, or should never be brought into a raid of any kind.

To some extent, that might be fair. It's alarming that Blizzard has done a good enough job at adjusting content so that each of nine distinct classes has some role in an end-game raid; Awake sings the praises of the Shaman's Chain Heal, even suggesting that it might be nerf-worthy. Attempting to balance things that that every spec had a role in end game raids might approach impossible; that's like trying to balance twenty or so different classes, and more depending on how distinct two builds have to be to be called different specs.

I have a natural inclination towards fairness, and would like a world where people can spec how they want (provided they spec in a somewhat coherent manner) and be reasonably successful. That's almost what we have now; any spec is probably good enough to contribute to the completion of a non-heroic five-man instance or even Kara if they're well-geared, which may be as good as it's possible to get.


Sylvina Solaris said...

Actually, if you have a multitude of paladins, a retribution paladin isn't exactly a bad idea, but if Crusader Strike misses you need to have everyone refresh their judgements which sucks. So, either blizzard lowers the cooldown on the strike, or retribution paladins need to crank their hit %.

Joyd said...

I suppose; there -are- four judgements that can go on a target at once, although I'm not sure how widely used Justice is. (The last time I made heavy use of it was back in Scarlet Monestary; it's just a somewhat clunky way to stop runners, and has no function on boss monsters.)
I frequently hear Crusader Strike's ability to refresh all judgements on a target brought up as a reason to bring them, though I've never seen it first-hand, never having raided. I can imagine that especially with a paladin tank it could be a big blessing, as such tanks benefit from both wisdom and crusader.

Keystone said...

They might have taken the most efficient route to "beating" the game, but that doesn't mean the other routes won't get you there.

I would consider it more like they took the toll way to get there faster, whereas using a ret pally / moonkin druid would be like taking the scenic route - they both get to their destination, just different time frames.

Galoheart said...

Awake said Nihilium drove for Effiency, in anything that i can understand especially with a 6 day 6 hour block of time. I'm sure they have a method or a brand of tactics that work for them based on their play style and their group.

However i would like to think from point A to point B even though the quickest distance from A to B is the straight direct line which is more efficient, dosent mean that there are not other ways though not as efficient but work all the same in the end... just not as efficient but works.

Just like the interstate there are more than one route, some slow, some faster, some faster but longer in distance. Yet all pointsdoes lead to the destination.

I myself would at least like to see any of the 12 class have complete viability and usefullness or unique abilities that make them all usefull in raids or content. Why should i level up a class and pay the same money as everyone else and in the end find out i can't progress what i wanted to play because i'm sub-optimum skilled or in utility function.

Galoheart said...

Lol, we only have 9 classes.. typo.