Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leveling and gear-dependence

Being an altaholic, and one that does his research on the classes I play, it's not uncommon to run into comments along the lines of "that class/spec is very gear-dependant" and that got me thinking. I mean, we all know WoW is very much based on gear - if you can afford to twink your level 19 rogue with the best gear available at that level range, you should be able to beat another rogue who just uses the items s/he come across*. However, at least as far as leveling is concerned, leveling up has a much more noticeable effect on your performance**. So what's the deal here?

I think it only really"clicked" now that I started the AoE thing with Cawti, as her class/spec combination seems to be very much gear-INdependant. With most other classes, every multiple mob fight is something that requires consideration, care, and likely the use of cooldowns. With Cawty, running up to 2-3 mobs at the same level (or even 1 level higher) is a situation where there's almost no chance of dying. And then I look at how she fights - my health gets leeched by Seal/Judgement of Light, I usually get enough time outside the 5-second-rule to regen mana, and a lot of the damage I do is based on reflective damage rather than actually hitting. Oh, and getting hit is a good thing for her, since it can proc Redoubt and Reckoning.

So let's see - I don't need that much Stamina, since I hardly lose health. I don't need much Intelligence, since I hardly lose mana either. I don't need Strength, since the damage I do with my weapon doesn't make that big a difference, and I don't need Agility because dodging is for sissies. Arguably, the only stat I really need for soloing on my own is Spirit so I can regenerate enough mana. But let's assume for a moment that I do have all those bonuses. What happens then? Well, I could either take on higher level mobs or I can handle bigger groups, because I would be more "efficient"***.

Now, for other classes (or specs), things aren't that easy. Even 1-on-1 fights leave noticeable lacks of health and mana. If your gear isn't good enough, you'll be spending a lot more time eating/drinking than actually killing things, and if taken to the extreme you could even die - requiring to either get decent gear or play with lower level "toys". The problem with that, however, is that XP gain is normalized according to level - if you can't handle same-level mobs your leveling will be that much slower, and probably won't be much fun.

So now the big question is, is there actually a class/spec that really has problems with same-level 1-on-1 fights, and that can't handle 2 mobs with cooldowns if they're not equipped properly? Good question****. I guess if you're leveling as any healing spec, it might very well kill you. Rogues with certain specs might also have problems in this area. Warriors? I don't know, maybe.

One final unrelated note to self: Just leaving the window with the post in it open while going about my other business does not publish it... /doh

* And, if not, you really need to learn how to play. Some people just aren't meant to PvP. I think I'm actually one of them.

** Of course, this is a generalization. But someone who gears himself with bonuses to the "right" stats, even if they don't step one foot into the AH, it's pretty much true.

*** Take less damage, use less mana, kill things faster.

**** Which I don't know the answer to, so don't hold your breath.

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