Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Focusing on the Game, Not on the Game Design

Ghostcrawler pulled back the Emerald Curtain a bit today in order to swat down calls for a "consistent philosophy" with respect to tanking. Here's what he had to say:

Ghostcrawler: Effective Health is a very powerful concept for purposes of choosing how to gear your character and even tank encounters. It has limitations when you use it as the one true measurement for "tankiness." The community is also quick to try and give the same abilities and mechanics to every class filling the same role. If you want to be on a similar page as us, I would steer away from those two things.

In general, my advice would be to worry more about the game and less about the design process. We're confident in our process. It's not without mistakes, but it has served us well for a long time.

As usual, when the man is right, he's right. Effective Health is a useful tool, but is a mighty bloodless substitute for playing well. In that vein, I'm focusing heavily on a "form flow" style of play right now that involves constant form shifting, pulling bits and pieces from the various forms to use in the circumstances that call for them. This style of play is heavily influenced by solo leveling, but I can see how it would have uses in PvP later on in the game. I'm having fun doing it, and last summer's class design Q&A seem to indicate that Blizzard intends to support this style of play by removing or significantly reducing the cost of shifting forms in future expansions.

The fourth tier feral talents were too juicy, and I just hit level 29, so remapped my talents (bye bye blue rage, we will meet again!). I will be turning off XP, building some gear lists, and spending some quality time running instances for the next week or so.

I hope that everyone has a fun tanking weekend!

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