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Utility

May 27, 2010

I mentioned in my post “rookie warrior” that it was utility that seemed to make or a break a class for me rather than it’s pure function. I was thinking about this more and I want to define utility a bit more.

You see, for me a class seems to have what one might call:

• core skills – those relating specifically to the primary purposes of tanking, dps and healing; and
• utility skills – those that do not.

Utility skills are often travel related such as teleportation, flight-form etc… However they can also be skills that would affect a battle but not actually be core to the pure concepts. Examples of this would be charge, which is very useful to both tank and dps but neither is used in a dps rotation nor increases threat or survivability. Innervate is another which affects a battle but not in the normal sense of WoW.

Interestingly, a skill can be core to one spec and utility to another. Innervate is a good example; it is pretty core for trees, slightly less so for boomkin and pure utility for ferals.

Further, a class can have vast utility that in a different class would be totally overpowered for a different role. The idea of ice shield on a tank would be ridiculous. Lovely though!

But the corollary is that a lot of a class’ flavour and fun comes from those skills. Invisibility and teleport are my favourite bits of being a Mage. Astral Recall and Reincarnation of being a shaman. My reason for playing a druid boils down to flight form. Yet, the difference between a Mage, and elemental shaman and a boomkin basically boils down to the colour of the energy bolts they throw (yes, yes complex rotations etc but you know what I mean). The reason I enjoy a Mage more than elemental comes down to the additional survivability granted by wards, mana shield, ice block and invisibility. The reason I play an elemental shaman rather than a Mage as my second raiding character comes down to heroism and totems, raid utility vs personal utility I suppose.

So my plea to Blizzard is to give as many little toys to all the classes/specs. It is all very well to balance dps but until all the classes are equally fun in the utility front, I personally will be pining for other abilities.

Oh, and I still want a frost mage to be a tanking class!

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