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WoWNov 20, 2017 10:00 am CT

The thorny problem of Classic WoW and class balance

Okay, let’s first start with a simple fact — hybrid classes were usually not viable for anything aside from one role in Classic WoW. Paladins were healers, buff-bots, and out-of-combat ressers more often than not. Raids might have one Shadow Priest for utility, more if Horde side. Shamans were there for Windfury Totem for the raid’s Rogues and Warriors, but otherwise healed. Warriors were the tanks, but usually raids didn’t need the same amount of tanks for trash and bosses, and might not even need the same amount of tanks per boss, so some Warriors would strap on DPS gear when they weren’t needed to tank. Druids? Cast Innervate on cooldown.

Class balance wasn’t something that really existed back in Vanilla. If you played a hybrid class, you didn’t DPS in raids — and rarely did in dungeons. Was this ideal? I didn’t think so, but I’m just one player.

Recently, CMs Ythisens and Ornyx have been trying to engage with the community over on the new Classic Discussion forums. It hasn’t entirely gone well. Some players take this subject very personally and have very strong emotions about it, and those people will get very upset if you even propose doing a balance pass to make classes like Paladins and Priests viable in all three of their specs.

I admit to also not wanting to see any changes to Vanilla’s class balance on any WoW Classic servers that spring up, but let me be completely honest — part of the reason I want these servers to be as close to Vanilla as possible is because I hated Vanilla’s class balance. I hated it with all of my heart and soul, and I think the game is leaps and bounds better now in terms of spec viability. I want people who go play on Classic servers to have to go through all the pain and aggravation I did.

But I think Ythisens is right when they make the point that these are discussions worth having. Even if, like me, you’re a curmudgeon who wants new players on Classic servers to go through every inch of the laborious slog that it was to try and grind in Prot spec in Vanilla, it’s still worth talking about and seeing what the general consensus is. After all, Classic isn’t even remotely close to out yet. There’s no timetable on it, no beta for it, not even a design document or stated philosophy for it aside from trying to “recreate the Classic experience” as close as possible to what it was. They haven’t even finalized the team yet — there’s no Classic yet to even be upset about, one way or another.

The sheer toxicity of the Classic Discussion forums needs to seriously ratchet down a few notches. It’s one thing to say, “In my opinion, they should strive to be as close to Vanilla WoW as possible” and another to get antagonistic about it. When CMs are trying to encourage discourse and discussion, posts that reject it aren’t useful. Classic is going to be a very difficult thing to pull off, a vast undertaking — and trying to shut down discussion before we’ve even gotten started on the whole thing just seems petulant. And it’s something Ornyx is already warning us about.

Originally Posted by Ornyx (Official Post)

A few things have been taken out of context here, and I just wanted to course correct and say that nothing for Classic is set in stone.

We want to work with the Community on making sure we can do World of Warcraft: Classic the right way. We want to listen to the opinions of the players who have worked to get to where we are now.

We do not want players on our forums attacking each other left and right. People are free to have their opinions, on both sides of these arguments, and we will be following them closely.

We will not, however, play into the hands of people directing their followers to make attacks against our community or otherwise conflagrate the community we have on these forums.

I have read the majority of the discussion in this thread, and I think it’s easy to see that a majority of posters here are against changes to class balance in any form in Classic. I’ll make sure that feedback is passed on when the time comes for it. I think this thread has served its purpose and the feedback has been clear.


A word of warning: we’re seeing a huge increase in outgoing forum moderation and punishments for harassment and toxicity from people who are participating in this forum without an active subscription. We would very much like to keep this option open, as I personally realize that Classic players may not necessarily play in Legion. However, if it becomes the best move for our community, and to maintain a constructive environment, I am not opposed to flipping the switch and returning this forum to subscribers only. Please be mindful of how you are treating each other, and please make sure your posts are constructive and provide good context for the thread you may be posting in. Thanks!

When the CMs are feeling like they have to say they’ll turn the forum around if you don’t knock it off with the harassment and toxicity, you’re being way too toxic. This isn’t cute, and it’s not going to get you the Classic server you want. It’s actually just going to ensure that when the community is being asked for its opinion, yours won’t be heard.

As much as I don’t want classes to be balanced on Classic servers, I’d rather people get to say their piece about it than have the forum locked down from the very people Classic is most likely to appeal to: people who find the current game lacking compared to their memories. I am not one of those people, but I recognize that they exist, and I want them to have their say. Therefore, if you’re trying to participate in this forum, you have to be cool to one another and actually listen to what other posters are saying.

Seriously, though, no class balance and no bringing off-specs into viability. Y’all wanted Classic, and that definitely wasn’t the way Classic was. But you can say that or any other opinion — whether you want Prot Paladins tanking in Zul’Gurub or you want Pallies to know their place and stand outside the raid resurrecting people — without being toxic or aggressive toward others. Remember, Classic isn’t in development yet. Take a deep breath, relax, and give your opinions without dismissing others.

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