Ghostcrawler continues to misunderstand “hybrid tax”

by on Apr.05, 2010, under General

Congratulations, moonkin!  You will continue to be taxed for being a “hybrid” in Cataclysm, although just like ANY pure class, you can only perform one given role at a time on a fight!

Ghostcrawler had the following to say regarding hybrid vs pure:

We’ll continue to polish it, but we’re not fundamentally changing the design. We think there is plenty of evidence to suggest that pure dps would die off if more flexible classes could do everything they could do and more. Again though, in most cases gear or skill will have a much bigger influence on your performance than the potential maximums we engineer into the classes. While the averages more or less follow our general design (with some exceptions that we need to address), you can find plenty of individual parses where a hybrid “wins” or a pure “loses.

I really don’t want to turn this into another hybrid tax debate though, so please reference the sticky above and forgive me if I don’t touch the topic again in this thread.”

I guess Ghostcrawler doesn’t realize that a hybrid does not actually peform the role of a hybrid during any given battle, and hybrids are no longer the only classes bringing raid utility.  Now that pures bring just as much raid utility as a hybrid, there’s very little reason on why you should bring a hybrid.

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12 Comments for this entry

  • Zeitgeist

    Sigh, what many don’t seem to realize is that there are more hybrids doing more dps than moonkins. Pure dps classes are Hunters, Rogues, Mages and Warlocks, the rest of the dpsers are hybrids.

    Warriors can tank and dps so can DKs, Shamans can be caster or melee dps and healers, Priests can be healers and dps, Pallies can be melee dps, tanks or healers, so on and so on. Yet you see all this hybrid classes supperior in dps than moonkins.

    When have you seen a DK below a Moonkin or a Warrior or a Ret Pally? Stop being hypocrites, either this hybrid classes need to be nerfed or Moonkins and Pure DPS classes need to get buffed if this supposed hybrid tax

  • Duskstorm

    Ghostcrawler really needs to define how he expects a ‘hybrid’ to utilize their ‘hybridness.’ As it stands, there’s no way to leverage our hybridness in any way meaningful unless we offer to go resto for certain fights that require an extra healer. But the problem with that is twofold: many moonkins don’t want to do anything other than DPS, and there aren’t really many fights that require so much DPS that you’d actually need one or two of your healers to DPS instead of heal during the encounter.

    Ghostcrawler could easily come out and say what I think is in between his lines when he talks about the hybrid tax and druids… “Shapeshifting is the ability most core to being a druid, and from a class design, taking the need to use different forms away entirely ruins our vision for the class. You’re just not a druid if you don’t ever shapeshift.”

    From a game design perspective, this argument actually makes a lot of sense. But the reality is that the vast majority of druids prefer one role over all others and would severely resent the game actually requiring them to fulfill another role.

    I’m all for Blizzard opening up the ability to truly use our healing and tanking abilities from other forms mid fight– put your leftover points in the resto tree and you can be a decent-but-not-great healer simply by changing stances… put your leftover points in the feral tree and you can be a decent-but-not-great add tank simply by changing into bear form. I don’t see why this would need to come at a significant DPS loss, since they can compensate by removing some of our utility (e.g. passive buffs such as earth and moon) instead of raw damage output.

    From a game design perspective, we’re wanting to make Moonkins better, but Blizzard is thinking about the druid class as a whole. The big druid ability is shapeshifting/versatility. If Blizzard changed NOTHING other than removing the hybrid tax, what would be so special about being a druid?

    • Sunfyre

      So what makes us special about being a druid now? The fact that we have a hybrid tax?

      As for the Paragon kill. With the 5% zone buff, you had to do very specific raid stacking. You may notice they also did not have a restoration druid, an elemental shaman, or an enhancement shaman.

      There is no “hybrid” in a fight. Druids do not pop out and start throwing clutch heals to save the day on 25man LK heroic. We DPS. Just like a mage. Sure, we can innervate and combat rez, but they also provide arcane empowerment, 5% spellcrit, and water, etc. They old justification for hybrid tax was “you bring raid utility and raid buffs, so that justifies you personally being bad.”. Now that EVERY class brings some sort of utility that argument is much weaker.

      • Duskstorm

        I completely agree that there is nothing special about us druids now that warrants a ‘hybrid tax.’ Not only that, but whatever it is that makes druids a distinct class from the others ought to be something positive, not negative.

        I really don’t like the hybrid tax system, but how else can Blizzard give incentivize players to roll pure classes? The goal should be for a Moonkin to be as valuable to the raid as the pure class. They should not achieve that goal by making us, for all intents and purposes, equal to the pure class.

        Of course, maybe the solution is for Blizzard to do a better job with the pure classes so that people see new value in them. Give warlocks a spec designed for range tanking, and add more fights like the council in ICC10, High King Mulguar in Gruul’s Lair, or Netherspite in Karazhan. Give mages the same thing so that you could bring a warlock or a mage…

  • Roukie

    April 9th, thats when we’ll know whats really going on…*cross fingers*

  • Seca

    It was interesting that the world first HM lich king kill was done w/o a mage. Guild leadership apparantly felt mage dps/buffage was not compelling enough to justify bringing one over duplicating another dps class.

    Last WoW census I saw had paladins, DKs, and druids way out front. It’s only becoming more pronounced. Go to any pre-Northrend zone and do a /who – it’s almost an exception to see something other then these 3 classes.

    I don’t know if my own guild is indicative, but we have 1 warlock. We have 1 rogue. On any given raid 15 of the 25 spots are occupied by pallys, dks and druids.

    Expansion is an opportunity to swap mains. Without some kind of hybrid tax this next expansion will see further homogenization of the classes. I know I’d be looking at switching if I played a pure dps class. 15 min lfg queues caused me to abandon my warlock alt entirely.

    • Duskstorm

      @seca without getting to into how queues in computing work, they should IMO prioritize a “pure” dps in the queue over a hybrid dps in the queue. Hybrids would then be encouraged to queue as more than one role, and speed up pure dps classes getting their spot.

      I don’t care how much you don’t want to do anything besides dps in a raid, choosing to heal or tank for the random dungeons makes life better for everyone, and I think classes that can’t do anything besides dps should be prioritized above death knights, paladins, druids, shadow priests, and shamans.

      It’s better for the game in the long run if everyone had 3-4 minute queues rather than a few having instant queues and the rest having 15 minute queues.

      I liked playing a druid better when only 5% of the WoW player base actually played a druid.

      • Sunfyre

        I’ve played a druid since launch day. I played resto when it was the only option. I no longer want to play resto, nor do I want to have to be forced to do it in random heroics. I understand I could instaque if I went resto, but I choose to sit in line for 10 minutes and go as DPS. Why are you trying to force me to the back of the bus? Just because you may want to be versatile doesn’t mean I should need to be.

        • Duskstorm

          I’m all for Blizzard making every spec fully raid viable in its own right, but the random dungeon queue specifically needs more heals and WAY more tanks. Otherwise pures are going to roll hybrids just to be able to queue faster. Maybe not today, but certainly if/when 10 mans get their own queue.

          There’s really only one requirement for a spec to be raid viable, in my opinion.. “can I pull my weight/justify an invite in a group that actually clears the content I’m interested in clearing?”

          I do have grandiose visions of one day being a true hybrid in a raid situation, but believe me before that I want a balance druid to be every bit as strong a dpser as a mage or warlock.

          Our “hybrid tax” in raiding situations should be, in my opinion, that YES we can switch to heals or bear form, but when we do THAT, we’re not as good as the other pure classes. So even though you want to be pure dps and I want to bring the ability to off heal, I don’t think how we want to change raiding is any different.

          I can also see them implementing a hybrid tax with the mastery system wherein we can pick up some huge utility in the resto tree, but doing that would cost us a few mastery points that reduce our damage slightly.

    • Sunfyre

      It was also interesting that the world first HM kill was done without a resto druid, enhancement shaman (a hybrid), and an elemental shaman (also a hybrid). The fight has severe DPS checks and to do it with the 5% raid buff (or even 10%) requires extreme raid stacking. The classes that were brought were not brought neccessarily for their DPS, but because of their raid buffs, and mages, elemental shaman, and enhancement shaman share overlapping buffs with warlocks, moonkin, ret paladins, and frost death knights.

  • Fearon

    In PvP every class but a hunter is a hybrid.

  • Seca

    Touche on the Paragon example. :) Clearly not a valid point.

    The hybrid tax is there to encourage people to play non-hybrid classes. I’m not sure why use/non-use of hybrid abilities in a particular fight is relevant.

    I play balance in raid. I’m on a couple arena teams as resto. I regularly spec feral on off-days to solo old raids and heroics. I think it’s a pretty rich play experience. Well worth 5% off my hypothetical top dps.

    If you had a friend pick up the game, could you really recommend a pure dps class? I couldn’t. I’d do my best to steer them towards a hybrid of some kind.

    I’d also add that I don’t feel particularly taxed. Top 5 dps in my guild are all hybrids (ferals, Dks, and since 3.3.3 me :D). Class balance is a constant struggle for Blizzard. While it may be their goal to have me do 5% less dps then a comparable mage, I suspect the chances they actually achieve that on any given patch are low.

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