I've been spending more time on World of Warcraft than I strictly should. I just recently got back into it as far as an active interest. I had been taking a break, though not as much of a break as much as not enough time to play to do anything on it. Where I am currently is, I have one level 70 main on my main server. She ( yes, she. I'll explain later) is a Balance specced Druid. I'm leaving behind the beginning sections of the endgame and starting to move into the middle ones. These sections are Raiding instances, specifically Tier 5 content and Zula'man. Its a place about only 20 to 30 percent of any server get to, But most servers are large enough that it translates to several thousands of players on each.
Balance druids are kind of rare at this level. Mostly it is because Blizzard has designed the class to be not as effective as others with the same role. The big Range DPS's are mages, warlocks, and hunters. the lower range DPS classes are priests and shamans The lowest Range DPS are druids. That blizzard did this is perfectly fine. If one class gets to powerful the other classes will never get played. Hunters, Mages and Warlocks All do one thing: damage, and allot of it. They also can crowd control. Priests and shamans are more healing classes; they lose damage powers for healing powers. But if Specced out right, they are still pretty good. They also have area benefits to those who are in their group. Finally, we get to Druids. They have about half the dps of any of the top tier. Even specced balance they can do fairly decent off healing, they have a unique in battle Resurrection, that no other class has. They have a fairly good area affect for those around them.
So why the rarity. Mostly, because people cannot go to big raids as a balance druid. Reasons why:
1. They don't put out the DPS.
2. They don't have an effective crowd control.
3. They are under geared for the raid.
Well, this looks like 1 and 2 are blizzards doing. which is true. Blizzard has decided to "fix number 2" by giving an ability the druids already have that is related though unusable inside, the ability to be used indoors. So one down, two to go. The first one, Blizzard looks like they are possibly changing. Not sure right now, as they are adding a new expansion, we do not know yet how much extra damage each will be able to do.
So, number 3. Low gear. This at first looks like a player problem. "If your gear is low-leveled then you need to fix it". that is not actually the case. You see, most pieces of armor regardless of type (cloth, leather, mail, plate) can be firmly attached to one class for who it goes best with. Arguably the best magic dps classes are mages and warlocks, both of which use cloth. Balance druids can use leather. Simply put, Blizzard does not put out enough leather magic damage gear to let druids have leather as an option. So, balance druids need to take mage and warlock gear.
Now we are taking not only their spots but the gear from the ones who are left. As well as having no crowd control and low dps to boot. And we wonder why no one wants to take us to raids. Now, most raid groups hand out new gear on a system called DKP. It works out so that the main raiders get the first choice on any gear they can use. Its a good system, unless you are unable to do many raids within a group, or worse (like a druid) you are not allowed to go often. So you finally go, because they happen to have an extra slot. You get no gear because the main raiders still have priority. Your priority goes up slowly yes, but every week you don't raid you lose a percentage of it. If they don't let you go on raid because of those 3 points, then any priority you gained by luck goes away. Fast. So not enough gear means no entrance to raids, which means no gear. lovely circular logic.
Now this was going to be my thought between two games I am interested in playing right now, though I don't have much time. I was going to make this a post on my thoughts on 2 games I want to play and come to a decision on which one. Make this a two-part thing and I think I can do it.
Next up: Warhammer, Age of Reckoning and the pros and cons of that. plus hopefully my choice on the matter.