World of Warcraft

What is considered “good class design”? Is new legacy of the void “good”?

wow2 - What is considered "good class design"? Is new legacy of the void "good"?

I'd like to start with what I think is universally considered "bad" or at least boring class design.

You have 1 button to press basically. Why is it bad? Well there is no decision to make. It's boring. I'm ofc including in this where you have a button for single target and 1 for aoe, or perhaps 1 for each of cleave, ranged, melee etc. I'm not saying any class is like this, but i thought i's a non-controversial place to start.

Now let's move on to classes where have multiple buttons to press but still no decision to make basically. Think a class with with cooldown that never clash, and the rotation is basically pressing buttons as soon as they light up with maybe a filler in between. I think this is no better than the above situation. I personally think this shouldn't even be considered gameplay, but would like to hear some opinions otherwise.

What about we combine the above with a resource bar that you build/spend or spells with multiple charges? Well now you have the option to pool resources/charges. If you have 2 charges for example one is lost to the above mindless rotation, but the other you can decide where to use for bursts of damage (although sometimes it's just used to make the mindless rotation more lenient unfortunately). This is a small improvement to be sure, but if gameplay boils down to deciding when to spend the 1 extra charge/bit of resource, doesn't sound much fun does it?

Well where do we go from here? How about a resource that can be spent 2 different ways? Well now there are actual decisions. Think brewmaster monk having to decide between whether to stagger more or to purify (yes i realize comparing tanks to dps is weird, but bear with me for a bit). Think about how much better a good player with more game knowledge and better planning can play vs the average competent player. The idea is simple and easy to explain, but is very difficult to master. There is decisions to make and always small ways to improve. Isn't that much better class design?


Void form's insanity drain is constantly increasing, and while you will have plenty of insanity to spend on DP and whatnot at the beginning, that leisure will slowly be taken away. Maximizing the number of DP you can get out without sacrificing void form duration, or even balancing DP usage and void form duration seems exactly like what meaningful gameplay decision looks like to me. The good player will know exactly how to maximize output while the average will either play too aggressively and drop out of form, or too passively and waste insanity. The idea is simple but the execution is difficult to perfect. Why is that not a good thing?

Well what about SL beta shadowpriest with LotV? I see a lot of dislike for the talent, some even going as far as to claim it's somehow "antithetical" to shadow priest design, and I just don't understand. Isn't that good class design for the exact reasons explained above?

edit: For those interested, void form is baseline a 90 sec damage cooldown 15 sec duration buff that increases damage. Taking LotV talent removes the duration limit but instead during void form your resource bar (insanity) drains at ever increasing rates. At the same time, you gain a constantly stacking haste buff that lasts the duration of void form. Void form ends when insanity reaches zero.

Devouring plague (DP) is a DOT and primary insanity spender normally. It costs 40 insanity and does damage. Casting it during LotV void form is counterproductive to maintaining void form.

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