Monday, March 1, 2010

The groupability stat

I have this brilliant idea for Blizzard for a series of role-specific stats to introduce in Cataclysm, which I'll call groupability stats. Each groupability stat is unique to one role, be it tanking, healing, or dps. But all the groupability stats work on the same principles:
  • The groupability stat is near useless when soloing, but highly important when in a group.
  • The groupability stat has a target value, some arbitrary number like 540. If you are under that number, extremely bad things can happen to your group, and the further you are under that number the more likely it is that this extremely bad thing happens. For example being under the groupability stat for healers could give them a chance to deal damage on their target instead of healing it, for a tank there could be a chance to instantly die from a mob hit, and for dps the damage would hit their own group instead of the mobs.
  • If you are over the arbitrary 540, the added points put into that stat confer only a minor bonus, and are effectively wasted.
  • Being so important in a group, pickup groups would check the groupability stats of their members on the WoW armory, and kick out people who don't have at least that arbitrary number.
  • Being useless in soloing, gear with groupability stats on it isn't much good there, so people will need two sets of gear, one for groups, and one for soloing.
  • Every gear upgrade is likely to mess up your groupability stat, so you need to switch around gems and enchantments to hit the arbitrary number again.
  • To make things not so easy to calculate, we add some unnecessary math to it, for example giving you a base groupability stat of 400, which you need to increase to 540 by adding 689 groupability rating to your gear.
So what do you think, would this groupability stat be fun to play in World of Warcraft?

Right now most of you are outraged how I could possibly propose such a stupid idea, which would just ruin your fun. The only people laughing in my audience are those of you who play tanks, as you instantly recognized the parody: Tanks in World of Warcraft already have a groupability stat, called defense. It has all the features listed above, you *need* to be defense capped in groups (535 for heroics, 540 for raids) if you don't want to get one-shotted, but being above that value adds only a tiny 0.04% to dodge and parry chance, and is basically a waste. So every tank has to be defense capped, but not more, with all the consequences listed above of carrying two sets of gear and switching around gems and enchantments constantly.

If Blizzard were to introduce a groupability stat that works in the same way for healers and dps classes, there would be a huge outcry. Everybody would shout how stupid such a stat is, how unfun to play, how much harder it makes gearing up your character, and so on. And all these arguments are totally justified. Thus I'm very happy that Blizzard is removing the defense stat in Cataclysm. Tanks will get anti-crit talents and skills, and won't have to juggle around "the cap" any more.

Good riddance, defense stat, it wasn't nice knowing you!

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