The Daily Grind: Are you drawn to MMO shapeshifting classes?

    
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When you think about it, one of the least-represented class archetypes in MMORPGs is shapeshifters. They only pop up here and there, such as World of Warcraft’s Druids or Lord of the Rings Online’s Beornings and still come across as a novelty as other class types have been done to death.

Personally, I find these classes a blast to play, as the game is essentially giving me the option to transform between modes in order to deal with ever-changing situations. For a good long while in WoW I played a Drood, enjoying the freedom of instant flight, fast water travel, and the sheer weirdness of being a magic-slinging owl-bear.

Are you drawn to shapeshifting classes when and if they appear in MMOs? If so, why and what have you played?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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elenie

Yes and I wish there were more of them!
The most compelling thing when I started playing WoW, my first MMO, was that I could play a druid and shapeshift into multiple different forms – something I hadn’t really experienced in games before. To this day I spend almost all my time on that druid in cat or bird form and wish this were consistently supported in the cutscenes.
I love it when shapeshifting gives you multiple forms to choose from (even better if these are customisable or there’s a large number of them). I also never play a human in any game if I can help it, so if there’s no shapeshifting I’ll go for the most interesting species available.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Not usually. I like to customize, even if not to intricate degree, and one shapeshift form isn’t appealing to me. But if the forms have their own layer of customization, phew look out!

I do like WoW’s continued approach of alternate (druid) shapeshifting forms depending on character race! Its not ideal, but it does help make Druid a potentially prominent alt if I play.

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Fenrir Wolf

I do enjoy them, but only if they’re not on a timer or reset switch. I want to be able to revel in being something other than a human, and getting the chance to run around on four legs is… a refreshing change of pace. And gait.

Ultimately, it all comes down to wanting to play something interesting. I’m not so entirely smitten and obsessed with the divinity of my own species, I don’t have that weird narcissism buzzing around in my head. As such, I want to explore other states of existence.

I mean, being a dragon in Istaria was super rad. We need more of that, not less. And if being a shapeshifter is the only way I can get that? Sure, so long as—like I said—there are no timers and nothing to force one to shift back.

The bizarre obsession humanity has with itself is growing exponentially though, so options for playing something genuinely interesting—even as a shapeshifter—are drying up. I don’t understand the desperation. It’s not like morphological freedom is just around the corner, humanity isn’t going anywhere so far as I know.

Or did I miss that memo?

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nomadmorlock9

Absolutely love Driud. Played a Feral in Vanilla and even with all the issues (resolved by the end of Vanilla), I’ve never leveled another class to max level. (I have like 5 Druids) The movement speed and forms dedicated to different play styles and roles was honestly brilliant.

Way underutilized for current MMO’s.

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nomadmorlock9

Can’t wait to be able to play Classic with the original talent trees before they split Feral!

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h4

My main problem with shapeshifted forms is that they are the same form for everyone. I think more people would find them appealing if it were possible to edit the shape and colors of the bear/wolf/whatever. The secondary problem is that many of these games are loot-centric, so not being able to see all that accumulated gear while in shapeshifted form is a downside. I don’t know how to begin solving this though, as it would obviously look dumb to have the bear wearing human armor.

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Hydlide S

I love what they had in Legion, it’s a shame they didn’t expand on it in BFA.

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Sorenthaz

Not really drawn to them. If they offer enough interesting mechanics then I might poke around with them.

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Fred Douglas

No, simply because most versions of this have you shapeshifter for way too much of the time. I like to be my character not a mystical bear 75% of the time. If it was a cool down/burst kind of shape shifting, I’d be ok with it.

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PepinoCantador

I usually love the idea, but don’t end up sticking with them for long… Which is odd, because in cases like the WoW Druid, it’s about as close to perfect for my playing habits as you can probably get.

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Grim? Darhk

Love the idea, but I usually don’t care for the execution. turning into a bear or cat seems weak to me. Pillars of Eternity does a more interesting (to me) take by having you turn into a wereanimal. I’d prefer something like a Werewolf than a bear, that’s for damned sure.

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Utakata

…only if it reduces the shape and size of my midsections. :(