The Daily Grind: Which MMO is the best (worst?) at ruining classes?

    
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FEEL THE NOISE

A recent thread on the MMORPG subreddit caught my attention: Do you ever dread what’s gonna happen to your class when an expansion is coming? The thread author picks Final Fantasy XIV’s Summoner job as one he thinks was better before Shadowbringers.

If you guys know me, you know how tempted I am to single out World of Warcraft’s Shaman, especially since WoW Classic is revving up this week and the Shaman will be restored to its former totemic glory. Although without space demons.

But I probably need to point to Star Wars Galaxies’ NGE since it literally deleted an entire profession I played (Bio-Engineer) from the game, thereby breaking another character (my Chef). It took SOE a long time to add the BE’s essential recipes back to the game and fix the Chef post-NGE, just as it took a long time to add the equivalent of Creature Handlers back to the game. So that’s got to top my list, yes even ahead of classic Shammy totems.

Which MMO is the best (or the worst, I guess?) at ruining classes? Are there MMOs whose expansions inspire this sort of dread about your favorite toon?

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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Nordavind

Classes suck.

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nobleeinherjar

I’ll say WoW overall. At one point they destroyed Hunter so completely that it was the catalyst for me finally playing and leveling most of the other classes, and then each of those classes got ruined in some way as they continued to strip away everything that made them unique (while ironically reigniting my love for Hunter with the melee-focused Survival spec, which I still think could have been an awesome tank spec).

Honorable mention goes to SWG’s NGE (or was it the CU? I can’t even remember these days), though my distaste for those changes has lessened over the years now that the bigger picture of SWG’s woes have been mapped so completely. Still makes me sad, though.

And even though this isn’t a change that ruined classes on a mechanical level, I still hate what they did to EQ2’s beautiful spell effects when the game went F2P. That’s a grudge I still very much hold.

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Castagere Shaikura

Hard to pick just one MMO for me. I have played a lot of them that did this. The one I remember the most was Star Trek online’s ground combat and swtor bounty hunter from long-range class to medium/short-range class. ESO’s big racial changes were huge and pissed off a lot of people too.

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Bannex

I mean the GCD changes were mainly what got me to shelve WoW so idk if that’s a class change or a baseline mechanics change.

SWTOR did a great job absolutely destroying viability in ways that seemed arbitrary and nonsensical back when it was an infant.

As far as flat out class changes on existing mmos, I’d have to say blizzard. The classes are almost unrecognizable and the changes were too extreme from legion to now.

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Anstalt

I mean, SWG really has to win this, deleting 32 professions and replacing them with 7 (?) classes. I guess it’s not really ruining classes so much as getting rid of them completely but the effect on players was the same.

Beyond that, I’d probably nominate LotRO.

The “steamlining” started with the Moria expansion, removing some of our freedom and identity in favour of simplicity. I hated the trait lines when they added them in Moria (or rather, the bonuses from traitlines). That ended up pidgeon-holing most players which sucked.

Luckily, I think I’d left LotRO before the worst of the class rebalacing had. My friends who continued to play always kept telling me nightmare stories, things like invincible captains tanking raids when they’re a support class, or loremasters turning into DPS machines etc. Part of that was just the devs dumbing down the content so much that the need for those support roles disappeared, so they morphed the support roles into something weird.

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Alex Willis

I’m sure every MMO player will have a story for this, but for my money, I’d say LOTRO really took the cake on a few occasions. Minstrels and Lore-Masters — holy moley, these two have had some troubled times. Complete upside-down overhauls to each have left me in the lurch more than once.

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Sorenthaz

World of Warcraft most definitely. The classes you see in BFA are nothing like they once played, and there’s heavy homogenization now. With FFXIV at least it’s not too hard to switch over to another job if Squeenix fudges one up. With WoW though it’s been like this steady, continuous process of breaking what wasn’t broken and radically adjusting classes/specs. WotLK I felt did it for the better as Ret Paladins finally got a better identity and most classes/specs by that point were able to find their place if they didn’t by BC. Cata though completely undid all that and it only got worse from there.

The only good part about the class changes in WoW really is that aesthetically/thematically Demonology Warlocks finally became Demonologists instead of being Budget Demon Hunters. Which I guess did start in WotLK back when they wanted every spec to get its unique flashy final talent.

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Axetwin .

The thing that frustrates the hell out of me is when you see the writing on the wall. They’ve completely outlined all the new changes in exquisite detail, and you STILL get people going “well, just wait until the release. You can’t know how it actually plays until you actually play it”. To wit my response is always the same “screw you, you don’t have to see the manure to know it’s there”. Yeah, when a class is about to undergo significant changes, there’s always an outcry. But just because there’s an outcry doesn’t mean it’s always unfounded. And the FF14 Summoner is a perfect example of this.

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Kevin Smith

WoW is the worst of the worst at this. They think they need to completely rework everything over an over instead of just streamlining what they have. Basically all classes are just cookie cutter at this point, they all tank, heal, dps. There isn’t really a variety to be honest. About the only real differences is range an melee. At one point you had what I would have considered support classes that did things like stun, fear, trap, ect…instead of just straight out dps. Those days are gone. When was the last time you needed to CC something in an instance or it wiped the group?

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Robert Mann

Rework, and then remove people’s favorite stuff because of either: A. ‘vision’ -or- B. Balance in other content.

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Ironwu

Retail World of Warcraft. I don’t know how any other MMO can even come close to the overall damage that Retail WoW class designers have done to the game. I mean, your talking about the loss of TEN MILLION (maybe more) subscribers since Cataclysm launched. Ouch.

To be fair, the whole ‘ everyone must be able to everything and be on an absolutely equal footing ‘ directive probably comes from the suits at Blizzard that most likely have never played the game.