A fascinating forum discussion

Over in the tanking section of the official WoW forums, a fascinating discussion (to me, anyway) is taking place.

Lovenectar of Dalvengyr had this to say;

I’m not sure I understand the logic behind using class representation when deciding how to balance classes for PVE. I’ve seen GC, on several occasions, allude that since a lot of people continue to play warriors, they’re ok. It’s as if Warriors are intentionally being left as is in hopes that people will reroll to help balance out class representation. Why is balance amongst class representation pursued? Does it really even matter?

There are also comments being made that guilds are still using Warriors in Ulduar, so they must be ok. This doesn’t make sense either. Yes, they CAN tank the content, but not as easily as other tanks and without providing the equal benefits other tanking classes provide.

The fact that Warriors are still used, despite their shortcomings, makes me believe that there’s probably factors other than class performance that are contributing to Prot Warrior representation.

They’ve been around and been capable of tanking effectively for longer than any other class. Therefore, there will be more just because the amount of time they’ve been available. This extended amount of playtime would also lead to a stronger bond to their toon. A warrior of four years won’t be as willing to reroll because another class is more effective at tanking and guilds won’t can their long time tank just because he won’t reroll… most of the time.

These factors, and I’m sure there are more of them, make me wonder why representation is even considered. Why is a class deemed “ok” because people still play them? If you really want to bring the tanks in line with each other, wouldn’t it be more effective to base any changes or tweaks on the performance of the classes?

This attitude that, even though Prot Warriors have the lowest DPS, TPS and take more effort to AoE tank effectively, are ok because people still play them is a little perplexing to me. It’s like dedication is being punished with massive amounts of inconvenience. Does class representation take precedence over class performance?

I was impressed, I thought that was pretty well written, even if, as usual, a bunch of folks felt the need to do the old ‘beating a dead horse’ wah wah afterwards.

Lo and behold, Ghostcrawler responded.. and responded, and responded.

I think all Feral Druids might be a little surprised by the discussion that followed;

Q u o t e:
This. If less people are playing rogues than say, hunters, Blizzard wants to know why. Is it more fun? Is it too powerful? Can they make hunter gameplay more fun?

This is true.

Q u o t e:
Basically this is what I think of for why they consider it. GC has said that they are afraid of buffing warriors too much because they previously were THE tank class and that perception is still carried by a respectably high number of people. They want to make sure the other tanks are considered equally effective tanks, so they are being very careful how they buff warriors because if they over buff them they will have just destroyed everything they were trying to change about the majority perception within the community. They also take into consideration whether they are being effective in the current content and since they are they haven’t had any need to do anything in an emergency mini-patch way.

And so is this.

Let’s consider a totally hypothetical example (and I am being serious about that):

Say we did some extensive data extraction from Ulduar and found that only 5% of guilds use Feral tanks when learning hard modes. Assume for the sake of my very contrived example that we could somehow select for those guilds with a potential to beat the encounters, but that the encounters weren’t on farm yet. Assume that the sample size was somehow large enough that the statistics are not at fault in any of this data collection. (I’m trying not to let you Kobayashi Maru your way out of being able to resolve the scenario.)

Now, let’s also assume that we convinced ourselves beyond a shadow of a doubt that using a competent and appropriately geared Feral tank made most of the hard mode encounters significantly easier. Assume that the community also felt the same way — that it wasn’t a dark secret.

The fair thing to do from a balance point-of-view would be to nerf Feral tanks. This will likely cause the percentage of them to drop from say 5% to 2% or virtually nil. A game designer should look at that and say: Yikes!

You can argue that maybe the bear is just a horribly frustrating spec to play and so nobody does it despite its advantages. I don’t really buy that though. Players tend to say that about all of the classes, and I don’t see a lot of evidence that Ferals are somehow unique in this regard. Furthermore, many of our players will do things that are soul-crushingly frustrating if they think it might confer to them a small advantage, which is often why we nerf such things — to save players from themselves so to speak. It’s just hard to resolve how, in this particular example, why more guilds don’t go stampeding towards druid tanks if they are overpowered.

It’s a tough question — what to do with the overpowered but underplayed spec, assuming it doesn’t have any crippling gameplay flaws? What do you do with the spec that is wildly popular but underpowered? Do you make them somehow less fun (even if it’s relative) so players try out the other specs? I think saying “just make all the specs as fun!” is a cop out. We try to do that all the time, but I don’t think that will ever result in as many shamans as warriors.

This is why I say we don’t balance around representation. We don’t tweak numbers until we have 25% of each tank in Ulduar.(Or should the number skew higher towards DKs since they have more than one spec? Or should the numbers skew lower for paladins and druids since fewer races can be them?) But we do have to consider representation when we’re making changes.

Okay, so he says that this is a totally hypothetical example. Nobody needs to get in a frothy blind panic, okay? Not that there is anything panic worthy there, just saying. Some folks seem to rush to the panic stage a teensy, weensy bit.

Let’s be honest here for a moment, shall we?

I play a Feral Tank. I’m not going off of what my friend Bob done told me once while we were in a sports bar about how the class plays. No random word of mouth, no stereotype or perception is informing my views on how the Feral Druid playes. I actually play one myself, and have for a long time.

So, that being said, Ghostcrawler, I’m not sure where you got the concept that nobody plays them because they are ‘a horribly frustrating spec to play’, a position that you then went on to reinforce by suggesting that other people playing other classes could say the same thing so it’s not a compelling enough argument, but I’m here to tell you… I find absolutely NOTHING frustrating, in any way, about playing a Feral Tank. I find it to be a delightful, captivating experience, and compared to other classes I’ve played, I find the Feral Tank abilities to intuitively work together in a clear, understandable way. I personally feel that each ability serves a specific, clearly understood purpose, that the Talents themselves are self-explanatory for the most part, and all things considered, feels to me to be an outstandingly well designed and implemented class. Kudos to you and the entire developer team. Job well done.

Whoever told you we were horribly frustrating to play needs to maybe actually play one. And, if the people complaining are angry with the class because they sucked at tanking with one, rather than blame the class design… perhaps they need to, like, suck less.

Wait, we were talking hypotheticals, right? Oops!

Or were we?

But wait, there’s more!

Q u o t e:
Feral druids are in a similar boat. They’re quite powerful, but there’s still a perception that they’re squishy. Why? I have no idea. People really do have some silly bias against ferals. Granted, these aren’t top-end raiding guilds, but there’s enough out there that the myth carries enough weight that when people are at the character selection screen they think tank and roll warrior or paladin. When they see druid they think, “healer or moonkin.”


Feral druid tanks are somewhat rare, especially among some of the most hardcore, progression-focused guilds. Now, as I say below, hardcore guilds may be the most likely to stick with their current MT (who to be fair, is likely a warrior because these guilds have been around awhile). There are definitely Feral tanks out there — there are a lot of WoW raiding guilds after all. But if they are as good in 3.1 and 3.2 as some players predict, then why aren’t there more of them? Why isn’t every guild recruiting one? It’s an interesting phenomenon and I’m not sure I could adequately explain it.

Now, this is some interesting stuff… why does it feel like the ‘entirely hypothetical’ situation wasn’t so hypothetical after all? Are us Bear Tanks really that rare? I’ve said before, fairly recently, that I don’t see them that often, when I talked about why we needed the nerfs and mused aloud at the thought that if we were so OP, why ain’t there more guilds looking specifically for them when trying to get pugs going on Trade channel.

This seems, to me, to indicate that not only are they rarely called for by name for casual pugs, but that they’re also pretty rare in established top end raiding guilds, too. I guess I have no way of knowing, because he is talking about the top 5% of bleeding edge progression guilds, and I don’t hang with them folks. They are serious kick ass folks, and I’m, um, not.

For the player he is responding to, though, can I just say that it’s been over a year since I or anyone I talk to just automatically associated them with Moonkin or Healers? That ship sailed in BC.

But wait, there are lots more Ghostcrawler posts to come!

Q u o t e:
Leveling up a druid is probably one of the worst experiences in the game, according to most people I talk to anyway. A paladin only being slightly better. A lot of work has been done to ret to make it into a extremely good damage dealing tree. Which makes leveling one both fun and fast.


Wow, I disagree. I found leveling a druid to be much, much easier than leveling a warrior once you get cat. My warrior leveled on a stack of health potions and a high repair bill. Paladins are trickier, because they have some really nice benefits and some really slow aspects of leveling. I will leave you with the tidbit that paladins are the least likely class to be abandoned at low level. What does that mean? I’m not sure I have any idea.

Q u o t e:
That said, druids have been nerfed EVERY single patch in this expansion. This is not QQ. Its just a matter of fact.

It’s a curious fact though. It argues that we never nerf them enough because we keep having to do it again and again. Does that mean we have a double standard and are too nice to druids?

Be careful trying to use facts like this to prove anything. Number of nerfs or number of patches nerfed are not very informative values.

Q u o t e:
I think the answer is very simple to be honest. If the spec is overpowered, even if absolutely no one plays it, it should be nerfed. Same if a given spec is underpowered. One’s performance in a raid should not be dictated by how many other people play the spec. What I’m trying to say is that over power and under power are entirely independent from popularity.

I don’t think they truly are independent though, not by a long shot. I can understand that viewpoint from a pure game design standpoint, but I also think if we gave druids a 25% dps buff and it stuck that you would see players flock to them in no time. This is more true of PvP than PvE, but I still think it’s true of PvE. We saw rogue numbers decline in 3.0 when they were underpowered and they have since returned. Now maybe my hyopethetical example above never actually happens, but I sort of suspect it does.

Q u o t e:
If we’re talking about cutting-edge guilds, and the community generally agrees Feral tanks are better, the first reason can’t be it- most of them would prefer the better tank class. The second reason is plausible- an existent tank could reroll to the better tank class, but he’s giving up his epic loot, his epic flyer training, his four “Gigantique” bags and his Traveler’s Tundra Funmoth. And for what? So he can, after a lot of work, be part of the overpowered class du jour? When you have no idea how long that overpowered-ness will last, it’s a risky investment.

It is an interesting phenomenon that some of the most cutting-edge guilds are the least likely to change. Now, they certainly have the resources and mindset to change if that’s required. If we made a boss that could only be tanked by a mage with a half Arcane half Frost build, they would mysteriously produce one. But they tend to be conservative. They have their roster and they know what works for them. If their traditional MT can beat a boss, they will probably do it that way, even if another tank would give them an advantage. They would only use the advantage if they couldn’t beat it the way they wanted to (and this does happen). For less than cutting-edge guilds, they might see more of a benefit in switching tanks. And yet… these guilds are also the least likely to be able to attract amazing players with good gear of other classes at a moment’s notice, and they are likely to see a much bigger improvement just by tightening up their game than they are by changing their roster. This is why I often say tank balance doesn’t have to be perfectly equal. It just has to be close enough.

Okay, so let’s check that out…

First, umm… Ghostcrawler, you DON’T have to nerf them all the time. You just choose to do so, and the reason might just be that you didn’t choose the right things, in the right proportion, the first time. 

May I submit to you the idea that choosing one aspect of a classes’ defense and nerfing the shit out of it, like you did with armor, does not do anything other than reduce the amount of attention we pay to armor as a stat?

And then the next time deciding that bears weight gear with Agility too highly, and so they must need their dodge value nerfed?

Maybe this really means that you are overnerfing one aspect at a time rather than doing a balanced adjustment across the board, and we compensated for your massive armor nerf by going with Agility. We had balanced gear before, and then we adjusted. We’re already talking about how to adjust again. So what will you nerf next? Health from Stam Talents again? 

We asked for a bit of balance when the armor thing came out, and giving us snarky comments about all the changes being needed and maybe you just didn’t hammer us hard enough the first time doesn’t address core concerns. 

If you can articulate what your goal is for a class, and balance the nerfs a little more across the board to achieve it so we don’t have to totally reitemize, maybe it wouldn’t be all nerfs, all the time? Just a thought.  

It’s funny to me, in a way, that the one thing that Ghostcrawler seems surprised about is that people would be hesitant to change characters entirely just for the sake of progression. If a Feral Tank is better, why wouldn’t they switch? If we make them need a Half-Arcane, Half-Frost specced Mage, they’d come up with one, right?

Well, GC likes to point out the fallacy of arguments, so how about this reason… because a high end raiding guild probably already has a Mage, and if the fight requires a change in spec, the player is still playing the same character he or she knows and loves and is happy with, and that uses the same Spellpower/Int/Spirit/Hit Rating gear stats. Modifying a spec a bit, while requiring learning a different way of playing, at least keeps you with the same character.

If a fight requires changing from a top geared Protection Warrior to a top geared Feral Druid, however, those are two entirely different characters… and maybe doing so will require changing who the person playing the main tank is. I don’t know about other guilds, but in the guilds I am familiar with, there are only a few folks that step up and accept the tanking role in raids, and guilds get used to their particular playstyles. There is a comfort zone for the guild. Is it really surprising that which tank classes are consistently played in guilds would remain fairly constant? Unless you change the player doing the tanking, it seems probable to me that the class you have as a tank would stay the same.

The discussion actually, to me, comes down to one surprising thing; Ghostcrawler IS surprised that people don’t swap classes and specs at the drop of a hat for the sake of progression. As though progression really is the most important priority that a person can have, and all else is frippery.

Considering the state of the game, I can understand that. The other stuff is tacked on to keep non-progression players amused while the serious folks get down to the real business. I can understand that… and I don’t have a problem with it, either. I am happy playing the game I’ve got, I feel my casual playstyle has been addressed quite well (comparatively speaking), and I don’t need the focus of the game to change to match what I am interested in. I like being social, and I’m delighted with how much of the game has been expanded for my playstyle enjoyment.

That still doesn’t change the fact that after 80 levels, and some hardcore playing, it’s gonna be ever harder for someone to pop a brand new max level character out and also get skilled enough, and geared enough, to make it feasible to swap one out for another. DKP and Random Number Generator loot, remember? You’re going to want to bring your best guns, and one person with TWO tank characters who is the go to main tank is going to have to make a decision who to gear up first.

Sure, in 10 and 25 man Naxx and stuff, do both. But for the Ulduar raiders and beyond, it’s gonna get back to focusing on one go to character.

Sorry, got off on a tangent.

The point here is, Ghostcrawler is saying that if a class is overpowered, it will be looked at hard for being nerfed, but they DO take representation of the class into account when they make a decision of how hard to nerf.

And amusingly enough, they get surprised when people hold some sort of wierd attachment to their characters, and don’t toss them off the bus the second another class is (mathematically speaking) marginally better at a role.

But we’re going to nerf you damn Druids anyway. 🙂

Hey, I’ve got a question!

If players are not changing characters/classes for hard mode raids based on the mathematically optimal chances for success, but are instead playing the same toons they are used to, enjoy, and have had past success with…

Why the heck does anyone need to be nerfed in comparison to someone else’s performance?

It’s not because of making every tank equal with every other tank… GC said it himself, they think close enough is good enough.

So why? Why waste our time changing the rules and gear itemization? What the heck is the point?

I’ll tell you why, and it’s a good reason.

They do it at this level, because of world firsts and top end raiding guild competition.

They want to make sure that the bleeding edge progression guilds are all equally challenged by content. They want that world first accomplishment to be a feat worthy of admiration, and if a class is under the spotlight of being PERCEIVED as overpowered, there are always those that will marginalize the accomplishments of others based on that perception.

It’s a simple fact, if content is perceived as being too easy with x class, and a guild using x class gets a world first, QQ results.

Class balancing is going to be a fact of life so long as there is a perception that one class is overpowered in comparison to others. Accept it, and move on. All we can hope is that classes are researched and tested extensively before actual changes go live.

Me, at my level of progression, I am not affected much. I do read the news and wonder at the thought behind it, but all I really ask, at the end of the day, is that when the developers are done with this latest round of fundamental class changes, is that every tanking class have the potential to handle the content, so everyone gets to go have fun.

Oh, and one other thing; after this round of fundamental class changes… take a break with the change stuff. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m getting a bit of class change fatigue over here. Leave it alone long enough for people to forget about the last four mechanics changes, huh?

Just, you know, allow us to settle in and enjoy the game without wondering what next months’ class mechanics changes will bring.

I do think it’s silly that things are, what, so bad that every couple months we need some big changes to class mechanics? Really?

And no, I don’t think the problem is that you didn’t nerf us hard enough the first three times, thanks much.


39 thoughts on “A fascinating forum discussion

  1. Hell yes, I will second your rant, and agree with it for the most part.

    Since I currently have 5 80s: Warrior, Mage, Shaman, Priest, Druid I am getting a little tired of all the class changes. We had a lot of tweaks in tBC but it seems almost every patch there is some sweeping change for 1 class or another.


  2. I’ll note that I don’t think GC is surprised that people don’t change raiding characters or that guilds don’t change MTs a lot, but rather that, considering how much clamor there is on the boards about how close dps specs or tanking capabilities or healers need to be, he’s pointing out that there isn’t actually that much class overturn and a person who’s been a warrior MT since Molten Core is likely to be kept no matter what class changes happen unless Blizzard destroys Prot Warriors completely. The fact that people don’t change raiding classes all that much makes their balance harder from a representation standpoint, but on the other hand it means that the development team only needs to get balance ‘close enough’.

    Instead of looking at the representation problem through Feral druids (which is obviously near and dear to your heart, no offense), consider the opposite case of Prot Warriors, where they’re considered underpowered but most likely have the lion’s share of raiding MT spots. You want to lower the representation percentage but you also need to mathematically buff their ability to tank. How should you go about it? I don’t believe there’s any easy answer with the priorities that the development team has of wanting as many people as possible (including the people who play Warrior MTs) to have fun while still making the spec viable.


  3. Agreed with all and to add:
    Why are there less feral tanks? Because it is changing every time we blink. We don’t know what stats to emphasise, what new abilties we’ll suddenly have to accomodate and generally what you will do to us from one second to the next

    While AT THE SAME TIME feral CATS got a huge buff, and their itemisation remained fairly constant and nifty. And while all the dks were (until recent nerfs) running around with the same health, the same armour, more avoidance and more cooldowns than us, a lot of Bears, despairing whether it was armour, agility or what they needed this week, said “screw it” and went kitty. Tier 8 having AWESOME cat set bonuses and fairly mediocre bear bonuses DID NOT HELP.


  4. I’m with you, I’d just like all the tanks to be close enough that we could just rotate which bosses everyone tanks every week without bosses being markedly easier for the raid if one class tanks them. I know that’d make things more fun for me.


  5. Ming, love your comment.

    I think the thing that I go by, is the belief that Blizzard looks purely at the math when choosing items that require balancing. If the potential of a Warrior tank to survive is less than another tank, I expect the developers to infer that through analysis and content modeling, and make the changes they feel are appropriate. I agree with the point of view expressed by one person on the forums, that if a class ain’t cutting it, it needs to be buffed, regardless of how many people are or are not playing that class.

    I feel that if a ton of people rolled the Warrior class and got into it because they believed they would be making one of if not THE strongest tanking class in the game, that should not affect whether or not the class is balanced evenly or under or over. I don’t think that they should be reduced in effectiveness to encourage folks to abandon them in favor of trying something new… any more than I would EVER advocate buffing druids to be better than other tanks to encourage more people to try them on.

    If people want to play a warrior, and damn it *I’D* love to play a warrior (they look damn cool), then they should be able to do so without worrying that Blizzard is thinking about adjusting their capabilities downwards in an attempt to spread more players across other classes.

    Sorry, damn it I hate to get off on something that reads like a rant when I ain’t angry, but I do think that if Warriors are not as strong a tank as other tanking classes, then buff them to where they need to be, and stop worrying about whether people will start liking them too much or something.


  6. I remembers when Blizzed nerfed Vampiric Embrace 80%, because they was worried what min-maxing guilds would put four shadow priests in with the tank, and heal the befreakers outta him. Never got a sense what they looked at how this would affect us what was in guilds too casual fer ta snap the fingers and have four spriests pop outta the woodwork, ready ta go. Seems balance be fer thems at the top, and the rest of us gets more dailies.

    Oh, and I votes “Windowdressing” as a name fer yer upcoming warrior.


  7. lol, I guess I really can’t comment as everything I love to play hunter (BM) and now DK (2 handed Unholy) have either been nerfed or will be if today is patch day. On my horde hunter (lvl 29)I finally got my first kill – so ty “Charless” the silly alliance toon I killed on Vek Ni’lash yesterday. I still have 3 hunters who i am not playing due to the last sweeping changes. And I have only made 1 lvl 80 toon – my death knight.

    Everytime I made a warrior or paly or shaman or priest or druid over the last 4 years, they got deleted (I at least made it to lvl 20 on each). I still have a couple of rogues, a couple of mages, but they are now banks. None of those other classes were fun to me. They were a lot of work and all I want is a no-brainer, go kill, have fun toons.

    The game is giant “rock, scissors, paper”, so why not just don’t worry about 25% are this and only 10% are that. Make each class/specc valid and let folks do what they want. We will (I’m sure) learn what is needed to kill whatever boss anywhere.

    Well this probably doesn’t make sense and probably doesn’t even fit in this discussion.


  8. Yes I’ve enjoyed this thread myself, and put my oar in a few times too. Its been fun. I agree with Ming; GC was never surprised. They have all the data and they’ve known the score forver. Its a contradiction to the many forum posters that use the argument: I’m going to be replaced by the FOTM class unless you buff me. The truth is that is happens very rarely and for obvious reasons. Actually Ciderhelm at tankspot recently posted a comment (on that thread?) to the effect that it makes negligable difference whether a warrior or a blood Dk tanks hardmode Vezax. And that was one fight characteristically believed to be best tanked by DKs. The community (on the wow forums) is often largely at odds with reality: never forget that. People have very transparent motives to their posts, and even the best of math is riddled with flaws. Those dudes that love to theorycraft in public…? All I can say is that I’m glad I dont play a game designed by napkin armchair MMO designers. I’d say over 50% of their conclusions are misleading at best, as far as which tank is best.

    I could dig up some old “druids are DEAD” threads from the last year as proof: written by angry druids after a nerf annoncement, and full of meaningless math. Its the same every time.

    Also remember the role forums are dominated by the “math balance” folk. That may lead you to think the creation of wow is all about – and only about – math balance. It never was, but that’s just what the majority of forum posters are interested in. So many people think it is, and are shocked when blizzard describe more about their design processes. “OOPS” they say. “GC probably regrets that comment about representation”. Well, of course not because its just an insight into their design process. Just because the forum community have their own ideas about designing MMOs, doesnt mean blizzard have to respond with pretence. Its just one factor in the games design, but if you insist on viewing every decision through that lens and that lens only, Blizzards design decisions will be a constantly confusing topic for you. And if you get too angry in public, you’ll earn yourself a forum ban (as many on the tanks I know in there have done).

    One final thing: sure druids get nerfed most of the time. But its never really a nerf. Its a rebalance. People boldly proclaim what effect its going to have, but more often than not, the community is wrong. Anyone remember how upset healers were with the mana regen nerf? They were so upset! They were even on the PTR saying they couldnt heal. What do we conclude 4 months later, when it turns out mana regen is still a non-issue? That they were all lying in order to get buffed? Anyone got any better conclusions, demonstrating that they really cared about MMO design? Stop nerfing us, people say (not talking about you, BBB!) Meanwhile, we all continue to progress, to harder & harder content. So why is it called a nerf; nerf is a community word, but if you stop to think what it really means, I think “rebalanced” is more meaningful. The game will always be shifting like this. Blizzard will never make a design that never changes; too much changes about the game all the time. If people dont like their classes changing they shouldnt play. For high end raiders, needing a quick re-gem on a new patch is just like doing a daily. Sure, you blow 1000g but that’s pocket change to a high end raider and you already prepared your shopping list weeks ago 😛 We all know that high end raiding is about the team much more than the math anyway. For more casual players, it really doesnt matter by definition if you gem “correctly” or not, because you’re not going for every last inch of mathematical power.


  9. It seems like EVERY time a class is nerfed with a great deal of frequency fewer people tend to play them regardless of how good they are after those nerfs. But what I have seen are a heck of a lot of people picking Hunters, Rogues, and Warlocks of late. I have seen fewer and fewer low level anything besides those classes. I’m currently leveling my Druid and at 38; I’ve seen a few but we are definitely in the minority. There are even more Paladins these days. There are plenty of tanks for low level instances. I usually end up healing. Not because I want to (I’m specced Feral) but because that’s the role that’s open. Blizzard needs to ditch the nerfs for the healing classes and buff them. If there were enough Healers then I wouldn’t be seeing constantly in LFG channel, Healz needed for X! Healing isn’t fun, it scales between being a guided tour of the instance and an annoyance. And please the tanking classes now are Paladins, Death Knights, Warriors, and Feral Druids! This seems to have killed the tanking shortage now lets get on to the healing shortage. But for gods sake, enough nerfing for Druids. I usually don’t have a problem with nerfs because I figure the complaining is mostly QQ. But latelly it seems like Blizzard is just throwing stuff out there and seeing what sticks rather than testing and trying things before they decide changes should be made. I’m on US Malygos and I have high level Horde toons and am just starting to have some Alliance toons. But as much as I don’t want to see a Druid influx, I also don’t think the current numbers are that healthy.


  10. As a person who has 2 80 tanks warrior, Paladin; and a dk and druid in the pipeline. Currently for somethings I like one tank over the other but with Boss changes it much more equal now than BC. I think alot of the warrior being under performing is perception based on the want/need to just AoE the stuffing out of stuff. Back when CC and wait till 2 sunders etc. was the accepted play style warriors where fine. In a Aoe and/or movement + add heavy fight warriors are at a disadvantage when most if not all dps likes to just blast away. Now if you are in a top 5% raiding guild (I’m not that good) maybe these are not issuses. All I know is I seen tanks of every spec perform good and bad.

    Over or under nerfing classes for one game play aspect either pve or pvp based around changes in the either is where I believe the problem lies. Arenas and the need to keep x stat abilty controlled against players is causing balance problems when its against a current end game boss.

    Sorry for warrior nerd rage and shot at arenas.


  11. 1000g isn’t pocket change for a Naxx raider, and a guild that is solidly into Naxx content is just as damaged by the “rebalancing” of their MT as an Uldaur guild would be. And, surprisingly enough, there are rafts of people out there who are not in a place where 10 dailies is a normal part of their gameday.

    Rebalancing a class AND requiring a nearly complete gear/gem/enchant reset is an issue for a huge part of the playerbase. And a rebalancing that fundamentally alters how you do your job isn’t actually balanced.

    I would agree that “nerf” gets a little overused, especially in the official WoW forums…and I really do doubt that Blizzard is ever going to introduce a “nerf” that is truly game breaking for any particular class. However, if you make a change to a class that alters how they do what they do, and it takes the community 3 days to collectively say “crap…well everyone, switch to stacking Ag, and we can go back to Facetanking” and then you make a change to how AG works…you aren’t doing your job properly in the first place.

    The designers of a game have no real excuse for being surprised at how a change they make to their game effects how their game is played.


  12. I wonder if the problem is that the perception is that druids are the best healers. The warrior can tank it, but the warrior can’t heal it, so I need druid healers. And how many druids can you stack in a raid, there is only so much gear that drops for so many classes. If your going to gear up 2 specs is way easier to do Resto/boomkin then anything else, at least it seems that way to me.

    So there are 25 spots, and 10 classes, that’s 2.5 spots per class. Now I know no one builds raids like that, but if I have 2 druid healers, how many more druids can you invite? And if you do are you going to invite a feral who can only dps or a moonkin that could heal, i think a lot of people take the moonkin.

    Or is the problem how many tanks spots do you need 3? 4? or is it you need as few tanks as possible because you need as much dps as you can get.

    I just think all of these things effect what you choose, if you can use your prot warrior who has been with you a long time, you are, loyalty to the player is important because if the quit there goes the gear you got them.

    I wonder myself its the hardset enrage timer, you have x mins period, or game over, its not particularly forgiving in that aspect, so you don’t get a lot of flexibility in how much you need dps.


  13. Sometime I want to slap GC and yell “wake up!”

    Why don’t more guilds “stampede” (pun intended for horde guilds? 🙂 ) to druid tanks?


    The days where you absolutely had to heal if you were a hybrid are gone, but it is still strong. Almost every druid out there has resto as one of their dual specs. Not because “I love healing so much I wanted to play a healer”.

    I love having druid tanks, I love how my prayer of mending often expires because they don’t even get hit by the boss. I love how a druid tank becomes uncrittable through talents, so that they can put on resist gear without gimping their tanking, or spend even more points on other avoidance.

    BUT , they can heal. And there are not enough healers, ever.

    GC does not seem to get that? Or does not get that the number of 80s now is not due to what is needed right now, but much more due to inertia. Even with all the leveling buffs added, there is a huge amount of inertia to just keep your main rather than leveling up yet another tank or healer alt. When what we need are dps alts for farming. (For instance even with dual spec many priests are now disc/holy because the content requires it. Instead of having a shadow spec to make dailies easier.)


  14. All I know is that with the exception of one healer (a Druid Ironically enough) I was/am considered squishy and a “manasponge” and should only be used for OT purposes and only if one of our regulars don’t show up. Bear in mind that this perception kept them from even letting me consider becoming a MT after TBC. So I’ve been DPS ever since Wrath launch, now I love doing the DPS (and am typically top DPS in my somewhat casual raiding guild), but I always wanted to tank and still do, and it frustrates me to no end that no matter what I say, or figures I come up with, I’m not even given the chance due to the lingering memory from Vanilla/TBC.


  15. I agree wholeheartedly with Yunk.

    I have both feral and tree specs and I’m one of the top tanks in our guild. But I rarely, if ever get to tank anymore because we need healers. If I force the issue and ‘tank or go home,’ then the raid often won’t come off. However, if I heal and we take other, lesser geared/talented/whatever tanks, the raid happens. It goes a more slowly, and I don’t have quite as much fun, but it’s still better than the alternative.


  16. I’m feral and sporting a tank build. However, I’m rarely tanking when I raid with my guild in 25 mans (aside from 4H and emergencies). Why? Because I’m dps’ing in kitty form.

    I’m lucky that my guild has always considered bear and kitty gear “feral” gear and not two seperate sets for loot. This means that I am more geared for dps’ing than our pally and warrior tanks, without switching specs. Our guild has been functioning this way since BC.

    Are we the only guild with this mentality of druids being the best switch hitters?


  17. I still say that players should be able to change classes (the ultimate expression of “bring the player, not the class”), and that class “balance” should be based on performance, with no thought to popularity or the metagame population numbers. It’s OK (I promise) to have more Paladins or Humans or whatever, so long as they are (mostly) balanced mechanically. It’s just players expressing their preferences, and not only is that OK, but it’s valuable information. When presented with equivalent (not equal) choices in mechanics, players are going to go with what they feel is the most fun to play or fits their playstyle, more likely than what they feel is the Flavor of the Month that gives them the best shot at progression. (Yes, the min/maxers will chase the .5% bleeding edge, but that’s *their* fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Goodness, it might even come down to *player* performance, if you can imagine that.)

    Trying to shoehorn players into “population balanced” numbers runs contrary to the ideal of designing the game to be fun.

    Then again, I reflexively resent attempts at social engineering. *shrug* Just make the game reasonably balanced and interesting, and I’ll find my own fun, thanks.


  18. Very interesting. I have tried to play one of everything (I haven’t taken a hunter past 35 or rogue past 30, but those are the exceptions). I have seen a disturbing trend somewhat homogenizing the classes and making the difference window dressing. My 80 is a paladin, prot/ret. I leveled prot because I like it, because it felt right, no matter what people said about ret’s damage. I only bought my ret off-spec once dual spec became available. I don’t think GC understands people will play what they like unless there is an overwelming reason to play something else.


  19. Why are there less feral tanks?

    I think one reason on the Horde side is that you have to be a Tauren. Really. When Iolite and her friends at Casually Hardcore moved from EQ to WoW, she convinced her friends already in the game to reroll Alliance because she wanted to be a Druid and didn’t want to stare at a cow butt all day. I think that the restriction to Tauren is a turn off for lots of players that don’t want to be big cows. It does make sense from a lore perspective.

    I think that for raiders it is a lot harder to switch among the tanking classes since, well, first, they can be harder to play than ranged DPS. My main is an affliction lock and I dual-specced into destro a while back. The switch has gone well. I have a slightly different rotation of spells, but some strategic key remappings handled that. Within a short time I was comfortable in either. My wife is a prot warrior and she has more talents to actively manage, more cooldowns to watch, etc. than I do. It would be hard for her to switch to a bear or DK or pally since she would need to relearn all her combos, cooldowns and talent activations and relearn all the twitch skills she has.

    A second factor is gear. As a warlock, there is essentially no difference in gear for a destro lock and an affliction lock. At the highest end there might be some rebalancing of haste vs. crit, but spellpower and hit are still the most important by far. So if destro is nerfed I could go affliction with no gear change. With tanks it’s a whole ‘nother toon in a different type of armor, doubling the problems in switching to the flavor of the month.

    Did this all come down to “bring the player, not the class”? Bletch. I’m sorry.

    One aside – I’m getting convinced that Blizzard has been more upfront about having a lot of data mining going on about raid encounters. What compositions are going into raids. What spells are cast, talents used in downings and wipes. More and more of what I see in blue posts seems to be grounded in this kind of data. They just don’t want to divulge the hard data for competitive reasons I guess. I also suspect that some of the top guilds get watched, either real-time or after the fact, by the devs when they get to the end game content.


  20. You know it reminds me of GC saying “Bring the player not the class” Obviously he was wrong. What he meant to say was “Bring the player, not the class. So long as you balance all the classes the way we want them represented in raids.”

    I have to agree BBB, Why would a geared Uld main tank quit his character and start leveling up a new toon just because Bliz made it the flavor of the month? Experience tells us, “Wait. They will make you flavor of the month again.”

    Also I’m not sure why GC seems to abhor the idea of just balancing the classes against each other so they each perform equally well but differently. It boggles the mind.


  21. I’ll weigh in with a little uninformed comment. I levelled my Warrior first and raided with her immediately. She is ok geared with a mix of H Naxx and N Ulduar gear. She is one of the warriors that Blizzard say proves there is nothing wrong with Warriors – she’s there plugging away at Ulduar and coping.


    She certainly isn’t fun to use . And heroics make me want to scream – I actually remove epics to make those work. She is only raiding Ulduar because her replacement isn’t at 80 yet. And in there she makes me feel like I am holding the team back through low DPS and sometimes survivability issues.

    Her replacement is getting close and the guild is happy to take him – and yes it’s a druid. Not FOTM though, I have tanks in all classes over 60. My druid was in fact my second main but was left behind for various reasons. A tank that does ok damage (as DPS) and can switch to heals (healing BGs is fun). My warrior may be waiting a long while for more love.


  22. Part of the problem I feel is that feral druids don’t always want to tank. My guild regularly raids with 2/3 ferals and yet whilst all 3 have picked up tanking trinkets/necks etc, none of them have expressed any desire to tank (the list goes basically like kitty dps, moonkin, resto, tank in terms of what they want to do in raids). When our usual maintanks can’t make raids, its usually a ret paladin who goes prot because those 3 druids would rather dps.
    All out of the three maintanks which we run, we have 2 prot warriors and 1 deathknight. Both prot warriors have been tanking in one guise or another since the start of vanilla wow and they enjoy it and are good at it. One of them has tanked on multiple classes and could have a raidspot as a tank on whichever one of the four classes he hit 80 first on. It just so happened he went for a warrior, which as it turns out might have been a mistake.
    But it seems that according to the developers we should be making our ferals tank even though they don’t wish to, to fill some kind of quota system.
    One of our prot warriors was actually our MT during the start of the Burning Crusade on his feral druid but he much prefers tanking on a warrior, because he finds the warrior a lot more interactive and interesting. But that’s personal choice, its like I prefer healing on my holy priest to my holy paladin. Holding one class back in order to bump the popularity of an other is more likely to create a lot of bitter and twisted people, rather than change the figures in a healthy fashion.
    It just seems like a dangerous and slippery slope. So Blizzard successfully get some of the resto druids/holy paladins to tank, then what? They look at the healing figures and go “Oh noes, too many healers are priests and shamans”.. so they either nerf priests/shamans or buff druids/paladins, creating further imbalance and all round chaos.
    The biggest annoyance I think for warriors, is the fact that in order to do certain fights well, they need two prot builds. Sure they can tank everything including General Vezax hardmode but they need a particular spec which is subpar for every other non cooldown fight.
    At the end of the day, its a game. People should be able to play the characters they want in the rolls they are specced for. I have a feral druid but there is no way I want to tank. It seems to be extremely stressful certainly on hardmode content, where little things like a growl two seconds too slow can wipe your raid.


  23. In my experience, I’m able to tank.. and rarely do so. So many are the reasons why. First reason, we have too many tanks. We have a few too many in 10 mans, we have WAY WAY too many in 25 mans. Second reason, slow pickup compared to other tanks and DPS with itchy trigger fingers make me *seem* like a worse tank. They tend to prefer the other tanks, even if they realize it’s a matter of giving me time to take aggro, if only because it’s faster with a paladin or DK. Finally, my cat DPS is much more valuable to my raids than my tanking, I am frequently second only to the other feral cat in my guild.

    Poor itemization for certain slots particularly, has made me an average tank. Paladins seem godly and DK’s ungodly well suited whether it’s AoE or MT roles.

    I’m not seeing the prevalence of warrior tanks either. Sure I know some that have stuck with their warrior just because that’s what they’ve always been. And yet I’ve seen far more paladin tanks than any other, followed by DK tanks. I don’t hardly see warrior any more. I know 1 that tanks for his guild as he always has, and 1 that can tank well but is usually preferred on a DPS role. What else can you expect when you only need 1-2 tanks out of 25 people? You suffer at both ends. Too many people in 25 mans want to tank, but if you need one for heroics, they are hard to find.


  24. Just to add to the angry…

    I have an 80 bear. One upgrade out of Naxx 25 left for her. Absolutely no guild on the server raiding would take her pre-Uld, none post-Uld. And it’s not personal, it’s “Druid’s are squishy, low tps, hard to heal. We want DK’s, Pallies & Warriors. Plate’s where it’s at.” But you know. Bears are OP.


  25. My Warrior has been the fastest and easiest class I’ve leveled so far, and my main is a druid…

    I feel GC was basing alot of stuff there on hyperbole and twisting what the people were saying to him… and his response to “Feral druids have been nerfed for a long time” felt like almost a threat of “but they are still overpowered… so maybe we are too nice to druids… careful what you say”.

    It was also very wrong when he was said High end raiding guilds are more likely to keep their older Main tanks. High end raiding guilds tend to be more “FOTM”. They always want the BEST geared, BEST specced, BEST most efficient classes. They do NOT tend to take a weaker class due to the member being a long time member.


  26. The fact that druid tanks are becoming less “likable”, makes me like them more.

    “Accept it, and move on”

    I say the same, but to absolutely everyone.
    They want to nerf us druids? Let them do it.
    I’ll keep “surviving”, and proving them wrong about why we (I) keep playing.


  27. I have all 4 tank classes at 80 and I’m leveling another DK so I can have all three DK trees specced for tanking. I tank raids with all 4(soon to be 5) and I have full confidence in each one of them for any encounter. I like having my tanks in the “wrong” type of fight, ie: AOEing with a prot war, because that’s when your player skills are most able to outshine your class skills. The nerfs generally cause people who were leaning on class imbalances to fade out thereby rewarding the good ones with glory. Buffs do the opposite. I generally get more upset about buffs. It’s like bowling a good game and having them turn on the bumpers halfway through because some of the other children are gutterballing.

    I really only want my AOE threat to be in line with my DPS’s aoe threat. I could give a damn if it’s inline with another tank’s. Ok, I do give a damn but I still only “need” to have more AOE threat than the DPS and not the tank they left sitting in LFG. There’s a hidden issue for me there. Paladin AOE threat is more often too good than warrior threat is too bad, especially with multiple tanks in play. I worry more that my Paladin has too much AOE threat than that my Warrior doesn’t have enough, yes. A paladin has to learn how to generate threat without aoe just so he doesn’t over pull and leave his healers stressed and his co-tanks bored. That kind of paladin tanking is more impressive to me than the one button god mode tanking that I see so often in 25 mans where the Bear and the Warrior just console each other over their ragelessness and the healers whiteknuckle heal the fool. BTW, man does it suck realizing you accidentally destroyed all your healthy mushrooms in heroic OK : )

    Let me know when you are ready for my fleet of warrior tank macro’s BBB! You know I gots da macros!


  28. I agree with Yunk and others regarding the tree heals. We are a small, casual guild who run Nax10 regularly. Our 2 tanks currently are Warrior and Pally. We do have 3 Druids in our guild and all 3 have gone to healing spec because that’s the only way we can do any raiding or heroics. We just don’t have enough healers and trying to pug a healer is next to impossible.
    Before we hit 80, all 3 Druids were feral and loving it. I for one, regret that they can’t seem to bear tank anymore and wish there were more healers available. My priest does what she can but I had to switch her from shadow to heals because that was the only way we’d have enough players to do raids/heroics.
    It will be nice when a few of our other guildies get their healers leveled up and can join us!


  29. Same here. I leveled a DK to conteract tank woes, and found that everyone else did too. So now it’s LFM – need healer in trade all day long. I have been leveing a druid for a long time, doing resto/feral like everyone else. I really look forward to the day where I can finally hit 80 and actually be NEEDED. Doesn’t help that my main is a hunter. (Although those too are somewhat in demand nowadays, too bad they are boring as sin in raids).

    Main problem is of their own creation. They made an easy fun tank avialable, now we have too many tanks. And if they dont put in a hero class for healers next expansion, well I predict bad things. Now when newer players want to be useful they are going to level 1-90 a healer? Right.


  30. “”It’s a tough question — what to do with the overpowered but underplayed spec, assuming it doesn’t have any crippling gameplay flaws?””

    wtf, If nobody is playing a class in spite of it’s being OP, then leave it the fuck alone. You’re not going to get more people playing it by nerfing it.


  31. I think the problem is two-fold. Most people didn’t roll druids to tank. So most of the BC druid tanks were either levelled because druids in max stam gear were THE tanks for many fights or they tanked because cat and owl were so pathetic. Now that cat is arguably the best melee dps and owl’s have their own spots in raids many bears switched off. I’m a committed bear but this is the reasoning I see being used by many other cats and owls that can raid now. Second, well, I mentioned it, cats are arguably the best melee dps in the game right now. Oh well. Are you going to Blizzcon Bear?


  32. @Seleria – I’m surprised to hear that people don’t like druid tanks. As a healer, I have never found them hard to heal or squishy at all. We have a druid who would always pug with our guild (he was good friends with everyone, he just wasn’t sure about committing to a guild) for raids and whatnot, and he was a beast. He’d dps in his tank gear (not too much difference between tank and dps, easiest way for me to check was his pants enchant) if we had enough other tanks on, but if certain encounters were hard for them or they just were having problems, he would be in charge of tanking it.

    I know he was overgeared for it, but in our last 25 naxx he was an OT for KT. For whatever reason the other OT went down, so he had all the adds on him, and was fine. We couldn’t even tell he was taking extra damage. Then the MT went down when KT was at 25%, so the druid picked that up as well. The druid died at 1% health and we downed the boss. Sadly, the reason he died was that with all those guys on him, he couldn’t see the red insta death rune on the ground.


  33. First of all, thanks for your comment, BBB. It fills me with glee inside. 🙂

    There’s nothing wrong with your opinion on what to do (in fact, I think it is enlighteningly straightforward), but the follow-up, and the reason why it’s a tough decision for the Blizzard developers you should be able to see from the rest of the comments: that there are a limited amount of raiding tanking spots, and there are Feral bears who want to tank but are not allowed to tank for various reasons, including the perception that bears are crappy tanks. So, if you nerf them directly or buff their competitor Prot Warriors, the expected result is that even fewer bears will be allowed to do what they want. Now, if you believe that’s an acceptable result of making all classes equal (and certainly it could be), then there is no problem, but it seems to me that Blizzard isn’t quite satisfied with their current representation numbers.


  34. I don’t really understood how we can be considered overpowered. In order to max out any stat we need to make sacrifices in another. For example in our 25 man our tanks are all pretty equivalently geared (mix of regular and hard mode 25 man gear including 5/5 T8.5). I generally run with a fairly balanced set of health and dodge (43k health and 50% dodge full raid buffed). Fully raid buffed and changing out some gear/gems I can get 50k health but I lose 10% dodge (which puts me under 40% dodge – our DK tank has 50k health and 60+% avoidance normally). In order to pump up my dodge to around 55%, I lose a ton of health (mid to low 30k’s). Maybe it isn’t fair that I use a DK as a comparison but to me it seems like we are not overpowered but make sacrifices in one form or another to be the correct power for the encounter. /shrug

    I know that DKs are getting nerfed which should bring them closer to druids and warriors do seem a little underpowered at times so their buff seems justified (although our main tank is a warrior and I have only rarely been able to pull threat off him). The only thing I can think is that the boosts that we would get from T9 gear would push us ahead of the other tanks just like it did for T6, T7 and would have for T8 before the nerfs we got at the time. I guess if they think we are overpowered I don’t even mind that but I just wish they would figure it out and be done with it finally so I wouldn’t have to spend so much money regemming and re-enchanting whenever they make a change. It can be very frustrating to have to continually make changes to ensure that you don’t somehow hurt the raid’s performance.


  35. Its definitely true that tank class composition has a lot to do with inertia. For my guild, my bear main tanked Kara and then Naxx. Our guild then took a break from Naxx (due to some guild drama), and now we are back. In the interim, one of the guild members leveled a Pally tank. Having played with a Pally tank now for a few months, I don’t main tank much. Why?

    How about 2k+ dps with no problems holding agro with groups of mobs because of great aoe dps. It just greatly speeds up runs and makes it much easier on dps. Compare that to my 1100 dps and much weaker aoe threat. Facts are facts no matter how much I like my bear tank.

    Heck, I’m planning to level a DK so I can try to tank with it and get a piece of that awesome DPS pie. Is everyone going to need 2 or 3 80s just as a hedge against the nerf bat?

    Blizzard seems too narrowly focused on certain aspects of class specs. With bear tanks, they seem to be obsessed with our mitigation. Which is just bizarre. There is so much more to equation than just that one aspect. Plus, with healing in the game so OP, does it matter that one classes mitigation is 5 or 10% better than another’s? I think not.


  36. @Ming writes “So, if you nerf them directly or buff their competitor Prot Warriors, the expected result is that even fewer bears will be allowed to do what they want. Now, if you believe that’s an acceptable result of making all classes equal (and certainly it could be), then there is no problem, but it seems to me that Blizzard isn’t quite satisfied with their current representation numbers.”

    The question at the heart of all this is why is the logical consequence of BBB’s position not acceptable to Blizzard. This is the entire point of GC preface when he says that people look at this whole issue too abstractly. And the answer is, as BBB seems to totally ignore, that Blizzard uses a multivariate analysis when making decisions. Because if you don’t have feral Druid’s in tanking at the highest levels then as a real matter you don’t have a game that feral Druids can play. And if you don’t have a game that feral Druids can play, then why does that spec exists at all. Blizzard has not gone to all the trouble and effort to design a feral tanking tree only to have that tree languish in obscurity. This is the point they have made over and over and over again about Sunwell. They don’t want to waste developer resources on content 95% of players don’t use. And it makes no difference to GC whether that content is called an instance or a class. That is why calls representation matters and matters a great deal. Because if classes aren’t represented then what’s the point of having them in the first place!

    “I don’t think that they should be reduced in effectiveness to encourage folks to abandon them in favor of trying something new… any more than I would EVER advocate buffing druids to be better than other tanks to encourage more people to try them on.”

    I’m sorry but this is simply a *stupid* position to take. It flat out denies the reality of the game you are playing. You are in a stupor if you think this way. In effect, this position says that there should be just three classes: tank, healer, and DPS; it conflates role with class. If the game is going to have classes then people need to be given reasons to play those classes. If you are not going to give people reasons to play the class, then you should get rid of the class. If making the class OP, as they did with DKs, gets people to play the class that is success. It’s success. It’s always been a defination of success since day one. I’m sorry but the position you take in that sentence is completely irrational. And the fact you can’t see it as irrational is the scariest thing about its irrationality.


  37. Oooh … I found druid THE most fun character to level … stealthy cat, instant cast flight, switch to bear mid-fight if it gets tough, timing it right to pop out of bear or cat to heal, then right back into form again … *sigh* great fun. And at 80 (admittedly only just in Naxx-level gear), I hardly ever get to play him because my “main” is a holy priest (who levelled and enjoyed raiding as shadow until we ran out of healers). And the few times I’ve had him in Naxx so far, nothing but a kitty weapon have dropped 😦

    The one thing that used to annoy me with bears, was their poor performance tanking multiple targets (or my poor performance!) – but with their new and improved swipe … tis a great feeling when you’re in the thick of it, the chaos clears and you find yourself in the middle of an arc of dead bodies …. mwahahahaa.


  38. I suspect that the reason for constantly “nerfing” classes is much simpler then most people would like to hear. I think it’s an efficient tool Blizz uses to prevent people from getting bored of the game. Patches give players a new toy every few months, something to fret over, curse at and even keep their attention occupied when they are not playing, because what would we do with our time if we didn’t have to read all the blogs and rant at all the forums about the new specs and gear choices of our beloved characters. Of course: their statements about balancing game play and so on are probably truthful enough, but the bottom line is that people would cancel their subscription if their gaming experience would feel exactly the same as a year ago.

    But maybe I am wrong; it’s not the first time I’ve been accused of being too cynical:)


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