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all by myself (and no one was looking)

January 30, 2009

I was reminded last night of something that a lot of people whine about, but is actually very true: WAR is not balanced around 1vs1. How was I reminded of this? By repeatedly killing 1-4 people solo on my Disciple. None of them were bad, per say, just a poor class choice to try and kill a Disciple. All tanks and one Witch Hunter, with a Warrior Priest arriving a bit late who was too low level to out heal my DPS. Keep a detaunt up, keep HoTs running and kill in order of squishiness (Witch Hunter -> Swordmaster -> KotBS -> Ironbreaker). Later I was jumped by three fairly bad Witch Hunters who didn’t understand how to circle someone, but that doesn’t really count as they were…bad.

I’m not trying to brag, or anything, the fact is I was just using my class. I’m sure the first group were actually using their classes well too. Taunts were flying, guard was used, no one did anything stupid. The game just isn’t balanced around small groups like this. If the Warrior Priest was higher level, I would have run. If they had a decent ranged DPS supporting them, I would have been in a lot tougher situation. As it stood, they should have never engaged me. They learned later and upon seeing me again turned tail and ran, so perhaps they were hoping I was bad in the first encounter. Still, it prompted me to want to write up this list of the classes ranked in order of 1vs1:

1.) Warrior Priest / Disciple of Khaine: This should not surprise anyone, you have to be better, or higher level to beat them solo.

2.) Black Orc / Witch Elf: Black Orc’s Da Toughest, combined with extremely high survivability. If you can beat them solo, it will take a very long time. Witch Elves have the ability to burst down anyone and can control most fights. Ranked lower than WP/DoK purely because their margin of error is much lower.

3.) Ironbreaker: Lots of CC and Earthshatter providing them very good burst to go with their (distant) second place in survival behind Black Orc.

4.) Blackguard / Chosen / Knight of the Blazing Sun / Swordmaster: All the remaining tanks have good control and survivability and can outlast, or bulldog most classes.

5.) Witch Hunter / Marauder: Control and burst. Much lower than Witch Elf, but much of the same idea.

6.) Runepriest / Zealot: These win with control and simply healing efficiently. They can defeat any of the tanks and stalemate with DoK/WP, but all their fights are much riskier and closer.

7.) White Lion: Another step down in terms of control, but actually does better against ranged DPS than other melee DPS classes.

8.) Archmage / Shaman: Same as RP/Zealot, but with less survival options. Some tanks and DoK/WP will beat them, unlike RP/Zealot. Matches they do win are now even closer.

9.) Squig Herder / Shadow Warrior: The pets and stances help greatly, as well as the many ‘cast while moving’ options they can spec into, but are very squishy and options are too limited in melee range.

10.) Engineer / Magus: Can’t put them above any higher on the list. These classes have found a promising role as AOE ‘pressure’ DPS which tried to force opposing healers to spread their heals out. While they are arguably overpowered as pressure, it does not pan out well in 1vs1.

11.) Bright Wizard / Sorceress: I must apologize deeply and sincerely before going on. These classes were never meant to be put in ‘duel’ situations. You can win by getting the jump on people, but against the top contenders even with that jump, you often lose. This is particularly true of healers who will outlast you, and tanks who can make themselves virtually untouchable to you via Hold the Line. Without Blink, or some form of kiting tool, you just aren’t meant for this.

I really have to add a disclaimer though, because as negative as some of this seems and as obviously tiered as this is, the game really is not and should not be balanced around 1vs1. Imagine if ranged DPS could stay out of the fray, but could also beat anyone 1vs1 who broke through the front line to stop their nuking. It’s not at all a fair prospect. Classes who are meant for front line duty do better in one on one situations for good reason. Still, it’s interesting to be reminded of it and notice that some people still don’t understand who is and is not a good target for them.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 4:13 pm

    Yes, WP and DoK are unkillable. I remember the first enemy player I encountered in world pvp was a WP and I couldn’t believe how powerful he was. My Sorc and Boyfriend’s DoK were beating on him for probably 5 minutes and he wouldn’t go down. It reminded me of WoW paladins; you have to effectively kill them three times before you can kill them once.

    After the first month of the game, it seemed like WPs weren’t as powerful as they once were. I was beating them pretty easily. But soon after that, I guess after the first major career patch, they became unbeatable again. If you don’t have the proper career makeup to kill them then it’s pretty much game over. I haven’t experienced the Order side of things, but I’m sure DoK is just as frustrating to fight.

    I agree with you that we shouldn’t balance these classes based on 1v1 power, but DoK/WP seem a little bit on the (dare I say it?) overpowered side.

  2. Frank permalink
    January 30, 2009 5:21 pm

    I will agree with the DoK being nigh unstoppable if they focus on healing themselves. My first destro character was a DoK and around L11 I was soloing BOs as I was running between The Blighted Isle and Chrace.

  3. January 30, 2009 5:34 pm

    Awesome article. Very helpful in understanding balance in WAR.

  4. February 5, 2009 11:36 am

    Don’t forget that the DoKs/WPs are “melee healers”. Sure it sounds big when they can keep themselves up in 2 -1 or 4-1 fights, but the real question is “Can they keep their group up?” The DoK/WP that is unkillable in 1v1 may not be the best setup for the group situation.

    BTW, congrats on the being featured in Da Bloody Twenty at WAAAGH!


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