Thanks to Warlords of Draenor, we’re looking at a fresh batch of 90′s with some regularity. This will spike further when the game actually comes out (because some players want the physical version of the game, or the deluxe version). In a move that I applaud, Blizzard has come out with some Crash Course videos.
Even for players who already have a 90 of said class, this isn’t a bad little cheat sheet as it were. Trust me, some players won’t know these things despite it being their main toon. For new players, or folks with an unfamiliar class, these are fantastic starting points. Unfortunately it only helps to boost the dps pool and even then you’re looking at only half the specs. I realize Blizzard could only devote so much time and energy into the concept, but it’s disappointing. I know healing and tanking can’t really be taught in a 90 second video, but even the other dps specs are left out in the cold. If you want to be a fire chucking Mage, Blizzard can’t help you. Only Arcane.
Of course this is the world of instant media and information and we can very well look these things up. When I boost my Druid, I will most certainly be studying Feral and Resto much more closely. I know to do this. These videos don’t quite feel like I’m the demographic. It feels like they’re aimed more at new players than anything, and in such a regard should have taken the time to show all the specs. Again I admit tanking and healing tutorials are much harder and cramming one into 90 seconds would be tough, it still could be achieved in it’s very basic form.
The question is then would we like the healers and tanks we would be getting out of it? Someone who tries to tank at 90 for the first time is going to be in much worse shape than someone who has done it previously, or even 85-90. Or even respecced at 90. At least said player still has a grasp of her class in the first place. Same goes for a healer. And they catch even more grief if something goes awry.
It seems to be a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, scenario. But as someone with a healer and a bit of an out of practice tank, I would like to see them (Blizzard) at least encouraging people to try the roles. Even one of these videos dedicated to something other than dps would have been a good idea. Show players what they can do at a basic level and instead of saying “look at your abilities and glyphs and wing it,” put an emphasis on places like the forums and wowhead even (since they link to it in the armory anyway). Having people try and fail (or equally succeed) is better than not even showing them the option in the first place.