Remember Paul Barnett saying what a really good invention/design is? His genius test involves the statement from one self saying: “It’s so obvious that I should have thought of that!”
Well.. for me WAR offers a genius feature which I as a healer especially like: Dual targeting
No matter what kind of healer I play, this feature allows me a good control of healing and damage without too much confusion what I’m currently targeting. I couldn’t play without this feature! Especially as a Warrior Priest things get really hectic as I’m Grace specced and most of the time right beside the tanks and other melee fighters. Right there you are thankful, that you can easily have two targets at one time.
What about the other classes? Well..even they can profit from dual-targeting (though much less due to the main assist feature). Especially as a ranged dps career dual targeting works well. You target a friend and hit the /assist-macro-button, which you should have made right after character-creation. ;) So you would not really need a Main Assist as you can keep that friendly player as a target and still switch hostile targets at your will, being able to switch back to assist by just one button press.
Now I’m drifting away a little bit (so if you don’t want me see using the “grumble and mutter”-skill you are free to save your precious time and stop reading at this point ;)) because there is a feature that I don’t like, but many loud voices demanded back in October and then got it. It’s the Main-Assist (MA) feature. I never liked the idea of having a MA in WAR. For me it just kills the personal skill involved.
When you play a ranged dps career, gaming is rather …simple. With a somewhat effective actionbar-configuration you just press/click 1 2 3 4 5 and repeat it until the enemy is dead. This loop is not even a programming practice you would give a 5th grade student in school ;) This configuration of the actionbar is done out of combat..you have time to think about what feels comfortable and is effective.. It’s some sort of skill, but nothing too special.
Now lets mix it up a little bit and increase the pressure on your decisions by having not only to decide what skill you use, but also on what target! Now things get really complicated when there are many targets around to choose from.. If you waste time it means that your team doesn’t deal damage to the same target and this might lead to a loss because the enemy might not waste time, focus firing and taking your team mates out one at a time. So you could argue that the enemy team is more skilled.. if there wouldn’t be that little “MA” feature. Now you assign one MA and every ranged dps career just hits the MA-button and then 1 2 3 4 5. .. no need for any further thinking. The MA decides what you should do.. you hand out a difficult portion of mastering your career to another person.
I’m no friend of assist-trains in this automated manner. I really don’t like it that there is an /assist-function hidden and having an official MA doesn’t make it any better. I know that assist is effective and necessary especially when there is a large number of enemies packed in a small area (as it is impossible to select a target there in any effective way), but nonetheless I don’t like it not choose my target by myself.
People coming from WoW are used to having such things as a MA … I think that many people don’t want to learn new tricks, which is a problem when you design new stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, people have to feel comfortable with it right from the beginning. If they are not, they will complain and mutter like they did with the absence/need of the MA-function.
In my opinion it would have been enough to give the players the /assist-function as a button right from the beginning of the game..just like the flee-button, so that it’s obvious and everyone knows how to assist. MA could be cut as there is then no need for it.
I know that it’s technically both the same, but having to target your friend and then assisting him feels more like “I decide” than “Someone else decides”. It even makes it more natural to switch the friendly targets you assist, which is something I tend to do. Shame on me..I switch targets.. ;)
So..enough babbling about a feature/problem no one cares about… See you all on the battlefield.