4 September 2008

From racials to faiths

Blogs are like dinner parties, forums are like biker bars. (Bear with me, there's a point to this eventually.)

A blog is like a meal with your mates, warm and cosy and satisfying and unhurried. You talk about sex, politics and religion in the same breath, you eat enough to kill a small horse, and you always leave feeling more positive about the world. But the most exciting thing you'll do is play twister and it's considered rather rude to get drunk and throw up in your host's bathroom.

Forums, like biker bars, go quiet when strangers walk in. There's broken glass on the floor, and some hairy bloke at the bar who kills anyone who looks at his chick. But everyone is completely smashed and the jukebox is awesome. It's not exactly enriching, but it's a blast.

There's a time and place for both, but these days I'm more of a dinner party kind of guy. My days of getting blind drunk and picking fights are, for the most part, a thing of the past. Which is simply a way of explaining why I hardly ever visit the class forums and nearly missed this great suggestion on priest racials.

Priest racials are those spells you get at levels 10 and 20 following simple quests. The spells differ depending on your race, hence the term racial.

They've always been rather controversial. The spells are considered by many of variable functionality and the fact that they are not available to all priests leads to the inevitable arguments about which are better. The Dwarven priest racial fear ward caused such a loud and persistent outcry that it was eventually baselined for all priests, while the human spell feedback suffers from the opposite problem — nobody wants it.

I never use my racials, I think they are both distinctly underwhelming. And to be honest, I'm not sure I would bother using any of the spells, regardless of my race, although I think some have the odd situational use.

The problem is that racial spells — priestly or otherwise — must necessarily be weak to avoid bestowing a particular advantage on a specific race. They are primarily there for flavour.

Jesinta suggests replacing priest racials with a system of faiths. It's a beautifully eloquent solution that manages to fix the balance issues while enhancing the unique role-playing facet of priests.

Under this suggestion, priests would be able to align themselves with one of several faiths (Jesinta suggests Elune/Mu'sha, Holy Light, and Forgotten Shadow). You pick up spells according to the faiths which could perhaps enhance your chosen role or help to identify you with your chosen faith. The point is, they would be available to all priests, rather like an enhancement to the talent system. This way, you would have much more freedom to make the spells unique and useful.

I love it. When can I have it?

Anothering interesting thing about this post is how it breaks my forum/blog rules. No louts stumbling around bottling people in this thread, no sir. It feels more like a wine bar than a biker bar, lots of people standing around chatting and tapping their feet to the music.

So what about you? Are you a dinner party person or a biker bar bruiser?

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