Melee Classes in WoW

While leveling my alts in WoW, it occurred to me that I don’t ever play any melee characters. I have a Warrior–two of them in fact–but I just don’t like Warriors in WoW. My very first character in 2006 was a Warrior, who I leveled to about 20-something and gave up on because I kept getting killed by those stupid Defias (or whatever they’re called) guys in Westfall. (Back in those days if you ever got jumped by 2 mobs you were basically dead–at least I was–hence my switch to a Hunter.)

Since 2006 I’ve tried to revive that Warrior many times. I even made a new Worgen Warrior several years ago, hoping the werewolfiness of it would make it more interesting. Alas, nope. In fact I found the warrior combat animations quite a bit more silly-looking as a Worgen.

When I think back on that Worgen Warrior’s run to level 20-something (which incidentally took about 1/100th the amount of time as the 2006 Warrior’s rise to level 20-something), I think I know what the problem is.

It’s the timing of the key presses. I’m so used to Rift classes where you can and should hit a key on every single global cooldown, whereas with the WoW Warrior it seemed like sometimes you need to NOT hit a key and instead utilize auto-attacks and wait patiently for the next GCD, which feels weird. That’s probably why I’ve always gravitated toward ranged classes in WoW, which all seem to have some kind of “shoot” ability on every GCD.

(Except now Beast Mastery Hunters run completely out of focus if you mash a key every GCD. Boo.)

I have some kind of problem with all the other melee classes too. I’ve never liked Rogues in WoW, though I suppose they are probably sufficiently altered by now that I wouldn’t recognize them from the last time I played one (c. 2006-2008). Still, I have a visceral dislike of the class from when they were stealthing around and sapping me in arenas. I guess in my mind, only griefers play Rogues. :)

I tried a Death Knight a couple of years ago but I found it too complicated for me to bother with. I recall something about green, blue, and red abilities, and having to combine or chain them for optimum results. It was too much work for a game I knew I wouldn’t play very much.

I don’t think I’ve ever played a Paladin more than a handful of levels before. They just felt very boring to me, starting out with that wooden mallet that looks like it would be more suited to a carnival’s strongman strength-testing bell game. Perhaps I should give it another try with the latest patch. Maybe I should boost one to 90 or 100 and skip right over the boring parts. Then again, it isn’t very likely I’m going to tank or heal in WoW, unless I start my own static group, which is about as likely as me starting my own sketch comedy troupe.

Shaman? I think it has some melee abilities but I think of it as a ranged DPS or healer class, and both of those roles are better served by other classes.

I played a Monk for about 15 levels in my last burst of WoW time before Draenor, but I don’t remember being that excited about it. Again, it felt more complicated than I wanted in a WoW class. I felt obligated to make one though since every dungeon I ran had a Monk in the top DPS slot.

What else is there? Oh, the new Demon Hunter is kind of meh to me. I only played it for like 30 minutes though.

I gather that the Hunter Survival spec is sort of melee-based, but I’ve never tried it, and what’s the point of a melee Hunter anyway?

I’ve felt for quite a while that WoW’s classes are the weakest part of the game. I’ve always had a hard time finding one that I like over the long term. (Not to mention they usually change them if you do happen to find something you like.) There’s always something “off” about them.

Little Mage fending off Fel invasions.

For the moment the Mage is my favorite class. Frost spec for soloing and Fire spec for groups. (Arcane spec for rolling through old dungeons to farm materials.) It’s mildly challenging to solo with it, but easy to play in groups, and having teleportation is really handy. I also like how they gave you a Talent in the Frost spec so you don’t need to summon the Water Elemental. I never liked that thing. (The constant bubbly sound got on my nerves.) And the fact that my Mage is a tiny little Gnome is sort of apropos to my overall involvement in WoW.

3 thoughts on “Melee Classes in WoW”

  1. This ties into something I’ve been pondering about “rotations” specifically in WoW but in MMOs in general. I agree that combat in WOW feels “off” for some reason, which makes it all the more mysterious why it’s so often held up as the best of all MMOs in terms of combat responsiveness.

    The GCD issue is something I rarely notice in most MMOs but in WoW I find it hard to avoid thinking about even while I’m fighting. That shouldn’t be happening. Also I think the extreme lack of tactility is a big factor. It doesn’t feel either like I’m getting a response to pressing the keys or that the spells/abilities have any physical impact.

    Going to have to think about this some more.

    1. I find it responsive enough (considering the inherent constraints of a global cooldown), but I think what’s tripping me up is the combination of managing cooldowns and managing the “rage” or “focus” or whatever resource. (Mis-managing in my case, usually.)

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