Friday, May 1, 2009

Creating Synergy

D and I have been playing WoW together for years. That's so crazy when I say it out loud, but it's true. And over those years, we've discovered many leveling partnerships that worked great and a few that - well, not so much. There are several aspects to character choices which need to be taken into consideration, namely party role, armor class, and profession.

What worked?

Feral Druid / Shadow Priest

Once D's druid decided he wanted to be a bear tank, the idea of partnering with Anna's shadow-priesty goodness was just amazing. We had the roles down, his tanking and my dps & healing. He had no interest in my int & spirit cloth, and I wasn't able to glom onto his leather. And while we shared mining as one profession, he was usually content to herb and just hit nodes for the point. Also, if you accidentally flag yourself for PvP, and need a quick hiding spot, a Druid can be your best friend!

- How not to anger your bear: Follow the basic rules of thumb. If you pull aggro or prox an add, run TO your bear. Don't fear them off; he'll just have to chase them down, or wait for them to all come right back to you. For short fights, don't PW:S pre-pull. If he's not getting hit, he'll have a harder time generating the rage needed to keep the aggro off of you.

Death Knight / Discipline Priest

My little Lock n Plate has awesome AoE tanking, which keeps my squishy leveling partner safer. DKs don't need to be taking damage in order to generate the RP or runes necessary for their abilities, so a pre-pull Shield works great.

- How not to annoy your disc Priest: WAIT for the shield before charging in. It's one of his best methods of helping to heal / mitigate your damage, and if you don't force a D&D run for the mobs or you pull in mid-cast, you're going to have to beat the baddies back off your healer.

Warlock / Resto Shaman

Use your Void or Felguard to tank; although your bf is wearing mail, it's still harder on him to keep you alive when he's under fire himself.

How not to piss off your Shammie: When you get that HoT - tap. Then say "thank you." When you see your Shammie sit down to drink - don't tap. Bandage, Dark Pact, or sit yourself. It's pretty simple, actually.

What didn't?

Feral Druid / Rogue

One of us was always popping out of stealth with an opener - and ruining the chance for the other one to pounce. And we had to share out the gear.

Warlock / Priest

Not that it DIDN'T work... but it wasn't optimal. With the homogenization of gear and the change to outright +Spellpower, drops could often go either way.

Any Toon / Hunter

For one reason only - D doesn't like playing a pure dps class. Don't get me wrong, he loved the playstyle, the pets, and having the ability to kill several mobs at once, all while tabbed out to YouTube. What he didn't like was the feeling of helplessness that comes from not have a healing ability. Even when he was tanking, he still had some control over the damage being taken by other party members, and the option to pop and heal if the situation warranted it. I think D's Hunter will forever be a solo-artist.

Final Thoughts

There are far too many workable partnerships to detail them all here, but by keeping just a few points in mind, those who like to level with friends should have no problems choosing good questing partners.
  • Go for a different armor class
  • At least one toon should have the ability to either tank or heal
  • If both toons are dps, try making one melee and the other ranged or a caster
  • Level those secondary professions! Being able to bandage yourself or your friend can make the difference in a pinch, and it's always nice to bring a covered dish to the party.

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