Multiclassing in Pro Gaming

BY Andrew Miesner / May 17, 2009

Multiclassing in Pro Gaming

Written by Alex “Sodah” Ringe

Ever since I played Starcraft in 5th grade, I’ve always had the philosophy of “specializing.” I picked Zerg and tried to kick ass with just Zerg, and got super good at muta rushes, hydra kiting, and defiler swarming. In Warcraft 3, I played Human and only Human. Even the professional RTS players  have had this philosophy –  usually a player is truly only top level at one race. BoxeR is considered an insane terran player, and Grubby primarily plays Orc.

It is a great belief of mine that if you’re starting WoW or any game fresh and want to get good, you need to start right when its released, and you need to stick with a class. I picked druid about three months after the game’s release, and never left the class. As a result, I have 4 years of experience under my belt and an insanely deep understanding of the history of the class and every little nuance about it. It was with a heavy heart that I finally decided to switch over to Priest after witnessing the butchering of my beloved class last November. That butchering cost us Germany, but my skills with Priest have increased considerably. The transition from healer to healer is much less traumatic than from a DPS to a healer (cough, Venruki, jk, but seriously,) and I’m actually quite happy with how versatile a Priest can be. We managed to qualify for the Blizzard regional tournament with me only playing Priest, and proved that intelligent play and teamwork can beat raw experience.

American WoW players are notorious for multiclassing, however, and have proven that perhaps my fixation with Druids is an outdated tactic. Kintt has played Priest and Paladin, Azael has played Warlock and Warrior, Glick has played Warlock and Ret Paladin, Celex has played Mage and Druid, and Realz has played Priest and Rogue. However, Kintt is the only one I can think of who has actually changed their main class (priest → paladin,) while the rest just play the sideclasses for only a few specific matches. On the European side, only Carekoala has changed his main from Druid to Mage, and qualified for the European regionals. So, in fact, very few have successfully changed mains.

I honestly was a shitty priest up until about late March. Thanks to the tournament realm, however, I got in 5 solid weeks of copious amounts of play against great players, and got 10 times better and had a blast. I still make mistakes, and I’m still familiarizing myself with the tiny ways to get better. One thing I could work on is saving globals to dispel my team mates even faster, or use borrowed time more strategically rather than shielding on cooldown. However, even the best players are constantly refining their  game, and this is in fact perfectly normal. I still revise my druid play constantly.

So what can I say? Me switching from Druid to Priest hurt our superstar power, but made it possible for us to actually win. Should I fail this coming month, I should be replaced with someone who’s played Priest for years. But that won’t happen. And besides, there aren’t any Priest heroes left in America…yet, perhaps that will change soon.