Thursday, May 20, 2010

2s Comps and Trying to Game the System

I've played 2s since season 1 for the same reason as everyone else: it's easy to coordinate 1 other friend to play regularly. And fun. It's one of the few truly co-op experiences WoW has when you're level-capped. Sure, there's raiding and all that shit, and yes, it's an MMO.. it's all co-op at some point, but I like playing with 1 or 2 friends, not 9-24. I like Army of Two, I loved Conflict: Desert Storm, I even got through Kain & Lynch; I love the 2-player experience. But 2s in WoW is about as balanced as a 1-legged giraffe. You can see the dominant comps here. And if you've ever tried to outplay any one of these comps with, say, a rogue/hunter team, you know why they're dominant.

I've run a lot of comps, having 10 80s at my disposal, but my partners are consistently a druid and a lock. Strong 2s partners, plenty of faceroll comps with those classes in them. Here's a quick break down of comps, successes, and failures over the years:
  • Played an OP comp out of the gate: disc/afflic (if I remember correctly). This is back when DoTs weren't affected by resilience and it was OM NOM time. We played on BG9, fairly stiff competition as always, and got Duelist titles. We sucked, never juking anything, I'm not sure we ever mana-drained a single opponent, and I stacked my guy with green stamina gear. GREENS! I basically charged out, people tried to explode me, and by the time they realized I was literally a damage sponge, my lock had blown them up. I went shadow and we started just riding right out, fear-bombing, and nuking. But this is exactly what an OP comp in 2s can do: play TERRIBLY and win.
  • The next comp I seriously played was frost mage / resto druid. A very tough comp it turned out. We got up to the 1400s (S7) maybe, but came up short. I don't raid, so I never have the spellpower to really gib anyone. I couldn't drain healers, so fights lasted forever as they would pole-hump, get just enough back, and keep things moving. Druid healers were nearly impossible for me to kill and we actually had one match end in a tie after 45 minutes... both teams lost points. It was a real "what are you doing with your life" moment. A better frost-mage druid partner would probably be either dps spec, but having a healer allows us to play terribly and slowly learn still. It's a deceptive crutch, but one we seem to always need.
  • I switched up to a protpally, playing with the same resto druid, and it was a joke. Pallys are outrageously easy to play. We stopped around the same area, but the struggle to get there was nonexistent in comparison. Mages are always setting up their kills, always freezing, stunning, silencing, and unloading. Pallys, on the other hand, just rub their balls in your face until you die. They never stop, never run out of mana, never get snared, and basically can't get quicked.
  • Disc/Boom. Not easy. No real overlapping strengths. As a disc, I can heal him, drain them, dispel away, that sort of thing, and turn on the offense when needed, but I still feel like I don't do enough. When left alone, I can't swing those fights, and that's a problem. Also, I get chain cc'd so easily, even if I SW:D the first sheep, 2 more are incoming and if I trinket one, some other form of cc, like a fear, is enough for them to send my partner to Mars. I always think you need either a mana drain or a mortal strike in your comp, and we have one of those two things, but it's not enough. Now, 99.9% of the problem is our skills but whatever... we're working on that.
  • Disc/Afflic. Back to the beginning. It's solid expect the fears overlap diminishing returns and that blows a bit. But we play well together and have a good enough time.

So what should I be playing with my 2 available partners? Well, Warrior/Resto and Resto/Afflic would be the safest choices, I think. I've switched to Resto/Afflic for my lock's sake, we'll see how we adjust to that from Disc. Cyclone is outrageous and root is sneaky strong. Preventing damage beats healing it any day. As for playing my warrior with my resto brother? Holy crap am I bad at that class... Again, I don't raid, and I know it's a very gear-dependent build, but I just can't get anything going with that guy. I want to try it again, but it was embarrassing. Where my pally could blow people apart with his smoldering gaze and chiseled features, my warrior stands around snared (I know this is PEBKAC, stfu) and frail, looking like I've lagged out all the time. I'm going to try frost mage / boomkin next, but really, I should just L2P, take the supercomp, and get my gear on.

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