POLL: Are you switching mains for Cataclysm?

This is a great time for players to ask themselves if they want a chance of pace for Cataclysm. Last year, I wrote a 3 step process to switching mains. It’s still valid.

So my questions to you today:

  • Are you switching mains?
  • To what and why?

As a GM, I’ve the enviable pleasure of combing through the guildies who have expressed interest in main switching. I’ll write a behind the scenes post on that later (when I actually come up with a plan). I’ll do my best to see if I can accommodate it, but I know deep down that I may not be able to approve anyone. There are too many factors to consider. Have they demonstrated their aptitude for playing that class? Do I have someone covering their existing role when they do switch out? I don’t have the authority to tell people what they can or cannot do. In the end, I have to decide whats the appropriate number of classes or roles required for a raid. Obviously, I’m not going to be able to green like 7 players who want to do nothing more than tank. There just wouldn’t be enough jobs to go around. Everything needs to be examined on a case by case basis.

What about for the rest of you GM or officers? How does your guild plan to handle main switching?

Post edited for further clarity

Are you switching mains when Cataclysm is released?

  • Nope! Staying the same! (54%, 246 Votes)
  • Yes, same role but different main! (21%, 94 Votes)
  • Yes, to a DPS role (11%, 52 Votes)
  • Yes, to a healing role (9%, 40 Votes)
  • Yes, to a tanking role (5%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 453

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. I really only have one other 80 (and it’s a sucky DK) so I will be sticking with my hunter. Unless under some miracle I level a new toon to 80 before then…which is highly unlikely.

  2. Yeah, switching over to a resto shammy from a mage. Discovered healing late in this expansion and love it, despite the stress sometimes! I plan on raiding with both toons, and possible a DK tank too if I can get of my bottom and level him in time but first to the new cap will be my shammy

  3. I voted not switching because I’m not switching my class, however I am switching from Druid tanking to Pally tanking I think. I’ve done the Druid from day 1 of WotLK. Looking to make a change.

    • @Justin: Whoops! Thanks for seeing the one variable I forgot to take into account. Added another option to reflect a main switch but with the same role.

  4. Angry_Panda says:

    Switching my main to a Goblin Priest. A friend and I switched factions and I just rolled a new character instead of transferring so I don’t really have a main at the moment. I do still have a Dwarf Priest that I will be switching to Gnome (I have been begging for Gnome Priest for like going on six years now lol). Still will be healing (yes, before you ask, I am indeed a masochist lol).

  5. Like Justin above, I am switching characters but not roles (from a moonkin to a mage).

    Thanks for the link back to your previous article; I remember reading it when you wrote it and it was helpful. Our policy regarding main switches is more or less what you have outlined there. In a few cases that involved an extended break from the guild, we’ve also required folks to re-apply as if they were completely new, and even interview. Guild turnover being what it is, some of the new people might not even know the old one or their capabilities.

    For myself – I only switched to playing a moonkin near the start of ICC (around January, I believe?). My character up until that point in the guild had been my mage, but we’d recruited another one and needed a hybrid capable character. It turns out that was my mistake and I really don’t enjoy being a moonkin as much. The lesson for me is: next time we’re lacking something, help the guild by recruiting someone who can fill that role instead of trying to do it myself! I’ll definitely be much happier for it, because I love being a mage.

  6. I’ll be switching back to my favourite class which i played at launch, the rogue. The ret paladin has served me well during WotLK but alas its back to my roots.

    Im a bit taken aback people in your guild have to be approved to switch mains, and indeed there would be potential for unhappy players or people just leaving the guild altogether. I guess my view would be unless your paying their sub they should be free to do what they choose.

    • @pitrelli and Spinks: Yes and no. I take a realistic stance when it comes to raid composition. Players are free to play whatever spec and class they like. I won’t stop them from doing that as it is their subscription.

      However, I also have to be realistic.

      If I already have 3 solid tanks and I have an additional two players that want to switch from a DPS role to a full time tanking role, how can I best reconcile their wishes along with guild progression? I simply would not have the room to run a 5 tank roster in the main raid (unless the encounters from hereon out demand it). The best I can do is wish them the best and help them find a home in another guild which would allow them to fulfill their wishes. In the end, I still have to ensure we have a balanced guild. Players are free to do whatever they want but whether the guild will have use of their skills is a different story. And if we don’t, we don’t. Nothing more I can do. I suppose I could fire my existing tanks but that would cause another ruckus entirely along with another set of headaches.

      But yeah Spinks, as you said, if you were in the guild and you REALLY wanted to switch mains and I couldn’t reasonably find a fit for your role or class in the raid, I’d apologetically tell you that I couldn’t make it happen. I’d use my awesome networking skillz and connections to help find you a home at the very least ^^.

  7. I’m picking the other option you didn’t show, same class but different spec 🙂 I think it’d be fun to switch to dps on my warrior with a tanking offspec.

    I think you’re brave to consider denying a main switching request at the start of a new expansion though. I just know that if I really really wanted to switch mains and my raid leader said no, I’d be looking for another raid.

  8. I’m still up in there air. I’m leaning more and more towards going back to my paladin from my druid I haven’t quite settled on which role I’d like to take. While I often times find myself envying the carefree nature of the dps player, I’ve been my guild’s main tank since it’s beginning and was the main tank in my previous guild with most of the same players.

    It generally ends up coming to a point where I either feel like the tanks we have aren’t cutting it, or we just end up needing another tank and then I get stuck there because it makes the healers happy as well as the dps. At the beginning of a new expansion though we always get an influx of new tanks from people wanting to switch to that role, and I let them play with it for a while but 9 out of 10 never make the cut. I guess people feel like tanks just get to stand in one spot and faceroll their keyboards.

  9. I have enjoyed playing my Feral druid and doing some sick dps but with the way elemental shamans are looking I am going to go that route this expansion. Especially since I love shamans so much.

  10. The answer to this is not necessarily one or the other. I actually consider myself to have two “mains”, because I have characters in multiple guilds. In my one guild, I have my priest, which will forever be my true main character. Even after almost 5 years of playing the toon, I still enjoy it more than any of my others.

    However, in my other guild, I currently have two level 80 characters (Death Knight & Druid), either of which I would be willing to make my main in that guild. At the moment, however, I would say that my DK will likely remain my main in this guild, but it all depends on how things are looking once I get them raid ready in Cata.

    That being said, I am currently leveling a rogue, which has the possibility of replacing either my DK or my Druid in Cataclysm, because I have found the play style to be rather fun. Who knows though, I may end up leveling another toon after I finish leveling my rogue, which may end up taking over too.

  11. It’s likely I’ll be switching to my paladin, if I can vroom him up to the cap by Cataclysm, or my shaman. Either way, I think I’ll give healing a shot. I’ve been DPS for one xpac and a tank for another, so why not healer for the third?

  12. I’m not sure yet. My main has been a healer since the beginning of Vanilla but I’ve had a prot/ret pally now since the beginning of BC and it remains to be seen if my guild’s tanks will be coming back when Cataclysm launches. I think we’re better set to replace my heals than we are tanks.

  13. Yeah switching from Resto Druid to Enhance Shaman.

    It feels like Resto Druids are gettting butchered.

  14. I’ve played a resto druid since about halfway through BC when my guild went through a massive overhaul and ended up being short on healers.

    I’ve really enjoyed healing, but with the changes coming to Cataclysm I’m no longer interested in pursuing healing as a role. I don’t like the changes to resto druids, I’m not happy about the constant changes to my class, for good or for bad. I enjoy a certain amount of stability when playing games. I’m so despondent about my druid that I’m not even really willing to change specs, but instead I’m just going to play something entirely different.

    I’m going to reroll hunter when Cataclysm comes out, I’ve already farmed up the mats to power level engineering and I’m working on getting up the gold to afford all the flying I could ever need. I’ll probably keep the druid around for the occasional farming, but I doubt I’m going back to him.

  15. The news about resto druids just seems to get worse and worse. I hope they fix them before Cata comes out, but I’m brushing up on my discipline priesting just in case.

  16. When Cataclysm drops I will be there on my Holy Paladin, same as ever. While I have had a lot of fun playing my ‘lock, I’m a healer at heart. I expect my Paladin will be 85 and gearing for raids before my lock takes his first step towards 81.

  17. I love my pally. She’s my main, my tank She’ll stay my main. 85% of my playtime is on her.

    I’d rather stop playing WoW than giving up.

    That said, I do have have a whole slew of alts to level (one of almost every class), which I always pick up when I want to play WoW and I don’t want to drag out my pally. Mostly I just switch activities on my pally, though.

    Like Jeffo, I’ll prolly have her to level 85 come cata before I even touch all my other toons.

  18. I have two mains. My resto druid will always be one of them.

    My hunter on the other hand, I’m not sure about. Lately I’ve been thinking about switching from hunter to prot warrior.

  19. Many of my friends are rolling to a server that is more “established” for Cataclysm while leaving some of our mains on our original server. So we’ll probably end up having two raiding groups (potentially) or consolidating on the new server.

    I have played resto druid since release and since playing two resto druids would cause burnout, I’m leveling a priest to be holy. After all, chakra does look pretty sexy. Chakra/smite spec? Mmmm.

  20. I’m staying on my tree… even though she won’t be exactly a tree anymore.

    By Cataclysm I’ll have all 4 healing classes at 80, but my tree is so amazing I can’t imagine playing something else. I hope they don’t break her…

  21. both my other officers are switching roles to tank because well good tanks are hard to find and currently we have, If I can just get my old mt over I will be extremely happy but im thinking he wants to switch to his dps rogue for cata. As for other roles I have a paladin switching to a hunter and a disc ms shadow os priest going to shadow ms disc os. I have a pally healer coming over soon hopefully, and then all I will need to find is a resto/boomkin druid and then fill out the dps core a bit more and the guild will be set, or at least I hope it will be.

  22. Hoping to switch from my healy priest to an enhancement shaman. Barring that, I’ll use Shadow mode exclusively. Really, really burned out as a healer. Also not too keen on some of the changes I’ve heard about. Granted, I have tried to limit how much I learn, but that’s not easy. So, perhaps my view of Cataclysm healing is bleaker than it will be, but DPS was always my first love, anyway.

    Our guild is barely alive at the moment, so we’re going to allow any and all main changes between now and when we start raiding again (assuming we do raid again).

  23. Nope! I switched from rogue to priest when WotLK landed, because I was sick of being “just DPS”, and wanted a position of more responsibility.

    I have been extremely happy as a (predominantly Disc) priest this content cycle, and am certainly planning to stick with that as my main for Cata. I do have level 80 shaman, mage and DK alts (as well as my rogue), but none of them tempt me to change.

  24. Wow, you deny main switches when expansions hit?! That strikes me as crazypants. In the middle of an expansion, sure, but forcing people to play something they don’t want to is a surefire way to create bad feelings and burnout.

    Wouldn’t it be far easier and more supportive of your current team to let people switch as they want and then recruit to fill in any blanks? Tell folks that if you have too many switch to the same role/spec then you’re just gonna take the best 2-4 after the first few months of Cataclysm raiding, and let them sort themselves out.

    You have to choose your battles as a guild leader, and in my opinion this is a poor battle to choose.

    • @Liore: I can see where you’re coming from. I’d rather pick the smaller battles now before it erupts into a bigger one down the road. Anyone that wants to switch can switch. But whether they’ll have a spot in the raid is a different story altogether. It will always end up being a case by case basis. I’m not going to say no to everyone that wants to swap. The way I see it, there are two methods by which I can approach.

      The first is what you described. Let anyone switch classes or roles to whatever they want. I could wait until the dust settles and see what gaps need to be filled and what excess needs to be trimmed. After several months, any players who don’t make the cut will lose access to the guild rewards, guild perks and reputation they have earned while they were waiting around and languishing in a guild where their services would not be needed.

      The second is to have a precision idea of who is committed to what class/role. Have a path laid out for the 28+ raiders who wish to progress in the guild so that there is no question as to who gets to be what class and who gets to play what position. If I find that I am lacking in a section after a while, then its back to recruiting.

      I strongly believe in not wasting peoples time. If I’m already stacked on one class or one position, then that’s unfortunate because there is simply no room. If I know I was a raider and it looked like there would be no room for my services, I’d rather be told that up front so I could look for a new guild that could utilize me instead of waiting around and wasting my time.

      We’ll see if my instincts prove to be true or not. If I’m wrong, oh well. I learn, move on, and the masses are free to pick me apart for my mistakes ^^.

  25. I’m sticking with my resto shaman main, but I have plans to change my main alt/secondary main (whatever you call it) to my holy priest. It used to be my druid, but I honestly can’t stand the idea of playing her resto post-cata.

    However, in order to really mess with my own mind and the minds of my guildies, I’m planning to have the shammy and priest swap races and names and assume each other’s identities 🙂

  26. Not changing. I’ve gotten too good at playing my hunter to stop. I may however retire my DK in favor of my Warrior. But that depends on which I feel more comfortable tanking with. I also have a Resto/Ele Shammy at 80 by then so one of the Tank/Melee characters is going to have to take a back seat so that I can fill any role needed.

  27. Nytehunter says:

    I played a ret pally for 3 years and finally got bored. I’ve just rolled a NE hunter and got them to 68 in addition to rolling a undead warrior (just reached 50). I’ve also switched the Pally to holy and have been running them through LFG for badges and collecting heirlooms.

    I don’t’ raid, preferring PvP (BGs). I did raid the first half of the year, but in the end found I actually didn’t like it. Not enough variety for me.

    I don’t have a “main” anymore. I have toons which I play to experience different parts of the game.

    – Pally is cash cow/badge farmer
    – NE Hunter is for fun PvP
    – Undead Warrior is to enjoy tanking and see the Horde story lines.

    My strategy for the last few months has been to farm/daily quest for gold and heirloom items for my lower level toons.

    I’m guilded, but with people I’ve played for years. They raid, but I’m clear on stating I’m casual/PvP. The LFG and instant BG function is a real boon to players such as myself, as I can run a few BGs and a dungeon or two in a few hours.

    Once Cata comes, I’ll roll a Worgen Warrior as a tank (got all the necessary heirlooms saved) as the main, primarily to see the content. I think I’ll take the NE Hunter to 85 because I like the sound of the new BG and PvP areas.

  28. Once a priest, always a priest here =)

  29. My main (prot paladin) is changing quite a bit. I’ll stick with him as long as I like the new combat style, but if it’s a total wash for me I’ll have to choose between my resto shaman and my hunter. Provided, of course, I don’t fall in love with one of the 5 classes I’ve put off leveling until Cataclysm.

  30. I’m switching raiding mains from Holy Pally to Resto Shaman. Keeping the same role though. I’m not sure I like the overhaul paladins are getting, and I don’t want to commit myself to being one just yet.

  31. Staying priest of course 🙂

  32. I am also switching mains not roles, though I have already done so.

    The real thing to keep in mind as a guild leader is that you need to make sure people understand one very important thing, should they want to switch mains.

    A lot of people will want to switch mains, and may get angry at you if you tell them that they can’t. What you have to make clear to them, is that they are more than free to switch to whichever main they want to play. However, your primary responsibility is to ensure that the guild will be ready to raid early in the expansion and that the correct class balance will be maintained, and thus if they choose to ignore your request to not switch mains and do it anyway, you may not be able to provide them with a raid spot.

    its a shame to make people choose between remaining in the guild that has been their home and playing a character that they don’t enjoy anymore, but its really the only option.

  33. I will be staying with my priest however my husband who has been our maintank FOREVER will be switching to his elemental shaman come cata. He decided that he wants to place more time on Ice Hockey this year than the game and it wouldn;t be fair to the guild for one of its tanks to be missing one day out of our raid week.

    Its great if people decide to main change during cata while keeping in mind the goals and the needs of the guild first. We discussed his change at length and decided he could best serve the guild’s needs with his Shaman.

  34. Sticking to my guns, but with the upcoming talent/glyph changes, I’ll be able to hold onto a resto spec as a second spec full time, which is my plan (with elemental being my primary spec). Being able to have that versatility will be sweet (normally I’m dual spec elemental, one for raiding and the other for pvp).

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