MMO-Champion - Seeing the Forest for the Talent Trees
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Seeing the Forest for the Talent Trees
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on our crazy, exciting, and scary talent overhaul, for which we are enormously appreciative. For real and for true. We *want* your feedback on the new talents. That is why we are presenting so much detail so early. While we will continue to iterate on talent specifics, your feedback is an important part of that process. Don’t abstain because you’re convinced that things will change without you. Your input is one of our most important tools for improving the game.

We have seen a few consistent responses from players concerned or dismissive about the model, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to explain the philosophy behind some of our decisions, to provide a better framework upon which you can continue giving us feedback.

1. "I have fewer choices."
This is the big one, and the truth is it is ultimately correct. You will have fewer choices. But you will have more choices that *matter*. One of the important philosophies of game design is that interesting choices are fun. The word ‘interesting’ is key. Choosing between a talent that grants 10% damage and one that grants 5% damage, all else being equal, isn't interesting (unless perhaps you’re a superstar role-player). Choosing between a talent that grants you 5% haste or 5% crit might be interesting, but more than likely there is still a right answer (and like most of us, you'll probably just ask someone else what the answer is.) Choosing between a talent that grants you a root or a snare can be interesting. Which does more damage? Hard to say. Which is better? It depends on the situation.

This is why we don't have a clear damage, tanking, and healing talent choice every tier. In the case of the old trees, choosing the talent you want from among the talents that don’t interest you isn’t an interesting decision -- it's a multiple choice test, and an easy one at that. Are you Ret? You probably want the damage option. But what if the Ret player had to choose from three healing talents and couldn't sacrifice healing for damage? Now it gets interesting. Worst case scenario is the player just picks one at random because he refuses to heal. However, he has the ability. Maybe he'll use it in some situation. Meanwhile, other players will be happy that they can benefit more from the hybrid nature of the paladin class without having to give up damage to do so.

2. "There weren't cookie cutter builds."
You're wrong. Next!

To be fair, we did manage to engineer most of the Cataclysm talent trees to include a few legitimate choices. These typically occur when you need to spend enough points to get to the next tier of a tree to get the good stuff. Many specs had 1-4 points to spend wherever they want. That's a huge victory compared to pre-Cataclysm talent trees, but ultimately nothing to really brag about.

It is possible of course to strike a blow for individuality and use a non-cookie cutter build. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these builds are just going to be less effective. The remaining percent of the time, they will eventually become the new cookie-cutter. When players talk about their love of options, I think what they are really saying is they are in love with the idea of having dozens of interesting talents. We just don't think that will ever happen.

Look, we tried the talent tree model for seven years. We think it’s fundamentally flawed and unfixable. We know some of you have faith in us that someday we’ll eventually replace all of the boring +5% crit talents with interesting talents and give you 80 talent points that you can spend wherever, and that the game will still remain relatively balanced and fun. We greatly appreciate your faith, but we fear it is misplaced. It’s not a matter of coming up with enough fun mechanics, which is challenging but ultimately doable. The problem is the extreme number of combinations. When you have such a gigantic matrix, the chances of having unbeatable synergies, or combinations of talents that just don’t work together is really high. That’s not lazy design. That is recognizing how math works.

So given that we don’t think it’s humanly possible to have 40-50 fun, interesting and balanced talents in a tree, the alternative is to continue on with bloated trees that have a ton of inconsequential talents that you have to slog through to get to the fun stuff. A lot of you guys have stuck with us for years, continue to play regularly, and still love World of Warcraft. You are the reason we’re still making this game. We think you deserve better, and we think we can do better.

3. "We'll still have cookie-cutter builds with the new design."
I am slightly amused by the number of comments that say "The theorycrafters will just math out which is the right talent and we'll all just pick that one." But the theorycrafters aren’t agreeing with those comments, because they know they won’t be able to.

Just to make sure, I chose several specs at random and researched their builds. Sure enough, even with the Cataclysm builds today, you see quotes like “spend the last two points wherever you want” or “choose X or Y at your discretion.” It is “easy” (which I put in quotes because theorycrafters devote a lot of time and neurons to it) to determine the value of a DPS talent like Incite or Ignite. It is hard to determine the DPS value of Improved Sprint or Lichborne. Most of the Mists talents are things like the latter. Now there are still some pure throughput (damage, healing, or tanking) talents in the trees. We expect there will sometimes be a right answer as to which talent to take for those roles. On a fight like Baelroc (one boss, no adds), Bladestorm and Shockwave probably aren't competitive with Avatar. We're okay with that, because on Beth'tilac (lots of adds) they definitely can be and it will depend a lot on your play style and the role you have in the fight. However, given that we know a player can only have one of those three talents and that the synergistic effects from those talents with other talents are limited, it is much easier for us to balance say the healing value of Archangel and Divine Star. Despite what you read on the forums, we actually have gotten better at balancing World of Warcraft over the years.

4. "No rewards for leveling."
Once upon a time, you got a new talent point every level. That worked okay for a game with 60 levels. It works less well for a game with 90 levels. It probably is totally incomprehensible for a game with 150 levels, should we ever get there. We keep bumping the level cap because frankly it’s fun and we haven’t yet come up with a progression mechanism that will feel quite as good.

Leveling is pretty fast these days and fairly rewarding, in that you see lots of new content and get gear quickly, which is something we have trouble replicating at max level (though stay tuned for Mists of Pandaria). On top of that, you’ll still get lots of abilities as you level up. Instead of having to click Raging Blow, we’ll just give it to you, because frankly if you skip it, you’re making a mistake (or you’re RPing a Fury warrior who has taken too many blows to the head). There are gaps in getting new abilities, especially at high level, because we don’t want players to have to have four rows of action bars to play their character. Again, that is just the blessing and curse of having a game with so many levels.

Third, I’ll challenge the notion of just how interesting it is to get that second point in Pain and Suffering or Rule of Law while leveling. Do you really notice that you now kill a creature in 2.9 GCDs instead of 3 GCDs? (But see below for a bit more on this.) There are some game-challenging talents of course, like Shadowform, but as we just discussed, you'll still get those.

Finally, the reality is that for many players, WoW has become a game focused on max level. Back in the day, leveling a fleet of alts was really compelling gameplay, but for many of the old-timers, there just isn’t a ton of interest in making a second mage or whatever. Hopefully account-level achievements will help with that somewhat, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect all of our long-term players to have thirty or more characters at some point in the future. It’s a fair concern that the new talent system is geared more towards making max level exciting, but that’s also where players tend to spend most of their WoW-playing hours these days. We don’t know yet what we are going to do for players who want to play a monk but just can’t stomach the idea of hitting Hellfire Peninsula one more time, and how we solve the problem when you get a friend to try WoW, only to discover that your pal will need to spend several weeks or months getting up to max level before he or she is ready to join your Arena team or raid group. But these feel like problems we are going to have to solve at some point.

5. "I like being better than noobs."
It was surprising and a bit disappointing at how frequently we saw this argument. The players in question fully admit that they don't experiment to find the best build. They accept the cookie cutter spec that is offered from a website, but then they use the fact that they knew the cookie cutter to mock players who don't. Intimate knowledge of game mechanics certainly is and should be a component of skill. But knowing how to Google "4.3 Shadow spec" doesn't automatically make you a better player. Sorry, but I’m just going to dismiss this one as an illegitimate concern.

6. "The talents are all PvP choices."
We see this response from players who say “I don’t care about PvP,” or “raid bosses can’t be snared,” or even “I am a solo player, so I don’t need a defensive cooldown.”

First, a lot of players do care about PvP, and almost every choice in the new talent model will be interesting for them. We are also taking some steps with Mists to encourage more crossover between PvP and PvE as the game once had, so even if you don’t care for PvP now, maybe we can get you interested in the future.

Second, a lot of raid bosses can’t be snared, but their adds and trash sure can be. We don’t do a lot of Patchwerk fights these days. Crowd control, movement increases, and defensive cooldowns are all an important part of raid encounters these days. They are even a part of dungeon encounters until you overgear the content.

Now if you're a solo player or a fairly casual raider and you don't often find the need to use crowd control or hit a defensive cooldown, then maybe the choice isn't compelling. But we think that's a problem with the game. I think it’s a fair complaint that our outdoor world creatures have become a little monotonous over the years. Once upon a time, you could choose to take on that camp of gnolls, or you could try and handle the elite ogres, or you might get a patrolling kobold. While we don’t want outdoor leveling to be brutally difficult, that doesn’t mean that every situation needs to be solved with 3 Sinister Strikes. Imagine a cave full of weak spiders. You can choose to AE them all down, use a movement cooldown to get through the cave quickly, use a defensive cooldown to survive the damage, or use your heals to keep you up. When players use their full toolbox of abilities intelligently, they tend to feel good about their character and the game. But it is our responsibility to engineer more of those situations into the world.

7. "Spec doesn’t matter."
This is a concern especially for warriors, priests, DKs and the pure classes (those characters who have multiple specs of the same role). What we have concluded is that many players want to choose their spec based on flavor (“I want to be the mage who uses Frost magic”) or rotation (“I like the fast gameplay of the Frost DK”). While the raid buff / debuff matrix and spec utility helps to encourage diversity among groups and discourage raid stacking, it’s also a little lame when the Affliction lock is asked to spec Demonology (against the player’s desire) in order to bring a specific buff. In Mists, we want players to have even more flexibility about which character they want to play. Asking a player to swap from damage to tanking for a couple of fights is acceptable to us. Asking someone to respec from Unholy to Frost just for the debuff is not.

There will still be some utility in the various specs, but less than we have today. You should pick a spec because you like the rotation or the kit. Fire is about crit, Hot Streak, and Ignite. Frost is about Shatter combos and the Water Elemental. Arcane is about mana management and clearing Arcane Blast stacks.

8. “It must be new to be good.”
This is a tricky one. Specifically, the warlock and druid trees include a lot of new talent ideas simply because we felt like those classes needed them. While we want to make an effort to add some new mechanics every expansion just to keep things fresh, we don’t want to arbitrarily replace fun talents that have stood the test of time just in the name of change for change’s sake. Bladestorm is fun. Body and Soul is fun. Shadowstep is fun.

From a designer’s perspective, the half-life of a new spell or talent idea is fleetingly short. You know how when you buy a new car and drive it off the lot it immediately loses a huge chunk of its value? New game ideas are like that. Seeing something brand new is super exhilarating, but that thrill just doesn’t last. I suspect even by the time Mists launches, we will see a lot of comments along the lines of “When are druids going to get something new? We haven’t seen any new ideas since November!”

It isn’t our goal to come up with 18 new talents for every class. We want to come up with 18 fun talents, and that’s going to mean a mix of old and new. Try not to confuse “shiny” with “good,” and we’ll try on our end not to fall into that trap as well.

9. “You overhaul talents every expansion. Please leave well enough alone.”
This is another tricky issue, because neither extreme (stagnation versus constant design churn) is appealing, and every individual player (and designer!) has a different definition of where those extremes lie. We changed talent trees in Cataclysm to try and fix some of the underlying problems the talent design had since its inception. We actually considered going to the Mists model for Cataclysm, but we were worried that the change would be too shocking to players, so we went with a more restrained design first. As often happens with compromises, it didn’t fix the underlying problems. Our hope is that this new design solves them once and for all. That isn’t a promise to not change talents for 6.0, 7.0, and beyond. But we hope that an overhaul this drastic isn’t necessary again for a long time to come.
MMOs are inherently living designs that are going to change over time. This is particularly true of subscription models, where players rightly expect to see something for their monthly payment. We don’t think it’s fair to cling to designs that aren’t working just because that’s the design we shipped with. As we have discussed a great deal lately, we will try to limit our big design changes to new expansions, but it’s just not in our DNA to leave something at a B- level if we think we can make it A+.

10. “You’ve got your minds made up and don’t care about what we think.”
You’re wrong. Next!

As I have said a million times, good games (maybe good anything) can’t be designed by popular vote. Our design feedback process is about making informed decisions. The developers will make the decisions we feel are right for the game, but we’ll do that armed with the feedback from players about what is fun and not fun for them. If you want to provide the best feedback possible, try to be succinct (we get a lot of feedback), try to be specific (why don’t you like something), and don’t assume you speak for everyone (game design, like art, is often subjective). Don’t get upset if we don’t implement your idea -- that’s just not a realistic expectation. Don’t confuse the echo chamber phenomenon that can occur in forum discussions for consensus. Most importantly, try to remember what will be fun for everyone, and not just your character.

One more thing to keep in mind: Playing with the new talent system in-game is really different from choosing talents on “paper.” Some of the decisions we made didn’t come about until we could get into the game and see how leveling and playing actually felt. Once we’re in alpha, many of you guys will be able to give us some more concrete feedback. We understand that, and we’re pushing for doing that just as soon as we can. In the meantime, enjoy the Hour of Twilight.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Seeing the Forest for the Talent Trees started by chaud View original post
Comments 285 Comments
  1. Totemanic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jocke View Post
    why cant blizz implement a pvp spec.
    Because most people like to pvp and pve as the same spec (minor talent changes not withstanding). I personally always pvp'd as an unholy DK, because that's the spec I liked playing. When unholy became utterly useless in pvp I simply stopped pvp'ing. Same problem with having a whole new 'spec' for pvp, what if you don't like that spec?
  1. k1037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Totemanic View Post
    The vocal minority are regarded by most as a total pain in the arse, so I'm not sure why Blizzard would even want to engage with them. I've seen many game forums which much more agressive mods/devs than Blizzard.

    Simple fact is, Blizzard make the game how they want to make it. If you don't like it, quit and stop moaning. No-one (including Blizz) cares.
    Of course not. Blizz are only interested in pleasing their most devoted, "Blizz can do no wrong" fans. Money? What's that?! They don't want to make money. Losing millions of subs, which translates into hundreds of millions of dollars. PSH! They don't care about that.

    When the game is in such dramatic decline, I don't understand how anyone can still think we're talking about a "vocal minority" of "haters."
  1. Brazorf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bbr View Post
    The hybrid trees look far from "choicy". In fact, you barely get any choices at all.
    Take druids for example. Then pick balance and tell me where you see choices.
    Some talents are very specific to either bear or cat, I reckon priests, paladins, and warriors have a similar issue.

    The only ones getting real "choices" are the warlocks, pages and rogues.

    I would have kind of hoped that the talen trees at least "change" if you take a different specialization, but they don't
    #

    as a druid I do not see any talent being a clear cut choice for Balance. The fact that some of the abilities change you to another form are no indication that they are for a "feral spec". Bear hug is a nice CC ability that transform you in a bear simply cause it make sense

    I would like you to consider the fact that you do not see the choices because the one you see and the one you choose from what you see are already the ones that you identified good for your playstyle and so you do not really see the "other choices".

    You play in a way that makes you already know what you want, but I'm confident that once in the game and once you try out first hand some abilities you may understand that nothing is as clear cut as you think they are now
  1. burghands's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vallius View Post
    I suppose it's how you look at what is a 'waste of effort' and what isn't. I think, from Blizzard's perspective, the more feedback they get regardless of source can never hurt. I would agree with you that since WotLK the "vocal minority" have become more and more jaded over the years, but I think there is an unaccounted for group that does read these things and never posts replys about them. Maybe a friend does read up on them and passes that info along to those they know that don't? Either way, it's never a bad thing on their end to do it.
    I think posts like this are a staple of the decaying community. When the developer feels like they have to defend their design choices against a community that is holding a mutiny against them, there's certainly an issue. I believe this whole battle the naysayers started with GC's little table flip comment and has gone into a full bore gloves off slugfest. They come up with a design, the community tells them to leave things alone or negatively responds, and then Blizzard fires back with a jab at the community while attempting to justify the design decision. To me it just seems unnecessary.
  1. johnnyo032003's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flaks View Post
    "Leveling is fairly fast and rewarding and you get to see all the content".Who the FUCK ever said that "seeing all the content" or "leveling faster" is what we all want in this game to make it feel rewarding. No one I know. No one on the forums. No one anywhere.
    Well from what I've seen Noobs complain about seeing all the content (and they can STFU now that they have raids dumbed down to glorified heroics in raid finder difficulty) and the players that have been playing the game for ages complain about having to trudge through another 1-level cap grind.
  1. Aspenarious's Avatar
    choosing the talent you want from among the talents that don’t interest you isn’t an interesting decision
    That's actually my thought on the current talents for Hunters that I see. There are lots of choices there that really seem inconsequential to me. Other hunters feel differently, but this is how I feel.
  1. burghands's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by k1037 View Post
    Of course not. Blizz are only interested in pleasing their most devoted, "Blizz can do no wrong" fans. Money? What's that?! They don't want to make money. Losing millions of subs, which translates into hundreds of millions of dollars. PSH! They don't care about that.

    When the game is in such dramatic decline, I don't understand how anyone can still think we're talking about a "vocal minority" of "haters."
    Do you really think the tl;dr posts on MMO-Champ and Official Forums are a large representation of the players quitting? You have got to be out of your mind. People who don't even know MMO-Champ exists or have ever logged onto the forums are the people who are quitting. Those people are simply getting tired of the game. Those are the people who don't click any of the links on the launcher, they just play the game to have fun. What makes you think the theorycrafters and the "this game is too hard!"/"this game is too easy" are the throngs that are leaving WoW? They're just the ones who think the whole community cares about it.

    No amount of tug-of-war with the community is going to convince people to keep playing. The game has risen in its popularity and has reached the pinnacle people are going to leave. It will happen with Warcraft, then SWTOR, then Diablo, and to every game from now until eternity. That's how media works, it is created, marketed, consumed, and 10 years later someone will do it again and it will be "fresh" to the new generations and come back.
  1. Brazorf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by burghands View Post
    I think posts like this are a staple of the decaying community. When the developer feels like they have to defend their design choices against a community that is holding a mutiny against them, there's certainly an issue. I believe this whole battle the naysayers started with GC's little table flip comment and has gone into a full bore gloves off slugfest. They come up with a design, the community tells them to leave things alone or negatively responds, and then Blizzard fires back with a jab at the community while attempting to justify the design decision. To me it just seems unnecessary.
    I do not see it like that to be honest. They're simply being transparent, to me the post of GC does not seems of the arguing type. Pardon me it is possible that being non english native makes me blind to some detail in the writing style but the only thing I see from my point of view is transparency on design decision and on how they handle feedback and some feedback on the feedback itself they often receive in that cauldron of hate that is the official forums (yo, dawg!)

    As far as I can see is the community that first say "booh hoo there're no communication from the devs ever" then when they decide to share a design philosophy is "booh hoo blizzard is only giving us excuses"

    The reality is that the only communication the community would like to hear is: "*bow* to you my lords here we are doing as you please does not matter what we think or would like to do, here's all the change as you requested" and being trated like a game designer.
    Unfortunately it does not, and never will work this way, not only with Blizzard but for every company, gaming one or not
  1. johnnyo032003's Avatar
    All in All I'm excited for MoP. Then all the bads will leave and only people who are truly hardcore about playing wow will remain and Blizz can bring back 40 mans and rebuff every boss they have ever nerfed and make the game fun again.
  1. k1037's Avatar
    Does GC really not remember how his "Gee, heroics are hard" post was received by the community? This sort of talk might get the most devoted fans riled up and happy, but does not go down well with paying customers in general.

    The reasoning behind the whole "customer is always right" mindset is that for every person who complains, there are dozens more who have the same issue but instead of bringing it up, just take their business elsewhere. That's customer service 101. Yes, customers might be idiots, but there are a lot of idiots, and being rude or patronizing to them loses you business 100% of the time.

    Remember the "I'm quitting" threads early on in Cata? Remember the fan response to those? "You're a vocal minority, no one cares, Cata is doing great, blah blah blah." Same response as now. Yet nearly 2 MILLION subscribers were lost. There weren't 2 million "I quit" threads or posts, but each one represented thousands of people. Now think about how many "these talents suck" and "I'm quitting over MoP" threads are popping up. For each and every one of those, several thousand people are quitting with them. Vocal minority, my ass.
  1. Vallius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by burghands View Post
    I think posts like this are a staple of the decaying community. When the developer feels like they have to defend their design choices against a community that is holding a mutiny against them, there's certainly an issue. I believe this whole battle the naysayers started with GC's little table flip comment and has gone into a full bore gloves off slugfest. They come up with a design, the community tells them to leave things alone or negatively responds, and then Blizzard fires back with a jab at the community while attempting to justify the design decision. To me it just seems unnecessary.
    But it does make for great internet! ;D To your point, I agree and I don't. I agree with your take on the forum crowd to some degree. You have little camps that pop up that can be categorized as either 'with blizzard' or 'not with blizzard', but I think that's the case for any discussion where more than two people are involved. They'll never be able to please the latter camp, but I don't think that's their goal. I think their goal is to make a great game the best way they can and any feedback, even if it is from the unruly rabble, will help.

    So, It seems to me that Blizz knows how ... passionate ... some of their player-base is. But I think they know what I know and that's that these people, however Jaded and unruly they are acting are only acting that way because they -do- care. I think the perception from people that GC has a "confrontational tone" is all about perspective. I think he sounds honest and to the point. He doesn't use airy metaphors and amorphous terminology to placate his audience. He knows we're a group of walking meme impersonators and internet junkies. I wouldn't confuse "casual personality" with "confrontational", though, to another posters comment.
  1. Totemanic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by k1037 View Post
    Of course not. Blizz are only interested in pleasing their most devoted, "Blizz can do no wrong" fans. Money? What's that?! They don't want to make money. Losing millions of subs, which translates into hundreds of millions of dollars. PSH! They don't care about that.

    When the game is in such dramatic decline, I don't understand how anyone can still think we're talking about a "vocal minority" of "haters."
    We are still talking about a vocal minority, they're just even more vocal and annoying these days.
  1. Agrias2x's Avatar
    “You’ve got your minds made up and don’t care about what we think.” You're wrong, Next! How is that wrong, whole this post looks like they defend what they think and that they are right. aka they dont really care what we think.
  1. Capers's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Totemanic View Post
    The vocal minority are regarded by most as a total pain in the arse, so I'm not sure why Blizzard would even want to engage with them. I've seen many game forums which much more agressive mods/devs than Blizzard.

    Simple fact is, Blizzard make the game how they want to make it. If you don't like it, quit and stop moaning. No-one (including Blizz) cares.
    I agree with most of that, except the last part. Blizzard actually doesn't make it how they want. They make it the way that can attract the most customers, because they aren't making this game for fun, it is their job, to make money. They do care when people unsubscribe, because they lose profits.
  1. jayremy's Avatar
    BLIZZARD IS SO LATE, to recognizing this in game, they should've done most of this at release or short after Cata and not wait till a new x-pac that wont be out till like an absolute minimum of 4 months from now (after some of the biggest hitting MMO and RPG competing games being release). This game had me bored and limited when I had no other decent MMO or RPG to go to, they are going to wait till competition starts threatening them to make some real innovative changes to the game to actually do them. This in some sense only pisses me off more its like the whole scenario "where were you when I needed you" but they claim to be riding in with all my cures as the hero in this with all the great stuff to offer. I am sick of tab targeting gameplay I like more mouse oriented gameplay -- mouse to turn by default, crosshair-style, only two mouse buttons for side movement freeing space, backstepping actually is meaningful, not having to target enemies with tab or clicking on them, but just by looking at them or automatically hitting those who can be hit by melee first... for the RP side of players or just for fun being able to do a single target attack animation whenever. I know this game will likely never have projectile dodging and never expect it, but it would be nice if they ever considered this for their game. But the overlaying point is if they are going to rock up the gameplay changes like I have listed, then all this stuff they are finally doing with MoP should've came way earlier (BTW monks are playing more like what other games are doing/going to do, not sure why they didn't do this for other classes).
  1. k1037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by burghands View Post
    Do you really think the tl;dr posts on MMO-Champ and Official Forums are a large representation of the players quitting? You have got to be out of your mind. People who don't even know MMO-Champ exists or have ever logged onto the forums are the people who are quitting. Those people are simply getting tired of the game. Those are the people who don't click any of the links on the launcher, they just play the game to have fun. What makes you think the theorycrafters and the "this game is too hard!"/"this game is too easy" are the throngs that are leaving WoW? They're just the ones who think the whole community cares about it.

    No amount of tug-of-war with the community is going to convince people to keep playing. The game has risen in its popularity and has reached the pinnacle people are going to leave. It will happen with Warcraft, then SWTOR, then Diablo, and to every game from now until eternity. That's how media works, it is created, marketed, consumed, and 10 years later someone will do it again and it will be "fresh" to the new generations and come back.
    The "too hard" / "too easy" folks are hardly the only people who are unhappy with the announced talents. I wish fans would stop using the "tired of the game" line. No, people are absolutely NOT leaving just because they're tired of the game. They're leaving because the quality has gone down the toilet. The drop was immediate and dramatic with the release of Cata in the US and Europe, while WotLK kept subs growing in China. Cata was released in China half a year later and met with the exact same dramatic drop in subs. The sub loss is clearly, identifiably, objectively (as in, it's not "opinion") due to Blizzard's own design choices.

    I participated in the Cata beta. Hundreds of us voiced opinions which were contrary to their design decisions. We said healing wasn't nearly as fun, that Holy Power wasn't well-thought or well-implemented, that leveling was far too quick, that dungeons were far too slow, that Tol Barad was a disaster... basically every complaint that was voiced on live. GC responded that we "weren't being helpful" and STOPPED POSTING on the Beta forums. Now we're seeing the exact same thing with MoP design choices, even before beta. They are coming up with a talent system that a lot of people are unhappy with. Instead of dealing with this vocal not-a-minority, he's doing the same "you're wrong - la la la, I can't hear you" thing he did during the Cata beta. It'll have the same result: another few million subs lost.
  1. probert's Avatar
    I can't help but contrast Trion's approach to game balance -- which seems more like Blizzard pre-2009 -- with the modern Blizzard interpretation.Trion: We have 50 point deep talent trees, you can mix any 3 choice of 8 together per class, and we'll let the community police itself in terms of balance. Only the most egregious imbalanced synergies will be actively fix. You can also have any 5 builds available at any given time!Blizzard: We keep narrowing the talent trees down, but we still can't keep them balanced. So we're removing talent trees, and we'll give you a handful of ability choices and that will be your class. We grudingly let you swap between two roles, but only because we had to address the deficiency of tanks. Ever since Morhaime praised the Call of Duty unlock system, did I realize that Activision's ethos is corrupting the design culture in Blizzard. One of the great things about MMOs was the flexibility and diversity of choices available, and it encouraged the community to actively balance and research and test different combinations. The dialogue made the community better! The game is rapidly descending in a 2012 version of Gauntlet. Pick you class, here's your abilites, go play. The turning point was when they gave up on the new DeathKnight talent schools... being able to tank and dps as blood, unholy, and frost allowed for some true choice and flavor. That should ahve been the future of talent design, not this console design logic.
  1. Vutar's Avatar
    These comments are why the world is a wonderful place. It is so easy to fool the naive.
  1. Facepalmer3's Avatar
    On the comment of having lots of Abilities and limited space, for people that don't have a lot of fancy equipment, I put two spells in one button in a macro, example/use [button:1] Spell A ( which is the left mouse button)/use [button:2] Spell B (the right mouse)Also macro'ing spells that have no global cd works great. For example on my pally I have consecration in a macro with my Damage reduction abilities - I forget the name- that is also on a 30cd. Frees up space and takes worry out of using up a lot of space.Btw. I'm really glad blizzard wrote this, it shows how much they care and appreciate us! ^_^
  1. russykh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Agrias2x View Post
    “You’ve got your minds made up and don’t care about what we think.” You're wrong, Next! How is that wrong, whole this post looks like they defend what they think and that they are right. aka they dont really care what we think.
    This is one of the dumbest things I've read recently. Of course they think they are right. Thats why they are making these changes. They are trying to explain to us why they think that, and one of the reasons for them to do that is because they care what we think. You can defend your position and think you are right while still being concerned with the other persons point of view.

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