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. Niyari's Avatar
    "(or you’re RPing a Fury warrior who has taken too many blows to the head)". amazing lol
  1. The Ogdru Jahad's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyo032003 View Post
    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.
    I have never read a post more wrong than this...

    40 mans will never be brought back
    They will never buff previously nerfed content
    People who stay are the opposite of hardcore with the changes being put forth
  1. Dariela's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bbr View Post
    The only ones getting real "choices" are the warlocks, pages and rogues.
    I'm excited about the lock trees, but personally I'm not seeing a lot of real choice with them, either. I personally am considering only a handful of builds in PvE, 2 to be precise. And they are the same across the trees as well. I have one set that I plan to use "all the time," and another set that I plan to use in cases where my pet is a liability and I want to use Grimiore of Sacrifice. PvP has a lot more wiggle-room, but I'll leave that to a PvPer to talk about.

    The difference between old and new, is my handful of builds is likely different then somebody else's handful of builds, and rather then one of us being emperically wrong or right, we just have a difference in opinion of how we like our extras. Our core abilities remain the same and balanced, and instead of putting the work of fine tuning our own numbers on our back, they are setting them where they want them, and letting us squabble about utility instead.
  1. rodrigj's Avatar
    All I see now it's endless marketing speeches... At the Blizzcon, they told : you will have more choices and now, they told us in fact you will have less... And frankly, those guys never played a tank or a healer for telling that we will have choices that matter... And how can he pretend they will make me like pvp???? I'm so bad at pvp, and get killed to no end every time I enter a BG... !!!!! And I don't want to be good : I don't like at all the grief I hear or read in pvp.... How those guys can pretend such a thing... Blizzard, you can continue to dive, there is apparently no bottom for you... ... regards, JPR
  1. The Last DJ's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by k1037 View Post
    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.
    I was in the Cata beta, and the Wrath beta as well. They were night and day compared to one another. It seemed like the Wrath beta was much more slow to invite masses of players, instead sampling from a smaller group who were there to actually play test, and not treat it like a free preview. The blues were helpful and the players constructive, and the DK forums were simply awash with input, most of which was responded to in some way or tested out. (Believe it or not, my husband was one of the Unholy DKs who started suggesting that Unholy, as a master of ghouls, get a permanent ghoul for themselves.) Me, I spent half my time in the DK forums (where I laugh about just how broken beta Blood DKs were - you think their self-healing now was absurd? Unlimited number of bloodworms spawning on AUTO ATTACKS mwahahaha) and staring glumly at the shaman forums, where all the enhancement players were wringing their hair and screaming about how DKs were going to be benching enh shamans everywhere.

    No matter what the goddamn expansion, the sky is always falling for shamans. Christ.

    Anyway. The Wrath beta was fun, and enjoyable, and minus that little Ret with the GOD SWITCH flipped on snafu, an overall success. Then came Cata. Suddenly their subs had ballooned to 12 million, Wrath was a rousing success ... aaaaaaaaand it all went straight to their heads. The Cata beta was shit. Utter shit. They started mass-inviting before things were even ready for a beta release, and most of these people weren't interested in submitting bugs or offering critique. They were there to get a free preview. The blues, especially Ghostcrawler, were very condescending and smug in a very "my shit don't stink a'cause I got 12 million subscribers whaaaaaaaat?" fashion. If suggestions weren't worded with 95% ass-kissing and hand-holding, GC or another blue would flop out the big blue Blizzard e-peen and start threatening to revoke the poster's beta status for "trolling" and "being unhelpful". What happened when Cata was released? Subs took a nosedive. Not surprising, given that they didn't listen to any of the suggestions - and how could they, when they started inviting hundreds of players hand over fist when the game was a week out of beta from the alpha. Half of the posts on the forums were complaints about bugs - not bug reports, actual complaints, and the other half were WHAT SHOULD THE WORGEN DANCE BE?

    Given that they're handing out MoP keys to everyone with one of those goddamn obnoxious Tyrael's Chargers, I suspect the MoP beta will be no different, unless they sorely learned their lesson about being arrogant pillocks when it comes to the testing phase of their game.
  1. TaurenNinja's Avatar
    So here we have Blizzard doing a monstrous post explaining quite in detail and quite humbly the reasoning behind each change, and they do these changes because it truly seems to improve the game (objectively), and some people still don't get it or don't care and keep on flaming. I hope all those whiners would just unsubscribe. Then they could rant even more about WoW dying because of even more subscriber losses. Yay.
  1. TheSweetness's Avatar
    I know it is still way early, MoP beta not even being available yet for us to try this stuff out, but they have asked for feedback on this. I feel the way about my shaman now as I did at the end of BC when my hunter was my main: Blizzard just doesn't seem to know what they want to do with the class. I know we haven't gotten any changes this go around and I will reserve my final judgment until beta is out and MoP is close to release, but I am worried. I really love the shaman class. Also about the "You're wrong. Next!" it was cute and funny the first time, but doing it repeatedly afterward seemed a little douchebag-ish to me.
  1. Eldanir's Avatar
    Once again Idiotcrawler writes a beautiful text, well worded wall of words with witty jokes and tongue-in-cheek remarks. But he's basically saying the same thing he said for Cataclysm, and two years after we're still waiting for the revamped, balanced talent trees. So he's trying the same trick for MoP. The guy can sure talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.
  1. Frozen Death Knight'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 may not agree with everything Blizzard have said regarding their changes over the years, but I can certainly say that I prefer a game developer that sticks to their guns than catering to every concern that pops up from a game community, regardless of how many agree with those concerns or not. Player feedback is always great, but if the developers do not have a strong vision to drive this game forward, and let the players decide, it will in turn create a huge mess, especially when this gaming community is so diverse as it is.

    You may not agree with me on this point, but Blizzard have listened a lot to the community, and probably a bit too much, sometimes. They try too much to please a huge chunk of the playerbase and I believe strongly that if players did not have the influence it has had over the development of this game, things would have been a bit different regarding certain parts of the game, right now.
  1. madrox's Avatar
    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.
    While I have some reservations about going through yet another talent revamp (and where the hell is my Devouring Plague???) I'm willing to see how it all plays out. Blizzard, as a developer, have to take a hard stance on some changes, that despite player worries, they feel is the right thing to do with the game. The problem comes when they make those hard stances on the wrong issues, or underestimate the player's concerns. Making Heroic dungeons that are challenging and a effort(at least when first implemented) isn't compatible with the Insta-Queue culture. Tol Barad was a joke. Healing was unrewarding and frustating. Then, as if these weren't active design choices made by Blizzard themselves, they basically told us to "man up" before watching the millions flock from the game then changing their minds. A lot of the talent change debate, including myself, is that we are sick of change because Ghostcrawler has a problem with"cookie-cutter" builds, but Blizzard have to tread carefully because underestimating player concerns when they are changing the fundementals of our characters could backfire inanother drastic sub loss.
  1. tjb490's Avatar
    In my opinion I think they should leave talents, me and it seems like a majority of players don't like the idea of only have six talents. 40+ is ok but don't cut it anymore. MoP is going to flop IMO if they dont change their mind. Maybe not flop but for blizzards standards, quite possibly.
  1. Beachcomber's Avatar
    Regarding: "Look, we tried the talent tree model for seven years. We think it’s fundamentally flawed and unfixable."

    The true failure of the current talent trees are the talents that provide only part of something. A perfect example is Balance of Power in the balance druid tree. Sure, I'd like 100% of my spirit to go to spell hit rating. What isn't useful is to have 50% of my spirit go to hit. So I basically have to always spend 2 points because almost on one will pick 1/2 of those talents. That reduces the number of points we can spend elsewhere.

    Same type of deal with frost dk talent Nerves of Cold Steel, which grants hit for dual wield. If I am dual wield, I will always pick 3/3. I can't think of a scenario where you wouldn't have all 3. If they are mandatory, make it a baseline talent of 1/1 with full power when you select it.

    It is these types of wasted talent points that are very disappointing.
  1. Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
    I wish that blizz addressed the people saying "it's just another step. They scrapped big trees, then scrapped medium trees, now in 6.0 they will scrap talents entirely."
  1. Valinara's Avatar
    I think they've missed one of the most basic and aggravating questions, which admittedly doesn't apply to everybody, but has been bothering me since they announced the changes at BlizzCon. Why are they selling me something I've already purchased? I play a prot warrior, and as many prot warriors do, I've taken shockwave as a talent. It's situationally useful in PVE, great in PVP, but more importantly it's been in the game for quite some time now. My understanding is that, under the new system, I will now lose shockwave until I purchase the expansion and level up to 90. So my primary incentive to buy MoP isn't to get new powers or experience new content, it's to get back something I feel I've already paid for. That's the major sticking point on the talent changes for me, and thankfully it doesn't apply to every class. It's my hope that shockwave and bladestorm are there as placemarkers until new powers are revealed, becase bumping existing powers up to level 90 as new "talents" is flat out idiotic. That's not a balancing issue. That's holding your character hostage.
  1. straazz's Avatar
    my personal opinion about this blue post: about frikkin time. they're only trying to improve the game. they tried it with cataclysm, and it was at best a moderate success. at least there was LESS passives in talent trees, but nowhere near none. but my point, and my question to everyone who reads this: didn't it get better?i think, as objectively as the blue post train of thought was, that we, the players, should let the game developers do what they are in fact hired to do, and try to make the game better for everyone. i have not, and will not, question their dedication to this for even a second.but, lets be realistic. this talent calc is very much a work-in-progress deal. if in the end it turns out it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, then it's back to the old drawing board. i, however, have high hopes.as a final remark, what would be nice is some sort of combination of the current system, and the new system. that way we can please those who want to take advantage of hybrid classes, as well as those who take pride in their current talent specs, making the spec itself something that will separate the good players from the not so good, so to speak.anyway, back to farming mog weapons.tata
  1. wiIdi's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    1. I have fewer choices.
    Blizzard: 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.
    Quantity (not quality) is more important than you think. Not the best example but 10 dungeons which take only 45 minutes to complete are more fun than 5 dungeons which take 1.5 hours. 10 dungeons offer simply more diversity than 5.
  1. madrox's Avatar
    It's my hope that shockwave and bladestorm are there as placemarkers until new powers are revealed, becase bumping existing powers up to level 90 as new "talents" is flat out idiotic.
    I think, as a balancing, issue they took out any already existing abilities that meet their criteria for the new talents. It does look like, to some classes, that they are being short changed. Then there is Blizzard assuming that most of us will buy the xpac anyway, so the fuss from people who have something like Bladestorm taken off them will be minimal.
  1. Doombringer's Avatar
    I like the overall plan for MoP talents. That said, the "design churn" remains in effect. I continually get the impression that many (not all) changes are being made more by designer hubris (or desire) than what is precisely "needed." In other words, "is it broken? should it be fixed?" Are the designers, at times, setting out by saying "we think Hunters need to play differently so we're going to change them" -- despite there being no call from the community for a change, or an uproar about the class being "boring" or otherwise disliked? Balance changes aside, is how the class plays really a target for drastic change?

    Or tanking. Is tanking broken? Do tanks feel bored in their duty? I haven't seen a lot of talk about it. If Blizzard has, then good, they have data... but if not, then they are simply making a change to do what precisely? Add more arbitrary button-pushing and "challenge" to the game? Is it truly challenge? Should they leave well enough alone?

    The healer-revamp in Cataclysm. Were healers clamoring and caterwauling because of the "Wrath design" and the designers swooped in to make a much-desired change? Or did the design team sit down and simply decide "we're going to change this" ...? That sort of design decision may work in a non-subscription game (where players pretty much buy the box once and then have to live with whatever decisions the designers made)... but in an MMO, you have to keep people happy and paying. What may seem like "good design" or a "good change" to a bunch of developers in a darkened room may not exactly be what the players are calling for. And yet, they continue doing this.

    Again, some changes are great. But others... ehhhh. Did Paladins really need a combo-point system? Did Hunters need Focus? Does tanking need to be turned on its head? Was the difficulty ramp up at the beginning of Cata really needed? Evidently not, as much of it was nerfed/reverted shortly thereafter... yet it was another example of designers thinking they should fix what isn't precisely broken, and seeming to lose the pulse of the player community.
  1. Blur4stuff's Avatar
    I also support the MoP talent changes. They are moving things in a good direction.
  1. Irishman's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    You're wrong. Next!
    This "We're right. You're wrong. That settles it." attitude from Blizzard has pretty much been the main reason for its decline lately i'd say. It just looks bad.

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