1. #1

    Talents : A working or Broken Mechanic?

    Before the trolls & troll spotters jump out - hear me out:
    To clarify: I mean talents, not the trees themselves- I think the tree concept works well

    Playing around with different specs and different classes, looking at the talents and the average spreads for raiding / PVP is leading me to one conclusion: Talents are a broken mechanic.

    The idea of talents is awesome: A whole bunch of ways to uniquely augment your character, providing cool abilities and tricks that not everyone else has, making *you* superior. \

    The execution is... lacking: No matter what spec you are, there is a "best" set of talents to choose. Best, to such a degree, that they become almost compulsory (like many of the glyphs are, now).

    I feel like with us priests, this is even more true - for example, with discipline, there are really only 5 points or so that are "free" to toy around with, and with that, only a very limited number of talents in which they can be used (spell dmg reduc. casting time on gheal reduc. fear % reduc / reflec. sheild / manaburn). Further, of those talents, if you want to raid, only a very few are even ... well, even make sense to grab.

    This may be no fault of Blizzards at all - after all, when you're leveling up, getting a new talent point is exciting and fun - you really *do* get more powerful - but at 80, where's the magic? Perhaps its the fault of the community, but cookie cutters seem to be the way to go, and other specs get rediculed/"corrected" constantly.

    I feel like talents should be *fun* gameplay choices, based on personal preference entirely, rather than what's "required" to function. Or, at the very least, they should be more dynamic - so that when you have to cookiecutter it to defeat a boss, you can, but there is no penalty to switching back to what was fun for heroics / gameplay. Dual spec was a step in the right direction, allowing us to be shadow and heals, or pvp and pve - but I feel like it isnt enough - either way I am still stuck in a position where I can spend my talents wherever I want, or I can spend them "optimally."

    Is the issue that the gameplay itself determines the specs/required talents, and that's the issue? Or are the talents too far geared towards - "want to heal better? use this! (+%heals)" and not enough towards "want a cool ability that's unique to you? take this! (+pain suppression)"

    Do other priests feel this way? Do you think we are more / less constricted in our specs than other classes? Have I just had way too much coffee and am making an issue out of nothing? What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Old God conscript's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Jonesville, Michigan

    Re: Talents : A working or Broken Mechanic?

    The issue of there always being a "best" spec will always exist. Unless Blizzard drastically redesigns the game where every talent is an identical copy of every other talent there will always be better or worse places to spend points. Cookie Cutter specs exist because they take advantage of all available talents while neglecting the talents that could be more "fun" but less "useful".
    A good example of this for Priests is Light Well. In theory the spell is extremely cool. In execution it is completely terrible and often seen as a waste even at its low 1-point cost for its seemingly very efficient healing. Although most if not all of the "cookie cutter" specs skip LW you will still find thousands of Priests who take it just because of the cool factor.
    Basically every class has its "better" specs whether they be PvE or PvP. There are plenty of variations, but typically everything boils down to the one key spec. 5 toyable talent points for Disc is probably one of the higher amounts in the game.

  3. #3

    Re: Talents : A working or Broken Mechanic?

    There will always be talents "best" at something. The trick is to have talents improving a wide range of things, and where you have to chose between multiple picks that all are worthwhile. The top end of the holy tree is a good example; lots of talents that's awesome, but you can't pick them all. And yet there isn't a consensus of which is the best.

    But the next expansion will hopefully redeem this. By cutting away all the passive boost talents (Mental Strength, Twin disciplines, half the holy tree), retaining the fun ones that's actually changing the game (Divine Aegis, Body and Soul etc) - the idea is that you shouldn't have to chose between a throughput talent and a talent actually giving something fun in return. All of them should make you feel more powerful, none of them should feel mandatory. Then it's pretty much left to each priest to chose which talents to go for. Some will be better in certain conditions, but overall it shouldn't matter as much exactly what you chose, but how many talents you chose.
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  4. #4

    Re: Talents : A working or Broken Mechanic?

    Without talents this game would be entirely gear orientated. Then you would only be the best with the best gear. Also if you have the same gear you would be the same as the next person.

    I think your trying to hit on the purpose of talents themselves. I dont think that talents are ment to balance the game in any sense. I think they are there to orientate play style and diversify classes. I think they accomplish these goals. If even 30% of the people who plays these classes have different specs I think the goal would be accomplished.

    Also they server to deversify pvp and pve specs. Which they also accomplish. The fact that you need differenet talents in pve and pvp is nice. Just like in games where you MvP or PvP you would get the skill suited for either one and not both. Having a master of all is an uninteresting mechanic.

    Allot of games for consoles you would get everything you need if you played long enough and be able to do everything. You then can offically "beat" the game by getting all the skills. By introducing specs into any game that takes getting skills off the sort of acheavment list. You can not say "o i'm done with that class I got all the skills already".

    So I realy dont see how they are broken in themselves. I would say that certain talents are crappy and infact blizzard is fixing that in the next expansion for me so i'll be happy.
    When people say "pls" just because its shorter then "please", I feel totally justified to say "No" just because its shorter then "Yes".

  5. #5

    Re: Talents : A working or Broken Mechanic?

    As Danner's already commented Blizzard's preempted you with their new Mastery system next expansion.

    However fundamentally I think you have to realize that if you technically have infinite choice in your talents you have no choice. I'm not trying to be purposefully obtuse, but if it really doesn't matter what talents you take then speccing becomes meaningless. "Oh, you picked the rainbow-nuke talent? I personally liked the one that made my Smite green." That's what happens when talents are purely personal preference.

    I think the basic problem is that the expectation has become every talent point is effective. I appreciate Blizzard's design thus far with the present system. They've tried to leave just a few spare points around for people to use so that there is some choice that exists at the margins. If there are too many spare points then it's likely you can reach something good in another tree and...they're no longer spare points; not enough of them and you're pure cookie-cutter.

    I'm very curious to see how the Mastery system turns out. I don't think it'll be the panacea that some claim, but it'll help take the pressure off the present system. I just doubt the concept of a perfect build will ever go away; people will just analyze the situational talents, tally up which fights they're useful on, and then claim that all around build X is most applicable to a particular tier of content. And then everybody believes them, specs it, and calls everybody who doesn't ineffective. Let's just hope next time around those claims have a little bit less truth in them.

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