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12-08-2011 @ 12:48PM
Making people have fewer choices doesn't make those choices "more interesting."If you have a class which has had class-defining abilities for 7 years, and now you remove two-thirds of those abilities if they select a spec, it doesn't make it interesting. It's removing those abilities.Mages won't be able to cast anything outside of their spec with one or two exceptions. Healing-classes will lose healing unless they are spec'd healing (with one or two exceptions.)The dev team has admitted before that it's hard coming up with a new, distinct ability for each spec for each expansion, so I see stripping down the abilities to their specs as a cheap, lazy way to make each spec feel distinct.Each time they remove or change something with the specs, it's always "It makes the choice more interesting", I don't find removing two-thirds of a class's abilities more interesting. Making someone choose between two class and spec-defining abilities (such as Blastwave and Dragon's Breath) isn't interesting, it just pisses people off who used to have them both.And the constant level-shifting is getting really annoying. "Hey, look, Feign Death used to be a level 30 ability, now it's level 47! Now it's 32! Now it's 75! Now it's 30 again!" (a little exaggerated, but still.) Taking something that used to be a lower-level ability, and jacking it up to max level (like Living Bomb becoming a level 90 ability) seems like a lazy way to fill gaps in spells, and is also frustrating to people who are leveling alts, and get an ability removed. (Hunters had Disengage moved from level 14 to 78, Deterrence was moved into it's place, and people screamed that Disengage was more important during the leveling portion than Deterrence, and they moved it back down in a few patches.)The constant reworking of the talent tree system is also annoying. They said they never felt it was perfect, fine, but it's rebuilt each expansion. If you have been with the game only a few years, you might not feel this, but when the talents have been redone so many times, it feels like you have to relearn a new game each time. And as they present the pre-alpha talent trees, it's obvious they will have to rework them again for the next expansion. Let's hope they build future expandability into them, instead of having to rip them out completely, go "Oops, this didn't work like we thought it would", and redo them again.I have agreed with Ghostcrawler many times, and I have never ranted on the forums against him. I see him having the unfortunate position of being both the main interface between the dev team and players (formerly) and being one of the head devs. This leads to alot of people personally attacking him as if every decision was his. However his last few blog posts I find as damage-control to extremely, extremely unpopular decisions, and it's getting boiled down to "We're making interesting choices" again and again, and it has gotten old.Being told how to play and what's more fun in how to play really annoys some people.
12-08-2011 @ 1:20PM
At what point should Blizzard give up and stop adding new abilities? Because that's the reality they were facing, and have faced many, many times.You can only cull so many lame duck abilities before you run out of lame ducks.
12-08-2011 @ 1:39PM
Giving up, and reworking the system so you restrict people from what they formerly could do are two different things."We added this new ability" and "We removed this old, lame ability" and "You can't do something you have been able to do for 7 years that has no real effect on balance because we're tired of rebalancing" are completely different things.
12-08-2011 @ 2:03PM
Street is making a kind of iron-clad argument here. GC: This system is fundamentally flawed and an excessive amount of work to maintain. Drakkenfyre: But you should keep doing it because we shouldn't have to lose abilities to make your job easier!GC: But doing this excessive amount of work produces something that we don't feel is the best product. Drakkenfyre: BUT YOU SHOULD KEEP DOING IT ANYWAY. GC: But we're Blizzard, so making the best product is sorta what we do...Street is tying this change in with preserving the quality of design that Blizzard has exemplified from the start. To tell them to deviate from that quality is to make them run counter to their intentions as a studio, and to tell them to just maintain that quality without altering the fundamental systems would be prohibitively difficult. Street is presenting MoP's talent revamp as the only way for Blizzard to maintain it's reputation without driving themselves insane.
12-08-2011 @ 2:19PM
Drakkenfyre, it's called bloat. Flooding all players with abilities - many of which they won't use, perhaps even CAN'T use due to macro/keybind limitations - is simply bad game design. They've removed lame abilities in the past to help keep it from reaching critical, but they've quickly run out of such targets.This is all very much in the same ballpark, despite your insistence to the contrary.Not even touching the balance issues a lot of this is going to solve. I'm looking forward to that more than anything.
12-08-2011 @ 2:22PM
Devs: "We're having a hard time coming up with new, distinct abilities for each spec each expansion." (near-direct quote.)Devs: "We're now removing a ton of abilities, shifting others around, and restricting you from doing anything outside your spec. Distinctness achieved."You seem to confuse "make the system better" with "rip-out the system endlessly."Cookie-cutter specs will always exist. No matter what. Removing the talent points from 30 down to 6 will not stop that. Until talents exist at the point where one literally does not do more damage, helps healing, or gives another benefit over another, one will always be better than another in a specific area. And at that point, you might as well call talents useless.Always going after the removal of cookie-cutter specs with the current system will never work. Taking two abilities, slapping them in a talent level, and going "Ah ha!" does not remove the cooker-cutterness. Making a class choose between two abilities they used to have does not make them happy, nor does it make them interesting. Taking an ability you get at level 12, and another you got at level 25, sticking them in the talent tree, and now forcing that class to choose one or another is not fixing the problem. That's taking the easy way out. I don't view this as progress like you would like to think of it as. I see it as the devs basically giving up on the "three different, but distinct specs via talent trees because it adds and enhances abilities", and more of a "three specs, distinct because it's the only way to unlock those abilities, period."I am not against progress in the system. I do see where it is flawed. I also see where they are trying to chase after a goal which cannot be achieved in the current or presented system, and the players have to suffer redesign after redesign which wrecks how the game is played, and the designers don't seem to realize until they make talents essentially neutral, they won't achieve the neutral feel they are going for. And at that time, talents might as well not exist.
12-08-2011 @ 2:26PM
Sorry, but I don't feel your pain about 'limiting' frost mages from being able to fireball or arcane blast people. You didn't use that ability anyway."Giving up, and reworking the system so you restrict people from what they formerly could do are two different things."Err... not really. When you have a system that controls what people can do (through a combination of both adding abilities and making others stupid to use) then giving up on that system as fatally flawed will necessarily change what people can do; if it doesn't, then you haven't actually changed anything.As far as the hybrid healers goes, tho, I'm still inclined to the opinion that the +x% to healing spec bonuses should be baked into the heals (at least partially); the lack of mana regen while healing combined with the limited heal selection should keep it from getting too absurd. On the other hand, I can see their worry, when enhancement shaman or ret paladins will have mana pools as large as that of healers.
12-08-2011 @ 2:43PM
loop, I am not talking about bloat.I am talking about the inability to achieve the goal (removal of cookie-cutter specs) with the system as it's presented, and the removal of two-thirds of each class's abillity to force distinctiveness.Removing those abilities doesn't fight bloat, they still exist. It just annoys the players who had those abilities for 7 years.As for bloat, when you start cutting fat, and you keep cutting, eventually you hit meat. And removing abilities which ARE useful to people does have a negative affect over time. Wait until someone removes one of your abilities you particularly like and is indeed useful, and says "cutting bloat" as the reason.Read my post above.Boobah, the Mage example is just that, an example. it applies to many classes. You may think restricting healing on a hybrid class is one thing, but when you are playing that class, and your non-healing spec heal consists of a small heal you got at level 12, and your ass just got smacked by whatever baddie you are facing, you might think differently. Have you actually seen the abilities based on the trees? Think of it this way. Unless you are Fire as a Mage, you lose ALL fire abilities. Unless you are Resto as a Shaman, you lose ALL healing abilities. There are a few exceptions, and you do retain one small heal in those healing classes, but it's still forcing the distinctiveness by removing a shitload of what the class can do.If the game came like this from launch, no problem. Seven years into it's existance? Yes, it's a bit of a pain in the ass.
12-08-2011 @ 2:50PM
How do you know specific abilities will be stripped away? From this and other blue posts (sorry can't remember specific posts) it sounds as if the no-brainer choices will be taken away from you to choose, not taken away completely, so you still get new abilities at levels. "Instead of having you click raging blow, we'll just give it to you..." You are going to choose the talent anyways, so why make you spend a choice on it?
12-08-2011 @ 4:08PM
How do I know? Because the new talent trees show you.I will Mage as an example again. Unless you select Fire, you won't be able to use Fireball. Unless you select Frost, you won't be able to use Frostbolt. This goes for every single class.Healing classes lose almost all healing spells unless you are Healing spec. Healing classes lose a ton of DPS abilities unless you are in a DPS spec.
12-08-2011 @ 3:57PM
Drakkenfyre: "Unless you are Fire as a Mage, you lose ALL fire abilities. Unless you are Resto as a Shaman, you lose ALL healing abilities. There are a few exceptions..."Why did you bother saying "ALL" - in full caps no less - when that isn't even true? When the only examples you've provided BOTH have exceptions (and more than one!), using the word "all" is lying, plain and simple.
12-08-2011 @ 4:09PM
I have used Mage as an example because it's one of the easier ones to see.You aren't Fire? You have no access to Fire-based abilities.You aren't Frost? You have no access to Frost-based abilities except Frost Nova.The exceptions exist as one or two. A Priest loses all healing except Renew as Shadow. Shaman lose all healing except Lesser Healing (if I remember correctly) unless they are Resto.The removal of abilities basically strips down the abilities in that school. If you aren't spec'd into Holy, for example, you lose access to almost all if not all Holy abilities as Shadow. These exceptions do exist (one minor spell, instead of say, 15) for some classes, but I am not going to list every single class and every single exception. If you are that interested in it, you can go to the talent calculator and see for yourself.But it's easy to say unless you spec into that tree, you lose all abilities under the school of that trees. It's easier to say that than say "well, you only lose 99.9% of the abilities, you might get one, but you still shouldn't say you lose anything". You still LOSE almost every single ability under that tree. I said "ALL" in caps for emphasis. If you had, say, 20 abilities of a particular school, then you log in and only have 1, are you going to say "What happened to 19 of (school) my abilities?" or are you going to say "What happened to all my (school) abilities?"I take it from a reply above, not everyone knows you are going to lose a shitload of abilities. So so many people are going "Great, I love the new talent system", and when the patch drops, they are going to log in, and go "WTF are all my abilities?"
12-08-2011 @ 4:53PM
Just because you don't see an ability on the talent tree, doesn't mean you lose it. I'm a protection / retribution pally, I get Exorcism as an ability without having to choose it in the Holy talent tree. I can enhance Exorcism in my retribution tree. There are several talent tree choices that enhance, not grant, abilities which we learn. I am not sure why you are complaining about something that isn't even in beta testing yet. You, nor does anyone else, know how this will operate once released.
12-08-2011 @ 5:46PM
Let me explain this.Go to the talent calculator. Select your spec. On the left hand, it shows spells available to you, and what level.The ones marked with a star are ones AVAILABLE ONLY TO THAT SPEC.Yes, it very much tells you what is available, and what you are losing.
12-08-2011 @ 8:44PM
I find the point about mages to be fairly stupid. Each mage spec had its own spells that were optimal the vast majority of the time. Frost mages should not use arcane blast or fireball. You still get frostfire bolt that offers some slow effects, and frost mages get the slightly better frost bolt, fire mages get a better damaging fireball, arcane mages get the better arcane blast. Fire mages still get cone of cold and frost nova, frost mages still get fire blast, etc.As far as I can tell, very little about a mage's rotation will change. Similarly for healing classes losing damage spells and vice versa, again I do no think this makes as much of a difference as you really think. The majority of the time, if you need to spec into healing, you need to heal all the time, and damage spells are generally a waste. With talents becoming easier to redo in Mists, and the already easy ability to dual-spec, every class can have a damaging type spec and a healing or tanking spec. Hybrids haven't been viable in years, and I think they overly complicate the game.So overall, I can't help that Drakkenfyre overemphasizes negative elements of the Mists changes that really do not have a huge impact on the game. Really, how many arcane or frost mages are going to lose sleep over no longer having fireball?On another subject, I don't think cookie cutter specs will truly vanish. It's often not a matter of the mechanics, but rather the players who go through contortions in their talents to get even a few extra dps. It's about psychology as much as game mechanics, if not more. They will do the same in Mists, regardless of its validity. Some talents will be better than others (as a hunter, readiness is pretty much on every list for specs to get. But I think it's still a good idea to have it on talents, so that other specs have access to it.)But I think GC is right in that cookie cutters will matter much less in Mists. You just cannot quantify speed boosts, self heals, traps, or snares as much as the pure dps upgrades you saw with old talents.I think this is an excellent post in GC, most of all because it goes to greater depth for reasons why this change is good, moving past the tired, inaccurate "# of choices" or "cookie cutter specs" arguments. There are many more benefits than I am excited for, and other players should be excited too.
12-08-2011 @ 6:48PM
@DrakkenfyreWhat is so bad about removing 2/3rd's of a class' abilities? Fire mages never use frostbolt or arcane blast. Elemental shamans don't use the enhancement melee attacks. Affliction warlocks don't use the destruction fire spells in their rotation.Healing classes not speced into healing will have a healing spell, the quick bursty one, the only one they ever use.It cleans up the spell book and doesn't confuse new players by giving them spells that they're NOT supposed to EVER use.
12-08-2011 @ 7:02PM
Looking at the mage tree, I am actually excited to play mine in MoP. Paladin on the other hand, not so much. My main will be the first through, but probably sit on the bench again as he did in cata.
12-08-2011 @ 7:23PM
@DrakkenfyreThe least you could do before going on another of your MoP talent rants is get your facts straight. Your shaman healing example is simply wrong. According to the talent calculator the only heals being removed from baseline are Chain Heal, Greater Healing Wave, and Healing Wave. Of those only GHW really matters much, and then mostly only for enh and only in pvp or solo content. In a raid scenario, if you're using your Maelstrom procs for heals, it's goign to be Healing Rain at least 90% of the time. Losing regualr Healing Wave has no effect on the game for non-resto. Same goes for Chain Heal because neither of these spells heal for enough to eb worth casting as anything but a resto shaman.Plus, the talent calculator could be wrong and some spells are simply flagged incorrectly, and most importantly a lot will change during the beta.
12-08-2011 @ 7:47PM
I keep harping on Mages because it's one of the easiest examples.What if I told you Paladins no longer get Exorcism unless you were Ret?Rogues no longer get Backstab unless you are Subtlety. Assassination gets a watered-down version that you can't get until level 70 that requires the target to be below 35% health.Shaman lose ALL healing except Healing Surge unless you are Resto. Hell, you even lose the Healing buff to your weapon.Priests are the same way, almost all healing spells are lost unless you are Holy.
12-09-2011 @ 1:41AM
Before you go on QQing about losing heals you should only be able to heal yourself easily, and others at a pinch. All classes are being given flash heal, that's for self heals. Most hybrids are then being given healing talents, that's for healing other people. And moaning about mages? You didn't use the bloody spells anyway! What arcane mage would want to cast anything other than Arcane Blast? The new talents do offer a few cookie cutter style options, like DvP for paladins, however if you want a better cooldown instead pick that one. Maybe your playstyle doesn't suit one talent, so pick another.
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