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2-06-2012 @ 2:23PM
You know, after playing a bit of Everquest a few months ago, I got to thinking: what if WoW had an alternate advancement system? Some kind of system where you get to customize your character beyond just the talents you choose, and you get to advance over time even after you've hit max level. Then I remembered that WoW is the most min/maxed MMO out there and that any sort of advancement system Blizzard introduced would immediately be boiled down and condensed to just another set of "here's a bunch of options but only one path is optimal." It would end up being just another grind for players to go through.This, I think, is why Blizzard is going the exact opposite direction with Pandaland. Instead of adding complexity, they're removing it to attempt to give the player some kind of real choice. It's kind of a futile endeavor, since everything will always be min/maxed and optimized and number-crunched so that meter-whores can be at the top, but assuming they execute their vision correctly one may actually be rewarded for taking a "non-optimal" path with additional utility.Honestly, though, I think Blizzard should replace the current glyph system with Path of the Titans. Glyphs are incredibly important as it is and sometimes make huge differences to how a character plays. They too have been min/maxed, but at least you usually get a couple of slots to do with as you will. Turning glyphs into a form of advancement solves two problems: 1) players that can't afford/don't buy/don't know about glyphs until max level could instead be instructed through in-game tutorials on how to advance; 2) players are given meaningful choices as they advance without having to pay gold for them. We're already one step there now that you remember the glyph forever once you "learn it". Now all we need to do is separate the cost aspect and replace it with an advancement system.Of course, this will never happen since Blizzard tied glyphs into an entire profession that a lot of people have. Still, it would create a form of alternate advancement besides leveling up and getting to pick between your three choices every 15 levels. A form of alternate advancement is going to become more and more necessary if Blizz keeps the Pandaria talent system for a while, because it seems like it will kind of suck only getting to customize your character once every 15 levels.
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