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Community Blog Topic Results: Do we need an ability squish?

For last week's Community Blog Topic, we asked, "Do we need an ability squish?" Many people who answered, like myself, listed some abilities we didn't use that could go away, but others insisted on uses for them. For example, Hibernate is not so useful in PvE, but is often utilized in PvP on shapeshifted druids.

We got a few blogs and comments both in favor of squishing the number of abilities classes have as well as against. And many people had interesting suggestions.

No

Fizzl at Working Title says no to an ability squish, but suggests that WoW's UI could be improved.
... I don't think it would be nearly as easy to organize my spells and know what I'm doing without an action bar addon. Sure, I could make the best of it, but I think that the amount of abilities we have requires a degree of flexibility with placement that the default UI doesn't offer. I organized the abilities very specifically in my post, and I do so in game. I think a move-able UI and more bars are long overdue as part of the default package.

Over at Geek Street Society, angerfork also says no as well.
An ability squish is not only unnecessary, but would devalue the game somewhat. First of all, what do you really gain from an ability squish? Most players already have their most used abilities hotkeyed to their action bars, whereas the other lesser-used ones are set to non-keyed action bars or just not really displayed. This seems to be a case of looking for a solution to a problem that no one really has.
Sarabande_Mage likes everything in the mage arsenal.
I use deep freeze quite a bit while solo questing or in certain fights with a lot of adds. Some people may not know that it exists. And I'd rather have control over when to use it rather than have it proc, or be weakened if it gets rolled into something else (because someone will think it's OP).

Yes

JeffLaBowski at Sportsbard says yes.
As much as I hate to see so much change and will probably not agree with which spells to take out, I feel this is not only needed but long overdue.

DamionPseudonym also says yes.
A classes flavor lies not in how many abilities it has, but how iconic those abilities are. A paladin would be just as "paladinny" if all the iconic aspects of each ability were baked into others during a squish. (You could even add more flavor with minor Glyphs, as opposed a forest of buttons....)

WordGardener from Deletrix's World of Warcraft Blog says yes with misgivings.
If we get an ability squish, none of us will get to keep each of our favorite abilities. It's pretty likely that every one of us will lose or see dramatically altered at least one of our favorite skills.

HerrKlokBok from The Exodar Sisters says less is more.
Why would you spend hours building a campfire if there was an electric stove available? You wouldn't, of course. Why would you "master" something overly and unnecessary complicated if you could do the same job in half the time with half the buttons?

Suggestions

Sparkys Shocker at Blood Sweat and Honor has some suggestions for reducing warrior button bloat, such as:
Sunder Armor - forget the the Glyph of Colossus Smash, this ability needs to be baked into Colossus Smash for Fury and Arms like it is for Protection with Devastate. Which would also free up a glyph slot.
RossFale at Feckless Leader has a few suggestions for purging enhancement shamans, including:
Frost Shock is removed from the game. The effects of the ability have been rolled up into the talent Frozen Power and now affect the shaman's Flame Shock.

Magma Totem and Searing Totem combine into Searing Magma Totem, now a passive ability.The totem repeatedly attacks an enemy within 25 yards and causes Fire damage to all creatures within 8 yards every 2 seconds. Additionally, the totem is no longer dropped on its own, and is summoned/refreshed each time the shaman applies Flame Shock to a target.
Many rogues agree with jpf.
Slice and dice... I know it will never go away but I wish it was a passive.
And many druids agree with Revnah.
As a feral, I hope that Shred and Mangle will be combined into one ability, and the positional requirement (of what is today Shred) FINALLY removed.
For Death Knights, Ballew suggests:
I think it would be cool to have them combine the summon ghoul and corpse explosion buttons. Basically just you the same button for both...Click to summon, and then click again to explode. It would be like having a kamikaze with you! That would be a cool addition to the DK's, and it would remove at least one button.
crohmar suggests that long lasting buffs be cast on teammates automatically.
Those buffs - sure, they are just one click per hour, but theyre easily forgotten, and it at least would give some jerks ion LFR one less reason to tear someones head off for not buffing fast enough. Have them baked into the class. Druid in your group? You get Mark of The Wild.
Arclon thinks intelligent abilities would be useful to help button bloat.
Combine abilities that are fulfilling the same role in different situations, for example Hammer of the Righteous and Crusader Strike. Both of these abilities are generators, the distinction being single or multi-target. Is it really an exciting mechanic of the game to have the player make this decision instead of the computer itself? I'd argue that our abilities should be some what self determining on what is actually done when it's said button is pressed.
Johnggernaut says:
But what about abilities having branching options? Imagine having the option of making an attack either do more damage or instead have some.cc aspect. Several levels after gaining an ability, it becomes better in some way, rather than you getting a new ability.
panzerchocolate offers a different viewpoint on the issue.
I think people approach the problem backwards. Instead of looking through current abilities and justifying why they are there, I think Blizz should decide how many abilities they want (say 16 per spec) and the design 16 abilities to cover all the needs for a spec.

Been there; done that.

At Dead Gnomes Society, Alikii says that Blizzard has been squishing all along.
... I thought about this and all the healing buttons my tree has, and then I realized that Blizzard pretty much squishes abilities with every expansion, and even sometimes in new patches.
And then Alikii goes on to give examples for many classes, including the squish of spell ranks into one scalable spell.

This was another fun topic to debate. If you have suggestions for future Community Blog Topics, please put them in the comments below.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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