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  • Dolan
  • Member Since Oct 23rd, 2007

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Ghostcrawler on the Path of the Titans {WoW}

Sep 3rd 2009 7:03PM Exactly - my point is, in part, that there is no cookie cutter spec if no one spec is ideal, but different specs are preferred for different situation, even different bosses within the same raid. And I've read a lot of those threads, and many of them diverge away from any definitive answer, and end up to be "X works best for me."

I don't mean to suggest that the EJ and broader WOW community are going to stop _arguing_ over what is best, but the OP's wish (which I share) was that cookie cutter specs would go away--meaning, I believe that there would less class trees in which blind followers of EJ math they often don't understand or spreadsheets have less reason to look at someone's build and reject them because they moved a point from one place to another. Of course, since that is not really a defensible view as it is, I don't know why I think that game design is going to convince those people otherwise.

I think what Blizz is trying to do is reach the point where you can allocate perhaps 2/3 of your points to pure buff talents, thus establishing your specialty within the tank/healer/dps structure, but still have plenty left over to either get one of several more unique, but roughly approximate, high level talents, or emphasize certain aspects like cc or survivability, or what have you, without notably gimping your ability to perform in that role.

Ghostcrawler on the Path of the Titans {WoW}

Sep 3rd 2009 3:58PM Blizz could certainly eliminate the cookie cutter spec. As long as there are more talent points than there are "pure" buffs, then the allocation of those talent points to less quantifiable talents, like improved speed or cc, highly situational talents, etc, is not subject to min-maxing, once all the pure buffs are taken. Also, by reducing the number and impact of "pure" buff talents, the difference between the ideal spec and a wacky one is less, because the contribution of talents to a character's overall dps, healing, threat, whatever, is a lesser percentage. This is exactly what they are planning, according to reports from BlizzCon.

With this approach, there would still be a cookie-cutter baseline spec, (although Blizz could undermine that by offering mathematically equivalent but non-stacking alternatives - i.e. if you take X you can't take Y), but additional selections could then be made to "customize" the character in non-min-maxing fashion.

Also, there could be more synergistic talents, such that similar results can be achieved through different combinations of talents. Especially relevant for hybrid classes, I think. These would complicate min-maxing further, creating the possibility of multiple, different specs which are not meaningfully distinct from a min-max perspective.

And this all assumes that "cookie-cutter" specs truly exist today. Much of the analysis on EJ and elsewhere is done based on target dummies, which, as many on EJ freely admit, do not represent the nature of boss encounters, nor value all aspects of a character's skills (and PVP adds even more intangibles). A theoretical 100 dps improvement doesn't do a player any good if he can't shake an add and ends up dead, or can't respond to a rogue's burst. And players themselves are different - a twitch gamer with fast reflexes might be more effective at employing a positional talent, or one requiring tight coordination with other effects, while a more cerebral player might be more effective managing cool-downs for maximum effect. Good talent tree design should present those sorts of trade-offs.

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Druid Guide {WoW}

Aug 4th 2009 2:24PM No reason to have a feral/balance spec really, that's just two DPS specs. Good to learn each spec at some point or another, of course. But resto is useful to have as an off-spec for easier grouping, obviously. Keep in mind that if you do want to group as a healer sometimes, then the advantage of resto/moonkin is that you only need one set of gear, and keeping two sets is a pain leveling. By 63, a properly specced moonkin shouldn't have significant mana issues--if you skip the deepest balance talents and spec the mana efficient resto talents, so much the better. Try something along these lines: From there, take Natural Shapeshifter and then start taking the other balance talents.

Officers' Quarters: Crushed by the banhammer {WoW}

Aug 3rd 2009 11:54AM Reading the entire TOU and EULA is a waste of time on this issue, because TOU section 8 gives Blizzard the complete right to do whatever they want to an account, "BLIZZARD MAY SUSPEND, TERMINATE, MODIFY, OR DELETE ACCOUNTS AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON OR FOR NO REASON, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE TO YOU." (caps in original).

What you "can" and "can't" do is entirely, totally, utterly up to Blizzard, on a case-by-case basis.

Sam Raimi's production diary {WoW}

Jul 28th 2009 6:05PM Very nicely done. 100% better than the lame Onion article a while back, at least for the in-crowd.

Gearing up for PvP: Gaming surfaces and keyboards {WoW}

Jul 22nd 2009 4:06PM This.

Plus, you can use the bump on the F key as it was designed, to keep your hand in the right spot. The WASD setup is just foolish.

15 Minutes of Fame: Legendary appreciation for a job well done {WoW}

Jul 21st 2009 11:42PM I suppose you probably think the Stanley Cup is stupid too, because its just an over-sized mug with a bunch dents that you have to give back after a year. For that matter, who would want to be President, it only pays like $300 grand a year.

The moon landing? Seriously? The column is called "15 Minutes of Fame." Think about it.

China's gold farming ban not really a ban {WoW}

Jul 2nd 2009 12:46PM @Netherscourge - you need to get out of your mom's basement more often if you think WOW gold farming is one of China's biggest industries.

Countdown to Wrath Giveaway Day -1 - Razer Destructor mousing surface {WoW}

Nov 15th 2008 12:49AM why yes, i do need this