Mike over at the Eye on MOGs blog
has an interesting idea about how to customize classes even further than talent trees: implement rare and epic ability drops
. As you probably know if you've hit 60 and run the higher level instances, there are already ability drops in the game-- I've seen a few Manuals of Evicerate IX
drop in UBRS, and my Shaman has already gotten a few Tablets from AQ20. But all of those abilities are just higher ranks of current abilities (and they'll be trainable when the expansion hits anyway). I think what Mike is talking about is abilities that can seperate players even within the same class-- as an example (don't argue about the gameplay aspects of these, I just came up with them on the spot), Warriors could obtain an item that gave them a learnable root ability. Or Druids could find an epic drop or quest reward somewhere that would grant them a strength or agility debuff of some type.
To be fair, these things do already exist in the game-- Warriors can use Really Sticky Glue
as a root, or Pallys can use the Boomerang trinket
for a ranged attack. Likewise, as we enter into the expansion, there will be lots of different items that drop with strange procs, or items that (via jewels or enchants) will give classes special abilities in some way. Mike is, of course, talking about items that give us learned class abilities, free of some item, but the truth is that almost anything you want to do can be done with an item you find somewhere in the game, so there's not much call at the moment to implement more learned abilities.
And finally, if Mike's goal is to customize the classes, I'm not sure rare or epic drops will do that much anyway. My Shaman has the Totem of Sustaining
(a rare drop in Scholomance), which gives an extra boost to my Lesser Healing Wave, but every resto Shammy I've seen around has one, too. The classes aren't any more customized-- we just all decided that was the best Totem for us to have, and grinded away until we got it. Any rare or epic drop in the game, I'd hazard a guess, would end up playing the same role-- if you were expected to have that ability, you or your guild would just work away at it until you got it. But that isn't to say we shouldn't have items floating around that can better define the classes and their different specs. My guess is that in the expansion (and I'm sure feral druids will agree with me), that's exactly what we'll see.
Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends