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Click the cut for more blue posts on the newest Faction Leader short story, as well as Ghostcrawler explaining redesigned talent trees in Mists.
Talent Tree Feedback
It's cool if you found a lot of interesting choices in the 4.3 talent builds. I just want to make sure you understand that you're in the minority.
I think you mentioned paladin, so I'll throw out a few examples.
100% of Retribution paladins on live in North America have Zealotry. I couldn't find a single one without. It makes sense. Zealotry is decently fun and a definite DPS upgrade.
2% of Retribution paladins have the Eternal Glory talent. One can argue that some of those may just be user error. Maybe a few of them found the talent really useful though.
75% of Retribution paladins have Repentance. Okay, that starts to get a little interesting. One can assume that most paladins find the talent useful, but some find other choices more compelling. Unlike Zealotry or Eternal Glory, I would argue that Repentance is an interesting choice. Incidentally, we left it as a choice in the 5.0 talent trees.
20% have Selfless Healer, though if you look at players who PvP a lot, it jumps up to over 90%. Here is another interesting talent (by which I mean not a no-brainer) and it's also a talent we left in 5.0 in a modified form.
So here is another talent tree model we could have used: we could have given you 12 or more talent rows, and left some of them as no-brainers. Maybe we put Art of War up against Reckoning. I bet most Ret paladins would take Art of War. So we saved you having to make a button click and just gave it to you.
(Aside: I've said before that we do think there is room in the game for some safe choices. Sometimes clicking a button that you're 100% certain you are going to click is still fun. That kind of "choice" has its place. We just don't think the talent trees are the best place for that design, given that some of the rows are supposed to be real choices and some would just be "feel good about yourself" choices.)
There is yet another model where we somehow make Reckoning just as competitive as Art of War for Ret paladins. That might be an exciting model, but it's also pretty overwhelming both for us to develop and for you to learn and master. The combinatorial effects for even a six tier talent tree are enormous.
We aren't done with the new talent trees, but you also shouldn't assume that everything is so in flux that it isn't worth giving feedback. If you feel there are no-brainers, let us know specifically which choices you're talking about and why. Is it just a manner of number tuning? Is it a case of just your play style and that others might disagree?
(Please don't do that in this thread though -- we have a whole forum for beta class feedback, and we read all of the posts.)
With spells, glyphs, and talents being so far spread out (as well as automatically being granted spells), folks who are leveling new toons in beta aren't feeling as though their character is improving over time
Note that you’re probably getting about the same number of spells as you level up (or ideally a few less because most classes have some bloat). You are getting fewer talent choices, but as I tried to explain above, we feel like many of those weren’t real choices.
The talent system was originally implemented way back in vanilla beta to give players some ability to customize their character. We’d rather it serve that purpose than being an interesting level up mechanic. Leveling up is generally pretty rewarding on its own. It is at max level where players often find themselves getting bored. There are many reasons for that and we’re trying to address the problem in multiple ways in Mists, but letting two Fire mages standing next to each other have different talents is a good start.
I totally agree with this. There are a few interesting choices in there, but for the most part I felt like it didn't matter. I could have clicked anything and it would have made no difference.
I see this opinion sometimes, but it’s sort of a catch 22. The argument goes that if there is one obvious choice from three, then the choice isn’t interesting. I'm with you so far. But if all three choices are valid, then the argument is that the choice still isn’t interesting because there isn’t a wrong answer. I don’t think that ultimately holds water though – saying there are valid choices isn’t the same as saying the choice is irrelevant.
Let’s assume that housing prices and average pay are similar between Austin and Milwaukee. (I have no idea if that is true, but let's assume I took the time to Google average housing prices and pay scales in two USA cities and found two suitable examples.) Moving to either city might be a valid choice. There isn’t a “right” answer. But you would certainly notice the difference! Decisions don’t become irrelevant just because there are multiple valid options.
I have respecced 5 times on the beta. That is 5 more times I have respecced my unholy spec on live in a year.
I think the biggest issue, and the one you never seem to grasp in all of your silly replies, is that if I am a holy paladin, I want to make choices related to healing. If I am a ret paladin, I want to make choices related to DPS. If I am a prot paladin, I want to make choices related to tanking.
If we give you a tanking, healing and DPS choice and you are a Holy paladin, then you’re going to pick the healing one. It seems like we should just make that automatic rather than require you to pick it manually.
Or as Malis says below:
When I go to a lobster buffet I still want them to serve me rice, baked potatoes,fries, and salads that I'm not going to eat.
If you’re asking for a Holy paladin specific talent tree with 3 good choices per tier, that gets back into the issue I mentioned before, where the number of talents in the game would be insane (612 I think). Probably you'd just see a lot of +5% crit talents again.
Besides, things like survivability and crowd control are mechanics that are useful to virtually every character. One of the cool things about scenarios is that they often don’t have a tank, so stuff is attacking you more, so you have to deal with it. Survival, control and escape buttons are really useful for those.
Even in very hardcore raiding situations, the healer that worries only about healing and nothing else (including their own survival) isn’t a great contributor to the team.
and who gives a damn about the trash before said bosses
Tragically, trash do kill players and any time you spend there is less time you have to focus on bosses that night. Bosses often have adds as well. :)
I was unaware of any poll to back up this statement.
Miscomm. My comment wasn’t about how much players like or dislike the system. My comment was that players who come up with builds that are creative yet effective in the live game are in a very small minority. The overwhelming number of players use the same builds, which should be a pretty good indication that the system isn't meeting its goals of offering choice.
I don’t need to poll players to figure out that data, because we can just look at the data. :)
This example makes no sense- OF COURSE 100% of ret paladins have Zealotry, because you're forced to put 31 points in a tree to access the other two. Many players used to use mixed specs such as SL/SL or reckadin specs back when that was an option, and probably still would if it was actually possible.
I have a lot of confidence that 90%+ of Ret paladins would take Zealotry if it was in the first tier of Holy. The only reason players historically went halfway down two trees is when they found degenerate builds that were so brokenly overpowered that it was worth giving up the core abilities that we assume they have in order to function. On the other hand, if you were a Ret paladin who liked to be able to heal a little, the new talent trees should help you do that.
You're absolutely right, Mr Crab, Cataclysm talents were horrible. Instead of stripping away even more character customization and experimental playstyles, how about you go back to the perfectly functional talent system we had in WOTLK and before?
Now that data I don't have in front of me, but I'm fairly confident that the kinds of percentages I offered above would look the same for LK or BC. There might have been more variation in vanilla, but that was probably because you got worse results from Googling “Combat raiding spec” back then.
Take these new talents but put them at the bottom of talent trees. To get to the bottom of these trees, we have to click some colored boxes that do nothing. Now people will feel like they're choosing these new talents because they're clicking more boxes just like the good old times! So much customization!
Lol. We debated a system where players could choose the order they earned spells or even combat stats like haste, so long as everyone ended up with the whole package at max level. We ultimately decided that enough players would ask “Why offer a choice with so little impact?” and weren’t sure we’d get enough bang for the buck out of such a feature.
I wonder, when mop rolls out, and every fire mage has the same spec, will you admit failure? Theory crafters will figure out which combination of talents and glyphs provides the best dps given a situation. We call those situations boss fights. Look back at your data, and tell me how many fire mage specs where used on ragnaros.
Yep, we would admit failure if every Fire mage still takes the same talents. We don't think the theorycrafters will be able to solve the problem as easily as you describe though. Does Greater Invis or Cauterize provide the higher dps? Both can save your life, depending on you and the situation. Maybe Nether Tempest or Living Bomb might have a marginally higher dps than each other for some fights, but still, it's much easier for us to balance two abilities against each other than it is to balance a 33/5/3 build against a 34/3/4 build.
As to your Ragnaros question, the answer as you can imagine is that the talent builds were virtually identical. That's what we we're trying to fix. However, if you look at glyphs, the situation is much more diverse. The new talents are more akin to Major glyphs, in that they aren't just passive dps increases. About 30% of mages had Glyph of Dragon's Breath and about 30% had Glyph of Blink. Which was the higher dps? Apparently there was disagreement, or nobody knew, or it didn't matter.
You didn't remove traps either. Look at warriors. Yep blade storm tanking sounds boss.. until you realize that dodge, parry and block do not function while channeling an ability. Don't worry, I had to look that up on a third party website, because blizzard refuses to document their own games basic mechanics.
We want Bladestorm to be attractive to tanks. It would be a flaw in the tree if one of the talents was a no-brainer to skip. In 5.0, Bladestorm does not prevent dodge, block or parry, and it even allows shouts, of which Last Stand is included.
I sympathize with the problem that our tooltips can't explain all of the nuance, depth and exceptions for the abilities. At times we have tried to be more complete, but the tooltips ended up reading like legal documents and of course grew very long. It's a problem we'll continue to try and solve though.
The issue is you are asking us to ignore the fact it's you that designed the 4.x system and you also similary tried to "sell us" that system as a net positive back in the pre-4.0 days. It's a matter of trust and prior performance.
Hey, we're happy to admit our mistakes and try to improve the game for the future. I suspect you'd probably prefer that than if we stubbornly clung to failed experiments. Our sincere hope is that new talent system fixes the problem of player choice and customization once and for all. I think it has a strong chance of doing so. But I've been in this business long enough to know that I might be wrong.
If for an example in a raid I am a healer who "never has to move" or that the "movement I do doesn't really need any fancy augmentation from a talent" then offering me three "movement" talents won't seem interesting. That's why throughput "increasers" seem more interesting to people because at least they can see the utility because for the most part
I'm not trying to nitpick through all these examples. I just want to communicate that the system would be a lot less compelling if there were obvious choices or non-choices like this. But please keep telling us of any you think fall into that category. We have time to fix them.
We do some Patchwerk-style fights still (Ultraxion was pretty close), but there are plenty of fights with many moving parts as well. Maybe we're arguing semantics here, but I don't think "increasers" are interesting. They may be useful, perhaps even mandatory, but that works against their being interesting. You don't have to think about them much. You don't have to experiment. You don't have to be a clever player to benefit from them. They just kind of sit there, making your numbers bigger.
Deciding "will I use this talent?" is interesting (in my definition anyway, which is the definition commonly used in game design, so maybe I'm just slipping into industry jargon). Deciding how to use the talent is interesting. I love the thought that a mage who has killed the Sha of Fear a dozen times might decide to switch from Rune of Power to Incanter's Ward, just to keep things interesting.
As an example from Mage Tier 4, Cold Snap screams Frost. It does not reset any Fire or Arcane ability, want to take a guess how often any Fire or Arcane mage takes that? Or flip it around, want to take a guess how often any Frost mage doesn't take it?
Cold Snap doesn't reset Frozen Orb though, which would make it too attractive to Frost and not attractive enough for Fire. It resets spells like Frost Nova, which all mages have and will likely use. It also restores your health, making it useful even if you don't have a spell on cooldown.
Agreeing with this sentiment more and more as I peruse the new warrior tree. None of the talent choices are exciting at all relative to the other two choices in the tiers. It really does feel like I can just pick whatever without any real impact on my performance.
You *should* be able to pick whatever you want without any impact on your performance. If one talent increased your performance more than the others, we would all just take that talent (unless some of us didn't care about performance, which is always possible).
Bladestorm, Shockwave and Dragon Roar all have different cooldowns. That alone will give them a different feel -- do you want to hit weaker buttons more frequently or more powerful buttons more rarely? But your overall DPS can be the same (unless the fight length makes the length of the cooldowns relevant, but even that is interesting in that you need to consider it). If Dragon Roar did the highest damage in most situations, then the other two choices are boring and won't get used a lot.
This attitude 'use cookie cutters or your bad' annoys me to know end, in vanilla, TBC I not ONCE used a cookie cutter spec and on my NE priest I was second tank healer in Molten core at 58
If that's the case, that's awesome. That's what we want. But most players aren't in your situation. They take virtually the same talent choices as everyone else. You would probably be sad too if you felt like that was your only real option. We want every player to feel like they can choose whether they like A instead of B or C.
GC you take so much heat. Props to you man, for weathering a very turbulent storm daily.
It's cool, man. They just want the game to be fun, which is exactly what we want.
Leaders of Azeroth: Velen Story Available
Not long ago, the prophet Velen and a number of draenei resettled on Azeroth, hoping to put a halt to the Legion’s murderous activities in Outland. Sensing great courage in the Alliance, the draenei pledged themselves to this noble faction.
Yet much time has passed since then. The Legion's forces in Outland have been greatly diminished. Now, Velen must guide his people into an uncertain future and decide what role, if any, the draenei will play in the Alliance.
The Seat of the Naaru's soaring energies inspired inner peace from the most bloodthirsty of warrior pilgrims, awe from even the most jaded of Azeroth's inhabitants. The figure floating before the Seat had long taken comfort from this column of Light. Velen looked out from his meditation chamber, seeking insight. . . in all the connections, great and small, where he might perceive the lines of the future. For the past several months, those lines had increasingly felt fragmented.
As the Prophet of the draenei meditated -- his legs crossed beneath him, his hands resting on his ancient knees -- the crystals that reflected his energies glowed and pulsed and swirled around him, not in patterns but in chaos. And the visions, the endless possibilities of tomorrows, assaulted him.
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the latest entry in the "Leaders of Azeroth" short story series:
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