couple of things.
the reason NV is removed when you change skills isnt to get you to go into a cookie cutter spec.. on my barbarian in act 3 inferno i use a very interesting build that is completely unlike ive seen most barbs using or say they are using on these forums.
Its meant to KEEP you from optimizing your build for every single champion pack you come across. They want you to choose a style for your character and then run with it getting gear and skills based around how you want to play.
Anyone who thinks they are stuck in a "cookie cutter" build in this game are just doing things wrong. I really hate to tell people that but its the truth. I have been able to play a monk a witch doc and a barb up to 60 well into inferno and completely stay away from the "cookie cutter" things people are doing.
There is a double layer NV adds to the game. First it makes you be confident in your build before you go out farming. You need to ask yourself "does this spec stand up enough against enough things to be viable or am i giong to need to change halfway through" if the answer is no then something is wrong. You are not meant to be able to take on ALL things equally well but ALL specs CAN take on ALL things its just your going to be more effective against some things then others.
My barb does amazing AOE DPS but suffers against single targets.. so when i come across invuln minions i have to adapt my tactics on the fly within the constraints of my spec which involves alot of hit and run. However against something such as molten/plague i can dive head first into them and obliterate the entire group before those affixes even become an issue.
You cant have it all and neph valor being removed on skill swap enforces that.
Hmm, you make some good points. On the classes you've played, how do you feel about the skill/rune combos?
Do you feel like the majority of skill/rune combos could fit nicely into any spec? Or are some of them just completely inferior or way to specialized to be used outside of limited situations?
For my main (wizard), I'd say about half of my bar stays the same no matter how I want to adjust it--there's just a few things that I move around based on the situation.
Sometimes I want teleport, sometimes I dont. If I do, its either wormhole or fracture.
I almost always want hydra, I prefer arcane unless its a boss, then I want venom.
Force Armor is mandatory.
Magic Weapon always stays, and Force Weapon is the only rune I'd want.
I've swapped my signature spell dozens of times, but always come back to MM: Seeker.
As I go I make minor variations to my spec, but everytime I go a little too far, I get reminded that outside of specific situations, its not going to happen for me. I can go farm Act I with some silly specs, but not after that--and even then, if I'm pushing too far away champ packs remind me why.
For me, it seems that with the current system, I'm discouraged from using those opportunities to break out spell combos I wouldn't normally run for everyday grinding/questing, such as Ray of Frost/Cold Blooded