Talent tree system or paint by numbers?

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I like this system better, just like they said at blizzcon if you dont choose the cookie cutter spec online and the raid group says you didnt put these points here and there and thats gonna cause you to lose that few extra dps so take a hike. With this system you can pick talents on personal preference and it can show whether a player can play their class by not copying off others.
01/25/2013 10:49 AMPosted by Erras
But did you get excited about that extra 2 percent damage to moonfire? Maybe for a few seconds, but it wasn't that talent point that enabled you to keep going and further your toon, it was the level itself. Sure, every 10-15 levels you got a talent that was really a game changer, but what does that sound like?


Actually, hell yea I did! I love spamming moonfire. :)

But again, its less about the actual 2/4/6% boost and more about having actual progression towards something useful. I might only be 6% damage to a spell, but it was three steps closer to Boomkin form.

And I'm not even saying it is the most exciting thing in the game, but it is clearly better than now, where we get absolutely nothing useful until level 60 and 90, and even then it doesn't really matter.


But those steps to say boomkin form were just a chore you had to perform after you'd already performed the chore of leveling. I remember leveling alts and not even bothering with talents for many a level because I wasn't getting any real benefit from them.
The fact of the matter is that there is no longer a sense of reward when gaining a new level. This extends from the talent system to the distribution of new abilities and the fact that you automatically learn new spells.

When leveling an alt, my reaction to leveling used to be, "Ok let me stop and think about if this is going to affect my rotation at all." Now my reaction is just "Bleh one step closer to 90..."

One thing that needs to happen for sure when we learn a new spell is a more persistent notification needs to pop up. So many times I'll ding in the heat of battle and not even realize I just learned a new spell. I'll go through my spellbook every now and then and be like "Wth? When did I learn this...?"
I like the new talent system in theory, the concept of interesting choices is nice. However, in practice I find switching into certain talents becomes mandatory for PVE (maybe just as a tank).

For instance I can choose between Diffuse Magic or Dampen Harm, the thing is for some bosses Diffuse Magic is the "WRONG CHOICE" because the encounter has little or no magic damage, and frequent bursts of physical damage. For heavy magic encounters (Lei Shi) diffuse magic is the "CORRECT CHOICE" so I'm obligated to choose it. Healing Elixirs is simply not comparable with either talent for PVE bosses so it never gets chosen. At no point am I making a compelling choice between one ability and another, I'm just selecting the only "viable" option for an encounter. The same happens with the Glyph of Guard.

For the level 90 tier you have Xuen which is great most of the time, or Rushing Jade Wind which is great only for AoE heavy fights. Again I'm not choosing on a fight by fight basis, I feel obligated to pick the overwhelmingly superior talent for most fights, and then feel obligated to switch to the AoE talent for AoE fights. Again Chi Torpedo is so bad for PVE tanks there's never a compelling reason to consider that talent. I feel compelled to pick the single "viable" talent for a given fight.

So while I think the talent system theme of interesting choices is a great concept, in practice I never feel like I'm making a choice. I'm simply switching talents on a fight by fight basis with very clear right and wrong answers.
You should all be happy you don't have to make the hardest talent choice in the game- ice barrier or blazing speed. Dun Dun Dun.
Mindbender is garbage, through and through. It may have usefulness in Arena though.

But on a fight with adds Twist of Fate
No adds, fight with movement I go Divine Insight
Stationary fight, you can go PI, I don't really like it much.

I switch from Halo to Cascade on Elegon

On single target too, Insanity can be a good choice if there's isn't much movement and you can keep track of it well enough.

I'm curious where you get some of this. I can't name a single source or theorycrafter anywhere that would *ever* recommend Shadow Word: Insanity. It is regarded as so bad, Blizzard is re-designing it this patch because it is useless.

You might also be interested to know that Mindbender is a meaningful DPS increase over FDCL on a single target fight (see, e.g. the Priest forums, How To Priest, Icy Veins, etc.).

Twist of Fate vs. DI is not really as clear as you might think, because you have to measure the ToF dps bump you get against the increased number of DI procs. I could see it on Will of the Emperor (due to the steady stream), but wouldn't bother with it just because of "adds." Lei Shei comes to mind - just because there are adds doesn't make ToF the right choice (at least from what I've read).
The fact of the matter is that there is no longer a sense of reward when gaining a new level. This extends from the talent system to the distribution of new abilities and the fact that you automatically learn new spells.

When leveling an alt, my reaction to leveling used to be, "Ok let me stop and think about if this is going to affect my rotation at all." Now my reaction is just "Bleh one step closer to 90..."

One thing that needs to happen for sure when we learn a new spell is a more persistent notification needs to pop up. So many times I'll ding in the heat of battle and not even realize I just learned a new spell. I'll go through my spellbook every now and then and be like "Wth? When did I learn this...?"
I don't know. Nothing to do with the new system, but the onscreen level toast actually helps me realize I've leveled. I used to go ten or more levels without thinking about it. I remember on one of my Mages I went from about level 20 to about level 50 without returning to a city to train, get glyphs, or anything. I didn't realize it until I did return to the city and found I had to spend around 100g on new abilities and that I had some 20 talent points I hadn't spent. The new leveling announcement could maybe stay longer, but it does give a nice little announcement in the chat pane as well.
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/choice-and-conflict
Mindbender is garbage, through and through. It may have usefulness in Arena though.

But on a fight with adds Twist of Fate
No adds, fight with movement I go Divine Insight
Stationary fight, you can go PI, I don't really like it much.

I switch from Halo to Cascade on Elegon

On single target too, Insanity can be a good choice if there's isn't much movement and you can keep track of it well enough.

I'm curious where you get some of this. I can't name a single source or theorycrafter anywhere that would *ever* recommend Shadow Word: Insanity. It is regarded as so bad, Blizzard is re-designing it this patch because it is useless.

You might also be interested to know that Mindbender is a meaningful DPS increase over FDCL on a single target fight (see, e.g. the Priest forums, How To Priest, Icy Veins, etc.).

Twist of Fate vs. DI is not really as clear as you might think, because you have to measure the ToF dps bump you get against the increased number of DI procs. I could see it on Will of the Emperor (due to the steady stream), but wouldn't bother with it just because of "adds." Lei Shei comes to mind - just because there are adds doesn't make ToF the right choice (at least from what I've read).


All the numbers I see from howtopriest, still say not to take mindbender, it is still a huge dps loss compared to fdcl.

I've even switched to it to test, it's garbage. It may equal to the same dps in theory, but I have yet to see it.

Insanity works well with the 4pc, and there are theory crafters who will tell you that, also I believe it is getting reworked in the next patch.
Good idea, poorly implemented. There are still cookie cutter specs; no serious raiding hunter takes anything other than Murder of Crows and Glaive Toss, and most PvP hunters take Blink Strike, many take Barrage from what I understand.

Some classes, like rogue, you could almost not take any talents and no one would notice (PvE).
01/25/2013 09:59 AMPosted by Bashiok
They gave us "variety" by making the choices irrelevant to the game. You have freedom to choose, because your choice is meaningless. How is this an improvement?


I'm not sure you've actually looked at the new talents.

The are doing the same thing with glyphs. The top tier was removed completely. Many of the best or "mathematically superior choices" have been removed and added to your rotation as baseline skills. Minor glyphs are now almost nothing but cosmetic changes.


You're upset that you got some glyphs as baseline skills? o.O


There's less freedom in this new system. Sure, that means fewer opportunities to make a "wrong" choice, but it's lame when I reach a new level and get nothing. No new skill, no talent point, nothing.

During wrath a friend and I used to create bizarre tri-spec builds that weren't anywhere near viable for end-game anything. But the AoE sword-spec build his warrior had was great for gathering up lots of quest mobs while I healed the crap out of him on my priest. Now there isn't really any option for those kinds of fun things. And the new talent system, while overall is an improvement, is still pretty terrible. When it doesn't actually matter which talent you choose because they all suck, that's at least as bad if not (as it is in my opinion) worse than having one talent choice be hands down superior to all other choices.
I personally like the changes in general. I like that "mandatory talents" (and glyphs) are now baseline to the spec. For the most part, each talent tier gives 3 viable options that you toggle depending on circumstances (am I doing a battleground? PvP? Questing? Farming? Raid? Which boss?).

Yes some of the talent tiers are useless for specific aspects of the game, but what people don't realize is that there were a ton of talents in the old system that were only useful in PvP and never got looked at by a PvE player. It's important to have "PvP only" talents in the game to allow PvPers the utility that PvEers don't need.

There are only 2 things I don't like about the new system.
  • Questing doesn't feel as awesome without something new coming every level. Or even every other level. We've come a long way from having to upgrade our spells and having a new talent point every level. While both of those features were kind of lame in the long run, nothing has come to replace them to add flavor to leveling.

  • For whatever reason, add-ons don't work well with the new talent UI. I still believe this will be fixed someday, but it's been half a year since the new talent system showed up and still the problem persists.
  • You guys know you still get abilities as you level up, right?

    Getting 1% base crit in exchange for stat decay wasn't very exciting.

    The real reason leveling sucks is because it is constantly trivialized and nerfed.
    Once the content is no longer engaging, leveling just becomes a long grind to max level.
    So they add heirlooms to make it faster, a bandaid fix which solves nothing except to further devalue the leveling experience.
    I love the way the system is going. Clean, simple, notifies you of changes to your character, and actually lets you pick talents based on play style. Some people aren't worried about max dps to the point they will not pick something that is more a utility they use for how they play.
    01/25/2013 11:31 AMPosted by Sváfa
    I don't know. Nothing to do with the new system, but the onscreen level toast actually helps me realize I've leveled. I used to go ten or more levels without thinking about it. I remember on one of my Mages I went from about level 20 to about level 50 without returning to a city to train, get glyphs, or anything. I didn't realize it until I did return to the city and found I had to spend around 100g on new abilities and that I had some 20 talent points I hadn't spent. The new leveling announcement could maybe stay longer, but it does give a nice little announcement in the chat pane as well.


    I'm not saying I want to return to having to run to town every few levels to train. All that does is slow down the leveling process. All I'm asking for is something that stays on screen until you click it off sort of like those little tip windows for new players. Perhaps allow us to drag the new spell from the pop up window to our action bar without having to dig through the spellbook to find it.

    The current system is fine if you level when you turn in a quest and are sitting there with nothing happening but like I said, if you level in the heat of battle it's very easy to miss the notification that you learned something.
    I didn't mind the old system, but I don't mind the new system either. Changes keeps the game fresh. i wish something like ''path of the titans'' would be implemented, just to give us another layer of progression. Maybe instead of it being for glyphs, they could use it to liven up racials in some way?
    The new talent system isn't really a talent system in the traditional sense, but I think it is just the beginning. From reading what GC has said on the issue (in posts, dev discussions, and tweets recently), the talent monster just got so out of control something had to be done. There were too many talents that never got picked because everyone went into cookie cutter mode. While the new talents are very minimal right, I look at it as more of a complete reboot. They essentially just erased the whole thing and started from scratch.

    I personally think this opens them up to do more positive things going forward when it comes to customization. I could also see them going a bit further. Let's take the mage for example. Even as a Fire mage I still have access to other arcane and frost spells by default. Whereas maybe it needs to be an option to expand the talent system to allow more customization and less overlap.

    So I need to have access to flame strike, blizzard, and arcane explosion? Not really. Move them out of default spells and put them in as a talent tier. Cone of cold is another that can be moved in there or just made frost only. Fireball and frostfire ball is another option of a spell that can be moved over to talents to let us pick with one we want to use. I'm not saying this all should be done, just giving examples of similar spells all mages have access to that we really don't need to. If it is something fight specific we need to change, then we can move talents around as we do now.

    For me this issues seems to be more focused on the Pure DPS classes and not the hybrids. The more joint abilities we have between specs, the more pointless it is to have 3 specs. While I would love to see a Battle Mage (tank), Blood Mage (healer), or other abilities added in to the Pure classes to give us more options for LFR/Raids/Groups/etc...I'm not going to hold my breath. :)
    01/25/2013 11:03 AMPosted by Bashiok
    We generally found that we had to theme tiers to a particular mechanic. For example, a small heal in a tier with movement abilities would feel mandatory for a Guardian druid who likely cares a lot more about living than moving. There are exceptions. The mage tier 2 has a movement ability, and absorb and a heal.


    So, what you are saying is that by changing the design of the talent trees, it may have fixed some problems, but introduced more problems? So, now we are just going to deal with the other problems?

    Secondly, I just don't understand why you have this mindset that people just going to the internet and getting the talent tree build for the old system was in ANY way a bad thing. It's no different than we have now and it's no different than any other aspect of this game. You want help with something, to the internet to find the answer. In other words, it's not adding anything to the game.

    Having only 3 choices per tier regardless of spec has caused the problems that you were mentioning. This wasn't a problem with the old talent tree. This wouldn't have been a problem if you would have continued to have spec based talent trees. It really just looks lazy and half assed when you get down to it because instead of adding new and interesting things, you are given choices that don't really matter because they all perform the same thing just in a different way. It's like asking if you want to play with a red ball, blue ball or green ball, and at the end of the day they are all just balls.

    Ultimately, you have to ask what the new talent system accomplished and it's really hard to find a good answer to that. Yes, it accomplished it's goal of taking out the fluff and streamlining the talent choices, but it caused a huge amount of drawbacks that in my opinion have made the new system infinitely worse than the old system.

    Here's what I would love ... Get rid of the shared talent tree and give each spec their own choices. Now you don't have to deal with the crap excuse that you need to make something desirable for a healer at the same time as a DPS. It's honestly ridiculous that we're even discussing something as flawed as that idea right there.

    Now that each spec has it's own choices for talents, now build in a glyph system that actually does what it's supposed to do and emphasize the different class and talent abilities. Give some actual choices that we can and are changing around glyphs every fight. To be clear, the talent choices should be more concrete choices and you should be using Glyphs to modify those talent choices (along with other abilities) to cater them to the encounter.
    I love the new talent tree. Before you had to go back to the trainer & re-do your entire tree if you wanted to change something. Now, I can change talents on the fly for different encounters.

    I saw some people trying to claim they were meaningless, but for the most part they arent.

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