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Talent talk

June 7, 2010

We like Shadow Bolt being the nuke for both Demonology and Affliction. That isn’t likely to change. Talents don’t have to be in “your tree” for them to be good talents for your build. We generally consider 0 / 0 / 71 builds to be a failure.

See, even Blizzard says that they consider 0/0/71 (in any class tree) a failure. But wait a minute.. they also contradict themselves in a post just a few days ago.

1) For more casual players (i.e. the ones not posting in this forum), we want there to be less difference in power between an optimal and sub-optimal spec. It’s okay if the optimal one is still better, but not so much better. Casual players should feel fine just spending points with a small amount of consideration and not feeling like step one is to go to the Internet to find the right build. The passive bonuses help with that.

2) For those players that do take optimization very seriously (and I’m assuming most of you are in that category), we just want to see more cookie-cutter builds that say things like “spend the last 5-10 points wherever you want.” If those points would give you survivability or a massive threat bonus or even utility that’s hard to live without (say Warbringer for a Prot warrior), then you’re not really spending the points where you want. But we think there is room to have some of those choices that don’t really exist now

I’m not saying I don’t agree, 71 points into any tree is a dumb move. For anyone. But how come Blizzard is now encouraging cookie-cutter builds? I thought the idea was to try to tweak the trees to the point where it mattered.. but you didn’t have to have the same spec as “Rogue_01234”

I know right now I can glance at a talent calculator, and without even mousing over I know what Paladin talents are “must have”, “filler”, and “don’t even bother”, for all 3 specs. I’m sure there’s plenty of others out there who are like this as well with their class, or multiple classes. It sort of negates the point of even having talents.

So.. why do we have them?

The original intention of adding the talent trees was to give classes “specialties” and give everyone the choice to play their chosen class as they want to play it. Did Blizzard succeed in doing this? Yup.

We still have the choice to pick our talents, we don’t have to follow an EJ thread or a cookie-cutter build. But, you’ll be less effective at your job than someone who is using the “optimal cookie cutter build.” I could level 70-80 completely un-spec’d, with any class. Anyone can. Sure it will take longer, but you can do it. That’s exactly why Blizzard didn’t and isn’t technically failing at the original goal of the talent trees. You DO have the option to put them wherever you’d like, and you can still play the game with 71 points dumped into a tree.. for the most part.. just fine.

It wont effect your dailies, or your questing, or your mount farming. Try to grab a PUG raid though and be prepared to get laughed at repeatedly before getting the boot.

In order for Blizzard to really flesh out the talent trees and give us more options for successful builds, rather than just one mega-optimal build, they would have to completely tear down the talent system and re-build it from the ground up. Considering we’ve seen how much Blizzard just loves to develop things.. we might see this happen in 2018. Maybe.

For now though, there is nothing terribly wrong with the talent system. I know we’re all just dying to see at least the Beta form of the Cata talent trees. Hopefully it will get rid of some of those more worthless talents and put in some ones that will actually make you think about your choice. While cutting the bloat out of some other trees so the class actually feels like it has enough points to get everything he/she needs/wants.

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