Answering Nils’ Criticism
Nils made a comment in response to yesterday’s post, and I feel a rebuttal is important enough for its own post.
Ok, so in BGs where you can blow people off edges you take typoon. In the others you take Fearie Fire. Was that a hard choice?
Yes. Because I want Typhoon all of the time… but Faerie Swarm could be useful in Arena… but what if I get Dalaran Sewers where the shock value of a Feral druid knocking someone off the edge would be priceless… but endlessly kiting people DK-style would probably be fun too… and hey, would Typhoon be more or less powerful on Magmaw than the AoE root… etc.
The consequences of choosing Typhoon over Faerie Swarm is that you won’t have Faerie Swarm even when there may be a good situation for it. In a raid, there is probably a clear-cut answer of which is more useful, and if it is EotS weekend, then Typhoon would likely be the answer. But that’s not a problem between the Typhoon vs Faerie Swarm choice, it’s a problem with encounter design. And I would still take Typhoon in an encounter where Faerie Swarm is more optimal, as long as Typhoon wasn’t completely useless (i.e. the delta between their usefulness wasn’t too great).
I think everything has been said there. Choices have to have consequences, otherwise they are meaningless. Blizzard repeated attempts to get around this is ridiculous. The reason you have a few choices left in the current talent trees is because it doesn’t matter where you spend your last points!
And it didn’t matter because up until now they were treating the first ~31 talents as “choices” when they really were not. If you are a Ret paladin, you take 3/3 Crusade, period. You take 2/2 Long Arm of the Law, period. And so on. Now, they can give you choices that matter (in the sense I’m talking about), as evident by the druid talents you went over and all the other classes.
You say that there is an optimal, cookie-cutter EJ solution to these problems but I am saying that that is irrelevant. Yes, there will always be an objectively optimal choice assuming the choice has a measurable impact on anything. The only relevant thing though is the distance between the EJ solution and the 2nd best (or 3rd) solution. As long as they are close enough, I can choose which of the two is more fun for me (Typhoon) and still feel happy about that decision even if the “correct” answer is something else. My fun, enjoyment, familiarity, stylistic inclination, ease, etc, will make up the difference.
The only change of note with the new talent trees is that you can change them on the fly. This makes them a mandatory part of the preparation before you do anything of importance (boss fights, arena games, rated BGs …)
Other than every spec of each class having access to cool abilities that were hitherto restricted to individual specs, right? Hell, a Resto druid can have Typhoon and summon treants! Nevermind Assassination rogues with Shadowstep, Arcane mages with Cauterize and Ice Barrier, etc etc. And by removing the ~31 redundant talent “choices” that each spec takes regardless of PvE vs PvP vs leveling vs raiding, this should allow Blizzard to focus on keeping the six actual talent choices we have now interesting and difficult to choose between.
And just based on the rough draft we saw at BlizzCon, I would say they are off to a good start.