Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New trees aren't that new

Good neeeews everyone! I've finally killed Professor Putricide. Since our guild raiding stopped time ago I haven't been in a raid group for a long time, and not being very keen to raid pugs I hadn't put a foot on Icecrown Citadel for long. But last saturday I was asked to join two pugs by fellow guildies. The first one was a complete fail. We got to Marrowgar, wiped and pug disintegrated. Typical. But in the evening I was asked to bring my shammy healer. The raid had already 6 bosses down, so we went to down the Professor, the last boss of the Plagueworks wing I was missing. It was hard, we wiped a lot of times, but we finally made it (including a desperate failed attempt where we brought him to 3% and the whole room was covered in green goo). We then went to kill the Vampire Council, but after several wipes (we got to 10%) the raid began to crumble since it was a bit late and people decided to try Halion, another started raid with only the big dragon alive, but we couldn't down him after several attempts where people (specially the shadow realm tank)  started dying on p3. A pity, since the group was very competent. Oh well, I didn't get any loot but it was refreshing to raid again.
Now, on the subject of the post, the upcoming talent trees are mostly set. They are still not complete and we see changes from week to week, but the core and major part of them is in place. And my rant is: one of the explanations Blizzard gave for this change, aside of removing passive buff talents, was to allow people to have more choices when speccing, so we could see more diverse specs than the cookie-cutter or the highly specialized raid tree (where you avoid some must-have talents because that buff/advantage is brought by another player). After playing with all the classes for the specs I am playing or I've played (which are all but holy priest, survival hunter, elemental shaman and sublety rogue) I don't see that diversity Blizzard claimed. Sure you make some choices inside a same tree to advance to the next tier (should I pick a talent that reduces pushback when damaged or that one that reduces certain spell cast time), but almost all of them are very situational, like only helpful while leveling or in certain situations, or when doing pvp, but the few points you get to put in the secondary trees (between 10 and 7 points depending on your class) don't offer really a choice. If you're a resto druid you'll put these in the balance tree in talents that buff your healing, a fury warrior will invest in the arms tree to bost damage and a shadow priest won't put a single point in the holy tree. So in the end we all going to have very simmilar trees,s pecially when people hits 85 and gets into raiding again. the only change I see it's a negative one: hybrid specs are gone. They might not be viable for raiding mostly, but a lot of people found them enjoyable to play.
Picking the right talents wasn't an easy task in the old days. There weren't theorycrafting sites offering information about the most effective trees and you usually picked a talent if you liked it. Right now choices (the right choice) is more obvious, but there's not enough room for experimentation. And once talent trees are finished, I expect even less. If mana is going to matter again, optional talents that allowed mana regeneration will become mandatory, so we'll have less points to expend in other trees or skills that  might be useful in certain situations (to reduce stuns, silences and so).

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