Thursday, July 15, 2010

Helping Hand

Seeing as I can't get an invite to the beta, I'll have to drop my knowledge here where 7 of you will see it. I'd love to give feedback to the devs about class abilities and talents, but I can't. Why? Because I'm not cool enough yet to receive an invite.

The other day I postulated on the wonders of Expanding Talents, as opposed to thrashing them into a fraction of what they were in order to assist those dummies who will put talent points into meaningless talents. I couldn't help but notice that a good number of PvP talents were also cut from the trees, making them more and more PvE centric. Sure, there are still some PvP talents there, but not as many. I've seen comments here and there from PvP oriented players that they are not happy about that design move. Well I have a couple probable solutions. So if anyone from Blizzard is listening, here's another bit of a helping hand at your talent tree design.

Ready?....Drumroll please!!!!!!! (How do you write out a drumroll sound anyway?)

Dudududududud or d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d- or tat-tat-tat...forget it, here you go!

Make 6 talent trees.

Now before you dismiss this idea, I ask that you allow me to make my case, however weak it may be.

I like the new plan to allow someone to specialize in a particular talent tree, giving them iconic and powerful abilities at level 10. I agree that it will make for a rich and exciting leveling experience, as players have more time to understand thier more important abilities and hone those skills for more than just 10 or 20 levels. So let's keep that. But I'm going to throw in a curveball here. Give a player dual-spec specialization at level 20. At level 20 the player can make a second decision: Specialize in a secondary PvE role or take an alternate path and simultaneously level a pure PvP spec, complete with PvP talent tree.

I'll use a Shaman, for example, because that's what I have most experience with. At level 10 I choose to become an Enhancement Shaman (because we all know that's the best). At level 20 I can choose a secondary specialization, either Enhance PvP or Dual-Spec Elemental (because I'm sick of healing). We're familiar with how dual-spec works, so I won't say anything except that every level or two you gain a talent point that can be put into both of your specs, just like a dual-specced toon can now.

If you want to run battlegrounds a lot while leveling, you can easily switch between your Enhance PvE or PvP spec, as easily as you can switch between your dual-specs today. The PvP tree will open to you at level 20 and immediately grant you 5 talent points. From that point on until you reach level cap, you are granted 1 talent every 1 or 2 levels to put toward your PvE tree, and 1 talent point every 4 levels to add to your PvP tree. By the time you hit 84 you will have earned 21 PvP talents that can be put anywhere in your PvP tree.

PvP Tree
Your PvP talent tree will consist of talents which, if you could max them out, would require an investment of 29 talents. But you won't have 29, you'll only have 21. You can move to the next tier of PvP talents every time you invest 2 points. That way you can reach your capstone talent and then fill in points here and there where you choose. The key word there is choose. The PvP tree will force you to make a lot of decisions. Do you fill out 2/2 for talent X or just 1/2. At the same time as you allocate points to your PvP tree your PvE tree will also grow, providing you with the damage talents you need to actually kill someone in PvP.

One major difference between PvP dual-specialization and PvE dual-specialization will be that when you activate your PvP specialization you will have the power of both PvE and PvP talent trees boosting you to your best performance. However, and here's the catch. You can only activate your PvP tree in 3 places: The Battlemaster's headquarters (with class trainers available), Arena's and Battlegrounds. If, for example, you go to a Battlemaster's headquarters then ask your friendly Lock to summon you to a raid, your PvP talent tree will automatically deactivate. Sorry, no cheating allowed.

For the sake of dueling, there will also be pre-designated areas in all capital cities and many small villages where players can also activate their PvP talents and duel to their heart's content.

This idea comes as a result of disappointment from some in the PvP community about many PvP talents being taken away from the "new and improved" talents we see in the Cataclysm beta. But after having thought about it for...a bit...I actually think that this or something close to this may be possible. It would allow for people to follow two paths simultaneously and open up talent trees for more focused talents (i.e. only PvE talents in one set of trees and only PvP talents in another set).

I'm sure this idea is full of holes, errors, impossibilities, coding error, blah, blah, blah. But it's not the worst idea I've heard of. But I'd like to hear from you. What's good/bad about this idea? How would you alter it? What's the best way to create and manage talents?

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