WoW: Shadowlands (9.2 is out!)

fangblackbone wrote:

Lol, how many versions of Dagron are going to show up on launch day?

I mean, it's either "Vargon," "Varvoker," or something that's sensible in a vacuum but leaves my guildmates with no idea that the new character is me.

Early on I had a lot of fun with hybrid specs for leveling and some casual PvP. But the fun came from deciding to forego the pinnacle Feral Druid damage dealing ability in favor of a strong instant-cast heal, not from durdling around with a % bonus here or there. That kind of fun got patched out when they stopped letting you split points until you'd maxxed out one tree, which was way before they switched to the current talent system. The fact that they want to keep some of the hybridization from the early days is heartening. Locking each spec to its own talent tree... well that'll come down to the individual talents.

It looks like the new trees are replacing both the talent system AND the character spellbook. That should give them enough interesting nodes to make this work. And it means people will be gaining new spells when they decide they want them. That could be a big improvement for the leveling game.

Honestly though, it's going to live or die by the quality of the tooltips. They've got to be good enough that I can make informed decisions without clicking over to Icy-Veins. I remember back in Burning Crusade I passed up on the "you are 1% less likely to be critically struck" talents because it seemed like that didn't really do that much. What they didn't tell me was the base rate was only around 5% and taking the full stack meant that I was immune to crits. I thought I would be taking 1% fewer critical hits per point, not 20% fewer.

replacing the spell book does sound a little better because at least you are then replacing a granular system rather than adding another one.
I am curious how it will work:
Are you locked to a spec?
Are you able to fill out all the spec trees and switch between them? (freely? in town?)
Are you able to do the hybrid where you can use more than one spec tree at the same time?
Is the class tree going to replace the spell book while the spec tree replaces talents?

edit: I guess a potential boon is it could facilitate adding more specs to each class?

I love in the interview with the Devs they straight up admit that talent trees won’t work beyond 2 or 3 expansions so eventually unless WoW shuts down we’ll end up probably back with the system we have today.

TheGameguru wrote:

I love in the interview with the Devs they straight up admit that talent trees won’t work beyond 2 or 3 expansions so eventually unless WoW shuts down we’ll end up probably back with the system we have today.

Or they're committed to re-working everything from the ground up again when things get too unwieldy. They've spent an awful lot of design effort trying to get their expansions to be stand-alone things that they don't have to worry about once they move on. Maybe they've finally made the business case for actually doing the work to keep the whole game viable.

Vargen wrote:

It looks like the new trees are replacing both the talent system AND the character spellbook. That should give them enough interesting nodes to make this work. And it means people will be gaining new spells when they decide they want them. That could be a big improvement for the leveling game.

Now that would make me question the design. Sounds super annoying if we had to go through the talent tree to pick all of our skills.
Plenty of skills kinda only make sense if you get them together.
I’d hope most skills are base line and just some of the outlier skills are from the talent tree (just like the current talent rows and trees of old), and otherwise focus on skill modifications and passives.
But then I generally also think most of the base skills should unlock early on. Like at lvl 10 you should have unlocked nearly all the base skills. Playing 45 of 50 lvls before an important skill is available has always been silly. The typical “the real game only starts at max lvl” that too many of these games suffer from.

Vargen wrote:

Or they're committed to re-working everything from the ground up again when things get too unwieldy. They've spent an awful lot of design effort trying to get their expansions to be stand-alone things that they don't have to worry about once they move on. Maybe they've finally made the business case for actually doing the work to keep the whole game viable.

Definitely would seem better than their previous strategy of just letting it all fall apart and hope nobody notice, by adding some shiny new thing on top of the wreckage.

I'd rather have the annoyance of opening a tree and selecting a skill than the annoyance of scrutinizing a poorly-sorted spellbook trying to work out what just changed.

Vargen wrote:

scrutinizing a poorly-sorted spellbook trying to work out what just changed.

Maybe, but won’t that part still be the exact same problem in a tree layout, just with an extra layer of confusing design on top. There is even less sorting of skills in a tree.

Redesigning the spell book with some better categories/sorting, would the way to go there imo.

Shadout wrote:
Vargen wrote:

scrutinizing a poorly-sorted spellbook trying to work out what just changed.

Maybe, but won’t that part still be the exact same problem in a tree layout, just with an extra layer of confusing design on top.

No. Because I won't get the thing until I click on it. Which means I'm A: doing it when I'm ready and B: have as much time as I need to look at the thing that I'm getting. Also a tree is necessarily somewhat laid out in the order that the nodes are acquired, so even if I did forget I'd probably just have to look at the ends of the branches. The spellbook just lists everything you have in alphabetical order with no regard for when you acquired it.

OMG!
WoW's new talent trees are going to be a sh*t show. "Talent trees make choices more meaningful" my ass!
Just listen to Preach's reaction when he finds out that in order to be able to cast power infusion on yourself, you have to spend 4 filler points.
I don't see how any of this is going to facilitate hybrid builds or not cause low level characters to pull their hair out.

Isn't the whole point of going to trees like this to make each choice less meaningful?

Trees like this also mean you have to choose a branch and then wait several levels to get the thing you actually want farther down that branch. That's never fun.

I still stick by my "at least I'll know what my passives are" comments, but that might not be enough to make me like the finished product.

I don't know enough about any of the classes that have been previewed to really judge for myself. These days the class I know best is Monk, which has never actually had talent trees...

I wonder if they delay the talent trees to a point patch of dragon flight. I am having a hard time believing they can get all the classes done to any workable enough state to make them functional by the end of the year.

I will also note that it looks like they give you enough points to fill out almost half of each tree. That is certainly a way to help alleviate "mistakes". But also, are they really trees if they just give you most of the talents anyways?

I also don't get the double nesting and dead end talents...

Also take a look at the following screenshot. That is the current shadow priest tree condensed and without any of the interdependencies. I don't see any benefit to the right of the dragon flight tree over this. It has perhaps twice the talents and prerequisites which to me doubles and then triples the confusion.
If I were Blizzard, I would have started with a hybrid of the current and dragonflight systems. Keep the left tree from dragon flight talents to get some semblance of hybrids and use the current talent system for the right tree.
Current condensed
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/UPiBwmi.jpg)
Hybrid of current and dragon flight
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/nUdLqnr.jpg)

The new trees look quite good to me.
I'd like to play around with the mage trees though, as it is the one I know best.

Being able to get nearly half the tree sounds like a bit much. On the other hand, if it means the trees have less filler points in them, it might be good.

I would probably prefer if they had used a web rather than a tree; as in, more connections between the different talents, and even the ability to move backward/upward from chosen talents. Having a single path through some of those talents doesn't exactly offer much choice.

What was old is new again? Are the devs just spinning a wheel to come up with these moves?

No such thing as a Hybrid class in WoW.. really never was.... so Talent Trees wasn't going to ever do anything remotely like that.. As well the entire leveling experience has been so condensed that its now barely a week of casual play to hit max level. I'm waiting for the day that they just get rid of levels entirely and not bother with the whole leveling "experience". Max level rotations and builds are what is important.

The Talent tree's won't really actual have any real gameplay changes or improvements.. for the most part within a few weeks of beta we will have all the various "approved" builds.. Raid, AOE, Mythic+, PVP etc. Deviations are certainly possible and for the most part won't actually have that much impact but for sure you can probably create some truly hideously broken builds that excel at nothing.

That being said it does look like you can put together a Frost DK Obliteration build and get Soul Reaper (what Frost really lacked compared to other melee classes) without much or any loss of utility... so baring something that I'm missing that might end up really cool.

I want them to go full Path of Exile and have one talent tree with like 2000 nodes on it and it’s impossible to create a build without a calculator or guide. Like half the fun of that game is messing with the talent tree, let’s pressure Blizz into just stealing it.

Back in Burning Crusade I ran a Feral Druid who traded the Mangle capstone for Nature’s Swiftness in the Restoration tree. That was pretty hybrid feeling. It didn’t turn out to be raid-viable, but I was able to quest and do dungeons with guild mates just fine.

Also it had everything to do with choosing between major abilities and not the tree structures leading up to them.