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.