Saturday, September 8, 2012

In Response to HFL #51's Talent System Opinions

Dear Horde for Life Podcast,

I recently heard the Episode 51 impressions of the talent system, and though I am a huge fan of the podcast (and a brand new member of the guild!) I can't agree with your opinion of the system being too simplistic and on the direction it is going.

Though it is easy to, I find that comparing it to the old talent system is a mistake. Both were designed with different goals in mind. The old system was meant to provide customizability but we ended up theory crafting the best specs and calling it a day. The new system has fewer choices but more meaningful ones. There are raid boss guides with suggested talent choices. That in combination with the items that allow you to change one choice at a time means these choices will be addressed on a boss by boss basis sometimes.

In addition, I think you are neglecting to see this as a basis for expansion. You've mentioned that you see this as the beginning of simplifying the game further. I see it as a new foundation to build on. With this new specs can be created and new abilities designed and added with more control over balance.

All in all, love the show and keep up the great work. Lok'tar ogar!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Predictions for the Next Expansion

I'd like to jot down my predictions for the expansion after Mists of Pandaria, just for posterity. I think it'd be fun to look at these in two years when it is released.

Class Specializations Expanded

Blizzard will find the class specializations work for them, or at least that they are willing to run with them for a while. Given how long it took for them to kill off the talent system, this is an easy prediction to make. However, I think they will work to add a new specialization to every class. My guesses below:

Warrior - Ranged DPS specialization. Give them a class talent to let their abilities be used at range and add a few new fun ones. Bows and Guns galore.

Warlock - Tank spec! Either using a form like Demonology does, or a new demon, I think Warlocks can be a new style of tank.

Paladin - Ranged DPS. Shockadin anyone? I think with the additions to their ranged abilities, this could be a good fit.

Shaman - Tank. Players have been clamoring for a shaman tank for a while now. At least, a small dedicated group anyway. They could be a very unique style of tank that is long overdue.

Mage - Healing. Whaaaat? Yup, healing. I was going to guess Warlock heals, but I felt they fit more in the durability category. So, some type of Arcane healing for the Mages.

Rogue - Tank/Ranged DPS - See, I can't decide on this one. On the one hand, they would make a great dodge and parry tank, but on the other I'd love to see a sniper rogue.

Death Knight - Ranged DPS - I'd love to see a necromancer style specialization, even moreso than the Unholy spec provides.

Druid - Melee DPS or None - Druids already have 4 specializations, but leaving them with nothing seems unfair. So, perhaps a new melee form.

Priest - Ranged DPS - Smite spec possibly? I was out of ideas for this one.

Monk - Ranged DPS - See Priest

Hunter - Melee DPS - In the same way that Warriors should have their abilities switched to range, I'd love to see a melee-style hunter. I'm thinking a hit-and-run type.

Stat Changes

In an effort to further simplify stats, I think Expertise and Hit are going to be combined into one stat. In the same measure (though I think this won't happen, but hey, why not) Dodge and Parry will be combined into a single avoidance stat.


Either Emerald Dream or the Army of Light expansion is next. I have little hope for an expansion involving the Naga capital after the dismal success of the Vash'jir zone.