Monday, October 24, 2011

The new talent system gives more choice

I think the new talent system in Panderia is excellent. I am seeing a lot of bloggers that are tired of the endless redoes of the talent system. I understand the fatigue, but I believe this time really is different. Blizzard has come up with something better than all their old designs.

In the new talent system, each class has one talent tree, and each player chooses six--count 'em!--six talents from the tree. Already it is helpful to pare it down to six choices. Blizzard does well if they have so many as six interesting choices in a talent tree, so why not cut out all the uninteresting choices?

More interesting is the way the talents are chosen. In the current system, you have wide liberty to choose any talents you want from anywhere in the tree. In the new system, you pick exactly one talent from each of six tiers.

That's a subtle difference that has a big improvement. The reason is that talents only compete with other talents of the same kind. They don't compete with talents of completely different kinds. Here are some ways Blizzard can use this new system to give the player an interesting choice:

  • They can offer three different kinds of mobility and make you pick which one you want.
  • They can offer three different kinds of raid utility, and make you pick one of them.
  • For a healer, they can make you choose between throughput and mana efficiency.
  • For a dpser, they can make you choose between an ability on a predictable cooldown versus an ability with a proc.

Suppose Blizzard tried the above choices in the current talent system. What would players do? If they're a healer, they'll choose the throughput talents and the mana efficiency talents, and ignore the rest. If they're a dpser, they'll choose both the cooldown and the proc. Whatever you are, you take the talents that buff the main thing you do (heal, dps) and ignore the rest. In the new system, Blizzard can make you choose one of each.

Personally, I'm very happy to see the new talent system. For further reading, here are what others are saying: