Friday, March 13, 2009
Too many skills and talents?
In the open Sunday thread Dillon asked "Do you think WoW is reaching a point where it has too many skills and talents?". Good question! When recently we were discussing why warlocks were so unpopular in World of Warcraft, some readers suggested that it was because a warlock needed a more complicated spell rotation to reach the same level of dps than other classes. And personally I gave up on playing a shaman at level 43, because for me there were simply too many buttons with various totems for that class to be enjoyable to me.
On the other hand I leveled a mage from 1 to 70 using basically just a single spell, frostbolt, having avoided the need to use other spells by overgearing myself on spellpower. And that wasn't much fun either. When I play that mage now, I'm quite happy about recent additions like "Frozen Fingers" or "Fireball!", which at random times make it advantageous to cast other spells, like Ice Lance or Fireball.
So I guess there is some sweet point where you have a variety of skills, but not too many. And I'd think that this sweet point is different for different players, some enjoy playing with more buttons, some with less. Of course the speed at which you need to press those buttons also plays a role, some players enjoy slow and big spells, other like furious buttonmashing.
The problem Dillon mentions is that with every expansion, and sometimes even with content patches, Blizzard is adding new spells and abilities to all classes. If in 4 years we are all level 100, due to two more expansions adding 10 levels each, isn't there a risk that most of us become overwhelmed with the number of abilities at our disposal? The original WoW only had a single hotkey bar, now most of my characters already have 5 bars completely filled with various skills or useable items. Finding a less used ability in the thick of a fight can be a challenge among all these buttons.
In any case I would like to see more talents that have a chance to trigger a short timer in which you can cast certain otherwise less used spells to some advantage. The number of existing skills isn't all that relevant unless there is a reason to use more of them, and not just stick to the optimum one.