Monday, December 31, 2012

Glyphs, Talents, and Reforge

Please stop being so restrictive about the Glyph/Talent UI. It's driving people nuts, I loathe the moment I have to change!
Philosophically, we don't want automating talent or glyph swaps. Once it's easy to reglyph every pull, players feel like they must. (Source)
The above is about addons on the talent/glyph ui.

In Vanilla there was one spec, no glyphs, and if you wanted to change your talents you had to go to your trainer. He would then give all your talent points back and you could redecide how you wanted to spend those points.

Back then it was actually possible to spend your points halfway over 3 different trees if you so desired. The only requirement was that you had filled up the previous talent tier with enough points to open up the next.

There was no gemming your gear, no reforging, no glyphing. No nothing. You picked a spec, figured out what your role was, and went with the best spec for that.

During raid, you had no option then to just deal with it. And sometimes classes would be switched out, and the high-end raids would sometimes send people out halfway through to have them respec quickly and summon them back.

This was comparatively a lot more costly, but much easier, because at some point you would know your specs so well that you could just fill them in blindly almost. As long as you made sure to enchant all your gear you were good to go once the summon came.

Now when you get an upgrade you often cannot even wear it directly. Because without reforging, gemming and enchanting it it would quite often be a downgrade to your perfectly tuned set.

In fact, what happened to me the other day is that I got a neckpiece of ilvl 496 which replaced my 463 neck. 30 item levels up, but I could not use it because I would be so far under the hit cap by swapping it out that it would be a problem.

This makes me wonder if Blizzard has gone overboard in the options to finetune your character. Each time you win a piece all other items have to be reforged to be in tune with the items you already have. Gems have to be replaced, enchants have to sometimes be redone, etc

Hit and expertise are the worst for this as the blues have already admitted, but also haste forms an issue since for quite a few classes there is a haste cap. Mistweaver monks included, in between the different haste plateaus the stat simply doesn't do a lot and you're better off with crit or even mastery.

And then there is the retalenting and glyphing. I have to admit, I was excited when I learned that we would be able to reglyph and talent on the move. I'm not so sure anymore.

It feels like I'm at a disadvantage if I don't reglyph/retalent for every fight. So pre-fight check is no longer a matter of having all your buffs (flask, food, and casted buffs), it now includes do you have the correct talents and glyphs.

It feels as if more time is spent in between fights just to finetune it so you have the edge, more time spent in between and less time on the actualy fight. More time spent on preparation and less on actually having the fun. Or is the preparation supposed to be the fun?

Another problem on top of this is that when you do change a talent or glyph it changes the way you fight, or heal so drastically at times that it takes a couple of attempts to adjust. So while it may be the better glyph choice for the fight, it may change the way you do things so much that you'll do worse at first. Glyph of Uplift is a good example for this.

With glyph uplift costs mana, without it costs chi. Sounds simple, but it affects so much more. Because you're using mana for uplift you need to use a different spell to spend your generated chi, to generate mana tea. This changes your rotation. However, if you do not change your rotation and make sure to spend the chi to get mana tea you're running out of mana real fast, because not only does uplift no longer spend chi, and hence generate mana through mana tea, it also costs mana.

Or glyph of mana tea, allowing you to have instant mana tea, but only 2 charges at a time. But it still costs a global cooldown, so if you do not have those to spare you cannot just use more mana tea at a handy moment. To know if you have to use the glyph or not requires you to know before the fight whether you'll have downtime to drink your mana tea.

So one glyph can change your healing style so much that you can easily screw it up, yet it is expected that you know how to work with all this.

I'm liking this new method less and less. Yes, I have choices, but all those choices are diminishing my time spent on the actual fun, namely the fight and learning the fight.

And since the fights are built around having the option to reglyph and retalent I cannot just ignore this part of the game. I have to play the game as it is designed even though I would much rather just focus on the gorgeous raid fights themselves.

Not to mention the costs involved with changing everything every time, meaning that you have to go farm for those costs. An upgrade will generally cost about 400 gold - 8x reforging + new enchants, + new gem. And then it's not even a weapon which upsets stuff even more.

I find myself longing more and more for the days where the difficulty was in figuring out how the fight worked, not how my character, gear, talents and glyphs work for each and every fight separately.

(and please Blizz don't go with reforging on the run, because then I have to add that to my pre-fight check as well).

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