Friday, August 6, 2010

Wishing for additional spec slots

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the horrible predicament I'm in.  I have a real desire to start testing kitty DPS again but because of my play style and the limitations of the current talent spec system I'm severely limited in my ability to do that.  Unless of course I want to pay 400-500 gold per week for respeccing costs or limit my other game activities so I didn't have to respec as often.  I raid four days a week as Balance -- 3 days a week in 25-man and 1 day a week in a 10-man group now, so I have to maintain my main spec as balance leaving me with my off-spec slot to accommodate all my other activities, including PVP, running old content for rep and gold, and raiding with an off-spec talent build.  Consequently my second spec is usually whatever I need it to be for periods of time.  For a long time my default off-spec was Resto but I would respec to Feral Bear on the weekends to solo BC content for my rep grinds.  Recently though my default has been Feral Bear and I've stayed in that and haven't respecced out to something else because of the continuing costs to do that.

For pure DPS classes this probably isn't much of an issue, and probably not even for those hybrid class players who don't play in more than one tree, or even if they do play in two trees, don't pvp.  For those that are outside of that mold the current dual-spec talent system is severely limiting and has the end effect of constraining ones game play instead of encouraging the player to tap the full potential of their class.  I raid heavily, solo heavily  and PVP heavily and I don't do all of that in a single talent spec because as we all know, not every talent spec is competitive or viable for every activity.  Running around in Feral Bear spec makes a lot of  of my PVP achievement work easier but it doesn't do much for my team that might not have a single healer.  Up until a couple weeks ago I would most likely be healing but I haven't healed a single match, a single raid, or a single dungeon since switching my off-spec to what it is now.  Cost is the single reason for that.  As Bear I can run my dungeons and raids and do my rep grinds and I can PVP but I can't solo content as Resto and can't solo raid content as Balance.  I could get a group or another person to help, but as we all know you could sit around in Dalaran for hours or days trying to find someone and never do.  So for me, the limitation on two talent specs means I either spend a considerable amount of gold or not access the content at all.

Why the limitation at all, doesn't Blizzard want people to access all the content in WoW?  Actually Blizzard has answered this question before.  Blizzard has said they want to encourage group participation but still enable players to experience different aspects of their class.  They also didn't want to make re-speccing trivial.  But they never defined what trivial meant to them, and encouraging group participation is a very nebulous goal.  How do you define that exactly?  Particularly in a game that not only encourages solo play, but is all but based on it.

I would love Blizzard to revise the current dual-spec talent system to enable us to purchase additional talent slots.  Although I've never seen anything from Blizzard that specifically indicates this, the fact that the second talent slot is a 1000 gold indicates it's a gold sink.  Removing gold from the economy is a vital aspect of the game so I was thinking yesterday, wouldn't it be wonderful if I could purchase a third slot for say 5000 gold, and a fourth for say 10000 gold?  Wouldn't allowing the purchase of additional talent spec slots perform the function of additional gold sinks, and also encourage players to access more content?  Looking at my statistics I've respecced a total of 61 times which has cost me a grand total of 2661 gold.  5000 gold for a third slot is very nearly double that amount but it would be hard for me to imagine a great many in the WoW community who wouldn't take advantage of it.  I know I'd even purchase the fourth slot without even blinking an eye.  Having a third spec right now would enable me to keep Balance PVE as my primary spec, keep Feral Bear as my secondary spec, and to use my third spec for whatever I felt like it needed to be at the time -- in this case, Feral Cat.  If I were to have a fourth spec I'd certainly make that a PVP Resto spec.

In as much as I would love to play around with Kitty right now, I guess I'm just not going to be doing it.  I do too much PVP and Feral Cat is in no way viable there.  I do PVP as Balance in my PVE spec quite a bit, but you can imagine how often I run into trouble doing that.  It's fun but some times it just gets old being pasted all over the battlefield.  I also do too much older content and raids to stick with Feral Cat.  And I'm not going to spend the 400-500 gold each week to play how I really want to play.  In the end I'll deal with the limitations and wish Blizzard would come to their senses.