Well then. I was still trying to roll the class talent changes around on my tongue a bit before commenting…. Then this happened.
I’m finding myself wondering why I’m getting so up in arms about the latest announcements. Oh yeah, I know. It’s because Blizzard introduced Cataclysm at last years Blizzcon with these as overriding principles of the expansion – and then scrapped them. I’m thinking about that in comparison with alpha talent leaks we’ve had for a few weeks that I always expected would continue to get fiddled with. Maybe the difference is simply that nothing has been taken away from me yet in terms of talents.
The first big disappointment is the removal of Path of the Titans. I thought that was the coolest thing about the Cataclysm announcement. It seemed interesting and vital, and offered up a range of choices that didn’t seem oriented towards a particular role or spec. I love useful in game flavor that lets your differentiate yourself from others of your class. Substitute in a new glyph class no one at all will be excited about, and you can easily see why people are disappointed. Meh.
The bigger thing I’m concerned about though is the ability to downsize a 25 man raid into up to three ten man raids. I certainly understand how lockouts are going to be more important in the coming expansion. I get how sudden lapses in attendance can be devastating delays in progress. But yeah. There’s a reason I’m in a guild doing 25 man content progression. It is, in fact, because I like it. Wasn’t that the point Blizzard was trying to make? I despise the way that ten man guilds handle multiple groups. No matter how it happens there always seems to be a “we kick ass” team and an “oh well” team, and a couple of people who don’t fit in well to the class/role requirements that change in splitting into a different format. Oh look! Now my beloved 25 man guild can regress into the evils of cliques and ten man drama that I ran away from to join them. And they can surprise me with that drama on any boss encounter! Grumbles. Maybe I just don’t trust Blizzard to get the balance between the formats…well…balanced. I’m worried that “progression” will suddenly become switching back and forth between them from boss to boss to maximize kills. And there’s no way at all to balance out that you have five people sitting out for it (or five people drawn in for it), and a lot of how that has to happen is based on class balance not skill. Oh yeah, Blizzard said they’d fix that too. A 25 man raid shifting into two ten mans could go from 2-3 tanks to 2-4 tanks (not a big shift with off specs). 6 healers to 4-6 healers (possibly a 33% downsize in a healing team), and from 12-13 dps to 10-16 dps (a huge variable, but who cares about dps anyways). And I don’t even want to think about how splitting into three uneven groups for a single fight could result in everyone sitting around frustrated waiting for the “lame” team to get it done to regroup. Ewwwwwwww.
I also really hate the changes to the guild leveling system. I thought that this was a great way for Blizzard to reward 25 man guilds in a different way than tens, and to reward solid guilds versus random PUGs. People were really excited about these changes, and in the wake of lockouts being more important, guilds should be more important. Thinking of them as a rep grind you have to go through that equalizes quickly just makes the entire premise useless. Damn that.
Oh, and about those lockouts…I know this is Blizzard’s way of making things flexible. And I get the point. But damn, that’s going to make figuring out who can get into a particular PUG beyond complicated. Gosh, every time I do a 25 man VoA nowadays there’s someone who realizes they are locked out when they are summoned. And that’s easysauce. I don’t even want to think about negotiating lockouts on PUGs in a non-linear instance. I think it could be a lot more limiting than Blizzard expects.