With the release of content patch 4.0.1 for World of Warcraft the game has changed completely. Professions, talents, glyphs, gems, and so many other things are different. What I’d like to focus on is how to spec your character. With the new talent point system, Blizzard has made the game a bit easier all around.
Now, some may say that Blizzard is just “catering to casuals.” If you don’t know what that means you’re probably better off. But, if you don’t here’s a brief explanation. In vanilla WoW only a small percentage of the WoW player base got to see the end game content. When BC released a greater number of players got to participate in the end game content. With the growing player base this was important as previously some players felt left out. When LK was released the new raiding system allowed even more of the ever growing player base to participate in the end game content and the lore of the game itself. Along with the raiding system the stat system changed making gear choices even more apparent to the unstudied player. Which brings me to talents.
I remember playing as a rogue in the BC expansion raids. Our guild made quick work of numerous encounters. But, with so much competition for a spot in the raid I was forced to ensure that I was top notch DPS. This meant spending enormous amounts of gold and time on gems, enchants (mongoose), and figuring out the best talent spec and attack rotation for my role in the raid. That’s all different now. Even before my patch finished loading I was looking at various information sites for the best spec. What I found was that in my own blind attempts to figure out the best combination of points to spend I’d pretty well matched what all the theorycrafters had suggested already.
Now, you can say that this story is biased as I was a seasoned player from a previous school of character play. But, I disagree. I think that any player can take a careful look at the talents they have to work with and figure out what will work best for them. Effectively, Blizzard has removed all the filler talents so the player doesn’t have to choose between very minimal talents. The meat of a spec is right out there in very plain words (mostly) and with some time perusing the talents a very good guess can be made.
So, Blizzard made it easier for its 12 million+ players to play the game. Some old-school, hardcore players might find this to be an atrocity. To an extent I’m a little dismayed that not 4 years ago I felt as if I had homework on top of the homework I was doing for my degree. But, it’s evolution. And it’s PR and marketing. You don’t get 12 million people to like the product you’re selling by making that product unlikable by most of them.