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The B-Log

Not as good as the A-Log, admittedly, but it's Blaise's weekly thoughts on MMOs, and why he is or isn't playing one at the moment. A General Thought blog by someone who is studying at Uni, awaiting his moment to start working... in quality assurance.

Author: Blazz

Because hey, it's been a while.

Posted by Blazz Thursday February 4 2010 at 4:16AM
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With nothing else to talk about, as nothing's really going off in my head as interesting enough to write a full blog about, I'll just talk about something that was odd about, you guessed it, World of Warcraft.

 

The gameplay is pretty well done, which is probably what has kept so many people in the game over the last five years. Now, I'm leveling a Protection Specced Orc Warrior. For those of you not in the know (very few, I imagine), there are talent trees in the game. Once level ten, you can start putting "talent points" into various parts of one of three talent trees for each class. Warriors have Arms, Fury, and Protection specialisations, or specs.

 

A move was introduced in The Burning Crusade, and until I ReSpecced and got some points out of arms and fury (5% parry from Arms, and 5% critical hit from Fury) and put them all into Protection again (I am currently level 60, with 51 talent points) - I was playing a very dull version of what I could have been playing.

 

Let me explain a little of what I was generally doing in any given combat with a monster.

 

1. Run up to monster
(no use of the move charge - I fight in defensive stance, it's just too much of a hassle to switch stances over and over)

2. Fight until either 20 rage is reached or I dodge, block, or parry
   a) Use Revenge
   b) Use Shield Bash

 

And that's a dull way to fight. I can't even really mash anything and make the fight a little more button-pressing intensive. If I'm in a multiple-person fight, it is usually the same but using Thunder Clap, Demoralising shout, and Cleave, in moments where other moves are on cooldown.

 

With Burning Crusade, Blizzard was thinking to themselves "huh, defensive warriors don't like not doing any damage to a monster, especially in solo PvE grinding - I know, let's let them do damage on their Sunder Armor move!" - and Devastate was born.

Devastate, a 41 point talent move, allows a player to do damage that increases with the number of Sunder Armor effects are on one target - a player may sunder armor 5 times on one monster.

So cool, Protection Specialised warriors can now do pretty nice damage with a move that generates a lot of threat and reduces armour. Now a normal battle consists of spamming Devastate wherever possible, and it is fantastic. Good on you, Blizzard.

 

But did they stop there? Of course not, they released another expansion - and gave us more talent points (to use on the way to level 80). Another talent added was Warbringer - making Charge and Intercept, two very, very useful moves for PvP (and PvE rage generation), able to be used inside of combat, in any stance. The latter of the two means I can happily run around in defensive stance, grinding onwards, with the use of charge at my disposal.

 

While this is all rantastic, I just want to say this:

Changing ten points from one place to another place dramatically changed my gameplay experience.

 

While people will argue about cookie cutter builds and optimum raid tanking/dps/healing vs. pvp tanking/dps/heaing builds, you can't deny that some talent points make a huge difference.

Or maybe you can - a friend of mine's druid only needs to change two talent points in order to change from a Bear tank to a Cat form dps - so he hasn't bothered forking out the thousand gold for dual specialisation.

 

Anyway, I'm off to have some dinner. And check on my internet cap - because I live in Australia, where the internet is shit.

Cheers,

-Blaise Guy

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