New WoW 5.0 Talent System – another failed model? Blizzcon 2011 commentary

Nope, I’m just not very excited about the new talent system for Mists of Pandaria / WoW 5.0 that Blizzard have announced. And it took me most of the livestream to figure out why.

It’s a total revamp of a major part of the game. There are lots of interesting, shiny new toys to play with on offer. And yet –

And yet, I realised, my problem is that they’re still touting the same old model.

“We want all talents to be fun. “

“We don’t want there to be a “cookie-cutter” build.”

“We want everyone to have different talents.”

It’s yet another stab at the same goal – to defeat the hundreds of expert theorycrafters out there and create a system that they really, really can’t game. No, really this time.

I just can’t see it working any better than their other attempts. Already I’m seeing expert theorycrafters on Twitter making calls as to which will become the “mandatory” talents in each talent tree.

Sure, a few choices will remain – just like they do in the current system. Healers and tanks will be more flexible than DPS. But overall, WoW is a numerical system.

No matter how hard they try to obscure the best way to add up the numbers, the mathematicians will always win.