Improving the PvP system in Legion.
- Overall thoughts (talents system)
- Talent tree, cooldowns, active abilities and passive talents
- Arena system, “prestige”
English is not my native language, so my subject might me poorly written sometimes.
This is my own perception and opinions, you can criticize it, or discuss about it, but if you want to insult, or make name calling to respect the ancestral arena-junkie tradition, please do it in private for once.
The PvP system is not available yet, so we can discuss it in a hope that Blizzard listen to us.
I want a pandaren paladin, for reasons.
1) Overall thoughts (talents system)
If you haven’t watch or read the preview for Legion, here is the summary :
- Every class will have a second talent tree, just for PvP, it will work only in PvP. You will unlock talents after talents by doing PvP (Like a reputation, but easier), but at the end, it’s like a classic talent tree.
- Some “rows” of talents are identical between classes (One row will be about the cc-removal trinket), some “rows” are identical for a role (tank, heal, dps)
- Some “rows” are identical between specs.
- The new artifact weapon talent and the regular and classic talent tree works in PvP
I’m not here to talk about talents themselves, some of them seems grossly overpowered, some of them seems weird, others have a placeholder value (damage or heal), and we don’t know yet how much HP we will have in a PvP situation.
The biggest point about this new system is that you can change, fix, or modify a talent without breaking the PvE part of the game, which was over the year the main reason of changes in PvP.
However, besides that cool aspect, I think the biggest mistake is bound to the overall look of the classes in Legion : we lose spells. Some classes seems to be spared by the pruning, some others are not. (Rsham for my very few tries in the Alpha), trashs buff are gone. Even worse : some old basic spells are being changed into talents.
For the eternal debate about pruning, I don’t have a specific opinion about that because it’s too specific, having too much useless spells is not that better than having very few abilities too. The key point is we need impactful abilities. If you have 20 spells, but all you need to do is press 1, 2, 3, 4…20 infinitely to play, it’s better to have 5 spells, and doing combinations with them to have different effects. The perception is different depending on the player I guess.
For me, this is, and this will be the main issue in Legion, it’s cool to finally have our own talent tree, but there is too much passive talents for spec which are already pruned. And most of the time, passive talents will just be something which upgrade a spell, without drawback, without thinking, without decisions, you acquire this, end.
Other negative point : it’s not really inventive, especially for a 11 years old game, it’s X rows of 3 talents, choose one. Combined with the previous point about passive talent, it’s not really “fun”. During years, passive talents have always been safer most of the time, because you have no drawbacks or risks by taking them.
This, the removal of keys spells, the lack of customization (Reforging :’( ), will make classes not really inventive, and PvP even more scripted.
2) Talent tree, active abilities and passive talent
This is the part where I speak about how “I would love to PvP in WoW”
Cooldown in PvP has been a problem for years because of how they works. Cooldowns in PvP should only be spells which enhance your spells (Being able to use your stealth abilities), your stats (20% haste, crit, spirit…), or how a spell works for a duration (Being able to use hammer of wrath no matter the health), not increase damage or healing. If every damage or healing cooldown were reduce at 5/10/15% in PvP (1min CD/2min/3min), it could be a better overall thing.
For me, “PvP talents” should be divided into 2 “windows”, active abilities, and passive abilities. I remember a game, it was Guild Wars I guess, where there were some kind of “arenas”, but before enter, you had to choose your spells. However, the limit of 6 or 8 spells (If I remember correctly), and the overall slooooow moving, casting, and fighting (WoW is really fast, and “nervous” to play) made this game (for me) kinda “meh” to play.
Active talents :
I would love to see this in WoW (The “choice” of spells, heh), it would be in my opinion a good way to say “Hi” to pruning, while giving the player some kind of customization (Customizing your own pruning). This is where all our old spells would come back, all type of spells, buffs (spirit, endurance buffs, blessings, shadowresistance, motW, totems to have haste, spell power, melee attack speed etc etc…), mana regen spells (hymns, divine please, mana tide, innervate), tiny damage spells, fel flame, mana burn (tuned of course). All the lost active abilities and talents we had during years, and new one from Legion.
Even some other spec spells, the first one I have in mind to illustrate what I say is renew. Renew is a holy priest specific spell, and this spell is modified, increased, enhanced by the holy tree, artifact, and what else. I would not find it shocking or it will not destroy the "class fantasy" if a shadowpriest or a discipline priest could have this spell, it will be the baseline spell, modified by only the spell power, nothing else. Of course, with a little tuning, like a tiny “insanity” cost. (The new “mana” bar for shadowpriest)
What will be your opinion if, when you hit level 110, you are credited of like 25 “PvP talent points”, and you have to spend it on this talent tree, choosing your own set of spells. All the numbers are just hypothetical of course :
Exemple : Blessings of kings could cost 1 points, where judgment of justice (The red thing during Wotlk/BC which make the target unable to run more than 100% speed) could cost 3, divine plea 3, rebuke 5 and a impactful spell like avenger shield (Prot spec) could cost 10 as a hpal. The cost depending of the impact of the spell in PvP. (Having a trash buff compared to a X second CD silence). If I’m a holy pal playing with melees, and playing in melee – like holy pal is supposed to be in Legion -, I could choose rebuke, if I’m playing with 2 casters, I can “prune” it, and chose judgment of wisdom instead to help them (and me) managing mana.
- This could add to the players some customization of their own bars, while adding some depth in the rotation, and giving the player a choice. It would be easier to “nerf” a spell by just increasing his cost and/or nerf it directly.
- Old schools spells mixed with news spells can add fun to our favorite game, for new players, and oldschool ones.
- It could create a chaotic environment for arena, and I’m in the school of “I prefer a chaotic and fun PvP instead of a balanced and unfun one” where everyone is overpowered on his own way, everyone can play with lots of classes and comp and still be efficient.
- It’s harder to tune things when it’s too chaotic.
- There will always be a “best” build to use, like in every video game where talents are involved.
- It can be scripted too. “Ok, I don’t need tremor here, there is no fear” – It has always been like that you will say, it was just put on your bar for the sake of having something in your bar, but you never used it against this comp without fear spells.
- Why did they pruned too much to have this kind of system?
Before speaking of this, for people who doesn’t play Heroes of the Storm, here is one talent for some “dps” characters in this game, it’s called Gathering Power :
Each time you kill a guy, or participate in a kill, you gain 2% more damage for your abilities, stackable 15 times. (So, 30%). All stacks are lost if you are killed.
The starcraft sniper, Nova, is one of the character which can use this talent (at least, now, she will be reworked, but anyway), and she’s the kind of heroes which are extremely powerful if you manage to keep those stacks, but near useless in the end game if you die and lose them. 2 players, same talent chosen, but differences between their plays, and the first player is a pain in the ass for the enemy team, and the other, who has been caught in a bad positionning and die, deal way less damage and his a burden to his team. Dying late game is HotS is 60s respawn, so it’s deadly.
This is how I would like to see passive talents in PvP, if you look at the “trinket” row of the alpha pvp talent, this is like that (Considering you have a 3min CD trinket in your baseline toolkit) :
- Your trinket have 2min CD, nothing changes from now. (Safe way)
- A long duration cc is removed automatically, and if so, reduce the cd of the trinket by 50% (Change how the spell work)
- A passive -25% duration, but activable trinket is not available. (Good, but risky way of dealing with cc)
Example : healers : once again, my number are purely hypothetical and my ideas too.
Row 1 : Trinket choice (Common to every class)
Row 2 : Healers specific row 1 :
- -Talent 1 (Safe way) : Reduce the mana cost of your spells by 10%
- -Talent 2 (Weird/different way) : After 3 consecutive spells on the same target, the next one is a critical strike.
- -Talent 3 (Risky/rewarding) : Increase the healing by 20%, and the mana cost of your healing spells by 30%
- -Talent 1 (Safe way) : Increase healing by 10%
- -Talent 2 (Weird/different) : If you are interrupted during a casted spell, you gain a buff increasing the healing of your next casted ability by 50%
- -Talent 3 (Risky/rewarding) : Increase your healing by 10% each time you are the victim of an interrupt spell which failed, stackable 3 times. The more you manage to fake, the more healing you do. All stacks are lost if you are interrupted. (The opposite talent for dps can be added, for example.)
- Talent 1 (Safe) : Increase the duration of Divine Shield by 2s.
- Talent 2 (Different) : Reduce the cooldown of Divine shield by 50% - (Combined with the PvE one, it will make a 75% reduction cooldown), but no longer remove debuffs and cc, you are just immune to damage and new harmful debuffs for the duration. The already existant debuff are still active.
- Talent 3 (Risky) : You can cast Divine Shield on your mates, but no longer on yourself.
To make it short : you can either have a safe build, which upgrade your spell with minor things, or you can try a risky build, which allow you to build your damage, healing, or anything else. You can “create” you own cooldowns and pressure by playing better than your opponent, or losing it because you failed, or just playing it safe because you don’t feel that confident.
The biggest negative point of that system is the amount of “bots” which will make fake cast and kicking easy, and so provide huge and undeserved bonus from this kind of talents.
3) Arena system and prestige
The fact that you can see the enemy team before is one of the numerous reasons arenas feels scripted now. Adding the fact that thanks to no regular changes at all because PvE, it’s always the same compositions you face, you know that against mages, you need to pick the double dispel, against warlocks, the double beacons etc etc…
- They should remove the “I can see the team before” in arena, so you are completely blind, and you have to adapt to your opponent. (In a perfect arena world where every comp can beat every comp, of course.)
- Rating should not be visible in the armory, in other sites, or anywhere else. It should be something personal that you can share of course, so you can’t just say “Ok, I will not play with character again because I’m safe glad”
- Make arena available in cross-factions. I think this is not possible for a technical issue about being in the same group as a horde players, and outdoor content, but that would be nice.
“Prestige” is the new “PvP reputation” (it’s “ranks” in fact, like Vanilla) you will have the possibility to grind in Legion. You earn “reputation”, you unlock your talents and cosmetic things depending of your rank (The “new” pvp mounts… erhm), end.
The big problem about this is you have to sacrifice all you have done for unlocking another rank. Which is extremely time consuming (and boring), but why not you’ll say, if it doesn’t cripple your arena session, but it does. I suppose that if you want the latest rank, and so, the latest cosmetic reward, you have to “farm” a lot, so, having less talent for that? This is not good at all because you have to “plan” your day in order to have those rewards, and that’s the biggest force of PvP compared to PvE, you can play whenever you want, without organizing it like PvE.
Of course it should be time-consuming, but not at this price, and to increase the feeling of “prestige”, they should add some “barriers”, like having X rating in arenas, win X games in a row at X rating etc etc… the last rank of prestige should be something extremely hard to achieve like “Win 10 arenas in a row at 2800 rating against players at 2800 rating too.”
What’s your opinion about all my sh…about that?
Thanks for reading me, have a nice day.
And even if it was worthless to do, it was fun to write (At least for me, because I did it at work.)
(Oh, and grmbl.)