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Reader Comments (119)

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:49PM dndhatcher said

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It is especially important in games with split PvP/PvE. There are almost always builds that perform well in one venue and not in the other. If your objective as a game designer is to have players that enjoy playing your game, making their PvE grind painful to have a good PvP build or forcing them to run a gimp PvP build so the PvE is fun is not the right thing to do.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:55PM dudemanjac said

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I'd like swtor to be taken out of this discussion. When I think of being locked in to a decision, I don't consider the three or so hours it would take to get back to the point where you can reselect your class. I don't want to sound like a hardcore, but this whining about not being able to switch the adv class in star wars seem to be a bit extreme. And I wonder if it would be less if it were not on the heels of Rift where you could changes classes like underwear.

Personally I like being able to respec. I always go back to City of Heroes, where you were not only able to earn the respec through a fun mission that wasn't always easy, but there was also a reason put behind you being able to magically do something else. I wish more games put this much thought into it.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 1:20PM drunkingamebar said

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Depends on if the game is "balenced" or not. A game that is balanced or continually faces balance, needs respecs. The cookie cutter build is and always will determine how one plays the game sufficiently. A game that doesn't rely heavily on balance, doesn't really need respecs, and it's not as necessary because you can build a character that you want, rather than play 1 option that continually changes.

Though I think it would be nice to have the option, since people like to play around with stats min/maxing.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 1:33PM (Unverified) said

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Personally I won't even consider playing a game that doesn't have some form of respec system in place. I've played the old school games that didn't, and I've played the new games that do. There is a night and day difference which I don't feel like moving away from.

As far as 'modern' MMOs go, I've got the most experience with WoW and EQ2. Both of these offer different types of respecs and both of them work for their respective games nicely.

EQ2 I think has the most progressive respec system out there though. Not only can you respec your AAs (talents of sorts), but you can also go so far as to grind out the Betrayal line of quests to switch to your opposite class. A Warden could switch to become a Fury (both druids) or a Shadowknight could become a Paladin (both Knights). The big drawback to that is that you can lose equipment that is class based and you lose access to your old upgraded spells, but it is still a great option that allows you to not have to level again.

As for SWTOR, I don't like their system. Yes you can respec your talents in the game, but the choice as to what advanced class you'd like to become is very poorly done. Once you hit level 10 you have no idea how either advanced class plays out because you have yet to obtain any of the skills that they have. So basically you hit level 10 and they tell you to make a choice based on a general concept of what you want to do and if you decide you don't actually like it, reroll those first 10 (or whatever) levels.

I hit level 10 on my Smuggler and decided to go Scoundrel. Three levels later I realized that I really didn't like what was being offered so far. Having time to waste I leveled a Smuggler to 10 again but this time went Gunslinger and was much happier overall. The problem though is that the advanced class descriptions did essentially nothing to describe true game play.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 1:57PM pixledriven said

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I think this can be safely boiled down to: "Starting over is not fun."

Sure, there are exceptions to that statement. I've even experienced one or two. BUT, if I become aware of a problem with my character's development at higher levels, and my only recourse is to start over at level 1... I just don't want to do that.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 2:01PM Sv3 said

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Only games with bad talent choices should allow re-specs, for free. In the case of WoW, Blizzard was never happy with their talent tree and continue to create a situation where bad choices can be made.

Looking at the MoP (5.0) talent tree, the choices only encourages re-specs rather than having players play a certain spec.

Most of the talent choices can easily be managed by simply putting them into the same cool down so that only one of those skills can be used at a time. But instead, they put it in a talent tree where I would have to re-spec every time I want to use one skill over the other.

In case of SWTOR, the spec choices are well thought of. As for the specialization, if you don't like the one you picked, you can simply re-roll the toon since it's only level 10. No need for re-specs.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 2:37PM oxlar said

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NO

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 2:46PM (Unverified) said

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Not an MMO, but this has been a huge topic of discussion in the Diablo 3 beta.

You couldn't respec at all in Diablo 2* - change your mind about a skill? Start a new character. Skill gets nerfed in a patch? Start a new character. Slip of the mouse and accidentally spend a point wrong? Start a new character.

Diablo 3, on the other hand, lets you rearrange your skills freely in town, more like Guild Wars than anything else. Which is obviously a very different approach to character building.

Some people are delighted. Some are inexplicably claiming that even this is too restrictive, and you should be able to change skills anywhere anytime. But some people are afraid that this will hurt the longevity of a game where you have only five classes, there might be a real dropoff in play once people have played them all to cap, whereas in D2 you would need to level many, many characters to try out all the different skills.

* as someone above said, this has recently been changed, but for many years in the heyday of the game, no respecs.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 4:54PM DarkWalker said

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@(Unverified)

In Diablo 2 (and Diablo 1), I would never play online. Instead, I only played it offline, with heavy usage of "cheats" to re-do my spec whenever I wanted to change. My multiplayer sessions were with a group of real life friends that played the same way.

Without those "cheats", I would have dropped the game in a week, perhaps even less. In fact, I waited until character editors were available for D2 before purchasing it.

I'm not sure I'm going to get Diablo 3, though, due to the fact there is no off-line mode. Unless Blizzard has something in place to allow mods - including total conversions - to work on the game, I'm simply not interested. (Of course, if they allow mods, "modded" characters should be kept segregated from non-modded ones.)
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 2:48PM (Unverified) said

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@CelesLionheart

would a tank/healer/stealther be bad? although it's a special case druids in WoW do that and become casters, it seems to work well =P.

If I understand it correctly in SWTOR when you get to lvl. 10 you choose you "real" class, in your new class you use your talents to spec either tank or dps (or other choices) depending on advanced class.

and then if you screw up or want to try something else you can wipe your talents and take a new spec from the choices in the class you selected at level 10, so there is WoW like respec, but it just wipes the advanced class clean, it doesn't change it.

however if once you chose a talent, you were screwed with it and the only way to undo it was to re-roll that would really suck and so it would have been a very valid concern.

the confusing of the 2 might be for not knowing that you choose your class at lvl. 10.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 3:02PM Amlin said

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Depends on how the game is set up to tell ya the truth. Games like Guild Wars 1 and The Secret World have a more open CCG style of skill set up and their main selling point is freedom of customization so unlimited free respecs work for them.

WoW and more traditional themepark mmos they don't need that much freedom as their pool of skills are very limited. Dual speccing for pve and pvp I can see as a fair additional as is maybe expensive non-cashshop respec systems is good as well.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 4:57PM DarkWalker said

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@Amlin

Coming to WoW in the next expansion: reassigning talent points on the spot, without the need to go back to a trainer.
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Posted: Dec 13th 2011 9:26AM Malagarr said

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@DarkWalker

lol, I hope you're joking. Cause if they're really doing that in MoP they really are admitting that they aren't interested in the "serious" gamer community anymore.

But hey, at the same time, if my kids ever want to play an MMO, it would be WoW that I would play with them. So maybe Blizzard is on the right path. Making WoW into an ultra-casual, family friendly MMO could be a good thing.
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Posted: Dec 13th 2011 11:03AM DarkWalker said

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@Malagarr

I'm not joking.

MoP will abolish the old talent trees; instead, everything that was deemed essential in a build will be baked into the base spec, and players will choose just 6 talents out of 18; each talent comes as part of 3 balanced and mutually exclusive talents with a similar role but very different usage. This is to make sure players pick just one talent out of each tier, and that their character play fairly different depending on what they picked.

Also, changing talents on the fly will be done the same way players currently change glyphs - use one consumable to delete a choice, pick something different.

And I really love the direction Blizzard is taking here. No way, ever, to make a really wrong build; few enough talents that Blizzard can make them really powerful, enough combinations between them to allow characters to feel unique; the fact players can only pick one out of 3 per tier means balancing them will be far easier; and players will now find it way easier to actually tweak their build and find the one that is right for them, instead of just copying one from the Internet.
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Posted: Dec 13th 2011 11:13AM DarkWalker said

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@DarkWalker

BTW, with Blizzard ditching talent trees in both WoW and the next Diablo game in favor of a simpler approach, where talents can be changed fairly easily, and Blizzard's developers even going out of their way to tell the world talent trees were a mistake; and two of the new and quite expected upcoming MMOs (GW2 and TSW) also going for a similar formula, with talents changeable any time the player is not in combat (they actually announced their systems way before Blizzard announced the change to WoW); I would expect talent trees - together with most restrictions on how and when players change their specs - to go out of favor with most developers.
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 3:26PM Doran7 said

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no.. at least not all of them. for some it's ok to do this..where the "specs" are not that crucial I see no problem with it. a big warning here though, change to allow respec after not allowing respec does completely change the face of the game. It become a different challenge then it was before. and not always for the better.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 3:28PM Doran7 said

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and P.S. no, eve online should never allow any kind of respec on skill points.. ever!

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 3:33PM Doran7 said

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Guildwars respec used to be very difficult.. you had to earn respec points that weren't all that easy to come by and even then you only got to move one point...not the whole tree.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 4:25PM Solude said

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Respec yes, multi spec yes, multi role no.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 4:34PM Seffrid said

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I don't have a particular view on whether respecs should always be available. On the one hand, people need to take responsibility for their choices, on the other hand it's just a game.

However, where respecs are given as part of an update or patch, I do feel that should be optional. Give the players the option to implement a respec BUT the chance to make a quick note of their existing spec first. What really pisses me off is when I am told my points have been undone and I have no clue how they were allocated in respect of my dozen or so characters in the first place! Let me choose when to implement the respec, don't force it on me the second I log in!

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