Are the DF talent trees just an illusion of choice?

These talent trees absolutely will have an illusion of choice, any choice that can, absolutely will be mathed out and an optimal path figured out.

Changing that isn’t the point of the system though.

I mean, it’s not like the game has changed in such a way that fundamentally disproves those arguments.

But realistically we’re getting the old talent tree style (kinda) back for the same reason they got revamped in MoP. The talent trees were boring and stagnate and changing the talent trees adds a solid amount of novelty.

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that is how it is promised …
but that was said about the current tree too. at least kinda.

I wonder more what they will put in the Class talent side. I’m curious what i’ll be able to take from Sub and Outlaw.

I’d love to get Gouge back as assassination.

We don’t really know how the trees will work. Maybe take a beat.

Here’s the thing: without the layered power systems, it’s much less likely that we get talents “tilting” in favour of one thing or the other to the degree they have in the past three expansions.

For example… in isolation, my Stormstrike talent might be 5% behind the Lava Lash talent. Now we layer in a legendary system that could potentially buff my Stormstrikes by 70%, whereas the Lava Lash legendary only buffs my output for AoE. Now I’m locked in to the Stormstrike talent and Stormstrike legendary because of this layered power.

When the difference in power is well over 50%, it’s not a choice. Even if I play badly with that particular build, it is still going to perform better than the one I prefer and am better at.

But when we’re only touching talents? Tighter balance is possible. Perfect balance is never achievable, but tight balance is.

Now let’s revisit that 5% variance. I might simply suck with the simulated optimal choice, or I might just not like that playstyle at all. Choosing the “better” talent wouldn’t do anything for me, here, because I’m not going to perform as well as the simulation. It makes that “worse” option viable.

Now let’s make it even more interesting: what if the “bad” choice favours haste, whereas the “optimal” choice favours mastery? Now we can actually make decisions about our gear to suit our build and compensate for a “bad” talent with gear optimization.

In short, when you’re not juggling talents and legendaries and shards and Azerite and artifacts and corruptions and whatever else, you don’t encounter these exponentially more effective builds that render everything else moot.

Talent trees have always been an illusion of choice OP

they say that about any talent system but theres always choice tbh.

maybe i prefer incanter’s flow to rune of power even if rune is technically better for example. maybe i play better with less things to think about. who knows.

Novelty now, but what about after dragonflight? This expansion can get away with no borrowed power and gimmick talent trees because it is something new, but I wonder how Blizzard possibly hopes to prevent 11.0 from feeling like WoD (where the stagnation in gameplay killed player motivation to repeatedly play content).

What can be done well, what can be done poorly.


For the pro players and Youtuber followers, yes.

I might pick the best if I do dungeons, but if not, I’ll pick what I want.

After Dragonflight, if Blizzard lives up to the ideal of the system we’ll get a new row (or two) and maybe a reshuffle of talent rows to shake the system up. Eventually we’ll get bored of that system and change it too.

Whether they’re good or bad is irrelevant in the long term, as shaking the game up to cleanse the palate, as Blizzard did in Wrath, MoP and in Legion has proven to be a winning move when the game begin to stagnate, as it undoubtably has with the third expansion in a row of Legion.

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Honestly, I think the content itself just needs to be sustainable rather than the systems providing an eternal grind. I think WoD would have been a different story if Mythic+ came out one expansion earlier.

M+ would have addressed basically every complaint people had about WoD at the time.

This expansion itself is a microcosm of the problem of lack of shakeup vs providing a shakeup. Look at 9.0 vs 9.1 compared to 9.1 vs 9.2 - 9.2 provided meaningful changes to the way people play the game with both double leggo and tier sets. People want that kind of thing but at an expansion level as well.

People love Convoke, Ashen, Spear of Bastion. People want new cool shake ups like that.

Of course its an illusion of choice, thats why they removed the large talent trees in the past. Nothing has changed.

Whether you get 100 choices of talents or 3, there will be the mathematically best choices and thats what you will be expected to take.

Its a lot of developer time for no really different outcome.

They literally said it here:

Surprised nobody linked to those posts yet…


Personally, I’m super not a fan of this approach. It means you can have a ‘wrong’ build too easily. A mage isn’t going to forget how to cast firebolt just to get an interrupt. Talent trees to me should be 80-90% passives with potentially a capstone active. But putting core gameplay abilities in the tree just feels bad to me. It’s one of my main criticisms of what we have now and what I was hoping desperately they wouldn’t keep if they moved back to traditional trees. The other aspect I’m not a fan of is the fact we still have 38 classes in effect. Instead of 13… because they are still hyper focused on specs.

I disagree.
Every class should not be able to do everything. It breaks the mold. How can classes feel unique and valuable if all can do the same and a small group does it better than yours?.
.best example, rogues in arena. They have high CC, mobility, utility, dps, and now healing??? Like why?

Classes should most definitely lose something to obtain another capability not accessible to them in original design.

So if you have no interrupt, you must trade something in return. I would love for them to do this in regards to classes that should not have self healing baseline… Aka rogues are one example.

You will always have the wrong build because of min maxers. There is no fixing this toxic mess. This is a community issue.

All choice is an illusion.

Most likely. Reading an interview or something that Ion gave it’s very obvious that they are done encouraging you to experiment with builds or come up with some kind of hybrid that works in multiple pieces of content. Going so far as to say the number of people who mostly do that are a minority and that’s not how gamers play the game anymore

They are pretty much throwing up their hands and caving in to the idea that most people are not going to do that but always pick whatever the guide tells them to.

I can’t say I’m surprised but I’m a little disheartened because seeing talent tree is back immediately made me think of the potential of mixing and matching things to experiment again


Exactly, community issue.
Just sums it up.

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