Microblog: Talents as Identity

There are some talents I feel an emotional attachment to, like this is how my character is. For my dh, that includes Felblade, Fel Devastation, FalloutFeed the Demon, and Soul Barrier. I’ll change them around sometimes, but I just really like the way those talents are and what they add to my perceived playstyle.

I don’t have quite the same attachment to brewmaster talents. Most of their talents are a choice on what tool solves a problem. Do you need aoe? Hard crowd control? Raid healing? (The one exception is the level 100 talents, which are my favorite for this reason.) But vengeance talents do things like change how you value soul fragments, how you layer your active mitigation, how you generate or spend your mixture of various resources. Choices that enable you to create completely different types of demon hunters, leeching demon hunters, soul fragment demon hunters, cooldown demon hunters, etc.

Brewmaster 100 talents are similar. There’s only that one tier, but that tier allows you to be a damage reduction monk, a smooth monk, or a complicated monk. It’s a beautiful tier! The key difference is that the entire tier has three interesting choices that increase complexity in different ways, whereas demon hunters rarely have three interesting choices on the same row. They’re all spread out so that each row might have one complex choice and one simple choice and something else.

Since I see so many of my DH’s talents as identity talents, I tend to not change them much. Sure, there are cases I will find Last Resort more useful than Soul Barrier, so I’ll change. But if there’s not a clear winner, I want to go with the choices that define the playstyle I want.

On my brewmaster, with their mostly-straightforward talent tiers, I change things around more. Sometimes I need RJW or sometimes Special Delivery, and I don’t particularly love one over the other because they don’t carry an identity with them. I am not the RJW monk like I’m the Felblade DH. I don’t feel deeply unhappy when I spec into Special Delivery like I would if I had to spec into Razor Spikes.

My identity talents add fun to my game. I don’t like speccing out of them because the other options are less fun for me. Fun can come from finding the right tool for the job, as it does when I play around with brewmaster talents, but it also comes from regularly using tools I enjoy the most.

  • Mushoepi

    Leg sweep and statue kind of feel like that to me too, even more so than the lvl 100 choices, simply because they’ve been part of the identity for longer. Frankly I’m still not a fan of having to choose for some of these (what seem to me to be) core identity/feel type things.

    • seacow

      Agreed. Even though ox statute and leg sweep as talents sharing a tier presents a meaningful choice, I always saw the ox statute as a part of the Brewmaster identity. I also lament that “invoke Niuzao” is the weakest choice in that row for just about everything. Strictly for flavor and aesthetics, I wish all monk specs got to invoke their celestial via a baseline ability.