It seems that with Legion, or perhaps my increasingly aging brain, classes have gotten very complicated. It used to be that a proper guide only had to outline the rotation and stats and talents and be pretty solid. That’s 90% of the way to understanding a class!
Some classes are built around pooling resources. That is, their abilities consume only a portion of their max, allowing them to use multiple of the same or similar abilities in quick succession, and allowing them to save resources when they’re not needed. Poolable resources act like a buffer against unpredictability or mistakes. Brewmasters are the classic example. They have three to four charges of brews, allowing them to use a few at the same time or recharge for later. They have ox orbs, which can be pooled during low damage times for a big heal at high damage times or small heals over time.
Playing both my DH and my monk regularly, I was surprised that I can keep them both competitively geared and at decent artifact levels. I mean, I’m definitely behind on those, but not in a detrimental way, and that’s more due to my casual play time outside of raids than due to splitting mains.
I need to get back in the habit of writing regularly. Especially these microblogs, which are good for accomplishing small things every few days.
Wow, I’ve been doing this a long time. The big events this year were Legion beta, Legion release, and all the new raids and guides that come with that. It’s been a big year for this site. I’m particularly proud of how far my guides have come. My raid guides have more polish, my class guides are more streamlined. I’m happy with the microblog series, giving me an opportunity to blog without the overhead of a polished opinion. Where this time last year I was feeling like I was failing the blog, now it feels like it’s thriving!
The other day I was playing a console game and struggling with a boss fight. I’d been working on it for many attempts and failing miserably to get the boss anywhere close to dead.
After tolerating a half hour of raging, my boyfriend borrowed my controller and, after having never played this game, killed the boss in one try.
Long time readers might be familiar with how I chose talent recommendations, and might know that it’s a little different than most guides out there. I think what surprises most is that I don’t rely on sims. They’re a part of the equation, but not the last word. I value many other things when it comes to talents.
In no particular order:
- Ease of use
- Personal preference
- Sims & Logs
That’s just for recommendations in my guide. When making actual talent choices in game, there’s an important #1 addition: fight mechanics.
Talents are more than just the damage / healing / damage reduction benefits, there’s always something more. As tanks, we are especially well served by being able to trade objective benefits for subjective ones.
Ease of Use
We are not computers, so in contrast to sims, anything that doesn’t demand extra attention gains some points from me. Just having a talent that doesn’t serve as an extra distraction while learning a fight is a powerful thing, even if that talent might not be the final choice when you kill the boss.
Some talents are really strong in niche situations, and others are just modestly strong in all situations. In a guide, since I have no way of knowing what content you’re trying to tackle, I’m going to lean toward recommending general talents.
I don’t know what other people like, but there are a few talents I’m just fond of. I can’t completely separate my own biases from this blog, nor do I really want to.
Keeping in mind my own bias, sometimes I’ll adjust my talent recommendations based on what the community as a whole prefers, even if it’s not my favorite thing. Just because I don’t like a talent doesn’t mean it’s a bad recommendation for others.
Sometimes I recommend talents because I love finding uses for all of them. Even if there’s a super-niche talent, I want to find a case where it’s valuable and talk about it.
Simulations / Logs
Sometimes the numbers speak for themselves, and even the utility benefits of some talents are overshadowed by poor simming and logging.
Example: Special Delivery (before the latest buffs to its siblings)
For the most part in this expansion, I’ve been able to use my monk and dh interchangeably. Sure, there have been some situations where one was a bit stronger than the other, but I could cover those weaknesses with some adjustments in strategy or toolkit and it worked out fine. But when we hit heroic Gul’dan this week, that was the first time I ever swapped out one character for the other for progression.
I wrote a while back about talents that I cling to because I just kinda like them. There are also talents I avoid, because I just kinda don’t.
Most of the talents I avoid are just fine balance-wise. Often, they’re even part of the cookie cutter spec most people take. And that’s great! I want them to be viable talents, for other people.
On my monk, I never take Black Ox Brew. It’s a favored talent of that tier for other people, but it doesn’t contribute to my ideal brewmaster, which is one that manages resources from second to second. I mean, I just really love the other two choices, and they’re how I want to play. (I also tend to avoid on-use talents if I can because I’m terrible/lazy.)
There’s also Blackout Combo, which is a fantastic talent that I don’t enjoy all that much. Many people do enjoy it, and I’m glad it exists. But again, it doesn’t contribute to my brewmaster ideal in the same way the other choices do. I want to manage my stagger to extremes! Either by making it really big, or purifying it really small. Stagger is my drug, and while Blackout Combo does effect it indirectly, it’s not quite the same level of excitement for me.
On my demon hunter, I hardly ever take Spirit Bomb. This historically was an unpopular talent, but even now that it’s buffed I still not be super excited about it because I don’t really feel a need for sustained leech on my DH.
I also rarely take Last Resort, another strong, popular talent! Because the way I play, I hardly ever make simple mistakes that can be recovered from with a heal to 30% and extra hp. No, the mistakes that kill me are catastrophic, usually when I fail to use Demon Spikes when I clearly should have, or if I stand in something, or mis-taunt. Last Resort doesn’t save me from those, so I pick one of the other choices instead.
I still use these talents from time to time, but I don’t enjoy them as much as the other choices.