On Talent Restrictions, Social Friction, and Cookie Cutter Builds

Blizz, I need your help.

A few months ago there was a little movement among guide writers (you can see my contribution here) on how to discourage cookie cutter talent builds and advocate for individual experimentation. For one, swapping talents is just fun — you feel smart when you pick the right one, and it’s more rewarding when there’s an interesting choice and opportunity cost with that talent tier. Two, players will probably do better when they are encouraged to find talents that work for them and their current struggles, as opposed to the general “best in slot” talent. I mean, Blizzard knows all these things. Some devs even retweeted my arguments. But that all lies in contrast to the significant barriers that will be placed on talent swapping come Legion:

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First Glimpse of the Demon Hunter

One of my greatest blogging regrets is not completely cataloging every strange and ridiculous phase monks went through before they were released with Mists of Pandaria. Monks initially didn’t auto attack? Shuffle was a channeled spell? Roll cost 40 energy? Classes change completely from their initial announcement and I want to archive the changes for demon hunters.

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