Thursday, March 22, 2007

Introducing “Ghost Points”

The world is full of stupid people. I realized this a long time ago. Some days, this knowledge fills me with a great sadness. Some days, I revel in it, like a child might revel in knowing ‘next Tuesday is Christmas’. Sometimes, I’m just caught off guard, and I don’t quite know how to react. I’m simultaneously filled with disgust and utter indifference… it makes me a bit light headed, and I stare vacantly into the fridge looking for cold beer that I know is already long gone.

Today I came across a new post on the Rogue Boards that has apparently figured out how to ‘fix imp sap’. Being the trash rogue that I am, I never even noticed it was broken! For the non-Rogues out there, let me explain. In World of Warcraft, after reaching level 10, talent points are gained with each level. These allow you to customize your player in ways that allow you to be different than every other Rogue (or whatever class you play) on the server. Let's put aside the fact that everyone just copies one or two players' builds, and everyone is running around with cookie cutter specs. Let's just say maybe you choose to specialize in the use of daggers. Your critical strike rating for using daggers then goes up, and you are more likely to cause a ‘big hit’ with a dagger. Specializing in maces gives you a chance to stun your opponent on successful melee attack.

Some talents add completely new abilitites, and some just refine the use of existing abilities. One of these talents is called ‘Improved Sap’. Sap is an ability that allows the rogue to incapacitate a humanoid opponent for 45 seconds. Your group is then free to pull the enemy's pals without worrying about the incapacitated target. The rogue must be stealthed to activate this move. Upon sapping a target, the rogue is removed from stealth, and the enemy's friends usually proceed to pound the rogue in the face with their weapons, and this makes the group of heroes playing with the rogue unhappy. By putting points into the Improved Sap talent, a rogue can maintain stealth after the sap, and tiptoe away from the enemies, allowing the pull to proceed smoothly.

Some rogues feel like this is a huge waste of talent points for them, because sap does no damage. They feel like being delegated to crowd control is belittling to them, never mind the fact that rogues have a hard enough time finding groups in endgame instances as it is. Sap used to be 21 points deep into the Sublety tree, and used to require 3 points spent in it to acquire a 90% success rate. Imp Sap is now only 7 points deep into the Subtlety tree, costs only 2 points, and has a 100% success rate.

These people still aren’t happy.

Enter Desana. This is a rogue that has come up with the most awesomest idea in the entire game, and will surely win the developers over with her unique insight. She proposes ‘ghost points’. 10 EXTRA talent points that only work inside instances.

Let’s just stop before we take a look at her actual post. Let’s just get one thing out there on the table, and then bask in her infinite wisdom. Talent points are meant to be like ‘specialties’. Like, I went to the community college Ninja 101 course and trained in how to use Nunchuks under Nunchuk Master Joe. Hand me a Bo Staff and I probably won’t be as effective a killing machine. It was a tough decision, but with Nunchuks in my hands, watch out! Desana basically wants to undo all my ninja training by saying I could also have 5 talent points in Bo Staff Skillz, BUT ONLY IN AN INSTANCE. Like that suddenly makes sense. Let’s take a look:

While we’re at it, why should we be constrained to our own classes talent trees? Why shouldn’t I be able to train Mortal Strike on my Mage? Why can’t I put points into Natural Shapeshifter on my Priest? Wait, make it only work in instances, then it’s cool, okay? Anyway...

My uterus is flaring again, I need to go lie down. I think I have cancer. Christ, I need a fucking beer.

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