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Eric over at Elder Game sees this as a mistaken attempt to tinker with the game instead of doing something interesting. That draws a heartfelt ‘Me too!’ from Scott Jennings. My own take? They’re both right, but it’s worse than that… WoW has slung the baby out with the bathwater, removed any last lingering possibility of meaningful customisation or character individuality and completed the transition to becoming “Dance Dance Raid Epixx”

It’s not just the pitifully small number of choices available under the new talent system – it’s the fact that you can effectively respec them any time you’re not in combat. It makes the idea of “my character build” utterly redundant, so you just become interchangeable Paladin #876,342. That takes the last vestige of RPG out of the MMORPG.

I’m not saying the old talent system was perfect – it was getting bloated as each expansion brought more points and new tiers. It had too much boring stuff, and too obviously was geared around the concept of the ‘right’ builds with must-have talents and pressure to specialise rather than allow for viable bi- or tri-spec builds. It needed reforming. But it did not need junking even in the half-assed Cataclysm way, let alone like this.

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