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Talents VS. Skill Spheres (Good or Bad?)


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I do not write here often so if I break some rule or etiquette, I apologize, that's not my intent. 


I'd like to get a response from everyone, especially on where you stand on the results of the current patch. 


Right now, I have a good friend who's really cut up over the most recent shift in power in the ranger's regard. So I'm going to do my best and be objective, but I'll be honest right now, I personally don't like the current skill-sphere changes.


With a knight as my main I didn't notice too much of a difference, Defenses still armored adequately and my staying power didn't shift much.


My friend however was fully specced in talents for raw ranged damage. He was the quintessential glass cannon. But after the removal of talents, he's got almost nothing. Where he was originally doing anywhere from 25k to 30k crits and power shots in the 15k range, depending on his distance. Now he can barely eek out 7.5k making his class and spec choice moot. "If I'd wanted defenses, I'd be a mage" sort of thing.


I'd like to hear if any of you have also had this problem. I'm going to take a moment to break down the problem I'm seeing with this change.


Talents = fixed Level based progression


~ What is nice about talents is they can help your character be unique among a sea of other characters, mostly by giving your character attributes that bolster your preferred play style. This gives the player a sense of personal investment by making their character fit the role they desire in the game and have accumulated over time.


Skill Spheres = random Discovery / monetary based progression


~ Now while talents are a slow and steady investment to your play style, skill spheres provide notable changes at the drop of a hat. They offer the player the ability to change small sets of attributes around quickly, giving them flexibility when a scenario is slightly more challenging, or further bolstering their preferred play style. They also can have unique properties (like some of the talents) but are not easy to obtain and give the player a sense of pride and accomplishment upon finding them. This also gives the player deeper satisfaction when they find the Skill Sphere that feeds their playstyle and could conceivably even be discovered on enemies and bosses later on.


====

Here are my thoughts on the matter.

=

BOTH are fantastic systems. However, the previous talent system provided more variety to the individual characters and rewarded the player for investing time into the class and character. While this current system rewards the player for investing monetary value into the character, this aspect could have been introduced alongside talents. Instead of Simply raising attack damage, they apply small elemental effects to your basic attacks, to use an example.


If FORCED to choose between these two, I would choose talents. I want to emphasize the focus on the people of the game, not the money.


But hey, maybe that's just me. Thoughts?


===


TLDR:

Both systems are good. I'd like to personally ask the developers, please don't give us individuality with talents then replace it with money based grinding. I want skill spheres WITH talents, not instead of... Otherwise just leave me with my talents, even if you have to rebalance them. Please? <=P

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I was always in favor of a talent-based system.  The previous one had its issues, but removing that per-level customization really kills the feeling.  If WoW had implemented glyphs before talents, it would have been a disaster for character customization.  I really hope the sphere system moves to a similar "glyph" style system, and a talent point system returns.

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Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

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I guess it would be more interesting if spheres were rewarded as (random) loot. Now you just enter game, buy out all the strongest ones and that's it.

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@iamisom quote:

Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

My friend went and found them for that reason, but the differences are staggering. I could see moving some of the super special effects from talents becoming Skill Spheres (like, chance on attack elements), but basic things, like increased damage from a distance or a chance of traps firing without consuming a charge, I think serve better as Talents. 

I do quite a bit of theory crafting on the side, so if you need someone who can run some hypothetical numbers and workshop some potential hybrid systems as well as their growth spread, let me know. ;D

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@Warmonger quote:

I guess it would be more interesting if spheres were rewarded as (random) loot. Now you just enter game, buy out all the strongest ones and that's it.

I agree.  Randomly dropped skill spheres would at least make it less of a "more gold = more win" kind of scenario.

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@taiconan quote:


@iamisom quote:

Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

My friend went and found them for that reason, but the differences are staggering. I could see moving some of the super special effects from talents becoming Skill Spheres (like, chance on attack elements), but basic things, like increased damage from a distance or a chance of traps firing without consuming a charge, I think serve better as Talents. 

I do quite a bit of theory crafting on the side, so if you need someone who can run some hypothetical numbers and workshop some potential hybrid systems as well as their growth spread, let me know. ;D

I too noticed the exact same thing on my Huntress. Used to be able to get high crits but now I can barely get 7.5k on her.

The reason for this is because the talents that we are used to and were able to spec into are now all tied into the Large node in the skill sphere system. So thats ALL six pretty amazing talents being pushed into one slot and we can only equip one at a time.

Unfortunately for the huntress specifically all her talents were amazing to stack together, borderline overpowered to be honest and now we are stuck choosing between up to 30% extra damage at range OR 15% chance of firing off a fully charged shot with normal attack instead of being able to spec into both of them.

At the same time the scaling of the talents were way to high. We could get an extra 150% at distance and almost 50% chance for a fully charged shot to fire so the huntress has taken a hit on both scaling and having to choose which talent she wants to take.


TL:DR - Huntress has taken a hit on scaling - 30% and 15% instead of 150% and 50% and can only choose either extra damage at range or chance of a fully charged shot firing.

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@iamisom quote:

Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

Looking back on it again, I can't help but feel this answer was thrown at me in hopes of placating my point. Not to bash on you IamIsom, but isn't there more you could have shared on this? Or at least hinted that it was going to be reviewed further? I spent almost an hour between writing an angry post, a frustrated critical post, and a pleading post, and I'm glad I took the time to rewrite it until it was properly worded. I 'm not trying to make waves, I just want to make my point clear and I want people to share their thoughts too so I can be sure I'm not the only one thinking this. 

I'm almost insulted that instead of addressing the issue I mentioned with the ranger's damage, I'm treated like I didn't even try to use the new system. I will take being wrong in a heartbeat... and I often am (cause I miss things, I'm human. XD) but I will not take disrespect.

But this isn't about me.

Isn't there any other input we could get from developers on this? Why 'sneak' this change into the build? Is a full rebalance on the way again? Input please! Input!
"Need more input!" -J5

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 I think they should give us the ability to repurpose some of the spheres that grant utility bonuses to grant damage or other attributes instead, even if it was with some kind of penalty for using a different node, this would let people create whatever builds they want even if they dont want to have an extra effect on a turret or ability.

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@taiconan quote:


@iamisom quote:

Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

Isn't there any other input we could get from developers on this? Why 'sneak' this change into the build? Is a full rebalance on the way again? Input please! Input!
"Need more input!" -J5

I understand the frustration since I'm a tad annoyed too but what change do you feel like has been sneaked in this build? Is it the change in strength of the talents? (now skill spheres) 


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@Argick quote:

I understand the frustration since I'm a tad annoyed too but what change do you feel like has been sneaked in this build? Is it the change in strength of the talents? (now skill spheres) 


Ya they did warn us the talents were going to go and the skill spheres were going to be added, they very likely still tweak the skill spheres though.

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@steelsoldier quote:


@Argick quote:

I understand the frustration since I'm a tad annoyed too but what change do you feel like has been sneaked in this build? Is it the change in strength of the talents? (now skill spheres) 


Ya they did warn us the talents were going to go and the skill spheres were going to be added, they very likely still tweak the skill spheres though.

Tweaking is very much needed I think :D It's a big hit on the huntress especially since you've went from 3 very useful symbiotic talents to just one skill sphere that's been scaled down.

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@Argick quote:


@steelsoldier quote:


@Argick quote:

I understand the frustration since I'm a tad annoyed too but what change do you feel like has been sneaked in this build? Is it the change in strength of the talents? (now skill spheres) 


Ya they did warn us the talents were going to go and the skill spheres were going to be added, they very likely still tweak the skill spheres though.

Tweaking is very much needed I think :D It's a big hit on the huntress especially since you've went from 3 very useful symbiotic talents to just one skill sphere that's been scaled down.

That's my biggest concern, feeling like I'm now very limited in my ability to customize my build to a point that feels unique to my play style or really compliment my friend's build. I apologize for my wording around sneak since it makes it sound like you're trying to undermine the player preference for the sake of easier management. It just shocked me how limiting the new system is when we were told that the same talents would be available in the skill sphere system.

I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to throw a fit, but this change is really pushing me away right now. If new, more unique, or more powerful versions of these orbs appear, (and maybe can be leveled from use?) I could get behind it. I'm just struggling with the change right now.

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Allot of characters are less versatile now, don't think the stat bonus's make it better.

maybe trendy has a bigger picture, but I cant see it.

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@taiconan quote:

That's my biggest concern, feeling like I'm now very limited in my ability to customize my build to a point that feels unique to my play style or really compliment my friend's build. I apologize for my wording around sneak since it makes it sound like you're trying to undermine the player preference for the sake of easier management. It just shocked me how limiting the new system is when we were told that the same talents would be available in the skill sphere system.

I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to throw a fit, but this change is really pushing me away right now. If new, more unique, or more powerful versions of these orbs appear, (and maybe can be leveled from use?) I could get behind it. I'm just struggling with the change right now.

Didn't think you were throwing a fit mate, it's all feedback! I'm feeling similar to you, it's very limiting and hard hitting. 

We're also on the same wavelength. I'm going to be created a thread later on about the skill spheres because I'm currently tinkering with upgrade ideas and using EXP to level the spheres is one of them. Great minds eh? :D

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@iamisom quote:

Thanks for the post! Most of the old Spec Nodes are available as Medium and Large Skill Spheres, so now you can have the old Specs plus the stat allocation of DD1. :)

Yeah but they are no where near as high as the "Talents" were. Also you have to choose one or the other with the large Spheres. Before you could have Greater Range causes more damage by 140% + Geysers cause next damage to be increased by 140% and around 40% chance for fully charged shot. Now you can only choose one and the percentage is like progressing from level 10 again.


Just as how Ubers allow you to switch back and forth between them and place a tower down that will have that specific Uber even after you switch, should apply to larges that are tower based.


The Sphere slots look cool, but essentially they are pretty much the same thing but highly lacking in what they can provide from previous skills. The only difference is that now you can add Tower/Hero stats and other special stats that are usually on Gear i.e. more experienced earned, in addition to the ubers.


Hopefully later down the line there will be more powerful medium and larges. Esp. Larges since there is a huge lack luster comparing to the previous version.


Before the Specs were pretty much Gameplay changing. Now the only Spheres that are gameplay changing are mediums with the range spheres, Larges with a small percentage of what the Specs offered, and the Ubers. Which no one can even use yet.


If anything combine the two. Before it allowed players to be a bit more unique (Given that if more specs were added). Now it allows players to be... "Crazy" i can't remember the word i was going to use. Since Cannonballs can be Boulders, Towers changed to Flame throwers. Lightning Chaining between enemies, and Explosive Traps having Random Elemental Damage. Not all of them are really different since most people have a million Flameburst towers so all you see is combustion, now you'll see large flames. Chain lightning is almost identical except it's one bolt instead of a million. Explosive Traps and the Boulders are the more different ones.

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I think rather than making spheres slot specific they could shift in output based on the slots size. For instance the skill that boosts the huntress long range damage could be used in a smaller slot, but be less effective if used there. I think the uber slot should stay reserved for drastic changes, but I do feel that having to play for a month just to get one uber sphere is a bit much. At minimum I think you should get one free one for finishing the Betsy missions and then have to earn the tokens for the rest.

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@Azrik quote:

I think rather than making spheres slot specific they could shift in output based on the slots size. For instance the skill that boosts the huntress long range damage could be used in a smaller slot, but be less effective if used there. I think the uber slot should stay reserved for drastic changes, but I do feel that having to play for a month just to get one uber sphere is a bit much. At minimum I think you should get one free one for finishing the Betsy missions and then have to earn the tokens for the rest.

Tokens really do need to be increased in availability somehow, like you should at least get like 1-2 tokens per Betsy kill. A free Uber Sphere would be nice as well since they hyped them but then require a lot of grinding to get even a single one or even just reduce their cost.

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@Azrik quote:

I think rather than making spheres slot specific they could shift in output based on the slots size. For instance the skill that boosts the huntress long range damage could be used in a smaller slot, but be less effective if used there. I think the uber slot should stay reserved for drastic changes, but I do feel that having to play for a month just to get one uber sphere is a bit much. At minimum I think you should get one free one for finishing the Betsy missions and then have to earn the tokens for the rest.

Yeah but it's still the same old system but lackluster... Then instead of putting a punch of Specs towards high damage at a range plus making the next damage after my geyser traps do 140% more damage, i'd be putting Spheres towards that. It's the Same thing. They seriously just need to include Both properties. The ability to have this tree of skills and whatnot that are stat wise. While having these spheres that create a more "Crazy" gameplay.


So that not only Ubers have a good influence on the depth of a persons build.

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On the subject of skill specs/spheres, I believe that we should keep the spheres as they are but, bring back the specs like before the update allowing specific character customization with each level after 5. This is also beneficial for early - mid-game scenarios when leveling 3+ heroes because the specs are free while it costs too gold to unlock the spheres for each character to be customized. Also, the uber spheres could be less powerful than they currently are, but augment the specs by the whatever %. This would be, in my opinion, the best way to handle the spec vs. sphere phenomenon, while still maintaining balance and fun gameplay.

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