I just want to say up front that I am really enjoying the game as it is, and this is my opinion after having reached the current end game on 2 characters of different classes and seeing the same frustrations between each of them.
So I keep seeing the term “choice permanence” or “developers want it that way” pop up when people are suggesting changing how things like mastery, skill point caps, the leveling curve with regards to point gain and such works. These discussions come up quite often and people say the developers want it that way, then most discussion stops.
Can I just say that verbally vomiting to people that “devs said they want choices to be impactful or have a sense of weight” to someone suggesting a change is a really poor argument?
What the developers want isn’t important. Period. We as players are the consumer so what we want matters, within reason. If you as a player don’t like the way the system works, then make a post and are told devs want it this way or that, then what are you going to do? You’ll stop playing because what you want in a game isn’t what the devs want and it makes the game less fun for you.
Developers keep pushing the idea of choices having weight. I like the idea that choices should have weight, but choices having weight needs to be reworked. Choices are much more impactful when they have drawbacks. “This skill gains X% more area, but Cooldown is increases by Y%” is a great and impactful choice. I am giving up cooldown for more area. I want to cover my screen with my cast, but I won’t be able to do it as often. This is an impactful choice.
Not having enough points to make the skill work a specific way is not an impactful choice. Skills being labeled with specific damage types to keep them underwhelming (looking at you disintegrate) is not impactful. Passive trees that shoe horn you into a specific play style is not impactful.
Many of the mastery skills are lackluster. These skills come off as though they should feel like an ultimate skill that you really would benefit from working into your build. Right now they feel like an added skill that may or may not be useful if you just so happen to be building around that type of damage or spec. Let’s take meteor for example. I tried it a bit and read through all the passives and knew it was useless for my build. I think something that comes with a class mastery should have more options to it than anything else available aside from the passive tree itself. If I am going lightning sorcerer, what do I get from my mastery skill? Nothing. I feel like the mastery skills should come with very diverse trees that can emphasize all the different play styles the class has available. I think an example is that meteor gets a node that changes it’s damage type to lightning, and instead of calling meteors, it calls a large lightning strike that deals about the same damage. All fire damage on the tree is converted to lightning. I could see the same for a cold version with a glacier that comes up out of the ground.
I see people saying that they (devs) want choices to have weight, but the execution behind “choices should have weight” feels bad. Currently my choices are “do I make the skill work the way I want and give up damage,” “do I get damage and only get half the effect of the skill I wanted,” or “do I even have enough points to make the skill work how I want it to?” The last option isn’t even a choice.
I love the idea of how the skill trees work. It’s on the right track, but I think the execution is lacking. Skill trees should change the way a skill works. Damage should come from the passive trees and gear. I believe that this distinction would make it not only easier for players to build around, but also easier to balance. I agree that things like buffing modifiers within 4 seconds or knockback should be on the skill tree, but I don’t think defining effects such as casts on target instead of on self or more projectiles, should be locked so deeply behind other nodes like penetration or things that largely won’t change a build like spark charge.
These skill defining nodes are what make these skills fun for people. People want to modify their build to work a specific way and then need to find damage from other sources. This is how games like this work. You find the build you want, then you find the damage and such from other sources like gear or passive trees.
Passive tress feel to me like I don’t actually have nearly as many options as it seems on first look. I see all these nodes, but when I really sit down and say, ‘okay which nodes should I take to make my build actually do damage’ I find that I don’t really have all that many options… Flat damage here, penetration there and base stats of course. I originally wanted to run an ignite build. I quickly found that I really will not have damage if I run that. If I want damage over time, bleed has much more options and poison has an absurd amount of damage in comparison. I figured when I picked sorcerer I’d get enough elemental damage and such to really make an ignite build shine. Instead I found that I can proc it only very slightly easier, and only barely make it last longer (from 4 seconds to 5.38). It only lasts long enough to get 1 extra proc of damage. Ignite in comparison to poison is laughable. Bleed is good because the options to get more bleed damage are plentiful.
There are a lot of issues with the game, but that’s why this is the beta. We get an option to try out things and bring up the questions and points or issues that we see while playing or after reaching the end of current content. The problem is that saying, “devs want it this way” doesn’t do anyone any favors, devs or players. I don’t give a flying ____ what the developers want. I am sure their investors don’t either. What I care about is what is fun and what keeps me coming back for more. What doesn’t keep me coming back for more is other players removing potential discussion about the pros and cons of each topic by telling people, ‘no the devs want it that way.’ Okay, I’ll take my play and money elsewhere in that case.
TL;DR: “The devs want it that way” is not a good argument and doesn’t lead to constructive discussion on feedback. Stop using it.