Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is Choice Possible?

The game has evolved, just like every other game, and so many of the chances made are said to be added to give us a choice but do we ever really have a choice?

Usually choice comes down to an A or B option.  A is right, B is wrong.  When specs had many skills there were right and wrong options.  While it might be true that there would have been one hundred and one different choices made one hundred would be wrong and one would be right.  On rare occasion one of those wrong choices might become a right choice for a specific fight but every other time it would be the wrong choice.

Talent trees where shrank to the point where we felt like we had so much taken away from us but were told it was to remove things that were not considered fun choices.  The words fun and choices should never be used in the same sentence when talking about certain things, like dealing damage.  There will always be a right and a wrong in those cases and there is nothing fun about choosing between right and wrong.

Sure, choosing a 3% crit boost is not fun because it does not change anything in appearance or action, it does its work behind the scene.  I think that is what they meant by that, that something people could see happening was more fun.  Overall the choice between 3% crit or 3% haste would be a better choice of giving us choice in my opinion.  It becomes an actual choice, but even at that, there will still be a right and a wrong for it.  If that 3% haste is enough to get you to a haste cap you could not get otherwise it would be the right choice otherwise the 3% critical would be the right choice.  See, no real choice.  It is A or B, right or wrong.

With mists came an even simpler talent tree, one that removed choice completely and it made many, myself included, realize that sometimes having the choice to be wrong is a good thing.  I often had specs designed specifically for a task.  Mostly for soloing.  I would choose different things to solo content as they gave me a better advantage in getting it done, it was the wrong spec but I was choosing to make it, and for soloing, it was the right spec.  So was I really choosing to spec wrong, or was a not choosing and just taking the correct spec for the task at hand.  Again it seems to be the appearance of choice by allowing people to choose wrong.  In the end, I was not choosing wrong, I was just choose the right spec for a different task.  All that was removed with the most recent talent tree changes was my choice to decide to do that, to speak wrong.

They added 6 skills we could choose with the description that it would be more of a choice on how you want to play and to some extent it has worked but when it comes to certain fights some abilities are right and some abilities are wrong.  Even a tier like the hunter utility one that has silencing shot, wyvren shot and binding shot there is no choice and that is the perfect tier to illustrate choice.  You choose silencing shot for raiding.  Unless it is an add fight then binding shot might be useful otherwise binding shot serves no purpose as it does not work on bosses and neither does wyvren shot.  But silencing shot can still interrupt casts that are capable of being interrupted.  So still, even with the perfect tier to illustrate choice, there is only A and B, right and wrong.

In the end there will never be choice in game, there will always be a right and a wrong.

Even something like the daily quest grind.  They keep saying it is a choice.  I saw some responses yesterday when asked if they could add other ways to get lesser charms for people that do not want to do dailies tell them that the coins, and doing the dailies for them, is a choice.  No, it is not.

If the person is the type of player that rarely raids, or does not get a lot of bosses down each week, and they want to be the best geared they are capable of being there is no choice, they need to take any advantage they can get and that means doing dailies for coins even if they do not want to.  The blues responding to people saying that getting the coins is a choice are wrong.  It is not a choice for some.

Same with valor gear where they say it is a choice.  No, it is not a choice.  You need to open the reputations to get to the gear if you need the gear.  That is not a choice, that is a fact.  If you need gear and you are not raiding, that is the most viable way to get gear.  No waiting on lady luck for drops.  Buying gear with valor is a sure thing.  It is not a choice if you need gear.

If you are raiding, it becomes a choice but lets get real, a huge majority of the player base does not raid and even the ones that do, like myself, might have 6 characters they want geared and only one currently raiding.  So with the vast majority not raiding, valor and the rep grinds associated with them, is not a choice at all, unless you are choosing to be under geared when you shouldn't be because that is the wrong choice.

Every time you hear the blues say choice, they mean right and wrong.  There is no such thing as a real choice in game.

If the first tier of hunter talents made you choose between 2% additional damage as frost damage, 2% additional damage as fire damage, and 2% additional damage as shadow damage, it would then be a choice.  You would be choosing the visuals of the ability but all the abilities would do the exact same thing.  That is choice.

Once you add anything that could be considered right and wrong choice is no longer possible.  Whichever talent gives you the largest performance boost is the right choice.  If you are not raiding or rarely raiding, doing dailies for valor and charms is the right choice.

It makes you wonder, is choice even possible?

The only choice there will ever be in game is doing things right and doing things wrong.


  1. I'm surprised no one commented on this but I guess they couldn't really argue about anything. You stated it very well.

    I choose to be sub-optimal by not doing dailies quickly to unlock valor gear.

    I choose to be sub-optimal by not valor capping every week.

    I choose to be sub-optimal by not switching my talents from solo-spec to raid-spec when I do LFR.

    I choose to be sub-optimal and not pay for the best flasks/food.

    I choose to be sub-optimal by taking a gathering profession.

    I choose to be sub-optimal for not race changing to get the best racial.

    Et cetera.

    I have valid personal reasons for making these choices but I'm still choosing to be sub-optimal.

    For maximizing my performance, there's either the right choice or the wrong choice. Blizzard is trying to make the wrong choice be 'less wrong' but they are not capable of balancing things well enough to make 'wrong' into 'barely, insignificantly wrong', so it's still wrong.

    1. I found it odd no one said anything on it either. I was sure someone would say players have choices just as you did. The only difference is you did it with realizing that even if you do that by choice, if you wanted to play at maximum potential there is no choice.

      I choose not to do the dailies on my alts because I do not care. If and when they do raid, they will get their gear there. They could be better but I choose to be sub-optimal on them. Doesn't means they are incapable of doing random content competently. as you said, they made the wrong choices less damaging.