They're moving on from the current 70's zork text game enhancement interface to 2000's Diablo 2 enhancement GUI interface. This is so a larger audience can understand what they're doing and what they're getting. I don't think removing that part is possible. WB/Turbine money wise you only get new PRE's and enhancement expansion if it helps bring in or maintain a majority of players. There's most likely a ton of exit surveys saying "Enhancement system selection unusable/confusing".
This IS the second time they've redone the enhancement system with such a large overhaul. The last time we lost a few devs partially due to vociferous forum outcry. But things moved along and got rebalanced. They have to do that to keep the game fresh, keep up with system changes (epic levels, AC/to-hit, spell power (again), and hopefully something on the DC casting side soon). It's a very tough game across so many levels to balance so you don't have DC-casting-always-wins or EpicDestinyX-is-best or helf-is-the-only-useful-race-numbers-wise, but to give options across the board.
So far I mostly like the system that's there and it appears to be open for adding/changing STUFF. I do hope they add more "build-changer" type abilities - maybe one per PRE panel that aren't at the top of the class tree. Like Kensai's ALL WEAPONS ARE CENTERED or a tempest one that gives full str damage on off-hand or a FVS avenger/Warpriest one that turns damage done into minor aoe healing (why do light monks get all the fun) or a Defender enhancement that removes the shield requirement from the stance.
Btw... DOUBLE WALL OF TEXT fully trumps "no reason given GET RID OF IT"
I do not see the limits this system imposes yet. I think this is very good and powerful. I think all the rage is people who are afraid of change period. Having to 'redo' everything.
When I went through the trees last night, nothing seemed lkike a bad restriction. I do not like stalwart requiring a shield, however I understand why. And on top of that, you don't need a shield to get benefits; just the stance ones. So I can build a twf stalwart still. But now I can build it to have tempest to the limit, or if I want to be pure classed, kensai too; which you cannot do on live.
And the slaying arrows is not a nerf when the mobs die before it ever procs.
That's what the other games do... Don't be like the other games.
Sure, a shield should give extra bonuses to a stalwart defender... Just like now... but don't make stalwart nearly useless for anyone who doesn't have his shield out.
Okay, I'll sum up my impressions so far:
1) The Core Abilities of each tree need to be autogrants. Or have their cost slashed. Alternately, the tree abilities need to have their costs cut. Right now, AP are far tighter than they need to be.
2) Kensei is, imho, brilliantly done and merges perfectly with monk. However, multiclassing can't be judged until we see all the trees - honestly, fighter and monk should have been tested the same week.
3) Clerics...scrap it. Just burn the code, and start again. Make whoever designed it come to work in the owlbear costume for a week, wearing a sign that says "I designed the cleric lines," and a rubber albatross around their neck.
4) I'll be taking a foray into SD tonight, but the stance shouldn't force a shield; that's absurd.
5) I need to play with my artificer more, but I need more AP. Seriously, I could barely take what I needed in ArcanoTech; I'm calling the class "unplayable" until AP costs are fixed.
6) Rangers look good. I have no criticism on anything but the SP costs in AA - too high for the SP pool given.
7) Racial enhancements look good, but suffer the same "OMG WHERE ARE MY AP!" problem as everything else. I love that drow finally get faerie fire, and the "Nothing Is Hidden" line on both elves is both lore-friendly and useful. Halflings are throwing masters. Dwarves are sturdy drunks. Humans are versatile. Helves are ugly, but make sense. Haven't looked at the others yet.
The issue I'm having this week is that none of the tested classes are ones I normally play; next week, with FvS, Sorcs, and Wizards up, I'll probably have my pitchfork ready.
Is there a way that spending points in a class tree can give half-points into the neighboring same-class tree(s) with respect to what tiered abilities you can take? (though you'd need to keep the top tier of the tree out of the half-point addition to maintain one PRE3 equivalent).
Otherwise you spend 44ish in the main PRE, 22ish on the race and then only have 14 for the bottom of your possibly only other class tree for pure builds. Clerics and Fighters with only 2 PRE's need more horizontal tree and possibly core-ability choice.
Haste boost, if you read the thread, is supposed to be there, but isn't in the alpha build we're testing for various and sundry reasons.
Tactics never fit kensei to me; they're the master of a particular weapon, not a tactical genius. Getting the seeker bonus back would be good, though.
It's not perfect, but it's headed in the right direction.
If someone "spent years mastering a specific weapon" don't you think they'd know how to use that weapon to FULL advantage? Using said weapon to trip/stun/sunder opponents using the weapon that they go to sleep next to at night?
How is it "headed in the right direction" when all they've done is cut the nuts off kensai? I sure don't want to go in the same direction as you.
Also, I'm wondering how awesome all that doublestrike is going to work on my kensai AA\. Oh wait. It won't. So now you have to be melee to be a kensai, or just forget it? I LOVE HAVING A LOT OF BUILD CHOICES! I HATE BEING PIGEON HOLED INTO A SPECIFIC ROLE THAT SOME DEVELOPER FEELS THAT I *HAVE* TO BE IN! See: cleric, kensai.
You know what would be a step in the right direction? Removing the ******** requirements of GWF, critical accuracy and fighter attack boost, which are things every single friggin kensei takes because they have to, but that they NEVER make any use of. Any kensei that isn't confirming crits on a 1 on live with the amount of seeker we get isn't worth the armour they wear.
As another general suggestion. Can you give every class 3 at least partial PRE panels and always 2 full ones. Given the devs are currently dividing up all the general class enhancements, there's probably some that fall into a PRE that isn't fully ready to go (possibly due to design time, game mechanics, etc). For those: Warpriest, PDK, etc could you at least provide the first two tiers of their tree to give a landing zone for the general class AP's you're splitting up AND give all classes a little more choice in where to spend AP?
If Kensai is damage, Defender is defense, and PDK is mounted combat... err rallying... or is it the tactics PRE... would be a good place to put first tiers tactics bumps (and still give Kensai a focussed-weapon stacking tactics bump).
You can redo the partials once the full PRE comes out... we promise to complain either way.
Strike With No Thought: When you have a melee weapon equipped in your main hand that is part of your Focus, you gain 1% Doublestrike. Ranged weapons instead have a 1% chance to fire an extra projectile. Each additional Innate Ability you acquire from this tree increases this bonus by 1%.
Alacrity: You gain +10% melee doublestrike with melee weapons and +10% chance to fire an extra projectile with ranged and thrown weapons. (Repeating Crossbows have a reduced chance to produce extra shots.)
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