First of all, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year and to pass on my best wishes for 2012. I’ve been quiet on the blogging front thanks to a wonderful holiday period in Scotland, but I’m back now and raring to go.
One of the discussions that happened over at MMO-Champion recently revolved around the inclusion of Recount (or similar) in the game. I don’t particularly want to get into the debate regarding that exact issue, because I think there’s too much of a grey area for a conclusive judgement to be made. Personally, I accept that people use in-game combat parsers as a way of improving their own performance and this is to be lauded. But I can also accept the reality that such mods encourage some pretty snotty behaviour from their adherents. Whether or not you want something like Recount in Star Wars will likely be dictated by how strongly your backside is parked in one of those two camps.
What I think is vital, however, is the inclusion of some for of combat parsing and analysis. The Azerothian veterans amongst you will be aware of WWS and sites such as World of Logs; they’re pretty awesome, assuming you know how to read them properly. But such a thing is of particular importance to those playing an Immortal Juggernaut – let me explain why.
It’s been argued in the past that the space between seat and keyboard is where the magic happens (or doesn’t… Hello, LFR). This is undoubtedly true and has been proven so a great many times. That said, choosing talents is a very important part of playing your character effectively and it’s very easy to be punitive on yourself by picking up talents that don’t complement each other well or are, quite simply, just dud talents. The problem is that some of the Immortal talents are extremely difficult to judge without a proper combat parser telling us how good they actually are. I’m talking about talents such as Quake, Blade Barrier and Sonic Barrier; at first glance they seem pretty cookie cutter for a tank, but we’re talking about a talent tree system that actually has a lot of good utility in it and a number of cool places where I might like to put points. It may well turn out that Sonic Barrier, actually, is pretty dud and makes next to no difference on incoming damage. The fact BioWare managed to work in an active mitigation model on launch, something Blizzard still can’t manage after seven years, is commendable.
What we need is a way to make accurate judgements on the talents they’ve dished out. I suppose this post isn’t much more than an impassioned plea for some form of combat parsing, but it’s a plea I sincerely hope is heard at some point.