Thursday, October 9, 2014

Is Disciplines good for SWTOR?

As I mentioned yesterday, Disciplines is taking the place of skill trees.  There are three disciplines per Advanced Class representing each of the former skill trees.  Once you choose a discipline, you gain skills from it as you level.  All of the key abilities from the previous tree are contained in the discipline.  You also gain Utility Points which you can spend on a common pool of skills for your class. That last part is where the customization comes in.

Hybrids are Dead.  This is true and the developers said as much.  You will no longer be able to obtain key abilities from other skill trees.  I hate to see choice taken away from the player, but the fact is that some of the hybrid builds were never meant to be and that causes balance issues.  Players will still be able to semi-hybrid based on the Utility skills that they take.

The Long Run.  Skill trees just don't work as the game advances.  It's not that the developers are lazy,  it's just not a sustainable model.  There is a reason why WoW and even Rift moved away from expanding skill trees.  Making the skill trees larger with every level increase just doesn't work.  Can you imagine what it would look like 5 years from now?

The Future.  With this new model, BioWare can expand our options by simply adding skills to Disciplines or to the Utility pool.  No rebuilding and expanding of skill trees necessary.   Balancing should be easier from now on as well.  That benefits us all.

In the end though, this change will be a tough pill to swallow for people who played hybrid builds.  I can't blame them for being upset at this new direction.  For me though, it will open up more possibilities.  I never played as a hybrid, so the new Utility pool will offer me more options.  So yes, I feel this is a good change for the game.