Today i wanted to bring up a point about the controversy concerning "Too many skills".
I have seen countless people claiming that everything past a certain number of skills is wasted and not fun because they don't want to play the keyboard. And while i agree on disliking fighting my keyboard, let me try and present this topic in a differend manner. First i want to make a bold statement so you can start hating on me, then i will explain ;-)
There can NOT be too many skills!
Now get a breather and let me explain why i think the problem is something else. Too many skills would be a problem only if:
- You absolutly need all those skills all the time
- They are not diverse enough to be fun in itself
- They are all needed for a "rotation"
On the other hand alot of skills can be a lot of fun if:
- They all have their place, like fun spells that just put on a shiny Wizard hat on your head for example
- Not needed for every dps rotation
- Don't mirror each other to the point of simply having slighly different resist checks
A lot of skills are actually more fun if it is done right and the UI is not terrible. But yes: doing the UI and skills right is easier on the developer if they only give us 4-8. Does that bother me? No! Damn, it is their job to make a fun game for us. And i want difersity and not boring gameplay.
To give two extreme examples to "prove" my point.
Example on 4+ hotbars with 10+ skills each
When i was still playing WOW in Cata i played a Warlock. I absolutly loved how skills where handled there.
I had 6-8 Skills in my DPS rotation (keep in mind warlocks had one of the bigger rotations). But you actually had to adjust your rotation based on movement / bossmechanics. Then i had 3-4 Skills for AoE rotation that usually did NOT show up in single dps rotation. Add another dunno... 4? Buffs for once in a while and like 10 skills / spells / items that i had on my bars for fun like illusions and pets and stuff. Add some potions for emergencys and some spells for emergencys.
I could react to every situation in the game, yet i could also just relax and usually go with 6 buttons. BUT i had the POSSIBILITY to do way more if shit hit the fan. And those extra buttons where NEVER mandatory, they simply gave extra OPTIONS.
Yes, i had 4 Hotbars full of stuff. No it did NOT feel like fighting my keyboard at all.
Fighting looked impressive, since using differend attacks / skills + pet always had some diversity and it was a relaxing experience.
Example on a hand full of keys only
It is everyones guess which game i am talking about here, since well... you know i am not officially allowed to talk about it ;-)
Should be an easy one tho.
Anyways: FIVE skills plus one "big boom" skill as a max.
Fighting is very much no fun. You always do the same 2-3 attacks, since at least 2 hotkeys go "to waste" on buffs / pets / emergency skills. If shit hits the fan you have to pray that you actually have the right skills on your bar. So basically you have to adjust your hotbar whenever you take a step to another area and you are out of luck if you don't already know what awaits you there.
Readjusting midfight because something happened, like a teammates death... unexpected adds,... whatever... is not possible at all. You have to stick to what you have.
I remember some funny, yet so fitting, sentence i have read somewhere about this issue: "Hey mage, we got adds... get a fireball casting and blow them away!" - "sorry, i can't... i forgot how to cast a fireball so i could make the air smell funny".
Yes, i only had 5 skills. Yet i WAS fighting my Keyboard like mad.
Why you ask? Because the same game tries to adjust the boredome of skills with countless useless keybinds that are mandatory, but boring. You need 2 keys to loot (no joke), another to dodge, every attack needs a new key even tho it is the same fucking attack. I had to scroll down the list of controlls for like 10 seconds to reach the bottom and i STILL only had 5 skills to choose from.
So what is more fun?
Having the possibility to adjust if needed but only having to use 4-6 skills for full dps. Or only having 4-6 skills and not being able to adjust if needed?
I guess the answer is easy enough.
Too many skills is not a problem in itself. Bad design of said skills is the problem. And i know there are countless games that do have bad design. And i fully understand how a person that only played those comes to the conclusion that more skills = bad.
On the other hand less skills is bad design right there. Even if the skills are great. Current games offer way less possibilitys and options for the player anyways. Reducing this even further is no good design at all. No matter how you put it.
So pretty please: Go the extra mile and make skills usefull, fun and diverse. Don't limit us on what we can do. Don't make us tell our raidleader that we "forgot" how to AoE all of a sudden, but don't make all options mandatory either!