You're a rogue, you're above level 60 working towards 70, and you've started to go to the instances in the Outland. When Burning Crusade came out, Improved Sap was moved closer to the lower talent ranks of Subtlety, making it much easier to get. Now, it only took seven points in Subtlety to get Improved Sap. With virtually every instance in Outlands full of humanoids, every rogue should have it for crowd control. Backstab rogues would get Opportunity with their first five Subtlety points and Combat Swords rogues would roll randomly because it really didn't matter where they spent their five wasted points. Now with the 2.1 patch, every rogue has the benefits of Improved Sap and the talent Improved Sap was replaced with Dirty Tricks. So, after the 2.1 patch, the majority of high level rogues have Dirty Tricks. But not every rogue wants Dirty Tricks.
Increases the range of your Blind and Sap by 2/5 yards and reduces the energy cost of your Blind and Sap abilities by 25%/50%.
So, wait. Um. Well. Thanks, Blizzard, but could I just get a free respec since this ability is COMPLETELY different than the other one I purchased? Apparently, the answer is NO.
Well, first of all, precedence. We wouldn't want the druids to complain since they had their Innervate replaced by Swiftmend. Blizzard knows they already have enough to complain about. Of course, Swiftmend is uber and what druid WOULDN'T want Swiftmend if they already are 30 points into Restoration, they'd have to be an idiot NOT to get Swiftmend. Second, where would Blizzard draw the line on giving out free respecs?! How big does the change have to be before they issue a free respec for that class? I mean what if they change Flurry for Fury Warriors and nerf it from 10/15/20/25/30 to 5/10/15/20/25%? Should Warriors get a full respec for that? Obviously not! How would that be fair?! You bought the talent; it's not Blizzard's fault that you were too stupid to anticipate the change. Remember that EULA you signed, sucka?! And lastly, what about those incredibly costly ranks of talents that characters have to buy back? If rogues were given a free respec, wouldn't we have to retrain all our ranks of Hemmorage?! HAHAHA.. Trick question, NO rogues use Hemmorage. Well, honestly, let's have a little talk about these ranks of talents that have to be purchased, Blizzard. Can you name ANY talents with trained ranks that a player wouldn't have the maximum rank available? What is the point of that? To simply make anyone who trains that ability pay more?
So, let's address these real quick in regard to the change to Improved Sap.
- Precedence. I don't care about precedence. And, frankly, I don't think Blizzard should be that hung up on it either. This is a change from a talent that was necessary to a talent that is completely superfluous. If it were changed from Improved Sap to, oh say, Improved Vanish then, sure!, I'd be more than happy to allow precedence to rear its ugly head.
- Drawing the line. This wasn't a minor change. This was a fundamental change to the rogue class. The talent was swapped out for another one. Any line would probably include wording regarding when your talent no longer exists at all in its prior form, you should be eligible for some sort of return of talent points.
- Burden of buying back talent ranks. This is a moot point here. Rogues have no real trained ranks except Hemmorage which as I've already joked about, NO rogue uses (unless they are PvP or some such crap in which case, they might have to pay a few gold.) In addition, I do not believe this retraining of these talent ranks would cost more than the average unspec, which I would guess is around 15 gold. With the majority of rogues being Combat or Backstab rogues, I think the majority of rogues WILL have respecced because of this. Thus, in a case where the majority of rogues would have benefited from a free respec and a minority might have been affected by having to buy retrainable ranks, I don't believe this point should matter either.
So, what do we do about it in the future? How about one of these options?
- Give a free respec to any class that has a talent that is deemed significantly different than the prior version. This for me would include Sword Specialization's change from affecting white damage to yellow damage, but wouldn't include changes to the mere numbers of a talent.
- Give an optional free respec that must be taken within 48 hours of relogging in to a character affected by a significant talent change. This would handle those that are happy with the change and don't wish to retrain any talent ranks.
- Refund the talent points in the talent if possible. Giving back the talents points spent so they could be spent elsewhere would be an okay, although still complain-worthy, option. This would of course NOT be possible if those talent points would invalidate some prerequisite.
- Refund all the talent points in an affected talent tree. Giving back all talents point spent would solve any prerequisite issues and in the case of Improved Sap, would refund all the points a Combat Swords rogue would have invested in the tree. A Combat Swords rogue would have spend 7 points in the Subtlety tree, the first 5 only in order to get Improved Sap.
What did do? I respecced immediately moving my two points from Improved Sap into the Assassination tree. Something about stabbing harder or something. I can't remember. Cost of respeccing? 15 gold. Cost of complaining on blogger? Priceless. =P