Some suggetions that might tone down the hyper specialization and open up the options for more build choices being viable or more diversity in what they can do.
Full disclosure, I am someone who enjoyed The Burning Crusade far more than any other expansion and played a feral druid. So my overall mindset will be coming from there. I am also still on a limited account so putting all this in one place to make it easier to post and less cluttered on the section of the forum.
I have been playing for a bit and I have noticed just how hyper specialized you have to be on the game otherwise you are just not able to keep up with others and really has situations where many of the abilities and talents just aren't worth it given the budget you are working in. So was thinking of a few ways to open it up some to some more diverse builds being viable and allow options for some players who want to play something more similar to the old school classes as well. Here are some ideas.
With the talents, have talents that boost any stats have it added that they do not stack with any other talents from other classes. So if you talent into the Hunter talent that boosts your agility by 6%, it won't stack with any other talents from any other classes that "boost agility by X" or "All stats". Or if you have a talent that boosts your critical strike chance or haste or hit by any amount, they will only stack with similar boosts from that same classes trees. This would tone down much of the hyper specialization and open players up to choosing more diverse options.
Taking a slight queue from your Mastery skills, something a bit beyond it. Selecting a class specialization skill. You can only select one at a time. Doing so locks out choosing any other specialization. Selecting one restricts you to that classes default weapon and armor types and:
2a) Automatically gives you all stances and forms (Would be nice seeing the Aquatic and Flight forms used again without gimping yourself to select them) for that class but locks you out of all alternatives. A druid will get access to all druid forms but not any warrior stances or Paladin Auras and so on. Could also be extended into other unique abilities too.
2b) Automatically unlocks the extra skills and required skills for that class at the appropriate levels. By that, I mean the skills that are more utility in nature. Like if you selected Mage, you would unlock Conjure Food, Conjure Water, Ritual of Refreshment, and Portal Mastery. If you were to select Druid it would unlock Teleport Moonglade and Feline Grace (Which has been replaced as a redundant skill but could still be enabled since it was a thing).
2c) Will have some skills linked where when you activate one, you activate them all for that selected class at no extra cost. This would be things that you can only have 1 active at a time. Such as Mage Armors or Hunter Aspects or Abilities that only work in 1 single stance/form.
Examples: Swipe (Cat) + Swipe (Bear), Claw + Maul, Cower + Growl
Charge + Intercept + Intervene (If put back on the stance requirements)
Would likely allow you guys to return some abilities to requiring them as well to promote more diversity in abilities because there are some alternative abilities that are just better than most other versions but required a stance to use, good example Charge vs Intercept vs Feral Charge vs Shadowstep, how many doesn't prefer Charge there?
- When it comes to the orbs you use on skills and talents, introduce 1 more type just for buffs. So you limit the number of buffs a person can put on themselves so people stop walking around being a walking raid buff and have to be more selective about what they choose and benefit from asking others for help as well. But for player who use the Class Specialization mentioned in #2, the buff orb requirment would not apply to that classes buffs.
These would allow players to play builds that aren't required to be so hyper specialized to compete, tone down the scaling and damage and healing numbers. Encounters could be designed around not requiring all tanks to have Frost Armor or something like it and so on. And we could finally see more players willing to also have the extra utility skills once again.
Also, some other suggestions that isn't related to whats above.
When it comes to Claw and Mangle, Mangle is meant to entirely replace Claw on the skill bar for druids to the point it actually does in future expansions. Instead of having them both require orbs, just make the Mangle talent free but require Claw to activate and it replaces it on the bars automatically. Otherwise you are best off just not choosing claw at all or using a scroll of unlearning after you get high enough to select Mangle.
And Feral Charge, it is about useless in its current incarnation compared to Charge, I think a good alteration to it would be to just remove its dead zone and attaching the interrupt to both versions. Then they can use it as either a gap closer or an interrupt that is still canonically feral.
Would be nice to see builds where you actually had more utility and weren't expected to do DPS that is higher than your own life total. I am still leveling and have 1,100 life and my attacks are critting for 1,000 already and my gear is garbage.