Been busy this morning, but was drafting a post in my head about the trait uproar. Apparently my mind waves were so strong that it was picked up and written over at Under a Pale Tree. They even stole my pun from my brain jelly! (Although I was going to make it Trait-ourous Trappings.)
From a game design perspective, small fees like this serve a two-fold purpose: Helping the game economy, and instilling a sense of worth to your build. The first part is self-explanatory, but the second: If you can switch your traits at any time, with no repercussions, then do your trait selections really matter? Who needs to think about it; just drop ‘em in wherever and don’t worry about it until you come up against something too strong. Then you might as well just pump all those freely “respecc-able” points into whatever trait will maximize your usefulness against that particular mob, and then do it all over again on the next one.
This is the most important part. People feel they can handle infini-selections, but its been proven time and time again that narrowing choice is extremely beneficial. It promotes better decision making, a better feeling of having made the right choice, and, blazow!, it promotes better learning! I know that all the good people raging are 50 IQ smarter than the average MMO player and could easily handle re-traiting in-between mobs and weapon swaps, and don’t need to learn skritt. Still, dumb people like me appreciate that ArenaNet has signaled that traiting is an important decision, and it would be beneficial to take time considering the decision. Maybe I can actually be beneficial on the WuvWuh field?