The Daily Grind: How difficult should it be to respec in an MMORPG?

He likes Legos.

It struck me the other day how my two favorite MMORPGs are wildly different in terms of respecs. Final Fantasy XIV offers effectively infinite respecs simply because there is never anything stopping you from choosing to level and focus on a different job; there is time investment on a few projects like relic weapons or tomestone gear, but that’s all there is. You never have to specialize beyond what you want. If you want to be a tank main one expansion and a healer the next, the game will allow you to do that easily.

By contrast, even though the number of respecs available to characters in City of Heroes has expanded substantially since its relaunch with Homecoming, it’s still pretty limited despite that. You have a limited number of free respecs available to you, and of course you can buy and craft respec recipes forever, but respecs only ever allow you to pick powers in a different order and rearrange your enhancement slots. You can’t change your powersets themselves. You certainly can’t change your archetype. Feel like you would have been better served with a Brute instead of a Scrapper? Time to start over again from zero.

Both of these are certainly valid approaches, but I’m curious what our readers think. How difficult should it be to respec in an MMORPG?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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