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The Daily Grind: How many skill options do you really need?

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Massively's own Justin Olivetti recently opined that Guild Wars 2's skill system struck him as more regressive than progressive; he's suggested the game is a reaction to older MMOs that went overboard loading players up with so many skills and hotbars and options that gamers got lost in the mess. Lord of the Rings Online has always had that effect on me whenever I return to it and find six hotbars stuffed with more skill buttons than anyone can possibly push in a single fight or even a single dungeon. Blizzard has been trying to address a similar problem in World of Warcraft for several years.

Of course, those second-generation MMOs were fighting against the first-generation games, which were notorious for offering melee classes a grand total of one attack button to push. GW2 provides 10 skills at a time, two more skills per bar than in classic Guild Wars, but maybe the franchise is going too far in its attempt to simplify combat options for third-gen MMO players.

What do you think? How many skill buttons do you really need available for every fight so that you feel as if you always have options... but not too many or too few?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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