(Please note that I'm not saying everyone is totally off the mark on covenants, I just want to present an argument that will create interesting discussion)
One thing that Ion mentioned in his discussion with Preach that I think a lot of people skipped over and haven't considered seriously is the following statement:
"Having complete control over something can, in a way, remove your freedom."
He goes on to explain that in cases where things are easily changeable, such as your spec, talents, etc. there is no excuse to not be running what is considered to be the best spec, talents, etc. since you can change it freely at no cost. Whereas, when things are further outside your control (he gives the example of legion legendaries), it becomes more unreasonable to decline people based on it.
I think this is demonstrably true on live. The most common advice given to, say, arcane mages trying to push M+ keys and can't get accepted to groups is, 'just play fire lol'. And you as a mage player have no excuse not to, because you can take that advice instantly with a push of a button. You have all the choices available to you, but not really, since because all these choices are available to you, it's expected that you make the 'best' one.
For this reason, I think people are way too hyped about the idea of just having covenant abilities being a new talent row. Because for your type of content, there will be a best choice, you will go sim it to find it (for example), you will pick it, and that will be the end of it, and you will have no excuse to not pick it, because you can open your talents page and click it whenever you want free of cost.
What makes things much more interesting, in my opinion, is actually being limited. Say I'm a havoc DH and I pick Night Fae. I get access to another 3 min single target cd and additional mobility. You know what I don't have? An extra 1 min aoe cd and a cleanse, because I didn't pick Kyrian. But what promotes the most creativity is working within these limitations. What do I need to change in order to make theses limitation work? A havoc DH who's picked Night Fae will undoutably have the highest uptime compared to other havoc DHs, so what changes do I need to make in my playstyle to take advantage of this benefit and cover for my weaknesses?
And no one in party finder can tell me 'just play kyrian lol' because it's not something I can just freely change whenever I want. I suppose they could, in the same way somewhat could decline you for being a paladin instead of a warrior. But that's what makes playing a class interesting: you have a set of capabilities, different than the set of capabilities others have, and you need to creatively manage the inherent limitations of your toolkit to overcome obstacles. Warriors have execute, DKs don't. Is it punitive that choosing to make a DK rules out having an execute ability? Of course not, because DKs have other tools to excel in other ways where the warrior might be limited.
In conclusion, I think it might be possible that covenants allow you to decide what you want your character to excel in and further builds in strengths and weaknesses to your class that encourages creative gameplay, similar to talents, but by having it be a semi permanent choice, it gives you a certain amount of freedom to pick based on your personal want or desire, since no one can tell you, 'you're running the wrong talent, go back to boralus and change it'.
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