Before I start, if you want a shorter version, skip forward to the point where it says !!!GET ON WITH IT!!!
So I've started thinking about ascendancies lately because I've felt that, while each ascendancy offers a large amount of power to its respective class, the amount of effective builds/options is rather low.
One of the primary reasons why variability in ascendancy pathing has pretty much disappeared is because we can take 4 out of 6 nodes. Originally we could only take 3, at which point a 2-path node such as Endless Munitions was something you could only see once per ascendancy.
Once 4 nodes were allowed and multiple 2-path nodes could be acquired, both the amount of variability disappeared and certain nodes became king. For example, Avatar of the Veil is something you will barely ever see Raider without. This is because there is little reason not to pick it when you can still get a large speed or attack speed buff from the other two "Avatar" nodes. There's little reason to double down on speed and completely ignore defenses, but if there was only an option for a single 2-path, this may not be the case.
I'm going to take a second here to talk about permutations of current ascendancy trees.
The three most common models for ascendancies are the tri-2-path, the dual-2-path, and the "Peacock."
I'm only going to talk in detail about the Peacock as it is the most variable of all ascendancy types. The Peacock involves a singular 2-path and then 4 different 1-paths. Examples of a Peacock ascendancy include Trickster and Necromancer. <
Take a look.
So, what does this achieve? First off, there are more options. Second, the fact that only one red node can be invested into allows for them to make or break certain builds, but not necessarily obsolete other options. Lastly, because blue and green nodes have effects that can help a large amount of builds, it's possible that all 15 permutations will be viable for at least a few build types. This is the really important thing, as many ascendancies have a lot of build paths that simply don't work.
In the coming weeks, as I wait for 3.1, I'm going to be looking at ascendancy classes and remaking them with this structure. Then, I will post ideas here and ask for feedback and what not. While it's highly likely that none of these suggestions will ever make it into the game, I hope they will at least shed some light on the non-variable state of ascendancies in the current game and how variable they could be with either some slight additions or major overhauls.
Thank you for your time and for reading this and what not! Please post your thoughts and suggestions and things!