MMO-Champion - Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update
Update - I moved the "To Recap" part at the top of the post for those of you who hate walls of text. I also added a couple of blue posts about these changes

Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25626290449/cataclysm-class-amp-mastery-systems-update/]When we first announced our design goals for class talent trees back at BlizzCon 2009, one of our major stated focuses was to remove some of the boring and "mandatory" passive talents. We mentioned that we wanted talent choices to feel more flavorful and fun, yet more meaningful at the same time. Recently, we had our fansites release information on work-in-progress talent tree previews for druids, priests, shaman, and rogues. From those previews and via alpha test feedback, a primary response we heard was that these trees didn’t incorporate the original design goals discussed at BlizzCon. This response echoes something we have been feeling internally for some time, namely that the talent tree system has not aged well since we first increased the level cap beyond level 60. In an upcoming beta build, we will unveil bold overhauls of all 30 talent trees.

To Recap
When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they've chosen. As they gain levels, they'll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They'll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31'st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they'll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they'll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they've specialized in.

We understand that these are significant changes and we still have details to solidify. We feel, however, that these changes better fulfill our original class design goals for Cataclysm, and we're confident that they will make for a better gameplay experience. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

Talent Tree Vision

One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of “concentrated coolness.” We’d rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don’t think that’s possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents. With this reduction in tree size we need to make sure they're being purchased along a similar leveling curve, and therefore will also be reducing the number of total talent points and the speed at which they're awarded during the leveling process.

As a result, we can keep the unique talents in each tree, particularly those which provide new spells, abilities or mechanics. We’ll still have room for extra flavorful talents and room for player customization, but we can trim a great deal of fat from each tree. The idea isn’t to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won’t change and you won’t lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.

We are also taking a hard look at many of the mandatory PvP talents, such as spell pushback or mechanic duration reductions. While there will always be PvP vs. PvE builds, we’d like for the difference to be less extreme, so that players don’t feel like they necessarily need to spend their second talent specialization on a PvP build.

The Rise of Specialization

We want to focus the talent trees towards your chosen style of gameplay right away. That first point you spend in a tree should be very meaningful. If you choose Enhancement, we want you to feel like an Enhancement shaman right away, not thirty talent points later. When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. The passive bonuses range from flat percentage increases, like a 20% increase to Fire damage for Fire mages or spell range increases for casters, to more interesting passives such as the passive rage regeneration of the former Anger Management talent for Arms warriors, Dual-Wield Specialization for Fury warriors and Combat rogues, or the ability to dual-wield itself for Enhancement shaman.

The initial talent tree selection unlocks active abilities that are core to the chosen role. Our goal is to choose abilities that let the specializations come into their own much earlier than was possible when a specialization-defining talent had to be buried deep enough that other talent trees couldn’t access them. For example, having Lava Lash and Dual-Wield right away lets an Enhancement shaman feel like an Enhancement shaman. Other role-defining examples of abilities players can now get for free at level 10 include Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.

Getting Down to the Grit

Talent trees will have around 20 unique talents instead of today's (roughly) 30 talents, and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees. The 31-point talents will generally be the same as the 51-point talents we already had planned for Cataclysm. A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don't want to remove anything that’s going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice.

While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85). Our goal is to alternate between gaining a new class spell or ability and gaining a talent point with each level. As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. While leveling, this will be possible at 70. Picking a talent specialization should feel important. To that end, we want to make sure new players understand the significance of reaching the bottom of their specialization tree before gaining the option of spending points in the other trees. We intend to make sure dual-specialization and re-talenting function exactly as they do today so players do not feel locked into their specialization choice.

A True Mastery

The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items.
[/blizzquote]


Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
"Old" masteries
I would not focus too much on the old masteries, except for the third one that scales with gear. That one is still around.

Vengeance for tanks is still around and dps get damage and healers get healing and that sort of thing but the system has changed quite a bit overall (and partially as a result of community feedback). (Source)

Next beta build will be interesting
We want to unveil the entire enchilada in the next beta build or so. Everyone here worked really hard to get the whole package to a relatively playable and polished state. In essence we're not announcing a future plan -- we're telling you how the game works today. It's all done.

It's hard to offer timelines for when we will do a new beta push, but we're talking days or a few weeks, not months. All of the passives will be visible then. (Source)

Talent Points gain rate
About one every other level, but there are some exceptions. We are trying to alternate new abilities and talent points where possible. You will have 41 talent points at 85. (Source)

Spec abilities scaling
Specialization-defining abilities that are unlocked (e.g. Mutilate, Penance, Water Elemental and Mortal Strike) will scale based on a character's level and reflect an appropriate amount of damage, healing, and mitigation, etc. With the proper balancing, having these abilities at level 10 won't trivialize the leveling experience, but instead enhance it by allowing players to incorporate unique spells and skills that highlight their specialization into their rotations at a much earlier level.

We'll be closely monitoring how these new talent changes affect gameplay in the beta and will make adjustments to the system if necessary to ensure that our original goals are met. (Source)

Dual Spec
Dual Spec won't change. If you choose Protection paladin at level 10, you can respec to Ret paladin at your class trainer. Once you unlock Dual Spec, you can have 2 Prot builds or a Prot and Ret build or whatever you'd like. It will work almost exactly the way it does now. (Source)

New Talent system is ZOMG AMAZING
It's ZOMG AMAZING. We wouldn't go through all the work it is taking if we weren't convinced it was 100% win.

On your first point, too many of the specs didn't really feel like their spec until they had spent a lot of talents in the tree. All mages pretty much played the same until level 30 to 40 or so. Even with the Cataclysm changes, a Holy, Prot and Ret paladin would pretty much be using Crusader Strike and Judgements until they had several more abilities unlocked.

On your second point, we know some players liked the option of spending some points in the first tree and then some in the second tree. Often this was just a trap for new players though because it delays your getting the 21, 31 and other "gold medal" talents that really define your tree. Experienced players might learn to get a 5/5/5 build or whatever and then respec once they could reach the 31, but we could also just make better trees that didn't ask you to do that. (Source)

How big are the new trees?
They have 38-42 or so points in them. You could spend all 41 points in one tree, though often you'll want a 5/5/31 or a 0/7/34 build instead. Every talent is 1, 2 or 3 talent points. Earlier levels have about 8 points on them (typically a 2, 2, 3) and deeper levels have about 5 points on them (typically a 1, 2, 3). (Source)

New Talent trees overview
They look superficially like vanilla talent trees, but they are far more interesting.

Almost without exception, the talents we cut were the ones everyone took or the ones nobody took. There will still be very attractive talents that probably everyone takes, but there are also definitely choices where you can only take A or B and want both. Typically you might see a useful (but not necessarily dps-enhancing) ability in your own tree, but also a really attractive one in another tree.

This is a good thing. It won't surprise me to see a knee jerk reaction from some players that we're removing their favorite talents and "dumbing down the trees." However, I'd challenge them that there can't be that many players out there that play Arcane because of Mind Mastery or Arms warrior because of Strength of Arms. Yet, if you skip either of those talents, you're just making your character less effective.

A Cataclysm goal is to remove lame or boring talents. Yet we don't want to replace all of those with procs or game-changers. Really the only solution is to have smaller trees where nearly every remaining talent is a big deal. (Source)

Hybrid builds and active talents
You typically won't get active abilities from a second tree. The most you can get in a second tree is 10 points, and usually the active abilities are deeper than this. We think it makes the distinction between say a Frost and Unholy DK more pronounced when all of their talented active abilities are different rather than being able to cherry pick the best from each tree. It does end up killing any chance for a build that goes halfway down two trees, but usually we would consider such builds failures because it meant the bottom of "your" tree wasn't good enough. These were most popular in PvP when players felt compelled to get "must have" PvP survival talents in multiple trees, and those are the kind of talents we want dead anyway.

With these changes though, the talent trees are going to be even more rebuilt than we were already planning with Cataclysm. Talents are moving all over the trees and every tree has new talents as well. We'll give you a chance to see the trees soon (tm). (Source)

Current talents are too complicated
The new model theoretically buys us several more expansions of not having to mess with the overarching talent tree design. In a broader sense though, one of the challenges of working on World of Warcraft is adding new content without making the game totally inaccessible to new players.

I have used this example several times, but we have one very senior designer at Blizzard who isn't working on WoW but obviously knows the game very well and has been very active in PvP and raiding at various points in time. He took a short break from the game (I suspect to play Modern Warfare 2) and when he came back, we had messed around with his class's talent trees and reset his talent points, so he felt like he couldn't jump back into the game again without spending 45 minutes researching what the community thought a good build would be. We're hoping with simpler (but still deep!) talent trees, players like him will feel more comfortable picking their own talents. He might eventually go poke around in theorycrafting forums to min / max his build, but he won't have the moment of being completely overwhelmed when looking at a blank talent tree. (Source)

In previous expansions, more choices were given to the players in terms of how they built their characters. Players were freely given the choice to spend points however they want.
[...] While that is true, they were also given ample opportunities to make mistakes, what we call "traps." A forum-savy player may know which are the dumb talents nobody takes or which are the mandatory ones that might at first glance seem too bland to take. But why have "choices" that are just there for new players or people who just want to swim against the stream just to be different? We'd rather have actual legitimate choices, which we feel like we can offer by having a stable of fewer good talents.

To use one of the infamous GC analogies, the best restaurants are not necessarily those with a lot of entrees on the menu. The best restaurants probably have very few choices, but you know that anything you order will be great. They don't bother cooking it if they know it will suck. That's a real choice as opposed to the diner with fish on the menu that everyone, ever the waitress, whispers under their breath that you should never, ever order. (Source)

Dungeon Finder and new talent system
We expect a lot of players to use Dungeon Finder while leveling up. The feature works great for that, and we're spending some effort to update the older dungeons to not be so overspawned and in some cases to even fit into the zone quest content better.

Likewise, we're making an effort to let tank and healing specs be more effective when soloing. DPS specs will still probably be more efficient leveling, but if you just love the Resto shaman tree, you should be able to quest and run some dungeons without even having a dual-spec. It won't be spectacular, but it will be a huge improvement from today.

Tanks and healers will get basic abilities before level 15 (when Dungeon Finder is available) to do their jobs, but it's also true that the lower level content is more forgiving of your talent spec. (Source)

Vengeance
You get it at level 10 for choosing a tanking tree. It already scaled with your health and incoming damage, so there isn't really a need for it to scale with talent points spent (especially since nearly 100% of tanks spend the most points in a tanking tree). (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
When do DK get to pick a specialization?
When they get their first talent point for completing a quest. (Source)

Deleted talents
Looking at Unholy, talents like Impurity, Desolation, Wandering Plague, Crypt Fever (but not Ebon Plaguebringer) and Rage of Rivendare (sad about the lore hit there) are gone. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Feral builds with the new system
Feral is a challenge. We still want to have a cat-centric, bear-centric or hybrid build. It has always been one of the more challenging trees to work on. (Source)

Omen of Clarity
Likewise, we're not sure what we'll do with Omen yet. The obvious choices are leave it Resto only, put it high enough for everyone to subspec or make it a trained ability. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Divine Storm @LVL10 for Retribution
Divine Storm is a big deal because Retribution paladins get it at level 10. You'll get a new bottom o' the tree talent. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Mind Flay and Shadowform @LVL1x for Shadow
We really wanted to do this, but the more we thought about it, what does a level 10 Shadowform do? Spam Shadow Word: Pain? We'll probably give Shadow priests Mind Flay at level 10 and let them get Shadowform shortly after that. (Source)

Holy signature ability
We think healers will expect to get an actual heal (or some kind of defensive ability) as their signature spell, but we also want something that's actually useful at level 10. Lightwell, Circle of Healing and even Spirit of Redemption are very signature Holy abilities, but none are very useful when soloing gnolls in Elwynn. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Preparation
It's a design flaw that rogues and locks are so dependent on Prep and Soul Link respectively. Those talents are currently holding the classes back. Now we can't balance around the assumption that you have those talents so your classes need to function without them. Maybe it means lowering base cooldowns.... (Source)

Shadowstep
Naturally, the 31-point Shadow Dance is totally inaccessible to Rogues speccing other trees. But what about Shadowstep? Is that a tree-specific, unpointed talent that is totally inaccessible to all other specs?
Inaccessible. Shadowstep is essentially no longer a talent. There is nowhere to buy it. You don't get any passive bonuses for picking your second tree. Essentially you choose at level 10 whether to be an Assassination, Combat or Subtlety rogue, and while you can change your mind later, that determines what special ability and what passives you get. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Dual Wield for Enhancement
So now my cagey comments about how Enhancement gets dual-wield right away and Elemental never gets it make more sense. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Soul Link
It's a design flaw that rogues and locks are so dependent on Prep and Soul Link respectively. Those talents are currently holding the classes back. Now we can't balance around the assumption that you have those talents so your classes need to function without them. Maybe it means lowering base cooldowns.... (Source)

Probably no early Felguard for Demonology
It probably won't be Felguard. It's a little odd to spring that on a warlock that doesn't even have a Voidwalker yet. (Source)

Cool talents aren't going away
Warlocks are hard.

With a mage, you can keep Frost from throwing a lot of Fireballs just by making Frost do Frost damage. The warlocks don't have schools like that, and they have some shared spells, so it's tricky to get them to use the spells we want them to use sometimes. None of the cool talents, the ones that change up what you're doing, such as Molten Core or Backdraft, are going away. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Mortal Strike
It depends. Improved Mortal Strike for example is gone and that's just the way Mortal Strike hits now (we added the damage and cooldown into MS). (Source)

Shield Slam @LVL10 for Protection
Protection warriors get Shield Slam (and Arms and Fury lose it). Devastate is still an attractive talent deep in the tree, but it doesn't say "Prot warrior" the way Shield Slam does. (Source)

Toughness stays, Vitality is a passive bonus
Protection has one passive talent, which is Toughness. They get Vitality as a passive for choosing Protection at level 10. The other talents are a mix of threat and defensive abilities, but none are as passive as Deflection. There are (hopefully) attractive talents in the first two tiers of Arms and Fury. The other tank trees will be similar but not identical (Feral as always will be the least similar). (Source)

Specialization Bonus - Anger Management and 2H Weapon Spec for Arms
The Arms one for the moment is Two-Handed Weapon Spec (+10% damage with two-Handed weapons) and Anger Management (free rage). (Source)

Arms - Mastery bonus in Cataclysm
Mastery still exists, but the design is a little cleaner.

Before:
Arms got some passive damage per talent point.
Arms got some passive armor pen per talent point.
Arms got a chance to proc a swing per talent point, which is enhanced by mastery rating on gear.

Now:
Arms gets whatever it needs as passives at level 10.
Arms gets a chance to proc a swing at level 78(ish), which is enhanced by mastery rating on gear.

Mastery now means "proc a swing" for Arms and that's all it means, which is easier to understand. (Source)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 699 Comments
  1. Octave's Avatar
    When you're leveling, I'm not sure doing 1 tree all the way down is the best way to go. They want to nix "filler" talents, but some of them were pretty dang nice. There are a few MM hunter talents that I can think of that would be pretty sad to see go.

    Does this mean the talent trees released here are now incorrect?
  1. Graedahl's Avatar
    So basically. "Welcome to WoW SWTOR edition."

    While I agree that the basic structure is better, it is a blatant rip from their upcoming competition.

    Seems likely we will see 36-41 spendable talents per tree. This would allow the 41/0/0, 36/0/5, and 31/10/0 setups.

    What I really like about this is that by setting an all-in policy on the trees Blizzard is forcing their own hand to make 3 competitive end game trees. Sub rogues rejoice.
  1. nevermore's Avatar
    I think this revamp sounds really exciting and makes sense.
    WTB Cataclysm already!
  1. Second's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tehmark View Post
    This whole talent tree business would really piss me off if I was playing still. It is disappointing however.
    No its not. This was very striking at fury warriors for example. Having "Titan grip" as lvl60 talent wasnt steady curve, you just pushed some buttons (even soon-to-be fail one like "Heroic strike" at low lvl) and at lvl60 you were finally fury warrior. I like the way they changed it into you select your role very early. I dont like the locking in one tree action, but its really needed as you would otherwise jump a lot to grab all cool talents in other trees. I would use something more like spending points in other trees now costs double/triple the points needed if you are not focusing that tree and you cant get specials from that tree, but that would obviously be harsh and no so well understandable again. Also the 31 vs 51 point talent spent dispute isnt remarkable, its just number tweaking - i like the talents 0/1(0/2,0/3?) more then 0/5 with new 1 talent point per 2 levels.

    PS: Yeah, it kinda feels like diversion to distract us from Real ID change AND facebook connection. This will kill a lot of interest in Cataclysm and those cool changes.
  1. Lolzzor's Avatar
    I think the size of the talent trees are not of bigger importance its the lockout and core abilitys thats the big change, to play enhancement as a low lvl sucks but with dualwield directly its awsome (i hope).

    The lockout im not sure why its implented but it will probably make sense, otherwise they could just do so u got the core in the tree u have spent most talents in.
    Seems awsome to me anyway
  1. Drefanator's Avatar
    How many builds in the leveling process before 60/70 extends out of one tree? Spriests go into Disc to pick up Meditation, Prot/Arms go into fury for Armed to the Teeth, I'm sure there are others but this isn't really a big deal that way. With how mana regen is for leveling, caster classes shouldn't have to worry about having to spend 14 points in another tree just to make leveling faster (I'm looking at you Spriest/Disco).

    It's an interesting choice, that yet again can cause quite a bit of controversy. Dunno if it was exactly a great idea to do it after the bombshell from yesterday, but here it is anyways.

    And it's not going to change anything for people who aren't planning on rolling alts. They will still have the same amount of spells + more while getting rid of the "Your Ferocious bite does 5% more damage on things born under the moon of Saturn and only on days that end in "R"" Silly and complicated things like that (Have you seen how convoluted and difficult to read Frost Mages "Fingers of Frost" talent is. It's bad.
  1. Nessis's Avatar
    This truly shows that SWTOR has finally officially impacted WOW. Getting the cool talents at low levels? SWTOR announced that a loooong time ago. Now just gotta wait till next year.
  1. Ylera's Avatar
    Sounds like a good change really.
  1. kaloryth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by squeeze View Post
    That said, I have a feeling this will make balancing classes PvP under the level cap much harder, if not "impossible". The useful thing about passives is that they are easily tweakable and when they are sprayed liberally throughout a talent tree with one talent per level, balancing classes at each level or bracket is just a case of tweaking numbers. Now with this system and any remaining passives lumped per talent which is only available every other level, there could be big discontinuities/jumps both per level and between PvP level brackets.

    But whatever, I guess most people levelling, certainly up to level 75+ (Wintergrasp requirement) are not too concerned with PvP and those that are probably have many alts if not BoA twinked alts.
    Just because Blizzard is removing ranks doesn't mean they're removing scaling. If they feel say an arms warrior is too powerful at level 29, they can easily reduce the scaling on mortal strike or overpower or slam for that particular level range.

    But like another poster said, who cares about twinks?
  1. Bottosai's Avatar
    lets break it down

    1. picking specialization

    brilliant, each class will feel like what the player has choosen, this will allow players is feellike thier choices matter alot sooner. as well as open up skills to be played with earlyer on to actually learn how to use them.

    2. smaller talent trees.

    this is a 50-50 decision, it all depends on what talents are becomming innate and which ones will have to be spent to be gotten. it would be nice to see the tree's simular to that of D2 where they are linked further and it only takes 1 talent to move down the tree, granting you the ability to spend more points in the latter braccets(prob wont happen but would still be nice)

    3. 31 point talent lock outs

    bad idea, there are some specs/players who use vary odd combination of points on purpose. true hybrid classes like pallys and shamans wont have as much fun making wierd new combinations. by this i mean take for instance a dual wielding ele shaman, and although they may make enchants unique to prevent this anyways, it still would be interesting to see a specialization in one tree then spend points in another(as long as it works)
  1. Buckwald's Avatar
    I would like to see what talents they take out, specifically. I'm assuming talents like the DK "Morbidity" and "Necrosis" will be taken out. But leaving in talents like "Master of Ghouls" and "Summon Gargoyle".
  1. Halicia's Avatar
    i agree with the reasoning behind the change, but i also feel that its 110% smokescreen.

    blizz originally stated that they wanted to remove the 'mandatory +hit/crit talents' and replace them with 'fun' options.
    for several months now we've watched as they took OUT talents, but havent seen much of anything ADDED.

    and now they're simply reducing the talent points to compensate for their inability to add 'fun' stuff in a timely manner.

    sounds like blizzard's mantra of releasing "when its ready" is in full swing now, and anything not looking ready for their internal release dates is hitting the chopping block.
  1. Vasz's Avatar
    OK, so let me get this straight .... We will have 41 talent points and there are 31 in any one tree? So it will be 31/10/0?

    If yes, wont everyone have the exact same talents?
  1. Denstrict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tokn View Post
    I don't understand the need to lockout the other trees, why force us down a single tree until 31pts. I just don't see a need to do that, seems stupid.
    Because all the uber talent abilities will be made available very early in the trees where every point will count towards progress in a given role. Now players will suck because they suck at playing rather then getting confused on their build.

    I'm curious how things will change once those trees do become available. I think this change will actually create MORE exciting options rather then less as a player picks abilities/talents that considerably affect their toon. I can't say how lame it is to level only to put a point in +1% crit. Now it will be level -> Clearcasting, or level -> Earthshield. Way cooler!
  1. kiseki's Avatar
    I'm in beta and have been watching the talent trees very closely. Trust me, this change is for the better.
  1. Mem's Avatar
    I read the first 8 pages of this thread before I decided to say something.

    First off, if you're complaining about the RealID issue, stop trolling...that thread is this way >>>

    Now, for those of you who didn't READ, you get 1 talent point at level 10 and then +1 every other level after that...so every even level you will get +1 talent point to distribute in the tree you decide (until you have spent at least 31 points in your first chosen tree). This will be your main specialization (i.e., enhancement, fury, shadow, assassination). At every odd level, you will get a new class, spec-specific spell or ability to help you perform your chosen role (dps, heal, tank) at a much earlier level.

    This means tanks and healers at level 10 instead of 40, 50, or 70.

    You will have a maximum of 41 talent points at level 85 to distribute and at least 31 of those 41 talent points must be in one tree alone.

    41/0/0

    31/5/5
    32/4/5
    33/3/5
    34/2/5
    35/1/5
    36/0/5

    5/31/5
    4/32/5
    3/33/5
    2/34/5
    1/35/5
    0/36/5

    5/5/31
    5/4/32
    5/3/33
    5/2/34
    5/1/35
    5/0/36

    This means that you can spend anywhere between 31-41 talent points in your main specialization, and if you don't spend the full 41 points, you'll have up to 10 points to distribute between your other trees.

    Each tree will grant you enough passive bonuses to help you fulfill your role (dps, heal, tank) by providing you with more +%dmg/crit/haste, +%armor/def/threat, or +%sp/heal/spirit as you level.

    In the end, the goal is to make you feel like you are actually leveling as your desired class specialization. Allocating which level to grant class-specific buffs will be a challenge as far as balance and PVP goes, but for PVE, these changes are extraordinary.
  1. tusker's Avatar
    having a 31 point talent =/= 31 talent points per tree
  1. Cathaenia's Avatar
    In regards to the new talent tree changes:

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    It's ZOMG AMAZING. We wouldn't go through all the work it is taking if we weren't convinced it was 100% win.

    On your first point, too many of the specs didn't really feel like their spec until they had spent a lot of talents in the tree. All mages pretty much played the same until level 30 to 40 or so. Even with the Cataclysm changes, a Holy, Prot and Ret paladin would pretty much be using Crusader Strike and Judgements until they had several more abilities unlocked.

    On your second point, we know some players liked the option of spending some points in the first tree and then some in the second tree. Often this was just a trap for new players though because it delays your getting the 21, 31 and other "gold medal" talents that really define your tree. Experienced players might learn to get a 5/5/5 build or whatever and then respec once they could reach the 31, but we could also just make better trees that didn't ask you to do that.
    So, according to the good ol' crab, these changes are 100% win.
  1. ScorchHellfire's Avatar
    holy shit sauce...

    So wait... will there still be healers and tanks at low levels? or will everyone just spec dps til cap...
  1. Volitans's Avatar
    Looks like this could be a great change!

    It was kinda dumb for them to try and make all 3 trees per class viable in PVE and PVP, while only allowing 2 specs.

    For instance, i raid with my guild as a third tank for some fights, and go fury for the others. If i want to pvp, i either use my tanking spec, or have to respec to arms, then spec back for raiding.

    The condensing of the trees hopefully will remove crap from our trees. Forcing someone to pick up useless talents just to get to their spec's important stuff was just lazy.

    I like the idea of locking your spec; they are even giving you the main spec ability for making that choice. This will allow you to "master" one type of specialization before branching out. In martial arts training, its best to master one art such as Tae Kwon Do before you try to learn another (like Kung Fu.)

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