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.

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)

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)
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)

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.

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.

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. evan_s's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Alltho they are redoing the talent trees and nothing is finalised atm, things subject to be moved around...this would suck balls for ele and resto shaman not being able to access Ancestral knowledge and thundering strikes...utter balls!
    Thundering strikes doesn't even exist anymore in the current beta tree so you already couldn't get it.
  1. MusikDisaster's Avatar
    Aw, I liked all the options.
    I'm sure they'll work it out, I believe in you, Blizzard!
  1. Cyann's Avatar
    I like these changes. For awhile I thought something like this was going to have to happen if they were truely going to remove passive talents. Cuz the other alternative is them replacing every boring passive talent with an exciting new talent, which to blizzards defense, is incredibly hard. I believe they really try to put as many exciting passives and spells they can into the talent trees without homogenizing the classes. So, reducing the overall size of the trees makes sense to me.

    My only concern is, how many possible talent points you can spend in each tree, ie how specialized in each individual tree you can be. For example they said you would have 42 points to spend by 85...will there will 40 points of talents in each tree....50? I realize there is not a ton of specialization in each tree as is, but I hope this new, shorter talent tree won't make spending points a no-brainer since you can't put points into other trees, and hopefully does not allow for more cookie-cutter builds. Choosing talents within your tree should be hard, and makes things more fun, hopefully there is still some options you get in choosing talents, as opposed to just having enough points for everything.

    But I guess we shall have to wait and see for that.
  1. Arandmoor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elrenno View Post
    I don't see it that way. What I read is that each tree will be 31 points. You will have to put a full 31 points into a tree (until level 70) before you can put points into another tree. What this tells me is that every combat rogue will be exactly the same. No customization. No variety. I don't see how this is an improvement at all. Makes it kinda boring if you ask me.
    With as much as GC throws around the terms "choice", "meaningful", and "decision", how the hell did you come to that conclusion unless you're just trying to fear-monger? Or is this just your first time reading anything about cataclysm?

    I mean, if you completely lacked perspective I could understand. Otherwise, you're just being kinda stupid...
  1. Nipo's Avatar
    Read the full thing and you will understand. I think it will work and we can't start saying it's crap if you haven't even see it. Some people are so afraid of changes that as soon as they say something in game will be different they start complaining.
  1. evan_s's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elrenno View Post
    I don't see it that way. What I read is that each tree will be 31 points. You will have to put a full 31 points into a tree (until level 70) before you can put points into another tree. What this tells me is that every combat rogue will be exactly the same. No customization. No variety. I don't see how this is an improvement at all. Makes it kinda boring if you ask me.
    Reread it they said 31-point talents not 31 talent points. Just look at the current trees. We've got 51-point talents currently but there are a lot more than 51 points available in each tree. I can guarantee that they aren't making trees that you have to pick one which then automatically fills up because you get as many points as there are talents in the trees.
  1. Nzo's Avatar
    This kind of change is what i wanted to see in cata, hell yes about time! good on ya blizzard
  1. Maklor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asur View Post
    This is the stupidest thing, talk about lazy, "We can't balance things so we are making talent trees smaller."
    A pretty ignorant statement.

    Please re-read, they said they would remove many of the passive bonuses so they will be removing all those +5% damage ones that really doesn't do anything special - all the game-play influencing talents will still be there.
  1. Daltain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asur View Post
    This is the stupidest thing, talk about lazy, "We can't balance things so we are making talent trees smaller."
    Translation: "I can't read. Whaaaaaahhhh"
  1. cannibalghoul's Avatar
    ill wait to test it out before i come to conclusions, but it looks very interesting
  1. fangless's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by evan_s View Post
    Reread it they said 31 point talents not 31 talent points. Just look at the current trees. We've got 51 point talents currently but there are a lot more than 51 points available in each tree. I can guarantee that they aren't making trees that you have to pick one which then automatically fills up because you get as many points as there are talents in the trees.
    What this guy said.

    Reading comprehension ftw.

    Think of it this way, original WoW had 31 point talents in each tree.
  1. Nymeria's Avatar
    I'm not sure if this is a great idea. Gotta see that on a live server first.
    But when will they release cataclysm? 2012? Seems there's still much work to be done.
  1. RoneZone's Avatar
    wow, with them changing everything, i hope that the game doesn't suck.
  1. Semiraghe's Avatar
    Some important information people seem to be missing is that the trees are going to be 31 points deep, not 31 points. Blizzard even said the following.

    "and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees"

    Those trees were 31 points deep if I remember correctly, but you still had other places to put your 31 points. Thus the important thing to rmember here is that to get the last talent in the tree you will have to put 30 points in, just like you have to put the 50 points in now. They might be saying that you have to take the last talent to get the other trees but I'm reading it as your tree will just be 31 deep.

    Now I could be wrong and I think blizzard made a mistake in not releasing some trees to go with this annoucment. They could have answered a lot of questions right there. I think this has the potential to be really good from a couple of perspectives.

    1. It makes talents you choose more fun. More fun is more better. It could turn out this fails and just is a cookie cutter creater, but I'm hoping not.

    2. I think it helps the casuals, which helps you. This one requires a bit more explanation, but it boils down to the fact that you have someone play a certain way for 40 to 60 levels and then it suddenly changes with one new skill. Giving you those early skills early on lets you learn how to play the way you are going to play at end game. Thus the casuals who don't read forums like this are going to understand their class role better due to less drastic changes by getting those changes early. If they understand their role better they are going to play better, which makes your raids and bgs better.

    Edit: I feel like they should change the lock in. Perhaps allow you to put 1 point in the other trees for every 2 points you spend in your spec tree. This keeps you from being ret build with a prot spec for the bonus like they are trying with the lock in, but allows you to pick up useful talents earlier if you want.
  1. Axelhander's Avatar
    Awesome changes. If I wasn't banned on the official forums I'd be praising this there.
  1. Malthanis's Avatar
    After going through the first four pages and seeing the same relative back-and-forth, I'll drop my two copper in the pot.

    A complete and total overhaul of the talent system isn't particularly surprising. They're overhauling the basic mechanics of the game, why not overhaul one of the defining features of the game as well? For those of you crying about the loss of your 'specs' that don't utilize a full tree; you're complaining based on knowledge of the current talent system. You have no idea how the new talents will be set up or the abilities you'll get just by being X/Y/Z spec of a class.

    As for the RealID forum bit... meh? There's no way it'll hit production. At least not where everyone in the world could see your name. It'll probably be more of a port from the current set-up in-game, and they'll limit it to your RealID friends that can see your real name, and everyone else would see a nickname of your choosing.
  1. h3lladvocate's Avatar
    I'm not looking forward to these changes for a couple of reason. First of all, I believe this allows for less customization rather than more. Only have 31 talent points allowed for a tree, unless each talent is a 1 or 2 point max talent, there is going to be a clear cut winner, and you wont have the talents to spare to pick up something "fun".

    Another problem I feel this has is, for example, I love the current Disc tree. It has a lot of fun and interesting talents. A few mandatory ones, but still, Borrowed Time, Archangel, PI, and so many other talents are really cool. I just don't see it being possible to take that tree, make it into a 31 point tree. And add some more "filler fun" talents and still get the same affect plus some fun, non-dps/heal/tank talents to choose from and NOT lose anything valuable in the tree.

    Lastly, this is just bad PR on blizzards fault. All the feedback, including mine is made of assumptions. And since change almost always adheres to bad assumptions, everyone gets mad at blizzard. They should of at least released 2-3 example talent trees so we know what they are talking about and we can compare and see if this would actually work well. Right now, most of us, including me, are assuming there will still be lots of 5/5 talents and with only 31 points per tree, 40ish points total at 85, there will be little to no customization, and I don't like that. In fact, the talent system is one of the best features of WoW over other MMO's. Not many others have such a high level of customization where there are 3 different tree's per class and dozens of way to play each tree, although not all ways are widely accepted. I think we'll just have to wait and hope blizzard knows that the hell they are doing... This could make or break cataclysm in my opinion.
  1. elrenno's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fcdwn777 View Post
    It seems that a lot of people that disagree with this change did not read the whole post and/or put words into Blizz's mouth. I think this is an amazing change. Leveling a new character has never been very exciting skill wise. I mean, once you hit level 10, a lot of classes only had choices to start putting talents into the "Increases the damge you do with x by x%". BORING. When you level a toon talent points are only exciting if you are putting them into a fun talent, which many of them are not atm. Our talent trees are bloated and need to be trimmed down. I heard someone say something to the effect of "I used to look forward to spending talents points each time I level and now I will get nothing!" Well, this is not true at all. They said they are going to alternate getting new skills and talent points. And if we are honest, most of the time new abilities are more interesting then a talent point to increase your damage by 1%.

    But you are still going to be getting talent points every other level that will be more meaningful then they ever were. As far as Blizz forcing you to go down one tree till 70, it seems this is mainly done for new players. Sure there is more freedom at the moment to spec however you want, but imagine how this can be for new players. SO many options with no real guidance as what to do. Correctly spent talents can be the difference between a great leveling experience and a bad one. I welcome this change also and cant wait to actually have fun and meaningful abilities at level 10. I mean, shadow step and lava lash at leve 10? How awesome is that? And it totally makes leveling a character much more engaging and playable. Kudos to Blizz on making this much needed change. People need to realize that more does not equal better.

    On another note, I saw someone say that now you just have to sit back and watch the talent trees fill themselves out? WTF? Did you even read the post? It said nothing of the kind in there, you will still have to choose all your talents. You will just be restricted to one tree until level 70. And people are actually claiming that trimming the fat from our bloated talent trees and making points more meaningful and exciting is catering to casuals? If making my low level toons more fun to play by giving them things like shield slam and mutilate is catering to casuals, bring on the casuals then.
    The problem I've read here is that each tree will be 31 points. You will have to put a full 31 points into one tree before you can put points into another tree. So that means that every combat rogue will be exactly the same, talent-wise. No picking and choosing. I feel like this pigeon holes everyone into a specific type of game play.

    I'd rather see something that says you have 10 talents to pick from, choose 6. Or something like that. Then, as a fury warrior, I could have talents that make me somewhat unique.

    I'm just not crazy about this setup they've proposed.
  1. Nomm's Avatar
    i approve.
  1. ComputerNerd's Avatar
    Interesting concept, and a very brave and bold move to throw out what they have been expanding upon for the last 6 years.
    This is not lazy as some seem to think. Lazy was adding more and more onto the existing trees bloating them more and more every time.
    Certainly the lack of a point per level will be missed with it being seen as something to aim for, but levelling should be about more than just getting the next point.
    Locking into a tree has potential, particularly when you get that bonus as a result of it, just it will lock you out from other useful talents as someone brought up the subject of Omen of Clarity.
    Taking longer to reach your signature, and often pretty damn useful end-talent is not likely to be a popular move, and I hope there is enough in the tree to provide sufficient utility for your role to make up for that.
    As to how well it will work out, we have to see, but most of you should stop flaming an idea which you do not like, before we have even seen it, and providing no arguement whatsoever other than your opinion.

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