So it goes that we've had another beta patch -- and it's been a highly exciting one, to say the least. Not all that long ago, Blizzard announced that they would taking the current 51-point talent trees and trimming them down to 31-point talent trees, much as what players had when WoW
was first released. Further, players will no longer gain a talent point every single level; instead, it will be approximately every other level, and a level 85 character will end up having a total of 41 talent points to spend. The purpose of these changes is to make all of the talents more meaningful to players, in an effort to get rid of those talents deemed boring or flat. It's quite a lofty goal, but Blizzard seems to be pulling it off nicely thus far. Further, once players hit level 10, they will choose a tree to specialize in, granting them new abilities and bonuses which assist in their chosen role.
Restoration druids, specifically, are getting some pretty major changes already in Cataclysm
, causing this change to push things even further. The big change, of course, is the highly controversial Tree of Life change, wherein the form will now act as cooldown ability instead of a standard shapeshift -- yes, it had to be mentioned at least once. All that aside, the more interesting aspect is how Blizzard is going to handle restoration druid leveling. Although it's often brushed aside as a trivial issue, having a healing spec that is able to quest and function on its own is fairly important; with a majority of a class' damage potential being shifted to the new specialization model, it's going to be interesting to see how Blizzard balances and differentiates between the damage capabilities of a DPSer and a healer.
Regardless of design philosophy, Blizzard did push a new beta patch this week that introduced the new 31-point talent tree as well as the specializations for each class. Before we go about taking a look into these changes, let me start by warning you not to get upset over anything that you might see. Blizzard listed in the patch notes that the druid class as a whole isn't very far along in the development for the new talent trees, and multiple things are still likely to change once another pass is made.
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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm