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Posts with tag talent-points

Mists' talent system revamp: Hit or miss?

Now that it's been a while a look at Mists' talent system
We've had the new talent system now for eight months, and it's had time to settle in, so it seems that it's an appropriate time to see whether it has been a success in its objectives, to assess the pros and cons of the new system.

In case you forgot, Wrath of the Lich King featured 71 talent points, which were distributed over three trees, resulting in some entertaining builds, and no requirement to place the last talent in the tree. The Burning Crusade was similar, but with 10 fewer points, and slightly smaller trees as a result. By the time Cataclysm rolled around, adding an additional five levels, there was concern about this system being bloated, daunting, and unnecessarily complex. So, with Cataclysm came a simplification: 31-point talent trees. At the time, Zarhym explained the change as follows:

Zarhym
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.

Cata also added a requirement that you get to the end talent of your main tree before moving onto the next, effectively removing the hybrid builds that had occasionally surfaced. But that change clearly wasn't enough, as most readers of WoW Insider will recall, there was a further revamp at the start of Mists, moving to the current system. It was a far more drastic change, too, with the disappearance of the talent trees we'd grown used to seeing. But was it a change for the better?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Daily Quest: Talented

Here at WoW.com, we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Cataclysm beta client now has the 31-point talent trees implemented, and though they are incomplete in some cases, they feel far better than the earlier, bloated versions that were available. Along with the new changes come a lot of thoughts around the blogosphere regarding talents and what they're shaping up to be:

Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Totem Talk: Prelude to restoration's new talents

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

Back at the beginning of April, we were treated to the Cataclysm preview for all of the classes. Many people were excited, some were disappointed, but everyone had news to digest. This past week has seen the Cataclysm friends and family alpha start and since then, we have seen a plethora of leaks: everything from images of the changes to old zones and new instances up to some data-mined information about female worgen. Needless to say, it has been a pretty busy week.

This last week has also seen a lot of discussion about the leaked talent trees as they are in the alpha now. I thought now would be a good time to take a break from boss talks to talk about what we know so far about the shaman talent trees and maybe find out your opinions on them as well.

The information in the link above is leaked and is in no way official. If you are waiting for an official release or don't want to see any potential spoilers, don't click the link. Otherwise let us take a look at some of the potential changes.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Queue: Elephants


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.


Re: the title -- unlike them, I do forget. To write The Queue.


Wil asked...

"Is Blizzard considering making emblems bind-to-account? For someone who's got multiple alts (and intends to level more), this would be a godsend. What would be the pros and cons of such a change?"

Blizzard has said that they intend for emblems to be an endgame, character-specific reward. Heirlooms, purchasable with said emblems, are a secondary reward to help your alts get to the point of being able to get their own badges.

Will this change for Cataclysm, though? Do we ever really know the answer to that?


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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 2


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. This week he's trying to help those of you crazy enough to tank Gnomergon when it's still a level appropriate instance.

We're doing a much longer than expected series of articles on the low level dungeon runners now that the new cross-realm Dungeon Finder is up and running. This is part two of our series on the low level tank. Last week we talked about the basics of threat, avoidance, mitigation, and what stats to be on the lookout for when choosing gear.

We did promise to get into talents and skills this week, but that would have ended up being three pages long. So we're going to leave skills until next week and just concentrate on talents this time around. If you're extremely new, take a look at this nice article explaining talents for new players. If you've got that down, let's start move on to more paladin specific info.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

WoW Insider exclusive: PopCap releases Peggle for WoW


Yes, when PopCap released their Bejeweled addon a while back, the first question on everyone's minds was: when are we getting Peggle? And here you go: as of this morning, you can download the brand new Peggle for WoW addon from PopCap's site.

WoW Insider got a chance to play with the addon from its early beta on, and it's extremely impressive -- not only will you find the usual addictive peg-hitting gameplay that we've come to know from Peggle, but PopCap and creator Michael Fromwiller (whom we interviewed about Bejeweled, and who we're told is actually being hired on full-time at PopCap as soon as he finishes school this spring) have really added a new level to the game by tying it right into World of Warcraft. The game rewards you with "Talent points" that can change the gameplay itself, and you can challenge other players within World of Warcraft to duels and score battles. There's even a "Peggle loot" setting, which, when used as Master Looter, will let your guildies and friends with the addon actually take Peggle shots against each other to determine who gets loot drops.

It's really wild. Read on for our early impressions of the addon, check out the gallery below for exactly what it looks like, and then go head on over to PopCap's site to download it for free yourself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Screenshots

Scattered Shots: Pet talents for leveling

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be looking at talent builds for your pets as you level.

At level 10, every Hunter completes a series of quests that will teach them to tame the beasts they encounter in the wilds to serve as their constant friend and comrade. Whether your chosen companion is of the Cunning, Ferocity or Tenacity persuasion, your pet will grow in strength as you both progress through levels, and at level 20 your pet begins to learn their first talents (and receives an additional talent point every 4 levels from then on) to improve their skills and their ability to lend a hand during your joint adventures. There are many options available to you in the choice of your pet's talents as you level, and today I'd like to present you with a few options to help you along.

The talents your pet will have available to it are determined by the family of pet you've chosen to tame. Cunning pets are considered more "balanced" than their Ferocity or Tenacity counterparts and can be great for leveling when your pet's ability to simultaneously tank mobs and deal damage is an important consideration.

There are a wide variety of Cunning pets available in the game even at low levels, so finding one that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing shouldn't be too difficult. From levels 1 to 20 you'll find a variety of Bats, Birds of Prey, Dragonhawks, Ravagers, Serpents, Spiders and Wind Serpents to choose from if a Cunning pet is what you're after.

Tenacity pets are also an excellent choice for leveling as their ability to take damage is significantly better than other types of pets, and many Tenacity pets have unique abilities that make dealing with multiple mobs simultaneously extremely easy which in turn speeds up the leveling process. Like their Cunning peers, there are a multitude of Tenacity pets available at low levels, such as Bears, Boars, Crabs, Crocolisks, Scorpids and Turtles.

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Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

AbleGamer talks to Blizz about 3.1 accessibility

AbleGamers has a conversation with Jeff Kaplan about the upcoming accessibility changes to the game in patch 3.1. We saw in the patch notes already that there would be a new colorblind mode added to the game, but Kaplan goes into more detail here -- Blizzard is making sure that even when the interface depends on color to get information across (as in, how difficult your quests are or whether you'll get a skill point from making a crafting recipe or not), there will be other text and symbols in there that relay that information without color.

Unfortunately, while the changes that are going in the game will be helpful. AbleGamers points out that the game isn't perfect for those with colorblindness yet -- mob levels are often shown to the player in a certain color, and there's no option yet for players to see that information in any other format. Additionally, Rogue combo points are shown by filing those little circles in with colors, and colorblind players who aren't able to see that color will have difficulty with that mechanic as well.

The good news is that, while Blizzard does want to make sure their core game is as accessible as possible, there's lots of room for addon authors to do more. Colorblindness is surprisingly prevalent, and everything coders can do to make the game easier to play will be welcomed by those who need it.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

All characters to receive free respecs in patch 3.1

This may seem obvious considering how many changes are coming with patch 3.1, but we've been asked the question enough that I'm glad to finally see a confirmation on it: Yes, characters of every class will have their talent points refunded when patch 3.1 hits, Ghostcrawler says.

Reading further into his comments, however, it looks like the amount of changes happening to the talent trees may not be the reason for the free respecs, but rather the result of it. The free respec actually seems to be something that was necessary when implementing Dual Specs, and they went ahead and did some extra fixing and cleaning because of that.

That sort of makes sense, in the past it seems like they've mostly tried to target a few classes at a time rather than making heavy changes to all of them all at once. Patch 3.1 has hefty changes for every single class, and I don't remember very many content patches that had such widespread class changes. One way or another we would all need to respec after dual specs went in, so they saw an opportunity to make some additional changes and they took it. I'm okay with that.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

WoW Rookie: Do you have talent(s)?


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Are you a talentless n00b? It's really ok to admit it here, among friends -- you wouldn't be the first player in the world to have overlooked (or been completely befuddled by) talent points. Just take a peek at this post about a player who purposely skipped training his talent points, just to see what would happen. If you read through the comments after the post, you'll find plenty of players who missed training their talents along the way, either through not knowing that talent points existed or after becoming paralyzed by the sheer variety of choices.

The talents you choose for your character can completely change the way you play the game. Your "spec" (specialization) is determined by where you've distributed your points among the three talent trees available to your class. So-called "hybrid" classes such as Druids or Paladins take on entirely different roles depending how they are specced: tanking, DPSing or healing. For other classes, spec is more of a flavor tool that determines how your character goes about doing his or her thing.

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Filed under: How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

Ask a Beta Tester: This and that

You can tell the Wrath beta is winding down, because Ask a Beta Tester has been getting a lot fewer questions lately. Because of that, we're going to be pretty short and sweet today. If you still have questions, though, keep em coming!

Let's start today off with dfsnow's question...

What's happening with Alchemy and Alchemist's Stones in WotLK? Alchemist's stones have been like enchanting rods where you need the previous one to create the next one. Are new players going to have to grind Sha'tar and then SSO rep to create the reagent they need to create their level 80 Alchemist's Stone? I don't have to tell you how hard it will be to grind Sha'tar rep with no one running BC instances any more.

The new Alchemists stones aren't tied to the older ones at all. All the new ones will require to make is the appropriate Alchemy skill, some herbs, some eternals and maybe some oils.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

PTR 3.0.3 Patch Notes

Looking for the Patch Notes that are being pushed to the live servers? We've got that, too.

Blizzard has released the notes for the Patch 3.0.3 on PTR (Public Test Realm). With the PTRs going to patch 3.0.3, I wouldn't be surprised to see 3.0.3 hit the live servers next week. Also, please note that these patch notes appear to be in flux and are being updated. We'll keep you posted with any changes.

While patch 3.0.2 has a lot of great new content, there have been a fair share of bugs in the game. This patch will fix some of those, and change around a few other things. Remember, there will be an ongoing series of changes – the game itself won't seem normal until Wrath of the Lich King.

Some highlights of this patch include:
  • Druid talent points are refunded (only Druids)
  • Hunter aspects are off the global cooldown
  • Vampiric Touch has had its spell power coefficient doubled
  • Warlocks can now use an Infernal indoors
  • Bloodthirst cooldown is now 5 seconds
  • No more level requirement to train gathering skills
Read on after the break for the full PTR patch notes.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard will likely offer free respecs before Wrath

I finally logged in to the Wrath beta for the first time last night, and frankly, was a little disappointed. Like a lot of players, I really enjoy seeing content live, and playing around on the beta feels like I'm somewhere i'm not supposed to be -- things are not done (it's a little unnerving to see a Blizzard game without impeccable amounts of polish on it), and there's no flow yet from the old world to the new -- you're dropped into Northrend and it's like you've jumped forward a few months in game continuity. Something is missing.

But having been to the strangely buggy future, I can tell you one thing so far. Blizzard will do something they haven't done for almost two years now: every character will very likely get their talent points back around the Wrath of the Lich King release. Sure, it probably seemed obvious to most, but this is a bigger deal than you might think -- free respecs used to be a pretty common occurence, as almost every patch, Blizzard would refund talent points to at least one or two classes. But that was changed right around the last expansion, as Blizzard has opted for smaller class changes rather than content patch revamps. We haven't seen a talent point refund in a long time.

If this release is like last time, we won't necessarily see our talent points refunded upon installation, but rather around a big content patch right beforehand. If you were planning on respeccing for Wrath, you might want to wait a bit -- while respecs still aren't free all the time, we are apparently getting one done for us.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Hunter Talent Analysis, Part I: Marksmanship

Hunter talents are out, and there's definitely a lot to say about them, both good and bad. While we have discussed some of the changes to the lower Survival tree, what we haven't touched on is all the new talents and the talent changes in other trees. If I was to sum it all up in one sentence, I'd say this: The 51 point talents look lackluster, but most of the rest is downright drool inducing.

Marksmanship's early tiers are now full of easily obtainable goodies for any Hunter, Survival's gained even more group and raid buff utility, and Beastmastery has even more amazing pet synergy.

There's a lot to cover, so we'll tackle it one tree at a time. First, we'll look at Marksmanship, which was once premiere Hunter tree, but has fallen a bit to Beastmastery in Burning Crusade. It's certainly seen some marked improvement for Wrath so far, and even if you don't plan to spec Marksmanship, you'll at least want to know about the first few tier talents, as you'll probably want to grab many of them anyway.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Rookie Mistakes

Kemmeua of Emerald Dream decided to share some WoWhead love on the official forums. (And by the look of the WoWhead main page it needs a little love.) He shared some rookie mistakes that players have made. For example:

  • Didn't know there were different Zeppelins, thought it was a triflight system so that if I stayed on long enough it would take me to Tirisfall then to Grom and back to Durotar was on there a long time.
  • Didn't know they people were yelling at me to TANK better, I thought tanks plowed things and that's what I was doing
  • Saw alliance in crossroads and thought, "OMG," so I go an whack 'em and get camped for a day yelling for help.
  • Didn't know how to talk to people.
  • Saw a hunter with dual weapons on a Kodo and thought "WOW!"
  • Saw a raid group forming in Kargath for MC, asked them if I can join, getting told I cant roll with the big dawgs at 43.
  • where do u get liferoot if you can't herb? stupid quest giver.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Leveling, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

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