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Posts with tag talent-trees

Spiritual Guidance: The shadow priest's guide to World of Warcraft patch 4.0.1

Welcome to Wednesday's shadow priest edition of Spiritual Guidance, hosted by Fox Van Allen. We bloggers are all about search engine optimization. As such, there are going to be some changes around here: Shadowfiends will be referred to as "Lady Gaga meat dresses," and Dawn Moore will be henceforth referred to as "NY Jets reporter Inez Sainz." Fox Van Allen will, of course, remain Fox Van Allen -- he's as optimized as he's ever going to get.

I spent hours riding a seahorse in Vashj'ir last night. I love a good video game cliché, and there's no video game cliché quite like the underwater level. The environment is beautiful and immersive, but those beautiful aqua blues and sea greens couldn't distract me from a fundamental truth about the new expansion that I was constantly experiencing: Shadow priesting is a lot more fun in Cataclysm. Period. There are more options. More abilities. And yes, even more DPS.

For those of you who want to get the ball rolling on these new abilities in Cataclysm, there's good news: Patch 4.0.1 is currently available for testing on the public test realm. It's not the full release of the game, but the new patch will cover almost all the changes that are going to be made to our spec for the new expansion. And better yet, the patch's appearance on the PTR signals that all these changes to the shadow priesting way of life are just around the corner. (And not, like, how we keep saying Cataclysm is around the corner, despite its being months away. I mean legit around the corner. For reals, no take-backs.)

The way you play the game, whether it's soloing mobs or raiding Icecrown, is about to change significantly. Are you ready? Follow me after the break, where I'll explain what patch 4.0.1 is, what it is not and what to do once it hits.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: Oh so 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.

Talents! Everyone's still chattering away about the new 31-point talent system, and with the Twitter developer chat last Friday, a few questions were answered -- but even more were raised. Let's take a look at a few more posts regarding the new talent systems and various reactions to it:


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

The Art of War(craft): Sub-speccing for PvP in the current Cataclysm beta

Zach sees everything through the PvP perspective of The Art of War(craft), including eating homemade brownies baked by his supremely awesome and sexy baker wife. He sees the brownies as opponents that need to be devoured in a methodical, strategic and soul-crushing manner. He advises everyone to look at all things (especially food) as adversaries that must be defeated and guarantees that success in life will follow. Probably.

A new, exciting build of the Cataclysm beta has been released, implementing the promised overhaul to the talent trees. It's still raw at this point, but we get a glimpse of the direction the developers want to take. The basic or starter abilities have been defined and although some of these may change, such as Divine Storm for retribution paladins (Ghostcrawler, lead systems designer, mentioned that it would probably go back into the talent tree), the changes feel solid and refreshing. One of the ideas the developers have is that "both the 31-point and the 10(-point) ability need to have more single-target use," which means we should get very good one-on-one abilities early on as well as at higher levels. As we mentioned, the trees are a long way off from being done, but that shouldn't stop us from taking a look at them and picturing the possibilities.

One of the cooler, less noticeable things to come out of this build are the one-liner descriptions about each of the talent specs, allowing players to quickly grasp the concept of each spec. Blizzard seems committed to keeping this model, complete with talent tree lock-outs to prevent players from straying into other trees early on. As you might have suspected, the real culprit (or at least the most notable one) behind this change is PvP:

Ghostcrawler
Whenever a popular hybrid spec comes up, it's usually because of some sneaky build that is broken for PvP by snaking down to pick up key talents in two trees. It's not because the player really wants to play as say two specs -- they are just cherry picking the talents. Since those builds almost always feel broken (as in breaking the rules) we don't want to design around them.

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Filed under: PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Cataclysm

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

Breakfast Topic: The illusion of choice

My first reaction to seeing the new, streamlined talent trees was, "We'll all be cookie cutter specs now!" I mulled it over for a bit, hashed it out with some people on Twitter and came to the conclusion that the new streamlined specs are a good thing, in principle. Ask yourself, when was the last time you respecced to move one to two points around? How much are you really losing with the slimmed-down trees?

My shaman, Stoneybaby, hasn't respecced in ... I don't even know when, but I'm sure it's been many months. I have my raiding spec, in which I could move one or two points around -- should I take 2/3 Improved Shields or 3/3 Improved Shields? Ultimately, it makes little difference; I picked my raiding spec and my PvP spec, and I go forth with those until the game requires a change. I don't need a lot of choice because I won't use it.

On the other hand, my druid is a bit different. He's specced balance for AoE farming Chunk o' Mammoth (my wolves need their Spiced Mammoth Treats!) and feral bear for tanking alt raids. For raids, I either tank or I tank -- take your pick. He's mostly useless as DPS in raids because he doesn't have the proper hit, mana regen or focused damage talents; he's built to kill a dozen mobs at once out in the field. I like the choice so I can specialize in AoE farming.

In the case of my shaman, I really don't need that one- or two-point customization, and so lamenting the loss of deep, complex talent trees is just the loss of choice for the sake of choice. For my druid, I really do want and use the complexity of the current specs. Overall though, I think the slimmed-down trees will enrich the game without dumbing it down.

What about you? Do you really want deep choice in spec customization, or are you just lamenting the loss of the illusion of choice?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From goblins and worgens to mastery and guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Cataclysm Beta: New 31-point talent trees, spec bonuses and more

The latest build of the Cataclysm beta has the much-anticipated 31-point talent trees for all classes -- in varying degrees of completion, anyway. The UI elements for selecting your specialization are also in the game, and each tree has a sentence or two that describes the way it plays. Even the bonuses you get at level 10 for selecting your spec are in this build!

We've got talent calculators, spec bonuses, and more after the break, courtesy of MMO-Champion. Bear in mind while reading that this is only the first pass of this talent overhaul and several trees/classes, including death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, arcane mage, and assassination rogue, are nowhere near done.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

The Art of War(craft): What the new talent overhaul means for PvP

Zach Yonzon believes in social media and thinks that Real ID is the new battleground.

Oh man. We knew Cataclysm was going to change everything, but I don't think any of us really expected that Blizzard meant everything everything! Yesterday's bombshell of an announcement regarding the talents and masteries threw everyone for a loop. When talent trees from the alpha started appearing in Wowhead and MMO Champion, some of us wondered why most of the unexciting, passive talents were still there despite the developers' mentioning that they'd be removed in Cataclysm. Granted, the game was too early in its development to have concrete trees, but I don't think any of us thought they'd be pared down the way they would be. Let's review some of what Blizzard said.

Zarhym
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.

That's a whopper. There go the passive talents we were all wondering about. Instead, talents in the talent trees will all be cool and special, making every choice meaningful. That also means having fewer points to spend. At first look, it seems like something has been taken away from our characters -- fewer talent points feels less powerful. But when you realize that each talent point actually gives you something awesome, like a new spell or a cool effect, that changes things drastically. This also impacts PvP in a big, big way.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: A shadowy work in progress

The Spiritual Guidance duo, Fox Van Allen and Dawn Moore, haven't always gotten along so well. While some attribute that to the natural way that the shadow abhors the light, the real reason is the time they were on The Price is Right together in 2003. I mean, two hundred dollars for a grandfather clock, Dawn? What were you thinking?

Some days, I wish Spiritual Guidance was a TV show. Not only would the world be better able to appreciate my own physical beauty, but I'd be able to do one of those "Last time, on Spiritual Guidance" opening montages, filled with dramatic clips that tell you exactly what happened last week.

"Fox, we need to get to level 10, and fast! Before the orphanage explodes!"

"But if you're the Priest trainer ... then who's that?"

"You're not casting Smite enough! Faster! Faster! More Smite NOW! Hurry, there's not much time!"

KABOOM!


"The orphans, they're on fire! Quick, cast Renew!"

Things are often a lot more awesome in my head than in real life, I'm afraid. Still, last week, we did address the process of starting a new priest, getting him geared up with heirlooms (or heaven forfend, green items) and the basics of the early spells (Smite, lol). This week, we're digging a bit deeper, getting to 20, rocking some instances and doing some PvP -- that's right, life as a priest is finally ready to begin.

Follow me after the cut. And don't mind the random explosions and orphan debris -- they're just there for next week's opening montage.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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

Totem Talk: Restoration spells and totems

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.

Last week in Totem Talk: Restoration we talked about talents and glyphs a bit more in depth, today I'd like to continue our class 101 series by going over your spells and totems as well as leveling restoration specced. We will discuss the tools of the shaman's healing kit and specifics about totems.

The shaman toolkit might not have as many tools as say a holy priest, but the ones we do have are quite effective at their specific task. Each one is useful and colorful and we do have several that are quite unique. Lets take a look at them shall we?

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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

BlizzCon 2009: Mastery system and talent trees

Following their comments during yesterday's Class/Items/Professions panel, the Game Systems team explained the mysterious "mastery" system in the Systems panel today.

Looking at talent trees for all classes, the Systems team felt that players were spending too many points on things like flat damage or healing boosts; talents like Cruelty or Fire and Brimstone are uninteresting but necessary for players due to the bonuses they provide. On top of that, talent trees are bloated with all kinds of talents that are trying to do three things at once, which makes for confusion among players who might not be at the top of the min-maxing game.

What the Systems team wanted to do was make it possible for players to only use their points on "fun" talents -- ones like Body and Soul, Lightning Overload, or Juggernaut -- and make the passive bonuses that used to be in talents your reward for investing points into a tree.

Examples were given for Rogues. A Combat Rogue might see his Mastery bonuses include passive increases to melee damage, hit chance, and armor penetration as he moves down the tree, whereas a Subtlety Rogue might see increases to melee damage, melee haste, and energy regen.

But how does the new Mastery stat tie into this? Ghostcrawler says that the Mastery stat on gear will increase the bonuses you receive from the tree into which you've invested the most talent points. It'll also have other passive bonuses depending on your class and spec -- for example, Mastery will lower the cooldowns on Ret paladin abilities.

This seems like a fantastic change for everyone, and it makes me incredibly excited to think about the fun and interesting talents that'll replace my myriad of spell damage boosting talents. Can't wait for the beta!



BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Archaeology and Path of the Titans


The upcoming expansion, Cataclysm, will be incorporating greater levels of character customization than ever before. From guild talent trees, a different talent tree system, new races and race/class combinations, to a new profession that will be all about customization. Enter the Path of the Titans, and the new secondary profession, Archaeology.

Pass through the break for all the details, but be warned, spoilers lay ahead!

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Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Talents, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Archaeology

Hotfixes for Hunters over the last few days

Mania's got info on a few Hunter pet-related hotfixes that have found their way into the game recently. There's nothing really earthshaking in there, but there are at least two points of interest: because players can no longer flick the "at war" switch on for the Sunreavers with the Horde in Dalaran, that means Hordies can't pick a fight just to tame the Sunreaver Dragonhawks, which unfortunately were the only "already 80" Cunning pets in the game.

And a bug with Hunter pet talents was fixed -- supposedly now, when Hunters switch talent specs, Hunter pets will get their talents refunded. That's surprising to me -- though I kind of appreciate the chance to respec our pets whenever we switch specs, I sure would have thought that our pets would just get two trees as well. But then again, people might want to mix and match pet talents and talent specs, so I guess though it'll be a pain to re-punch in those talents (and remember to do so), it's the better way to go right now.

Great insight from Mania as always. And yes, outside of the Hunter domain, I, like many of Mania's commenters am slightly tired of the talent resets. With Hunter talents and all of the shots we learn from each tree, and pet talents and all of the decisions to make there, I'm pretty talent-ed out. Hopefully this 3.1.1 refund is the last one we'll see for a while.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Talents

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