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Posts with tag talents

WoW Archivist: Talents have come full circle

Circle of Healing
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

The Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0 notes have revealed the latest changes to WoW's ever-evolving talent system. Talents have remained a core system in WoW since its earliest days, the primary method that allows players to make their characters distinct.

In the beta for WoW and throughout vanilla, talent trees were a bit of a mess, as Archivist covered. Today, we'll examine how those early trees came to be expanded, refined, and then scrapped for a very different system. We'll also look at how Warlords is bringing back the earliest version of talent trees in a brand new way.

The golden age of hybrids

Talent possibilities exploded during The Burning Crusade. Ten more levels granted players ten more points to assign. Players could now combine abilities in ways that vanilla's trees had never allowed, opening up exciting new gameplay paths.

Players didn't choose a specialization like they do today. Instead, they assigned points to three different "trees." Each tree represented a spec, but each also had talents that helped the other two specs as well. So players could pick and choose just how far down they wanted to go in a given tree, and thus how much to commit their character to one spec. "Hybrid" builds were not ideal from a min/max perspective, but they were popular. And TBC was the golden age of such builds.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Breakfast Topic: Talented

Warrior talents
With the release of the first set of patch 6.0 patch notes--I'm certain there will be many variants to come--talk is buzzing about all the major changes and adjustments we'll be seeing come Warlords of Draenor. In addition to reading about all this, I've been doing some perusal of the level 100 talents (as they currently stand).

In particular, I think all three of the new feral druid talents sound great, though Lunar Inspiration is my favorite just for concept alone. The restoration druid options aren't quite as exciting, in my opinion, though they certainly aren't anything to sneer at. The other classes I play regularly are my frost mage and my retribution paladin, and a few of their talents strike my fancy as well--Comet Storm for the mage and Empowered Seals for the paladin in particular sound fun and useful, respectively.

Have you looked over the talents in detail? Some haven't changed much since BlizzCon, but some haven't been documented publicly until now. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you wish were there?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How to learn what you're doing on a boosted 90

Look, it's okay to admit that in some cases, players who've pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor or even bought the level 90 boost are on level 90 characters that they don't actually know how to play. In some cases, this isn't the case -- if I used the boost, for instance, I'd probably know how to play that 12th warrior I boosted to 90. But if I were to boost my hunter, there would suddenly be 29 levels of huntering to absorb and take in, and if I were to use the boost on a rogue I'd hate myself for it and quit playing in a storm of recriminations. Also, I would have zero idea what I was doing on a rogue for the ten seconds before I realized what I'd done.

Now that I've had my fun, let's get serious - how would I play a rogue at 90? Or a mage, or a priest, or another class that I'd never played before? Well, there are resources out there -- WoW Insider has a rookie guide, for starters -- and there are other sites like Wowhead and Icy-Veins that can and do give you an overview of what your new class does.

There's also a very useful resource built into the game itself. Your spellbook has a great deal of information for you about what your class can do and how to go about playing it, that can get you pointed in the right direction to begin play. We're assuming you're a returning player who has not played in a while or a new player just getting started with this article - established players starting a new alt may already know much of this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

A new look at level 100 warrior talents

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

So I was going to talk about something else, but then there was this little press event and we got a look at new level 100 talents for warriors. And so, we're going to be talking about them for a bit. Because when you get a look at entire new talents you kind of have to discuss them. The most interesting thing to me is the departure of Blade Barrier and the change to Extreme Measures. I asked Celestalon about it, and here's what he had to say.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead's talent calculator updated with new Warlords of Draenor talents

In the wake of Blizzard's press event, all sorts of news is burbling out, and among these bits of information are new level 100 talents for rogues, warlocks and warriors. Now Wowhead has updated their Warlords of Draenor talent calculator with these new talents. Some of these changes are pretty amusing.

Rogues, for example, get a new talent at level 100 called Venom Zest, for instance. However, since the video in question didn't actually mouse over said talent, we don't actually know what it does. I like to think it makes venom a delightful accent to any meal. But that's unlikely if you've ever actually eaten with a rogue.

Head on over to Wowhead and take a gander at all the new talents at their talent calculator for Warlords of Draenor. With Celestalon tweeting about an upcoming flood of new information, you should probably keep an eye on it.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A highlights

Yesterday, Senior Community Development Manager Kevin Johnson sat down with Game Director Dustin Browder and Senior 3D artist Phil Gonzales to answer the community's questions on Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler. They covered several key topics, and provided some nuggets of new information. If you'd like to watch the interview in full, you can check out the video on WoW Insider.

But let's go through and summarize the key points they covered. This isn't in the order it happened in the video, because it seemed more logical to categorize it by topic.

Overall Design and Philosophy
  • It is going to be free-to-play!
  • Beta is not ready yet, they're working to get it out as soon as they can. There isn't an exact date yet. Internal testing is ongoing.
  • One of the biggest defining qualities for Heroes is the importance of the different maps. This is something that separates it from other MOBAs, you'll want to take different heroes and different strategies and so on. Also, there's heroes with extensive lore behind them, that's a hugely important element, and they aren't afraid to challenge any aspect of the design to make it fun.

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Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Arcane Brilliance: Talent Show

draenei mage
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week we're holding our breath to see what news will be revealed at Blizzcon!

If I could have absolutely anything from Blizzcon this year specifically pertaining to mages, it'd be this: I'd like to know what the future of our tier 6 talents is going to be. It's already been acknowledged that they'd like to make changes to these talents. The devs know that the talents are an ongoing concern and really a major thorn in our side.

It became clear to me just how I felt about the tier 6 talents as I was leveling my troll mage to 90 a few months ago. I went to do a dungeon as a fire mage and I evocated, and imagine my surprise when -- it triggered a long cooldown. I got some mana back. Nothing else happened. My invocation buff tracker remained at nothing. I happily did the rest of the dungeon without ever using evocate at all unless I needed mana. Then I realized that it was more fun to be level 88 than it was to be level 90.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Five features I really want from the next expansion

So everyone's handily speculating on just what the next expansion will be, and what it will have and not have. That's pretty awesome. I love speculating. So in the spirit of things, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and natter on about what I'd love to see from the next expansion, whatever it ends up being.

Let's just jump right into it. What stuff do I think would be awesome?

An overhaul of the leveling/alt process

I definitely think we need to reconsider how we deal with alts. I'd love to see a system that reduced the time you had to spend getting them leveled once you got the first one to max - heirlooms work for that, but that long-rumored heirloom tab would make it a lot easier. Another thing which would definitely help are more heirlooms like Hellscream's Decapitator - our current heirlooms don't take us all the way to max level the way it will, and it's also useful now as a raid-level item an alt can make use of. It's an experiment I hope they continue.

I've seen some arguments that we should be able to start a high-level alt to skip over a lot of the leveling process, especially as we get closer and closer to the likely new level cap of 100. If that was implemented, it would need to be done carefully, but I'd definitely support some way to preview a class at or near max level so you could figure out if you'll like it or cut down on having to do the full 1 to 100 (or whatever it ends up being) march again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Will we see an ability purge?

Will we see an ability purge
A fact of any MMO is that over time, as we get expansions to the game, we get more abilities, talents, and spells and as a result, our bars get complicated. Cynwise in his recent return to blogging (hopefully a long return) pointed out this exact issue recently, and now Ghostcrawler has tweeted a response to a question about ability bloat that has me wondering.

Clearly, the easiest way to reduce the number of spells on the action bar is to remove some of them. Either fold separate attacks/spells into a smaller amount, combining them or just flat out removing ones that see less use. We saw some of this moving into Mists of Pandaria (one example that springs to mind is the folding of Deep Wounds and Rend into one ability) and we could always see more. Of course, the concern is always that you're getting rid of someone's favorites in the process. At any rate, we have only the idea that there are plans out there, and that they will cause some crying.

Keep an eye out, folks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

The living game and the end of nostalgia

The ends of nostalgia
The downside to being the equivalent of a WoW immortal, having played close to non stop for the entire history of the game, is that you see a lot of things come and go. Guilds, players, friends, raids, dungeons, zones, expansions. It was all new once, and it all eventually isn't new anymore. And as a result, although I have in the past waged wars of words against nostalgia among the WoW playerbase, I can be as guilty of it as anyone.

There are, indeed, a great many things I miss. Some of them I get to see whenever I want, like Blackwing Lair and Un'Goro Crater, others are players who stopped playing, playstyles that are no longer valid (I loved and will always fondly remember the days of fury tanking Stratholme for my guild Eldritch Way over on Kilrogg, then taking the technique into raiding on Azjol-Nerub with Sworn, fury tanking in MC, BWL and AQ before finally speccing prot to tank Naxx) and even places that are just plain gone now. The other day, while doing my weekly scouring of the Barrens I realized that ever since Cataclysm, the zone I remember is gone, baby - Mankrik's wife is buried, and the days where I rolled a horde and leveled it to 60 just so I could attack my own guildmates when they raided the Crossroads are just as buried as she is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Talents and abilities you never use

mage talents
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4

Lichborne Reviewing death knight talents for the patch 54 revamp
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has indicated that Blizzard is pretty happy with the new Mists of Pandaria talent design, and I have to agree with him. While it does suck to wait 15 levels between new talent choices while leveling a new alt, otherwise the new talent system allows real flexibility and interesting, meaningful choices, arguably more than we had under the 51 or 31 point talent systems, where almost every tier had a clear best choice for whatever role you were playing.

That said, there's always room for improvement, and the devs have mentioned they plan to use patch 5.4 as another opportunity to go over talent trees and bolster talents that see less use or otherwise feel underpowered. With that in mind, this week we'll look at the death knight tree and pick out some candidates for a patch 5.4 redesign.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

No talent overhaul likely

Mage talents
If you're interested in WoW design and discussion, but don't yet follow twitter, you might want to reconsider. A lot of the developers are regularly active there. For example, yesterday our own Adam Holisky had a nice little chat with Ghostcrawler, Bashiok, and some other folks about WoW's talent design, and wondering if there was another big overhaul being considered for the next major expansion. The answer, bluntly, is no. Blizzard seems content with the current system.

Player Mihaly Ducz replied that three choices every fifteen levels feels kind of thin, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with Bashiok's response on that one: there are already plenty of spells and abilities in the game; I am perfectly content to have fewer of them, or at least more passive options so I don't have to agonize over how to redo my bars again. How about you? Are you content with the current talent system? What might you like to see changed or modified in the future?

Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Everything you need to know about WoW's talents and specializations

We're going back to basics today to talk about talents and specializations in World of Warcraft. If you're pretty new to the game, you might not know what these are at all, but anyone over level 10 has at least seen the terms thrown around. We're going to explain just what talents and specializatons mean for your character and well as how to get the most out of your talent choices.

What are specializations?
At level 10, every character (save death knights, who start at level 55) is prompted to choose a talent specialization. While many spells and abilities are core to the class -- meaning you'll get them no matter which specialization you choose -- there are also abilities that you only get if you've chosen a particular specialization. Each specialization focuses on a slightly different playstyle, so you should pick the one that most appeals to you.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Talent chaos

mage talents
Choosing talents is a fun aspect of playing WoW. Many talents are situational, or work in concert with certain glyphs to produce unique effects. Some healers and tanks use their second spec not for a solo or questing DPS build, but as another healing or tank spec specifically tuned to certain encounters. Some people have a PvE and a PvP build, or a battleground build and an arena build. The bottom line is that talents add options and choices, leaving players to determine what they like and what works best for them.

New expansions and available levels bring us new spells and abilities, and with talents, we often get even more. I'll admit, I pretty quickly fall into the "overwhelmed by options" box. For me, the first question I ask myself when picking a new talent is, "Does this tier have a passive option?" I love passive options. I don't have to figure out where to keybind another button!

This doesn't mean that I'll always take the passive option, of course. Sometimes it's just really not a good idea. For example, as a resto druid, there was no way I was ever going to pick Soul of the Forest over Incarnation. But for my feral spec, I picked Dream of Cenarius (though I am considering switching to Heart of the Wild), and both specs get Feline Swiftness. Though I can justify those choices in other ways, I won't pretend that the fact that they are passive abilities wasn't also a huge draw. My kingdom for extra spaces on my bars!

How about you? Do you, like me, groan at the thought of having to rearrange your action bars yet again to make room for some new ability you can't pass up? Do viable passive options bring you inordinate glee? How do you deal with the glut of choice in this game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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