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Posts with tag talents

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

The Queue: Talents in the next expansion

The Queue Talents in the next expansion
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

The talent system has been revamped in every single expansion post-Burning Crusade. Will the next WoW expansion be any different?

Gordon asked:

How do you think talents are going to work from this point on? Will we have 1 talent every three expansions? Or will we get 1 per expansion, which means 1 every 5 levels?

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Filed under: The Queue

Totem Talk: Restoration support totems and haste for restoration

Totem Talk Restoration support totems, haste, and racial bonuses Tuesday
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Another exciting week has come and gone, with a new set of raid instances, new looking for raid and the promise of even more content to come. I don't know about you, but it feels like I barely have enough time to look at it all, let alone do it all!

There has been a lot of focus lately on our healing tool-kits, individual spell usage and our stats. We're definitely not without our problems, but instead of focusing on all the bad, I figured it would be good to focus on some of the diversity that we can bring to groups. Even though I'm disappointed about our totems becoming more like cooldowns and less like constant companions, I can still appreciate the new totems that have been added to our repertoire. Even though we're healers, it doesn't mean we can't have some extra utility, and that's always been a key feature of our class.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

My brawny colleague Dan Desmond covered this topic for his two-handed cohort earlier this week, but I think it's also worth exploring for all the tankadins out there. Namely, what talents and glyphs can be utilized to make tanking the first raid of tier 14 a little easier?

Sure the new hotness is Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (and I'll get to those!), but I expect that the vast majority of players are still actively working on clearing Mogu'shan Vaults, or are slogging through it weekly in LFR for precious, precious VP. Even if you've been doing this place ad nauseam for the last few weeks, there are always little tweaks that can be made to get the job done faster with less damage taken!

For reference, these are the base talents and glyphs I go with. So any suggestions I make will be what deviates from those. Especially with regards to Glyph of the Battle Healer, you should make sure to have that up at all times and should be actively tanking with Seal of Insight. It can make a noticeable difference in your survivability, and can pay some dividends for the survivability of your melee colleagues.

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

WoW Archivist: Strange choices behind WoW's earliest talent trees

Vanilla druid talent trees
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?

It's strange to think that players who first start playing in Mists might have no idea what the old talent trees looked like. To them, the new talent system is simply the status quo and the image above conjures no memories. The status quo has never lasted very long for talents in WoW. Through the years, talents have changed possibly more than any other aspect of the game. It's a good thing, too, because the earliest talent trees needed a lot of work. Let's take a look back!

The first beta talents

It's not easy to find solid information about the first iteration of talent trees from early beta. From what I can gather, WoW's original talents were more like spell ranks (which have also since been removed). You could invest talent points into particular spells to give them more damage/healing, longer range, etc. These talents were also tied to stats. By investing talent points, you gained stats relevant to your class.

These talents were generally considered workable but lackluster. They were removed from the beta in patch 0.6. Blizzard promised to "make them even cooler than before," and players speculated heavily about what the new trees might look like.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Talent exclusivity and the new talent system

Easy to learn, hard to master Synergy and the new talent system
When discussing the new talent system, one of the things that always fascinates me is how, if you could take two talents from the same tier, you absolutely would. Imagine if you could take Second Wind and Enraged Regeneration. You'd be unkillable. If you could take all three talents from the healing tier at level 30, you'd really be unkillable. Seriously, in order to kill a warrior with all three talents you'd have to do a ridiculous amount of damage and CC to prevent the use of ER and Impending Victory. This is of course why you can't have all three, so that all three can (in theory at least) be designed to be strong, compelling talents. I really like ER for tanking, and am currently using it as my tank talent, while I have yet to settle between Second Wind and Impending Victory for my DPS specs.

Talent exclusivity is nothing new in WoW, of course. We're used to 31 (and before that, 41, and before that 31) point talents that we can only get one of. But the original talent system was built with a lot more synergy in mind - it was expected and possible for people to choose talents based entirely on other talents they had and how those talents would work together.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria

Class guides and resources for Mists of Pandaria
In the interest of providing a fast, easy-to-use resource for every class, we've gathered up our favorite guides, best lists, and most relevant posts into a convenient list. Check back often, because we'll keep these resources up to date throughout the last days of the Cataclysm and deep into the Mists of Pandaria.

Check back as we add more guides, more resources, and the best links. If your favorite is missing, we'll be adding it soon.

Death knight Druid

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Death Knight, Monk

Blood Pact: Core summary for warlocks in patch 5.0

Blood Pact Core changes for warlocks in 50 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill binged on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series while trying to gather faction loot when the beta's LFR was out of service. She's still in Season 2, and still has more loot to collect.

I didn't realize my paladin's transmog from last week would be so popular. For those who are still wondering, here are the items on Wowhead, with a sword and that fel green, two-handed axe for extras.

Moving on, it's time to break out the 101 skills again. Warlocks have been reworked in several ways, though the core still remains familiar. In the coming weeks, I will go over the changes to and general likings of all warlocks, everything you need to know about our pets, and a quick rundown of how each spec should play out.

As we get closer to the release of raids, I'll write up the item enhancements like consumables, enchants, and gems, as well as collecting all the faction and dungeon gear in one spot for readers.

This week, let's get changes that affect every warlock out of the way.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Looking ahead at the 5.0 warlock

Blood Pact Looking ahead at the 50 warlock MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill procrastinates writing with dungeon soloing as she researches for two-handed transmogrification.

The pre-expansion patch is coming for the PTR, and while I'll be stuck with the MoP beta client, we all still need a post about what's changing for warlocks. There's still a strong sense of familiarity when playing in Mists of Pandaria, but things have definitely changed. It'll be nice to know what to look out for when the pre-expansion patch goes live.

I haven't come close to talking about everything yet, so here's a chance to see where I'm going or to suggest your own ideas.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill delayed downloading the new beta build in favor of getting her witch doctor to 60. Priorities!

With the overhaul to the warlock class coming in Mists of Pandaria, guildmates and friends have been wondering whether to revive old warlocks or not. Those without warlocks on their character screens have been asking the age-old question: Should I level one now or wait until the expansion hits?

Unless you're particularly masochistic about your leveling, my advice is to wait. Here's why.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

No-brainer talent and cookie-cutter builds

I was reading the forums the way I do recently, when I came across this thread. In it, the original poster Strawberry asked for examples of talents in the new talent system that players would always take. In the current talent system, as an example, no fury warrior would avoid Flurry. You'd be an idiot to do so.

chimed in, indicating that he wanted to increase people's awareness of the thread and get them participating, because the thread was useful. The reason it is useful is because no-brainer talents are something Blizzard's trying to do away with in the new talent scheme, and the only way to really know what talents are must haves is to have people tell them.

The entire purpose of the new talent system is to promote choice and do away with the cookie-cutter builds of the previous and current talent paradigm. Cataclysm actually ended up with a lot more choice than previous iterations -- you usually have a few talent points left over when you're done getting the basics down -- but Mists of Pandaria is poised to remove the concept of going elsewhere for a spec or copying someone else's build entirely.

This got me wondering. Assuming the thread does its job and helps identify talents that are too good to pass up right now and make adjustments to bring them in line, will that make the game harder or easier for new and inexperienced players?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Would you like tri-spec?

Breakfast Topic Would you use a third talent spec
I have a problem, dear reader. I'm an addict. You may be the same, and if you are, a part of me feels for you. The rest of me is glad you're along with me for the ride!

What do I mean? Well, I get addicted to specs. I find one that I like, and I stick with it. You might well be aware, if you read the Blood Sport columns I write, that I do a lot of PvP, but I also raid. And, the vast majority of the time, I do the same in both settings.

My shaman's talent specs are PvP restoration/PvE restoration. My priest? PvP discipline/PvE discipline (I'm in love with Atonement Archangel right now.) My mage? PvP fire/PvE fire. Are you beginning to see a pattern emerging?

So where is the problem in focusing on one talent spec for both your options? Well, take my shaman. I have thousands upon thousands of conquest points and valor points. I have full, epic-gemmed, Cataclysmic Gladiator gear. My PvE gear is all 397 or above. So when the raid drops and tokens come my way because we have nobody else to take them, what do I do? I play restoration in either PvP or PvE most days, and while I'd love to give elemental a go, I don't want to spend all my time respeccing. I would give ... I don't know -- what's an organ we don't really need? My appendix. I would give my appendix for a third talent spec. Heck, take my tonsils, while you're at it.

How about you? Would you use a third talent spec? Are you like me in sticking to one talent tree in two iterations? Do you long for more flexibility? Or do you not really feel the need for it? And, of course, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss your class as it is now?

warrior changes
No matter what class you play, it's going to change in Mists of Pandaria. The talent system alone is so different that you're going to have to reassess some basic ideas about your spec. Some classes are changing more than others, and this fact is making people dump their mains once the expansion launches.

Cynwise at Cynwise's Warcraft Manual is playing his warlock. He writes
I want to enjoy playing a Warlock as they are now, flawed yet challenging, before they go away.
I can understand this sentiment. For many, it's like their classes are changing so much that it's not the same class. Even if the changes are for the better, it can be hard to accept so many differences from the character you know and love.

Personally, I'm impatient. Now that I've seen what's up in the MoP beta, I want it. I want it now. I love my red panda and mistweaver monk, and I don't want to play anything else. I think that my attitude is unfortunate; however, as I'm not taking advantage of the game I'm paying for as much as I should.

Are you savoring the now-ness of your main? Will you miss your class as it is? Or are you anxious for the changes that will come in Mists of Pandaria?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Light and How to Swing It: Glyph of Inquisition and the myth of the no-brainer

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Back in October, the blues issued a challenge to themselves, a goal for their new talent system in Mists of Pandaria -- there would be no mandatory talents, zero "no-brainers" or similarly choiceless situations. The same has been said for glyphs in the past, straight from the mouthparts of the head crab himself.

Now we all know that there has always been a chasm of varying width separating what the designers intend for a system and what we as players experience. Sometimes the devs do really well and the gap is but a crack in the sidewalk, while others look more Springfield Gorge, and others still like Valles Marineris on Mars. Even so, we can hardly blame them -- we players, as a whole, are a fickle bunch. It is only natural that a group numbering in the millions would have diverse opinions on what works and what doesn't, particularly when it pertains to how each of us play the game.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Practical talents in Mists of Pandaria

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.

Before I get into this week's topic, I talked about War Banner this week (in case you missed it). If asked for my opinion of the ability, it would be good but not yet great. Each banner needs a little love -- perhaps a longer duration or more of a powerful effect -- before I'm totally sold on it. But I did enjoy playing around with it.

This week, however, I want to talk about the content we have, not the content we're going to have. The reason for that is because it will help me illustrate what I like and dislike about the current talent paradigm and how we're losing things at the same time we're gaining them with the new talent system. I am not calling out for the new scheme to be scrapped. On the whole, I am a big supporter of it. But that doesn't mean the current talent system doesn't have things to teach us. So let me begin with the following statement.

I deliberately specced fury for heroic Spine of Deathwing because I wanted to do less damage.

No, I'm not explaining that here. You want to know why? You come with me past the jump. Them there's the rules.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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