Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New trees preview

After announcing a big change in the talents trees, we finally get to test them. While they're just a beta version I don't find Blizzard has accomplished what he's been announcing.
- Eliminating "boring" talents that just buff existing spells or skills. There're still plenty of them in all classes: Incite for warriors, Improved Shadow Word. Pain for priests... they're still here
- Adding more "flavours". Not true at the moment. After picking a specific tree and putting the mandatory 31 talent points in the core talents you're not left with much choices for a given class. I've tried several classes and if you want to improve let's say Fury, your best choice is to spend points in Arms tree, not Protection. Some classes even need more than 31 points in the main tree (33 or even 35) to get full advantage, so that leaves very few "free" points to place on abilities that will give you some "fun" skill. Placing 31 points in your main tree doesn't mean you have still 10 points to place freely. You'll need to invest between 5 and 10 (that's all of them) in a secondary (or in the third too) tree to get talents you'll need for your spec, like it happens now. I think in the best cases I managed to get 3 talent points I could really plae wherever I want to get one talent or another that wouldn't really cripple my main output (be it dpsing, tanking or healing) so I could choose between getting an extra talent that's not really mandatory for my spec but may help in some situations or enhance other stats like mana return/regen, increase healing effects on me, etc
- Very few new talents added. Since the big pruning there's not many points left so you can spend them on new talents. Some of them look very nice, like Blood and Thunder (protection warrior), but others are just "more of the same boring talents", like Even the Odds (fury warrior), that just increases damage on certain abilities
So as I said in my previous post the idea is good, but we still have too many "boring" talents around that are also still mandatory for your class, leaving little or no option to get other talents that differentiate your from any other player of the same class and spec. Let's wait for more tuning and hope next version has trees that allow more customisation and possibilities.


  1. I pretty much agree with all you've said here. Just pruning the existing trees massively is a good start, but now they really need to add some more options back in to actually give you some choice. For example the first tier of the feral tree currently only has five talent point options in it, so you have to take them all to even get to second tier. Choice? Or the druid resto tree... you can take all the talents in it at the moment and still have points left over. That's not what I'd call having options.

  2. To be completely honest.. you can never, ever hope to have a talent tree without the "boring" talents. Unless you want to enable people to play without having any talent points invested at all.

    The passive increase in ability that some (most?) talents give, are mandatory for playing that spec. There is no such thing as "optional" talents if you have other talents that are obviously mandatory. The sole reason for this is the amount of talent points you have to spend. In order to play a certain spec right, you'll have to spend x talent points to get talent y. To be any good in said spec, you need talent y. This has always been the case and will never change, unless talent trees are made obsolete completely.

  3. These boring talents should be just trainable, like Blizz already said. I know they're mandatory for your spec to be viable and also keep on pairs with another class spec that fulfills the same role (destro lock-arcane mage, resto druid-resto shaman, retri pally-fury warrior, etc). Blizzard hasn't stopped repeating they want to get rid of these passive enhancers, yet they have left the trees cluttered with them. Making them trainable (or at least the major part), will free talent points to be invested in making different "flavours" of the cookie-cutter spec (something Blizz will never get rid of). Right now there isn't much choice and you end having two choices like some mana return or increased spell range and nothing else. On the other hand I don't consider boring talents that cause procs, like Bloodsurge or Hot Streak and are worth keeping in the trees.