31 Point Trees – My Take
July 7, 2010 41 Comments
Blizzard dropped yet another bombshell today, this time in regards to a change in talent trees and the mastery system:
As the post is quite long, somewhat confusing, and generally easy to misunderstand, to sum it up so there are no misunderstandings:
- Trees will cap out at 7 tiers (meaning with a 31 point talent) and we’ll get a talent point every other level instead of every level.
- When you hit level ten (or after your first quest, for Death Knights), you get your first talent point. Once you spend that first talent point in a tree, you are locked into that tree for the next 30 points (60 levels).
- The first point you spend grants you some passive bonuses, similar to the current primary and secondary mastery. The difference is that you receive these bonuses in full the second you spend that first point.
- You only get these bonuses for the first tree you spend your first point in. Even once you’ve spent at least 31 points and are no longer locked to one tree, you don’t get any special bonuses if you branch out into another tree.
- The first point you spend in your first tree grants you some tree-specific signature ability (or abilities). Just like with masteries, you don’t get this special bonus for the first point you spend in a second or third tree.
- Example: Water Elemental for Frost Mages, dual-wielding for Enhancement Shaman.
- You train your tree Mastery at level 75.
My reaction: Bravo Blizzard.
An excellent (if somewhat radical and unexpected) change which is friendly to new players and pros alike, and will benefit everyone equally? Yes, please.
This makes the talent and mastery system more intuitive. This makes your spec feel more like a spec instead of a collection of talents. This makes your first talent point actually feel worthwhile (instead of, “Woohoo, 2% more damage when I’m hitting for about 50 an ability, how noticeable and grand!”). This makes it easier to balance the trees, as making certain abilities unreachable to other specs removes many potential headaches (Resto Shaman DWing, for instance). This makes it easier to design talents, as you don’t have to worry about them competing with boring-but-effective junk (like Desolation). This makes the trees less bloated. This makes masteries feel more potent and less gradual. The list could go on and on.
The downsides? None the way I see it.
Does this simplify the game? Yes and no. Yes, there will be less talents to choose from, so by the dictionary definition, I suppose to. But, no – those talents will likely be individually more powerful (and, even if not, still more difficult to reduce to numbers then something simple like Desolation) and thus may be harder to pick and choose from.
Anyways, I’m quite happy. Excellent change, really.
Ghostcrawler also let loose a hint of what’s to come of the Unholy tree: say goodbye to Desolation, Impurity, Wandering Plague, Crypt Fever, and Rage of Rivendare. To all of them I say – good riddance. I’ll miss Wandering Plague slightly, but that’s largely because it was so good, not because it was so interesting or so spec defining.
I’m off to eat, but before I go, I just figured I would drop some other big news, albeit some of a bit more personal nature:
I am in a very, very good mood, to say the least, and I owe someone out there a huge thank you.