Aside from the community crippling news that your real name will show up on World of Warcraft forums posts, there’s actual MMO news surrounding the game! WoW‘s next expansion is changing Azeroth as players know it, it’s adding new races, and it’s reducing your talent tree.
“Reducing” isn’t exactly the right word, but the talent trees are going to be vastly different from the ones you’re accustomed to currently. Aside from being locked into only one talent tree until you’ve spent 31 points in that tree, we’re also looking at getting a talent point every other level. For example, if you want a Balance Druid you’re all Balance until level 70, then, and only then can you start spending points in Restoration. The loss of boring passive talents is the reason behind the switch according to Zarhym on the official forums. There’s a lot through that link that you need to read if you’re interested in WoW talents, but here’s a handy summation of the change,
When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they’ve chosen. As they gain levels, they’ll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They’ll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31’st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they’ll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they’ll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they’ve specialized in.
We understand that these are significant changes and we still have details to solidify. We feel, however, that these changes better fulfill our original class design goals for Cataclysm, and we’re confident that they will make for a better gameplay experience. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated.
Moving things around as such and locking players into a talent tree has advantages. This means, at level 10, your character will instantly gain a talent-tree-specific-mega-ability. Some instances of these abilities available at level 10 include: “Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.”
The change is actually a little closer to what talent trees used to look like before WoW’s expansions. Whether you consider that a good change or not is completely opinion. What seems like fact, though, is the idea that you’re a little more restricted while leveling. Whether or not that matters, however, is based on the player.
Just like the magical vanishing Path of the Titans system, a plethora of things change during the expansion beta process. Stuff happens and we, as customers, won’t know exactly what Cataclysm will be until its retail release.
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