Along with the news of a brand new expansion came Blizzard’s announcement of a brand new and exciting talent system that is being referred to as Talents 2.0. In this new talent system, that will be introduced with the Mists of Panderia expansion, Blizzard claims they will be getting back to what they originally intended; that talents will once again become a unique form of character customization and those cookie cutter builds that we were once forced into using will be long gone.
In this new talent model players will find that their class will have several class abilities (example: all Warriors will learn Heroic Strike), several spec abilities (example: all arms Warriors learn Slam), and finally actual talents (example: any Warrior can choose Throwdown). Talent points have essentially been scrapped and players will gain access to a new tier of talents to choose from every 15 levels. This means players will not be able to place their first talent point until level 15, although they will still choose their spec at level 10 giving them access to many spec based abilities.
Once the player has reached a new talent tier they will be presented with three talents from which they may choose one. While each talent in the tier will be distinctive survivability talents will be paired with survivability talents and DPS talents will be paired with DPS talents, and so on, so that players don’t feel pressured into choosing a certain talent in any tier leaving promoting flexibility in the talent tree. Also talents in these tiers will be comparable and one talent should not stand out above the rest. Once a player has chosen a talent from a tier they will no longer have access to the other talents and must respec if they wish to change it.
For a better idea of what these talent tiers will look like take a look at the talents available at level 30 for the Warrior:
With this new talent system the idea is that the player will be able to choose talents that not only make sense for their spec, but are also talents that they want to have instead of talents they are forced to have because they do more DPS or healing. This means that there technically should no longer be any mandatory talents in game, and players will be able to stand next to a player of the same spec, but still feel like their character is at least slightly different and unique because of their talents.
Several new talents will be added, and some unused and rather boring talents will be removed. Don’t worry if you don’t see one of your favorite talents though, it may have simply been moved to a class or spec ability instead. Not to mention that players will no longer have to visit the trainer to learn new talents, instead they will be able to learn new talents on the fly and will only need to return to the trainer to respec.
Now we all know that change is scary and while I love the idea of the new talent system, I’m still a little nervous. If it turns out to be all that Blizzard claims it will be then the game could be greatly improved. Talents will once again become real game changers and players will have a distinct sense of individuality once again. How this will actually pan out in game, though is anyone’s guess.
Want more information on the new talent system? Head on over to the Blizzcon blog to check out all the juicy details!