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WoW: Cataclysm Talent System Overhaul Unveiled!

Posted Wed, Jul 07, 2010 by Mem

One of the main goals Blizzard set forth for Cataclysm was to slim them down, make spending those talent points more meaningful while still allowing players to have fun with their talents. In the not so distant past Blizzard released the first preview of the new “improved” Cataclysm talent trees and to say the least it was disappointing. The talents trees were overloaded with passive talents still plaguing the way to more interesting talents. Blizzard had seemingly failed in their goals and players everywhere were faced with the prospect of using the same old talent tree design in Cataclysm. That is, until today.

Take everything you think you know about the upcoming Cataclysm Talent Trees and throw it out the window. In a stunning announcement today and after much criticism from players, Blizzard has announced the biggest changes to the talent tree system that WoW has possibly ever seen. Continue reading with us here at Ten Ton Hammer as we give you an overview of the coming changes:

The talent trees of Cataclysm are finally being put on an extreme diet. To snip off the fatty excess talent trees in Cataclysm will be reduced to 31-point talents in an attempt to give them the feel of what Blizzard calls “concentrated coolness“. To perform this drastic makeover Blizzard plans to cut most passive talents from the trees allowing players to access their talents without all the red tape.

For those of you who are fond of your passive talents don’t fret, while passive talents will no longer make their home in the standard talent tree they are not be pulling a complete vanishing act. Instead players will be introduced to a new method of specialization where once you gain you first talent point you will be required to pick your chosen type of game play. For example a Druid at level ten will be

If these changes stick, talents trees will get a complete overhaul in Cataclysm.
asked to pick Feral, Restoration, or Balance.

Once chosen the passive talents will come into play as players will gain these passive talents for free, and also gain access to a signature ability that defines the role you have chosen. This allows players to still have access to important passive abilities, without actually wasting talents points on them, and also allows players to come into their own as the specialization they choose much earlier.

But perhaps the biggest change comes with the revelation that once you have chosen your specialization of choice you must spend the 31-talent points in that tree before you may use points in any other tree. However players are not stuck with just this one specialization as dual-specialization and re-talenting will remain the same. To balance talent points with these drastically reduced talent trees, players will only obtain 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total) instead of every level. On the off levels players will most likely gain a spell or ability instead of a talent point to help keep things interesting. Finally players adventuring in areas for level 78 and above will notice a new stat on their gear; Mastery. Mastery can be learned from your class trainer and once learned will provide bonuses based on the tree they are specialized in.

In my opinion these changes are some huge steps in the right direction for Blizzard. Talent trees as they stand are cumbersome and unruly, with useless and lame talents galore. While Blizzard’s first preview of Cataclysm talent trees had me discouraged, after this most recent announcement I once again have hope that the talent trees of the future will make the game more fun, interactive, and less tiresome for all players.

That being said the information provided in this first announcement is rather vague, and how these changes will actually pan out in Cataclysm remains to be seen. However for now I’m pleased with these changes, and am looking forward to seeing them implemented in game. Join us on our forums to share your thoughts and opinions on these changes, or to read the changes in their entirety visit the official Blizzard post.

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