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Thread: Priest Mastery Talent Preview

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    Priest Mastery Talent Preview

    Here's the whole link:

    Last week, we gave you an early look at the changes we’re making to the stat system in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and explained how these changes will ultimately provide players with more interesting gear choices and make stats easier to understand. Today we’d like to go into more detail about a brand-new feature that’s an integral part of this overhaul: the Mastery system, a set of new game mechanics designed to allow players to become better at what makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. With this system, we want to accomplish three things: give players more freedom in how they allocate talent points, simplify some of the “kitchen sinky” talents that try to do too much at once, and add a new stat to high-level gear that makes you better at your chosen role.

    Here’s how the system works: As you spend points in a given talent tree, you’ll receive three different passive bonuses specific to that tree. The first bonus will increase your damage, healing, or survivability, depending on the intended role of the tree. The second bonus will be related to a stat commonly found on gear desirable to you, such as Haste or Crit. The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree -- meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.

    One of our primary goals with Mastery is to give players more flexibility to choose fun or utility-oriented talents rather than make them feel obligated to pick up “mandatory” but uninteresting talents, such as passive damage or healing. (For examples of the kinds of powerful but boring talents we’re talking about, take a look at the talent tier just above the 51-point talent in many of the existing trees.) In a sense, Mastery makes it so every talent in (just for example) a rogue tree essentially has an invisible additional bullet point that says “???and increases your damage by X%.” This way, if you choose a talent like Elusiveness (which reduces your chance to be detected while stealthed) or Fleet Footed (which affects movement), you won’t feel like you’re giving up damage in exchange for utility.

    There will still be talents that boost damage, of course, but those talents will also affect the way you play. For example, you can still expect to see talents like Improved Frostbolt, which reduces the cast time of the Frostbolt spell; it increases DPS, but it also affects the mage’s rotation. Piercing Ice, however, is just “6% more damage” and is the kind of talent we’re trying to eliminate by implementing the Mastery system.

    As we get closer to Cataclysm’s release, we’ll go into more detail about the changes coming for each class, including individual talent-tree adjustments and how Mastery will affect them. In the meantime, here are a few examples to demonstrate the three kinds of passive bonuses we described above. Please keep in mind that we're still working on this system, and the handful of examples we're providing here are, of course, subject to change.

    Holy Priest
    For each talent point spent in the Holy tree, the priest also gets:
    • Healing – Improves your healing by X%.
    • Meditation – Improves your mana regeneration from Spirit in combat. This would likely replace the existing Meditation talent from the Discipline tree, which many Holy priests consider to be a “must-have.” Regeneration will also probably be determined by whether you are in or out of combat, and not the “five-second rule.
    • Radiance – Adds a heal-over-time effect to direct heals, such as Flash Heal. Mastery on gear would boost this bonus, and no other talent tree would grant it.

    Discipline Priest
    For each talent point spent in the Discipline tree, the priest also gets:

    • Healing – Improves your healing by X%.
    • Meditation – Improves your mana regeneration from Spirit in combat. This would likely replace the existing Meditation talent.
    • Absorption – Improves the amount of damage absorbed by spells such as Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis. Mastery on gear would boost this bonus, and no other talent tree would grant it.

    Frost Death Knight
    For each talent point spent in the Frost tree, the death knight also gets:

    • Damage – Improves your melee and spell damage by X%.
    • Haste – Improves your melee Haste by Y%. This might allow us to remove some of the Haste in the Icy Talons line of talents.
    • Runic Power – Improves the rate of runic power generated by abilities. While all death knights want runic power, Frost death knights would generally have more runic power than Blood or Unholy death knights (who would receive a different benefit from their respective trees). An Unholy death knight who sub-specs into Frost would still be able to benefit from this bonus, though because they’re investing fewer talent points, they’d benefit to a smaller degree. Mastery on gear would boost this bonus, and no other talent tree would grant it.

    A couple other things to note: Currently, we’re not planning to retrofit the Mastery stat onto current level-80 gear when we roll out the stat-system changes prior to Cataclysm’s release. However, Mastery will begin appearing on select quest and dungeon items. You will also gain a small amount of Mastery by wearing gear of your intended armor type (such as plate for paladins). For players with dual specs, when you change between your two chosen specs, the Mastery bonuses and the benefit you receive from the Mastery stat on gear will adjust automatically based on your new spec.

    We’ll have more details to share about these and other changes we’re making in Cataclysm in the future, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions about the Mastery system here on the forums. For information on many of the stat changes being made in Cataclysm, please check out our earlier update at -
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...25636414&sid=1
    It's possible you will only get the benefit of the tree in which you've spent the most points, or will only get the benefit from say 50 points maximum with the bonus chosen from the tree with the most points in it. We'll have to see when the talent trees are more finalized and we start to figure out build strategies.

    Overall, the goal is to spend points as you want, and not feel penalized for spending into another tree or feel like you have to game things by spending more points than you want in your tree. Remember these passive bonuses are designed to give you flexibility, not lock you into anything.
    Very interesting, the Holy bonus was a lot different then what I thought it would be and much more interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about the disc on in comparison (Holy one seems more fun) but overall pretty cool

    EDIT: New info:
    Imagine you spend 55 points in Retribution, so you get the maximum passive talent tree bonuses from that tree. Your remaining points you can spend where you want, in Retribution, Protection or Holy. It does discourage some kind of true hybrid build where you go partway down multiple trees, but we aren't really trying to support those, and they aren't very popular today.

    The flexibility comes (hopefully) in having more discretionary points that you can spend on talents you like, rather than sacrificing raw damage, healing or tanking to do so.
    It's designed partially with new players in mind. It will be much harder to have a truly terrible talent spec because you won't be able to help but be reasonably good at your chosen role.

    The mastery stat itself won't show up until high level, and even when it does, you should have more confidence that it's a stat you want instead of say trying to figure out the percent of your damage that is physical damage to calculate if armor pen is good for you or not.

    I admit that adding passive bonuses at all to talent trees complicates the talent feature slightly. We hope to make up for that by there being less paranoia about picking "the wrong" spec. The wrong spec might only be a slight loss instead of a tragic loss. As a point of comparison, dual-spec complicates talents a little, but overall we think it was good for the game.
    To answer your question -- and this applies to all classes. the first two mastery stats are gained by placing points into a given talent tree (and wearing the gear intended for your class, e.g. leather for druids). This will allow us to remove many of the talents that always felt mandatory, especially at the min-max level, and allow room for customization.

    When we begin revealing specific class information, (such as new spells and abilities, and the talent tree revamp) -- the posts we've made thus far, will make much more sense. I feel, players should look at the stat/system changes, as well as this mastery post as a "piece of a puzzle" -- and ask questions, provide feedback, but understand that until more information is released, it's not possible to see the whole of the picture.
    Last edited by Amamaeth; 03-09-2010 at 07:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Useful post overall. Sure it's more detailed on priests but should give some insights into other models too.

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    Damn it. You beat me to the punch on my mini-game. Obviously, this is super subject to change. Could Disc get more absorption abilities? Will the Holy HoT refresh or stack? Way to early to speculate. All in all, I'm pretty stoked about masteries for the healing priest. It will be pretty interesting for the theroycrafter in me to see whether it would be more beneficial to dump, say, 100% of my talent points into Disc or to pick up lower level talents in holy?

    After seeing this I'm expecting a rather massive overhaul of the trees. I mean, who can really pass up on a free 5% crit as Disc in the holy tree? As such, is my screen going to be filled with 5hp HoTs from the PW:S glyph? It'll be fun to see how it plays out.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritus View Post
    I mean, who can really pass up on a free 5% crit as Disc in the holy tree?
    Holy Specialization seems like the type of talent they are trying to prune out of the talent trees. It's "uninteresting" because it's just a bland 5% increase to a stat. The only reason I can see that they would keep it is because it props up Holy spells but not Shadow, and that helps create a gap between healing specs and DPS specs.

    I'm curious how valuable the "unique" benefits and mastery rating will be. Perhaps enough mastery rating will allow hybrid specs to double dip at high gear levels.

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    ^ Well you have to also keep in mind we'll still have the 51 point talents in there. I'm willing to bet blizzard will make it so that the unique mastery benefits and 51 point talents will be appealing enough to go down the whole tree. I am curious on how they are going to do the 'off' trees though, maybe we'll see something like going holy or disc as a secondary tree increases your throughput (by way of the increased healing portion) while going shadow as the off tree would increase our mana regen (via Spirit Tap). They would obviously have to change spirit tap to make it work on healing spells, but it would be awesome to go "Well, my mana kinda suffers but my spells are mostly overheal so I'll go shadow" or "Well I don't have mana issues but I'd like my spells to be more powerful so I'll off as holy or disc".

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    I had a dream that I was solo healing 25 man raids on my priest will chain-healing circle-of-healing and rolling HoTs on all my targets.

    I saw the Radiance part and I was like omfgz?

    The HoT off direct heals sounds great. Even more amazing if it scales of a % of your amount healed. I think this could be major contributer in mirroring holy to discipline's unique DA talent for holy priests.

    It looks pretty funny. If 2pc Tier 10 is a preview of it, it would be great if it is 100% off direct heals and rolls like Lifebloom.
    “We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There's really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer.” ~Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

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    ^ Considering it's the mastery stat, I'm pretty sure it's going to scale with your mastery stat on gear :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritus View Post
    Damn it. You beat me to the punch on my mini-game. Obviously, this is super subject to change. Could Disc get more absorption abilities? Will the Holy HoT refresh or stack? Way to early to speculate. All in all, I'm pretty stoked about masteries for the healing priest. It will be pretty interesting for the theroycrafter in me to see whether it would be more beneficial to dump, say, 100% of my talent points into Disc or to pick up lower level talents in holy?

    After seeing this I'm expecting a rather massive overhaul of the trees. I mean, who can really pass up on a free 5% crit as Disc in the holy tree? As such, is my screen going to be filled with 5hp HoTs from the PW:S glyph? It'll be fun to see how it plays out.
    Just re-read the radiance thing again, it says "no other talent tree would grant this". I think they mean that you would only get this by spec'ing deep into holy as opposed to a few points in it as an off talent? No idea though.

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    Yeah that looks too good to be given away like that.
    “We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There's really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer.” ~Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

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    Added newer posts from eyonix to the main post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amamaeth View Post
    Just re-read the radiance thing again, it says "no other talent tree would grant this". I think they mean that you would only get this by spec'ing deep into holy as opposed to a few points in it as an off talent? No idea though.
    That was my understanding as well yesterday. Seems even more likely given the new posts you added wherein eyeonix says "the first two stats you get from spending in a tree".

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    I have to admit that I'm not stoked about the bonuses, and I hope some of them change during development. But I'm investing most of my hope in their talent changes and really hope they make choosing and picking talents something that is fun, creative, and, most of all, something you can use to differentiate yourself. That was their purpose in the first place, but they never truly got that feel.

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    Radiance sounds nice if they change healing back to what it was in vanilla. In the current context it would propably be overheal.
    But it is a very novel approach to distinguish the trees from each other.
    Remember that back in Vanilla the major criticism was that the trees seemed so similiar. They changed that for a bit in BC and it took until WotLK until Disc was a beast of it's own.

    It's a pity this will propably be the death of 30/0/30 fringe specs like UA or the old Hemo/Seal Fate builds. Mainstream cookie cutter builds are boring. Deviating from the mainstream will be even more deviant. Apart from that, Mastery is a very nice concept. I hope they lift a few more things from Warhammer Online.
    A writeup of the events/quests/questchains you participated in would also be nice. I really miss The Book.

    SIMON DE MONTFORT, EARL OF LEICESTER
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    killed in the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265.


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    If they achieve what they're going for then even if an allocation of 15/3/51 becomes commonplace the hope is the specific talents that add up to those numbers would be different. Right now there are so few points to shift around in your main tree that any opening up of this will probably move away from cookie cutters than the rare hybrid cross tree specs.

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    Looks like they've stated double dipping will not be possible. Only the talent tree with the most points in it will get benefit from mastery, although it's ambiguous what happens in the case of a tie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mačl View Post
    Radiance sounds nice if they change healing back to what it was in vanilla. In the current context it would propably be overheal.
    But it is a very novel approach to distinguish the trees from each other.
    Remember that back in Vanilla the major criticism was that the trees seemed so similiar. They changed that for a bit in BC and it took until WotLK until Disc was a beast of it's own.
    When I came back to wow a year and a half ago, having left wow just after AQ40 dropped (before BC), I was astonished to find that priests were no longer the top cookie cutter healers, and that the hybrid classes of paly, drood, and shamy had all asserted themselves into the space that priests used to dominate....nice to have disc be viable unto itself, but it still seems odd to me that palys and droods out heal priests soooooo much of the time with sooooo little effort (almost makes me miss the holy paly i was running back then when people swore holy palys couldn't heal...lol)

    anyhoo...thanks for the romp down memory lane...blizz will never go back to the way healing was because classes were too unique to keep people playing as long because anytime you wanted some variety in roles, you had to level a new toon...these days, you can go from tank to dps to heals when you get bored with your role just by respec'ing and getting some different gear...keeps people playing longer (and not getting mounts till lvl 40 used to slow lvling to a crawl)

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this mastery thing unfolds...it sounds like a really cool way to begin specializing toons again...we'll see!

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    On the tanking front of mastery blue has recently hinted at the model they're interested in:

    "The passive talent tree bonuses for tanks will probably be something like 1) reduces damage taken, 2) increases damage done, 3) reduces damage taken in a way unique to your tree."

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