+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 100

Thread: Upcoming Class & Talent Design Changes

  1. #1

    Upcoming Class & Talent Design Changes

    HUGE announcement today on the official forums regarding a complete overhaul of the talent system:

    [blizzard=http://wowraid.com/tracker/b3/t25626290449/cataclysm-class--mastery-systems-update.html#465][source=Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update]Zarhym[/source]
    One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of "concentrated coolness." We'd rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don't think that's possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents. With this reduction in tree size we need to make sure they're being purchased along a similar leveling curve, and therefore will also be reducing the number of total talent points and the speed at which they're awarded during the leveling process.

    As a result, we can keep the unique talents in each tree, particularly those which provide new spells, abilities or mechanics. We'll still have room for extra flavorful talents and room for player customization, but we can trim a great deal of fat from each tree. The idea isn't to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won't change and you won't lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.[/blizzard]
    Complete announcement (with LOTS more information) after the break.



    [blizzard=http://wowraid.com/tracker/b3/t25626290449/cataclysm-class--mastery-systems-update.html#465][source=Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update]Zarhym[/source]When we first announced our design goals for class talent trees back at BlizzCon 2009, one of our major stated focuses was to remove some of the boring and "mandatory" passive talents. We mentioned that we wanted talent choices to feel more flavorful and fun, yet more meaningful at the same time. Recently, we had our fansites release information on work-in-progress talent tree previews for druids, priests, shaman, and rogues. From those previews and via alpha test feedback, a primary response we heard was that these trees didn't incorporate the original design goals discussed at BlizzCon. This response echoes something we have been feeling internally for some time, namely that the talent tree system has not aged well since we first increased the level cap beyond level 60. In an upcoming beta build, we will unveil bold overhauls of all 30 talent trees.

    Talent Tree Vision

    One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of "concentrated coolness." We'd rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don't think that's possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents. With this reduction in tree size we need to make sure they're being purchased along a similar leveling curve, and therefore will also be reducing the number of total talent points and the speed at which they're awarded during the leveling process.

    As a result, we can keep the unique talents in each tree, particularly those which provide new spells, abilities or mechanics. We'll still have room for extra flavorful talents and room for player customization, but we can trim a great deal of fat from each tree. The idea isn't to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won't change and you won't lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.

    We are also taking a hard look at many of the mandatory PvP talents, such as spell pushback or mechanic duration reductions. While there will always be PvP vs. PvE builds, we'd like for the difference to be less extreme, so that players don't feel like they necessarily need to spend their second talent specialization on a PvP build.

    The Rise of Specialization

    We want to focus the talent trees towards your chosen style of gameplay right away. That first point you spend in a tree should be very meaningful. If you choose Enhancement, we want you to feel like an Enhancement shaman right away, not thirty talent points later. When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. The passive bonuses range from flat percentage increases, like a 20% increase to Fire damage for Fire mages or spell range increases for casters, to more interesting passives such as the passive rage regeneration of the former Anger Management talent for Arms warriors, Dual-Wield Specialization for Fury warriors and Combat rogues, or the ability to dual-wield itself for Enhancement shaman.

    The initial talent tree selection unlocks active abilities that are core to the chosen role. Our goal is to choose abilities that let the specializations come into their own much earlier than was possible when a specialization-defining talent had to be buried deep enough that other talent trees couldn't access them. For example, having Lava Lash and Dual-Wield right away lets an Enhancement shaman feel like an Enhancement shaman. Other role-defining examples of abilities players can now get for free at level 10 include Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.

    Getting Down to the Grit

    Talent trees will have around 20 unique talents instead of today's (roughly) 30 talents, and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees. The 31-point talents will generally be the same as the 51-point talents we already had planned for Cataclysm. A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don't want to remove anything that's going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice.

    While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85). Our goal is to alternate between gaining a new class spell or ability and gaining a talent point with each level. As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. While leveling, this will be possible at 70. Picking a talent specialization should feel important. To that end, we want to make sure new players understand the significance of reaching the bottom of their specialization tree before gaining the option of spending points in the other trees. We intend to make sure dual-specialization and re-talenting function exactly as they do today so players do not feel locked into their specialization choice.

    A True Mastery

    The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items.

    To Recap

    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.[/blizzard]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Feels like shortcuts, and deadlines being put in front of them. It is what it is I suppose.

  3. #3
    Toushiro's Avatar
    Toushiro is offline 私はあなたのことをいつも考えています。
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,125
    thats some major changes. the talent tree changes are the most interesting ones.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ciderhelm View Post
    I keep a few steel bars in my home.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulia View Post
    Feels like shortcuts, and deadlines being put in front of them. It is what it is I suppose.
    Uh, this will require significantly more work. If they were going to take a shortcut, they'd just release the current trees (with a little touching up).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    To provide a bit more:

    What I like:
    I like that spec definitions will happen earlier. It's sort of key, in my opinion, to give spec definition earlier. This will make the lowbie game much more interesting, and may even help people to learn to play not only their class, but their spec better.

    What I dislike:
    There were talents in other specs which weren't always passive buffs, but were still things that you wanted, hence hybrid speccing. Such will disappear with this, which would have unforeseen consequences on leveling progression.

    One of the few things that made leveling exciting was that, upon gaining a level, you got to spend a talent point. While this was more or less rote, because of the passive buffs, it still felt like a reward. Now you will be doing that less often and there's less to take off of the edge of grinding out levels. Blizzard says they want to stagger this in such a way as to be offset with new spells. But I earnestly hope that they do a bit more to make the leveling experience feel more fun and interesting, because this change certainly took quite a bit from it.

    This also feels like it seals off individualization. When they talked about "interesting" talent choices, my immediate thought was "more talents are optional". However, with other trees being cut off until you fill out your "main" tree, it feels like we'll have less options and will still be stuck with more or less the same talent choices.

    I hope I'm wrong, we'll have to see how it pans out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    Uh, this will require significantly more work. If they were going to take a shortcut, they'd just release the current trees (with a little touching up).
    That would certainly be the easiest route, but not the one I thought they would take.

    My interpretation was that they were going to replace the "lame" talents with better ones. Thus adding more to the game. However, that requires a lot of creative development work, a lot of time they apparently don't have any more. So while tearing down the trees will require some work, definitely more so than just "touching them up" it requires less work than what I had hoped from a company which has traditionally impressed me with its ambitious ingenuity. It's what kept them at "the top" because they were willing to put the effort in creative development to make ambitious ideas succeed.

    I don't see that when I look at this change. Perhaps I just see it differently. Ultimately, we can't really know how this will play out until we experience it. This doesn't "kill" Cata for me, I'm still very much excited.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,897
    This is actually a dream come true. I am surprised it did not come sooner, after seeing the initial talent trees and how many boring talents where still left.

    caveat: feral druids are probably going to get screwed by this is not done properly, or we will become extremely OP in that it will be returned to the TBC talent design of every talent having equal parts bear and cat and pretty much eliminating the need for a druid to dual spec other than glyphs. (also a cat losing omen of clarity is going to hurt, but I assume the small balancing issues like that will be worked out soon enough)

    Also this probably just pushed back the release another month or 2 (at least we know why they have not raised the level cap and opened new zones yet)



  8. #8
    Nobody specs less than 51 points into a talent tree, and I fully expect that the new 31-point talents will be every bit as mandatory as they are now. Cutting off the other trees until you put 31 into your main tree doesn't really do anything other than keeping new players who are just leveling from creating horrible builds (which is good, but not major).

    This also does let them accomplish their "more talents are optional" goal. When every (or most) talents have 5 points and are just "your whiffle bat now does 10% more damage", that's not optional for whiffle-specced rogues. Cleaning up the trees lets them make each talent point more powerful, which in turn means each talent point is more interesting.

    I'd also argue that leveling up and gaining 1% more crit from talents never really felt all that rewarding. Some talents did -- the ones that had actual impact on how your character is played -- but most did not. This change will let them make more of the talents with real impact and less filler.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    5,515
    I like: this entire concept

    I dislike: them trying to distract us from Real ID! It's a red herring I tell you! RUN!!! THE SKY IS FALLING. =P


    When every (or most) talents have 5 points and are just "your whiffle bat now does 10% more damage", that's not optional for whiffle-specced rogues
    I also lol'd pretty hard at this.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    480
    I'll wait till I see the new trees to pass judgement. The concept is only as good at the way it is implemented.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    Nobody specs less than 51 points into a talent tree, and I fully expect that the new 31-point talents will be every bit as mandatory as they are now. Cutting off the other trees until you put 31 into your main tree doesn't really do anything other than keeping new players who are just leveling from creating horrible builds (which is good, but not major).

    This also does let them accomplish their "more talents are optional" goal. When every (or most) talents have 5 points and are just "your whiffle bat now does 10% more damage", that's not optional for whiffle-specced rogues. Cleaning up the trees lets them make each talent point more powerful, which in turn means each talent point is more interesting.

    I'd also argue that leveling up and gaining 1% more crit from talents never really felt all that rewarding. Some talents did -- the ones that had actual impact on how your character is played -- but most did not. This change will let them make more of the talents with real impact and less filler.
    You certainly make well-reasoned points. Maybe I'm odd in the fact that I looked forward to getting the talent point and how I wanted to spend it. And it's certainly viable to spec into multiple trees at low levels. Some might say that if you want your character to be the best at certain levels you have to spec into multiple trees. Thus it will be interesting to see how they balance this.

    One thing I don't understand, however, is how limiting your options will make more things optional. With smaller trees and fewer points it doesn't feel like anything will be more or less optional than it is now. Where am I seeing differently than reality in this?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Posts
    7,442
    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    This also does let them accomplish their "more talents are optional" goal. When every (or most) talents have 5 points and are just "your whiffle bat now does 10% more damage", that's not optional for whiffle-specced rogues. Cleaning up the trees lets them make each talent point more powerful, which in turn means each talent point is more interesting.

    I'd also argue that leveling up and gaining 1% more crit from talents never really felt all that rewarding. Some talents did -- the ones that had actual impact on how your character is played -- but most did not. This change will let them make more of the talents with real impact and less filler.
    What the heck is a whiffle.

    I like this as this might really get rid of extra talents that weren't needed. Will help with the overly bloating amount of stuff I saw in some spec trees.

    Tankspot Moderator
    Twitter: Follow me on Twitter! @Krenian

    "Damnit!" - Jack Bauer, 24


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulia View Post
    To provide a bit more:

    What I like:
    I like that spec definitions will happen earlier. It's sort of key, in my opinion, to give spec definition earlier. This will make the lowbie game much more interesting, and may even help people to learn to play not only their class, but their spec better.

    What I dislike:
    There were talents in other specs which weren't always passive buffs, but were still things that you wanted, hence hybrid speccing. Such will disappear with this, which would have unforeseen consequences on leveling progression.

    One of the few things that made leveling exciting was that, upon gaining a level, you got to spend a talent point. While this was more or less rote, because of the passive buffs, it still felt like a reward. Now you will be doing that less often and there's less to take off of the edge of grinding out levels. Blizzard says they want to stagger this in such a way as to be offset with new spells. But I earnestly hope that they do a bit more to make the leveling experience feel more fun and interesting, because this change certainly took quite a bit from it.

    This also feels like it seals off individualization. When they talked about "interesting" talent choices, my immediate thought was "more talents are optional". However, with other trees being cut off until you fill out your "main" tree, it feels like we'll have less options and will still be stuck with more or less the same talent choices.

    I hope I'm wrong, we'll have to see how it pans out.
    1) leveling is MUCH MUCH more fun, and I agree with how lore put it in his last video. Getting from 1-60 will not be fun and when you hit 60 you will get the feeling of OH CRAP TBC time this is going to suck.

    2) I did a write up of spell levels for druids (this is just a snipit of it)
    10- Cat Form, Claw, Ferocious Bite, Prowl
    12- Regrowth, Revive
    15- Teleport: Moonglade, Bear Form, Demoralizing Roar, Growl, Maul
    16- Aquatic Form, Travel Form
    18- Starfire,
    20- Rebirth, Insect Swarm,
    22- Enrage, Ravage, Skull Bash
    24- Faerie Fire, Faerie Faire (Bear), Faerie Faire (Cat), Tiger's Fury, Remove Corruption
    26- Cower, Dash, Feline Grace
    28- Innervate, Soothe Animal, Challenging Roar
    30- Mark of the Wild
    32- Bash, Pounce
    I rather like the idea of "when you level you get either a talent point to spend or a new ability to learn from your trainer"

    3) I will concede that with less possible talents to choose from, the one thing blizzard wanted to get away from is actually MORE likely to happen now, a true "cookie-cutter" spec with very little individualization, and to go a step further, not just in the secondary trees but even in the main tree itself.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    290
    We've been discussing this over in this thread:

    http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...360#post432360

    Might want to merge the relevant stuff together.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    minnesota aka southern canada
    Posts
    2,184
    Have to say I dont like them darkening the other trees. while it may halp people who have no idea what they are doing a little bit, for lvling it is often helpful to grab a skill or two from a tree you are not mainly in. I dont mind the talent point reduction as it looks like they will cut out 5 pt talents and it will basically be the same as it is now with less clicks, its the limitation in lvling that annoys me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler View Post
    I'm on a shark

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    I think it was merely a dream to believe that we would ever steer away from cookie-cutter specs, to be honest. The sheer amount of creative work needed to balance things appropriately would probably be too enormous to be reasonable. There will always generally be a best way to do something, and with the playerbase WoW has, the best way to do something is generally going to be found out and everyone is going to do it.

    I'm neither for nor against this change. It's going to happen either way, I just have to hope that Blizzard does it well. I just sort of expected more is all.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by Krenian View Post
    What the heck is a whiffle.

    I like this as this might really get rid of extra talents that weren't needed. Will help with the overly bloating amount of stuff I saw in some spec trees.
    If he means it like I think he does, he's referring to whiffle ball. It's a game played with a plastic ball with holes in it and a plastic bat.

    More here: http://www.wiffle.com/stuff.htm

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,897
    I just got the very odd inclination to delete all my characters come cata and relevel them all from level 1 (guess I will just have to do it on another server or another account, o well)



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    290
    I've been having that same inclination lately...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Well, I'll be making at least one new char in Cataclysm anyways for the new races, so there's certainly some investment into the new leveling system. I really don't see how this will make it more exciting, but, have there been other changes announced which will coincide to make leveling more fun?

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts