So much news, so hard to keep up.
Lets start with the biggest news of the past week (which also happened to be released yesterday) which is the unveiling of the talent trees. As you know we currently have 51 point talent trees and in an effort to downsize the current talent trees, Blizzard will be reducing them to 31 point trees, similar to how they were in Vanilla WOW.
31 Point Talent Calculator – Beta Build 21479 (link)
Remember, this is still a beta build and naturally it will change over time. I did say in a previous post that I didn’t want to speculate on talent builds (guess it was a good idea after all since it was completely revamped!) and this is somewhat contrary to what I said before but seeing as this is a complete overhaul of the talent tree system, I think this warrants a discussion.
So to start off, I will say something just doesn’t look/feel quite right.
- 2/2 Predatory Strikes is a requirement to get out of the 1st Tier which as I mentioned last time really feels like a PVP talent.
- To move from Tier 4 to Tier 5 you need to spend at least 1 point in survival/raid buffing talents (Infected Wounds, Nurturing Instinct)
- To move into Tier 6, you will need to spend at least 2 points in survival/raid buffing talents (Infected Wounds, Nurturing Instinct, Survival Instincts)
- Once Berserk is obtained at (0/31/5) there are 5 excess points with no kitty dps friendly talents to spend them on again forcing talent spend on survival/raid buffing talents
To use all 41 talent points, you essentially have to pickup every talent that isn’t “Bear Only”. Perhaps this is the what Blizzard is trying to achieve? But if that is the case it seems like there isn’t much room for error/tweaking anymore. If I were completely new to playing a feral druid all I would have to do is keep clicking on anything that had Cat in the talent and I would end up with essentially the same spec as I have below. Does the talent tree really have to be that simplistic?
What Talents/DPS Bonuses Have we Lost?
- Feral Aggression – 15% damage to Ferocious Bite
- Savage Fury – 20% damage to Rake/Mangle
- Feral Instinct – 30% Swipe Damage
- Sharpened Claws – 6% Crit
- Shredding Attacks -Minus 18 energy on Shred
- Primal Precision – 10 Expertise, 80% energy refund on miss
- Primal Fury – Extra CP on Crit
- Survival of the Fittest – 6% Stats
- Improved LOTP – 4% life, 8% mana
- Predatory Instincts – 10% increased melee critical damage
- Primal Gore – Rip dots can crit
Ok, clearly this is an absurd list but I’m just listing all the bonuses that we currently have now from the current talent tree and won’t have later in the new talent tree. If you recall, the mastery bonus that was announced was Melee Critical Damage and the unique effect was “increased damage from bleed effects”. So, I am positive that some of these things will be accounted for via Passive Bonuses and Mastery Bonuses. To be honest, the real concern is Primal Fury, having double combo points is a very important aspect for feral dps and to lose this talent would dramatically change the flow and gameplay of kitty dps. I mean, who really wants to sit around pooling energy anyways?
Blizzard’s Ideology on Cataclysm Talent Trees
For the benefit of everyone that may not be keeping up here is the concept/ideology of what Blizzard is trying to achieve with talents in Cataclysm. There’s a lot of information but I’ll just skim over the points that I think are the highlights (link), and also give a few thoughts as well (in blue)
- 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. (Seems to be moving in the right direction)
- 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. (Didn’t lose cool talents and gained a few cool talents, but at this moment, we are forced to spend 7 points on utility talents that don’t improve dps)
- 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. (Not enough information to discuss)
- 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. (See point above about Primal Fury, without it the mechanics flow of kitty dps will change)
- 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. (Not enough information to discuss)
- 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. (Not enough information to discuss)