Priest Talent Previews for Cataclysm

June 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm (Cataclysm, Cataclysm Expansion, Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Heal, Healing Mechanics, Hymn of Hope, Mana, Patches, Penance, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Renew, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadowform, Spells, Talents)

So Blizzard have released some Previews for the Priest, Shaman, Druid and Rogue talent trees for Cataclysm. Of course they are rough – there are duplicate talents, place holder names and so forth. And obviously it’s Alpha. However it gives some really great insight into where the Priest talents are going. And with a little careful thought it gives us more information on things we have been left in the dark about up until now – Shadow Orbs, Casting while moving. Smite DPS specs! It’s all really good stuff. And more to the point Blizzard are actively looking for feedback on it, so it’s a great time to get out there and talk about it.

Rather than write a post this week I’ve made a presentation – mainly because I thought the software was pretty cool and I wanted to try it out. However, it’s a pain in the tush to get it working on WordPress, and the files take a long time to download. Moreover the fullscreen – which is really needed to see the text – doesn’t work on WordPress. Awesome… So my suggestion is to click here which links directly to it.

Anyway – if you can. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Maybe Deathwing fixed my Talent Trees

August 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm (Cataclysm, Cataclysm Expansion, Patches)

The world is changing, the zones we know so well being completely reforged from the ground up. Things which we’ve taken for granted are disappearing or close to destruction. The bastions we return home to after a day’s raiding are suffering from the devastation. Orgrimmar destroyed, Malfurion returning to rally the survivors of a broken world, Volcanoes erupt, Dragons scourge the land, the Wetlands overthrown, Blackrock Mountain rising again, Desolace reborn, old quest lines advanced. When I think about travelling the skies of this new Azeroth I have so many questions. Things like, did Hogger survive? Has Mankrik found his wife?

Deathwing

But the changes are not just physical and temporal. I posted very recently about how I felt there was not enough flexibility in the Priest talent trees about where you were realistically able to put points. I ended that post by asking whether at this ‘late’ stage, Blizzard were really committed enough to overhaul the talent trees to the degree that would be needed.

Well, then Blizzcon happened and we all got a very good insight into how committed Blizzard are to this game. Where many companies would have tacked yet another Expansion onto the end of the game, Blizzard are not only totally revamping a gigantic amount of old content, they are also fundamentally changing a lot about how the basic game mechanics work. For example, Player Stats, Talents trees, and the impact of Path of the Ancients.

At the very minimum the changes to Player Stats means that a gigantic amount of work will have to be done on the Talent Trees themselves. Of course, this definitely doesn’t mean Blizzard agree with me about what the problems are with the current talent trees, but it certainly demonstrates their willingness to change them at a fundamental level. Whatever your views are about the direction you want WoW to go, it certainly shows they aren’t resting on their laurels.

Take a random spell that everybody seems reasonably happy with: Inner Fire grants you Armour and Spell Power. Well, in Cataclysm there will be no spell power, so will Inner Fire grant Intellect instead? A minor point, but it shows just how pervasive the changes will have to be. Hundreds of spells and talents will have to be removed, overhauled or at the very least tweaked to match up with the new vision Blizzard have.

Talents like Darkness, Spiritual Guidance, Empowered Healing, Spiritual Healing, Empowered Renew, Mental Strength. Shaman Totems, pretty much every Raid buff, scroll, food or enchantment in the game. All these things will have to be reforged. There is no spell power, so now you can expect that new healing staff to have, what? 500 intellect? And you will enchant it with what? More Intellect? Crit? Mastery points? Think how much work will have to be redone!

The world is changing, many things have fallen away and enemies new and old rise up to try and cast us down. It was beginning to feel like we might be near the end, but there is a long journey still ahead of us. It’s going to kick ass.

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