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Post by darkjedi @ 11:24am 08/07/10 | 43 Comments
WoW's Cataclysm won't be limited to just the landscape, with the Talent and skill system being completely overhauled for the upcoming expansion. Gone are the confusing 50+ point talent trees, replaced with a less complex 31 point tree and changes to how often you receive talent points.

Additionally players will be limited to one talent tree until a set point in order to reduce the confusion for newer players. This is on top of the already announced changes around skills, where you learn them once and never have to go back to learn the higher level version of each skill/spell.
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.

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.
You can read the full lowdown over here on the official WoW forums, including a fairly in-depth explanation of the system and their reasoning for the changes. promoted forum item



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Latest Comments
darkjedi
Posted 11:27am 08/7/10
Semi-related, Blizz has also overhauled the classic dungeon level bands to make the process a bit more logical:

TicMan
Posted 11:29am 08/7/10
So they are changing the mobs & boss levels for some dungeons (Scholo going down 10 levels, RFD up about 20) in cata too?
darkjedi
Posted 11:32am 08/7/10
So it would appear, which is something I'm fully supportive of. There's nothing worse when leveling to hit 40 and only have ZF to run until lvl50+. I'd love to see more news on the heroic versions of the old dungeons, but suspect that'll be presented in the months after Cataclysm rolls.
TicMan
Posted 11:34am 08/7/10
Yeah totally, I've been levelling a holy priest (73 now) using random dungeons only and started going mental having to do DM & BRD over and over and over and over and over and over.
darkjedi
Posted 11:36am 08/7/10
The other thing I've noticed from the thread above is that we'll be back to the old school days of 31 points in a main tree, then getting 10 points to spend in another tree of our choice. Really interested to see how they're going to play this one out, especially since even in the early beta builds the Cata talent trees were still horrid.
Khel
Posted 12:19pm 08/7/10
Wow, this is pretty huge, be interesting to see how it plays out.

started going mental having to do DM & BRD over and over and over and over and over and over.


Yeah, and the current version of BRD really doesn't work that well with the random dungeon finder. You just get dropped in there and have to play "guess which boss we need to kill for the dungeon finder to deem things complete".
Hogfather
Posted 12:24pm 08/7/10
That's awesome if it works out, I love the new talent direction.

Assuming I get my account back (weep) I'm totally gonna fire up WoW again for the expac.
Khel
Posted 12:29pm 08/7/10
Yeah, you'll get it back, I've had a few friends get hacked and its usually taken a couple of weeks, but they get their accounts back no problem.

One of my friends got his account hacked while his wow was inactive, and the hacker actually put time on his account so it could be used to farm gold. Then my friend recovered the account through blizzard, and had a month of free time on there to use :)
Raven
Posted 12:37pm 08/7/10
So we're back to having everyones character having the same abilities?

Yeah, that seems well thought out. /sarc
Thundercracker
Posted 01:14pm 08/7/10
Reading is FUNdamental
casa
Posted 01:53pm 08/7/10
Yeah Raven, its stupid as.

Also I don't agree with the OP saying "Gone are the confusing 51+ point talent trees" bud, if they're confusing for you, then you shouldn't be playing wow as this isn't very complex. If you're just quoting from somewhere, you should say so!

last edited by casa at 13:53:38 08/Jul/10
Khel
Posted 02:01pm 08/7/10
So we're back to having everyones character having the same abilities?


Most are at the moment anyway? All they're doing is removing the talents nobody takes, and making the talents EVERYONE takes passive buffs, so the stuff thats left in the tree is more meaningful. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Trauma
Posted 02:21pm 08/7/10
They are not removing the talents nobody takes, they are removing the choice everyone has & making the game even more casual.
Khel
Posted 03:07pm 08/7/10
How are they removing choice? Its not like at the moment if you want to make say, an arcane spec mage, you have a huge choice, because theres so many talents you just have to take that the "choice" comes down to a few fringe bits that barely matter.

All these people crying about how nazi it is, did you actually read the whole article, like not just scan it and come here to cry? The whole being locked into one tree is just a levelling thing, once you hit 70 and you've got your 31 point talent, you're free to do whatever the f*** you want. And its not like you can look at the current talent trees and think man it'd be s*** if I was only locked into one of those while levelling, cos the trees are going to be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. The idea being, if you choose to level as a shadow priest, you'll have everything you need to be an effective shadow priest right there in the shadow tree, not spread all over the place. And you'll get stuff like mind flay and shadow form early on in the piece so you actually do feel like a shadow priest.
TicMan
Posted 03:10pm 08/7/10
I once tried to do things my way with my tank and went holy so I could heal myself while bashing down bosses in ICC10 and unfortunately it didn't work :(

So I just went back to prot spec and voila, I could tank again!
DM
Posted 03:13pm 08/7/10
I'm sure i'm not the only one who thinks WoW has become so noob friendly and pathetic. Shrinking the s*** out of the trees so that they are less confusing? S*** all I can say is i'm glad FF14 comes out in 2 1/2 months time.
Methz
Posted 03:19pm 08/7/10
My little brother got his hacked acount back one day with a good 10k+ of gold that was obviously being moved between the hackers.
paybacks a b****.
darkjedi
Posted 03:26pm 08/7/10
Not confusing? You put a new player in front of the game, then go "right, I want you to make a talent build for your level 80" and see what their reaction is. With all the passive buffs (crit% increases, reducing spell pushback etc), filler/fluff talents (improved slam? Improved arcane missiles? etc) and so on, it makes it harder to work out what the heck to go with when speccing your character. By stripping all the rubbish out and going to the design listed above, it means the fluff/filler/passive stuff is gone and it'll be easier for people to figure out how to build their character how they want it without getting lost in the process.

It's entirely possible that this is the large reason behind Blizzard making the change, with in part due to 70% of trial players quitting before hitting level 10 amongst others. Besides, do you really want to hit level 85 and have to allocate 76 talent points?
Jim
Posted 03:33pm 08/7/10
Not confusing? You put a new player in front of the game, then go "right, I want you to make a talent build for your level 80" and see what their reaction is. With all the passive buffs (crit% increases, reducing spell pushback etc), filler/fluff talents (improved slam? Improved arcane missiles? etc) and so on, it makes it harder to work out what the heck to go with when speccing your character. By stripping all the rubbish out and going to the design listed above, it means the fluff/filler/passive stuff is gone and it'll be easier for people to figure out how to build their character how they want it without getting lost in the process.
simple, just put a flashing red link to elitist jerks at the top and prosper

either that or actually document stuff properly yourself (blizzard)
Khel
Posted 03:54pm 08/7/10
What do you mean "shrinking the s***" out of them, they're only going back to the same size they were in vanilla wow, and nobody cried about it in those days. Part of it is probably to make it more accessible, since to a new person coming in at level 1, going from 1 to 85 is a pretty epic thing, but its also just a matter of streamlining a system that has become bloated and excessive.

I much prefer the approach they're taking, going back to the start and looking at how talents fit into the big picture of where the game is at these days, and building a system that works, instead of just adding more bits on to the existing system and applying bandaid fixes and making things worse. I mean, the current talent trees are a bit of a mess as they are, theres lots of stuff people never take, or can't take because they're forced to spend points in other trees to get "must have" talents. The talent system as it is now was designed and implemented 5 years ago when the game was an incredibly different beast to what it is today, its time for a new system that is built with today's WoW in mind.
Thundercracker
Posted 04:23pm 08/7/10
Khels on the money.

Plus levelling an alt might actually be fun at low levels now.
Term
Posted 04:48pm 08/7/10
Plus levelling an alt might actually be fun at low levels now.

false
Hogfather
Posted 05:14pm 08/7/10
Yeah, you'll get it back, I've had a few friends get hacked and its usually taken a couple of weeks, but they get their accounts back no problem.

So just the whole phase 2 starcraft beta eh? ><
darkjedi
Posted 05:28pm 08/7/10
I think leveling an alt's going to be fun until we've done the revamped starting zones to death. Not to mention leveling a priest will be less painful now!
TicMan
Posted 05:35pm 08/7/10
Just did a holy priest purely using LFG after level 15 and it's been pretty easy going. Don't have to wait long for queues most of the time, most of the people are in heirlooms, get good blues / dungeon quest rewards, etc.

I think to 60 it was 3d 2h, level 70 was maybe 4d 12hr as I started pounding out my professions.
Jim
Posted 05:35pm 08/7/10
I'm optimistic ;)
darkjedi
Posted 05:39pm 08/7/10
I kind of draw the line when the GS retards start demanding you be in full heirlooms to run lowbie dungeons. Seriously retarded stuff, that is.
Jim
Posted 06:12pm 08/7/10
haha really
darkjedi
Posted 08:11pm 08/7/10
Yup. On both Blackrock and Saurfang I've seen idiots demanding full heirloom gear to run everything from RFC to Mauradon (who actually goes there anyway?). It's seriously retarded.
Khel
Posted 11:33pm 08/7/10
Thats pretty lame, I haven't seen that yet, but I do always laugh when I see people asking for 5k gearscore to do naxx weeklies.
darkjedi
Posted 11:01am 09/7/10
But patchwerk is srs bzns.
Thundercracker
Posted 11:16am 09/7/10
I don't mind the concept of gearscore. A minimum gear cutoff for raid content makes sense, assuming the cutoff is reasonable.

But I draw the line at kicking people based on gearscore in a heroic or normal. They are so f*****g easy >.<
NoLogic
Posted 11:26am 09/7/10
Saurfang I've seen idiots demanding full heirloom gear


yer I've noticed this lately on Saurfang, lvling up 3 alts there atm. All mine have full heirloom except trinkets so wouldn't be a prob for me, but its still s***.

I just use Zygors to lvl anyway :P

What i really frickan hate is queueing for Heroics and a new tank comes in @ high 3k GS and ppls quit without giving them a chance ffs. Seeing that heaps on Saurfang in the last month.
TicMan
Posted 11:42am 09/7/10
I hate GS - it's such a s*** mod. I'd rather take a bunch of guys who know what they are doing with less GS than retards who managed to win enough epics to get a high GS. I've seen far too many people in the 5500+ GS space who dawdle around like chickens without a head acting like f***tards.

My mate just levelled up a rogue to 80 and kicked off with a GS of 3500 and is struggling to get into heroics & raids yet can do more DPS then people with much higher GS because he knows the rotations, specs, what to enchant/gem for, strats for bosses, etc because he has a ~5800GS priest clearing ICC and has spent numerous hours on all that content.
Thundercracker
Posted 11:42am 09/7/10
You really need to balance your tank against your healer. I had a friend who got into an ICC 5 man with a tank who had 22k health. But his healing gear is really good so keeping the poor tank alive wasn't an issue. Just required some care and attention.
TicMan
Posted 11:45am 09/7/10
What i really frickan hate is queueing for Heroics and a new tank comes in @ high 3k GS and ppls quit without giving them a chance ffs.


Reminds me when I first got to 60 on my paladin and started tanking Ramfarts. Zoned in and got laughed at for;

a) being a paladin
b) being a prot paladin
c) not having awesome blues or purplies

Well we cleared the instance doing big pulls (back when AOE threat was specific to Pallys), lots of damage and no wipes. Needless to say they wanted to run again and again and again :)
Thundercracker
Posted 11:47am 09/7/10
When I levelled my mage more recently, I found from level 60-70 the ONLY class that could out DPS me inside instances were the prot pallies that were tanking. And by a fair margin as well.
TicMan
Posted 12:16pm 09/7/10
It's all different now.. back in my day tanks did barely no DPS, interest rates were 18% and it was tough to live like we can live now.
DM
Posted 12:21pm 09/7/10
Well... Internode had a beta key contest and I won 1 of the 5 keys, so I guess i'll be seeing these changes very soon.
Khel
Posted 12:57pm 09/7/10
I was in the beta for Wrath, and while it was pretty awesome, it killed the game a bit for me once it actually came out. While all my friends were seeing all this cool new content for the first time, I was just trudging through the levels trying to get to 80 cos I'd seen it all before. I'm kinda torn about Cataclysm, on the one hand I'd love to get into the beta and see all the new stuff, but on the other hand, I don't want to ruin it for myself like I did with Wrath :(
glynd
Posted 02:00pm 09/7/10
I was in the beta for Wrath, and while it was pretty awesome, it killed the game a bit for me once it actually came out. While all my friends were seeing all this cool new content for the first time, I was just trudging through the levels trying to get to 80 cos I'd seen it all before. I'm kinda torn about Cataclysm, on the one hand I'd love to get into the beta and see all the new stuff, but on the other hand, I don't want to ruin it for myself like I did with Wrath :(


exact reason why i don't like doing beta.
casa
Posted 02:05pm 09/7/10
darkjedi, i'll assume you've never played any other mmo in your entire life, as wow is ez mode learning curve compared to everything else

darkjedi
Posted 03:47pm 09/7/10
I spent a few months playing the original EQ and also dived into UO briefly back in the day. Both I enjoyed and was getting the hang of, but at the time couldn't sink the time required to play them seriously. Just because WoW is easy to pick up and has a relatively easy learning curve doesn't make it a bad or non-fun game.
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