We are finally starting to see official previews of the new Cataclysm talents , for a few classes at least. There are a couple of things that need to be pointed out before I go another further:
– None of this is final
– Generally all talent trees have been nerfed down however this because you also need to take the new mastery system in to account.
– You shouldn’t be able to get all the good talents with out taking some “filler”, that is the whole point of the update
There has been the idea for a long time that if an talent isn’t increasing your damange or healing it is either rubbish or for PvP. Hopefully Cataclysm will be changing this.. Lets face it in a world of min/maxcraft if your not doing 100% of your possible damage your taking up someone elses raid slot, or so I’m led to believe. So the only way that people aren’t going to take all these talent is to not give them the option.
Well for a start I don’t think the shadow tree is anywhere near finished there is after all a talent at the top that increases spell damage, this is what the mastery also does. There is also improved spirit tap but no spirit tap, shadow priests are also not meant to be actively going for spirit anymore so I’m not sure this really fits in at all anymore. Shadow gets a new raid buff in place of their to hit chance buff which is always nice. They also have a talent that increases they Hit rating by a small amount of their spirit, this is in place due to feedback that people felt it was unfair that Druids and Shaman could get one set of gear to use for caster and healer roles.
The two healing trees concern me slightly due to the priests unique ability to drip in to two healing trees which might lead to people picking up more healing talents rather than utility talents. For example at the moment if i spec Disc but then start working in to Holy i have no incentive to take anything but healing improvement talents, i really think they should be layered with more utility talent road blocks for your to choose from.
The Smite and general holy damage talents are a welcome addition, that said I doubt they will make anyone a raid viable holy dps spec. What they are for is general utility for spare talent points, got 10 spare points? Should I pick up some quasi dps talents for when I don’t have to do big heals or pickup the talents that reduce my spell damage taken and quickens my mass dispel casting time. These are good choices to make and shows a well designed system. They idea of doing damage to supplement your Healing output is something that is currently already in the Paladin Holy tree, which i expect to see extended when their preview comes out.
The Shaman preview doesn’t give any massive changes, there are more evolutions of current ideas. Totem of Wrath is replace by Wrathful totems which gives the standardised 10% spell power increase buff which will be a god send to those that are currently fighting their buffs against warlocks. The long awaited earthquake finally shows its face and should provide a good niche chunk of aoe damage mixed with PvE and PvP Utility, if you think its not good for PvE think about kiting things through it or using it as a source of damage reduction. Finally elemental should also have more of a dynamic rotation given that the DoT effect of flame shock will be reseting lava burst’s cooldown.
Enhancement again is a refinement rather than a revolution. All of the old intellect based talents have been removed and the mana regen on stormstrike has been buffed accordingly. The only major new machanic here is the idea of Shearing Flames and then its interplay with Lava lash.
Resto is almost unchanged, the only point of interest being the idea of shocks improving your next healing spell.
Druids sadly are my weakpoint so I won’t comment too heavily, It is one of my Cataclysm goals to raise and nurture my own druid. Suffice to say their Resto tree also has a new bit of damage buffs your healing interplay going on. On the note of Tree of Life I’m actually quite happy to see it become cooldown rather than a permanent model change, it really didn’t serve any function in terms of gameplay.
Our leather clad friends are actually get lots of minor changes across the board to refocus and improved each of their trees. Assassination is confirmed as the poison tree which isn’t really a suprised, the first addition here is the inclusion of backstab in to their rotation when targets to get a low percentage of health. They also get the free use for expose armor to which gives them another finishing move to hit from time to time. Together these changes should liven up an otherwise rinse and repeat rotation.
Combat is reinforced as the weapon damage tree and gains a big boost to armor giving it the ability to stand toe to toe with enemies rather than resorting to stealth and stunlocks.
Subtlety has finally got the work over it needs in order to become viable for PvE. It is now the bleed tree given that it has talents to boost rupture, do more damage while bleeds are on the target and refresh ruptures duration by using eviscerate. I expect there may be a few more changes needed to get it up to standard but it certainly looks like the tree is headed in the right direction.