Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cataclysm Talent Tree Awkwardness

I figured out what was bothering me about Cataclysm tree design.

If you look at the first row of talents, Blizzard usually has 2x 3pt talents and a 2pt talent. That means that if you want to only spend 5 points in the first row to get to the second, you get the 2pt and one of the 3pts.

However, in a lot of cases, the 2pt talent is "more optional" than the 3pt talents. If you look at the current paladin trees, Ret has Eye for an Eye at 2pts, and Prot has Imp Hammer of Justice. Both of those are more PvP talents, and somewhat less attractive to other specs.

Because of this, you tend to be pushed towards taking both 3pts in the first row, leaving you with only 4 points for the second row. So you can take a 3 or 2pt talent, and then you're left with 1 or 2 points and very few options to cap out. No matter what, if you are subspeccing, you cannot take 2 3pt talents in the second row.

I think talent trees would flow a little better if the 2pt talent was "less optional" than the 3pt talents. That way, you'd grab the 2pt and choose which 3pt you liked, making the next tier easier to finish. And you'd less likely to have 1 point left dangling in a standard 31/10 build.

For example, in Retribution, I think that tree would flow better if Crusade was 2pts and Eye for an Eye was 3pts. Then PvP/Prot would take Eye for an Eye and Crusade, and Holy and Ret would take Rule of Law and Crusade, and that would give everyone 5 points for the second row of Ret or for the first row in Prot.


  1. Checking the Paladin talent trees, I understand what you mean.

    On the flip side, the Shaman Trees look pretty done, if not a little boring.

  2. I agree it's a pain, but it appears to be a good pain (at least from Blizzard's perspective of trying to get away from cookie-cutter specs)

    Essentially what we have for some trees (DK's tanks have this too), is that you can have most of the good stuff, but not all of it. Otherwise we are back to cookie-cutter specs.

    Enjoy the agony over 'is this best?'. Otherwise it becomes boring.

  3. I think they'd do better with just making all the talent options one point and maxed out. I mean it's very rare that people take only 2/3 or 1/3 of a particular talent. Make it more binary.

  4. I see your point about the paladin situation. I have decided that I will duel box level my priest and paladin and they will be my 2 mains in the expansion.

    THe priest will be the main main though, and they have a slightly different problem.

    As disc, the problem is that by the 3rd tier, a priest MUST take pvp talents to just advance to the next tier.

    Follow me. The first tier we take everything for 8 points spent. Next tier, we take Imp Inner Fire and and we take Power Infusion on the 3rd tier.

    That is 12 points spent. We are stuck taking Evangelism, Archangel, Imp mana burn, or Atonement. None of those a pve minded disc priest will want. Honestly, I don't pve much and only focus on PVP but I think pve disc priests are kind of getting shafter. WE heal, so we are not interested in doing damage. And we never mana burn in PVE, so, what gives?

  5. I was actually looking through the different talent trees and noticed this being a problem with many of them.

    Even if you could do a standard 31pt in your main tree build, often I was left with an oddity, something like 31/6/4 or 31/9/1

  6. My only issue with the talents so far is having only 1 or 2 points in a talent that's 3 points. Maybe its a pet peeve but Id rather fully invest in a talent than not at all. I understand Blizzards intention with trying to move away from "cookie cutter" builds, its just something I'll have to suck up and adapt too.

  7. I don't know, there are some talents that I don't mind not fully investing in. Yes, some talents really feel all or nothing, but quite often, things like reducing cost, etc, are more, nice to have, than necessary.

  8. @Anonymous --

    As someone who PvP's rarely (and poorly) I understand the point, and I hate feeling like Blizz is foisting PvP on us. However, it's possible that some of those PvP talents that are mandatory for continuing deeper into the tree may actually be helpful in PvE situations. First, they may help with the leveling process, since not everyone had a damage-dealing dual spec; second, with the expected changes to the healing game there may be more opportunities for healers to deal damage during dungeons/raids. These talents may end up helping.

    I'm not sure what the disco talents you specify actually do, but they may end up being more useful for PvE than expected.

  9. "That means that if you want to only spend 5 points in the first row to get to the second, you get the 2pt and one of the 3pts." I agree fully.

  10. "WE heal, so we are not interested in doing damage. "

    I think Bliz is trying to encourage healers to do a little DPS in Cataclysm.

  11. Blizzard was concerned over "cookie cutter specs?"

    Look at the trees.You pick the pve talents, and you're out of points. you pick the pvp talents, and you're out of points.

    The only "customization" is to take pvp talents into a raid, or raid talents into a battleground.

    So the concern about cookie cutters was that everyone wasn't using them? Or did I miss something in that logic?

    I wanted MORE customization. I didn't want to be the same as every numbskull that rolls.

    Guild Wars 2 is looking really good in comparison. Cata game play had better impress me big time. The new "idiot proof" talent trees certainly DONT.