Regional FlagWhat the New Talent Model Means for HealersSource
Target Source
#0 - 2010/07/07 06:40:12 PM
As many of you are aware, Blizzard finally listened to our claims that there were still “too many” passive talents buried in our talent trees. Here is the link to the original post:

---== Quick Summary ==--
So we’re all on the same page:

- Unique Ability: Each Tree is given a unique activated ability, just for being in that specialization (with the first talent point). The hope is have those “specialists” feel like that specialization from the start.

- Smaller Talent Trees: Talent trees will now cap out at 31 points (instead of 51). This drastically reduces the number of talents that need to be designed.

- Talent Points: Players now receive a talent point every other level rather than every level, effectively chopping the available points in half (41 at 85). The advantage here is that each talent can “do more.” This allows Blue the ability to remove “talent sink” abilities. (Talents that do nothing but each your points to make you work as intended).

- PvP Talents: Mandatory PvP talents will likely be removed. This should mean things like, reductions in CC effects, stuns, silences, will become baseline.

- Mastery now trainable: The entire section is worded awkwardly but boils down to the original “unique” bonus is now learned from the trainer, while the base bonuses are granted at the time a specialization is chosen (with the first talent point). Mastery stats on gear will improve the unique bonus.

----== What this means for those that love to heal ==---

- Boring Talents: As healers, it is really hard to define what constitutes a “boring” talent. With that said, there will likely be a push to have healing spells improve based on certain criteria.

For example: Expect talents like “Borrowed time: increases spell haste after casting a shield” to be the goal of the game.

- Talent Sinks: Expect talent sinks to remain despite the attempt Blizzard’s concerted effort to remove them. While the talent sinks are not likely to require 5 points, it is unrealistic that each talent will still provide a unique ability. Things that cause “effects” will likely still require multiple points to get the maximum benefit.

- Hybrid vs. Pure (Priest): There is a real risk that Priests become the most powerful healer because they will have access to two healing trees (and effectively several additional rows of talents) while the other healers are likely going to be stuck with fewer options (the alternate trees will likely offer even less than they currently do to healing hybrids).

This hasn’t really made a difference in the past because the “easy to obtain” talents were typically just “talent sinks.” With the whole-sale removal of easy to reach “talent sinks,” it is possible that the added variety from the easy-to-reach talents for priests will give them an edge.

- Cookie Cutter Specs: The inherent problem with limiting the number of talent points received is that each talent point is worth more. With each talent being worth more, it is highly likely that players will be forced into certain specs to get the most out of their character. There are a few possible routes for Blizzard to take to resolve this.

- Have each talent have next to nothing to do with improving healing and have it be solely about utility (even in this situation, certain “utility” talents will always be better).

- Have only talents that improve healing improve healing balanced extremely well, but too many to take them all. It should be noted that this is really hard, especially when it comes to the realm of hybrids who have limited reasons to jump to a different tree anyhow.

- Have a lot of “pre-requisites.” Stealing from Diablo 2, it is possible that they have multiple top tier talents that have so many requisites that it is impossible to get them all.

- Mandatory Talent Spend: Probably my least favorite part of this entire news release is that they are requiring a dedicated number of talents be spent in a talent tree (31). Ironically, this removes “player choice” from the game, exactly the opposite that this change was designed to improve. I can understand the rationale for the change, but I hope it doesn’t survive past beta. There are plenty of reasons that players “flip flop” between talent trees now, I don’t think this will change.

- Mastery: This should more or less remain the same, except that it will have the added bonus of giving low level players a boost right off the bat.

This was just my first take as it relates to healers. If I think of something as time passes I’ll be sure to incorporate it here.

Blue Poster
Target Source
#55 - 2010/07/08 05:55:49 AM
Q u o t e:
Holy would lose or have significant changes made to the following talents: Searing Light, Holy Focus, Empowered Healing, Divine Accuracy, Improved Renew, Improved Healing, Healing Prayers, Holy Reach, Improved Holy Nova, Thriving Light and Divine Providence.

Good guesses. Honestly it was kind of fun pruning the talent trees for this overhaul because it was surprisingly easy to pick out the talents that had to go and often cathartic to delete them. One of the hardest decisions was deciding what to push up to the first couple of tiers and rectifying that with what you get at which level.

Empowered and Improved Healing are still around (in slightly altered form) but available to Disc. We kept Improved Holy Nova and might keep Improved Renew because we want Holy to be good at Renew. The others, unless I am mistaken, were destroyed in the Cataclysm.