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|July 17, 2010, 09:23 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Twitter Developer Chat -Talent Tree
Blizzard routinely holds a Twitter chat with Developers to take a Q&A from the public. It's a long post, so I'm breaking it up into three. Below are some talent tree related excerpts from the latest chat:
Q. With the 31-point tree, many talents still cost two or three points. Is this going to be changed, as it basically increases their cost?
A. For the most part, yes. There are some overpowered talents that don't need the boost, but many of the others will have their effects increased.
Q. How do the mastery bonuses work now that they don't show up on the talent interface anymore?
A. The mastery bonuses will be trainable passive bonuses somewhere around level 75. Each talent specialization will have a different Mastery available on the trainer with a base potency with 0 Mastery Rating. The character sheet interface will have additional information on the additional potency gained from Mastery Rating.
Q. Have some of the old talents been made into new glyphs?
A. Usually when we cut a talent it's because we thought it was a bad talent, but we might bring some talents that were so situational to fit in the new model back as glyphs. We are still designing glyphs. Players shouldn't necessarily assume that any of their current glyphs are going to still be around. Some will, but many are changing.
Q. In general, do you expect mana-saving talents to be something all players take, or are they designed to be optional utility?
A. For healers, we expect players will take most of these talents (maybe not the ones related to taking damage or dealing damage though). For non-healers, we make sure all of them have reasonably reliable ways to restore mana, but these often come with the potential for damage-dealing loss. In that vein, the mana-saving talents can be thought of as damage-dealing talents, and nukers can take them if they think they impact their bottom line. After all, we all know that the only thing that matters at the end of the day is who won the meters.
Q. If every specialization is intended to take their 31-point talent, why is it not baseline at the level you could acquire it?
A. Those talents are a good "brass ring" to work towards. They often change your character pretty dramatically when you get them, so it's a fun moment. There is definitely an interesting philosophical discussion about talent trees and how many talents should be mandatory vs. optional. Some players would like a model where everything is on equal footing with everything else. Others want to make sure there are some safe decisions so that they don't have to do tons of theory-crafting research every time they talent their character. We are trying to shoot for something in the middle where we have some expectation for how a particular spec will play (for example, we don't want to have to develop and support the non-Chaos Bolt Destruction rotation) but players can still decide if say Blitz is something their Arms warrior will use or not.
Q. Are all characters getting 5% stun/fear reduction baseline since they are no longer talents?
A. We would rather adjust the crowd control durations to appropriate levels. Currently some crowd-control effects are so easy to get out of that only really layered (using crowd control effects of different diminishing returns) really matters. We don't want all of PvP to be kiting each other around with instant nukes and heals. Knowing what average durations are (rather than having some classes with duration reducers and some without) will let us judge the baseline better. We think players are individually just looking at their own trees now and thinking that they were made less powerful without realizing how across-the-board all the changes are.
Q. Will we be seeing more talents that reward use of rarely used spells (i.e. Destruction now opens with Soul Fire, barely used before)?
A. Talents like this are intended to be used as openers for PvE, or for target-swapping in PvE and PvP. There are a lot of encounters where you have to kill newly spawned monsters as soon as possible, which these talents are great for. Or, when you need to change targets in PvP on a high health mob, boom instant critical with Improved Feral Charge, Careful Aim, or haste with Improved Soul Fire.
Q. Are there plans to give more procs to some classes to make the rotations a little more interesting?
A. Sure, we want all specializations to have interesting rotations. There is a point though when you can be overwhelmed by the amount of procs going on and the gameplay becomes erratic and not very fun. So it's a constant balance between the two.
Q. Can we expect more fun talents and maybe even shiny new abilities in further iterations of the new talent trees?
A. Yes, the current beta trees are still very much works in progress. As paladins in particular will see shortly, that ongoing work certainly can include fun talents and shiny new abilities.
Q. Is your goal to not having to use a talent specialization solely for PvP? If so, please elaborate on how you plan to accomplish that?
A. This is almost impossible to "fix." With the nature of talents min/max will always be possible. That said, we're trying to move away from having purely PvP or purely PvE talents as much as possible, which will make the pure PvP specializations less painful to play in PvE and vice versa.
A. We are removing many of the PvP talents, as well as trying to make some of the PvP talents a little more useful for PvE (for example, a talent that currently procs on taking critical damage could instead proc on taking any damage, including AoE damage, as well). While we recognize that very competitive players might still want unique talent builds for PvP vs. PvE, the hope is that more players might be able to use the same specialization more often for multiple aspects of the game.
Q: Ever thought of changing tiers to unlock with 3 Points instead of 5, now that 5 tier talents are gone?
A. We considered this idea, but ultimately decided against it.
Q. How will brand new players know what a good leveling specialization is? Are they expected to know what site to visit and read up?
A. We believe that the new talent tree design will make it much easier for a neophyte player to pick a talent specialization and navigate its talent tree successfully with a viable specialization.
A. We hope that most talent builds are decent for leveling. Giving players a good ability at level 10 definitely helps with this. We are trying to avoid the traps of bad talents by just removing them altogether (Unbridled Wrath, RIP).
Q: It was said that players would be allowed to choose based on their play style. Do you believe fewer talents will accomplish this?
A. The talents that we are pruning are typically things like extra strength or coefficient boosts to spells. It's hard to have a different play style based on talents like that. We are trying to keep the talents that really change gameplay. A Retribution paladin that feels like he can help out healing on 5-player dungeon runs might take the two-point talent to improve healing. A Protection warrior who tanks a lot of 5-player dungeons might want talents that help with AoE pulls,while one that is a raid off-tank might want, say, Safeguard and Vigilance instead.
Q: With the new 31-point tree system, how will players use dual-specialization? Do we get to choose a new tree when we first use our secondary specialization (off-spec)?
A. You can use dual-specialization for a different specialization in beta, if you choose, much as you can today. We are going to lower the level at which you can use dual-specialization, as well as the cost for purchasing it, because we recognize that using Dungeon Finder while leveling is likely to be popular.
Last edited by fizboz; July 17, 2010 at 09:27 AM..
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