Cataclysm Talent Tree Primer

Before any lengthy discussion of the new Rogue trees, I thought it might be nice to talk about the format changes to the new trees.  I know that not everyone has MMO-Champion bookmarked and checked multiple times a day, so here’s the basics for anyone that isn’t familiar with them yet.

7 Tier Trees – That’s right, instead of adding another tier to the increasingly complicated and lengthy 11 tier trees we’ve become accustomed to, Blizzard has decided to shrink the trees down to 7 tiers.  They’ve pared down the trees and in turn made them a bit easier to read.  Because of this, you won’t receive a new talent point every level, but you will get a total of 41 points to spend by the time you hit max level.

Hybrid Specs – These are a thing of the past.  There will be no more Mut / Prep PvP specs, because of the way the redesigned trees work.  Before you can put any points in multiple trees, you must first complete (get to the bottom talent) of a single tree.  This was never a requirement in the past, and should solve the perceived issue that hybrid specs were a problem in PvP.  I personally was a fan of the ingenuity of that players used when creating them, but never enjoyed fighting against them.

Tree Bonuses – Every tree will get 3 bonuses for their primary tree.  These bonuses are acquired at level 10 when you spend your first talent point.  This makes leveling a new character much easier in many cases, as several of these bonuses were once abilities that took many levels to earn.  For instance, a Retribution Paladin will now get Divine Storm at level 10 instead of needing to spend 61 points in the Retribution Tree to get it.  Having leveled a Paladin early during Burning Crusade, I would have loved a real offensive skill at level 10.

Anyway, that’s the basics of the new trees we’ll be seeing.  Talents are likely to change and shift around while the expansion is still in beta, but I doubt that the structure of the trees will.  It’s relatively easy to rearrange a tree.  It’s a huge task to add back the half of the tree that they recently stripped.

– Sam

5 Responses to Cataclysm Talent Tree Primer

  1. SpearXXI says:

    What has me most curious is to what the “end game” spec is going to be? I know subtlety won’t be designed for PVE still, but I assume will be good again in PVP. Then again, it could just stay broken, but we won’t know until it ships. =D On a side note, with the change to specs, the lower PVP brackets are going to be more interesting, with the new abilities later on. I wonder how the twink community will be handling all these news strategies etc.

  2. samueltempus says:

    I can’t really say for sure, but its my opinion that Combat will yet again be the PvE tree. The perks for Assassination seem to be more about burst damage, and in most fights, that’s not better than the sustained damage you would get from a Combat spec.

    – Sam

  3. SpearXXI says:

    The trees will still probably be the same, where people either choose combat or assasination end game. Combat might be the default spec, not just because of the damage, but there will be more weapon choices end game (Because weapon specialization is going away). BAH! I wanna the xpac out nao….

  4. Laurellen says:

    Tree Bonuses:

    If I understand what you are saying, some of what used to be high-talent point skills (spells) become spells one accesses for choosing a tree.

    I’ve not levelled a Paladin so I don’t know about Divine Storm, but I thought it an odd choice for a Rogue site. So let’s cut to the chase, here!

    Shadowstep is missing from the Cataclysm tree I’ve seen. That’s madness – it is the defining Subtlety talent. Is it going to be available to all Sub Rogues from now on?

  5. samueltempus says:

    You are correct in your assumption about Shadowstep. In fact, its the “defining” abilities that are becoming bonuses for the most part. It won’t really affect anyone at endgame (unless they were hybrid spec players), but it will make leveling substantially easier for just about every class and spec.

    – Sam

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