Out of the Mist: First thoughts on the proposed new talent system, Pandas and the lack of Alliance love

Partly to see whether by the time the expansion goes live, my feelings have changed in any way and partly because speculation is always fun.

Talent trees:

My instant gut reaction was one of “Nooooooo”, but after some reflection and a good look at the existing trees, I think this has a lot of potential. Right now, we have talents you want to take, talents you have to take and filler bits and pieces you take only to progress down the trees. I much prefer the idea of only having to pick talents that interest me and getting all the current modifiers just baked into either spells themselves or given as bonuses when you pick your specialisations.

Now we know that spells will be acquired in one of three ways.

  • Base-line as part of your class. Probably stuff like Levitate, Prayer of Healing, Mind spike for Priests. Will be interesting to see if all the basic heals (flash, heal, greater) stay baseline. I noticed on the screenshots they provided at Blizzcon, that Holy Paladins got Holy Light as one of their Holy specialisation spells, so from that we can possibly extrapolate that all the efficient heals will only be accessible to healers. If this is true, it will be interesting to see what else is removed from certain specs. For example will healing Priests keep mind blast?
  • As a reward for picking a certain spec. For Holy, I would imagine we’re looking at Circle of Healing, Lightwell (unless they finally decide to give up on it), Spirit of Redemption, Chakras and their associated Holy Words and so on.
  • From your talent choices.
So if we look at the existing Holy Priest tree, we can see that the entire first row are purely modifier talents, providing increases to a variety of heals and decreasing the cast time of some of our slower heals. Nothing exciting, interesting or thought provoking there. So that’s potentially eight talent points that could easily just be baked into our spec choice.
The same principle continues throughout the tree, whether it’s cooldown reductions (see Tome of Light), increased throughput under certain conditions (Test of Faith) or to specific spells (Empowered Healing). In fact out of the 37 points available to spend in Holy, we only get five new abilities, everything else is just a modifier of some sort.
  • Desperate Prayer
  • Lightwell
  • Chakra and it’s associated Holy Words (I’m only counting these as one ability because you can’t have access to both Holy Words at once.
  • Circle of Healing
  • Guardian Spirit
Spirit of Redemption isn’t an ability you can choose to use. There is no “kill me now” button on your interface and thus it’s basically a modified and slightly slower death, not a new ability.

Of these we know that Desperate Prayer looks like it will remain a talent point and Circle of Healing is confirmed (at this point in time) as being an ability Holy Priests get for choosing to be Holy. So we will still have access to two of the five. I actually like Chakra despite it’s clunkiness and thus hope it hangs around. Given that they haven’t quit on the Lightwell yet despite years of complaints, I imagine that it and Chakra will make the expansion in some form or another. Guardian Spirit on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. The proposed Priest talent tree has a couple of potential tank cooldowns on offer and I’m a little concerned that raid balance could be thrown if non-tanks have access to more than one tank saver.

So on paper at least, we should lose very little but at the same time have the chance to gain some new and interesting abilities. I think we also have to factor in glyphs here, to me at least, that’s where the majority of spell modification should take place.

New Race:

Not sold I’m afraid. I own a Pandaren Monk mini-pet and it’s one of the most annoying things in-game, up there with Monkey pets, ice lance, spell steal, inner focus and mind spike. If the Pandarian race or Monks of any race make even half as many annoying noises.. grr. Imagine raiding to the soundtrack of nails down a blackboard.


Just no! I’m rather sick of my favourite zones in-game being destroyed for one reason or another. My Night Elves are traumatised by the loss of Auberdine, My Gnomes are still struggling to overcome the fact that they couldn’t take back Gnomeregan, not to mention Southshore and the Battle of Andorhal and now we’re going to lose Theramore.. Poor Spot 😦

Not to mention that from an RP perspective on my server at least, we’re meant to believe that a bunch of people who can’t even win Tol Barad attacks 70 percent of the time are actually going to manage to take a fortified town? I don’t need to lose anything to want to fight, I’ve already lost enough. My hatred burns bright already, for what they did to Southshore (one of my favourite haunts in Vanilla), I’d happily go to war.

5 Responses

  1. I’m feeling pretty okay about the talent changes by now. Somehow I just have this feeling of “Blizzard will make it work”, and that I’ll still have all of my favourite spells once they’re done – and can pick and choose the “fun” things in the talent tree. I may end up completely wrong and disappointed, but for the time being I prefer to stay optimistic.

    Like you, I’m rather unhappy about us losing Theramore. Southshore was bad enough, and now we’re losing Theramore as well? (I don’t have the problem of RP perspective though, cause on my server Horde seem to kick our ass most of the time!) I really hope we destroy something for the Horde in return. Call me vengeful, but Camp Taurajo just wasn’t enough! After all, they didn’t just destroy Southshore, they made the farms in Hillsbrad into some crazy ghoul factory.. And we regained Andorhal only to lose it again.. Can we please just march on and destroy something for the Horde? Something that’ll hurt.. Please, Blizzard.. Thank you.

  2. I’m tempted to dig out one of my old druids who lives on a PvP server and start wrecking havoc on the Horde myself. Would like to see an epic battle for Arathi Highlands, ending with the Horde running scared to Hillsbrad and the Alliance re-taking and rebuilding Stromgarde. Failing that, that Nightelf army we’re building in Feralas actually doing something. Although given the Alliance track record with glaives (see Isle of Conquest) maybe that’s doomed to failure from the start.

  3. Oh, I love the idea of re-taking Arathi and rebuilding Stromgarde. If Horde gets all of Hillsbrad, I don’t see why we can’t get all of Arathi. Stromgarde would be such an awesome addition as well.

    And yes.. Hmm.. alliance and glaives.. I think we’re better off putting our money (and hopes) on Arathi!

    • Would give us a fortified town for a fortified town. Plus the quests in Arathi still suck, so the zone could do with being redone again.

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