Joined: Jan 12, 2006 Posts: 1271 Location: Havelock, NC
Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:08 am Post subject: New Blue Posts on Mastery and talents part 1
Q: Can you provide some clarity on the 3rd Mastery that is affected item stats?
A. We recognized the earlier implementation of Mastery in the beta was confusing. Mastery is no longer directly associated with a talent tree, but is instead a passive effect learned from a trainer at a later level. That passive effect will now grant the third Mastery bonus you formerly saw in the talent tree pane. The passive effect will have a base value, and then Mastery rating will increase that effect further. The other two Mastery bonuses previously listed at the top of the talent tree pane have been removed, but, in some cases, have been reimplemented as passive specialization bonuses. Currently, in the beta, you cannot see any of the Masteries, as they need to be reimplemented after the talent tree redesign.
Q: Will there be a "hard cap" for Mastery rating (to avoid having 101% chance of getting a critical block, for example)?
A, In the course of finalizing all of the Masteries for the various talent specializations, we will make sure that, in the expected gear a player can acquire from the final Cataclysm raid tiers, the player will not crash into a "hard cap" unless they go out of their way to stack Mastery more than is reasonable. This may require redesigning some of the Masteries as the rest of the class designs are finalized.
Q: Are we going to be able to view the Mastery talent previews for Cataclysm soon as we can currently?
A. With the talent tree redesign, all the Masteries need to be re-implemented, and, in some cases, redesigned. This will require at least a couple of weeks before they will be available on beta.
Q: How will pets scale with Mastery their masters' Mastery?
A. The talent specializations that rely heavily on pets (Beast Mastery and Demonology, for example) have a Mastery that makes Mastery rating also increase pet damage. Other specializations that have pets, but whose pets do not benefit from Mastery, will have their Masteries balanced accordingly, taking into account that pets will not benefit from them.
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: What is the conversion rate for intellect to spell power for Cataclysm? Will it differ with each class?
A. Each point of intellect grants one point of spell power, excepting the first 10 points. This is vaguely similar to attack power, where each point of strength or agility gives two attack power, excepting the first 10 points.
We realize this slightly reduces the spell power per budget on items, so we also increased the amount of spell power granted by caster weapons, and that increase entirely makes up for the deficit. Those weapons will continue to have spell power as well as intellect, and the amount of spell power will be significantly larger than in 3.3.5.
Q. I PvP a lot in the 10-19 bracket. What are some cool new abilities we'll see at level 10 in Warsong Gulch?
A. Since all players will be getting a signature ability, such as Mortal Strike, Summon Water Elemental, and Mangle for picking a talent tree at level 10, I think there will be a lot of new abilities seen in the 10-19 Warsong Gulch that we never saw before.
Q. Will the ability to run while shooting effect PvP or PvE battles more? What was the initial intention of the new ability?
A. With how encounters are today, damage-dealing while on the move is increasingly becoming important. You’ll see in a lot of classes we specifically are giving new ways for players to still do damage while on the move. That said, your damage while standing still casting or on a target in melee range should always be optimal.
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: How much of an impact will the new medium glyphs have on the fun factor of choices in the new 31-point talent trees?
A. We hope it adds a lot. Part of the problem is that if there is, say, a Glyph of Mutilate, you feel like you have to take that as an Assassination rogue over anything else. The Medium glyphs are designed to let you customize your character a little more. They are the glyphs you would take if Mutilate didn’t exist.
Incidentally, the new tiers are called Prime, Major, and Minor. Majors are the new Mediums. Glyph of Mutilate would be a Prime.
Q: What about some class specific quests for Cataclysm? I enjoyed them in the early levels of WoW!
A: It’s very expensive to create class-specific raids given the literally thousands of new quests we are already adding for Cataclysm; however, we are going to have class-specific dungeon quests for everyone at levels 20 and 50. These won’t be as involved as, say, the old Benediction quest line, but they will give you a way to get some blue loot that isn’t otherwise available.
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: 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: Is your goal to not have players have a separate talent specialization solely for PvP? If so, please elaborate on how you plan to accomplish that?
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: 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.
Q: How will a brand new players know what a good leveling specialization is? Are they expected to know what site to visit and read up?
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. Will we see these talent changes in Wrath of the Lich King, before the release of Cataclysm, like we did with the last expansion?
Q. Why not make each tier a 3-point system instead of 5 to advance?
A. We considered this and decided against it.
Q. Still "un-fun" talents in the 3-point trees like Spirit Tap. Are damage-dealing specialization mana regeneration talents that may feel mandatory staying in game?
A. Spirit Tap and other purely “leveling talents” are being re-evaluated.
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.
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. 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: Any plan to make "Crit Immunity" passive from choosing a tank tree instead of spending talents on it?
A. No, and you can blame the druids. We want a tanking specialization in Bear Form to feel different from a DPS specialization in Cat Form, otherwise it doesn’t feel fair to other classes when the Feral druid can do everything with the same talent specialization. We try to put crit immunity in talents you would normally take.
Q: Do you expect anyone, alts or new players, to level as a healer specialization? Do you think locking them to Holy or Restoration early is bad?
A. We expect leveling with as DPS will probably always be more efficient, just because killing things is faster than surviving longer while you kill things. Furthermore, we don’t want the healing specializations to be as good at killing things or the DPS specialization not to have a role. We do, however, think we can make leveling as a healer more enjoyable than it is today. Also, it will be a lot easier to use Dungeon Finder to level as a healer.
Q: What class are you currently most happy with how the talents are currently set up? Is there one you feel needs more work?
A. They all need more work!
Q. Some of the new talent trees for healers seem to emphasize a style of "mana regeneration by dealing damage." Is that intentional? If so, why?
A. Yes. In almost any situation, there are periods where heals are not urgently needed 100% of the time. Today, you probably just cast heals anyway in case someone takes damage, since mana doesn’t matter much. But if mana did matter, the “right” thing to do would be to do nothing. Talents such as Telluric Currents provide an active way to recharge mana while contributing damage.
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. 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. 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. 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. _________________
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