Talent Trees: How important are they?

I’ve been thinking about the new talent trees that were released this week. There have been a number of complaints about them (some by me): There isn’t enough choice, we need to spend points on useless talents, some talents are boring. In many cases these complaints are completely justified. Reactions the talent tree shortcomings have been varied. My reaction is that although I have complaints, I’m not overly upset about any changes that have been released and I still think my class looks good. Other people are upset, demanding that these things be fixed. Still others are being completely dramatic and saying “If this goes live, I quit!”

Restoration talent treeThe question I have is: How much do talent trees actually contribute to the fun you have in game? For the people who really enjoy theorycrafting, lack of choice in talent trees might alter the amount of fun they have. For others, does it really make a difference? Sure, there are some things in the resto tree that I don’t like, but will having to spend 3 points on a useless talent that reduces the cost of shapeshifting make playing less fun for me? Unlikely.

This fact certainly won’t stop me from commenting on changes and new features as they are released, but I think it’s a good idea to put things into perspective before getting too worked up over them.

13 responses to “Talent Trees: How important are they?

  1. Honestly, the other changes are more worrisome than the talent trees. The talent trees may be the "last straw" in the desire to play a class or not play it, but they take a back seat to other stuff. Like the resto druid sometimes-tree. I just can't seem to get past that one.

    • Sure, the other changes are definitely more important than the talent trees. I'm not sure whether it's just because it's still early or the fact that I don't think most of the changes are that negative, but I remain cautiously optimistic. And I hate tree form 😛 That one change makes me much more willing to overlook the things I'm not crazy about.

  2. Dreddnought

    I'm not 100% sold on the talent trees, but I get the sense that they were trying to get rid of filler points, you know, those talents you only had a point or 2 in to get you to the next tier…

  3. I like idea, assuming things like needing to spend 3 points in a useless talent are removed. Our current trees have too many points, so to restrict us we get talents that are useless, talents that make us spend 5 pts for minimal benefit. Talent trees where spending your points makes a difference.
    Druids(and others) are not even close to being finished, Its not something to be concerned about yet.

    • True, especially with druids there are some obvious oversights (like Swiftmend still being in the tree even though it's a base talent). They've still got a long with to go.

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  5. I like the idea of talents making your character more powerful. Instead of all of your strength and scalability being baked right into your spells/abilities, it's nice to see them laid out in an interface like the talent trees. Is it necessary, probably not, is it traditional absolutely.

    It's kind of like attributes you assign your character in other RPGs, like Diablo, for example. In all fairness that had "talents" and "attributes", but essentially they can be looked at the same way. Essentially the way I compare the two is this.

    In Diablo the "talents" where mostly unique abilities, sort of like what they are trying to do with 31 point trees. The "talents" lacked the customization to strengthen your character from a stat standpoint, so that's where the attributes came in. So in Cataclysm, we have the fun talents and the unique abilities, but we don't have the standard attribute customization.

    Is it bad what they are doing, I don't think so..but that's a different way to look at these changes.

    • I think the idea of having talent trees that contain only talents for fun, unique abilities is an awesome idea. However, with 30 talent trees as well as both PVE and PVP to worry about I also think it sounds like a complete nightmare to balance, so I'm not surprised the talent trees aren't looking as "fun" as some people expected.

  6. I like talent trees as an idea. Being able to build your character to specialize in this or that. Unfortunately in WoW, if you pick up the fun talents, you're often gimping yourself in, usually, single target damage, which is what really counts in a game filled with enrage timers (Both soft and hard…giggidy.).

    This pruning and shrinking of talent trees won't be killing my fun any. For someone like me (And you, and plenty of others.) there's already little or no choice, depending on class, when it comes to talents. We want to do the best we can against bosses so we go with the best cookie cutter spec.

    I actually haven't bothered looking too much at the new talent trees since I'm sure they'll end up changing plenty before it ever matters. My hope is that reducing the size of the trees, point requirements, etc. is that we'll actually end up with more of a choice in taking fun talents.

    Taking your mage for example. You talked about enjoying the AoE power with Blast Wave, Dragon's Breath, Insta-Flamestrikes and all that…Unfortunately none of those being in the current fire raid spec. (Well, current as in before I really stopped playing. Doubt anything's changed.) What I hope is that talents get condensed enough to get everything we really need for raids then have some points left over for things like that.

    Though I guess at that point, what's the point of even having actual talent trees…Could just select a specialization (In this case Fire, Frost, or Arcane) and then you just get…everything. >.>

    Talents truly are a huge pain in the ass. I guess overall I don't expect much to change. There's still probably going to be a split between raid specs and pvp specs that ditch things like mana regen for the stuff like Blast Wave/Dragon's Breath. The most I can hope for is all this condensing causes people who don't even bother trying to find their best raid spec to actually be more useful.

    • It would be really nice if we got enough points for everything we needed for optimal raid performance then got a few extra points for utility or fun talents. Right now, for dps, the choice we have is cookie cutter raid spec or a "fun" spec that's going to make your raid hate you (I assume it's like that for most classes). Healers have a bit more wiggle room, but I still don't find there's much choice. On my druid I have exactly the amount of points I need for everything I want, the other stuff I don't care about.

      I think for Cata the important thing is that they build the base of each class and spec well. The talents are of less concern.

      • Yar. I think the whole "Pick your specialization and get some free shit immediately" thing they're going with will go a long way to helping the spec choices AND making low level characters not feel like a total chore.

        I had thought about leveling up my mage or anything in preparation for the expansion, but after seeing their idea for that there's no way I'll bother wasting time now probably, lol.