More on talent systems

The New Class Talent System

Perhaps the most exciting of these changes is the removal of the old talent tree system. Rather than each class having three separate trees, one for each specialization, players will now choose talents from individual sets which are awarded every 15 levels. Each class will have its own selection of talents, and the entire list will be available to all characters of that class regardless of  specialization.

Each talent set is comprised of three talents which fall into a clear “theme.” Some sets will offer utility such as movement speed increases and boosts to survivability, while others will reduce the costs of certain situational abilities. Currently, the goal is to avoid making any particular talent mandatory or to have them play a role in ability rotations directly. Instead, they’re intended to give players interesting ways to customize their characters according to their preferred playstyle.

In total, there will be six talent sets, with players unlocking a new set every 15 levels. This means that there will be fewer talents overall, but each talent you choose has the potential to have a much more dramatic effect on your gameplay.

Another big change being made is how talents are selected. Instead of “purchasing” talents with a predetermined number of points (earned as you level), talent selection will be toggle-based. For each set of three talents players unlock, they will get to choose one talent to activate, for a total of six active talents at level 90. (Talent ranks have been completely removed.)

Similar to current functionality, talents selections will be finalized by clicking “Learn” at the bottom of the talent pane; however, a big benefit of removing talent points is that it allows us to let players “re-talent” with more flexibility. Even after players have activated their talents, they won’t be completely locked into their choices as they are now. If at any point a player feels that another talent may be more appropriate or fun, he or she can simply select that talent from their tree and click “Learn” again. This can be done on a talent-by-talent basis or, if the situation demands it, all talents can be changed out at once.

As a result, talents can be changed out when switching specs, as well as when running dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds. While re-talenting will most likely be disabled during combat and will incur a small fee (either in the form of gold or a reagent), it will still give players more opportunities to adapt their characters to better meet the challenges they expect to face while playing.

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