Category Archives: Talents
Following on from the little preview we had at Blizzcon a few weeks ago, Blizzard have now released an official Talent Calculator for the new talents in Mists of Pandaria. Accompanying this calculator is also a cute little series of boxes detailing the new abilities available for each specialisation, and a few new abilities for the 85-90 range. So then, a quick rundown of the various areas
Talent Tree Calculator
Unfortunately there are no real changes here. A few tweaks (for example; Cenarion ward heals for more and is now XX% of base mana instead of fixed mana cost) but nothing really has changed from the talents we saw at Blizzcon – meaning that on the whole they are still pretty crap (IMO) and I consider some of them to be lazy and not very well thought out.
New Ability – Symbiosis
This is a little more interesting. Initially I read it and got very excited, then thought I had better re-read it to ensure I hadn’t made a mistake – I had
At first I had imagined that you could pick the spell. This would be amazing versatile “hmm, tank heavy fight, hey shammy pal I give you LB and you give me Earth Shield “. Alas that is not to be. The wording states that you will gain one ability based on your spec. This could mean anything at this stage and therefore could either be good or bad. Example: if I am a resto druid casting symbiosis on a priest, do we swap nourish/heal? Power Word: Shield/Ironbark?
Currently there is just no indication of what the shared abilities will be. If they are not “special” abilities e.g. Lifebloom, Healing Rain, Power Word: Shield, then symbiosis is pretty bad “oh look, I now have two fast expensive heals not one ^^”. On the other hand, if it does trade “special” spells then it will have to be judged carefully to avoid being very OP. After all, there are 4 different druids specs and there will be 10 other classes to choose from.
Note as well; it states target CLASS ability based on the caster’s SPEC. I take this mean that spec specific spells will certainly NOT be included in a list of possible exchanges, so no Power Word: Barrier, Earth Shield etc. This is a good thing, as it immediately should curb some of the QQ about this being OP.
So currently my verdict is unsure about this until I have a better idea of what spells will be granted from it. At the moment it could go either way – very good or mediocre, so I am waiting for more info before getting too excited or saying it is useless.
Personally, this is the part I am most excited about. We have been told that a lot of the old talented abilities and upgrade (e.g. Nourish/RG/HT refreshes LB) will be rolled into either baseline powers for choosing a spec or actually become part of the spell as standard. A brief glance shows that they have indeed done this with some abilities, so I will do a comparison between the current version of each ability, and it’s new “improved” version in Mists.
In each image, the top ability is the current one, the lower is the new version. If there is only one picture then it is the new version of the ability.
Swiftmend stays pretty much the same in terms of costs, range etc. The primary difference here is that the efflorescence effect has been rolled into it. So immediately at level 10 you gain not only swiftmend, but your first AoE heal as well.
As current spell, but with the naturalist talents included, bringing the cast time down to 2.5 seconds.
Again, Regrowth is basically the same as it currently is, but with the effects of the crit part of the Nature’s Bounty talent and the regrowth glyph added in as standard. The +x% to crit would imply that it will rise in value as you level and the spell levels as well – ensuring that is good at higher levels without being OP at lower levels.
This flat increase to crit and the built in renew of the HoT could see it becoming more useful than it has been so far in Cata. The only sticking point is that it will depend on how many fights we are not worried about sub 50% hp on people, if we are getting lots of raid wide damage we will be healing up asap and therefore the renewal of the HoT will be irrelevant.
This is simply the current remove corruption spell with the nature’s cure talent to include magic effects added in. nothing really to say, a free addition to a dispel ability and range + cost stay the same – no bad really
What was previously a talent is now a passive ability. It is exactly the same as the current 3 point talent (a crit will place a seed on worth 30% of the direct heal that just critted, last 15 seconds)
As with Healing Touch, Nourish remains the same except for the inclusion of the naturalist talent, giving it a 2.5 sec cast time.
This is a completely revamp of barkskin and bound to cause a few complaints. Ironbark retains the duration and damage reduction of BS, but doubles the CD, removes the targetting restriction and looks like it will not be always castable. This means we have a defensive CD that we can bring to the raid, but that it is not as versatile for use on ourselves anymore.
It also brings up an issue over use. After all, who will just use it on themselves to reduce damage when they think they should save it for the tank? This is especially true when it is on a longer cooldown as well and the pressure to not “waste” it will be greater. A lot of druids didn’t want this to happen and very categorically stated that we needed a real defensive raid cooldown and not simply making barkskin castable on other people. Oh well.
Now we gain the SR talent as a baseline passive ability at level 46. cool
As has been the case with many spells so far, Lifebloom is the same as it currently is, except that its talented effect from empowered Touch has been included as a standard effect.
Wild Growth will obviously be the “nerfed” 4.2 version. Other than that, there appears to be no real change to it. As no talents ever affected it, there is nothing to add in with it when the talent trees are removed.
As with SR, this is just a case of getting a current talent as a passive ability at a particular level. However, the current description on the calculator had better be a typo – reduces tranquility cooldown TO 13 minutes! I hope that is is simply a mistake for “3 minutes” and that they are not planning on putting the CD up to something daft like 20 mins.
The other notable point is that there is no mention of clearcast procs at all. Omen of Clarity is now a passive ability gained by all druids, but the current description states that it is only activated by damage spells and attacks. Again this could be a typo, or it could be the start of pushing us more towards trying to fill in healing with dps. If so then that is a rather stupid thing to do – forcing healers to waste mana on dps spells so they get to cast healing spells for free :/ Please let it be a typo.
Again this seems pretty much the same as the current version with the exception of some increased healing. The CD still being 8 mins would indicate that the possibly typo mentioned for Malfurion’s Gift IS a typo, but still, even it is a typo for 3 mins that would still bring the CD down to only 5 mins. The Priest equivalent (Divine Hymn) still stays at 8 min CD currently, but is also more powerful and adds the bonus of increasing healing done to the targets. Will have to wait and see how this develops.
This is a totally new spell, and as such has no “original” from Cataclysm. We don’t yet know what the amount healed or anything will be – see how they cunningly just write “x” for the amount. An important point to note though is that it says ALL allies within 6 yards. Not 3, or 5 or 10 but ALL. Depending on the healing model for the ‘shrooms, this is potentially very powerful for stack up fights in a 25 man guild (or even 10′s).
There are no doubt going to be a few pros and cons for them though:
Pros: Can be placed prior to actually needing them, looks like they will heal a lot of people.
Cons: 3 GCDs to place all and then 1 to pop them means a lot of prep time if you cannot place them in advance (this also lowers their effectiveness in constant AoE encounters – 4 GCDs is a lot of other healing)
We also don’t know how the mechanic will work. it could be X healing per mushroom and therefore viable with only 1 but best with 3. It may be a fixed value for X regardless of number of mushrooms and having more simply means you cover a larger area. X could end up being pitifully low and make the 4 GCDs to max it out a waste (this would be silly for a new ability but remember the MK1 Efflorescence at the start of Cata^^)
Overall, healy mushrooms have the potential to be another very handy tool in our range of AoE heals, though as with Symbiosis I will hold my judgment of them until we have more info.
So how has the talent tree faired overall?
Below is the full range of current restoration talents and the most common talents used by resto druids from the other trees along with a quick recap of if they have been removed, incorporated into abilities, not sure or partially incorporated.
Nature’s Grace – seems to be no comparable talent or ability with this effect.
Nature’s Majesty – no mention of increased crit chance across all spells so assuming it’s gone.
Genesis – Not sure about this, it’s hard to tell whether or not the difference in healing values is due to incorporated talents or just because of higher level cap.
Moonglow – With so many spells basically costing the same, safe to assume there is no Moonglow effect.
Furor – No evidence that it exists at all.
Blessing of the Grove – See genesis
Natural Shapeshifter - Unless it’s a built in thing, appears to have gone Naturalist – This is directly rolled into Nourish and Healing Touch
Heart of the Wild – The name has been kept for a level 90 talent, but the effect is totally different.
Perseverance - Unless it’s a built in thing, appears to have gone.
Master Shapeshifter - Unless it’s a built in thing, appears to have gone
Improved Rejuvenation - See genesis
Living Seed – Now learnt as a passive ability
Revitalize - Unless it’s a built in thing, appears to have gone
Nature’s Swiftness – Available as a talent
Fury of Stormrage – Seems to have been removed.
Nature’s Bounty – Regrowth now has an innately higher crit chance, though the lowering of Nourish cast time seems to be gone.
Empowered Touch – The refreshing element is built into Lifebloom now, for added healing see Genesis
Malfurion’s Gift – OoC is a passive ability now, still reduces CD on tranquility.
Efflorescence – Built into Swiftmend.
Nature’s Cure – Bundled with Remove Corruption as standard as a new spell – Nature’s Cure
Nature’s Ward - Seems to have been removed.
Gift of the Earthmother - See genesis
Swift Rejuvenation – Now learnt as a passive ability.
Tree of Life – Included as a talent with Incarnation, not sure if “new” ToL will retain all the effects of the current one.
A note regarding flat increases to healing spells
As mentioned in the paragraph about Lifebloom, the Empowered Touch effect of refreshing Lifebloom has become a built in part of the spell, however the 10% bonus healing to HT, RG and Nourish is harder to gauge as it is not stated whether the spells shown with the talent calculator are at current level (i.e. 85) in which it looks like they are buffed by around 10%, or if they are shown at MoP level (90), in which you would expect them to be higher anyway. This also applies to GotEM and Lifebloom’s end bloom and spells affected by BotG and Genesis. So, basically we don’t know if they are folded into the spells as standard or just totally removed.
Personally I quite like the way the spells are leaning. It is nice to seem some talents are rolled into abilities, making them more than simply heals, and also it’s good to see that we are gaining some talents as learnt passive abilities.
Generally the talents that have been removed are not too bad, and usually are relatively boring or just flat increases/decreases.
However, it is clear from the apparent removal of moonglow, revitalise and furor, that we are definitely being pushed away from having mana regen and conservation based abilities. If they also go fully ahead with the proposed changes to Intellect and mana pool size, then we will essentially have a fixed mana pool size and fixed spell cost so we always know we can cast XX number of spells before going OOM. The balancing act will be stacking enough spirit to regen fast enough to keep up with intense damage phases while being smart enough to know when to throttle back on heals and conserve mana with efficient heals or just not heal at all for a small period of time.
If this is the healing model Blizzard are pushing towards, then hopefully it will making healing a bit more intensive and requiring more thought, rather than getting to the point of being able to mindlessly spam without having to think.
A few weeks ago I featured a guest post from Cantor. Well, guess what landed in my inbox yesterday afternoon Another post, this time regarding the talent changes announced at Blizzcon, but from the PoV of a kitty, rather than my view as a tree. So here is Cantor’s take on the new changes.
MMO Melting Pot has a complete transcription of the druid talents.
Changes? You betcha!
Right then! I had planned, as some may have read, to write a post concerning the differences between Alliance and Horde races, and why I chose to play as a Cowman all those years ago – however, Blizzard have gone and spoiled that for you by introducing some enormous (sorry, that wasn’t big enough – ABSOLUTELY MASSIVELY HUGE MEGA-SHARK VS GIANT OCTOPUS ENORMOUS) talent changes, and a new expansion. Let’s get stuck in.
So, first of all, we still have talent specialisations – you will still be Balance, Feral, or Restoration, but Druids also get a new specialisation called Guardian – at this time we are only class with 4 specs. Feral as we know it is gone, and the new Feral spec will cover Cat DPS only, while Bears will be covered by the new Guardian spec. It’s also worth noting that we will gain a base set of abilities per class (things that are integral to the class, like Cyclone, Roots, Barkskin, Healing Touch, Moonfire) and then learn new spec-specific abilities automatically as we level up; for Ferals, this could include Shred, Ferocious Bite, Rake and so on, while for Guardians, this may be things like Survival Instincts, Frenzied Regeneration, Maul and so on.
Secondly, talent trees are gone; out of the window, not coming back, no more 3/3 Furor, 1/1 LotP, 0/3 Primal Madness etc; now, we get 1 “class tree”, with a talent point given every 15 levels (at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90). There are 3 talents to a tier, all (or most) of which encompass a new activated ability; once you have chosen your ability, there’s no returning to that tier once you get a new talent point in 15 levels. It’s strictly one talent per tier, then move on. Blizzard has stated that talents on each tier are similar, however; for example, the first Druid tier consists of movement-related abilities, which is nice as we’ll never be stuck thinking “right, do I want CC or more damage?” because the choice is obvious.
Ok, got all that? I hope so, because we’re now getting into the real meat-and-potatoes – the actual talents themselves. These can be found floating around the Interwebs, but notably they’re on the front page of Wowinsider and MMO Champ.
Tier 1 (level 15) – movement:
Feline Swiftness: Increases your movement speed by 10%, and by an additional 20% while in Cat Form.
This is slightly modified from the current t1 Feral talent, in that it gives a passive 10% move speed to all forms, and doesn’t grant additional dodge to Bears. Still a solid option for PvE players.
Displacer Beast: Teleport up to 20 yards in a random direction, purging all damage over time effects and providing stealth for 10 seconds. Attacking or taking damage cancels this effect, and using this ability activates Cat Form. 3 min cooldown.
Woah. Druids just got given Blink + Vanish in one move; this will be the premier talent for PvPers as an escape – we all know how annoying Rogues are when they Vanish and seem to be able to indefinitely reset arena matches – well, now we can too! Works in all forms as well, but forces you into kitty – still great for any spec, but it’s going to be a nasty pill to swallow, having to give up that passive 30% run speed.
Tireless Pursuit: Removes all root and snare effects, and increases your movement speed by 70% while in Cat Form for 15 seconds. Does not break Prowl, and using this ability activates Cat Form. 3 min cooldown.
A solid talent for flag carrying and catching up to annoying Mages (although they can no longer have Ring of Frost and Cone of Cold in the same build, hur hur hur); for RBGs, this will probably win out over Displacer Beast, which is more about survival in an arena setting, whereas this will help more with keeping up the damage; could become less useful at level 90 however – read on to see why.
Tier 2 (level 30) – healing:
Nature’s Swiftness: When activated, your next Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Hibernate, Healing Touch, Nourish, Regrowth or Rebirth become instant, free and castable in all forms. The healing and duration of the spell is increased by 50%. 3 min cooldown.
Now this one is pretty interesting; allowing us to cast CC from forms, and having it bumped up in duration too (9 sec Cyclones anyone?) will be incredible; however, the usefulness remains to be seen, depending on whether the Feral tree retains Predatory Strikes – if it doesn’t, that’s a big hit to PvP, and will essentially force this talent to be taken.
Renewal: Instantly heal yourself for 30% of your maximum health. Usable in all forms. 2 min cooldown.
Not much to say here – this one will be taken by any Guardian-specced Druids, and is nice for the PvE players too as a mana-free, significant self-heal on a 2 minute cooldown. Again, we don’t know what talents we’ll be retaining to judge how useful this is – for example, will Ferals be getting Nurturing Instinct as a passive at some point? If so, this heal becomes even bigger in Kitty, which is nice.
Cenarion Ward: Protects a friendly target, causing any damage taken to heal the target for 2660 every 2 secs for 6 secs. Gaining this healing effect consumes the Cenarion Ward. Usable in all forms. 30 sec cooldown.
Kind of similar to the current Restoration talent Living Seed, in that it places a heal on the target activated by damage. I don’t think this will be too useful to Ferals or Guardians with Nature’s Swiftness and Renewal on the same tier. Bear in mind that the numbers you’re seeing are based on the level 30 version of the spell.
Tier 3 (level 45) – crowd control:
Faerie Swarm: Decreases the target’s armour by 12% for 5 minutes, and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 15 secs. Target cannot stealth or turn invisible while affected, deals damage in Bear Form and has a 6 sec cooldown if cast in Bear or Cat. Replaces Faerie Fire.
We don’t know yet if FF will be changing (can it still stack to 3 for example?); if there are no significant changes to the spell, then I think this needs buffs, as all it is, essentially, is a 3-stack of FF that slows the target. Ace for Moonkin and Trees however, as this appears to be a spammable ranged snare with no cast time.
Mass Entanglement: Root all enemies within 12 yards of the destination for 8 secs. Not castable in Cat or Bear Forms. 30 sec cooldown, 2 sec cast time.
What’s that? An AoE root on a 30 sec cooldown with no target cap? Damn right I want that! Again, without Pred Strikes this will have limited use for Ferals, but is still sexy as hell just for the utility that it offers.
Typhoon: Summon a violent Typhoon that strikes all enemies up to 30 yards in front of the caster, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 secs. Usable in all forms.
I will now proceed to cackle, continually and repeatedly, at melee classes that don’t have a caster hybrid spec. “CATS AND BEARS ARE ALL UP IN YO FAICE AND THEN YO GET TYPHOONED. LOL” as they’d say in geek-world.
Tier 4 (level 60) – self-buffs:
Wild Charge: Grants a movement ability that varies based on shapeshift form. No cooldown listed.
Note that we don’t have access to every version of this ability yet, but it’s basically Feral Charge. The Bear version is the Charge/30% haste that we know today, Moonkin get to “bounce” 20 yards backward and generate Solar/Lunar energy, and caster-form Druids fly to an ally and get a mana-free heal. The Cat version (currently unrevealed) will likely be Kitty Leap with the Stampede effect built-in.
Incarnation: Activates a superior shapeshift for 30 secs that varies depending on your specialisation. 3 min cooldown.
Again, we don’t know all of the abilities, but Feral (remember that’s Cats only now) gets a buff called King of the Jungle, allowing you to use all abilities that normally require Prowl, and to activate Prowl in combat. Resto gets Tree of Life. Interesting certainly, and allows you to spam Ravages for 30 secs, or activate Pounce in PvP.
Force of Nature: Summon 3 Treants to assist your current combat role; Treant capabilities vary by spec. Usable in all forms. 3 min cooldown.
There is literally no info on this talent other that that posted above. Could be amazing, could be crap – we have no idea right now. I’m envisaging healing Trees for Resto, Moonfire/Wrath spammers for Balance, etc.
Tier 5 (level 75) – Feral crowd control:
Demoralising Roar: The Druid roars, disorientating all enemies within 10 yards for 4 secs. Using this ability activates Bear Form. 30 sec cooldown.
So Demo Roar as we know it is gone – no more need to maintain the 10% melee damage debuff on bosses anymore; instead we get an AoE Gouge, which is just lovely given that it has no cost and only a 30 sec cooldown. More of a PvP ability to be honest, but could be fun in PvE too when the shit hits the fan.
Ursol’s Vortex: Conjure a vortex of wind, pulling all enemies within 15 yards to your own location. Usable in all forms. 30 sec cooldown.
Very similar to the level 90 DK talent Guile of Gorefiend, this is a short-range AoE Deathgrip – again, very nice when a pull goes a bit wrong, to group up adds for AoE, or to peel something off of your healer.
Bear Hug: Melee attack that stuns the target and deals 10% of your health as damage every sec for 3 secs. Effect is cancelled if you take any other action. Using this ability activates Bear Form. 1 min cooldown.
I’ve wanted a Bear Hug move for ages, and now we get it with a hefty damage component thrown in. I’m assuming it’s based off of your current health rather than total, as with MoP health pools we could be seeing a tank doing 80k damage in 3 seconds, which is just a tad excessive. Either way, this is a nifty little ability with a short cooldown, nice to shut down a healer at low health.
Tier 6 (level 90) – Shapeshifting utility:
Heart of the Wild: Dramatically improve your ability to serve combat roles outside of your normal spec for 45 secs. 6 min cooldown.
Again, not a lot of info here, but we know that for Ferals, this will give a buff granting 50% Agility as Intellect, +100% hit rating and +95% armour while in Bear Form, as well as a mana regen boost, Moonkin get an Int -> Agility conversion, a Hit -> Expertise conversion, and the Bear armour buff, while healing spells also generate Lunar/Solar energy.
This one is really interesting – I recently had a situation where our tank died on H Baleroc at 15%, and I quickly swapped to Rawrbear, taunted and tanked his remaining health down using cooldowns. With this ability, we’d have seen a good deal less stress on the healers – it really brings the hybridised nature of Druids to the fore. I can’t see it being amazingly useful – the number of times I’ve had to swap to tank a boss are pretty few and far between – but this will certainly appeal to some people.
Master Shapeshifter: Improves your effectiveness at swapping between forms; melee attacks grant a 10% buff to spell damage, and cast-time spells grant a 10% buff to attack power. Stacks up to 3 times, and using an ability that benefits from the buff reduces it by 1 stack.
Handy in PvP I guess, but the amount of times you deal spell damage as a Feral are minimal. I guess we need to wait and see how this pans out, because at the moment I’m not really seeing a reason to take this over HotW or the next talent.
Disentanglement: Shapeshifting now removes roots, and shifting into a form heals the Druid for 20% of their max. health. The heal cannot occur more than once every 30 secs.
THIS! THIS is the crown jewel in our cap, the ultimate, crowning, awesome ability in our tree. We finally get to shift in and out of forms again to remove roots, AND get a massive heal on top of that? I really can’t see this making it all the way to Live, but without the 30% move speed from Feline Swiftness in PvP (as I assume most will be taking Displacer Beast), and possibly lacking Feral Charge, this isn’t AS powerful as it could be, and indeed will be absolutely necessary for Ferals to close with their targets.
Well, that’s all folks. I for one am really pumped for this expansion – Monks, Pandas, and teleporting Cats ahoy. Let me know what you think in the comments!
So then, Blizzcon is here and last night we had the opening ceremony and quite a few panels outlining the various bits of awesomeness to come in the next expansion – Mists of Pandaria. There is a bunch of various cool new stuff, some exciting and some not so. MMO-Champion has a full list of changes announced so far.
One of the big changes announced was the complete and utter revamp of the talent trees. Unlike previous changes to the talent trees this is not a little fiddle, oh no, this is delete the old trees and replace it with something different. In a nutshell, every 15 levels you have a choice between three abilities along a theme e.g. mobility, cc etc. You can only pick one of these at a time. However, you can change it as easily as glyphs, so without going back to a city and respeccing you should be able to swap out different talents between encounters. Many of the various other abilities and buffs from talents are either removed or folded into existing abilities or the “basic” toolbox you get for picking a particular spec.
Now you have a basic idea of the changes, onto the druid specifics. In addition to the new talent trees that everyone gets, druid got a little extra – a 4th tree. That’s right- feral bears now have their own tree. Blizzard have finally split cats and bears into their own separate trees.
For those who prefer a list rather than the pictures below, MMO Melting Pot has a transcription of the druid talents.
Now onto the new talents for druids
Level 15 Tier: Mobility
First we have the 3 choices at level 15 for druids. This tier is based on mobility. We have a range of abilties that affect movement speed and such, and two that work around kitty form.
The first talent has a general utility as it gives a fixed movement speed buff (never a bad thing in raids).
The second I can see as a PvP talent (especially against ‘locks and spriests) and I have visions of a kitty being chased by the aforementioned spriest and ‘locks and jumping off a cliff. The ‘lock and priest watch warily for the magically vanishing cat that suddenly appears behind them, purged of DoTs and ready to rip their faces off
The last talent also seems to have a lot of PvP application.
Looking through the first 3 talents, I am included to think that the first will be the “standard” for PvE raiding, with the others more used in raiding.
Level 30 Tier: Survivability (sort of)
The second tier of talents is gained at level 30 and is sort of based around personal survivability and such.
The first talent is the good old Nature’s Swiftness and is pretty standard except it only includes utility spells (roots and cyclone) and healer spells (all the others). However it does has an important caveat that will make some people thankful – it allows the use of above spells in ANY form. So now we have the instant combat rezz on a bear without moving to caster form and dying .
The second talent is a straight forward large self heal, as this is so basic and boring I would be surprised if it doesn’t get changed before release.
Finally the last talent is a curious one. It is almost like a mini earthshield for druids. As it is castable on friendlys, it would be a nice little addition to a resto’s toolbox, but would it be better than Nature’s Swiftness? Would bears find it useful to work into their rotation/priority as a small self heal? One thing I wonder about though, is what level is that data for? That cost and healing at level 30 seems rather OTT, but at level 90 it’s is pitiful. What will it scale with? Spellpower for balance and resto and attack power for ferals? What about ferals not using mana, will it use energy/rage or remove from the “hidden” mana pool? So many questions, but the potential to be a really cool little talent.
Level 45 Tier: Mob/player control and debuff
The talents available at level 45 are in the vein of debuffing and controlling other players and mobs.
Firstly we have the updated Faerie Fire – now called Faerie Swarm. The effects are pretty much the same, with the addition of a movement slowing component. This is likely to remain the staple of feral bears as well as having more PvP utility thanks to the slowing effect.
Mass entanglement is an answer to the prayers of any druid who sat through the little intro to Alysrazor and said “sigh, wish I had an AoE roots like Staghelm”. Now we do The mention of “destination” suggests it will be a placed ability similar to blizzard. Most notable is that it cannot be used by ferals (in form) so this is much more of a balance/resto utility talent, or a “cast, cat, DASH!!!!” talent.
The last talent for this tier is Typhoon. This is similar to current typhoon with the exception that it can be used in any form. Again, a good ability to throw enemies away from you while you heal up, run away etc.
Level 60 Tier: Nature power!
This tier is all about channelling the very power that makes druids awesome – nature.
Wild Charge is a powerful movement spell that has different effects depending on what form you are in. Basically it looks like it will work as feral charge for bears, and then change for others.
The second talent is where we find Tree of Life in MoP. Incarnation allows you to take on a “superior shapeshifting form” for the duration. In resto this is the ToL, feral kitties can use stealth attacks while not stealthed and I imagine bears and moonkin will gain similar “uberness” though it.
Lastly is Force of Nature. This is pretty much the same as the current balance spell, except it will be usable in all forms. I can hardly see this as a resto or tank thing, so I suspect it will just be taken by Boomkin again.
Level 75 Tier: More ways of debuffing and controlling the enemy
As it says above, the talents on offer at level 75 offer more ways to debuff and control your opponent.
Your first option is the fairly standard Demoralising Roar. This is different to the current variant in that it disorientates your enemies. This could mean a slower movement or attack speed, or it could be a general “daze” effect. Will have to wait and see how it develops.
Ursol’s Vortex is an AoE “deathgrip” mechanic. Very handy for tanking large groups with multiple casters in the pack. Less useful if you are not a tank. If teamed with the AoE roots it could be good; cast vortex, barkskin, AoE roots, cat + dash = win.
The last talent for this tier, Bear Hug is an interesting ability. The stun + dealing 30% off your HP as damage over 3 seconds will be quite good, especially given that MoP health pools are likely to be very large.
Level 90 Tier: Operating outside your primary role
These final talents are all about doing something you don’t normal do – healing as a boomkin, doing melee dps as resto and so on.
Heart of the Wild is a long CD ability that converts intellect to agility (and vice versa) and such so that you can temporarily perform in a capacity outside your normal role better than you would normally, but only for a limited time.
The second talent, Master Shapeshifter is designed for those who are constantly in a state of flux regarding what they are doing and it can boost your dps in one form by switching to another briefly.
Disentanglement is an ability that heals you as you switch forms as well as clearing any root effects on you when you shift forms.
Now my thoughts
They we have it then, a quick outline of the proposed new talents for druids in 5.0. Personally I am quietly hopeful that they will work. There are some that seem to have been directly lifted out of current talents and abilities (typhoon, force of nature etc) and other that seem a bland filler (Renewal). Hopefully some of these will be altered so that they are more interesting or helpful – after all, we only get 6 of these choices over 90 levels, those choices need to be between some totally awesome things.
Generally I quite like the look of the talents, though the last tier really does seem totally meh and lacklustre to me. As the very last ability you gain, you are really looking for something amazing and that defines your role. What we have a mixture of the boring (Disentanglement), the clunky (Master Shapshifter) and the annoying (Heart of the Wild).
I am resto, I do this because I want to heal. I look for things to help my healing and of the options on the Tier 6 talents there is nothing I see that will help me do that. Not one of them increases anything to do with healing. Possibly if MS was changed so that melee abilities increased spellpower by 10% 3 times, but atm it is spell damage and therefore useless for healing.
So with the exception of the last tier, this new style of talents looks like it may work, so long as they actually put some effort into coming up with some good talents.
My main conern with this system for the talents is that they have removed some of the variation. Sure there were cookie cutter specs, but you also had the ability to change things – my build has changed a number of times since we started Firelands, to begin with I had a mana conservation build that had gradually changed to a throughput build as my gear has improved. The new talent system wouldn’t allow (or even give me the option) of something similar.
Likewise, some of the “extras” in talents that were not direct abilities or flat out buff of +1%/2% etc have gone. E.g. empowered touch allowing nourish/HT/RG to refresh LB. Will this “extra” become a glyph? or folded into basic resto selection? or removed completely? Hopefully some of these extra little things will find themselves in glyphs or similar rather than vanishing altogether.
Here’s hoping they don’t mess us up too much ^^