Mists of Pandaria: First look at Druid talents

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 :D.

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 ^^


Posted on October 22, 2011, in Blizzcon, Feral, Healing, Mists of Pandaria, Patch Notes, PvE, PvP, Raiding, Resto, Talents, Tanking. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I can see Disentanglement becoming a self-heal for restos to use in conjunction with Barkskin. An opportunity to self heal for twenty percent of your maximum health for free using two global cooldowns every thirty seconds seems like a pretty decent trade-off.

    • yes, thats very true and combined with something like renewal could be very powerful. My issue with it the same as the other two top tier talents – as a resto druid it does nothing to help me out as a healer for the group. I want my ultimate talent to be something cool and defining (not OP, but a clear aid to my chosen role).

  2. At first I was excited to see the druid talents, but then when I actually saw them and read what they were, I went Whaa?

    I am a healing druid. So apparently that means I get to be the one druid spec that doesn’t get a form? Honestly, I rolled a druid to be a tree, and they took that away from me except as a cooldown and now they’re taking THAT away and making it something that I have to talent? Are we not shapeshifter’s by default? Do they want me to heal in kitty form somehow?

    I saw someone say that these talents look like feral talents. And I have to agree with that assessment. My first thought for the level 15 talents was “I’m not a cat druid why would I want any of these, none of them are helpful.”

    However, at the moment I’m not feeling well and am feeling a bit like Chicken Little. I’m sure it will pass but until then I’m a little down in the mouth about the apparent changes to TOL!

    • I have to agree with what you are saying – I don’t like that it appears our ToL will become something we have to choose like. Possibly if there was a “basic” ToL and then the talent made it an uber version then it would be better.

      Hopefully this is just a very rough working model of the druid talents and will change for the better before long (pleasepleasepleaseplease) 🙂

  3. They mentioned that Force of Nature is going to do different things for different specs, like the Paladin’s Guardian dude. So if your are resto specced and pick up Force of Nature, it might heal people or…something…they didn’t give any clues what it might do, but they did say they ents would behave differently depending on your sepc.

  4. As a 2900+ Arena player and 5x glad 2x r1 Resto Druid, I would like to add me two cents for anyone who cares to read them
    Number 1) These talents are great and will bring back a sense of Hybridization – meaning, I can actually be a HYBRID class by being able to choose seperate classes from both Balance and Resto (as obviously feral and resto don’t go that well together from a healing perspective) Like at level 60/70, you can actually choose things to differentiate yourself from other healers.
    2) These talents all seemed fairly interesting but none of them seemed ridiculous, which is a good thing – think back to blizzard giving classes things that are either A) completely ovepowered or B) Completely useless.

    I don’t think any of you wouold be hap-py no matter hat blizzard gave us, so just be happy that we got things that are useful and not useless, and that we now have a choice to actually be a hybrid class isntead of this digusting bullshit that they gave us during Wrath of the Lich king where we choose something and we can’t do anything else.

    • You need to realize that while the talent choices look nice for PvP, the majority of players play this game for PvE. Over half the talents are either situational/useless for Trees in a PvE setting and being a “true hybrid” for PvE isn’t viable. You get brought into raids for a single role: Tank, Healer, or DPS. If there is a class/spec that does it better than you, you will be benched. There is no place for true hybrids in PvE where you are competing with Priests, Paladins, and Shaman for healing spots.

      PvE Trees want abilities that make us better at what we do best and that is healing. If you want to DPS go spec chicken or kitty.

      • I couldn’t agree more. We have hybridisation in the form of 3 (soon to be 4) viable different roles to play. We are unique in being the only class that can heal, tank or deal melee or ranged dps.

        This doesn’t mean that we should be forced to dps as resto, heal in feral or tank as balance if we don’t want to.

        Our strength is that we can come along and heal a fight, then switch to feral and dps the next and so on.

        You cannot afford to mix things up too much or you end being benched for not be specialised enough compared to some of the other classes (which already outstrip us in utility on the whole)

        For PvE content we need clearly defined roles with the druid specs, and talents that act accordingly. It would mess us up to have too many personal utility talents, or hybrid talents that are good for PvP as it would hurt the class in PvE too much.

  5. And as a side note, yes Resto does look incredibly strong which is a really nice thing, lets just hope they give us something else for the problem of our AOE healing being a little weak I-e, please let us Lifebloom multiple targets again <.<

    • Resto does look rather strong atm, but how strong we remain will be dependent on just how they jiggle around our abilities and glyphs in light of the new talent trees.

      The nerf to WG in 4.3 looks to be countered somewhat by the introduction of Lissana’s healing shrooms. So I don’t think we particularly need a spammable LB anymore.

      Overall we look like we will be ok, so long as they don’t mess us around when they fold the current talents into abilities and glyphs.

  6. Quick note – if any of your readers would find it more convenient to read the talents in text rather than screenshot form (because they’re using a screen reader, are visually impaired, or just find the screenies give them a bit of a headache, like me), I’ve got a transcription of the Druid talents over at the Melting Pot.

    Thought that might be a useful resource!

  7. I believe any talent in our current tree that does any +healing % will be baked in the spells spellpower coefficient. All those numbers will likely be baseline for MoP so we don’t have to worry about any type of +healing talents. Instead we get to focus on certain abilities.

    So far our talent tree is pretty hit and miss for Trees. There are some great control talents, especially for PvP (Faerie Swarm), but we also have some pretty questionable ones (Heart of the Wild, Master Shapeshifter). Tiers 5 and 6 will likely need to be looked at again for Trees because there isn’t anything particularly attractive for them. I’m fairly sure the “dps/heal/tank outside your role” won’t fly with the Druid community. We get brought in for a single role for raids. Give us abilities to boost our effectiveness within that one role.

    I am a little worried about Tier 4. We have access to Treeform, but we can also choose Treants as well. If Treeform is as powerful as it is today, I see few Druids opting for the Treants. There’s a danger in letting a pet augment your healing, especially if the Treants are derpy. I’d rather see Treeform moved to Tier 6 and have Treants stay in Tier 4 so we can have access to both of them.

    • As I have said before, I hope that any basic buffs and changes to our healing will actually be an innate part of choosing to go resto, or be included in the abilties or glyph system.

      My concerns with the talent trees at the moment is the lack of decent choices for resto. There are a few tiers with a couple of options (2+4), I would happily have ToL, pet Ents, Cenarion ward and Rebirth, and then a couple of trees with no good PvE resto option (5+6).

      I agree that for tier 4, most of the time you will be taking ToL as the potential for allowing pets to heal is too random, unless it works as a good “smart” heal. If it isn’t a smart heal and just randomly heals anyone in range regardless of HP, situation and such then they could end up being nothing more than a never used gimmick for resto.

  8. I understand how people feel that the talents aren’t really geared toward restoration. I actually hadn’t considered this, when I first saw the talents.

    I thought, “Cool! We get more survival tools!” That was honestly how I saw it. Throughout raiding in Firelands, I’ve had to go Bear to stun something or reach for Dash as I’m shifting to cat because I need to get somewhere asap.

    That’s what I enjoy the most about playing my druid. Those talents add to it, and I’m excited to try them out. Displacer Beast could be used to cleanse yourself of dots in PvE and get yourself out of a tight spot asap. You could go bear and use Bear Hug when you need a quick boost of health, or in an emergency to help the tanks. Those are just examples of how different talents could be beneficial to use, even though those aren’t explicitly resto talents.

    I always believed utilizing your off spec talents makes for better healers and in the case of resto druids, unique out of all healing classes 🙂

  9. I agree that utilising your various other talents and abilities can make you a better healer (knowing when and how to use barkskin, entangling roots, form switching etc) but I see world of difference between using a wide range of abilities and being forced into other roles temporarily, especially with the likes of the final tier talents.

    It may be useful to have a range of other survival talents and such, but there are so many talents in there that are obviously aimed towards feral. Also with the suggested changes to baseline abilities and gaining AP from intellect etc it just feels that we are being pushed to being an inefficient hybrid that is forced to choose between either switching between roles and forms or wasting talents points in talents you never use. Neither appeals much to me.

    I know that nothing is final and so on, so I hope things change to balance them out a bit more.

    I play feral PVP and QQ if you can’t heal your raid.
    This is going to be fcking IN-SANE.

    They finally gave feral kitties a vanish, EPIC!!!!!!!! I can hop in, rape face, and dip out. SO COOL AND THAT’S JUST OUR FIRST TALENT LINE!

    Then you go off and say renewal is “a bland filler talent.” Seriously, I have a new ability that heals 30% OF MY HP TO ADD TO MY OHSH%@ Macro 😀 😀 😀
    Renewal (30%) + Might of Ursoc(30%) + Survival instincts + Barkskin + shapeshift heal(20%) = back to 70% hp while I dust myself off XD XD XD

    Third tier, tough call but I’d say Mass Entanglement all the way. GREAT way to just go ahead and peel everybody real quick, awesome for certain bgs like strand, awesome addition to your feral charge in arenas when someone’s chasing your teamate and wont attack you, awesome addition to your cc rotation 😀

    4th tier… IM F#%ING SORRY BUT DID U JUST SAY I COULD SPAM RAVAGE AND POUNCE FOR 30 SECONDS OUT OF STEALTH????? OH. MY. GAWD. This is AMAZING, this is OP, this is RIDICULOUS. Imagine opening on healer and dps… POUNCE, POUNCE, RAVAGE, RAVAGE, RAVAGE, POUNCE, POUNCE, RIP, RAKE, RAVAGE RAVAGE, CYCLONE, RAVAGE, RAVAGE, BEAR HUG (we’ll get there soon), RAVAGE, CYCLONE… and that’s just MY damage… oh my gawd… so epic.

    5th tier, I know the vortex thing might be kind of cool, demoralizing roar is boring and pointless… but bear hug… 30% of MY hp in BEAR FORM? (might not be bear form or w/e but imagine if it is). This is going to be my herp derp finisher when someone tries to get away before they die, AND my herp derp opener (after i pounce and ravage the crap out of them as I said before) So beautiful, so amazing

    And last but not least… did I read this right??? They’re giving us back our ability to get out of all snares… AND AND AND, it heals us for 20% hp every 30 seconds? So hold up hold up hold up… u mean I can pop renewal, shapeshift, and then might of ursoc and just be hanging out with 70% hp? /drool. Oh, and if heart of the wild ends up being OP then I can pop then right before my teamate goes down and just resto druid him back to full real quick…. lol XD so kewl I can’t wait… can’t wait to read all the QQ’s and see all the nerfs the first week :p all u pvers can stop crying about not being able to do your whatever while I rape erybody constantly.

    • I can’t really comment on the whole as I am not a PvPer or a feral kitty, but there are a few things I will pick up on.

      I said renewal is a bland filler, you think it is OP. That maybe, but my point still stands – however OP you think it is, especially when combined with other things, is fine, however, it is still not an “exciting” talent. It still feels like they needed something quickly to fill in a space.

      You seem to like the overall feel of the talent tree, good on you 🙂 I however don’t, I play resto PvE, not feral PvP and the two things are entirely different.

      Blizzard though needs to give everyone something that is viable no matter what the player chooses to play as. This means making talents that are attractive to no less than 8 different types of player (guardian/balance/rest/feral x PvP/PvE). At the moment there is a lot for feral kitties (both PvE and PvP) and not so much that is looking good for resto.

      One last point: I ok’ed this comment as it was your first and I don’t have a strict comments policy, but if you wish to comment in future please refrain from a few things:
      1: many people don’t like the term “rape” in game, please don’t use it.
      2: Don’t have a go at other specs, PvE vs PvP and so on. Stating you don’t think something will work is not QQ or crying.
      3: I have no idea who you are or how old you are, but the excessive caps and !!!! makes you come across as a kid. Better grammar will make people take you more seriously 🙂



    • Look out, the official forums just found our blog.

      Also, Displacer Beast is great – if you want to give up Feline Swiftness, which goes a long way toward countering the Cat range bug and Shred’s positional problems. Incarnation is awesome – if you don’t care about Feral Charge.

  11. Sorry it’s 80% hp… it seemed too high of a number I thought I’d added wrong XD

  12. I personally don’t play a druid, but I found my way here as I’m thinking about giving one a go in Mists, and I wanted to see what they are going to offer.

    What I understand of 5.0 is that generally most of the trees are pretty pvp-oriented.. or at least many people are making that claim. The way I see it is that speccing resto gives you a pre-made, optimized spec to heal; it’s going to have everything we need worked into it. The new talent trees, instead of defining our character’s abilities as they have in the past, will instead be neat little perks with which we can customize ourselves.

    Blizzard is trying to do away with “cookie-cutter” specs, and I figure this is a decent way, by giving us stuff which is useful to choose from, though not class defining. What I’m saying is that a resto druid will be a resto druid, we won’t need those healy talents because they’re built in.. this is a new talent system, one which enriches our individual play experience without changing our role…. wanted to move faster as a cat but couldn’t spare taking points from resto? Now you don’t have to, now you can be full resto and pick up all those little things. That’s how I see it.

    That said, yeah I agree with the PVE’ers here, myself as a PVE healer in that hybridization is detrimental to being a competitive healer. However, there’s been times I’ve had to break out of my role in a raid… I’m sure we all have. Back in 3.1, my guild was among the first on our server to down Mimiron in Ulduar; we had lost heals on the last phase (I was in shadow spec that fight), and it was my quick jump out of shadow to finish the healing that won us the fight. My point in that little story is that if this is working the way I figure, and everything we need for resto is built in, a little utility on the side can’t hurt.

    The last thing I’ll say is this: We don’t yet know what kind of fight mechanics they have planned for us in Mists… We already have smiting Holy priests, we will have Monks healing while dealing ranged or melee damage as well – it sounds to me like they’re going for a more dynamic feel overall to the combat system. If you’ve looked at the other trees, none have the staple “+5% effectiveness to healing spells” talents of old. Speccing resto will make you resto, and your talents will make you unique.

    Thanks guys, that’s my opinion.

  1. Pingback: Blizzcon 2011 Blogosphere Reactions: Talent Trees — MMO Melting Pot

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