Greetings from The Red Shirt Guy

Hello, my name is Ian Bates, more commonly known as the Red Shirt Guy, and I am happy to say I am now Blizzplanet’s newest contributor! In the coming days, weeks, months etc I hope to provide a variety of, perhaps not news but “flavor” articles for the site. You can expect lots of speculative ideas on future content, as I love imagining expansions, zones, where the game could go. I’m also planning on doing an article about the current “faction bias” issue that has reemerged with patch 5.3.

I hope you will enjoy these future articles and that they will help make Blizzplanet a fun read for all fans of Blizzard’s products.

Red Shirt Guy

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Priest

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Priest talent trees.

Priest is a challenge because its two healing specs, and one damage spec.

We really wanted to make the choices were there. We didn’t want to have two healing choices, and here’s the thing shadow chooses. So I’m excited about these.

These are really creative.

Level 15

Level 15 is about control. We tried to let players recreate the existing builds they have so if you just like Psychic Scream, pick Psychic Scream and you’re good.

If you want to try something different, we have two new forms of crowd control in here. The Void Tendrils rise on the ground and can root all targets within an area.

And the Psyfiend is kind of an interesting idea where a little Psyfiend comes out and will Psychic Scream repeatedly on different targets.

Level 30

Level 30 is a fun tier that adds kind of a little wrinkle to some of your existing abilities.

Body and Soul, and existing holy talent that grants movement shield when someone has been shielded.

Path of the Devout increases your movement speed while levitating.

And Phantasm, when you fade you remove all movement impairing effects, and give yourself a movement speed boost.

Level 45

Level 45 is about damage and healing. Again we didn’t want for Shadow who always has to take “this one”, so e wanted choices in here. We have Surge of Light and Surge of Darknes which clears casting, it’s a different version for Shadow to make sure damage still works and has no Shadow Orb cost.

And Divine Star, fires a projectile out that does damage and healing and then it comes back and does damage and healing over the same path again.

Never had a spell that worked quite like this so it’ll be fun to try it.

And then Archangel. Archangel is a core ability now. You get Archangel or Dark Archangel to consume evangelism or shadow orb.

Level 60

Level 60 is keep the Priest alive — Survivability. Anyone with Desperate Prayer, it’s a bit instant heal.

Angelic Bulwark increases your shield when you shield yourself.

And Final Prayer is a passive that when you get hurt without having a clicking ability you will get a little bit of help.

Level 75

Level 75 is about power. Twist of Fate — very powerful talent. Totally passive but increases damage and healing on targets that are wounded below 25% health.

The existing Power Infusion from Discipline now is available to everyone.

And we merged Serendipity and Mind Melt into one talent choice here that lets you reduce the mana cost (Healing spec) or stack up Mind Melt (Damage spec).

Level 90

Three crazy new abilities at level 90. Vow of Unity … Imagine you designate a champion for a short period of time, and you can — when you heal that person it heals you a little bit, like a reverse beacon. It doesn’t last the whole time, though.

Void Shift … really crazy talent. This just swaps health percentage with your target. That’s all! No big deal.

Very simple and obviously, a lot of ramifications if the tank is at 50% and you’re at 100%, you can swap that health, and then quickly heal yourself up. I know. That’s awesome.

And then Vampiric Dominance is a greatly improved Vampiric Embrace. Shadow Priests used to have this cool vibe of a passive, heal the rest of your group.

We thought by making you choose one of these three abilities we could offer a more powerful version so hopefully we’ll see some more priests out there.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Class Talent System Panel

Tom Chilton led the World of Warcraft Class Talent System Panel after the official announcement of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria expansion.

In a nutshell, basically, the current talent system will be thrown out of the window. Poof! It’s gone. The Talent System will be revamped from the ground up. We won’t see the same vertical talent system we have been used to in the past seven years.

The new talent system is horizontal. Every 15 levels you will have to choose one out of three talents. As you progress down to the next 15 levels, and so on, you are building a unique and different character than the player next to you — and while you only have those three choices per tier, you are in fact having more customization power and differentiation than you have ever had in the lifespan of World of Warcraft.

Here is a transcript of Tom Chilton’s Talent System Panel: (apologies for inaccuracies. Feel free to provide corrections)

Tom Chilton (WoW Game Director): What is World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria? Our prime objective here is we want to combine new gameplay with the most fun parts of the past.

I think it is a fair criticism that some people that have leveled up through Cataclysm are saying that there weren’t a whole lot of new things to do at the end game.

You do a lot of new stuff or reroll and go through the very much changed world but at the end game it is the same kind of stuff that you’ve been doing for years and years — hopefully, at least — so we want to make sure that we introduce some really fun new things for you guys to do to kind of keep things exciting at the end game.

So there we are: “New things to do”. That’s a core part of blending exciting things of the past with new things of the future.

Another core philosophy that we have is getting people back into the world. I dont know about you guys but I’m getting a little bit tired of seeing the inside of Stormwind all the time. Granted these are all lovely places, but that can get a lit bit old.

We want to get you back into the world at max level and experiencing the world and that means a lot of different things. Getting out there and doing stuff like in the picture here (Azurego’s outdoor raiding).

We’ve got a little shot of one of the things we plan to do is reintroduce the concept of these outdoor world raid bosses players have played, of course, where there are outdoor world people there fighting on PvP servers, that meaning people will be there trying to grief the people doing the outdoor world raid fighting.

So another core philosophy that we want to be able to do is “Do what you want to do to progress your character.

Over time, World of Warcraft has kind of blossomed with all these different things to do and we are going to add more things to do, and we’re really want the game to feel like there’s a menu of content and that you can pick and choose what kind of content you want to do and you aren’t necessarily pigeonhole-ing the content that you feel like you have to do in order to be able to progress your character.

What we’re trying to say here is that we want you to be able to progress your character whether you’re waiting, doing dungeons or daily plus. For example, that’s what that little plus is there. You’re getting power points out of it. That way you can actually get valor points (30 VP via quests) and progress your character even if you just want to go out there and smash, it would be faster if you want to do raids, of course, but you’ll still be able to make progress all the time.

Next, we really want you to be able to geek out with more interesting character builds than ever before.

I was there back in 2004 when we created the talent system — in fact that was kinda my job to create the talent system that you guys have experienced over the last many, many years. We have this vision. Back then it was in the friends and family alpha that we were getting constant feedback. This is before we had a talent system or at least one that you know of today.

We would get constant feedback about players wanting to be able to customize their character more, they wanted to stand next to another character of the same class and feel like they were a little bit different that made some choices and that those choices were meaningful and that led to their gameplay experience feeling a little bit different, and that their character was special. With that in mind, we went out and created a different talent system.

We drew a lot from the original Diablo II talent system, that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, I don’t actually feel like it’s aged as well as I wish it had. I feel like we’ve been plagued over the years with cookie cutter builds.

How much space do you really have when you step into your raid, and your raid leader tells you those’s four points you spent right there are going to cost you 4% DPS and we really can’t have that so you’re going to take a hike,that sort of thing. So we want to try to make sure that we refine what we call the talent system to get to the point where we don’t have the cookie cutter builds that we have today and that the choices you are making are significant choices for your character but that you actually have a lot of flexibility about how to set up your character and how to play.

Tom Chilton: As you already probably know, we’re here to talk about the talent system, and all the new stuff that we’ve done with with it and to give you guys a sneak peek at what we’ve done with your class.

So let’s open this vault of knowledge.

(Tom Chilton clicks the remote control and a massive panda paw fingerprint on a round mural glyph rotates clockwise and an animation as if it was a slide door pops open to show the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria logo)

Talents 2.0

We spent some time talking about this in the World of Warcraft: Intro to Mists of Pandaria preview panel, but now we’d like to go into a little bit more depth, and recap some of our philosophies and some stuff, and then make our way through the different classes.

As you may realize by now, this represents a mayor change to the class talent trees, and it’s really kind of a new phase of development for our talent system.

Still similar in a lot of ways to the original talent system, but we had these ideas in the back of our minds, kind of squeaking around that were telling us that we had bigger and better things to do with it.

Goal

So the goal here is that you’re standing next to another combat Rogue, for example, and this kind of rogue, she has different talents than you do … wow, wouldn’t that be something?

Holy crap! And they’re not just an idiot, right?

So as I said before, character customization was the original point of talents in the first place. That’s what we set up to do back in — somewhere around April or May of 2004, when we were talking about this, and that’s what we kind of thought we were going to accomplish, but over time we’ve really seen that cookie-cutter builds have dominated the scene and players have told us: “We want more talent customization!”

We did the Cataclysm talent revamp with that kind of idea in mind, hoping to give players more meaningful choices than they had before, but while we made improvements to how clean the system is and that sort of thing, we didn’t really feel like we delivered it on a level that players would really be happy with. Time to do it all over.

So this new model is all about customization. Making choices that are interesting and difficult choices. When you look at a class now, the class will be comprised of three things:

New Model

Class Abilities: The first is your core of possibilities and these are abilities available to everybody of that character class, whether or not you’re Arms or Protection or Fury. To take a warrior for example, All Warriors, obviously, learned Heroic Strike.

Spec Abilities: This is something we’re doing a lot more with this than we did before. Spec Abilities in Cataclysm is that one ability you get like Mortal Strike for picking Arms spec.

But now it translates into quite a few new things, and that can include abilities that are core abilities if they only make sense to work out for, for example, for a certain spec or they could be old talents or existing abilities that we have now. In this case, for the Arms Warrior can now learn Slam.

Finally, we have talents, and any warrior can pick from the same sets of talents. What’s very important to us is that players are making apples to apples comparisons about their talent choices.

One thing we learned over time is that if you put, let’s say, a survivability ability up next to a DPS ability, and you’re playing a DPS role, let’s say you are an Arms warrior — which one are you more likely to pick? Hmm, I wonder … You’d take the DPS ability, and that sacks the actual reality of choice from the decision.

However, what we feel like is if we present you with three different options that are comparisons that are right, like three different survivability abilities, and say: “Here they are, here are three of them. They are cool in different ways. Pick one.”

Then there’s only so wrong you can go with that, right? It becomes more of a choice of your style of play, what abilities appeal to you more as a player, and those choices can really actually add up to being very creative and different characters once you look at your character overall.

If we had DPS abilities in there, they’ll be compared against other DPS abilities, so you pick one of three different DPS abilities, or utility abilities, or mobility abilities, or survivability — all that kind of stuff.

Talents: Every warrior can choose Throwdown. So in this case, it’s crowd control. Throwdown will be put up against two other crowd-control abilities so you have to pick which crowd control suits you best.

Warrior Core Abilities

Here’s a bunch of different warrior core abilities, maybe you are probably very familiar with these.

Of note, enrage is in there as a passive, and so an example of a really significant talent for warriors that we don’t want to go away with, it’s a cool mechanic and all that, but now all warriors will have passive enrage.

At level 10, warriors can choose a spec, and here’s the example, warrior’s going to choose between arms or protection, and that’s going to have a whole bunch of implications at different levels.

If you’re the fury warrior, here are the abilities you’d get at the different levels, and so that implies these aren’t necessarily abilities you would get as Arms, Fury, or Protection. There may be a little overlap where it is necessary or makes sense, but for the most part, these are very distinct.

Like Fury, for example. Before, you didn’t want to be that warrior that didn’t pick Fury, right? — that wasn’t really a choice, not if you were sane. So at level 15, you’ll pick your first talent.

In this particular example, you’re looking at a warrior and you’re comparing three different mobility abilities against each other. Do I want Juggernaut, do I want Double Time, or do I want the Warbringer ability?

You pick which makes most sense for your character, your style of play, and the things you do.

We’ll continue to go through all these different examples with the different character process in a moment.

Talent Philosophy

Some of the philosophies that go along with this is that it gives you access to stuff you couldn’t access before in terms of the combinations, right?

In the past, let’s say you’re a rogue and you’ve chosen subtlety — so you know — I’m going to get Shadow Step as Subtlety rogue, and I’ll have Preparation and I’m going to have that sort of thing, but you were never able to combine an ability like that with an ability — let’s say, like Killing Spree.

And because these different talents are now going to be able to play against each other in the same tree, you’ll be able to create all kinds of new combinations of the cool talents that are already in the game that are really meaningful in ways you could never before.

And really, that’s at the crux of giving you guys a lot more control over your character and and a lot more flexibility, and a lot more customization.

We’ll also be adding several new overpowered feeling talents, so there will be new stuff in the trees that you have never seen before.

Talent Philosophy

Bear in mind as we go through the trees, as Greg said, don’t make assumptions about the talents that you see in there in terms of how they operate today.

A lot of these talents, once they’re in this kind of system, they will change in terms of their cooldown or their duration, or some of the details of their effects.

That’s because they aren’t necessarily all layered on top of each other. In the past we’ve had to essentially give some abilities because we had to worry about — well, first you can Gauge the guy, and then you can Kidney Punch him, and then Blind him, and then you can do this, that, and the other — and when you layer all those mechanics on top of each other we’re in the situation to marginalize those more and more.

So in a lot of cases, this opens up a lot more flexibility that we didn’t have before. As we go through these, if you don’t see a beloved talent, don’t worry. It’s probably something that’s a core ability or something like that.

There’s not an intent here to take away a whole bunch of awesome stuff. We’re just moving things around and putting them in places where they actually make for some interesting choices.

An example, all holy priests now have Circled Healing, and hopefully, you’ll come away with this not feeling like they’re mandatory talents, and every choice should be hard, but fun.

Talent Philosophy

So, Screenshot time. Rather than disappointing everyone, I’m walking off the stage, and Greg will just be going to go through every freaking talent. So, Greg Street (Ghostcrawler), take it away.

Classes Talents In-Depth Preview

Ghostcrawler: We’re going to reiterate a lot on these individual talents. They’re not set in stone. You haven’t played them yet. Don’t get too obsessed about the numbers, or “OMG! Too many cooldowns, that’s OP (overpowered)” — we can get to all of that.

Look at the spirit of the talent, and what we’re trying to do. We have ten classes and their talents, and buckle up. We’re going to go in alphabetical order.

If you’re a Warrior, go get a beer. and come back later.

Note: Before continuing to read the transcript of this Talents Panel, choose which class you wish to preview. Due to the massive amount of info shown by Ghostcrawler at this point of the panel, I decided to split all classes into separate pages. Otherwise this page would be very crowded with too much info and over 100 images. Basically, they showed every single freaking talent choice, and tooltips per every 15 levels (7 Tiers) per class. That was an awesome preview. Choose your class:

Change is Scary!!!

Change is Scary!!! And we know one of the initial reactions to hear about this talent thing is: “Wow, I used to get talents like every level and now I’m getting talents every 15 levels. There’s so fewer choices, only six talents instead of the 70 back in Burning Crusade, or something.”

We really want the quality of the choice to be more interesting than the quantity of the choice.

We want to focus on very cool talents that make you feel like you’re playing differently, you’re doing things you could never do before and less about well someone math out that this talent over here was a 2% DPS upgrade so I’m about only going to pick two out of three ranks here.

And honestly I think that what most of us did was we tried to find someone with a good build rather than having fun experimenting it ourselves.

We think about your current talents trees. Just think about the class you play a lot for a minute, and there’s cool talents in that tree.

Most of those we’re going to give to you for free now. If you pick the right spec you will get all that stuff anyway and some we’re going to elevate to the core class level.

Then there’s the really boring talents. The things that either no one took or the small DPS increases. You’re glad to have them. More DPS or Healing is nice. Not super compelling, like WoW I’m so glad I finally got this thing that made me have more armor.

And then there are the fun talents, talents that felt like game changers. That’s what we want this new system to be about.

None of these are set in stone. I would be surprised if these are what the talent trees look like when we ship.

You can see the philosophy and ideas we’re going for. We’re going to be super excited to get feedback.

I’m sure it’s going to be coming once we step off the stage. What’s overpowered. What’s a terrible idea. What we do to ruin the game or something.

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warrior

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warrior talent trees.

Level 15

Hope the Warriors are all back with their beer by now. So the first tier is the Charge tier.

The first thing I have to explain about what we did with Charge is, we thought it was kind of lame both Juggernaut and Warbringer were the same talent, but let you use Charge in combat.

So now Charge can now be used in any combat by any warrior. So you choose Juggernaut if you want to Charge a lot. It has a lower cooldown on the Charge.

Double Time lets you Charge twice in a row before it infers a cooldown, so you can charge once and charge again if you missed your target or changed your mind.

Warbringer puts a five second root at the end of your charge.

Level 30

Level 30 is about survival. We put Enraged Regeneration in here. Warrior has a lot of defensive cooldowns, so we thought we could make Enrage a little bit more powerful if we made it a talent, and make you choose it instead of the other two.

Second Wind with also combined with Blood Craze so that — it’s when you take a stun or immobilize effect or you just take some damage you can regenerate some health and rage.

Then we liked the idea of Impending Victory, but it never really was as cool as we thought it could be. So this basically turn Victory Rush into a full rotation ability. It adds a rage cost and a cooldown you can use at any time.

Level 45

Level 45 is a crowd control here. Throwdown is your basic stun. Piercing Howl is a big AOE ensnare, or Cripple — think the autoattack hits and Rend ticks playing Hamstring without you actually doing it.

But now you can only choose one. What are you going to do?

Level 60

Level 60 is about silencing those annoying casters. This is the existing Gag Order where you Pummel and Heroic for a silence.

Rude Interruption is a fun talent. It’s a DPSing increase, but it’s so minimal and situational that we aren’t too worried about every Warrior out there taking it.

— between teeth Ghostcrawler jokingly murmurs: “The Shaman will probably interrupt it before you get to it anyway.”

(crowd laughs)

And Disrupting Shout is a new idea its an AOE interrupt, not something we’ve done before. Interrupt a whole group at once with this shout.

Level 75

So level 75 is about a little bit of having fun with burst and resource management.

Deadly Calm we decided to make just focused on the Heroic Strike or Cleave. It’s pretty much what it’s most useful for. It gives you three free Heroic Strikes or Cleaves.

Death Wish enrages you which is important for warriors to do more damage. Lets Fury Warriors use Raging Blow and it also increases your rage generation during that time.

And Bull Rush is a new idea, whenever you charge or intervene it enrages you. Another way to get enrage on demand.

Maybe you will see those warriors moving around the battlefield. Get fun things to do by looking at this and one of the Charge talents on the first tier.

Level 90

And last, but certainly not least, Shockwave and Bladestorm can be done by any warrior — and if you need something really powerful to compete with that — so we went back and looked at Warcraft III and said that Avatar sounds like a fun ability to give to warriors.

In this case, it’s not just themed as a defensive cooldown, but increases your damage dealt. It gives you excess rage and makes you immune to movement impairing effects.

One of those things that we really like about this tier is if you look at it with Warcraft III in mind, see the Blademaster, the Tauren Chieftain and Mountain King together you decided which one you want to be.

(round of applauses)

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warlock

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warlock talent trees.

Level 15

We’re going to see a lot of healing and a lot of survivability in here. You’ll want to emphasize that a little bit as kinda push the differences between the Mage and Warlock a little further apart in the design space.

So start right off in different ways to get health. Dark Regeneration just click to get some of your health back. It takes a little bit of time to build up here, so it’s not an instant burst of healing.

Soul Leech lets your Shadowbolt, Incinerate and Malefic Grasp (oh, what is that?) heal you.

And Harvest of Life drains life from a target and other targets in the area. You can see in the blue text of the tooltip Empowered Channel.

This is a cool thing we’re trying with the way the Warlock channels. If you cast the channel again before it’s finished it increases the duration so is rather than sitting there and channeling the whole time, you channel, channel, channel and then you have a nice long duration spell.

Level 30

Here three different ways to control the bad guys. You can have an AOE fear, or an AOE stun, or you can have Mortal Coil.

A new design on Death Coil. Not about doing damage, but it’s about making them run away, and healing yourself.

Level 45

Level 45 is about Survivability. Hour of Twilight returns some health back when you get hurt, it’s a passive, not like the previous generation one.

Soul Link shares damage with your pet, but your demon has to be alive.

And Sacrificial Pact is the kind of existing Voidwalker ability. Your pet sacrifices itself, but also makes you immune to damage for a short period of time.

Level 60

Level 60 has three ways to heal yourself or avoid damage.

Bloodstone is an instant heal. Spell Drain is cast on yourself, and the next single target attack spell that hits you, heals you for half the damage it would have dealt instead.

Nether Ward transforms your Twilight Ward into Nether Ward. We combine a holy shadow ward into one. You have your ward up and another ward replaces your Twilight Ward and makes you reduce damage to that school you get hit by for 12 sec.

Level 75

Level 75 is about your pet, and you can do three different things here.

Grimoire of Supremacy basically replaces your demon with a more powerful demon. This is a permanent passive. If you take this, you can have a Shivan or an Abyssal as your pet instead of the current run-of-the-mill warlock pet.

All of these are more powerful. They are slightly more powerful versions of their current abilities.

Grimoire of Service is a 30 sec cooldown that lets you have two pets out at the same time.

And then Grimoire of Sacrifice is something else we’ve heard a lot is we never really liked the idea of the Destruction warlock that gets rid of the imp, and then doesn’t have a pet the rest of the time.

But players would tell us, you know — “I really liked that mechanic. Is there any way to bringing it back?”

So we thought, if the pet wasn’t gone permanently, that could be a cool thing. We really like the feel like the Hunter really cares about his bear and his rabbit (rabbit?) — err, his tiger — (jokingly Ghostcrawler says: Make rabbits tameable pets) — whatever.

But the demon, the warlock doens’t care about the demon. The demon is a tool for the warlock. If it makes sense to kill the demon to burst your DPS for a little time, the warlock will probably take that trade.

Level 90

And then level 90 is themed around demons. Not your demons, but really more powerful demons from Warcraft lore. All of these do some pretty crazy, crazy things.

Archimonde’s Vengeance let’s you curse an enemy which will also take damage you do to that enemy.

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning lets you cast while moving. Straight up! Doubles the cast time, or the period of the spell that you’re casting while you’re moving.

And Illidan’s Guile lets you do a little bit of splash damage to other enemies in the area with your three main nukes there.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Shaman

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Shaman talent trees.

Level 15

Now Frozen Power now makes your Frost Shock root in ice.

Earthgrab Totem roots enemies around the totem for 5 sec, and slow down movement by 50%.

Repulsion Totem which repels target from getting close to you.

Level 30

Level 30 is about Survivability. The existing Nature Guardian, which heals you when you get hurt. Stone Bulwark is a new totem that you drop down and puts a shield on you. Remember, there’s no buff totems anymore, so you can choose which of the totems we have now out here.

And then Astral Shift will actually like shift you into another phase so that you take less damage while you are out there.

Level 45

Let me explain Improved Ghost Wolf. We’ll give the Ghost Wolf form to every Shaman, and then flip them around. If you want the freedom wolf you take the talent along with the instant wolf.

Windwalk Totem will brand all your group with immunity to movement imparing effects while it’s out.

The Tranquil Mind Totem is the same effect as Aura Mastery. In this case, rather than reducing push back, it makes you immune to spellcast interruption and silence effects while it’s up.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. We’ve a new healing totem. It’s kind of a little tranquility for the Shaman.

Ancestral Guidance has a chance of copying a heal to another target, or when you deal damage, or heal, you can heal another target.

And Fortifying Waters is a little bit of damage reduction for Healing Rain.

Level 75

Level 75 is about burst for the most part. The key part of Elemental Mastery is — don’t worry so much about activating the next Lightning Bolt or whatever. It’s pretty much a self-Bloodlust.

Nature Swiftness is the activated version to give you a fast spell. It has a little bit of passive haste as well.

And then the Echo of the Elements, you can imagine this as your own personal Dragon Wrath. It has a chance to clone a damage or healing spell.

Level 90

Level 90 is what we’ll call here a high concept tier. These are all about doing crazy things to your totems.

Elemental Harmony lets you have multiple totems of the same kind.

Totemic Restoration if you replace or destroy a totem, it reduces its cooldown. Say you drop one of your raid cooldown totems, and you see someone else puts down power barrier, then you can pull that totem back up and drop another totem and then your other totem will be available pretty quickly. (note: no clue what he said here)

And then Totemic Projection lets you move your totems — and the cool thing is that you aren’t just moving them close to you. You can decide and throw it over there instead.

(Room breaks into applauses)

I love this tier. It’s three superpowerful things, and it feels very exciting. You decided which you want, and mix up over time.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Rogue

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Rogue talent trees.

Level 15

I like how the Rogue benefits from this new model.

Lot of the cool stuff that tended to be in Subtlety is now spread out. You should read all of these tooltips.

These are pretty powerful talents all tied into Stealth.

Nightstalker – you move faster while stealthed.

Subterfuge – your stealth doesn’t break for three seconds, which has a lot of ramifications if you’re a Rogue.

And Shadow Focus which is your stealth abilities are free (they cost no energy).

Obviously you can’t take both of those together or you would be broken, and that’s kind of what we really like about the talent system.

Level 30

Level 30 is about control and survivability. The existing Deathly Throw with a nice movement speed debuff on it as well.

The way Nerve Strike works is that if you Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot someone it also debuffs their damage dealt for a period of time.

Obviously, the target must be susceptible to Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot.

And then the existent Combat Readiness where you can kinda build up resistance to someone that’s trying to beat your face in.

Level 45

Level 45 is about staying alive. Cheat Death is up against a new type of poison. We are trying to introduce new types of Rogue poisons.

Leeching Poison – as you beat on someone it will heal you for a little bit of the damage dealt.

And Improved Recuperate, I’m sure Rogues are very familiar with.

Level 60

Level 60. Here’s your Shadow Step as promised, but … you have to choose it or Preparation.

We went ahead and put the Preparation in here, too, so you get all the abilities listed.

Burst of Speed is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a sprint on no cooldown at a cost of energy.

Level 75

Level 75, we have Deadly Brew – whenever you wound, or mind-numb a target you also apply Crippling Poison to the target.

Paralytic Poison will let you paralize someone. You have to hit them a few times before you get enough stacks to paralyze them.

And then Dirty Tricks let’s you Gauge and Blind won’t break from damage coming from Poison and Bleed effects. You can try to debuff a little bit, and then Gauge and Blind them and they’ll take damage.

Level 90

And see what we did here. You can have any ability you want, from any of the bottom talent trees as Rogue.

Shadow Dance is pretty much the existing Shadow Dance. The Killing Spree and Vendetta are fairly different. Let me talk about those.

This new Killing Spree, the way it works is you can press the button multiple times, and every time gives you a teleport. We hope this is a little less disorienting than the current dance all over.

You push it once you blink. You push it another time you’ll go somewhere else, and you can do it as many times as you feel like it within a five-second window.

Vendetta, the real key here is that bottom part of Vengeful Strikes, once you have a Vendetta target, you can use the Vengeful Strikes ability — it has a 30 yard range and generates a combo point.

Pretty nice for Rogues who have trouble with target switching or movement.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Paladin

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Paladin talent trees.

Level 15

At the top is a tier that’s about movement. I know it sounds pretty crazy for a Paladin. We totally redesigned Speed of Light, and now think of it as a Sprint that does self-healing while you are sprinting.

It’s up against a modified Long Arm of the Law. Whenever you judge, you get a speed movement and we don’t think we need to have a minimum range requirement there anymore.

And then there’s a very different Pursuit of Justice which gives you a 10% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Fist of Justice replaces Hammer of Justice — but it’s a very short cooldown so you can just go around and being the stun guy.

We wanted to make Repentance available to any paladin, but wanted to make it really hard choice because we put a much improved Seal of Justice that does a really legit snare.

Level 45

Level 45 is a survival tier. Hopefully that will be a hard choice for the Protection Paladin, but there’s good stuff here for the other specs as well. Blessed Life is the modification of the current talent that gives you Holy Power when you take direct damage.

Sacred Shield is the automatic defense mechanism when you get brought down low in health, and Ardent Defender is the active one. If you want to be active take Ardent Defender. If you don’t want to worry about so many buttons, take Sacred Shield.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. A very redesigned selfless healer, all about Flash of Light. One of the things we did was give Flash of Light to all Paladins, but Holy Light and Divine Light are Holy only.

We figured if the other two Paladin specs really wanted to cast a heal they would have to cast a fast heal. So it’s based on Flash of Light.

Eternal Glory is an existing talent. It gives you a chance not to use Holy Power in your heal. Word of Glory is the single target and then think of Holy Shield as an absorption version of Word of Glory.

Not everyone can have a shield, but if you want it, there’s one right here.

Level 75

Level 75 is about Utility. Veneration is a new idea where if you put down a consecration, your allies on the consecration will be immune to movement impairing effects for a limited time.

Acts of Sacrifice is an existent talent that lets you cleanse a movement impairing effect on yourself, and reduces the cooldown of your Hand abilities a little bit.

And then Clemency is a way to immediately finish the cooldown of your Hand abilities so you can cast it again.

Level 90

Finally, Level 90 is a really exciting tier about cooldowns. The common complaints we get are cooldowns are cool, but Paladins have a little too many of them. So here’s the way to pick the way you want to do it. I’m gonna go through these real quick.

Holy Avenger, when you have Guardian of Ancient Kings out, your abilities don’t cost Holy Power.

Sanctified Wrath varies depending on your spec. For Holy, you can holy shock with no cooldown. For Protection, you can judge with no cooldown, and for Retribution you can use Hammer of Wrath as you can today.

We also have Divine Purpose in here. It’s a fun talent for some Retribution Paladins, but others get frustrated by the OMG. Here’s a way to get Holy Power — it’s not so tied to a cooldown. Sometimes you will have more Holy Power than others.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Mage

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Mage talent trees.

Mage is a great example of a class that works well with this talent system because historically we have had a lot of the most fun abilities for crowd control, and survivability, utility and frost — and we had trouble increasing the damage because they had so much utility and put it throughout the talent tree and let frost do different types of damage.

In this brave new world, arcane blast is arcane only, fireball is fire only, and frost is frost only. I know that’s crazy, right?

Level 15

So level 15 is a very chilly tier. We’ve the existing Ring of Frost which probably wins the award for the most level of junk.

It goes against Cone of Cold, and this is the improved version. It also freezes.

The new way of freezing, Frostjaw, silences and freezes the target.

Level 30

These are all abilities that help Mages survive and get away. Greater Invisibility is an upgrade to Invisibility. It doesn’t really replace Invisibility, it just makes your invisibility more powerful, but they key is it removes up to two dots.

The existing Cauterize only fire had access to before, and then Cold Snap one of your most powerful control and escape mechanisms.

Level 45

Level 45 tier is about Movement. Presence of Mind lets you get a fast spell off to get it instantly. It’s up against Scorch now. This is improved Scorch. This can only be kept by moving, but you don’t have Scorch to let you pick this talent.

If you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re moving a lot you can take Scorch here, and Scorch as you move around. This Arcane Flows is a variant on that where it lets you cast the next two spells while moving. So it’s like a cooldown you pop, then while you’re moving you can cast two spells. You get to choose between Scorch or Arcane Flows.

As I mentioned here, we want to make sure that Scorch is the no-brainer choice for Fire mages. We’re not going to have to worry about how Fire mage buff all their fire damage, so of course, they’re going to take Scorch.

We want these to be attractive to any of the three specs.

Level 60

Level 60 is another kind of escape and control tier. We have Mana Shield here but it has a damage absorption sort of thing. When your Mana Shield is destroyed it does a knockback. Up against Blazing Speed which lets you move faster for a period of time, and then Ice Barrier.

Level 75

This is a fun tier. Polymorph is a signature Mage spell, and as with other classes’ spells, we wanted to do something that was focused on this spell.

With Sickly Polymorph targets regenerate health slower. You can polymorph mobs that is pretty injured and and they won’t regenerate health quickly.

Heavy Polymorph does a stun to the target, and Double Polymorph does it on two targets at once.

We really wanted these to be like game-changers, and we wanted you to see a mage doing like a double polymorph. Like … “What’s going on, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Level 90

And crowd control at level 90, this is great at crowd control. Here you can have Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath. Both which do a little bit of damage as well, and then, Slow.

Talents Window

There’s the full mage tree.

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Hunter

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Hunter talent trees.

Level 15

The top Hunter tier is about arrows and ammunition. This is something we kinda flirted with a few times, and we think it’s a great place to deliver it.

You can have three different types of ammunition just by choosing a talent. The Frozen Arrows does the kind of thing that frost usually does in our game.

The Arcane Arrows restore focus, and the Venom Tipped Arrows leave a dot. It depends on what situation you’re in. If you are into PvP Arcane Arrows and Venom Tipped Arrows would be attractive.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Silencing Shot and Wyvern Sting, pretty much the ability we had. Intimidation Shot is now here, and we went ahead and changed Beast Master’s Level 10 ability to Kill Command which always kind of made sense.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about how you want to use Disengage. Every Hunter will have something cool that happens when they Disengage and they choose it here.

You can buff your movement speed and you can buff your avoidance or you can heal yourself after a Disengage.

Hunters often ask for self-heal and here you can get a good one.

Level 60

Here’s one about survivability being slippery, or perhaps, being tanky. Crouching Tiger — the existing talent that can improve your disengage and deterrants.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces the damage you can take outright, and this is a more powerful version of your Spirit Bond that lets you and your pet heal as long as your pet is still alive.

Level 75

Level 75 is about resources in three different ways. You have two clickies over which gives you focus, you and your pet, readiness — which finishes the cooldown durabilities and thrill of the hunt which is a passive ability to get some focus back.

So here’s one of those opportunities. Some players really like active control and some players would rather not have another button on their bar, and they’re happy to have it happen over time, even if it means a little bit more R&D for them.

Level 90

And one thing we haven’t seen a lot yet in the Hunter trees are traps. So level 90 is all about the traps.

Flash Freeze no longer has a cooldown. Black Ice is an interesting one. It increases the movement speed of your Ice Trap, but it also increases your move speed when you walk over the trap.

And then Transmorph Trap, it turns the target into a beast. They are not very powerful as long as they’re a beast. One other thing I wanted to mention about Hunter is what happens to the pet talent?

The way we think we’re going to handle that is let Hunters choose any of the three speccs for any pet: Ferocity, Tenacity or Cunning.

You can have a bear and you can just choose which one you want to — if you want them to do the damage role or the tanking role.

Talents Window

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