Blizzard recently announced that they would revamp the talent trees for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm by reducing each tree to having 7 tiers instead of 11 which we have today. This means that you have to spend only 31 talent points to get the top talent of the tree, down from 51. You will also have only 41 talents in total to spend at level 85, down from 76.
Personally, I think this can remove many boring and tedious spells which we are currently enforced to take in order to be allowed to further down in the tree. I will in this post try to sum up which talents I hope will disappear in this cleanup.
As I am a Protection Paladin, I will only consider talents available to me (all 11 tiers in the Protection tree and the top 4 tiers of the other trees), however most of these would never be considered in a Protection build, and others are just boring and passive, such as Deflection or Anticipation. Effect descriptions are the max rank of the talents.
- Spiritual Focus (-70% pushback on Flash of Light and Holy Light)
- Seals of the Pure (+15% damage on Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Vengeance, Seal of Corruption and their Judgement effects)
- Healing Light (+12% increased healing from Holy Light, Flash of Light and Holy Shock)
- Divine Intellect (+10% intellect)
- Unyielding Faith (-30% fear and disorient duration)
- Improved Lay on Hands (-4 min cool down, gives target -20% physical damage for 15 seconds)
- Divinity (+5% healing done by you and to you)
- Divine Strength (+15% strength)
- Stoicism (-30% stun duration, -30% chance helpful spells and damage over time spells will be dispelled)
- Guardian’s Favor (-120 sec Hand of Protection cool down, +4 sec Hand of Freedom duration)
- Anticipation (+5% dodge chance)
- Improved Righteous Fury (-6% damage taken)
- Improved Hammer of Justice (-20 sec Hammer of Justice cool down)
- Improved Devotion Aura (+50% armour bonus, targets affected by your Auras receive +6% incoming heals)
- Blessing of Sanctuary (Blessing that reduces damage taken by 3% from all sources, increases Strength and Stamina by 10% and gives 2% mana back when the player blocks, parries or dodges a melee attack.
- One-Handed Weapon Specialization (+10% damage when a one-handed weapon is equipped)
- Spiritual Attunement (When the Paladin is healed by others, the Paladin gains mana equal to 10% of the amount healed)
- Ardent Defender (Damage that takes you below 35% is reduced by 20% and attacks that would have otherwise killed you cause you to be healed up to 30% of maximum health. 2 min cool down)
- Redoubt (30% block value, damaging melee and ranged attacks have a 10% chance to increase chance to block by 30% for 10 sec or 5 blocks)
- Combat Expertise (+6 expertise, +6% stamina, +6% critical chance)
- Touched by the Light (Increases spell power by 60% of the Paladin’s strength, increases amount healed by critical heals by 30%)
- Guarded by the Light (-6% spell damage taken, 100% chance to refresh Divine Plea when hitting an enemy, -100% chance to dispel Divine Plea)
- Shield of the Templar (-3% damage taken, +100% chance of Avenger’s Shield silencing affected targets for 3 sec)
- Deflection (+5% parry chance)
- Benediction (-10% mana cost of all instant cast spells)
- Heart of the Crusader (Judgements will also increase critical chance by 3% against the target judged)
- Improved Blessing of Might (Effect increased by +25%)
- Conviction (+5% critical chance)
- Eye for an Eye (Critical attacks against you causes 10% of the damage taken to the attacker as well)
- Sanctity of Battle (+3% critical chance, +10% Exorcism and Crusader Strike damage)
- Crusade (+3% damage, +3% additional damage to Humanoids, Demons, Undead and Elementals)
Wow, that’s a good share of Protection talents. If I were to take all talents I just “removed”, I’d spend 51 talent points. What does this tell us?
One of the main problems with the Protection tree for Paladins and possibly the tanking trees for Warriors, Death Knight and Druids, is that there are too many passive talents like “+X% chance to Y”, or “-Z% W damage taken”. This is generally bad and it’s not very likely. There are of course talents that shine, such as Hammer of the Righteous, which is a great addition to Paladins’ tanking rotation and especially when tanking several targets.
All in all, I hope that we will get some fun talents, and although my list might be cynical, I wouldn’t miss many of the talents if they were exchanged for more “fun” talents. There will always be talents like “-Z% W damage taken”, but if mixed with other things they could be more fun and less cookie-cutting.