You’ve gotta love Beta season. You get all worked up about, oh, let’s say, a talent tree preview. But much QQ ensues! And then Blizzard changes everything.

One of the more common comments about the new trees was that they did not live up to Blizzcon promises. Blizzard said they were going to do away with passive required talents, like straight-up damage and healing buffs, but the preview trees were still full of them. I think that was a fair assessment. So Blizz shifted gears, and the changes will be introduced in a Beta build coming soon.

In brief:

  • Talent trees will get shorter. A lot shorter.
  • You’ll pick your spec at level 10 and be locked out of the other trees until you have spent at least 31 points in your chosen tree.
  • You’ll get a signature ability early: Penance for baby disc priests. Earth Shield for baby resto shamans.
  • Mastery bonuses — originally planned to scale according to how many points you spent in a given tree — will be granted when you pick a tree and will be a percentage that scales with your level. Er, the passive mastery bonuses anyway (such as Meditation, which all priests get). The unique Mastery bonuses (like shadow orbs for shadow priests and better shields for disc) will come as a trainable passive skill at 75 and will scale up as you acquire gear with the Mastery stat on it. At least that’s how I understood it.

Naturally, this all means that the world will likely end soon. No, really! Just check the official forums if you don’t believe me!

I think the changes sound intriguing. I’m not sure I like being locked out of the other two trees until level 40, but I’m keeping an open mind for now. Haters gonna hate and all, but personally, what I really want Blizzard to do is to keep the game interesting. I’m eager to hear how the changes are received once they hit Beta.

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