The full post is here. Here’s the parts I care about:
Here’s how the system works: As you spend points in a given talent tree, you’ll receive three different passive bonuses specific to that tree. The first bonus will increase your damage, healing, or survivability, depending on the intended role of the tree. The second bonus will be related to a stat commonly found on gear desirable to you, such as Haste or Crit. The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree — meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.
There will still be talents that boost damage, of course, but those talents will also affect the way you play. For example, you can still expect to see talents like Improved Frostbolt, which reduces the cast time of the Frostbolt spell; it increases DPS, but it also affects the mage’s rotation. Piercing Ice, however, is just “6% more damage” and is the kind of talent we’re trying to eliminate by implementing the Mastery system.
So in summary, mastery is a set of 3 passive bonuses specific to your tree.
- a +dmg/heal/surv bonus: obviously depending on whether you are dps/heals/tank.
- a bonus related to a stat found on your desired gear: haste, crit, stamina, intellect, & hit are our favorable stats come Cataclysm. I’m thinking haste for the affliction tree, since we love it anyhow.
- an unique buff to your tree: Judging from the examples they gave holy priests (HoT to direct heals), disc priests (better bubbles), & frost dks (more rune power???), I think Corruption will be the buffed spell. After all, it is a staple of warlockery spells, especially affliction, and Corruption gets buffed a ton through those plain +X% damage talents we have at the moment.
There will be a mastery stat on Cataclysm gear that increases the effectiveness of the third bonus. This convinces me further that Corruption would get buffed, because it would be essentially taking Empowered Corruption out of the talent tree but still being used.
The mastery system also intends to get rid of plain X% more damage talents and implement them into these bonuses, leaving the quirky or interesting talents left in the trees. What flat X% damage talents do affliction locks have?
- Improved Curse of Agony
- Improved Corruption
- Soul Siphon –> but I think this is an interesting talent because it depends on your target debuffs
- Empowered Corruption, in a manner
- Shadow Mastery
- Death’s Embrace, but it’s like Soul Siphon, it’s an execution-phase talent
- the first half of Everlasting Affliction
- (destro tree) the first half of Improved Shadow Bolt
These are a core part of the affliction build. Not all of the talents, certainly, but you see all of these on cookie-cutter builds. So what talents will we get instead? Will these change tooltips but still be there? I’d like to see more curses (not that you ever use CoW or CoE in PvE, but we could for encounters requiring some slowing CC). Or maybe more felpuppy talents. Or maybe there will be talents that change or buff what your new soul shards do.
Any warlocks reading have any opinions on what we might see in our trees come Cataclysm?
Or other classes, what do you hypothesize about your new talents?