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PvP Talents Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
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Macros Dk Dh Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr

A talent is an additional class-specific ability or power that requires talent points to gain or improve. Each class has three Talent Trees to choose from. With the upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria, there will be only one tree for each class, and points will be done away with. However, there will still be three different specializations (with the exception of druids, who will then have four).


Personalizing your character is what separates each character of the same class. During the early Beta Test, the character Talent system was very rough and Blizzard went back to the drawing board to make the system more intuitive by adding prerequisites to the Talent system. If you have played the Diablo series of games you'll be more than familiar with the idea of a skill tree and this is the new system Blizzard has employed for World of Warcraft's Talent point assignment.

Why have Talents?

The reason talents are included is so that each player of the same class will be slightly different as far as how their skills work and how effective they are in certain areas. Certain talents are beneficial for leveling, while others help you do better in PvP, and others still can help you with Raiding. Without this system, each class character would be identical, which would remove some of the variety of the gameplay. It's up to the player to make his character different by specializing in the character's different Talents.

How does the Talent system work?

Talents are unlocked at level 10 and you begin receiving Talent Points. Level 10 grants you a Talent Point as well as level 11 and every odd number until level 81 where you receive a talent point per level starting at 81 until level 85. When you first earn Talent Points you must choose one of three Talent Trees to determine your specialization (referred to as a "spec") afterwards, you can begin placing Talent Points into the tree you have selected. Some classes have multiple roles depending on which tree you choose, such as Tank, DPS, or Healing, but some classes only have different playstyles of the same role; for example the Rogue is a DPS only class, so all his trees are DPS. The maximum amount of Talent Points is 41 and once you have 31 points in your main Talent Tree you can begin placing points into either of the other two trees, as some of those talents may be useful at higher levels. Although this seems pretty straightforward, careful selection of talents and point placement can easily make the difference between one who opts for PvP as opposed to another who opts for PvE.

Some Talents are available immediately, and the rest are greyed out. This is because you first need to assign points to the first tier of talents (the top row) before proceeding to the next tier of talents. In Tier 1 you can begin placing Talent Points as soon as you reach level 10, Tier 2 requires 5 points in that tree in order to unlock, and each subsequent tier requires an extra 5 points in the tree (not necessarily in a certain tier) before being able to put points in the next tier of talents. The 7th tier of talents (the bottom row) has always only 1 talent and is usually considered an "Ultimate" talent for that tree and are almost always very useful.

Once you have assigned a point into a talent you must click "Learn" to finalize the allocation. Once allocation has been finalized, you cannot retract that point unless you go to your class trainer and ask to relearn your talents. This will reset all of your talents in a tree allowing you to reallocate all of the Talent Points you've earned, but at a cost that increases each time you relearn your talents, so please choose wisely.

In Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In the Mists of Pandaria expansion, the entire way talents work will be revamped. The proposed new system still has players choosing their main specialization at level 10 and receiving abilities tied to that specialization right off the bat. As players progress, however, they will not have talent points to place in trees; rather any new abilities tied to those specs will be automatically given at periodic intervals.

The talents tied to the single tree for each class will be offered every 15 levels. Players will be given an option at that point of choosing between three (hopefully) comparable talents. Only one talent can be chosen from each level of talents, so a player can't go back and choose another one of the three that are available at, say, level 15. The plan for now is that talents will be as easily changed around as glyphs.

Tied into this new system is the fact that there will no longer be ranks of abilities and no mandatory talents.[1]

Where can I find the talents?

There are a couple of ways to activate your Talents window. One method is to click the Talent icon on the Micro Menu of the interface bar at the bottom of the screen (assuming you are using the default UI). This pops up the Talent interface which features the main Talent window showing the tree and Talents. It also features three tabs along the bottom which can be clicked to flip between each of the three trees. You can also activate the Talent interface by pressing the N key (if you haven't unbound it or bound the key to a different action).

What if I choose the wrong talents?

Players may change talents freely when in any rested XP area. The Inscription profession can craft consumable items that allow for this to be done in the field. In addition, after queuing into an instanced dungeon, raid, or PvP content, players have a grace period during which they may change talents freely.

Advice on picking your talents

  • Pick one thing to do and stick with it. If you try to (for example) get a bit of healing ability and a bit of tanking ability, you'll probably end up bad at both.
  • This does NOT mean you should definitely put all your points in one tree. Once you get the "ultimate talent" at 31 points, look at your other trees. Consider this a very strong, well-founded suggestion as the base talents in many trees work well with the advanced talents in other trees. That's not to say, however, that a Mage who puts all 41 points into Frost is automatically an easy target in PvP. In the hands of a skilled player, a 41-point single tree build can be very effective.
  • Any ability that activates "whenever you are critically hit" is a PvP talent (PvE players won't get critically hit much) and can be safely skipped if you aren't doing much PvP.
  • Any ability that gradually applies several stacks of a buff or debuff is designed for boss fights, which last long enough for these abilities to reach a full stack. When you're leveling, your fights usually won't last long enough, so skip these talents if there's something better available.
  • Any talent that decreases threat caused by your abilities is obviously a PvE talent, designed for group situations such as instances. They are not recommended whatsoever for PvP play, and are completely unnecessary in that area.
  • Any talent that makes you go faster in terms of movement (or mount) speed will save you a tremendous amount of time and is almost always worth getting while leveling.
  • When leveling on a PvP realm, it is entirely understandable if you choose to create a versatile spec that allows you to perform decently enough in PvE but also gives you a boost in PvP capability in cases where you have to defend yourself from players of the opposing faction. In this case, this is a healthy alternative to focusing your talent build entirely on PvE or PvP.
  • After purchasing Dual Talent Specialization, most players usually opt to have one raiding build and one PvP build.
  • There's no such thing as a bad spec (except in very few cases). That's still no excuse to bring your PvP spec into an end-game raid, however. Please be aware of the strengths (and purpose) of your talent build, and utilize them accordingly.
  • If you see someone else saying that only certain talent builds are acceptable, pay no attention to him/her. Talents were implemented so that players could further customize their characters. Five Mages from the same guild having the exact same talent build because they were told to is not customization. Choose the talents that work best with your play-style, but do be mindful of which talents you end up choosing. Again, choose the talents that work best with your play-style and you will become stronger.
  • If you're having problems being accepted due to your talent build (which shouldn't happen, but sometimes it can), purchase Dual Talent Specialization. Now you can have both a cookie-cutter build and your own customized build, and you can switch between them any time you wish. Problem solved!

Pet talent points

Main article: Pet talents

In patch 3.0.2, hunter pets went from having to be taught abilities using training points to having a talent tree, depending on the beasts' family type. Unlike players the pets start earning talent points at level 20 and then gain a point every 4 levels. So by the time your hunter reaches level 80, the pet will have 16 spendable points, unless the hunter has the Beast Mastery talent, which adds 4 more points.

Talent calculators

In Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Planned Cataclysm changes

This section should be moved to a subpage as Mists of Pandaria gets closer, perhaps after Patch 4.3.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update | 2010-07-07 15:58 | Zarhym
When we first announced our design goals for class talent trees back at BlizzCon 2009, one of our major stated focuses was to remove some of the boring and "mandatory" passive talents. We mentioned that we wanted talent choices to feel more flavorful and fun, yet more meaningful at the same time. Recently, we had our fansites release information on work-in-progress talent tree previews for druids, priests, shaman, and rogues. From those previews and via alpha test feedback, a primary response we heard was that these trees didn’t incorporate the original design goals discussed at BlizzCon. This response echoes something we have been feeling internally for some time, namely that the talent tree system has not aged well since we first increased the level cap beyond level 60. In an upcoming beta build, we will unveil bold overhauls of all 30 talent trees.
Talent Tree Vision

One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of “concentrated coolness.” We’d rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don’t think that’s possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents. With this reduction in tree size we need to make sure they're being purchased along a similar leveling curve, and therefore will also be reducing the number of total talent points and the speed at which they're awarded during the leveling process.

As a result, we can keep the unique talents in each tree, particularly those which provide new spells, abilities or mechanics. We’ll still have room for extra flavorful talents and room for player customization, but we can trim a great deal of fat from each tree. The idea isn’t to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won’t change and you won’t lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.

We are also taking a hard look at many of the mandatory PvP talents, such as spell pushback or mechanic duration reductions. While there will always be PvP vs. PvE builds, we’d like for the difference to be less extreme, so that players don’t feel like they necessarily need to spend their second talent specialization on a PvP build.

The Rise of Specialization

We want to focus the talent trees towards your chosen style of gameplay right away. That first point you spend in a tree should be very meaningful. If you choose Enhancement, we want you to feel like an Enhancement shaman right away, not thirty talent points later. When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. The passive bonuses range from flat percentage increases, like a 20% increase to Fire damage for Fire mages or spell range increases for casters, to more interesting passives such as the passive rage regeneration of the former Anger Management talent for Arms warriors, Dual-Wield Specialization for Fury warriors and Combat rogues, or the ability to dual-wield itself for Enhancement shaman.

The initial talent tree selection unlocks active abilities that are core to the chosen role. Our goal is to choose abilities that let the specializations come into their own much earlier than was possible when a specialization-defining talent had to be buried deep enough that other talent trees couldn’t access them. For example, having Lava Lash and Dual-Wield right away lets an Enhancement shaman feel like an Enhancement shaman. Other role-defining examples of abilities players can now get for free at level 10 include Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.

Getting Down to the Grit

Talent trees will have around 20 unique talents instead of today's (roughly) 30 talents, and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees. The 31-point talents will generally be the same as the 51-point talents we already had planned for Cataclysm. A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don't want to remove anything that’s going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice.

While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85). Our goal is to alternate between gaining a new class spell or ability and gaining a talent point with each level. As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. While leveling, this will be possible at 70. Picking a talent specialization should feel important. To that end, we want to make sure new players understand the significance of reaching the bottom of their specialization tree before gaining the option of spending points in the other trees. We intend to make sure dual-specialization and re-talenting function exactly as they do today so players do not feel locked into their specialization choice.

A True Mastery

The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items.

To Recap

When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they've chosen. As they gain levels, they'll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They'll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31'st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they'll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they'll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they've specialized in.

We understand that these are significant changes and we still have details to solidify. We feel, however, that these changes better fulfill our original class design goals for Cataclysm, and we're confident that they will make for a better gameplay experience. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

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Class Talent Sytem

Taken from the official World of Warcraft Blizzcon Blog

Perhaps the most exciting of these changes is the removal of the old talent tree system. Rather than each class having three separate trees, one for each specialization, players will now choose talents from individual sets which are awarded every 15 levels. Each class will have its own selection of talents, and the entire list will be available to all characters of that class regardless of specialization.

Each talent set is comprised of three talents which fall into a clear "theme." Some sets will offer utility such as movement speed increases and boosts to survivability, while others will reduce the costs of certain situational abilities. Currently, the goal is to avoid making any particular talent mandatory or to have them play a role in ability rotations directly. Instead, they're intended to give players interesting ways to customize their characters according to their preferred playstyle.

In total, there will be six talent sets, with players unlocking a new set every 15 levels. This means that there will be fewer talents overall, but each talent you choose has the potential to have a much more dramatic effect on your gameplay.

Another big change being made is how talents are selected. Instead of "purchasing" talents with a predetermined number of points (earned as you level), talent selection will be toggle-based. For each set of three talents players unlock, they will get to choose one talent to activate, for a total of six active talents at level 90. (Talent ranks have been completely removed.)

Similar to current functionality, talents selections will be finalized by clicking "Learn" at the bottom of the talent pane; however, a big benefit of removing talent points is that it allows us to let players "re-talent" with more flexibility. Even after players have activated their talents, they won't be completely locked into their choices as they are now. If at any point a player feels that another talent may be more appropriate or fun, he or she can simply select that talent from their tree and click "Learn" again. This can be done on a talent-by-talent basis or, if the situation demands it, all talents can be changed out at once.

As a result, talents can be changed out when switching specs, as well as when running dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds. While re-talenting will most likely be disabled during combat and will incur a small fee (either in the form of gold or a reagent), it will still give players more opportunities to adapt their characters to better meet the challenges they expect to face while playing. [1]

A sample of what a Paladin's Class Talents will look like.


  1. ^ "Mists of Pandaria: Preview Panel" at BlizzCon 2011.

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