Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MoP Talents

Now that Mists of Pandaria is on the horizon, it's very tempting to start musing about what talents to choose once it comes out.
Layout of the new talent system with 6 tiers

How it works: In the new system, you have a choice of one talent per tier. Each tier has a mixture of abilties useful for PvE or PvP, or in some cases both. As talents are no longer part of a spec, everyone gets to choose from the same talents, no matter what spec they are.

Every 15 levels, another tier opens up. Each tier seems to be centered around a theme: moving around, cc-ing, self-heal and survivability, burst damage, finishing moves and AoE. Here is an overview of the new talents:

At level 15, The talents seem to focus on three forms of Disengage:
  • Posthaste: Your Disengage frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 60% for 8 sec.
  • Narrow Escape: When you Disengage, you also activate a web trap which encases all targets within 8 yards in sticky webs, preventing movement for 8 sec.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera: Reduces the cooldown of Disengage by 10 sec, and the cooldown of Deterrence by 60 sec.

At level 30, the theme is ccing:
  • Silencing Shot: A shot that silences the target and interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec.
  • Wyvern Sting: A stinging shot that puts the target to sleep for 30 secs. Any damage will cancel the effect. When the target wakes up, the sting causes 2,730 Nature Damage over 6 sec.
  •  Binding Shot: You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 5 yards of the landing arrow for 10 sec. If targets move 5 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 5 sec sec (3 sec PvP) and will be immune to the effects of Binding Shot for 10 sec.

At level 45, it's all about self-heal and survivability:
  • Exhilaration: Two minute cooldown. Instantly heals you for 30% and your pet for 100% of total health.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk: The Hunter takes on the aspects of an iron hawk, increasing ranged attack power by 10%, and reducing all damage taken by 15%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. Replaces Aspect of the Hawk.
  • Spirit Bond: While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 2% of total health every 2 sec.

At level 60, all about burst and bonus damage:
  • Fervor: Instantly restores 50 Focus to you and your pet and an additional 50 Focus over 10 sec.
  • Readiness: When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown less than 6 minutes. Previously the domain of MM hunters, now BM and SV hunters get to have a second burst as well. 
  • Thrill of the Hunt: You have a 15% chance when you fire a ranged attack that costs Focus and Kill Command to cause your next ranged attack that costs Focus or Kill Command to be free. 

At level 75, the common theme seems to be finishing moves:
  • A Murder of Crows Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 sec. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown is reduced to 60 seconds.
  • Dire Beast. Summons a powerful wild animal to assist you in combat for 15 sec. Each time the animal deals damage, you will gain 5 focus. 
  • Lynx Rush Instant, 100 yard range, 1.5 min cooldown. Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 sec, dealing its normal attack damage to each target. The pet must be within 10 yards of the target to Lynx Rush. 

At level 90 has new powerful AoE abilities:
  • Glaive Toss 20 Focus. You hurl two glaives toward a target, each dealing 110 to 327 damage to each enemy struck and reducing movement speed by 30% for 3 sec. The primary target will take 8 times as much damage from each strike. The Glaives will return back to you, damaging and snaring targets again as they return. 
  • Powershot: You wind up a powerful shot, which deals 400% weapon damage to the target and 100% weapon damage to all enemies in between you and the target. Enemies hit by Powershot are also knocked back.
  • Barrage: Rapidly fire a spray of shots forward for 3 sec, dealing a total of 320% weapon damage to the enemy target and an average of 80% weapon damage to each other enemy target in front of you.
I like how every tier is sort of centered around an important aspect/ facet of being a hunter, and it is nice that you can decide out of three in what way you want to do it. This makes it easy to really customize your talents according to your own play style and needs. It's very tempting to start theorycrafting about what talents are the most viable and which ones are not very useful, but as we are still in the Beta phase, everything can still be changed.

Are you excited about the new talents? Which ones are "no-brainers" for you?

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