Have you seen the forum post which offers a little bit more information on the forthcoming “Mastery” system that will come along when Deathwing reappears? Reading through MMO Champion’s BlueTracker system reveals a few more follow up posts from the developers.
Back at the Blizzard DevCon, the developers announced that the talent tree system was going to receive a complete overhaul with some talent selections going away, to be replaced by passive bonuses. This would simplify the talent trees for each class significantly. The passive bonuses would be activated as you spent your talent points in various trees.
Applying these passive bonuses as talent points are spent in each tree would move people away from hybrid talent spreads, where they try to unlock talents from across all three available talent trees. The game has moved on somewhat from when you could do that and remain viable in your chosen role (tank/dps/healer).
One thing it could possibly lead to is all the various classes having pretty much the same talent spread with little or no deviation. I know that they’re bringing in the forging talent to alter stats on gear slightly (not dis-similar to the bonuses available from gems), but will the condensing of the talent trees lead to all healing paladins having spec ‘x’, all Enhancement shamans having spec ‘y’, all unholy death knights having spec ‘z’?
If so, won’t that make the game a little less challenging, and very, very samey?
The developers seem to be really buzzing about this change in the talent system, so I’ll wait and see what’s coming along. For myself, the only caveat I have is that as long as it doesn’t make every player uniformly the same no matter what, with talent spreads only dictated by class balancing then that’s fine. If talent spreads are going to be dictated by alterations on patch day then that’s not really going to be much fun at all.