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World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s talent tree is getting an old-school rework

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

world of warcraft: Dragon flight will eventually take players to the Dragon Isles, where they can play new Dractyr characters and play with the new Evoker class. But outside of the fancy new content, Blizzard will also focus on refreshing legacy systems with the following. dragon flight. More specifically, the much-vilified skill tree will see its first major overhaul in about a decade.

In a brief preview, Polygon interviewed narrative designer Steve Danuser and combat designer Brian Holinka about what the revamped skill tree brings to the table. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.

Back World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has replaced the original tree-based skill system with a small batch of very powerful abilities for players to choose from. While the game has gained some readability, especially for new players, it has lost some depth and Blizzard is looking to bring it back to the game.

Inside dragon flight, Blizzard will completely overhaul the skill system and revert it to a tree form version. As players level up, they unlock points to put into one of the two skill trees for their character. The first is the class skill tree and the other is the specialization skill tree. (The proficiency tree will change depending on what spec players are active in.)

While players cannot score more than one specialization as below Wrath of the Lich King, the new system allows customization and hybridization. Do gamers want to play in your classroom fantasy? Or take your unique expertise even further? Players will only have a few points to allocate, but with the new gear system they will be able to quickly switch to different skill gear between activities or raid bosses.

World of Warcraft: Druid Restoration and Class Skill Trees in Dragonflight

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

With the new trees, players will be able to expand and customize their classes according to their needs. But Blizzard emphasized that while players can expand their classes in new ways, these are still classes they know (aside from the new Evoker class, of course).

“The goal is for players to feel comfortable playing classes they know,” Holinka said. “We don’t want to be overly obtrusive, and on patch day someone logs in and they say, ‘Everything on my action sticks has changed, I don’t even know how to play this class I’m playing.’ Not another 10 years.”

Holinka made it clear that the team wanted to preserve what players knew, and that players looking for something familiar would be able to create their characters in a “very comfortable and familiar” way. But the opposite is also true, and players will be able to build nearly top hit lists for their favorite classes.

“A lot of talent, you know, we’re trying to say, ‘Hey, what are some of the best things we’ve found for these classes and specs in years,'” Holinka said. “’Azerite Traces, artifacts, Covenant abilities. What are some of the coolest things we have, and we’re going to put them in a skill tree so players can make some choices and undo some of the cool stuff.”

Holinka explained that they will select some of the most popular skills and traits for each class, but that players shouldn’t expect the great things they were once capable of to return. But anything players label as “iconic” should be a pretty safe bet.

Finally, as Holinka confirmed, we asked if it would be easier to expand skill trees in the future.

After nearly a decade of a very strict selection process – Holinka says you now have “about seven choices about your character” – and there are no major contiguous Azerite, Artifact, or Pact systems. dragon flight, capability rework seems to be the most significant change in expansion. No matter how exciting a new class may be, the new skill system will be the defining feature of the next era. world of warcraft.


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World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s talent tree is getting an old-school rework

Image: Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will finally whisk players away to the Dragon Isles, where they’ll be able to roll new Dracthyr characters and play the new Evoker class. But outside of the fancy new content, Blizzard will also be focusing on revamping older systems with Dragonflight. More specially, the much maligned talent tree will see its first major overhaul in nearly a decade.
In a pre-brief session, Polygon interviewed lead narrative designer Steve Danuser and lead combat designer Brian Holinka about what the revamped talent tree brings to World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.
Back in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard replaced the original tree-based talent system for a small group of very powerful skills players could choose from. While the game gained some readability — especially for new players — it lost some depth, and Blizzard is looking to bring it back into the game.
In Dragonflight, Blizzard will completely overhaul the talent system, and return it to a version of the tree form. When players level up, they’ll unlock points to put in one of two skill trees for their character. The first is a class skill tree while the other is a specialization skill tree. (The specialization tree will change out depending on which spec players have active.)
While players won’t be able to put points into multiple specializations like in the Wrath of the Lich King, the new system does allow for customization and hybridization. Do players want to play into their class fantasy? Or push their unique specialization further? Players will only have so many points to allocate, but they’ll be able to quickly swap to different talent loadouts between activities or raid bosses, with the new loadout system.

Image: Blizzard Entertainment
With the new trees, players will be able to expand and customize their classes to fit their needs. But Blizzard stressed that while players will be able to stretch their classes in new ways, they’re still the classes they know (outside of the new Evoker class, of course).
“The intention is that players can still feel comfortable playing the classes that they know,” said Holinka. “We don’t want to be overly disruptive and someone logs in on patch day, and they just are like ‘everything on my action bars changed, I don’t even know how to play this class I’ve been playing for 10 years anymore.’”
Holinka made it clear that the team wants to preserve what players know, and players looking for something familiar will be able to craft their character in a “very comfortable and familiar way.” However, the opposite is also true, and players will be able to build out an almost greatest hits list for their favorite class.
“A lot of the talents, you know, we’ve been trying to say ‘hey, what are some of the best things that we’ve created for these classes and specs throughout the years,’” said Holinka. “‘Azerite traits, Artifacts, Covenant abilities. What are some of the coolest things we have, and let’s put it in a talent tree so that players can make some choices and get those cool things back.”
Holinka elaborated that they’ll be picking some of the most popular abilities and traits for each class, although players shouldn’t expect every cool thing they’ve ever been able to do to return. But anything players would label as “iconic” should be a pretty safe bet.
Finally, we asked if the talent trees will be easier to expand in the future, which Holinka confirmed is part of the thinking.
After nearly a decade of very rigid selection process — Holinka said you currently make “about seven choices about your character” — and no major Azerite, Artifact, or Covenant-adjacent system in Dragonflight, the talent rework is looking to be the most significant change in the expansion. As exciting as a new class can be, the new talent system will be the make or break feature for the next era of World of Warcraft.

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