Blizzard gives first look at WoW Hero Talents, skill trees cover image

Blizzard gives first look at WoW Hero Talents, skill trees

The WoW Hero Talents system in the next expansion will allow players to functionally dual-wield class specs, so let’s take a look.

Once again leveraging the old ethos of "If Final Fantasy 14 does it then so should we," Blizzard revealed today the first in-depth look of a major system to come. The next expansion, The War Within, will bring a number of changes to the heroes of Azeroth. However, none may be as shocking as the Hero Talents system and skill trees coming to WoW. If ever you wished that your class could have dual-jobs then you're about to be excited.

Revealed back at BlizzCon, today's blog post by the dev team is our first look at the WoW Hero Talents abilities and a full glimpse of the trees themselves. For those of you not happy about skill trees being brought back to retail, I suggest you avert your eyes now. You're in the splash zone.

What are WoW Hero Talents?

<em>The Warrior Hero Talents chart. Credit: Blizzard</em>
The Warrior Hero Talents chart. Credit: Blizzard

Those that have played World of Warcraft long enough remember the original promise of Hero Classes. First introduced with the Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King, the idea was a highly specialized, difficult class that wouldn't be accessible to new players. And while this idea shows up a few more times with the Demon Hunter and Evoker, it left the old classes feeling a bit ignored.

The WoW Hero Talents system looks to change all that, as it offers each class the ability to tack on a new specialization and skill tree onto their existing base spec. All of the WoW classes will have access to three new specs--except for Druid and Demon Hunter, who had four and two, respectively-- that gives the player a chance to somewhat dual-wield classes. Each Hero Talent spec sits between the others on a triangle, as seen above.

So, in the case of a Fury Warrior for example, she'll be able to pick either the new Slayer or Mountain Thane spec, but not Colossus. Meanwhile, Protection Warriors can take Mountain Thane or Colossus, but not Slayer.

What makes a hero

<em>The Chronowarden Evoker tree. Credit: Blizzard</em>
The Chronowarden Evoker tree. Credit: Blizzard

At the core of each WoW Hero Talents tree is a keystone and capstone ability. Your keystone is the default new ability found in each Hero Talent tree and dramatically changes a core functionality of your character. In the case of the Chronowarden Evoker spec that sits somewhere between the healing and buffing specializations, this means spell empowerment. While not confirmed, it appears the Hero Talent trees offer five talent points, with the player gaining one every two levels.

Not only do these new specs offer lore options, but helps players differentiate further when it comes to group compositions. Hopefully, this will help reinforce the old adage of "bring the player, not the class".

Credit: Blizzard
Credit: Blizzard

You can take a look at upcoming Hero Talents abilities for Paladin, Evoker, and more on the blog post. Expect more information about the Hero Talent system and The War Within as its 2024 launch date grows ever closer.

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