As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Mage talent trees.
Mage is a great example of a class that works well with this talent system because historically we have had a lot of the most fun abilities for crowd control, and survivability, utility and frost — and we had trouble increasing the damage because they had so much utility and put it throughout the talent tree and let frost do different types of damage.
In this brave new world, arcane blast is arcane only, fireball is fire only, and frost is frost only. I know that’s crazy, right?
So level 15 is a very chilly tier. We’ve the existing Ring of Frost which probably wins the award for the most level of junk.
It goes against Cone of Cold, and this is the improved version. It also freezes.
The new way of freezing, Frostjaw, silences and freezes the target.
These are all abilities that help Mages survive and get away. Greater Invisibility is an upgrade to Invisibility. It doesn’t really replace Invisibility, it just makes your invisibility more powerful, but they key is it removes up to two dots.
The existing Cauterize only fire had access to before, and then Cold Snap one of your most powerful control and escape mechanisms.
Level 45 tier is about Movement. Presence of Mind lets you get a fast spell off to get it instantly. It’s up against Scorch now. This is improved Scorch. This can only be kept by moving, but you don’t have Scorch to let you pick this talent.
If you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re moving a lot you can take Scorch here, and Scorch as you move around. This Arcane Flows is a variant on that where it lets you cast the next two spells while moving. So it’s like a cooldown you pop, then while you’re moving you can cast two spells. You get to choose between Scorch or Arcane Flows.
As I mentioned here, we want to make sure that Scorch is the no-brainer choice for Fire mages. We’re not going to have to worry about how Fire mage buff all their fire damage, so of course, they’re going to take Scorch.
We want these to be attractive to any of the three specs.
Level 60 is another kind of escape and control tier. We have Mana Shield here but it has a damage absorption sort of thing. When your Mana Shield is destroyed it does a knockback. Up against Blazing Speed which lets you move faster for a period of time, and then Ice Barrier.
This is a fun tier. Polymorph is a signature Mage spell, and as with other classes’ spells, we wanted to do something that was focused on this spell.
With Sickly Polymorph targets regenerate health slower. You can polymorph mobs that is pretty injured and and they won’t regenerate health quickly.
Heavy Polymorph does a stun to the target, and Double Polymorph does it on two targets at once.
We really wanted these to be like game-changers, and we wanted you to see a mage doing like a double polymorph. Like … “What’s going on, I’ve never seen anything like this.”
And crowd control at level 90, this is great at crowd control. Here you can have Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath. Both which do a little bit of damage as well, and then, Slow.
There’s the full mage tree.