When Dragonflight is released, World of Warcraft will have some major updates to classes, and this includes the return of talent trees. Blizzard has a new preview of how this will work for Druid and Death Knight, and the intentional nature of the design process.
When it comes to revamping classes, the team wanted to respect player agency and decisions over their classes and specs. So they wanted any changes to reflect this and also bring along many aspects of current specializations while still deciding to return to talent trees, a pre-Mists of Pandaria feature. Of course, with the depth of specializations and the history, this decision came with the work on how to integrate it all, since more will be optional.
First, you have not one tree, but two. You’ll get your first class tree point at level 10, and specialization point at level 11, alternating from there. The class tree contains the core abilities for a class of all specs and will focus on utilities. The specialization tree is your second tree and this will feature spec bonuses and opportunities to enhance and power up your main role, but also have room for options.
Having these two separate is intended to leave room for choices and interests and not leave players always feeling like they don’t have room for off spec buttons or utility options. You can expect very important utilities in places designed to leave your build more open to your decisions. However, the WoW team is putting in some guardrails and prerequisites to guide you..
The change to the system will also change progression. You’ll get some abilities when you start a class and before you unlock the new system at level 10, but you’ll get most abilities via the new trees. Some specs will also get some class abilities without having to spend points on them. Overall, the system wants to encourage player choice and make some things optional, while still letting you build up and grow in your class.
For the Druid, the new trees do focus on flexibility inherent to the class, but with expanded choice, where the core role might feel similar but now you can have paths related to each spec with potential to gain from them all or to deeply focus on something narrower.
The Death Knight class branches into related specs so they’re giving ways to incorporate talents that might have been previously unattainable for your spec.
Both of these classes get a thorough rundown, with screenshots and talent lists, and there’s also a FAQ intended to address anticipated community questions. You can read the full preview here at World of Warcraft.