Recently, Blizzard announced through several fan sites that certain features would not be making it into Cataclysm after all. Two features in particular have caused a great stir of emotion one way or another from the community. The two items in question are Guild Talent Trees and Path of the Titans. Guild Talent Trees were designed to help distinguish one guild from another, a chance for guilds to better differentiate themselves from other guilds who may have similar things to offer. Path of the Titans on the other hand offered up something that many people salivated over, the chance to continue character progression after hitting the level cap. A chance to modify your character to enhance them by choosing a religious path and customizing your character through Archaeology and opening up more paths as your post 85 journey went on. Both these things were scrapped, per Blizzard it wasn’t to meet a deadline, just these features didn’t feel right. For those of us who don’t quite understand it all completely lets try to dissect some of Blizzard’s comments and figure out, just what are we getting instead.
Guild Talents Gone
Blizzard has come out via Ghostcrawler and has said that they felt there were inherent flaws with the guild talent system. They felt that instead of working together to determine a fun spec for the guild, it would instead create drama. Even forcing some members to go out in search of a guild with a talent spec that suited their needs. I personally am on the fence with this, I think a guild collaborating on a talent spec would be fun and build unity, but I do see Blizzard’s point about guild hoppers looking to only those guilds that would benefit them.
So instead they are implementing a perks and reputation system. The system will continue to allow guilds to level, currently 25 levels in total. As guilds level they will gain perks (i.e. mounts, tabards, heirlooms). Since the guild currency idea was also scrapped, you will be able to buy these rewards with your own gold. Guild mounts will have a flag attached to it that displays the guild emblem. This alone sounds so freaking awesome, I can’t wait to get my own guild mount.
Guild reputation is a new feature that Blizzard is adding in. You can now gain rep with your guild similar to other factions in the game. Contributing to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning BGs, etc will not only help you level your guild but also gain you reputation with the guild. And as with other factions having an exalted reputation with the guild will give you access to the best rewards.
One thing thankfully that is not going away that was announced at last year’s Blizzcon is the updated guild UI, which will show you the guild xp bar and level, have an RSS like feed, upcoming events section, show recent perks gained, your reputation but also let you search members and look at members’ professions and what they can craft. This will be a huge time-saver.
Overall the guild changes still look like fun, I remain on the fence regarding the removal of the guild talents, as leveling could just be another way for hardcore large guilds to just get way ahead of smaller guilds and then we just end up with homogenization anyway.
Path of the Titans Scrapped
Originally this was meant as a way for Players to progress past the level cap by aligning themselves with different cults that worshiped different titans. It would be similar to glyphs but would have not been class specific and would have been tightly integrated to archaeology. However Blizzard has decided to scrap the system. Blizzard came out and said they just felt the system was too complicated, and didn’t feel polished. So instead they would be focusing on the glyph system.
Path of the Titans getting scrapped is a big loss. This is another item I have mixed feelings about. I was really looking forward to continuing to progress and customize my character outside of talents and gear past the level cap. However I do appreciate Blizzard not giving us something unpolished, as it would probably be worse to implement a half baked system. Now Blizzard has said they would like to implement something about player progression post hitting the level cap, as long as it feels right.
So instead of Path of the Titans they are going to redo the glyph system. By introducing the concept of Medium Glyphs (please note this name is not final). The idea behind medium glyphs is to let you have more choices. On top of this though, they have said that you will no longer have to carry a stack of glyphs around and once learning a glyph you learn it forever, similar to spells and abilities. This may effectively destroy money making for the inscription profession. Now there isn’t much information out on these other than what has been posted around but as it stands right now, I am heavily contemplating dropping inscription on my character and picking up something else. Hopefully Blizzard will come out and say how inscription will remain viable.
On top of all this, Archaeology since it won’t be used in Path of the Titans, will be less important. Blizzard has said that it would be used for story telling and lore mostly. In rare occasions they can get cosmetic items, none of these would be must have items. So outside the RP community and potentially pet seekers, this will be more of a time sink when waiting in dungeon queues.
In the end there is a ton of new stuff, lots of changes, lots of great stuff. Removal of Path of the Titans is probably one of the biggest let downs. This feature alone had such a huge buzz around it. I think Blizzard truly wanted to give us something post level cap to progress our characters, but they didn’t want to give us junk either. Its just disappointing that its gone, and the other feature I was really looking forward to, guild talent trees, is also gone. I am still excited about Cataclysm, I am not going to go all drama-tastic and say how I am now boycotting Blizzard. There is still a lot of great features in Cataclysm that will make it a huge leap forward and a fun gaming experience.