WoW War Within: Everything You Need to Know About Hero Talents

Class fantasy? In this economy?

WoW’s War Within expansion, helmed by company veteran and resident Green Jesus Chris Metzen, drops sometime next year. Before that, we’ve got a brand new blog post from the team detailing some of the Hero Talent system – here’s what you need to know.

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WoW War Within’s Hero Talents – What Are They?

Hero Talents are a new form of character progression coming to each specialization: sort of talent trees within talent trees. They begin to unlock at level 71 in the War Within, and there are three Hero trees for each class. It breaks down like this:

Class > Specialization > Hero Talents (2 available per Specialization, 3 per Class)

The example given in the blog post was Warriors. Warriors have 3 Hero Talent trees: Mountain Thane, Slayer, and Colossus. When you factor in which two of these are available per Specialization, it breaks down like this:

Each Hero Talent tree has 11 nodes available, and you get 1 point per level, meaning you gain access to every talent in the tree by level 80. Choosing between the two trees available to your Specialization is the main gameplay factor in Hero Talents. You can completely fill out either one, but there are several nodes (three or four per tree) that present a choice between more than one talent, which you can see in the example tree shown below:

Filling out an entire talent tree will certainly make a class feel more powerful over their time in the new expansion, but I do wonder how meaningful the choices between them will be. It’s going to be a matter of balance; if one tree is a no-brainer pick, we aren’t going to see much variation from player to player. In the blog post, however, it’s noted that the team is striving to avoid making any one tree feel “required” due to huge boosts in power.

What Do Hero Talents Do?

As far as what Hero Talents do, it depends on which Tree we’re talking about. Every Hero tree starts with a particularly powerful “keystone” talent that, according to the blog post, “could be a new ability, an enhancement to an existing ability or cooldown, or a new buff you can trigger.” Overall though, it seems Hero Talents are focused on utility and defense, not offensive or healing capabilities. Though they will provide some damage or healing, it won’t be so much that they “overshadow” your class or specialization.

Hero Talents also change some visual effects for certain classes. This is both to communicate their effect and bolster your class fantasy.

Have it Your Way

It’s noted several times in the blogpost that the team wants players to choose the Hero Talents that suit their playstyle or class fantasy. From this, it seems the trees with either be so balanced in power that one won’t necessarily be an “obvious” choice over the other, or they’ll be functionally a drop in the bucket in terms of power gains. Knowing how these things go, I know which one of those possibilities my money is on!

Still, it does seem like the focus on class fantasy, and keeping the talents grounded to their respective specialization, means these will be fun customization options. For an example of a Hero Talent tree (in progress), see the image below:

War Within Hero Talent Previews

If this has you excited for the War Within… First, join the club, and second, why not check out those War Within preorder bonuses while you’re here?

About the Author

David Morgan

David is a pediatric asthma researcher at Cincinnati Children's Hospital by day, and Prima Freelancer by night. He always finds time for the games he loves, and then some more to tell you all about them.