A Look Back: TBC Alpha Talents

I got a bunch of emails asking about the validity of the WotLK Alpha Talents that I posted last week. That some of the Talents are “overpowered” and can’t possibly be real. Or that the talents are too good to be true.

So I decided to dig up some of my old notepad files which I still kept from back in the day. This was back from September of 2006! Wow! It has been quite a long time…

These are The Burning Crusade Alpha Talent leaks from when my Mage was still running Naxxramas trying to get Tier 3. These too were considered “overpowered” or too good to be real. Looking at what we have now, we see that many of these talents actually made it to the final version of TBC, and some even got buffed! Of course there are some that didn’t quite make it to the end.

I am going to use the same format that I used to post the WotLK Alpha Talents because it looked neat (and because “copy + paste” makes things soo much easier).

Back then, Arcane was only known as the Utility Tree. AP and PoM was there for burst, and the rest of the talents were for support. Evocation was a talented skill, and Arcane Explosion was only instant if you spec it.

Alpha Talents:

  • Improved Blink: Reduces mana cost of blink by 25/50%.
  • Arcane Potency: Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Arcane spells by 33/66/100%.
  • Student of Magic: Reduces the mana cost of all Arcane spells by 5/10/15%.
  • Prismatic cloak: Reduces all damage taken by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Mind Mastery: Increases spell damage by up to 5/10/15/20/25% of your total intellect.
  • Slow: Reduces targets movement speed by 50% and attack/casting speed by 20% for 15 seconds. Costs 68 mana, instant cast.

Final Talents:

  • Improved Blink: Eventually made it to the talent tree, but has been changed.
  • Arcane Potency: Would have been an awesome talent if left unchanged, but it did.
  • Student of Magic: Never made it.
  • Prismatic cloak: 2 talent points instead of 5 for the same amount.
  • Mind Mastery: Made it to the final version unchanged.
  • Slow: 68 mana!? It is now 20% of base mana. Also increases casting time even more.

“Rolling Ignites” made Fire Mages kings of DPS back then. Now Ignite has been fixed, but Fire Mages still does their job well. Were nearly non-existant in Molten Core, but thrived in Blackwing Lair and Naxxramas.

Alpha Talents:

  • Playing with Fire: Increases all spell damage caused by 1/2/3% and all spell damage taken by 2/4/6%.
  • Blazing Speed: Gives you a 5/10% chance when hit by a melee or ranged attack to increase your movement speed by 50% and make you immune to movement impairing effects. This effect lasts 8 seconds.
  • Burnout: increases the damage and mana cost of all spells by 2/4/6% after you hit a Dazed opponent with a Fire spell.
  • Empowered Fireball: Your Fireball spell gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% of your bonus spell damage effects.
  • Dragon’s Breath: Targets in a cone in front of the caster take 278 to 322 fire damage and are disoriented for 3 sec.

Final Talents:

  • Playing with Fire: Made it to the final version, but with less damage taken.
  • Blazing Speed: Made it to the final version unchanged.
  • Burnout: Did not make it to TBC, but is now a new Alpha talent for WotLK with a whole new look.
  • Empowered Fireball: Made it to the final version, and increased to 15%.
  • Dragon’s Breath: Made it to the final version, and increased in damage.

Frost was the spec to be in Molten Core. Known for survivability and control, and the same holds true still today. Ice Block wasn’t given out to all Mages yet, and there was no such thing as a Water Elemental for Mages.

Alpha Talents:

  • Frozen Core: Reduces the damage taken by Frost and Fire effects by 2/4/6%.
  • Ice Floes: Reduces the cooldown of your Cone of Cold, Cold Snap, Ice Barrier and Ice Block spells by 10/20%.
  • Cold Hearted: Increases damage of all spells against wounded targets by 10/20/30%.
  • Arctic Winds: Reduces the chance melee and ranged attacks will hit you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Empowered Frostbolt: Your Frostbolt spell gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% of your bonus spell damage effects.
  • Summon Water Elemental: Summons a Water Elemental to fight for the caster. Costs an Arcane Powder.

Final Talents:

  • Frozen Core: Made it to the final version unchanged.
  • Ice Floes: Made it to the final version unchanged.
  • Cold Hearted: Frost Mage execute!? WTB! Sadly this didn’t make it to the end.
  • Arctic Winds: Made it to the final version unchanged, but was then buffed in later patches.
  • Empowered Frostbolt: Made it to the final version with an increase of 5% Crit.
  • Summon Water Elemental: Made it to the final version but was changed.

As you can see, some talents made the cut, some didn’t, and some may still have a chance. You will never know. That is why Blizzard even bothers with Alpha and Beta testing. So they can see how things go, and get feedback from the testers so that they can tweak things to make it more balanced.

Will we see some of the WotLK Alpha Talents make it to the final version? Sure! Will most of them be changed? You bet! So just be patient for now, and sit back, relax, and enjoy these little “leaks” you find on the interweb.

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  • gnomercy said:

    I remember all the bickering that was going on when these “overpowered” Alpha talents were revealed. Especially the Fire Talents saying now Blazing Speed would make a Fire Mage unstoppable in PvP. Man were they wrong. And it looks like they took the Frost Mage’s Cold Hearted, and gave it to the Fire Mages as Molten Fury.

    Looking at these talents, a good amount of them made it to TBC, so it looks like there is a good chance that the WotLK Alpha Talents you posted earlier will make it too.


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