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This thread is about the way the affliction talent spec has failed on the promise of Cataclysm.
This is the current optimal dps affliction build, theoretical, level 85. There is not one spare utility point, aside of a decision of where to spend 2 potential points between tier 2 and 3: the choices consist of siphon life, improved fear, and curse of exhaustion. There are 10 required dps talents in the destruction tree.
Even if one presupposes that ISF is going to be nerfed or altered not to be desirable for affliction, the resultant build is this:
It's a little better; one can afford to choose between curse of exhaustion and Soulburn SoC, but the points are eaten up by the secondary-most mandatory talent 'Dark Arts'.
Currently affliction has too many mandatory talents, both in affliction and in destruction. In addition to the sheer inability to afford interesting utility talents, the utility talents are unusually uninteresting - two fear-altering effects, and an added curse. I won't denigrate SB:SoC; I think it's cool.
No other tree really feels this constrained and restricted. There are multiple tiers in which there are useable utility choices in many trees, and a wide selection of effects to choose from, as well as a certain freedom in subspec options of at least six-ish points. This was the stated goal of the Cataclysm talent revamps; for the most part, it's been achieved.
Frankly, though.. playing with affliction in a talent calculator feels horrible. It actually degrades my desire to play the class, especially if the ISF thing goes through.
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