WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran


WOO II - Talents

Talents are available to all characters. Players purchase talents with points that are awarded each time a character achieves a new level. (There are fewer levels in WOO II, so this does not happen as often as it does in the current game.)

Some talents will be given to a character at their time of creation. For example, as part of the training experience, all characters might be given a +physical melee damage attribute, a +ranged nature spell damage attribute, a +% physical damage mitigation attribute.

Talents become available before a character has chosen a Life Path, and some talents are per-requisite to choices in the Life Path skill trees. Other talents are uniquely valuable to Questing.


Note that this page is intended to illustrate what a talent tree might be like. No attempt has been made to be complete or consistent.


In cases where the effects are similar, the subtrees have been omitted for brevity. Many selections may be repeated some number of times for increased effect.



Damage is an attribute of the character (rather than the weapon). For example, if a character has the ability to do physical damage, then the character's rating will be applied to any melee, projectile or thrown weapon that he or she picks up. The rating may be modified by the nature of the weapon ... for example, a melee weapon my invoke full damage per hit while a projectile weapon may only invoke a fraction of that. For details see the sections on Damage and Weapons.

A newly created character possesses a potential basic damage of each type. These are not available to the character, however, until the equivalent Talent is chosen. Characters may assume as many damage techniques as the player wants and can acquire with his or her points. However, choosing many damage attributes will limit the character's ability to choose mitigation and other attributes.

Talent damage attributes are expressed as percentages ... which should be read as "percent of the basic damage unit."


Shown here is a sample of how a portion of the damage talent talent tree might be constructed. Note that in terms of the individual choices, the tree needs be no different than the tree in the current game. The actions ... spells, swings, strikes ... work the same way. The difference is that in the current game a player who is building a character must first choose a cluster of actions (a class) that restricts his or her future choices. The notion here is that each player is free to choose from the entire set of actions. (Look here for a more detailed discussion of this approach.)

This example shows the part of the tree that deals with ranged frost damage. This is not what the player would see ... this is the technical specification.

Remember that these are the general Talents ... abilities appropriate to Raiders or Fighters are added from the Life Path Skills tree.





X% frost magic damage

• Repeat with increased damage


Y% frost magic damage over Z seconds

• Repeat with increased damage and/or reduced time


Slows target's movement speed by M% for S seconds

• Repeat with increased amount and/or time


Y% frost magic damage, slows target's movement by M% for S seconds when triggered


Y% frost magic damage, slows target's movement by M% for S seconds when dropped



... and so on.


The player would see something like this, with appropriate graphics:


Frostblast: a blast of cold hits the target for +3% frost damage, the target's movement speed is slowed by 5% --> Improved Frostblast: +2 % additional damage, +1% additional slowing

Chill: a cold wind slows the targets attack speed by 3% --> Improved Chill: +2% additional slowing

Frost Totem
: drops a totem that pulses, doing +1% frost damage per pulse, also slows the movement of targets withing 10 yards by 3%


All types need not have all applications ... for example, slowing effects could be limited to Frost damage, explosive effects to Fire damage, and so on.



Attributes that mitigate against damage attach to the character. Wearable gear ... armor, jewelry, and such ... may modify a character's mitigation. See the section on Gear for details. Here are a few examples of mitigation types. In each case the selection can be repeated for addition % mitigation. Remember that these are the general Talents ... abilities appropriate to Raiders or Fighters are added from the Life Path Skills tree.


% magic: mitigates all kinds of magic damage

% specific kinds of magic damage: Frost, Fire, Nature, Arcane, Shadow, Nature


% physical damage


% disease: mitigates all kinds of disease damage

% specific kinds of disease damage: Unholy, Chill


% disease: mitigates all kinds of poison damage


% hit: reduces the chance of being hit

% all damage: mitigates all damage

% specific kinds of damage


% hit, type: reduces the chance of being hit by direct, ranged, DOT or other specific type of damage

%mitigation, type: reduces a specific type of damage


Allows a character to heal him or herself. Healing of others is offered as a skill within the appropriate Life Paths.

Heal Self

% heal yourself

+ % heal self

+ % speed of spell cast


Bring yourself back to life with minimal health and energy

+ % health and energy

+ % speed of spell cast


Generate energy at an increased rate for a period of time.


% regenerate energy

+ % regenerate speed

Shape Shift

Change your outer appearance - there are two kinds of shape shifting, cosmetic and active.


These are for style and fun. They have no affect on game play. (A good place to put excess points, should such come to pass.)


These modify the characters existing skill set. They are listed here for convenience, but they are only available within the relevant Life Paths.


Foot: Increase your foot speed for a short period of time

Mounted: Increase your mounted speed for a short period of time

Flying: Increase your flying speed for a short period of time


Breath water: breath under water for an extended period of time

Water walk: walk on water

Long sight: see details at a distance

Reduce the damage resulting from a fall

Fall: + % damage reduction (up to 100%)

Float: float above the surface for a period of time

Mount: apply fall and float while mounted

Mind control

Usurp: take control of a non-player character

Distract: cause a non-player character to lose track of you

Fade: Reduce your presence to NPCs. Dissipates with movement.

Fade: +% aggro reduction (up to 100%)


Equip a fishing pole and catch fish.


Create and apply various enhancements for personal use.

Lore (in-game help)

Gives the character access to a vast database of stories, facts, figures and maps. Lore is has special value for Questors.

Note that this attribute also gives the game designers a "hook" for inserting a help manual into the game.

At its lowest level, Lore could turn on the marks that show the positions of useful NPCs on the map. This option could be provided as a reward during the character's training. At progressively higher levels, Lore could give access to a treasure trove of information regarding zones, NPCs, quests and the like.

At it's highest level, Lore could provide a SIRI like ability to recommend actions. Based on completed quests and achievements, Lore could say, for example: "You might want to travel to Motowop City and speak to the mayor's aide. She can be found in the town hall." This would provide an aide for players who might normally have difficulty in finding new quests, and would even help experienced Questors, all of whom sometimes get "stuck".


Increase the likelihood of finding treasure.

And More ....