This is the first in a series of posts about the things that cataclysm hit the nail on the head with this expansion. Many people may like or dislike certain things that where done in cataclysm but sometimes some of the best changes go basically unnoticed or taken for granted. It is always easier to overlook the good things.
Past posts in this series:
Miscues: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX
When cataclysm was released we were introduced to entirely new skill trees. Some disliked the new version and some loved the new version, but what is not often talked about with the new version was how it starts. Like the smaller skill trees or not, when you get to level 10 and make the decision to choose a spec it now meant something, something a little more meaningful than ever before.
If you are an older player and leveled a new character this expansion you might know exactly what I am talking about. When you are on your brand new priest and decide that you want to level discipline at level 10 and you get penance, you now really feel like a healer. When you are on your brand new paladin and you decide that you want to level protection and get avengers shield you really feel like a tank.
Those little bonus things that define our specs that are given to us as a freebie starter skills when we choose our spec really makes a difference. As someone that has leveled countless new characters and already had every class as 85 to begin with I could still embrace the feeling that choosing a spec really made me feel like this is what I am now.
While the fact might remain true that some spec specialization bonuses just feel lackluster and don't really feel like the ones I mentioned earlier, like intimidation in the beast master spec, the concept of giving a class spec defining ability at level 10 was a major plus that came with this expansion.
With the exception of intimidation and a very few like that, those abilities we get when we choose a spec now are always things you will want to use on every cooldown and that is what makes them so special, that is what makes them define our spec and that is what makes them such a huge thing to have at level 10 now.
If people, like myself, that had experience in the game felt like "now I am a tank" when I got my avengers shield you have to think what that must have felt like to a new player. Getting this class spec defining ability right off the bat, it being strong and useful from the moment you get it, and it being something you will end up using every cooldown from the second you get it until you defeat the last boss of the game it fantastic. Again, with the exception of a few misses like intimidation notwithstanding.
It is just a spec, it is just an ability we always had, but it is now at a time and a place where it means so much more to the player and the characters development into being what it is meant to be. It is something that most people might take for granted. It is something that people would say they always had so whats the big deal. But it is something that changed, at least in the way we where given it and at the time we where given it. It is often over looked because it is something that was always there but in my opinion it was a great change for the game.
So if you are playing cataclysm, like it or not is irrelevant, and ever felt like this seems kind of cool but then dismissed it because it is just something that seems like it has always been there, maybe it is one of the cataclysm hits, like giving you your spec defining ability at level 10.