Anyway... by the time most of you read this patch 4.0.1 will have landed (or at least be patching in)... and it's a doozy. Now, i'm sure everyone in the wow blogosphere is going to be talking about it... As well they should.. It's
I'm sure a lot of you are taking last minute (hour, day) looks over the talent trees of your favorite class, flailing wildly and going "what the fuck", then rushing over to wowhead or elitist jerks hoping they'll tell you what to do.. Well, the theorycrafting geniuses at EJ are still working on it, as far as I know, and that means... guess what folks? You get to figure shit out for yourself.
Now, don't worry about it, I know it's kinda scary, especially if you're a new player... I'm not entirely unsympathetic, because we were all new at one point. Here's a few things to ask yourself before deciding where to spend your talent points in 4.0. Keep in mind this is mostly from a pve standpoint. Pvp offers a whole different aspect of things with endless possibilities that i'm not good enough to simplify.
First off, what is it you do? Are you a tank, DPS, or a healer? This should be easy to answer.
Second, what are your main abilities? As a DPS you can simplify this more into: what are your hardest hitting abilities? Tanks and healers have it a little bit more complicated, and i'll delve into that later.
Third, are there talents that increase X (the answer to #2)? Generally, these are the talents you want to shoot for, and generally fill up completely.
Fourth, are all your talent points going into one tree? The answer to this should always be a no. You need 31 points in one tree to access either of the other two trees, but there are always going to be things in other trees that'll help you out... Don't be afraid to toy around with them, because generally these will be the points that will be shifted around the most.
Now, DPS have the easiest things to figure out. Your hardest hitting ability, or at least your main "spammed" ability, generally, is going to be either the capstone, or your "spec into" bonus... Examples include Templar's Verdict (ret pally), Mind Flay (shadow priest), Chimaera shot (marksmanship hunter). You generally want to put talent points into talents that will improve these abilities... Increased damage, increased crit chance, reduced mana cost or cast times, etc.
Tanks' talent trees aren't so straight forward, but still relatively simple. Basic things you should fill out are going to improve your survivability... what increases survivability can be broken down into 3 seperate categories: Stamina, avoidance, and mitigation. Now without getting into any heavy theorycrafting, these simply translate into Health, dodge/block/parry, and absorbs. Any talents that increase those things are generally what you want to look for. Also, each tank tree has a talent that says something along the lines of "Reduces your chance to be critically hit by x%"... this is frickin mandatory as a tank. Defense rating is no longer going to be on gear, so this talent will replace the effect of being defense "capped".
Healers generally have the most difficult time "guessing" their way through a talent tree, and i'm hardly a professional healer so take my advice with a grain of salt here. There are several things you should look for within healing trees. Increased intellect, reduced cast times, extra in-combat mana regeneration, haste, spell power, or "increases the healing effect of..." are all going to be good starting points.
Now... I'm no theorycrafter. I don't have the head for formulas and figuring out how to get that extra 1% DPS increase by swapping talent X for talent Y... Chances are, if you're into that kind of thing you're not even bothering to read my silly little blog. But if you're looking at the new talent trees and sitting there with a blank helpless look on your face, then maybe this will help you make heads or tails of some overwhelming changes.