Haste buffsIt's extremely likely that the 3% global haste buff category is being removed completely, and Improved Moonkin Aura will offer the 5% spell haste buff, along with however it is distributed for Shadow Priests, and Shaman,
Yes, we are reclassifying all of the haste buffs as spell haste buffs or melee attack speed buffs. (Source
Masteries / Passive Tree Bonuses
The passive talent tree bonuses are intended to let you get better at your intended spec just by spending points in the tree. We felt like talents had gotten to a place where they had lost some of their original goal for allowing player customization. So many talent points were considered mandatory just to make your character functional that there were very few actual choices you could make.
(We call the passive talent tree bonuses "passive talent tree bonuses" to differentiate them from the mastery stat on gear, which affects only the third talent tree bonus. We came to that distinction late and are honestly a little sloppy about the nomenclature to this day, so "mastery" sometimes gets used interchangeably as the talent tree passives themselves and as the stat on gear that affects the third of those passives.)
In Cataclysm we have an opportunity to get a lot of those passive talents out of the talent trees. At the same time, we do need to allow for a distinction between say the higher damage and lower survivability of a Fury warrior compared to a Protection warrior. If individual talents shoulder too much of that burden, then the talents aren't much of a choice. Instead, we give you passive bonuses just for spending points in the tree. Protection warriors care most about reducing damage and maintaining threat, so those are the first two passive talent bonuses. The third one we wanted to feel specific to the Prot warrior tree, so that one is going to relate to blocking with a shield.
Another way to think about it is that each talent in the Protection tree also says "and reduces incoming damage by X, increases damage done by Y when tanking, and increases block effectiveness by Z."
I wouldn't say that we intended for all of these passives to be super sexy. It's more accurate to say that we use them to allow the talents themselves to be more exciting and ideally game-changing and a little less "kitchen sinky."
If I'm 51/20/0, and someone else is 51/0/20, we both get the same talent bonuses from blood, but do I get frost passives while he gets unholy passives?
In your example, both DKs would get the maximum passive bonus possible from Blood and nothing else. You are only ever one tree. The points you spend in another tree will help out because those talents accomplish something, but you don't get bonuses for them. You are either a Blood, Frost or Unholy DK. (Source)
There will still be mandatory talents. We're not really trying to make a talent like Sword and Board optional. We expect most Prot warriors of appropriate level will grab it. Related, we doubt we'll see an end to cookie-cutter specs. As long as the recommended Prot tree says "You must get Sword and Board" then that's essentially a cookie-cutter.
We would like to accomplish a couple of goals though.
1) For more casual players (i.e. the ones not posting in this forum), we want there to be less difference in power between an optimal and sub-optimal spec. It's okay if the optimal one is still better, but not so much better. Casual players should feel fine just spending points with a small amount of consideration and not feeling like step one is to go to the Internet to find the right build. The passive bonuses help with that.
2) For those players that do take optimization very seriously (and I'm assuming most of you are in that category), we just want to see more cookie-cutter builds that say things like "spend the last 5-10 points wherever you want." If those points would give you survivability or a massive threat bonus or even utility that's hard to live without (say Warbringer for a Prot warrior), then you're not really spending the points where you want. But we think there is room to have some of those choices that don't really exist now. (Source)
Mage (Forums / [url=http://tal…