Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Dual-Spec

Encrypted Text: Has dual spec ruined the rogue experience?

Encrypted Text Has dual spec ruined the rogue experience WEDS  ALMOST DONE

Every week or two, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Scott Helfand (@sveltekumquat) will be your shadow on this treacherous journey; try not to keep your back turned for too long, and make sure your valuables are stashed somewhere safe.

Four and a half years. To many of you, it may feel like a lifetime ago -- and to most of the rogues we play, it probably was. My own stealthy toon, yet to encounter a certain rouged chapeau that would change her (and her humble puppetmaster) forever, was only at level 50, tripping and tumbling her way through Tanaris, oblivious to the game-shattering changes that had just been introduced. By the time she reached max level, almost half a year later, she took for granted the existence of something that many players were still hailing as a miracle.

Dual spec. Oh, how it shined! How its siren call beckoned! Never more must a beleaguered rogue trek to a faraway NPC and back again to swap from their Hunger for Blood/Mutilate raid build to their Mutilate/Preparation PvP build. So much hassle removed! So much freedom gained! A win for everyone ... right?

Let's take a closer look at how dual spec changed rogues forever -- and whether it was truly as much of a boon for our class as we might think it was.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The headspace of switching roles

The headspace of switching roles
It's about as easy to switch your role in World of Warcraft as it has ever been in the history of the game. With dual spec, you can have two ready to go. With the justice/valor system and heroic Hour of Twilight dungeons, you can have a passable off-spec set in a few days. The problem nowadays isn't gear, and it isn't having to go respec to do it. The problem is ingrained habits, and that problem can be the hardest to overcome.

It's certainly far from impossible, though.

The first thing you have to do when switching from tanking or healing to DPS or vice versa is abandon how you approached the job. You're not doing that job anymore. When I first went DPS in Firelands, it took me two weeks to get myself to stop trying to intercept mobs running for the healers or other DPSers and getting myself killed. That was because no one was healing me -- not because they didn't care, but because they had no idea I was about to get aggro on Firelands trash. Why would they? I wasn't a tank. It's not that they didn't appreciate it; it's that they had no way of anticipating I was going to do it.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm

The Heart of the Wild controversy: Should players be allowed to change specs in combat?

Image
In a recent Mists of Pandaria beta build, the tooltip for one of the currently inaccessible druid talents, Heart of the Wild, was significantly rewritten and updated. The full tooltip is long, but the key assumption is that every six minutes, a druid of any spec can click a button and automatically be able change to another combat role for 45 seconds, with little drop-off in effectiveness. Restoration druids can start dealing damage, DPSers of either persuasion can throw around some heals or tank an add, and guardian tanks can even spread around a few HoTs without having to leave Bear Form and turn into paste. That's the theory, anyway.

As you can imagine, this idea generated some heated debate in the druid blogger community. The noted Lissanna of Restokin called it "(likely) the the least used talent out of any talent tree in the history of the game" Murmurs also agreed, saying "HotW has a pure functionality problem. It can never truly fulfill the position that it is attempting to grasp."

In opposition, Tangedyn, the co-creator of the Mew feral druid simulator and frequent contributor to The Inconspicuous Bear, wrote "... there's no reason to deny druids that want the versatility the capability to perform to their best of their abilities."

So who's right? Well, let's take a closer look at both sides of the argument, since this debate brings up several important issues to any WoW raider.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Are pure DPS classes really just another form of hybrid in disguise?

Once upon a time, my guild was trying its hardest to down 25-man heroic mode Lich King. It was the very end of Wrath, and we were running out of time to put an end to the boss before the inevitable launch of Cataclysm. I had been playing an assassination spec since some point between Ulduar and ToC, having given up on ever obtaining a really good combat weapon (I was partial to fist weapons; something about punching people in the face with knives appealed to me), and I was really good at it. I spent forever poring over stat caps and best-in-slot items and had just gotten the perfect set of items that capped every stat that needed to be capped.

And then it happened -- the prep patch for Cataclysm. Do you know what the best stat is for an assassination rogue in Cataclysm (other than hit, of course)? Mastery. Do you know what wasn't present on any Wrath gear? Mastery. My DPS went down, and due to sup-par burst DPS, I was sat for the realm-first 25-man heroic mode Lich King kill. I watched all my guildies ding the achievement and get the one title I was really excited about. And later, one of the officers, a druid, asked me flat out -- why didn't I have a backup combat spec?

Oh ... if only he knew.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: How often do you switch specs?

Last night, I did something I don't do very often: I made my way to my class trainer and went through the trouble of respeccing into disc. My goal was to muddle my way through a few heroics without having to sit through a queue.

Admittedly, the experiment didn't go well. I make a bitchin' shadow priest, but even with stellar gear, I make a terrible disc priest. That's part of why I don't respec very often.

How about you? Do you change your character's spec to meet the needs of raid bosses several times a night? Do you respec to run heroics or dailies? Or are you absolutely adamant about playing your favorite spec, no matter what?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Encrypted Text: Deftly handling your dual-spec rogue

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions you have or awesome screenshots you'd like to see featured.

Dual talent specialization used to be an expensive upgrade reserved for players with good money management. As time has passed since its inception, its level requirement and cost have decreased dramatically. Everyone can afford dual talent spec now, and the benefits are easily recognized for hybrid classes. What once was a 30-minute trip to a capital city to respec between roles has become a short cast that can be performed anywhere. Pure DPS classes can still use dual spec to their advantage, and rogues are no exception.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that subtlety is still not competitive in PvE. While its unrivaled survivability does come in handy on a few heroic encounters, its damage output is simply not strong enough to warrant regular use. Combat and assassination are our two most potent talent trees, and so most rogues will be sporting these specs in raids. While assassination still holds the DPS crown on most encounters, combat's Blade Flurry can be useful for dungeons and even raid bosses like Halfus Wyrmbreaker. By properly planning our rogues, we can play both specs with a deadly efficiently.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blizzard: No triple spec on the horizon, but it's not ruled out

When Blizzard introduced the dual spec system in patch 3.1, speculation almost immediately turned to the concept of the "triple spec." The idea seemed like an all-too-real possibility, gated behind the caveat of "We want to see how the system works first."

Two years later, we have plenty of information on how the dual spec system works. Its initial price tag of 1,000 gold kept it limited only to the most serious of players, but even that high cost couldn't keep the more casual set away. The pricetag has since been slashed all the way down to a mere 10 gold, making it something that everyone can, should, and will train. Dual spec has become so popular that Cataclysm's new stat system seems as if it was built around it. You can now be a successful shadow priest and healing priest in the same gear; a feral DPS druid can change into an able feral tank with very few gearing changes.

Dual spec's been such a terrific and natural fit that it's hard to imagine the game without having it. To that extent, it's been a smashing success. And so, if dual spec has worked so well, why not consider triple spec? For paladins and druids especially -- both of whom can heal, DPS, and tank -- it'd be a godsend. Triple spec would lead even more people to create a PvP spec, an aspect of the game that Blizzard wants more of us to experience.

Unfortunately, triple specs aren't on the horizon, or so said Community Manager (and blue poster) Bashiok on the official Blizzard forums today:

So ... Why don't we have Tri-spec yet?
Obviously having an array of possible specs to choose from would be convenient for any number of reasons, but it would also encourage situations where people are using it to shift their builds around for each individual encounter or task. Those are the kinds of options that quickly stop being options, and instead become a requirement. And as they become a requirement our necessity to design and balance around it changes it from a nice convenience option to a core piece of the game design puzzle.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, The Daily Blues

Breakfast Topic: When it is time to choose a new main spec?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

A few years ago, I leveled my main, an enhancement shaman, all the way to The Burning Crusade level cap of 70 without giving either elemental or resto more than a second glance. Enhancement was fun -- I beat on things with large sticks and didn't have to worry about anyone else's respective relationships with death.

But after running my share of heroics and dailies, I wanted to try something new -- namely, raiding. Only one problem: I had never raided. At all. Heck, I wasn't even sure what made it different than just an oversized heroic. I just knew I wanted to try it. I jumped in with both feet and applied to a bunch of hardcore raiding guilds, offering to fill a healer role. Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking. Not only had I never raided before, but I had very little experience healing, as well. Miraculously, a really solid guild offered me a healing spot.

After watching a few strategy videos, I raid-healed Gruul. While we didn't take him down, getting my feet wet and not feeling overwhelmed really helped my confidence. Within no time, I was helping my 10-man clear Kara with no problems whatsoever. Fast forward a few months, and the guild disbanded. I ended up taking a break from WoW, and I finally came back a few months ago.

Again, I leveled through the new content and heroic grinded as enhancement. Now I'm fully decked in epics with a nice secondary healing set. Just like before, I'm considering switching to resto, because in the back of my mind, I think I'll have a better chance at seeing ICC to its gratifyingly triumphant end if I can fill a healer slot. I want to try something new and see some fresh content, and I think that switching to resto represents my best shot at progression.

What do you think? Even though dual specs have given us hybrids a lot of breathing room when it comes to filling a specific role, how do you know when it's time to switch your main spec? Is it when you want to see new content or when you're simply trying to avoid burnout?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

WoW Rookie: The basics of dual spec

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

World of Warcraft is a game of specialists; even (and especially) the so-called hybrid classes end up playing in specific, focused roles in group and end-game content. The higher you level and the more talents you learn, the more specialized your character becomes. Your "spec" (specialization), determined by where you've distributed your points among the three talent trees available to your class, begins to define and inform your gameplay as you group with others more and more often.

At some point, you'll want to experiment with another set of talents -- that's time for a respec. (Look for talent recommendations in our leveling guides and our Class 101 series.) Soon enough, you'll be wishing you could switch between one set of talents and another -- and you can, with dual specialization.

Before we dig into the basics, we should note one of the more exciting changes for leveling players coming up in Cataclysm. The expansion will lower both the required level and cost of dual spec, giving players more flexibility for group and individual play than ever before.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Keeping perspective

It's sometimes astonishing to me how passionate World of Warcraft players can be about the game. This includes myself: I have hot-button topics that absolutely flood me with adrenaline and cause me to rant (just ask my coworkers here at WoW.com all about that some time), and later I'll sit back and be amazed. I'm still amazed I managed to put out a thousand-word column about Sentry Totem. (You have no idea how sad it was for me to not be working on shaman content the day they announced they were going to take Sentry Totem out. Lost a chance for a thousand-word eulogy.)

But as passionate and involved as we can get, and as excited about upcoming patches and new expansions and even sparkly ponies, sometimes we lose perspective. The infamous "slap in the face" forum ranting is based on a real mentality that X (fill in whatever you want) is the absolute ruination of the game. Downsizing raids to 25-man max is ruining the game. Arenas are ruining the game. The badge system is ruining the game, hybrids are ruining the game, pures are ruining the game, 10/25 variable raids are ruining the game, micro transactions, dual specs, what have you. The game has been constantly in a state of ruination since early 2005 when some realms were undergoing severe latency on peak nights and it was, you guessed it, ruining the game.

Frankly, sometimes rather than posting that comment, forum post, or what have you, we as involved, passionate people need to take a couple of deep breaths and chill out.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Why am I suddenly so popular?


Right now I have two level 80 tank/DPS hybrid toons in epic gear. Now, when I leveled my Warrior to 80, and for the first few months, it seemed like everyone and his or her mother was a tank. There were Druid tanks everywhere, every Paladin and DK was a tank, and of course there were plenty of Warrior tanks to be had. There were so many tanks, in fact, that I figured that after my months of service to my BC guild, I could take a vacation and be DPS for a while on my Warrior. Sure, it ended up requiring me to learn a whole new set of skills, but I got to be the Titan's Grip DPS Warrior I'd longed to be ever since I saw my wife romper stomp her way through Diablo II.

Fast forward a few months. Ulduar is more or less on farm, the new Argent Tournament raid and five man are in effect, and I've leveled and geared out a DK for both DPS and tanking. Based on my experience as a Warrior I wasn't expecting to have many opportunities to tank. Instead, not only is the DK in crazy demand for tanking, I'm constantly being asked to tank on the Warrior as well! Since I like tanking, it's not a major concern, but what confuses me is, where did all those Warrior, Druid, DK and Paladin tanks from launch go?

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes, Alts, Death Knight

The Queue: Clap hands


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

I clapped hands with Kil'jaeden pre-Wrath. He wasn't very happy about it.

Maybe if he heard today's reading music he'd think differently.

DoIt asked...

"I've taken an extended break from WoW and am planning to come back and level some alts when Patch 3.2 drops, anyone have an ETA on it?"

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: If you could add game mechanic to WoW what would it be


Last night I was flying down to Un'Goro to do the Hard Boiled Noblegarden achievement. Long flights get me thinking, at least they did until I installed the Bejeweled addon. World of Warcraft has changed so much since I started playing and 3.1 has brought some of the most interesting changes: dual specs, the hearthstone timer nerf.

Now as I was flying, my guild whispered me asking for my aid in Naxx 10. Fortunately they could summon me but it reminded me of one of the biggest problems with flying in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, you can't get off a bird. Yes I know you can log out and then log back in to be deposited at the next flight point but it's hardly ideal if you need to get off right now.

Since I first started playing, I've wondered why Blizzard don't implement a handy eject button that you could use when on long flights. You could be thrown from the back of your gryphon or wind rider and gently parachute to the ground. Alternatively they could just allow you to hearthstone while flying. But I digress. Readers, I want to know if you could add one mechanic to the game what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds

We've been covering quite a few different ways to see what players are up to in terms of talents after dual specs have been released (both 3D Armory and TalentChic have good information if you're looking for it), and here's another: Erorus at QuickArmory sent us some info on how to pull some talent demographics out of his site as well. He's created a Talent stats page that needs a little explanation, but is actually full of great info on what kinds of builds players are choosing. First, choose a class at the top, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can see, in percentage points, the given percentage of players of that class who took those points on the tree. In other words, if you look at the Mage page, 62% (as of this writing) of Mages surveyed by the application took at least one point in Inceneration (and 61% took all the points), but only 1% of Mages put any points in Blazing Speed (probably because it sucks -- oh snap!). You can also see the percentage points by spec (by clicking the tabs at the top) and even some general distribution statistics on how people chose to spec within the dual spec system. And the main page for each class includes some percentages on glyph choices as well.

But it gets wilder -- you can even compare populations by clicking on the talents, so you can look at, for example, all the Warlocks who specced Felguard (they're using Glyph of Felguard, duh), or all of the Hunters who specced both Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot.

Very impressive. Of course, keep in mind the population here: these are only level 80 characters already in the QuickArmory system (about 12k as of this writing), so it's far from a representative sample of the entire WoW population. But then again, they're also self-selecting -- people who have put themselves into QuickArmory are likely to be more on top of good talent and glyph choices anyway. At any rate, even with the small selection, there are lots of fascinating ways to look at this talent data.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Talents

Lichborne: A Patch 3.1 talent build cookie platter for Death Knights

When I said I wanted a new build, this wasn't exactly what I meant.
Welcome to Lichborne, your (usually) weekly (I swear) source for Death Knight news and tips.

So now that Patch 3.1 is underway, the basic cookie cutter tank and DPS builds have begun emerging. The Patch 3.1 nerfs really haven't slowed us down in any major way, and with dual specs in, we're doing better than ever on the whole versatility front. In recognition of this, let's give you some straight information, no chaser. Here's a handful of cookie cutter DPS and Tank builds for each tree to get you on the right path to DPS or tanking dominance in Patch 3.1, or both if you've dropped that 1000 gold. All of these builds also included recommended glyphs at the link as well.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Raiding, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories