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.
Filed under: WoW Rookie