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Posts with tag spec

Blood Pact: Return to the depths of the third tree!

Warlocks had best beware! Blood Pact preys on people who wander too deeply into the dark depths of the internet! Author Nick Whelan apologizes for being a tad late this week -- sometimes final projects just don't go smoothly, ya know?

It's no secret that I haven't exactly been in a PvE mood lately. I don't know what it is, but every year around this time I just...lose all motivation to progress. I've come to accept it as the natural cycle of my WoW-life, but lately I've been thinking I want to get back into it. I'm not ravenously trolling Dalaran looking for a raid, but I've been doing some heroic pugs to dust the rust off of my shadowbolting finger.

Frustratingly, though, I've been having an exceptionally difficult time getting back into Affliction. Not only does the rotation and casting style fail to engage me, but it feels like far too much of a struggle to dish out DPS. Back during that golden age between patch 3.0 and patch 3.1, Affliction was a zen thing for me. My rotation was so deeply ingrained that typical spell casting was handled by my subconscious mind. My fingers seemed to move on their own! Post 3.1, Affliction seems to have been made so user friendly that I keep stumbling whenever I try to do something. Like switching from Windows 3.1 to Vista overnight.

The most reasonable course of action, I concluded, was to revisit the first instructions given to me by my Jedi teacher. I needed to unlearn what I had learned, by switching to a completely different spec. So without further ado, welcome to Project Respec: Post 3.1. As clever readers probably divined from the title of this post, the subject this week is Destruction!

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Breakfast Topic: That spec you hate

I'm going to be honest here. I hate the current iteration of arms spec.

One of the reasons I hate it is because it works better than my beloved fury spec for what I do in raids, which is dealing damage. It's gotten to the point where I'm usually dual-specced arms/fury, arms for most bosses and fury for trash clears. I haven't specced arms because I like the spec... I find the reliance on procs irritating, always waiting for Sudden Death or Taste for Blood, never knowing when they're going to proc, having a timer on my rend up time so that I never let it fall off but don't waste rage... it's effective, and I know there are lots of warriors that like it. But I don't. Although I do love using Bladestorm while defending a cap in Alterac Valley, I'll admit that. Those poor hordies trying to take Tower Point back did not expect that.

So maybe I don't hate arms spec. But it's not my spec of choice.

The reason I've dual specced arms is because of the recent nerfs to fury. It's not a secret or a surprise, arms just does more damage than fury right now. I'm sure I'm not the only player who's ever used a spec he or she didn't like simply because it performed better in their chosen role playing the game. For that matter, I know lots of players who play a spec and role they hate just because that's the spec/role their guild needed or asked them for. So now I ask you: have you ever had to play with a spec you hated?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents

Save your specs with Talented

Respecs have been flying around lately like Prayer of Mending during a Sapphiron fight (healing priests, you know what I'm talking about). Several commenters have expressed annoyance at having to remember where exactly they placed those 71 points, and at having to click each of them back into place again. Heck, I would be annoyed myself, with three level 80s and various alts to manage.

However, I don't get annoyed, because I have something that many of you apparently don't: Talented. Talented is an addon for managing talent specs, with several nice features:

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Talents

Triple specs appear to be at least possible

Many people have mentioned this before in conversation about Dual Specs – why not just allow triple specs? We've all speculated for a while that the technology is already there and is just a matter of further implementation.

Today Bornakk, a blue community poster, said that right now all Blizzard intentionally wants is to have two specs be available, but that they "...want to see how the system works out first," before considering triple specs. I think it's pretty safe to read between the lines here and take it to mean that it's possible and has at least been discussed by Blizzard to some extent if community people (and not a developer like Ghostcrawler) are already talking about it. Remember here that community folks usually don't talk about development related things without running it by or hearing it from a developer first.

Triple specs would offer even more flexibility to play the class in whatever way is possible. A druid would be able to switch between a healer, tank, and caster role in a single instance / raid. A paladin would have the same amazing flexibility. While each class right now has at least two specs that can really shine in specific situations, triple specs would allow three-role hybrids to become amazingly powerful characters.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Dual spec available at level 40, reagent requirement removed

Dual spec is one of patch 3.1's headline features: for the price of 1,000 gold, you can unlock the ability to keep a second spec for your character, which you can switch to for free. It was stated a while back by Ghostcrawler that dual spec would only be available to level 80 characters, which was upsetting to many (including myself). It's a feature that has the potential to be amazingly useful for those who like to do dungeons while leveling - why remove that possibility?

I am happy to report, therefore, that Zarhym has just reported that dual spec will be available to characters of level 40 or higher. This is an excellent compromise between not wanting to confuse newbies, and giving players the flexibility to heal dungeons (for instance) as they level while not being gimped in solo play. The real game might begin at 80, but it's important not to neglect 1 through 79.

Furthermore, the announced reagent requirement has been removed - no longer will players need to be in a city or find an inscriber to create a portable lexicon of power for them. Now that's a dual spec feature I can love, even at a 1,000 g cost. Update: Zarhym has clarified the processs a little bit. "You literally just click a button," it's a five-second cast, it swaps your glyphs and action bar along with your spec, and there's no cooldown. You can't use it in combat or in BGs/arenas.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: News items, Leveling, Talents

Forum post of the day: Great idea, poor implementation

I'm still moderately excited for dual specs on my level 80 characters, it should be handy for switching between raids/instances and dailies. Cvarto of Proudmore began a thread about poor implementation about only allowing level 80 characters to use this feature. He fears that players will level as a single spec and have to relearn the other options for their class once they hit level 80.

GC's reasoning is that MMOs are overwhelming for new players to learn without working with two specializations. Cvarto contends that it still more difficult to learn a completely new aspect of the game, such as tanking, at level 80. I'd like to add that most players have little patience for inexperienced tanks and healers at max level.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Talents, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Ghostcrawler: Sorry BM Hunters, our bad

Well, well, well. As a guy who currently plays a BM Hunter, I'll try not to gloat too much (to tell the truth, I agreed that BM Hunters needed a nerf before 3.0.8, though I did think we got hit a little too hard afterwards), but Ghostcrawler has something to say to all of you Beast Mastery Hunters out there: We're sorry. On the forums, he says that Blizzard has had a long talk about it, and they've determined that yes, they nerfed Beast Mastery Hunters too much. He says Marksman is in a good spot, and Survival might be a little too high, but they're still looking at all three specs.

Gloat if you want (BRK is probably very happy), but Ghostcrawler specifically says that they're fessing up to this partially in the hopes that it builds the devs' credibility in the community -- when they mess up, they'll let you know. And with that attitude, we can't really blame him. He was wrong -- let's move on.

So where next? He says BM is due for buffs "before Ulduar." Steady Shot is likely staying where it is, but Kindred Spirits and Serpent's Swiftness will probably be improved a little bit. I wouldn't look for us to go back to where we were pre-3.0.8 (Volley will not be re-buffed, I can tell you that), but BM will definitely be a little stronger than it is now. Oh, and I hate to keep harping on this one, but can we get that Cower bug fixed now? Please?

Thanks, Tribadala!

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

Spiritual Guidance: What each type of Priest can do and arena musings

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week, Matticus looks at what a Priest can do and reflects on his experience so far in arena.

I managed to get myself into a pickup heroic Naxx group the other day. No, it wasn't on my Priest. The Priest is my baby and I can't lock him into such raids while we're still raiding. It was my Shaman that I took into heroic Naxx. After Flame Shocking and Lava Bursting my way through both Spider and Plague Wings and the first two bosses of the Military Quarter, we came across the Four Horsemen.

(Yes, there is a point to this, keep reading!)

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Arena

The healer shortage and how to fix it

The Tank Shortage is a topic that's come up a few times before, though thankfully, since the release of Wrath, Death Knights have more or less solved the situation. But the issue facing us now is just as dire: a Healer Shortage. Ghostcrawler acknowledges that there may be such a shortage on the forums, and he gives two reasons: first, lots of people are still working their way up to level 80, and the majority of healers may still be leveling through Northrend. And second, they've beefed up and changed a lot of DPS builds lately, so many pre-Wrath healers may have respecced DPS to try it or to level a bit, and haven't gone back yet.

Later, he backpedals a bit -- not everyone is experiencing a healer shortage, and while he's already told us Blizzard is working on ways to make healing more "fun," he also points out that some people enjoy the whack-a-mole game. Still, just because a problem isn't affecting everyone doesn't mean it's a problem: it's true that lots of groups are having trouble finding healers, and lots of healers would rather not watch health bars all day.

We're very curious to see what changes Blizzard might have in mind for healing -- we discussed quite a few on the healer podcast a while back, including making healing spells a little less attention-intensive, and giving healers some UI ways to keep their eyes on the fight rather than their party members. And of course, if the rumors are true, we'll hopefully have a new healer Hero class to come and fill in the blanks. GC says this isn't a matter of tweaking things in one patch, so we are definitely a few patches away, but there is hope for healers on the horizon.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

3.0.2 for Feral Druids

In a few hours, when the servers come back up, patch 3.0.2 is going to hit, and WoW will change drastically. Every tree is get revamped to a greater or lesser extent, and extended up to 51-point talents. The Feral tree changes, in my opinion, fall somewhere in the middle in terms of how radical of a shake-up they are.

The big change, philosophy-wise, is that we're going to be able to be main tanks or top-tier DPS, on par with the best warriors or rogues. The catch is that we won't be able to do it with the same spec; we can spec to be DPS or tank, and do as well as anyone at those rolls. We can still try to spec somewhere in the middle, but then we'll get back to our old "master of none" status. In my opinion, this is good news, especially considering we'll be getting dual-spec capabilities in 3.1 (the first post-Wrath content patch).

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Filed under: Druid, Patches

Tigole confirms dual specs are still in the works

Many people have been wondering about when the promised dual specs will appear in the beta. For those that don't remember, back at the World Wide Invitational the developers said that they would be rolling out the ability for players to switch easily and quickly between multiple specs. At the time one of the main points was that these quick changes between specs would not require gold.

Tigole confirmed last night that dual specs are currently being worked on. They are figuring out all the details internally still (which is a good thing). When a poster asked "I imagine by this stage we wouldn't see it until a patch after release?" Tigole replied "Most likely in a patch but it's not too far off."

Now you can interpret that different ways. Perhaps he means in a beta patch or a patch immediately following Wrath's release. Either way the fact that these dual specs will eventually be here will make many people quite happy.

Last night I was talking to some guild mates about it and the word that was thrown around was "game changing" for Protection Warriors and other low DPS specs. Since the Protection Warrior would just be able to flip into a DPS spec for farming, he would no longer need a farming alt – significantly changing the way the game is played.

Filed under: Warrior, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Armorsmiths vs. weaponsmiths

I received a question over the tip line from an armorsmith this morning who is considering switching to weaponsmith because he is dissatisfied with his profession.

Player regrets surrounding a chosen specialization, or even profession, are common and happen to almost everyone at one time or another.

JDT writes that he is "extremely disappointed" with armorsmithing and what he is able to make, and that one of his reasons for possibly switching to weaponsmithing is that he theorizes it would be helpful to be able to pass down weapons to his alts that cannot wear plate.

Unfortunately JDT, anything that you craft as either a weaponsmith or an armorsmith is not only bind on pick-up, but it also requires you to have that specialization in order to wield/wear it.

That being said, there are blacksmithing plans for weapons and armor floating around that are bind on equip and can be passed along, but those can be made by any blacksmith regardless of specialization.

This week I will begin comparing the various armorsmith and weaponsmith pieces to the first non-crafted upgrades in order to illustrate the value of each item and help each class and spec come to an informed decision when it comes time to choose blacksmithing specialties.

Next week I'll finish out the comparison, as there is more than I can fit into this week's edition!

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Blacksmithing, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Insider Trader (Professions)

Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm

Upon dipping into the Wrath beta for the first time about a month ago, I quickly realized being a Resto Shammy wasn't going to cut it for leveling from 70-80 (don't worry too much, though, dedicated Restos, as that says more about my lack of patience for the spec than the actual strength of the spec itself). I switched Elemental the first time I got in there, and haven't looked back since. And while I'm finding all kinds of fun little strengths in the Elemental tree (my spell crit is much higher than it ever was, obviously, and Lighting Overload, even though it's not new in Wrath, is a lot of fun), the real standout is the 51-point talent, Thunderstorm.

Here's a spell that does its darndest to focus on two issues caster Shamans have had in the past: running out of mana and getting caught in melee. The name could probably use a tweak (it's more of a Lightningstrike than a Thunderstorm), but the spell effect is great, and while it's gone through a few tuning iterations in the beta so far, odds seem good that it'll come out being one of the best-used tools in the Elemental Shammy's arsenal.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: I still love you, Titan's Grip

Dear, sweet Titan's Grip, be thou not angered at me. Dost thou remember how our affair began, as news of you first broached the shores of Europe and invited the whole world in? Yes, I have aired my doubts of you in public before now. For the truth is, my fair one, you are not perfect. You can indeed withhold from me that sweetest of rage, which I use to rend my enemies in twain. But in truth how could I ever stay alienated from your beauty? For you do allow me to hit my enemies with two great honking weapons at the same time!

And that is wonderful.

Yet there are other wonders than Titan's Grip waiting for you warriors at the roof of the World of Warcraft, the ice-tinged continent of Northrend. What awaits us, you may ask? Well, ask or not, here comes a day's observations of what awaits us. (Also, if you're wondering why I'm using Gorehowl and a shield in that picture, let me just say, Shield Slam doesn't use the same cooldown as Bloodthirst. Also, fury tanking! More about this in the post itself.)

Now that I've done the expected and obligatory gushing about TG, what say I talk about the state of things warriorish in Wrath of the Lich King's enthralling beta? (Yeah, yeah, it's not a word. Sheesh, you people.)

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Buffs, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Heals and heels

Decent healing is often a key factor in determining victory and defeat in a battle ground. Resto and Holy specced characters have quite the job set out for them. Druids, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans regularly face a healing quandary. Is it better to spend time and man healing another player or continuing to do as much damage as possible. Zanhart of Medivh believes that any character than can heal in the battlegrounds, should heal. He finds it particularly insulting when a player heals him or herself while comrades die around them.

Some agreed with him that anyone who can heal should, but most people dissented. There were several themes to the responses:

  • Paying a subscription fee allows any player the right to play however they like.
  • DPSers in substandard gear are a waste of heals and mana.
  • Non-healing specs often have such poor healing abilities that the battleground is better off with them continuing to dps.
  • Some people just don't find healing to be fun.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Forum Post of the Day

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