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Posts with tag specs

Community Blog Topic Results: Favorite class and spec

Community Blog Topic Results Favorite class and spec
Last week, we asked "What is your favorite class and spec?" We got many answers from altoholics who couldn't choose to enthusiastic odes. Here's what everyone had to say, listed in order of popularity.


AlternativeChat over at ALT:ernative says
If it's Hunter shaped, I'm going to play it.
She favors the Beast Mastery spec due to its utility in soloing and farming as well as its pet buffs granting access to all DPS and crowd control abilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Talents and abilities you never use

mage talents
Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What makes a leveling spec right for your character?

Breakfast Topic What makes a leveling spec right for your character
When it comes to picking leveling specs, I've got a solid 50/50 record. I seem to have racked up a double fistful of paladin and mage alts on various realms, and they all plug along contentedly with respectable ret and frost specs. But my priests and my rogues are a different matter.

Even the priests I have no intention on taking into dungeons remain steadfastly discipline-specced. Two of them have secondary disc PvP specs, to be sure, and a former main still shows the remnants of a secondary shadow spec -- but every time I've ever started to play her with that setup, I end up impatiently logging over to one of the mages for some real blasting. And no matter how highly the straightforward capabilities of the combat rogue are recommended, I refuse to veer from subtlety. Lurking in the shadows is way too much fun.

Besides players who are bringing up new tanks or healers inside the hallowed halls of instances, it's probably fair to say that most people consider the spec with the highest front-loaded DPS to be the right spec for leveling. They're rushing up a new character to the endgame, or they really dig spraying massive clouds of floating combat text. It's also probably fair to say that the old standard choices might be becoming somewhat less so, thanks to the recent talent system overhaul. Still, the "best" spec for me is neither the most efficient or effective spec -- it's the one that just clicks with me. This is true even for characters without a roleplaying bone in their virtual bodies.

What makes a leveling spec right for you? Do you look for the highest DPS for fast, efficient killing? Do you prefer a tank or healer, to guarantee quick instance queues? Or like me, is there simply a flavor you like best in your WoW bowl?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Ghostcrawler explains spec-specific quest rewards in MoP

If you've been following the Mists of Pandaria beta at all, you may have heard that questing players discovered that they were only getting one choice for quest reward items. Many recent MMOs such as SW:TOR use this model; it's generally agreed that the system of multiple possible quest rewards is yet another "bad player trap," like Ghostcrawler described lots of talents pre-Cataclysm. Players can miss out on quest rewards accidentally, and since there's no in-game way of switching your quest rewards, well, that can be a headache (especially since reports say that GMs are no longer switching quest items for you).

When asked about the issue on the beta forums, Ghostcrawler offered a pretty reasoned explanation for the change. He says that most quests with green rewards will only give you one choice (that matches your current spec). However, there'll also be vendors in every zone from whom you can buy sets of gear that aren't quite up to the item level of quest rewards in that zone, so you can fill in itemization holes or help bolster an off spec a little more. Quests that offer blue rewards will usually offer rewards for any spec your class can be, giving you some flexibility when it comes to rare rewards. Also, Mists of Pandaria questing is more non-linear than Cataclysm's, so you'll be able to hit up a different zone in the event that you need gear for a specific level range.

Ghostcrawler's full response (and an image of one of the vendors) is after the break.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What makes a leveling spec work for you?

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

This Breakfast Topic comes largely in response to this very insightful article about how rotations have changed over the ages. While reading it, I began to think about how I will pore over theorycrafting sites to find the optimal DPS rotation, healing build, or tanking strategy. But I only do this for my max-level characters. While I'm leveling, it's pretty much happy-go-lucky. I'll occasionally look up what spec might be best for leveling, but sometimes I don't care about optimal leveling. I just want to have fun and mess around with the character and how to play it.

For example, everyone always said that combat is the best leveling spec for a rogue. I however, loved assassination, so that's what I stuck with. I tried out combat, but I hated it. No stealth? Swords or maces, not daggers? That's not a rogue, that's a weak warrior! Same with my warlock; affliction is supposed to be best, but to me, warlocks are all about demon summoning, so I went with demonology. It just made sense.

Of course, when I hit the level cap and start doing raids, that's when I'll delve into what are the optimal rotations, enchants, gems, itemization, etc. That stuff matters at that point. But leveling for me is all about having fun and learning your class. Leveling is a long and tough process; it doesn't make any sense not to enjoy it as much as you can.

How do you like to level? Do you play it fast and loose with your talents, or do you carefully consider where each precious point goes?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Totem Talk: Enhancement post-patch theory

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shamans. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement: his main spec is enhance, his off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 04 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This patch hit me hard, harder than any patch before it, and I know I wasn't the only was one to be drastically affected by it. Other than the usual spate of patch-related addon issues, I was struggling to keep the downloader connected. After turning off all anti-virus, firewall and other sorts of computer safety monitoring programs, I finally got into game on Friday night. Mostly, though, I just lacked time to log in this week. Once in game, I was faced with just as many challenges getting Stoney in order and raid-ready as I was trying to get online. This patch was more disruptive in game than any patch before.

A far an enhancement goes, there's so much that still needs to be tested and refined. The greater enhancement community is working hard at the theorycrafting, but even the simulations are not fully refined for level 80 testing; the latest alpha of EnhSim is tuned to level 85 right now. The decisions I made in game are based on the best available data as well as some things I want to test out for myself. There was a lot to accomplish in-game including, respeccing, retraining, regemming, reforging, readjusting and refining.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Breakfast Topic: The illusion of choice

My first reaction to seeing the new, streamlined talent trees was, "We'll all be cookie cutter specs now!" I mulled it over for a bit, hashed it out with some people on Twitter and came to the conclusion that the new streamlined specs are a good thing, in principle. Ask yourself, when was the last time you respecced to move one to two points around? How much are you really losing with the slimmed-down trees?

My shaman, Stoneybaby, hasn't respecced in ... I don't even know when, but I'm sure it's been many months. I have my raiding spec, in which I could move one or two points around -- should I take 2/3 Improved Shields or 3/3 Improved Shields? Ultimately, it makes little difference; I picked my raiding spec and my PvP spec, and I go forth with those until the game requires a change. I don't need a lot of choice because I won't use it.

On the other hand, my druid is a bit different. He's specced balance for AoE farming Chunk o' Mammoth (my wolves need their Spiced Mammoth Treats!) and feral bear for tanking alt raids. For raids, I either tank or I tank -- take your pick. He's mostly useless as DPS in raids because he doesn't have the proper hit, mana regen or focused damage talents; he's built to kill a dozen mobs at once out in the field. I like the choice so I can specialize in AoE farming.

In the case of my shaman, I really don't need that one- or two-point customization, and so lamenting the loss of deep, complex talent trees is just the loss of choice for the sake of choice. For my druid, I really do want and use the complexity of the current specs. Overall though, I think the slimmed-down trees will enrich the game without dumbing it down.

What about you? Do you really want deep choice in spec customization, or are you just lamenting the loss of the illusion of choice?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From goblins and worgens to mastery and guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Totem Talk: Leveling Enhancement 61-70

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We left off last week with the spec 0/51/0 and already killing boars in Outland. Comments from last week were mostly opposed to my advice to go WF/FT for weapon imbues, saying that it's best to wait until more elemental talents are added before leaving WF/WF behind. I can see their point, but can't imagine that either way is going to make a significant impact in terms of time lost due to deaths or slower kills. My rationale for WF/FT is that its likely you're facing off against higher level mobs than your current level which may take a bit more to whack down. This means more DoT ticks from Flame Shock, more Maelstrom Weapon procs, and more Earth Shocks, and thus a healthier balance between physical and magical damage.

Regardless of you off-hand imbue of choice, we're really in the heart of enhancement right now. After hitting 60 we get spell upgrades every level instead of every other level, but the exciting talents and spells are already in our books so there's not much new and fun stuff happening.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement talents

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box and pens the enhance side of Totem Talk.

Being a hybrid class means there's not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to making specs as one spec can serve us well through 10s, 25s, dungeons, and soloing. While PvE builds don't leave much room for experimentation, I've seen far more variance in PvP specs, mostly depending on play-style.

Of course there are distinct PvP talents built into the trees and there are core talents for both PvE and PvP without which we're just not enhancement shamans. But depending on your gear, team, and how your play you can customize your PvP specs for defensive, offensive, mana-rich, or anywhere in between.

Let's start right out with the two of the more common builds right now:

PvE - 19/52/0 - this spec will serve most all enhancers well across all levels on content and is the spec I use on Stoney.

PvP - 16/55/0 - as I mentioned above there is far more flexibility in specs for PvP. I chose this one because it's a good starter PvP spec that is highly mana-conservative and defensive focused. I've seen many different takes on enhancement PvP specs and experienced players will alter to suit their own play style. But if you need a place to start, go with this.

Read on after the break for the talent-by-talent breakdown of enhancement shamans!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Rawr updated to 2.2.25 [Update: 2.2.27]

Rawr is a great third-party app (it's open source, and doesn't interface with the game at all) that's designed to help you figure out everything you need to know about your character, including how to best buff, enchant, and gem up your gear and set up your stats for whatever you'd like to do. It started out as an app strictly for tanking druids, but recently, it's grown to include pretty much all classes and stats. Our good friends at sister site Download Squad just recently found out about it, and they've got a nice basic writeup posted that serves as a good overview if you've never used the app before.

They also mention that the app just got another update, to version 2.2.25, and all of the release notes are posted over on their site. They're also looking for help -- if you're a C# developer, or know one who can work on their rogue and hunter models, be sure to let them know. Since the program is open source, anybody who knows the code can jump in and add their own features, or fine-tune the class choices, which then helps out everyone who uses the software. Rawr is definitely an excellent resource for anyone looking to get their gear perfected -- it's a free download for Windows on their site right now.

Update: Since this post was written, the app has been updated to 2.2.27. That was fast!

Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Classes, Buffs

The Queue: Clap hands

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the 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?"

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

Equipment manager and dual talents won't mix

Now, I was under the impression that Blizzard eventually wanted to combine the dual specs and equipment manager features -- they were taking their sweet time making sure it was exactly right, but eventually when you switched specs, you'd be able to switch into the gear you wanted at the same time. But apparently that's not the case: the lovely Nethaera over on the forums says that no, there are no plans to connect the two. They believe that many people will want to change specs and gear at different times, so you'll still have to press two buttons if you just have two gear sets for two specs.

Fortunately, that functionality is filled in very well with addons, and Eliah did a nice writeup last month of how to do it with a few of the available addons out there. Which is probably why Blizzard isn't doing it -- we've heard at the BlizzCon UI panel that they're more than happy to let addon authors fill in the extra functionality that they believe only a few players are looking for. And as you can see in the thread, there are macros that will tie them together as well.

Better for Blizzard to get to work on something else than put together functionality that those who really need can already find. But yes, if you're waiting for an official solution to switching gear and specs at the same time, look elsewhere.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Talents

Blood Pact: What's up with everybody?

Another week, another Blood Pact! Bringing you all the wacky Warlockery that nine out of ten healers recommend for a healthy diet. And it's not because Nick paid them off or anything.

Hello again, my reprehensible cabal of spell casters I call a readership! How's it hangin?

Not a great deal has actually changed for me since last week. I was forced to disband my raiding group due to unfortunate scheduling problems, so I still haven't set foot in Ulduar. And since heroics stopped offering an interesting challenge months ago, I haven't had much of a reason to log in as of late. With Noblegarden upon us though, I suppose I'd better get to it--a proto-drake in my class color doesn't come along every day, yo!

Lacking any escapades of my own to pen for your amusement, I thought it would be nice if I did some research on how the various specs are being played these days, for the benefit of players (like me) who wish their spec' s play style would settle down longer than a handful of months. It's hard enough to be a DPS class beset by near-constant nerfs -- radically changing our play style all the time isn't helping. But enough QQ, lets talk about how Warlocks are doing their pew pew these days.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

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

Top 3.1 specs so far from 3D Armory

Not to be outdone by TalentChic, the folks at 3D Armory also sent us their lists of what the most popular builds are in the game after patch 3.1, and since everybody seems to be build-hungry lately (and why not -- we each get two!), here they all are.

Warrior: Fury 18/53/0.
Paladin: 0/0/0, which means you need to log in, Paladins! Also 51/5/15 for Holy.
Hunter: 0/0/0 wins here, too, but Survival (6/14/51) comes in next.
Rogue: Combat 15/51/5.
Priest: 14/57/0 for Holy.
Death Knight: 17/0/54 Unholy.
Shaman: Elemental 57/14/0.
Mage: 0/53/18 Fire.
Warlock: 0/41/30 Destruction.
Druid: 14/0/57 Restoration, which surprised me.

Keep in mind that these are from only a small sample of the game, so they're not the most popular specs in the game, just the most popular among those surveyed by the 3D Armory. And unfortunately, unlike TalentChic, it doesn't look like there's any way to see where the points are going, just the distribution of points among the trees (though that reminds us that Blizzard probably has some amazing point-by-point stats on how popular talents are).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

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