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Posts with tag specs

GC: Dual spec will not change design decisions


Dual specs have been one of several hot topics while we watch patch 3.1 progress on the PTR. People have waffled about whether they mean to spend the 1,000 gold it's going to cost, we've learned that you'll be able to do it anywhere and at level 40, and players of all ten classes are pondering what to use their second spec slot for. However, according to Ghostcrawler, Blizzard is pretending dual spec does not exist.

Maybe I should clarify: with respect to design decisions, they're pretending dual spec does not exist. Raids and talent trees will be balanced without reference to the fact that some players will be able to easily swap out. GC gives some specific examples of things the devs will not be doing, such as "Have a fight that requires 8 tanks, because you know, half the raid can change specs," or "Let Arms be the PvP tree and Fury be the PvE tree, because warriors can just switch out."

This is good news to many, including myself. Although if I had been asked to guess, I would probably have predicted they would take this direction, it's good to know that (for instance) raiders won't be effectively required to take spec X and spec Y in order to complete encounter Z. Dual specs are there to offer us more flexibility, not as another way the devs can make us jump through hoops. And I know I'll be taking it on at least a few of my characters.


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: Patches, Talents

Player reactions to dual specs

Just in case you haven't been following what people have been saying about the dual spec system lately, Slashhug has a terrific post up covering all of the concerns and thoughts about the new system and how it will affect groups and raids. It's long, but he covers all of the bases, from how hybrids with two specs will affect which players get chosen for groups, to loot and how that will work (the same -- main specs first, offspecs if needed), and even soloing and why dual specs will be a blessing for classes who are normally built more for group play.

There's not a lot of new complaints or answers in here -- lots of it has already been discussed on the forums and in our own posts. But Slashhug does a great job of wrapping it all up into one big tasty dual spec sandwich, so you can catch up on all the thinking about dual specs so far. The bottom line, in terms of player reaction, is that dual specs will allow you to do more with your class than you can with just one spec. If you want to heal, you can still heal, or if you're built for tanking, you can still do that. But in groups where things don't quite fit (you've got a few tanks and your DPS is a little low, or your Priest could use a little extra help healing for this boss fight), dual specs will let you make the necessary tweaks right then and there, and excel that much more.
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: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Dual specs at low levels

We heard a ton of news about the incoming dual spec feature last week, and for the most part, players were pretty thrilled -- besides the fact that we're finally getting the option to have two specs at once, we're also getting the much-awaited ability to preview our specs before they're saved, and the official Itemrack functionality that we've heard about for so long. But there was one thing Ghostcrawler said last week that hasn't sat well with many players: that we'd need to be max level before training for the dual spec feature.

For many players, the main reason they wanted dual spec was to be able to switch between "leveling" and "grouping" specs, and obviously if you're already max level, you won't have much need for a leveling spec any more (more likely you'd be switching between "solo" and "raid" or "PvP" specs). Ghostcrawler's stated reason for requiring a max level was that they didn't want lower level players to be confused by having access to more than one talent spec too early, but as Zarhym says, Cvarto makes a good point: if a player uses only one spec for 80 levels and then gets the dual spec feature, he/she may not have enough experience with different specs to have any clue about how to choose another one.

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

WoW Rookie: Level 80 - now what?


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Ding ... you're 80! So what are you going to be when you grow up? Don't get us wrong: levelling your first character to 80 (especially if this is your first massively multiplayer online game) is a not-insignificant accomplishment – but you're not quite ready for prime time yet. Hitting level 80 in WoW is less like being a graduating senior than it is being a new sophomore. You've finished WoW 101; now it's time to make sure you've covered all your core classes and start taking a stab at some electives and specialized coursework.

If you've just hit level 80, consider this basic checklist a graduation gift of sorts from WoW Rookie. It'll help pointed you in the right direction for whatever type of game play you're interested in pursuing. Your game's just beginning. Dig in!

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Filed under: Tips, Features, WoW Rookie

WoW Insider Show Episode 74: True opinions

Last weekend's podcast was an excellent one: Turpster and BRK were on with me, and we had a great time chatting with chatters, answering your emails, and covering the most popular posts of the past week. We answered some emails about the best Rogue spec to choose at level 35, the People in Chicago who Drink and WoW group (and don't forget to join the official WoW Insider page), and we talked about the 3.0.8 bugs and what's up with the Lunar Festival, going on all this week.

And we have a great time throughout. Don't forget that we do the show live every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to join us for the live show (and when you do, you get a free aftershow with us at no extra charge). In the meantime, you can hear this past week's show by clicking any of the links below, and listening in on the media of your choice. If you have any comments or questions or want to send us an intro to play, drop us a note at theshow@wow.com.

Thanks for listening as always, have a great week. Oh, and I almost forgot. Listener Traenall made this video after hearing Turpster's plans for gaining rep from the Timbermaw this week. Very funny.

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Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Making money, WoW Insider Show

WoW Rookie: Do you have talent(s)?


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Are you a talentless n00b? It's really ok to admit it here, among friends -- you wouldn't be the first player in the world to have overlooked (or been completely befuddled by) talent points. Just take a peek at this post about a player who purposely skipped training his talent points, just to see what would happen. If you read through the comments after the post, you'll find plenty of players who missed training their talents along the way, either through not knowing that talent points existed or after becoming paralyzed by the sheer variety of choices.

The talents you choose for your character can completely change the way you play the game. Your "spec" (specialization) is determined by where you've distributed your points among the three talent trees available to your class. So-called "hybrid" classes such as Druids or Paladins take on entirely different roles depending how they are specced: tanking, DPSing or healing. For other classes, spec is more of a flavor tool that determines how your character goes about doing his or her thing.

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Filed under: How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

Encrypted Text: Patiently awaiting patch 3.0.8

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we'll discuss the upcoming Rogue changes in patch 3.0.8.

According to the SK-Gaming Top 100, Rogues are doing pretty well. Our fraternity of assassins has a solid hold on the coveted #3 slot, behind the insanely dominant Death Knight / Holy Paladin combination. With Druids and Warriors being as powerful as they were in Seasons 3 and 4, seeing them bring up the bottom of the Top 100 representation is the truest indicator of significant balance changes that Wrath brought with it.

Luckily, I feel that Rogues are far stronger than our 10% representation shows. We are poised to absorb the market share that Paladin and Death Knights will be hemorrhaging when the long-awaited patch 3.0.8 comes to right all the wrongs that this team has committed. Four of the top six classes in the SK-100 are being nerfed significantly, with Rogues being the least affected by these changes. After the cut, I'll cover important changes for Rogues in 3.0.8, as well as a few changes that will alter our top opponents as well.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Bugs, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

15 Minutes of Fame: The most untalented player

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

We admit to developing a soft spot for hard-headed, level-80-by-hook-or-crook metagamers like Noor the pacifist and Gweryc the melee Hunter. How can you resist this much sheer creative enthusiasm? These guys undercut their own characters just to see if they can manage without: without killing anything, without wearing any armor – and now, without training any talents.

Lithiumflowr of Bronze Dragonflight-EU started making plans for his second Hunter not long after dinging level 80 with his first. But this time, he had an investigation to conduct: At a time when epic-length forum threads split hairs over moving a single point between trees, what would be the effect of going 0/0/0? How could he compensate for a lack of talents? Could he compensate at all?

Evidently, he's compensating rather well. Lithiumflowr is humming right along, moving into Burning Crusade with an eye on level 80. He may be the most untalented player you've ever seen – but he's definitely no Huntard.

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Filed under: Hunter, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

TalentChic updates for Wrath


Remember TalentChic from a couple months ago? They mine Armory data to show the most popular builds for each class and playstyle (playstyle being determined by what kind of gear is equipped, which is slightly iffy, but it's hard to do better with Armory data). Anyway, whether you remember them or not, they're now updated for Wrath, with level 80 and Death Knight builds.

There isn't a lot there that surprises me much. I wasn't expecting 51/13/7 to be the most popular DK build, though; everybody seems to be talking about dual-wield builds, which this decidedly is not. Balance comes in much lower on the Druid specs than seems to be the case on my realm, but my experience might just be biased.

As tipster Waluigi mentions, DPS specs dominate for many classes (notably Paladin and Priest). However, Resto is the most popular shaman build, and a tank build is most popular for druids, so this is not the case for all classes. It'll be interesting to see how this develops as more people hit 80 and get to endgame activities.

Filed under: Talents

Ghostcrawler on dual specs and loot tied to achievements

So sayeth the Ghostcrawler and so we shall listen. He spoke today regarding a few issues that are of prime importance to many players. However instead of long rants or detailed analysis on the issues of raiding difficulty, dual specs, and achievements he presented them in bullet points.

First dual specs, a topic hot on everyone's mind. He provided some new insight into how things will work. In particular he said that "It will be trivial to do in town. You will also be able to do it out of towns, but not as trivially." This is new information and should make everyone tingle with gleeful anticipation at how trivial it might be to switch specs while in Dalaran.

He also makes mention of things we already knew. They are aiming to allow people to swap glyphs and action bars with the dual spec feature, and that it should be along ideally in the next major content patch.

That patch cannot come soon enough.

In addition to the dual spec information, Ghostcrawler went into some points on raid difficulty. While there isn't any really new in terms of how difficult the raiding environment is (or isn't) and what may lie in store for the future (a harder Ulduar raid zone), there is some new news about loot tied to achievements.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Talents, Mounts

Wrath of the Lich King: Hunter roundup

So, Wrath of the Lich King is here, and it is awesome. We here at WoW Insider want to make sure you have all the tools you need to oil your guns, string your bows, and feed your pets.

Let's take a moment and review all the basic sources of information you can use to help propel your level 70 Hunter into Northrend, on to level 80, and then on to greatness!

GENERAL TIPS

TALENT TREES

PETS

PROOF OF AWESOME

Tonight's the night. May your arrow (or bullet) fly true!

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Find popular builds with TalentChic


Since the patch hit, we've been flooded with requests for cookie-cutter builds for various classes, specs, and roles. We're working on it, but our bloggers only have so many hours in the day (if only haste rating worked in real life). However, I do have a new site to tell you about that might help with these types of questions. TalentChic is a web site that aims to determine what the most popular talent builds are for all nine classes, and it's very well made, in my opinion.

The site makes use of Armory data, so it stays relatively up-to-date. Builds are organized by class and by primary tree, and you can also filter for playstyle (Raid/PvP for instance). Playstyle is determined by what kind of gear the player was raiding when their data was cached, so it's not foolproof (a raider could have been wearing their PvP gear and thus counted as PvP), but it's about as good as can be done with Armory data.

As far as the information displayed goes, it seems reasonable to me. I'm a little surprised that Combat is still so dominant with Rogues, given that I've heard Mutilate got significantly buffed. And I'm very surprised that 0/61/0 is the most popular Holy Priest build; I haven't seen people talk about that one very much, and I certainly wouldn't want to be without Meditation. It does drop to only second most popular if I look at raiding Holy Priests. Are your own talent builds popular? Does TalentChic give you any ideas on how to spec?

Filed under: Patches, Talents

Official: talents reset with 3.0.2

I've got a special report in hand from the department of obvious news: we will all get a talent refund when patch 3.0.2 hits, still expected to be next week (four days). Just like the big pre-BC patch, 3.0.2 ("Echoes of Doom") will give us access to the new talents that we will be enjoying in Wrath of the Lich King, as well as (for many classes) new skills. And since the talent trees are so drastically changed, they probably couldn't let us keep our current specs in many cases even if they wanted to.

Obviously we won't be able to access the level 75 and 80 skills until we jet off to Northrend and get some leveling in, but a lot of skills have been retconned in, so to speak. Here are a few examples of new tricks you'll learn from your class trainers, listed with what class they're for and at what level you can learn them.

  • Dismantle (Rogue, level 20). This one quite honestly looks overpowered to me (speaking as someone who plays a Rogue), but we'll see.
  • Revive (Druid, level 12). Thank the maker; this has been a long time coming.
  • New icon for Sentry Totem (Shaman) (not really).

There are more where those came from. And that's quite aside from the new talent trees. In preparation for the patch, WoW Insider will be running down all 27 trees in the days to come (when we're not busy reporting from BlizzCon, that is), so keep an eye out.

Filed under: Patches, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Class vs. content


Responding to a shared blogging topic over on Blog Azeroth, Aendi from the roleplaying blog Voodoo Ventures recently wrote an entry on how to choose a class. This is certainly a subject that's gotten a lot of play in the WoW community, but Aendi's is an unusually thoughtful look at the problem that results when a player's poured a lot of time and effort into a class that might be a bad choice given the player's goals in the endgame. In one of most succinct and painfully accurate points I've seen on the subject, Aendi asks -- is seeing endgame content so important to you that you're willing to play a class you enjoy less, or is the class you play so important that you're willing to sacrifice a possible shot at content?

It's no secret that classes and specs are not the same when it comes to the likelihood of getting Gladiator or raiding all the way to Kil'Jaeden. You may love your Hunter, but arena's not that kind to them at present. Your Warlock might be endless fun to play, but the guilds on your realm are probably swimming in them. And if you've ever cruised past the recruitment forums, you've probably noticed that they all seem to want the same thing: healers (and lots of 'em). If you were the sort of person who sat down, looked at the content in the game that you wanted to see more than anything else, and picked your class and spec solely with that goal in mind, your path forward would be fairly clear...but you might also become one of those people who logs off their primary toon as fast as they can after raid, or after their 10 games for the week, and goes to play the alt they'd secretly love to be playing as a main.

Ideally we get the perfect intersection of a class we love to play that's able to accomplish its goals in content we want to experience, but it doesn't always happen -- and if you have to choose, the decision is a pretty personal one. So I ask you: class or content?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Classes, Alts, Arena

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