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Posts with tag talent-specs

Breakfast Topic: Would you like tri-spec?

Breakfast Topic Would you use a third talent spec
I have a problem, dear reader. I'm an addict. You may be the same, and if you are, a part of me feels for you. The rest of me is glad you're along with me for the ride!

What do I mean? Well, I get addicted to specs. I find one that I like, and I stick with it. You might well be aware, if you read the Blood Sport columns I write, that I do a lot of PvP, but I also raid. And, the vast majority of the time, I do the same in both settings.

My shaman's talent specs are PvP restoration/PvE restoration. My priest? PvP discipline/PvE discipline (I'm in love with Atonement Archangel right now.) My mage? PvP fire/PvE fire. Are you beginning to see a pattern emerging?

So where is the problem in focusing on one talent spec for both your options? Well, take my shaman. I have thousands upon thousands of conquest points and valor points. I have full, epic-gemmed, Cataclysmic Gladiator gear. My PvE gear is all 397 or above. So when the raid drops and tokens come my way because we have nobody else to take them, what do I do? I play restoration in either PvP or PvE most days, and while I'd love to give elemental a go, I don't want to spend all my time respeccing. I would give ... I don't know -- what's an organ we don't really need? My appendix. I would give my appendix for a third talent spec. Heck, take my tonsils, while you're at it.

How about you? Would you use a third talent spec? Are you like me in sticking to one talent tree in two iterations? Do you long for more flexibility? Or do you not really feel the need for it? And, of course, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for druids in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Let's try to get you prepared for Cataclysm, shall we? In the new (banged-up, broken and burnt) world of the expansion, battlegrounds play will stand toe to toe with arenas as far as gear acquisition and quite possibly have even better participation. You don't want to miss out on that. Today we'll discuss the best PvP talents you can pick up as a druid, and you can decide for yourself what other talents to round out your PvP spec.

Perhaps the biggest change for druids in patch 4.0.1 is a new mechanic for balance druids called Eclipse, which relies on the buildup of lunar or solar energy conferred by casting either nature or arcane damage spells, respectively. This means that balance druids will be constantly trying to achieve an Eclipse by casting spells from one school, then shifting to another school once they've gotten the bonus. Out of all specs, balance plays the most differently compared to before the patch, but everyone gets fun tools to use in PvP. Let's check out all these toys across all specs.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution 102

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

We're back again. I wasn't sure I'd be available to write the article this week as I've got a little paladin on the way and she's due any day now. The closest the doctor would give us was "soon." However, let's get down to business.

Last week we did a Retribution 101 article on what qualities make up a ret pally and what to expect from the spec. This week we're going to look at the basic talent spec as well as what our talents do for us. It's a fairly long post, so feel free to go grab something to drink now and then catch us after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 2

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. This week he's trying to help those of you crazy enough to tank Gnomergon when it's still a level appropriate instance.

We're doing a much longer than expected series of articles on the low level dungeon runners now that the new cross-realm Dungeon Finder is up and running. This is part two of our series on the low level tank. Last week we talked about the basics of threat, avoidance, mitigation, and what stats to be on the lookout for when choosing gear.

We did promise to get into talents and skills this week, but that would have ended up being three pages long. So we're going to leave skills until next week and just concentrate on talents this time around. If you're extremely new, take a look at this nice article explaining talents for new players. If you've got that down, let's start move on to more paladin specific info.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Are there bad talents?

Tree Bark Jacket, a resto-druid-themed blog that was new to me, has an interesting post up about whether there is such a thing as an entirely bad talent. The author's argument is that no, there is not, the reason being that even talents that are regularly dismissed are still useful sometimes; they're just situational.

For instance, Improved Tranquility, while certainly sub-par in 25-man raids, shines in heroics, and Living Seed is nice for healing tanks through chunky damage.

On a broader scope, Keeva makes the important point that you can't make all your talent decisions based on Recount or on people's advice from Elitist Jerks (etc.). Everyone's playstyle and raid makeup is different, and every raid encounter is different.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Scattered Shots: Pet talents for leveling

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be looking at talent builds for your pets as you level.

At level 10, every Hunter completes a series of quests that will teach them to tame the beasts they encounter in the wilds to serve as their constant friend and comrade. Whether your chosen companion is of the Cunning, Ferocity or Tenacity persuasion, your pet will grow in strength as you both progress through levels, and at level 20 your pet begins to learn their first talents (and receives an additional talent point every 4 levels from then on) to improve their skills and their ability to lend a hand during your joint adventures. There are many options available to you in the choice of your pet's talents as you level, and today I'd like to present you with a few options to help you along.

The talents your pet will have available to it are determined by the family of pet you've chosen to tame. Cunning pets are considered more "balanced" than their Ferocity or Tenacity counterparts and can be great for leveling when your pet's ability to simultaneously tank mobs and deal damage is an important consideration.

There are a wide variety of Cunning pets available in the game even at low levels, so finding one that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing shouldn't be too difficult. From levels 1 to 20 you'll find a variety of Bats, Birds of Prey, Dragonhawks, Ravagers, Serpents, Spiders and Wind Serpents to choose from if a Cunning pet is what you're after.

Tenacity pets are also an excellent choice for leveling as their ability to take damage is significantly better than other types of pets, and many Tenacity pets have unique abilities that make dealing with multiple mobs simultaneously extremely easy which in turn speeds up the leveling process. Like their Cunning peers, there are a multitude of Tenacity pets available at low levels, such as Bears, Boars, Crabs, Crocolisks, Scorpids and Turtles.

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Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Encrypted Text: Hunger for Blood is terrible (to play)

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 discuss how troublesome Assassination's new rotation is.

During my regular readings of the Rogue forums, I often heard complaints regarding our Assassination 51-pointer (Hunger for Blood). The main issue is that people find with it comes from the fact that it takes our required button-pushing amounts from manageable to annoying. I was skeptical at first, as I had not been having much trouble with it in heroics and the odd Vault of Archavon run.

I initially figured Mutilate would be a more interesting rotation than the old Rupture/SnD spam that was TBC Combat Swords. With Mutilate generating way more Combo Points than Sinister Strike, and simply replacing SnD with Envenom in my raiding DPS rotation, I figured it would be business as usual. I trade off using Mutilate less than Sinister Strike by having to keep HfB up. Easy enough, right? Wrong.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Talent changes in Wrath of the Lich King

Here's a question for you: Have you changed your talents drastically in Wrath? With 10 new talent points to spend and a couple new tiers to spend them on, there's a lot of temptations to keep a player guessing as to the exact perfect spec, and I know some people have spent a lot of money picking out and testing specs.

It's even easier to do with Hybrids. I know a lot of Protection Paladins are taking the opportunity to try Retribution for a while, and horror of horrors, I've even known a couple Feral Druids who have actually tried Moonkin form, if you can believe it. I find myself strangely unwilling to respec, so I'm sticking with my Unholy Death Knight, Feral Druid, and Beastmastery Hunter for now.

How are you doing on talents in Wrath? Have you decided on a build? Are you throwing money at constant respecs? Have you changed your spec 180 degrees from what it was in Burning Crusade?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

The Wrath of the Lich King Death Knight roundup

Good Thursday morning, everyone. I'm sure by now that many of you rushed home from your midnight openings, installed the game, and started up a new Death Knight. Many others may, like me, be expecting to do that tonight after work or school, while others are looking at rolling a Death Knight in a few weeks or months after the rush has died down or they get a main to 80. Whatever your plans, if you're playing a Death Knight anytime in the future, you'll want to read on. We have a nice selection of some of the best news, information, and analysis of the Death Knight class after the break, including a lot of information that the new Death Knight will find useful.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Getting started with talents in 3.0.2 as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing a special happy dance over that whole Aspect global cooldown removal thing.

Before we get into the meat of this week's column, I have a confession to make. I was tempted to make a very short column that consisted primarily of a recording of me making squealing noises that you would generally only expect to come from a giddy schoolgirl, punctuated by a bit of gibberish that might sound something like "Aspect of the Dragonhawk."

But that said, there's a lot of other things I could talk about, and I won't leave you hanging. It's a busy time in WoW, and Hunters have a lot of stuff to do now that 3.0.2 is out. By now, hopefully, your server has calmed down enough for you to get on, play around with learning all your companions and mounts, and start trying to figure out talent specs. Hopefully by now, you've seen some of our articles on the subject, such as Big Red Kitty's Hunter and Pet Talent overviews, and David Bowers' guide to exotic pets currently available in game. They're great resources, so I'm not going to attempt to replicate them here. Instead, I'm gonna focus on a quick and pertinent question:

You've finally found some time to play WoW, your server's stable enough to let you play WoW, and you've just logged on your Beastmastery Hunter for the first time since 3.0.2 went live. What do you do?

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

BigRedKitty: 3.0.2 Hunter talent trees

Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

We didn't make 80.

Nope, we were much more focused on obtaining a Spirit Beast for a hunter-guide movie. We failed.

But we spent hours patrolling in Sholazar Basin, playing with Gorilladin, making leatherworking gear, and trying out all the hunter talent trees while not leveling as fast as we could have. Actually, we leveled from 77 to 78 without doing any quests at all.

We also haven't run any dungeons or raids. OK, we did one Utgard Keep, but it didn't count. The entire party, except the healer, was was way over-geared for the place.

We also haven't done DPS-testing with Recount or Training Dummies in sufficient quantities to provide factual evidence of one hunter-tree's superiority over another.

We also haven't done hours of arena, battlegrounds, or PvP-zones. We've done a little, killed and been killed, but nothing that would give us a serious insight into the solutions that Blizzard has come up with to make our class more amenable to PvP.


We have played all three trees, full 51-points each, for at least one entire level. We have tried just about every tree/pet-class combination at least once. Except Spirit Beast, natch.

And we've cranked our leatherworking to 432! /win!

So when we discuss the new hunter talent trees, keep in mind that your opinion of our opinion my vary. We may have some seriously beta-PvP-experienced hunters who disagree with some of our assessments of the new talents. We may have some Naxx-raiding hunters who disagree with some of our conclusions.

But that's OK! The major purpose of this column is to give you, the WoW Insider reader, a point of reference. You know our writing, you know our play-style. You should know our limitations and the areas at which we're not too shabby.

Read, absorb, analyze, and prepare to test to it all yourself on Tuesday.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Talents, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty

Ask a Beta Tester: Baron Rivendare, heirloom items, and more

Remember a little while ago on Ask a Beta Tester, someone asked if Jaina Proudmoore has any role in Wrath? And I said no, she has no new story involvement? Well, a recent beta patch made a fool out of me. She has a role, it's epic, and no she doesn't make out with Arthas you horrible, horrible people.

And with that out of the way, let's get on with the questions. Shadgalaul asked...

What about the whole dual-spec situation? Was this implemented, or did it just fade out and get scrapped?

This hasn't been implemented yet, and nobody is sure whether it's on hold or been scrapped. It seems like instead of giving dual specs, they're trying to make one spec be able to hold its own. For example, tanks are getting higher DPS so they can go off and do their quests without wanting to hang themselves. It's not a perfect solution and there are still a few balance issues, but I bet that if they shelved the dual spec thing, this is what they tried instead.

We may still see dual specs in the future, but we haven't so far.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Scourge Strike, titles, and flying mounts

What you're seeing up above is a flaming quill in a well of frozen ink. Is it useful? No. It looks wicked awesome sitting in the Inscription trainers' shop, doesn't it? Heck yeah it does! We'll kick off today's Ask a Beta Tester with Askhill's question...

Does Lake Wintergrasp seem dominated by only one class, or is it pretty even among the 80s?

Unholy Death Knights are the current "overpowered spec of the day" (formerly the role of Ret Paladins) so there's tons of those rocking face right now. Beyond that it's pretty difficult to judge, since Blizzard hasn't balanced all of the numbers yet and few people are in Resilience gear. The only really memorable thing are the absolutely enormous Scourge Strike crits. By enormous I'm talking numbers anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000, and since it's Shadow damage, your armor isn't going to do a darn thing to help. Luckily, I was healbotting one of those Unholy Death Knights rather than being on the receiving end. Death Knights are bloody fantastic at keeping people off of Healers, by the way.

yazah asked a couple of questions...

Why does the Scarlet Crusade employ Death Knights in Northrend? Doesn't that seem unlikely since they were slaughtered by them back in Tyr's Hand?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Wowhead releases Wrath talent calculators

For some of you, it may strike you as a little early to be thinking about your level 80 talent builds - especially given that Wrath is still in alpha and everything we think we know about it may change - but I say, it's never too early to theorycraft. That is why I'm pleased to report that Wowhead, having gotten a chance to play some Wrath at WWI, made talent calculators for the Wrath alpha talents, including Death Knights. Now we can play with our shiny new builds to our hearts' content. Paladins and Hunters have not had their talents implemented in the beta yet, so you won't find them there, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Inveterate priest fan that I am, the first thing I did when I got my hands on this was make a build for my holy priest, and this is what I came up with: 14/57/0. Yes, I'm finally excited enough about Holy to spec away from Improved Divine Spirit; Guardian Spirit just looks too good to pass up, at least in its current form. As far as my Rogue goes, it depends on how Murder Spree ends up working, but I'm thinking either 21/50/0 (Cold Blood combat, yay!) or 20/51/0. Death Knights I still can't quite get my head around, but it sure is fun to play with their talents.

Filed under: News items, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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