Forever a Noob posted an awesome rant yesterday. So I’m gonna tee off on it a bit.

Oh, and by the way, Cassieann loves the Forever a Noob blog. There are so few Rogue blogs, compared to the Hunter and Druid craziness out there. She loves the in-depth discussions on all the fights from a Rogue point of view, and even better, Dinaer highlighted a bunch of OTHER Rogue blogs too just a few days ago. So thank you for keeping up the awesome, Dinaer. And if you find some other Combat spec focused Rogue blogs, be sure and give them a shout out too.

Okay, okay, back to the topic.

Forever a Noob posted an awesome rant about Dual Spec Craziness.

Read it, please. You won’t be sorry, even if you totally disagree.

Okay, that’s long enough, get your butt back here. You can read his Rogue strategies on Gluth and Heigan later.

Dual Spec. It’s been talked about a LOT.

I’m sure at some point I talked about it here, and I’m feeling too lazy to wade through my archives to figure out what I said. Hopefully, I will totally contradict myself in this post, it’s fun when I go all nuts like that.

But let’s get into Dinaer’s post a bit.

He says he hates it. I don’t hate it. Not at all.

But I still feel I agree with him.

Confused yet? It’s in the implementation.

Lemme ‘splain.

Where we started.

Matticus posted an article a while back where he made some interesting points about how a Raid Leader/Guild Leader really needs to plan ahead for how their guild will handle loot distribution once things change and players start claiming to have two ‘main’ specs. He said that players came with one main spec to raid, and they will continue to have one main spec. But they will also be able to pick an off set that they can roll for.

Thats what we’re talking about here. In the past, it was not only acceptable but NORMAL for someone to choose a particular, favorite spec of their class, and specialize in being the best at it as possible. The Raid Leader knows what your main spec is, and plans a raid accordingly.

We’ve always had some folks that played multiple specs in the game, because the spec they used for raiding was not really suitable for anything BUT raiding. When loot would drop, they would naturally ask if they could roll on something for their off spec.

An example. In Legatum Ignavis we had a Prot Warrior main tank named Joppers, and he would play Prot in all the raids. When it came time to solo or PvP, he respecced on his own to Arms or Fury. So, naturally he would often want to roll on items that were not strictly ‘Prot’ drops in raids, for his off-spec fun. Everyone agreed, because of course that makes sense. There is more to life than raiding, why only get loot you can only ever use in a raid? But for fairness, the people in the raid that could use it for their main raiding spec got first chance to roll. Once nobody else needed it for a main spec, it was all his.

We also always had folks that played a class that could do more than one thing well in a raid, and at any given time we might have too many of a class, or not enough. Druids are a fine example of a class that can either show up to tank well, OR to heal, depending entirely on the spec and gear worn. And tanks are a spec that, once you have enough, you really don’t want another one. Having three tanks traditionally means you have two useful tanks and one melee DPS that is underperforming compared to the rest of the DPS.

I’ve seen many Druid commenters mention how they love having a Druid off tank because even in a tank spec, the Kitty DPS when a tank is not necessary makes them more useful than most other tank specs. Not even with other DPS, but still better than a Prot Warrior DPS.

That has somewhat remained true, although I’ve seen some Death Knight tank/DPS players that could argue very convincingly about who brings the better DPS in a tank spec.

Still, since a Druid tank might not be necessary in a raid, and there is usually a plethora of DPS, many Druids would gather Healer gear together for an offset, so if tanks are covered, they could go respec and still provide another vital service in a raid.

Changes since Dual Spec was announced.

Since Dual Spec was first announced, the number of folks that have taken gear drops for an ‘off set’ have skyrocketed, though.

It’s as though folks think that, if Dual Spec is built into the game, then they MUST use it. Even if they’ve never had any alternative spec before in their lives.

I’m getting the impression that players whose class is all built around DPS, players that have never before played PvP their entire time in game, will now have a ‘PvP spec’, simply because Blizzard added Dual Specs, and that means you are expected to take advantage of it. 

I can almost anticipate folks saying in Trade chat, “What’s your other spec? You don’t have one? If you don’t have a second spec, you’re not taking full advantage of your class and you’re a noob, noob.” 

The future, and the heart of cranky.

Much like Dinaer, I can see the day coming when a raid leader asks not “what spec are you”, but “what are your two specs, and how much DPS/Spellpower do you have in each”.

And if you can bring DPS, and only DPS… or Heals and only Heals… well, depending on the guild and the raid leader, it possibly leaves you SOL.

Let’s break the source of my crankiness down, shall we?

  • Druids can DPS, heal or tank.
  • Paladins can DPS, heal or tank.
  • Shaman can heal or DPS.
  • Warriors can DPS or tank.
  • Death Knights can DPS or tank.
  • Priests can DPS or heal.

Rogues, Mages, Warlocks, Hunters… they cannot heal. They are not main tanks.

Rogues can Evasion tank, of course, and Warlocks and Hunters have been known in some circumstances to have their pets tank stuff very well. I’m talking normal raid environments and class expectations, not awesome and original gameplay by someone taking their class to new heights of awesome, okay?

Rogues, Mages, Warlocks and Hunters provide DPS and other nice benefits to a raid, but they do not have the capability to switch to heals or tank in mid run if that is what is needed at the time.

This is not the problem. I love Hybrids. I really do. This is not a call to nerf Hybrids.

My problem is, Blizzard originally set it so that you were led to believe that you could either choose a class that did many things fairly well, or choose a class that did one thing extremely well.

I know that when I chose my class, the Druid, I knew up front that I could expect to be able to choose to do damage pretty good (ranged or melee), to cast some decent heals, and to take a lot of hits… but I’d never be as good of a tank as a Prot Warrior, never as good of a healer as a Holy Priest, never be as good of a melee DPS as a Rogue, and never as good of a ranged DPS caster as a Mage.

This has changed over time, but when I started, that’s the way it was. Those are the expectations that were set.

I also knew that Hunters and Warlocks were good ranged DPS… but they weren’t expected to be AS good at DPS as Mages and Rogues because they had the added benefit of a pet to help them out. Blizzard listed them as great SOLO classes. Why? They had a buddy to play with built right into the class, of course.

Over time, I believe that the lack of an easy and cheap way to change specs has led to the way Blizzard has worked more on balancing everyone to be more viable or equal in raiding. 

Now, personally, I think Blizzard has worked pretty hard to at least try and have each DPS, healer or tank spec, regardless of class, be fairly even. They certainly haven’t succeeded, but I think they are trying all the time.

Each one brings it’s own flavor, it’s own style, and despite the way the mechanics are starting to get so damn similar, each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses.

So, sure, Hybrids have been allowed, in each of their specs, to creep up to be equal to those with only one strength, but it took a conscious decision to spend gold, gather gear, redo toolbars, and basically revamp your character every time you respec to fulfill the other roles. You have to take those extra steps of hearthing to a trainer, paying the money, putting your gear on, getting your macros and toolbars straight.

It’s not hard, but it takes a determined effort. You don’t do it on the fly in the middle of a raid without shutting the run down for 10 minutes.

It still felt unfair that you got to have one character at max level that was able to do whatever your heart desired while someone else got a rock, but at least you still had to work for it when you chose to change.

The crankiness?

If my Druid can now, all in one character, walk into a raid or instance and, within seconds, either be a main healer, main tank or equitable melee or ranged DPS, whatever the Raid Leader wants at the time, AND be as good at it as the other classes are in each role, and the Rogue or Mage can only be a DPS, a DPS or a DPS?

That’s BULLSHIT.

Why would a Raid Leader want a Rogue or Mage anymore? The Rogue and Mage bring nothing but DPS. 

Why are we supposed to want to bring the Rogue? Why are we supposed to want to bring the Mage?

BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER AT DPS THAN ANY FREAKING HYBRID, THAT’S WHY!

But ARE they?

You tell me.

Apples to apples, pre-Naxx gear to Pre-Naxx gear, are Rogues and Mages more powerful DPS and more useful CC than any Hybrid class can be?

Well, from personal experience, I know that when I look at DPS scores, I see Hunters at the top, Retribution Paladins and Death Knights coming REAL close behind, and Rogues and Mages have to work their ass off to squeeze every last drop of utility out of their class to hang tough on their heels.

Excsue me, but thats just bullshit.

If Blizzard really are going to open the gates to Dual Spec without any negative side effects, in a raid, without a cooldown, with the only stipulation being that you not actually be in combat at that particular moment, which is what they are saying right now, then they need to return to the heart of the classes that aren’t Hybrids.

Read the descriptions on Blizzards’ own WoW website!

Let’s break this down;

From Blizzards own description of the classes;

Mages wield the elements of fire, frost, and the arcane to destroy or neutralize their enemies. They are a robed class that excels at dealing massive damage from afar, casting elemental bolts at a single target, or raining destruction down upon their enemies in a wide area of effect. Mages can also augment their allies’ spell-casting powers, summon food or drink to restore their friends, and even travel across the world in an instant by opening arcane portals to distant lands.  

Comments: Excellent primary ranged damage dealers  
 

Rogues are a lightly armored melee class capable of dealing massive damage to their enemies in a flurry of attacks. They are masters of stealth and assassination, passing by enemies unseen and striking from the shadows, then escaping from combat in the blink of an eye. Rogues can also craft poisons that damage or cripple their enemies, reducing their effectiveness in battle. Groups will find rogues valuable, for not only do they deal massive damage, but they can open locked doors or chests, and disarm hidden traps as well. 
 
Comments: Favorite among those who like to deal damage 

 
I know this is long, but by God I think it proves my main point here.

Blizzards’ whole design concept of Mage and Rogue was to say, okay, you have all these other options, these neat classes open to you. And they sound very, very cool. But, even though they can’t heal, or have a pet, or tank… if you want to be the most destructive ranged DPS or the deadliest melee DPS… you should pick a Mage or a Rogue.

That’s what they said!

Thus endeth my rant. So long as you had to pick a spec, and stick with it, having Blizzard claim they were trying to balance each class/spec to be roughly equivalent, and have you bring the player not the class, well it was just fine. It’s been tons of fun.

But, if you’re going to open up Dual Spec to have no cooldown and be usable in a raid instantly, the only stipulation being that you’re not in combat, then I see two choices;

Either let Rogues and Mages have a Tank or Heal spec that is on par with other Hybrid classes… OR freaking make them the absolute best there is at what they do, which is kill shit!

Personally, I don’t care which. Wild wool gathering here, maybe buff up one Rogue spec Talent Tree to really focus on maximizing Evasion tanking. That sounds like a ton of fun to me. Go for it. Maybe give Mages a Talent Tree that takes the rarely used Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic abilities, and transforms them into a style of group healing or mana regen, where so long as your fellow team members have your buff on them, then whatever damage you do to a target, then those team members get a percentage of Health or Mana back, depending on which buff you gave them. Make it a damage/group healing/mana support spec.

I don’t know. I just know that, the way it’s going… as much as I dearly want Dual Specs so my Shaman can be Elemental while I solo, and Restoration when I group, nice and fast and easy.. I think Rogues and Mages, and to some extent Hunters and Warlocks, are all getting hosed.

At least Hunters and Warlocks were told they were getting a pet, and weren’t expected to be DPS gods right up front.

Whew! I’m glad I got that out of my system. I now return you to your regularly scheduled time wasting activities. Have fun!

93 Responses to “Dual Spec? I agree with the Noob!”
  1. Kirk says:

    The answer – the reason – is PVP. If the Rogue and the Mage out-DPS everyone, then those are going to be the majority players in that aspect.

    Now theoretically these are balanced by defense and flexibility. The Druid in DPS mode theoretically balances the DPS shortfall by both resisting and healing some of the other player’s DPS. The “pure” healers were supposed to be able to neutralize so much damage their relatively tiny DPS would be at least notionally equivalent. That’s theory, but we all know the difference between that and practice.

    So the great equalization – the reason hybrids are for all intents and purposes as good as pure in the respective “pure” roles – is due to PVP. Is this good? Bad? The value depends on where you’re standing, of course. shrug

  2. Jardal says:

    The problem with making rogues and mages the absolute best on killing things all the time is that, then you have the problem with why would you bring a hybrid class? So you have to balance classes so everyone has a fair shake… but now why would you bring a rogue or mage? It’s a problem the game has had for a long time.

    As far as dual specs… I say keep the level requirement and I would like to see the gold level lowered. I haven’t hit the level cap yet on my main and remember a few short months ago how painfully expensive it was if I wanted to TRY to heal or TRY to tank in their respective specs. Now I have some money where I could do it, but I’d never get my epic mount. They should also make it so that you have to be at a lexicon or trainer in town, need a regeant out of town, and it’s not usable inside an instance or raid (I can see leaving it usable outside as this would making PUGing easier if someone needed to drop out).

  3. Kevin says:

    You’re missing the main reason why I want a mage and rogue in my raid. They are played by my friends. (The fact that they are 1 and 2 in dps in the raid doesn’t hurt either).

    Additionally, I think people are too quick to gloss over the inherent differences in the classes. Yes, they are smaller than they used to be, but they still are significant.

  4. Azshrin says:

    I think this is something that will have to go out into ‘primetime’ to see how it actually affects things. I can see a number of outcomes, some as bad as you predict, and others where everyone still has a primary ‘raid’ spec and then a non-raid spec. For me personally, that’s what I’m looking to use it for. I’m currently raid cat, but during the non-raid days, I would LOVE being able to switch to tank. I’ve done it occasionally but the 100g (50 each way) fee is just too much some days. So to me, this is a godsend.

  5. Atros says:

    My personal take is that they need to give the ‘pure’ DPS classes forms of utility that hybrids can NOT bring. There are some there already, in being that only the pure classes have aggro dumps, which lets them push DPS harder. However, with the way the game is currently, the utility they bring isn’t enough to truly justify them, when considering that Blizzard has stated that they wanted everybody to DPS at approximately the same level. However, if they perform at a much higher level, then why would you bring hybrid DPS, especially on new content when you’re racing against enrage timers and the like?

  6. kakura says:

    I honestly don’t understand the rage. As a druid, you can, right now, through mods achieve something very similar to dual specs (except for the glyphs) by teleporting to Moonglade, respeccing, and being summoned back. It’s 100g a pop, but the people who care enough to do that don’t care about the cost.

    This is nothing more than a little more of a convenience and an up-front payment.

  7. Niles says:

    Indeed, PvP seems to be among the greater influences of class balance discussion. And that’s fine, since it is a large part of the game. For me (a raiding mage with no interest whatsoever in PvP) it does suck to see the occasional nerf to my chosen role based on an aspect of the game I choose not to participate in, but hey, it’s a part of the game and nobody’s immune to the nerfbat (Iceblock only lasts 10 seconds!).

    That said, great post B^3! It does bring up some interesting considerations, and I know that many among the “pure” classes fear for their raiding slots with other classes being able to pull more mileage out of dual specs. Time will tell, but in the meantime I’m happy with where my class is, and doing my best to make sure that even if the mage class is never the BEST dps out there that at least I can be the best MAGE available for the raid. And that’s something any good raid leader should take seriously when choosing his roster. :)

  8. Kal says:

    There are some limitations to dual speccing that seem to be ignored by those who hate it or fear it.

    The first is gear. Quite simply, people will tend to not give offspec gear to someone when there’s a mainspec who wants it. So sure, a druid can have a healing set, a cat set and a moonkin set – but either they’ll be collecting each set far more slowly, or they’ll be concentrating on one. Whereas that mage has one set from the getgo. This doesn’t matter on farm content where everyone has tons of offspec gear – but it’s farm content, so who cares? There are some cases where there will be some gear overlap (feral cat/bear, moonkin/resto, spriest/holy, elemental/resto) but even then the gear isn’t optimally designed for both specs in most cases.

    Now if you have a raid where anyone can get anything regardless of the time they play in it, you’ve got other problems. I assume that gear is basically equitable, and that at the end of raid X everyone had the same chances to get about the same amount of gear.

    The second is raidbuffs. Rogues and mages have unique abilities that are not easily provided by other classes, and provide and gain unique synergies that aren’t easily provided. Same with hunters and warlocks. This is true for all classes, mind you, but it’s true for them quite a bit.

    The third is types of DPS. Mages are a lot better at AoE than a moonkin is. Rogues are a lot better at single target than a cat is (even though they’re behind).

    The fourth is simply desire. I know of very few prot paladins who have any desire to heal as holy. I know of a lot of druids who have no desire to go moonkin or resto or feral.

    As a raid leader I’d want to bring the top players first. If that means that I’ll favor hybrids sometimes, that’s likely true – but I’d favor those players who excel at playing hybrid roles. Those are pretty rare, and they’d be favored anyway.

  9. sweet says:

    As was already said, if you give one class a dps advantage suddenly youll see raid composition with all mages/rogues. I operate in a serious raiding guild (although it is a ‘casual’ serious raiding guild – we complete all heroic raids in one day and only go for achievements if loot is better) and we bring classes based on what buffs they bring to the raid. Replenishment buff, Paladin blessings, Druid buffs/auras, etc…

    Aside from that, if your DPS we expect you to do a minimum of 3k DPS on all fights and then it’s first come first served. Everyone else goes on standby. Sure, we could narrow down the roster and have only druids and paladins from now on and could most likely clear Ulduar with that composition but I think as long as you can put up the numbers you’ll be fine.

    What makes a person choose a ‘pure’ class over a hybrid? Skill, utility and probably personality. If I enjoy raiding with someone I’ll be more inclined to bring that person.

    Personally I’m going with a PVE Healing and PVE Moonkin spec for my druid. Since our raid really outgears Naxx right now I find myself not having to cast a single heal in most situations. But Sarth3D is a different story. Plus being able to do dailies is going to be nice.

  10. Jorani says:

    I promise i will be good this time. So here goes

    I play a mage, dual spec for me – frost aoe trash, ffb for bosses. I am quite happy to leave tanking/healing to alts
    Warlock – apparently a warlock tanks one of the dragons on arth 3d there is a video somewhere – so demonology for off tank, destruction/affliction for bosses. or destruction for trash, affliction for bosses
    Hunter – beastmaster for offtank, solo, general overall coolness (ask pike) mm for fights where you can’t use pet (lurker below) and sv for trapping and now apparently uber dps
    (sorry i don’t know rogues, but my rogue mate is always respeccing for 10/25 man, not sure why tbh)

    I don’t miss the hybrid nature of my ele shammy when on my mage, i love all the oh shit buttons (blink iceblock etc). As for finding spots in pugs, never had an issue on any toon. Once you have run with people and they can see you know your stuff then you will always find a spot.

    I am looking forward to the change, one of our healers is afk for a couple of weeks, so i will be repeccing my shammy resto/ele at least 4 times this week (ouch). Plus last night we had a shortage of healers, i would be happy to respec at the touch of a button, but the time to reglyph reset bars, etc discourages me (a little lazy i know). TBH i think this is a little “the sky is falling” syndrome and won’t be anywhere near as bad as peoples think. I heal as ele now, carry multiple sets of gear now, only difference is i will do the job better.

    As you can see very pve focused but thats how i wow so a little biased.

    But, as always, an enjoyable read.

  11. Ratshag says:

    Some good points, both here and in FoN.
    Me concern with dual specs is slightly differents. Suppose a Raid Leader be pickin’ his crew, and he’s got two choices fer an off-tank. Both good tanks, both well-geared. But one gots lotta extra time in between raids, and done used this ta farm heroics fer a set of dps gear, plus spent the money on gems and enchants and glyphs. Obviously, this bugger’s gonna be more attractive ta the RL. So, could end up raising the bar on what be expected of tanks (and healers). Means there’s gonna be winners and losers, and it ain’t at all clear ta me why we needs that.

  12. Neil says:

    I have to disagree with you here, Bear. I don’t think dual specs will suddenly send hybrids to the top of the VIP list.

    Let’s take the example of a Naxx-25 run. Every encounter needs at least one tank. Some require as many as three. For healers, I would say the required amount ranges from three to six – the exact numbers are not important, let’s just use these for the sake of argument.

    You’ll have at least four non-DPS players per encounter, and at most nine. Right now, this means you bring three tanks and six healers to the raid, and have the “extras” in a given encounter DPS to the best of their ability – i.e. poorly – in tank or heal spec. When dual specs are available, those people will be able to switch to a DPS spec for those fights.

    With or without dual specs, you have fifteen raid spots that will be all DPS, all the time. For these fifteen people, having a second spec would provide absolutely no utility. If I show up to a raid that’s only looking for DPS with my dual balance/resto spec and say “take me over the Rogue/Hunter/Mage/Warlock since I can heal!” they will probably say “we already have all the healers we need. who cares about your healing – how’s your DPS?”

    “Why would a Raid Leader want a Rogue or Mage anymore? The Rogue and Mage bring nothing but DPS.”

    For those fifteen raid slots, DPS is all they need to bring. And before someone brings it up – between Tricks of the Trade, Master Poisoner, Savage Combat, Arcane Intellect, Focus Magic, Blood Pact, Fel Intelligence, Replenishment, Ferocious Inspiration, Trueshot Aura, and Hunting Party, they’re all able to bring a bit of raid utility as well.

    In summary, I don’t see dual specs as giving hybrid DPS an unfair edge. I see it as giving healers and tanks the ability to DPS when it would be more helpful. If anything, it places a burden upon hybrids who are healing or tanking to have viable DPS specs and gear when they raid.

  13. bigbearbutt says:

    I still don’t see anybody that actually plays a Rogue or Mage telling me that their DPS is just fine compared to other DPS classes at the same gear level.

    I don’t actually care what raiding guilds do, we bring the player, having Dual Spec is just going to be that much easier making sure folks have characters that can come take part in our ten man raids if they want to.

    For us, Dual Spec is 100% win.

    I still maintain that it’s fine if Mages and Rogues do not have other specs… IF they are the best they are at what they do, which is kill stuff. And the argument about PvP balance is noted, but dismissed, since that’s what they told us Resilience was added for.

    Until I hear one Mage or Rogue honestly tell me that he has no problem, in equivalent gear progression, to matching DPS with Hunters and Death Knights, then I call BS.

    You can’t make them better? Fine. Then make them equal.

  14. Rayvynn says:

    I just thought I would note:

    “Players will be able to switch between their talent specs by visiting any Lexicon of Power provided they’ve paid for the ability to have a secondary spec. Lexicons of Power will be available in major cities, and inscribers will also be able to create a new item that summons one. Anyone can purchase this item, but it requires a ritual of several players to summon it for use by the party. It’s similar to a repair bot in that it will exist in the world for a short duration. It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be able to switch specs while in combat or Arenas. While you won’t be able to switch your spec without the Lexicon, you will still be able to look at your secondary spec whenever you want to.”
    (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/dualspec.html)

    Now, how much do you suppose Scribes will sell that shit for? Considering a lot of people don’t really feel like starting a new toon to pick up Inscription or dropping a main profession (especially if their guild depends on them for their materials and professions). I just feel a lot of the complaining, while valid, doesn’t take into account that most hybrids that tank/heal will make their specs tank/heal so as to free up possibly heal/dps hybrids. I know that’s how my guild is going to function. As for the dual-dps specs…well, just means they can do more fiddling around with their specs, eh?

  15. Felkan says:

    I posted this int he OP thread, but I’ll do it here as well…

    As mentioned above hardcore a-hole guilds already do this (make players switch with an alt mid-run). If you are playing in one of those guilds, you know what you are getting into. And probably have an alt that fills your future “dual-spec” role.

    For the rest of us, I don’t see it as an issue. Except maybe the risk of having a bunch of noob DPS, healers and tanks running around in nice gear but no skills.

    Bag space isn’t much of an issue. I currently carry 4 full sets of gear in my bags now (Druid) plus a couple of special pieces (extra hit for cat, extra sta for bear, etc.). Who needs bag space once you are done questing? And once I figure out what two specs ill stick with, I’ll drop the other two sets in the bank. I’ll probably have to start collecting grey items just so I don’t feel so empty.

  16. Chaninn says:

    From a DPS player standpoint, (I have Hunter and SPriest), I’m looking forward to this for one reason and one reason only: Healing.
    I loves me some Shadow damage but there have been FAR too many times where I couldn’t find a healer for an instance to save my RLife. With Dual Specs, when this situation happens, I’ll be able to say “Heck, I’ll heal, bring in some more DPS!” and not have to miss a dungeon or raid.
    I can see where in the larger raids this new ability could influence Raid Leaders to pick some over others but I have to say, from a leveling or new 80″s standpoint, its all win.

  17. Korso says:

    The foundation of what you have mentioned, BBB, is something that has had me concerned and grumbling for quite some time. All of the way back to TBC coming out in fact. I can see where Blizzard wants to make everyone feel like they are included. However, due to the way they constructed the game in the beginning (ie Rock, Paper, Scissors), trying to fix it now is nearly impossible. Does it being impossible mean I’m ok with it? Not in the slightest. I want the game to be perfect and I hope they can figure out how. I don’t think dual specs is the way to fix it. I do think it is a nice feature but it will have some serious ramifications.

    I can imagine taking more hybrid healers/dps on a progression raid. I can see it becoming the standard in fact. Imagine that you have one boss that is a DPS intensive fight (Patchwerk comes to mind) and then you have another fight where each mob needs to be off tanked and deals a bunch of damage. If it only takes 5 seconds to switch from DPS to healing or offtanking, isn’t that faster than making a corpse run because you didn’t have enough DPS on the first boss and/or not enough heals/tanks on the second? Wouldn’t you prefer to take a class that can do multiple rolls as well as a class who can only do one? I would think you would… and that’s not a good thing for the “pure” classes.

    @Rayvynn Currently on the PTR there is no reagent requirement spec switch. You just have to be out of combat and a 5 sec cast timer starts. At the end of the 5 seconds everything switches from one spec to another.

  18. Kattrinsaa says:

    I like the idea behind dual speccing, but I agree, implementation sux. There are certain fights where I can see a definite advantage to having people swap roles.
    (grobulus to reduce melee multiple slimes, KT to cut down on melee in the 10 yard range window. (have ferals respec to resto/balance for more healz/caster dps, have heal priests swap to shadow to cut down on excess healers, pallys swap to resto if they aren’t going to be main/add tanking)

    I wouldn’t set it for anytime anywhere as long as you aren’t in combat, I would have a summonable trainer pet/respeccing device/engineer item that costs 10g each time it’s summoned, on a long cooldown (a la portable mailbox.. which is too long), and could be used by anyone present. (like the scrapbot/repairbot) The summon would have the option to let you respec main spec, respec alt spec, or swap.

    While on the subject of scrap/repair bots.. can we please get the inventory of the outland version of the repairbot updated? Where’s my spineleaf???

    Guildwars (which is a far cry from wow, or even from competing with wow) allows you to change your spec/action buttons (you only have 8 total) only when in a city, and is totally free.

  19. Neil says:

    @Rayvynn: Currently in the PTR, once you buy the dual-spec capability, you can do it anytime and anywhere without reagents or cooldowns unless you’re in combat, BG, or arena. As of now, Scribes play no role in the dual-spec process.

    @Bear: To clarify – is your argument that the newfound ease of switching specs puts a higher importance on pure DPS classes excelling in comparison to DPS-specced hybrid classes? If so, I disagree.

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with you that, give or take a few encounters that favor specific abilities, all the damage dealing classes should scale more or less equally well with gear. Why bother to play class X spec Y when class A spec B can do the same job, but better? The fact that some damage class/spec combinations drastically outperform others is just as unpalatable to me as it is to you.

    However, I don’t think that dual-specs will aggravate this problem. Right now, 50 gold (or 100 gold for a “round trip”) is not difficult to come by. Between a quick hearth and summon back, I can go from resto to balance in something like two minutes. Now I can do it in five seconds. Do those two minutes and 100 gold really make that much of a difference? They were never a real obstacle, just a borderline-trivial hassle.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that if my Balance Druid DPS exceeds a comparably geared Arcane Mage’s DPS, or vice versa, then it’s a major issue and needs to be resolved ASAP. Whether or not I can easily switch to Resto between fights doesn’t enter the picture.

  20. Kal says:

    BBB – maybe you could ask these mages at premonition about whether their DPS is okay or not. This was the top kill on Patchwerk, so I figure most of their players are good. Don’t know what else to tell you. Our mages typically top our charts against our DKs and hunters, though whether that says good things about our mages or bad things about our hunters and DKs I’m not sure.

    I do think that rogue dps is a bit low relative to others, but I’ve seen no indication that mage dps is particularly low at the moment. It does seem like it’s harder to play a mage well than it is to play a DK well, so maybe mediocre mages are worse than mediocre DKs?

    As as noted by others, hardcore guilds do this already and pay the respec cost and wait 5 minutes. It’s inconvenient, but if utility beats convenience, so be it.

  21. Manxome says:

    A thought: perhaps the “out of combat” requirement is only there *for now*. As in only on the PTR, for testing purposes. Certainly, doing so makes it much more likely that PTR characters will bother with the system and consequently give it a workout.

    I know I’ve been pretty excited about dual-spec, but my expectations were that it would be a long cool down or some other inconvenience to swap from my intended “Deep Tank” build and “Deep Kitty” build. Personally, I’d like the ability to assess my utility to the party before the run and pick a spec that is strong for that intent.

    As an aside, I love the Off Tank role and happily step into it, allowing our other tanks to main tank. I’ve been debating my “deep tank” inclination and wondering if my dual spec will be “off tank” and “deep kitty DPS” instead. I do know that if its “switch on the fly” between every encounter (as it is currently on the PTR), It’ll easily be “Deep Tank” and “Deep Kitty”. I imagine all other tanking classes will do the same (Tank/Ret, Prot/Fury, DK Tank/DK DPS) which will have an effect of making every tanking class equally desirable for that off tanking role.

    I agree completely with your concerns about the “pure” classes. Its annoyed me that my off-tank kitty spec is competitive with the rogues and mages in our guild for DPS. That never happened in BC.

  22. Copey says:

    There is a problem with Wow. It’s somewhat broken, especially if you log on later at night when less people are playing. It’s the lack of tanks, and the severe lack of healers. At least on my server, and many others according to forum comments. What does this have to do with the conversation?

    DPS looking for a group are a dime a dozen compared to healers and tanks. That is not meant as a slight on DPS. It’s just that there are so many more of them looking. I feel extremely lucky that I picked a druid. The other night on finishing our naxx run, I was main healing it. I have a powerful healing set. One of our tanks couldn’t come, and there we set, looking for a tank on Monday night. We happen to find a healer that can come, and boom, I switch over to tanking, which I also am fairly geared/skilled at.

    The difference between what happened Monday and what would happen if dual specs was already out, is it wouldn’t have cost me 200 gold to do it. Cost me 50 to respect. I caught the AH at a bad time and bought several glyphs for over 45 gold a pop. It took me over 15 minutes to do this. Had I not been personally willing to spend the gold, all 9 of us, and that healer that had never been to Naxx before would not have been able to raid. The group would have broken up, all of us saved except for the new healer. Bummer. Not everybody is as diligent in farming gold as I am though, and not every body can afford or is willing to dump 200 gold on a respec for one night of raiding.

    I totally agree that in cat form, even speced and glyphed for it, I should not pump out more damage then a mage or any other DPS only spec. Personally I’m terrible at cat DPS, no matter how much I read over at Runy’s site. I can’t be taught apparently. But even if I was good, Mages/Locks/Rogues/Hunters should always be able to out perform me with comparable gear. I do believe that.

    But my point is, I see so many fury warriors, and shadow priests I have to wonder if given the chance to easily change in to tank or healing roles with out being penalized massive amounts of gold, will there be more groups running things? When ever I’m specced heals, I see groups in trade searching for a tank for H VH (or vice versa when I’m specced tank). I could totally do that, but is it worth 200 gold? (not to mention if I’m switching back afterward to play my main raid spec for my guild). I believe dual specs will make it so some of those shadow priests, elemental shamans, and balance druids will be more willing to go heal stuff and for those balance druids, fury warriors, and dps DKs will go tank stuff.. Thus, more runs for everybody including pure DPS classes, and more fun for everybody. A DPS person that has no problems getting groups because he is on during prime time or has guild runs all the time may have a different opinion. But what about the 5 dps DKs looking to run “any heroic” but can’t, because not enough healers/tanks are around?

    Fore the most part I agree with the “bring the person not the class” that blizzard is pushing. But, um, you can’t bring anything if you can’t find a dang healer or tank. If more are available, more runs for all.

  23. Larísa says:

    Were you a mage in an earlier life?
    I’ve never ever read a rant from a non mage with such a compassion and understanding for our situation.
    Thankfully enough I’m in a guild that wants me for some reason, in spite of my uselessnes compared to a hybrid class. But yeah, Blizzard really should think it through once again what the purpose of mages are, except for taxi serivces (which nowadays to great extent are provided by the permanent portals anyway.)

  24. Saniel (Sen'jin) says:

    I’m not keen on the idea being able to switch specs at the drop of a hat. I agree with both you and Dinaer (who, incidentally is my GM and I had no idea he ran a blog) in that it definitely defeats some of the purpose to speccing. I was okay with the idea of having to do it at a Libram or having a Scribe be able to summon a temporary libram (with the assistance of other players) for raid changes. But this recent announcement has gone too far.

    That said, I’m still supremely excited about dual specs. My main is a Druid who, right now, is talented sub-optimally for tanking. While I spend most of my group time running around as a bear (and loving the hell out of it, something I never thought I’d say a year ago) I also hate running my kitty tail around out in the solo world and thinking, “If I could move my talents around a little, I could be so much more efficient at this.” Also, when going on instance runs as a cat, I constantly am embarrassed by my insanely low dps. Yes, I mostly tank, but there are other tanks in the guild that need gear, too. And for as much as I love the challenge of being a tank, sometimes it’s fun to let loose and just shred some mobs to death. (No pun intended.) I’m a penny miser, though, so I never pay for respecs and just do the best I can. (Yes, my specs would both be feral…one optimized for bear and the other for cat.)

    And then there’s my Shaman. Once he became a serious alt (rather than a justification for buying BC while I was still around level 45) I decided he was going to be Resto at the top levels. But when leveling, rep grinding, or generally questing, Resto is just tedious. Especially for my play style. I’m all about Enhancement. He just hit 80 last week and I find myself between a rock and a hard place. I want to switch him over to resto so I can start running dungeons and getting him geared up to maybe run a raid or two when I’m not needed as a tank. On the flip side, even though I’ve been compiling a resto set while leveling, it’s not that great and I know I still have two and a half zones of quests that can give some very good blue rewards for heading into the 5-man stuff. But the idea of continuing to quest while specced resto is 100% unappealing to me given the time that I spent doing that in BC. The dual spec system is a god-send for this toon.

  25. Dinaer says:

    Thanks for the link, BBB. I don’t rant very often. Maybe you inspired me. :)

    Also, I appreciate what you said. I have a lot of problems with the implementation of dual spec, including the ones I ranted about on my blog as well as others that you brought up. However, if I had pointed out that rogues were going to be hurt by this, I would have been written off as QQing. That point coming from you, who stands to benefit, gives the complaints more legitimacy.

    In point of fact, I do not personally stand to be hurt by this at all. I am in a casual guild, top dps in the guild, and GM to boot. I’m not going to be left out of raids in favor of a dual-spec hybrid. So my concerns are not founded from personal whining.

    I just don’t like the direction the game is going. Some point out that hardcore guilds were already doing this, but this removes the inconvenience. You know what? Let it stay inconvenient. If guilds want to min/max the raids, let them have to work at it. Why does everything have to be so easy?

    I’ll go back to my chess analogy. Its inconvenient to me that rooks can only move left-right or forward-back. It would be easier for me if they could move in every direction. Yet no one would play chess with me if I replaced my rooks with queens. Even if both sides changed rooks for queens, thus keeping the game balanced, it would just seem wrong. That’s how I feel about this change, along with a host of other changes that have come along. It just seems wrong.

    We’re losing our identities. Would you rather be know as a feral druid, or just a druid? Are there going to be such things as holy priests anymore? Or will they just be called priests from now on?

  26. ARA says:

    I think its a fantastic change, and I cant wait for it. Dont get all the rants though I know they’re mostly in fun. I agree with some other posters re dps classes – I’ve seen a lot of mages play their class really badly since wrath. I blame the player, not the class. Having just swapped guilds to a more hardcore one, the average raid dps is 20% higher, even though everyone is wearing exactly the same gear. Noob dpsers will always be noob dpsers right?
    Personally, I’ll probably dual spec to resto – that will be my pvp spec. Dont fancy raid healing too much.

  27. Avid Lurker says:

    I have had three primary concerns about the upcoming dual specs, but I’ve really struggled to put my finger on them as effectively as like you just did. I put together a small piece explaining the my concerns and sent it off to a WoW -related blog, but they didn’t do anything with it, so I’ll summarize below:

    (1) I apparently don’t understand what purpose dual specs is designed to solve. Current respec costs are very low. Fifty gold is EASILY earned by spending an hour or less doing dailies (even as holy/resto with frequent stops to gather, skin and/or mine.) The only significant expense that I can see is the glyphs which is easily solved if blizzard treated glyphs similarly to how they treat abilities. )My appologies to scribes, but it looks like you’re getting a rough deal with dual specs anyway.) Dual Specs is NOT be a solution to a financial problem because there really isn’t much of a financial problem to start with.

    (2) The proposed dual spec setup doesn’t provide relief for what I consider to be the biggest (only?) problem with the current setup. Players who are still leveling should be able to respec more easily than players at the level cap. Why? Because leveling players need to have the opportunity to explore their classes full potential, try new things and make spec mistakes. With the relative expense of respeccing for low(er) level characters being significatnly higher (I mean RELATIVELY because 50g/100g is far more accessibly for a level 80 than a level 30) two things result:
    – characters are boring min/max’ed cookies cutouts, there is no experimentation or variety.
    – new/uninformed players have 10 points in each talent tree by level 40 and have to dance on a mailbox for 3 hours or are stuck with a gimped character.

    (3) The “I will need on gear for my other spec” problem is going to take today’s frustrations of running PUGs and raise the pain up to number eleven.

    Throw in the extremely valid point in BBB’s post and this whole dual spec thing is starting to look like a bad idea to me.

    Then again, I’m pretty down on WoW at the moment. Not sure why… I do know that I definitely miss Outland :(

  28. Avid Lurker says:

    Darn. I shouldn’t have rushed that post. Look at all those errors :(

  29. apollos says:

    I disagree with pretty much everything that the linked post said he was worried about. if I was in a raid group that said respec or don’t raid I would leave that group. As for the hybrid dps debate, because that is what this is, any dps spec needs to be equal to other dps specs in order for both to be brought. Also your not factoring in skill. Ill take a talented high dps rogue over a druid that can switch roles to a dps but sucks as a dps.
    Maybe its wierd of me to let people play the specs they want to. I bring 4 tanks into naxx because that’s who we have and that’s what they want to be. Guess what, we still kill things. When duel specs come out I’m not going to expect one of those tanks to go dps if they don’t want to, and that’s what the problem seems to be. let people play how they want to play. There is no need to force people to do somthing they don’t want to if things are dying like they are susposed to.

  30. Dorgol says:

    I think people are over thinking this particular issue. Yes, hybrids can satisfy more than one role in a raid if they have the gear for it. However, this has ALWAYS been the case. Dual spec doesn’t add a new function, it just makes and existing function easier.

    Also consider… DPS is MUCH easier to find than tanks and healers. Why would a raid leader bring a mage or a rogue? Because there are mages and rogues EVERYWHERE.

    If anything, it’s those people who play hybrids in a **DPS** role that should be worried. Now when the call goes out “LFM OS 25″ and I reply that I’ll go as a Ret Paladin, I guarantee there will be times where the reply will be “can you come as holy with your dual spec?”.

  31. bigbearbutt says:

    Hey Kal… do you really think the tone of your comment was friendly? Really? I’m kinda curious. I certainly didn’t take it that way.

    Neil, you are absolutely right. I didn’t articulate my point well at all.

    The point I wanted to make was that I feel, personally, that if you are going to have some classes able to bring DPS, AND Heals, AND tank ability to a raid, then those classes should not be BETTER than other classes that only have DPS to bring.

    And I also feel that, as things stand now, Mages and Rogues, the two classes that were supposed to be the best and brightest at straitforward DPS, are not when in equivalent gear as some other classes. I think that is a shame, and that they should at least be raised as equals. And no, I don’t have a problem with them doing even more DPS, like 5% more, than other DPS classes that have pets or heals/tank specs. After all, DPS is their ultimate specialty. I certainly don’t think that Mages and Rogues doing 5% more DPS on the average would make raids consists solely of tanks, healers, Mages and Rogues. Not any more than raids currently consist solely of tanks, healers, and Hunters.

    Having Dual Specs does make it easier for people with these extra Talent Trees available to switch at a whim. But Dual Spec or NO Dual Spec wasn’t really the point, should not have been included in the damn post, was really just what kicked off my thinking about the entire issue. I think that is just one reason this post fell apart.

  32. nekoken says:

    From what I’ve noticed pure DPS classes are already less desirous, at least that’s true for rogues. Pre-Naxx, ret paladins and DKs out DPS rogues while bringing other utility to a group. I’m not really sure how dual specs is going to make that better or worse.

    Personally, as a rogue I want dual specs because I have about 5 to 10 points different between my PvP Mutilate spec and my raid Mutilate spec. At the moment I usually am specced somewhere inbetween as a compromise which means I’m a slightly gimped jack of all trades.

    Oh, and evasion tanking = hell. I fricking hate doing it and can’t believe someone would suggest that as a sane idea. Without a doubt it is the most tiring thing I’ve done in WoW.

  33. Kal says:

    Not sure I ever said that my comment was all that friendly, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Sorry if I came across as a dick. :(

    I guess my experiences with mages at least differ significantly from yours when talking about high DPS. They’re consistently top or at the top of encounters we have, and the classes that challenge them are warlocks and hunters (or the occasional warrior or ret pally depending on the silliness of the encounter). That seems pretty reasonable to me. I do think that DPS-only classes should be head and shoulders above any class that can spec to tanks or healers either; this was the situation in TBC, and it ended up meaning that unless you brought significant raid buffs that buffed those already awesome DPS classes you weren’t brought; you were really hurting your raid.

    I really don’t want to have to cancel raids because the enhancement shaman isn’t there to buff the melee group, or know we’re going to take about a minute longer downing a boss because our rogues didn’t show up. I’d rather bring people who can do reasonably equivalent damage in the class and spec that they want to play, and if that means that rogues and mages do the same damage as cats and moonkin, so be it. I don’t think I really want to punish someone because they fell in love with playing shamen but never really want to heal.

    I dunno. I kinda feel like this sort of thing gets ironed out in the end by priorities. If someone wants to dual spec and do both things equally, they’re not going to have the gear that the person that concentrates in one does, so they’re not going to be as competitive in that role. A mage is always going to be going after DPS gear; a moonkin who also wants to do resto isn’t. A rogue will be going after DPS gear; a feral that wants to bear and cat won’t be. Until everyone’s got all the gear they want it should be the case that the people that have no interest or ability to play multiple specs will be better off than those that do. And when everyone’s got the gear they want, does it matter that much that mages and moonkin do about the same damage if they’re about the same skill?

  34. Tyme White says:

    Perhaps I am overly optimistic but thinking about it logically, I would implement the dual-spec options first, THEN go back and tweak/balance classes, especially the DPS classes. I could see them wanting to see the pattern in particular behaviors and they said before there would have to be tweaking after dual-spec goes live. Blizzard has shown they’ll throw a fix in quickly so there is no reason to assume Mages (who do well on my server) and Rogues will remain broken.

    All classes had their time in the spotlight. As you said Hunters weren’t told they would be DPS gods but what happened? They topped the charts, right? Perhaps part of the solution is scaling all the classes back (ie: Hunter nerf), implement the dual-spec, and see what happens next. Many of the Mage changes aren’t even on the PTR yet. This is why I strongly suggest that people get on the PTR and speak up, especially Rogues because they really need some help.

    Also keep in mind that just because people can hybrid doesn’t mean they will. I CAN (as a DK) tank but I don’t. So I might have the same problem as Mages and Rogues – because I don’t dual-spec they won’t accept me. Even if I did dual-spec to tank it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.

    About gear issues – yeah, that’s going to be a mess because people are greedy and think they can do whatever they want because the internet is anonymous. That’s a behavioral problem, not a game problem. Wise guilds will get on the ball now tighten things up because dual-spec hits live since it is nipping bad behavior that doesn’t need to be there in the first place.

  35. scaresome says:

    My fear of the dual-spec is of the potential to funnel the players into more and more narrow roles. If our choices on character and spec are dependent on the approval of a Raid Leader accepting us; then we were are in competition with each other to get access to game content. If the sole advanced content is for 10 and 25 man raids; then we must adhere to the standards set by the perceived solution to the problem. I object to this!

    If the game evolves so one must be an uber-gamer and a master of several roles, geared and an expert in tactics then the end game content is not varied enough. Being in a hard-core raiding guild moves us beyond the idea of “game” into “lifestyle” which really isn’t a bad thing on the short term. Still, the idea that we have to get more and more specific and exact in our gear, spec and play-style feels that our universe is getting more narrow. I object to this. All too soon, “game over.”

    While I might dream of Blizzard opening the cap to level 90 or offering a bunch of interesting hard level 80 five or three man instances; I know that won’t happen. All the variety of leveling, choosing where to go to level, exploring new lands and finding recipes and critters and just plain strange stuff is reduced to a very big herd of cattle racing through content to get to Uldaur when one hits 80. They say 80 is where the real fun begins, I’m not so sure. This illusion of urgency is breaking apart guilds because we feel the fear of being “less” than the next player. We have to compete against each other to get to content ~ this blows.

  36. Seleria says:

    Not that it’s particularly important, but in all the raids I’ve seen, with some pretty equally (but well) geared people, our top dps (say in the top 3) have been:
    Hunters
    Mages
    Warlocks
    Enhancement Shaman
    and a DK.

    Rogues are definitely gimped on dps right now in pve. Supposedly it’s because they’re too overpowered in pvp if they’re buffed in pve.

    Last I saw, and I’m not well-read on this, was that there was going to be a 1-day cooldown on spec changes and you had to use the lexicon of power to swap specs. I haven’t fully read the dual spec info since yesterday, so my info’s a little old.

    I know I’m not one of the people that will be taking advantage of the dual spec option. I’m a priest, I heal. I don’t dps. I have a mage to do that. My druid is a bear, she swaps to kitty when needed and has a pretty craptastic healing set for when that’s absolutely necessary. And my mage is for pve, not pvp… so only need one spec. I don’t think it’s worth 1000g to swap to specs I don’t use.

    However, by the same token, I know a warlock in my guild who does arena on a regular basis, spends 300+ gold a week on respecs. He obviously will benefit from being able to swap specs to pvp when he wants easily.

  37. Seleria says:

    (dammit I wish they had an “edit comment” button)

    I just wanted to add that I 100% agree with the “pure classes” thing. I rolled a mage instead of a hybrid because I wanted to chuck fireballs into faces and watch things die and die fast. I rolled a priest as my healer because in my eyes, it’s the “pure” healing class. I picked them because I expected them to be among the best at what they do. So when the “balancing” began… I ranted for a while about how it wasn’t fair that an elemental shaman in much less gear than me could dps more than my mage. My healer was being out-healed by resto shammies and their chain heal. It’s not important, but it was just kind of rocking the boat of preconceptions I had.

    I fully agree that when you roll a character, you should be choosing whether you want to be the best at one thing (or among the best rather), or pretty good at multiple things. It should be a conscious decision that isn’t whined about when you hit max level and your hybrid can’t dps as well as the “pure” classes.

  38. Zack says:

    Dual spec sounds cool for people who want to PvE and PvP, I totally think it would rock for that.

    I have questions/concerns how it will work in raids. I have a Tankadin, Resto Druid and Warlock. Right now, i run a lot of PUGs and have been successful getting into them.

    My main worry is that people are going to expect every tank/healer to be the opposite spec as their second spec, “since DPS classes are a dime a dozen”.

    Are PUG leaders going to only take straight dps classes as dps and ask/expect that hybrids have to spec into heal/tank?

    How about loot drops in those runs, right now it typically is main spec roll, then off. This works since you have to make a choice as to which spec you want to take to a raid. If i am asked to tank on my Resto Druid and Majestic Dragon figurine drops, do i get a shot at it? I imagine sometimes this would be discussed in raid, but often it happens in whispers from the Raid Leader to you.

    As shown by BBB’s post on the no other rogue raid leader, loot is an issue and often in PUG’s it is not a group decision….or not everyone is involved in the decision until it is to late.

  39. Ngita says:

    I think your wrong, Just because your mages and your rogues might be having issues doesnt mean that all rogues and mages are having problems. I checked 5 WWS from my guild. Who makes up the top 10. Mages/rogues/hunter/warlocks. The 4 pure dps classes. Who else is their. The titan grip warrior who just got nerfed, the dw dps dk who just got nerfed and ret pally. Note I am not talking about pre- naxx. I am talking about players who have the best enchants and are wearing 90% Best in slot. Blizzard doesnt balance around undergeared players who may or may not be playing as well as they could be.

    [b]I also knew that Hunters and Warlocks were good ranged DPS… but they weren’t expected to be AS good at DPS as Mages and Rogues [/b] Blizzard disaagrees with you on this. Their isnt three teirs of dps only two. Pure dps and hybrids. Hunters and locks are pure dps.

    Personally I wil be using my dual specs for holy and pvp holy because thats what I flick between week afer week.

    Even in the worst case how is this different from the poor prot pally we used to have in sunwell, He would tank the 1st boss, sit out for 2nd, Tank 3rd boss, Spec ret for 4th and 5th and go holy for KJ, then back to prot for BT. Was this a good thing for him? No he would rather be prot the whole time.

  40. Ian says:

    With dual specs, pures will only get benched for hybrids when:

    MAX – MIN > HYBRIDS

    Where:
    MAX – The highest optimal number of DPS among all encounters you plan to run
    MIN – The highest optimal number of DPS among all encounters you plan to run
    HYBRIDS – The number of hybrid classes that you’d end up bringing to a raid anyway.

    It’s pretty unlikely that the delta between MAX and MIN will ever be higher than the number of hybrids you bring to a group incidentally. Even if it were the case, realistically pures still wouldn’t get benched as guilds who are min/maxing their raid composition to that degree are likely going to be willing to swap whole characters out between encounters, and they’re going to bring whichever specs are best for an encounter regardless of whether they belong to a hybrid or pure class.

    Hybrids absolutely do get a bit of a free ride in flexibility, but that’s got nothing to do with dual spec, and will literally not make pures any less attractive to groups.

  41. Ian says:

    (All other things being equal, of course. If rogue dps sucks, they’re obviously going to get benched. Because their dps sucks, not because their diminished relative utility due to dual specs)

  42. Rayvynn says:

    @Korso and Neil: Ahh, thank you for the clarification. I haven’t been able to access the PTR as of yet and have done minimal reading due to obligations. But I would hope that this would be changed to fit the FAQ link. It’s like saying “Hey, we have this in writing, but now we’re going to go back on our word, okay?”

    @Manxome: I agree that maybe this 5 second cast thing-a-ma-bob is for PTR purposes so that people will try the dang thing out. I like that theory, and I pray to whatever higher being there is out there that it’s true.

    @Copey: You, sir, put into words exactly what I was getting at more succinctly than I ever could.
    /cheer
    /cookie

  43. Easternwind says:

    I, personally, agree with you BBB. (Thank for you being sane. It really means a lot me.) I played a druid for almost 3 years then swapped over to a hunter in the last year or so. I brought quite a bit to a raid back in the old MC days. Even without dual specs, I saved a few hides. (I was feral back when it was massively un-popular. :D) I was often invited to raids because I could bring more to the table. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hunter. My druid was just more flexible.

    If I was a cold hearted hunter-hating RL, then in my book I would just bring hybrids. Why? Well, assuming that people use the duel specs, and keep fairly decent gear, etc. for both specs. I can use the DPS for bosses that enrage, but switch over some of my DPS-warriors to tank-warriors when I need more tanks. Why would I waste a slot on someone like a hunter who’s buff don’t stack with anyone elses’, and can only DPS? I wouldn’t.

    Also, this may not be such an issue for raiding guilds. You have a personal connection with your guild members. But what if you’re not in a raiding guild, or you don’t even belong to a guild? What if you have to rely on PuGs? A PuG RL might not be as forgiving because there isn’t that personal connection.

    I’m not saying that this is the end for pure DPS classes. There are so many other factors to think about. (Server population mentality for example.) I’m just concerned… Sorry if this post was really long. I have some strong feelings about this being a DPS class. Oh and BBB, hunters = pure DPS class. :)

  44. Ribeye says:

    I didn’t read through the slew of comments, so forgive me if this is redundant…

    Insofar as Rogues, Warlocks, Mages, etc go – the dual spec versatility has some perks that I can see. For instance, if you are speccing as a raider, you’re going to be going pure DPS. On my Warlock, for instance, I would spec a pure Destro build to raid with that foregoes a lot of “survivability” talents in order to produce maximum DPS. Good for Raid, bad for solo grind – or PvP. BC, I did a similar thing with the Rogue and used a pure DPS Combat spec that lacked things like dodge and parry that are useful for solo grinding in favor of DPS enhancers. Thus, you can now have a “killing machine” spec and a balanced, survivable spec as well – or a pvp one. Additionally, the ability to tie in glyphs for certain things with these specs further enhances the pvp aspect, as what works well there – well, we all know that isn’t always the case for raiding.

    However, I primarily play a Shaman and a Druid. From the Druid standpoint, I’ve always maintained a set of healing gear, so the Bear / Tree tradeoff is cool to me as I enjoy playing both specs and really only switch between them when raid signups are heavy (or lacking) one way or the other.

    As to my Shaman, I love raiding Resto, and hate soloing Resto, so I’m ecstatic that I will be able to swap to Ele. That, and I honestly like 5-mans more as Ele as well. I’ve spent 500g to date on respecs in WotLK, not to mention glyphs. Yes, this will be most welcome – and I might even get to DPS the odd fight, which will be *really* fun if I can top a good chunk of our regular DPSers, honestly – as the Healer guy, I feel like I have somethig to prove!

    I think a real driver for this, that a lot of people may not have picked up on, relates to the whole gear mainstreaming process. When everything became “spellpower” instead of damage or healing, this gained viability. Bear Druids in Rogue gear, you know the drill. Thus, your one gear set (with a few pieces swapped out) really can work for two sets. Is it a menace to collect it all to do it right? Yeah, but if stuff is getting sharded heavily on your runs anyhow, why not?

    The danger, as you mentioned, is for min/max people and guilds. I’m not one of em, and most of us won’t be included there, but they exist. these are the people who commanded the whole guild to be Leatherworkers in BC for drums, or kill Shamans before the pulls for the Reincarnate Glyph buff. They aren’t sane. As far as I’m concerned, discard that influence – it’s like throwing out the highest and lowest scores from a figure skating judge. Stick with your median segment and see what it does. If someone is really that concerned about both of your specs and gear, it’s just easier to spot the asshat IMHO.

  45. Robdamage says:

    BBB said… “Until I hear one Mage or Rogue honestly tell me that he has no problem, in equivalent gear progression, to matching DPS with Hunters and Death Knights, then I call BS. “

    Ok since you asked ;) I’m a mage in a 10 man raiding guild, but I join in on a lot of 25 man raiding guild’s runs as well, so I have experience in both.

    In my experience, whether or not I’m on top of dps depends on such a variety of factors that I find it difficult to agree with a generalisation that mages (I can’t speak for the other pure DPS classes) are *always* struggling to match the other classes. Sometimes I’m 1st on the DPS meters, sometimes I’m 3rd, sometimes I’m close to last. Some of these factors that spring to mind are :

    1. Quality of player. Some players are far crapper than me, some are far better. how do you determine this? not by DPS alone, but it’s one indicator
    2. Quality of gear. However – there’s been a lot of reference to “equally geared” but I’m interested as to how you determine how two different classes with totally different playstyles and specs can be considered “equally geared”. Equally geared on imba.hu? Equal number of ilevel 225 or 213 items? It’s a difficult comparison to make. Notwithstanding the different chants / gems that come into the equation as well.
    3. Mechanics of Encounter. I’ll do far more DPS on Loatheb than I will on Noth (for example) due to the mechanics of the fight (i.e. me being the primary decurser on Noth). So for the purposes of DPS comparisons, the *only* encounter i’d be using as a guide is a straight tank and spank with no other interruptions – so Patchwerk, basically.
    4. How lazy / into it i’m feeling on any given run – technically this is related to point 1, but even a good quality player will have runs where they are tired / distracted / jsut plain failing for unknown reasons :)
    5. RNG – can only speak for myself here, but as an FFB specced mage my DPS on patchwerk can vary by a range of over 1000 depending on other raid buffs and how many of those sweet sweet hotstreak procs I get :) That can be the difference between 1st on the DPS meters and 6th or 7th

    So to summarise : in my opinion, dual specs will not change the makeup of raids or the classes that are brought to raids for these reasons :

    1. The hardcore guilds would have been respeccing anyway mid-raid as suggested above. So they’ll still take the same players
    2. The smaller and less hardcore guilds are more likely to be bringing players based on friends / guildies rather than group composition. This point is most open for debate I guess but it’s my opinion, and it’s absed on my experience.
    3. I’ll grant you that pugs may get a little more homogenous. But really, who cares about pugs :)

    I guess my impression of this dual spec thing is simply that more raids will be run, not that existing raids will change their group makeup significantly (or even at all). As a mage, I certainly feel no threat to my usefulness in a raid environment – perhaps I should take off my rose coloured glasses ;)

    Cheers

    Rob(damage)
    Drama Free Society (GM)
    Dath’Remar (Oceanic)

  46. PlasticRat says:

    Yeah, I’m totally agreeing with the bear here. I liked the idea of dual specs originally because it would allow folks like dedicated healers and tanks to solo when they wanted to or to make it easier to fill out your raid with the players available to you.

    The fact that GC said it would be ‘easy to do in a major city’ and ‘less easy to do away from one’ made me feel a bit better. We wouldn’t be expected to switch specs before every raid fight. I’m hoping this system is only in the game to to test it out on the PTR and after that we’ll go to something like a 1 hour cooldown or similar. I do not feel like spec switching becoming a mandatory part of raid strategies.

    As far as the more extended Hybrids vs. Specialists and the effect of dual specs on them discussion. Well, personally I feel the game is in a huge mess right now. GCs ‘bring the player not the class’ approach has backfired horribly. Class homogenization has simply thrown everything out of whack and Raph Koster’s ‘Players Optimizing the fun out of the game’ rule is in full effect and running rampant over the game.

    I guess we can just wait and see what happens.

  47. Ruune says:

    One of the things that some of the non-hybrid classes had as the extra thing going for them was crowd control. Of course, those are largely useless (or at least often unused) abilities now as a result of the buffing of AoE tank threat. I am glad I am in a guild like ours, cause I can look forward to the personal advantages of dual spec while not being too concerned about the sort of forced respec type issues. My primary toon means much more to me than just a bunch of pixels which can be adjusted at a whim of a raid leader – so I am glad my raid leader is the kind of groovy guy that would never do that.

  48. Vitellus says:

    (Hi BBB, been reading your blog for a while now, thanks for writing it)

    Ontopic:
    Blizzard agrees with you and wants PURE dps classes on top. If you see classes not in this order its due to gear and/or skill. Picking a “hybrid” brings more flexibility but less DPS and raidleaders will still take pure dps classes cause you only need a certain amount of flexibility.

    Blizzard agrees cause Ghostcrawler posted the following in the shaman forums:

    As far as the dps target for Enhancement in an idealized PvE setting, yes you should be just below the rogues, mages, locks and hunters and even with warriors, DKs, druids, etc. On some fights you will do better than that and on some you will do less. Really talented Enhancement shammies with excellent gear should be topping the meters. Less-talented Enhancement players will do a whole lot worse. This is still a whole lot higher than the target we had for you in BC.

  49. TJGypsy says:

    I’m not sure I have any place to comment here, as I’m not a raider, but I have to say I agree with BBB completely regarding mages and their DPS. When I rolled a mage, it was the appeal of being able to decimate things from a great distance. When I fling my fireballs/frostfire bolts, I want things to die screaming in agony. In return for the ability to do that, I’m perfectly OK with wearing a dress, and dieing every time someone sneezes on me. Those things balanced out for me.

    As time has gone by though, and (so it seems) in the name of PvP balance, it seems like my ability to do that has been diminished, as other classes have gotten better. This saddens me because A) it seems to be happening in response to a portion of the game I could care less about and B) my mage just isn’t as much fun to play as he used to be

    As far as dual-specs go, rather than being able to switch between heals-dps-tank, it would be nice if they made it so that your pvp spec only worked in pvp, and then they could balance the classes around pvp all they wanted to, without screwing up the PvE game that I actually pay to play.

    But hey, I suppose that is what alts are for, and eventually the great circle that seems to be class development will show mages (and rogues) a little love again.

  50. Ribeye says:

    You know, something occurred to me after initially posting, and Ruune kind of got at it too – it’s more specific to Mages, but how about this: 1 spec for raw damage dealing, say deep Arcane or FFB, and use your second spec to go deep Frost and thus add CC utility for a fight like Gluth? Just thinking out loud here, but to me there’s useful Mage stuff if you look at it.

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