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.
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.
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?
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!