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Dual Spec Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Next Question PleaseI'll admit that Dual Spec is going to be a game changing mechanic.  There is no denying that.  The ability to trivially change from one layout to another, glyphs, button layout and talents all together, is an exciting idea for most classes.  While appealing to the PvP/PvE crowd - that is, the players that switch back and forth around their raid schedule - Blizzard also believes that the changes will create more tanks and healers per realm.  How many people will go DPS with a Tank/Healer off-spec, rather than a PvP survivability or solo PvE off-spec remains to be seen.   Then there is the issue of one's ability to play their vastly different spec...

I'm not saying that the idea isn't a valiant effort on Blizzard's part to fix the various issues it's tackling.  If anyone can pull off such a drastic change, it's Blizzard and their slew of talented designers (oh, right).  My pessimism creeps in because Blizzard and the general WoW populace seems to think that the mechanic will fix all of these issues.  Poof, everything is perfect.  Hasn't Patch v3.0.8 taught us anything?

All things considered, I think these problems will be eased, not solved.  The PvP/PvE crowd will be the only sect entirely satisfied.  Although they may start wanting a Tri Spec setup, ya know, for solo PvE.  The quantity of tanks and healers will be split with the PvP crowd, while quality comes with practice.  The first few months could be rough as new or rusty tanks and healers get back into their groove.  I still expect to see plenty of LF2m Tank/Healer either way.

Then there is my concern for SolidSamm.  What about the non-hybrid classes?  Warlocks, Hunters, Mages and Rogues are all designed to do one thing, DPS.  Without the ability to offer drastically different specs (don't forget, pet tanking is going bye-bye) we could be left fighting for far fewer spots in raids than before.  If you had the option to take a geared face-melter who could also heal if someone leaves, or an arrow-flinging Hunter, why would you confine yourself to just the Hunter?  Dare I say that the feature will create more homogenization? Scary thought indeed.

Initially, I was ecstatic about the Dual Spec feature.  After mulling it over with a certain Horde buddy, I wouldn't mind it not coming with Patch v3.1, or at all in its present condition.  Are you as paranoid about the change as I am, or are you entirely for it?  There are also the issue of Dual Speccing loot drops.  I won't even get into that.  This is one of those things were I hope I am wrong, but I can't see all my points being incorrect.

Reader Comments (46)

wow cant wait to try it:)

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Stytle

Well, as a hunter, I really think the Dual-spec system is going to help me with my PvP-PvE syndrome.

But I do get your point about the loot, there is definetly going to be fighting over the gear with off-speccers. But in the end, it's not about Blizz, it's about how players do to get along with the changes. If off-speccers are going to be retards running around and taking pieces of gears, it shouldn't be because of Blizzard, it's because of those arses who just can't get along with others.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRugi

Guess there are always 2 sides to a coin in this matter, although dual speccing allows classes like pallies to either tank/heal or heal/dps, etc there are classes that can only rely on DPS, maybe warlocks can now rely on their stronger than before Affliction tree to help boost their DPS along with Destruction tree, or have a stronger demon pet helping the DPS and melting faces with Affliction or Destruction tree.
Don't know bout rogues, but Hunter for sure can have added bonus from their Beast Mastery tree for a more reliable pet while relying on Marksmanship or Survivability themselves.

Although getting my hunter nerfed is already a stab in the heart for me Q_Q

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAldei

You know, that puts a different perspective on this. I have been looking forward to the dual-speccing feature so it would give me an "entrance to PVP" but if my hunter becomes obsolete in raids, then I may just end up PVPing for good.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVoldenmist

For the gear problem, I can only hope that people would be smart enough to let main specs roll on something first before offspecs, just like it should be right now. I've picked up quite a nice healing off-set (normally a retradin) with even an epic or two because nobody else needed them, but I'd never roll on them if a real healer or tank needed them first.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEventime

I personally dont think its going to solve alot. I think its one of those band-aid fixs that seems really cool at first but turns out to be just another thing for everyone to keep themselves occupied with. Also getting loot is going to suck now too cause instead of just maybe rolling against 1 or 2 people you could be rolling against 5+ people which means people become geared alot slower. sure theres always "Main spec first" but theres always that one person who doesnt play by the rules.

I myself play a ret pally and am not looking forward to the new duel spec mechanic. I guess we will all just have to see how it plays out

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersaxonn

As someone with a shaman healer main, I can't wait for this. For me, it means much less frustration in doing dailies for money and rep.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelfennau

Well, first i want to say that i love PL. But koopa, seriously, get real. I have been a rogue since day 1 wow and if you think that duel spec isnt going to benefit a dps class then you need to re roll.

I do it all. Raid, instance solo and pvp. PvP, i prefer a sub spec, utilizing shadowstep for all its greatness.
Raiding these days when done right for a rogue truthfully, i prefer combat or or a mutilate spec but sub can work when used right. I'am one of those players who enjoys the game for all it has to offer. My favorite way to make gold is running instances solo. I love it. dailies are also nice atleast until you get the rep you desire. Point is: combat is the absolute best spec for instance soloing and dailies. ESPECIALLY since we got fan of knives.

Now imagine how much I must hate when I want to pvp or even go mutilate and have to dump my farming spec (which i use almsot everyday to stay in gold ) to go to a sub spec. HELLO, DUAL SPEC!!!!

And I also have 2 level 70 mages. Hmmm I love frost, however, arcane and fire have alot to offer and its not the same from one spec to the other.

I'am 39 yrs old and have been gaming and writing now and again for the last 25 yrs. I manage a buisness, pay a mortgage, married with 3 kids. My point. I know what I'am talking about. So please, rethink your comments next time. Also, I grow so very weary of hearing people "bash" blizzard for this bug or that bug, this unbalanced class or that etc. etc. etc...

I have always had the attitude that for what we pay and the great service we get, against the problems that occur. Its not a big deal. WOW has saved me money, time, my 2 sons play so WOW has added time with my kids. I dont go out to bars ( which my wife hated), and i dont deal with the other idiots on the road. 15.00 per month = .50 cents a day. We spend more then that on a trip to dunkin donuts on 1 cup of coffee and deal with more hassles im sure (i know i do).

HUGE GAME WORLD, GREAT GRAPHICS, SYSTEM REQUIRMENTS RELATIVELY LOW, TONS OF SERVERS AND FEATURES, TONS OF CONTENT FREE VIA PATCH, ( i played UO for 9 yrs and you payed for EVERYTHING and it was no where near WOW). Point is, there are going to be issues but against what we spend as players and what we get and save in return I wish people would seriously just stop crying.

Thanks for listening. again, love PL.

But think about what I have just said.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReeper

well what bugs me is its lvl 80 only and isnt it to help create more tanks and healers? how can it create more tanks and healers if lower lvls cant use it?

I'm lvling as a shadow priest and once i get to 80 im going holy. It would be more helpful to me if i could use it when i run an instance to switch over to heal so i wouldnt have to lvl holy. What's the point of having the dual spec system if you cant use it while lvling? I would understand if they only gave it to lvl 60 and above but my opinion still stands.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJaime

Actually, for warlocks, this is a some what good thing. My main spec is a Demonology/Destruction Hybrid, but some Naxxramas boss fights is better for an Affliction warlock.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDieoxide

Im a paladin, in tbc i was always a healer. but i respecced tank sometimes to run 5-mans with my girlfriend (she is a healer). Since then ive taken a liking to both, i run 5 man as prot and heal in raids with the rare raid as prot. i just checked my statistics and i've respecced 25 times since patch 3.0. Since that was almost always at the 50g max you get the idea... add to that the cost of changing some glyphs (didnt do that every time)

I welcome dual-spec, not because i can switch during instances or anything. just because it will save me a crapton of gold on respecs. but also glyphs :P Yes i know there will probably be a decent cost to buying your dualspec, but for someone like me that will be totally worth it. and it will be alot quicker and eassier to respec due to saved action bars, trees and glyphs

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJasper

As a mage I love this. I do not feel like spending the cash on constant respecs so I roll Arcane for soloing and raids. I am a HUGE fan of running frost but as it is not currently up to par for raiding and so I have to use arcane (or frostfire) all the time. With dual spec I can now solo as deep frost and raid as Arcane/Icy Veins spec. Also with the addition of Inscribers having portable Lexicons I can switch to my frost build for amazing control of Zombie Chow in the Gluth encounter.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFuegogrande

im pumped! no more 50g respecs

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterConxcore

Well i think it's a good thing in a way. i like the idea behind it. we'll see what actually happens once it's implemented. only people who i think it'll hurt are those that play multiple accounts practicing the art of multiboxing. i forsee alot of bugs kinda like 3.0 (lag heaven) an like 3.0.8 (server crash heaven).
there's always 2 ways of looking at everything but that's the point there's always pros an cons to everything, even life. just be glad that blizz is still around to continue supporting the game. they could be like the rest of the world and laying people off or ultimately going bankrupt and closing down.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

As a mage i know what you mean, im Aracane/Frost at the moment for Raiding. But if i could just Duel too Full Frost too just Farm quicker and take like 20 mobs at the time, this would make it soooo easyer too farm cloth or stuff like that.
I cant wait

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBurcemage

You said "what about the non hybrid classes such as :mages warlock rogues and hunters?" Well most of them are better at one then the other.

As an affliction lock I am only really good against bosses and healing through aggro, which is nice but my pet or my shadow bolts do not do a lot and that severely bumps you up on the dps charts.

Rogues, seeing as you play one, you must know that combat and assassination are way better for pve then subtlety is, subtlety straight pvp

Mages also, not as much but some mages do better better say in frost for pvp or fire for pvp or arcane for pve etc, the line is a lot thinner there.

So dual specs will be helpful so that it isn't like "damn I'm specced affliction cause I went to go pvp now I have to respec demon(or destructo...shudder) to do some pve"

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Fugate

i dont see a gear problem.... most people already have something they call an "offspec" all this changes is you dont have to pay for it. most guilds will keep the main spec first rule

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrusade

I admit, dual spec is going to be epic, yet many of the problems you've mentioned will become a reality. As a BM hunter, I see no need for dual speccing but many of my buddies will, as they are hybrid classes. and what do you mean by pet tanking is going bye bye???!??!?!

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I'm excited for Duel spec to come out. I mean, they're not making it easy where you can switch whenever you feel like it. They're saying you need a Lexicon to switch and that Inscribers can make temporary Lexicons for raids and such. You can't switch while in battle so you can't have a healer die and a DPS who can also heal will switch to better healing.

But I can see where the strictly DPS crew are going to have issues with it. I would say that they could then have a PvP and a PvE spec, but those classes really don't need it. So I can see it as a plus and a minus. However, if you don't need it, then you won't use it. /shrug It's just that easy.

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHatell

I think it is a stupid idea the whole point of a spec is that you SPECIALIZE in a certain thing how can you be fluent in both Fire and Ice Demo and Afflic...ect.. single spec made it more fun now when everyone can be anything that not only takes away from the role playing aspect but the speicalization aspect of the game.. I've been a Demo Lock since I started playing and Demo lock is what Ill remain I just love being the Master Demonologist of the realm...and I dont see a point in being the Master Demonologist/Affliction Lock

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Well Koopa, with the exception of the last post, I think I made my point and the masses have spoken. And damn right be glad blizz is still around. I personally love WOW as do my sons so lets not piss off the big dogs so then end up like the rest of the wanna be's. Let blizz do there thing. And seriously, you play a rogue? As much as I love PL, with that post, i'm starting to wonder.

Thanks again.
I'll be back, rest assured. :)

February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReeper

This will be a great change, for classes that only DPS, you can have a raid and a PVP spec, bonus for you, expand your mind try more of the game. As for loot... "Raid Spec only loot" tell your group, makes sure they know before you start problem solved. Great change in my opinion

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterQQ

With the exception of Saxonn, it seems that a lot of you missed the OP's point. KooPA knows that all classes will see benefits from PvE/PvP swapping or PvE solo to raid spec. It's just that most of the commentators (and possibly Blizzard) are not be seeing the big picture, what the change will do to the metaverse of WoW.
Most players are narrow--minded and just see 50g in savings or shaving off a few minutes from grinding because they can switch off healer spec to a dps spec for dailies.
As someone said, a band-aid fix, yet everyone cheers for it because they get a minute time saver.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSlinkz

i dont fully understabd this duel spec but my main is a DK the one bad thing about DK is their so many of them its hard to find a guild or a raid guild i hope duel specing will make DK more wanted cause they can dps and tank

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercocopuff

i still say blizz is gointo do something we wont like so the duel specing isnt so good

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelion

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