With the new BC Talents, revamped Honor System and Arenas all hitting town on a server near you next week, most class forums are all about the re-spec. Character specs in the World of Warcraft can make or break your character. The spec needs to match your play-style, where you are in your leveling progression and the type of content you’re focused on. You can get by with a gimped spec early on in the game, especially if you group a lot. However, once you hit the end-game five man dungeons, or poke your head inside the raid dungeons, you’d better be set to perform. If you can’t there will be questions. People will check your gear and ask you about your spec. You'll get more advice than you want and some people have very firm beliefs about class specs. So it's best to know what you're doing, why you did it and be able to defend it. If you can't, you'll be marked as a nub.
If you’re new to the spec game be sure to check the class forums and ask veteran players in your guild. I've found that most specs are created to address these categories of game play:
- Leveling – Experienced players tend to choose a spec that facilitates quick leveling. This is usually not the same spec that they want to have in the end-game.
- PVE – If you tend to group a lot and do instances in the upper levels, you’ll want a spec that allows your character to play its standard role in group content.
- Raid – Once you hit 60, soon 70, people who are going to disappear into the raiding instances, will usually pick the dominant/cookie-cutter build for that class. Depending on your guild restrictions about raiding characters, some opt for hybrid builds but it’s not that common.
- PVP – Twinks, regardless of level and end-game PVPers, will want to spec to the build that provides the most survivability plus defense or offense, depending on their class. Damage classes don’t seem to have as much controversy surrounding their specs. And not to be dismissive, but tanks are tanks. I find that most drama revolves around the healing classes when it comes to PVP. Some want to do damage in PVP and only healing occasionally – Shadow Priests as an example. While others want healing to still be their primary role but they want some offensive skills from whatever trees they have available. Most of the conflict in spec’g comes from Raiders who also do a considerable amount of PVP. It’s hard to serve two masters. Just ask priests in guilds where spec'g holy is required, regardless of what the priest might want to do when they're not raiding.
Regardless of which I decide to play in TBC, I will be spec’g for PVP. According to the billing, we’re supposed to be able to level inside the instances in TBC instead of doing world mob grinding when you’re sick of quests. So surviving PVP – both in world and the BGs would be my primary concern. This means that I shouldn’t need to drop back to a leveling spec while progressing through the new content.
I’m heavily into solo play and that’s how all of my toons were leveled. However, I’m not as enamored of WOW as I once was, so grinding 10 levels won’t be on the menu. If I can’t have fun in the instances or BGs, it will be auvoir. But I digress, back to specs. Do I go for the pain of dealing with the deficiencies in the priest class or go for the solid game-play of the warlock? I’m more inclined to play my priest because I hadn’t quite gotten enough of her, as much as I was just sick of the content.
If I go with my priest then she will stick with the heavy Disc build – even more so, because there is a 41 point talent worth having now. I’m looking forward to Reflective Shield and Pain Suppression. I can’t wait to pop them on the sneaky little rogues and druids. Yeah, suck down some damage while you’re pounding on my bubble, I’m mitigating your damage and getting off a cast or two. I’ve been in many fights that were SO close. If I’d been able to land any other damage while trying to run once we were both low on health, they would have been dead. Well now they will either stop hitting while I’m bubbled to avoid reflective damage or it might just be enough to knock ‘em dead. And then there’s Shadow Word:Death. That’s going to be a good one.
So what class are you taking to 70 first and what spec will you be sporting? Since I'm on hiatus, I won't be partaking of the patch next week. By the time I load up, the kinks will be worked out and whatever mods can be repaired will be live and ready to rock.