The Case for Triple Spec

It seems like an eternity since the dual talent specialization feature was added to WoW, with eternity (in this case) equating to about a year ago, when patch 3.1 was released. It was a very anticipated patch, with both dual spec and Ulduar going live. I figured dual spec would make my life super simple; I’d have my elemental main spec, and a resto off spec.

A year later, things aren’t so simple. I do way more PVP now than I did a year ago (mainly because getting 2-3 shot by S5 DK heroes wasn’t fun). PVP specs for shaman all vary enough from their PVE spec counterparts that attempting to use a PVE spec to PVP generally results in a painful time, even when well-geared for PVP. Needless to say, as of late I’m running two elemental specs, one for PVE, the other for PVP.

So not a big deal, right? Wrong. On some evenings I will sub in for raiders if someone has to leave/has an emergency/has computer problems/etc., so I’ll hop right into the raid and things are all jolly…then I’m asked to heal.

Well shit.

Now I have to hearth out, head to org, switch to my pvp spec, respec, then run dow to the AH and pick up appropriate glyphs (although my druid almost has everything needed as far as glyphs go…woot). Ok, so it sounds like nothing more than simply a hassle for yours truly. That’s not the case. Keep in mind I had already been invited to the raid, so I’m being swapped in for someone, yet I’m not even ready.

Well, sounds like it’s my fault, eh? Can’t say I can blame myself, of course. I don’t see it being fair for anyone who wants to pvp or use a “different” second spec than the one everyone expects them to have (an example of that different spec would be me having enhance as a second spec).

Of course, based on the title of this entry, you the reader know exactly what I think the answer would be to such a conundrum: Expand dual spec into triple spec. Easier said than done, no doubt. I have no clue as to what the database and/or hardware requirements would be to expand such a feature. I think that since dual spec is already in and working that adding an additional tab for an additional spec shouldn’t be a difficult task.

The reasons I have provided for expanding dual spec into triple spec are mostly self-centered, but to expand on the reasoning, I’m very certain a lot of other shaman players around the world would welcome triple spec warmly. Shaman wouldn’t be the only ones, either; in fact, every class could conceivably utilize such an expansion in a variety of ways.

For a more basic reason, look at how many talent trees each class has. Yeah, 3. Wouldn’t that alone warrant the idea that giving players the capacity to switch to any of these trees without having to dink around reconfiguring bars/macros/etc. isn’t such a bad idea?

For any “old school” WoW players…yes, I played waaay back when you had to respec the old fashioned way, and you didn’t have this fancy dual spec option, and you had to walk backwards to school in the snow going uphill both ways. Back then, and to this day, though, people play a spec of their class as their “main spec”. Well what if we kicked the door down and made it possible for folks to come into raids simply as a class, rather than a spec of a class? It would be very interesting to see players adapt to the full capabilites of their class, rather than having to pigeonhole themselves into a specific role.

Some examples of what I could do were I capable of triple spec:

Shaman: Ele PVE, Ele PVP, Resto; Ele PVE Resto PVE Resto PVP; Ele Resto and Enhance PVE; Lots of combinations possible.

Warrior: Most likely case for me would be Arms PVP, Fury, and Prot. I enjoy all 3 and would love to have that degree of flexibility with my warrior.

Paladin: Ret PVE, Ret PVP, Prot. Triple spec would also get me to entertain the idea of trying Holy out for a change.

Druid: Bear tank, resto PVE, resto PVP. Much like shaman, there are tons of combinations druids could pull off.

Rogue: Oh, what use would a “pure” class need of this? Easy, they could do Mutilate PVE, Combat, then a PVP guild.

Other classes are chock full of possibilities, too. The ones provided are just some I’m a bit more familiar with.

To me, the introduction of dual spec and how it works makes it clear that the whole “respeccing” concept is archaic, clunky, and aggravating. Many of us want to play our class to it’s full potential, but having to respec is a turn off at this point. With the whole “casualization” of WoW, this is one “casual friendly” feature that I believe should be expanded on, unlike the welfare…er badge system. That’s another can of worms for another time, though.

  1. March 31, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Oh gods yes. Every time i make my offspec resto-pve, I end up pvping a lot as Elemental. Every time I bite the bullet and pick up an elemental-pvp thing, I end up being needed as enhancement-pve. IT NEVER ENDS.

    That said, Elemental is still my main spec, and I get annoyed in raids at people who switch specs (or mains) constantly. I like to focus on one spec and one character, although I will dabble in many, and it hurts a little to have that focus/commitment rendered almost irrelevant.

    It’s not quite there yet, due to the difference in stat values for resto and elemental shamans, but it will get ever closer in Cataclysm.

  2. March 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Good point there; loot distribution will still require a degree of main spec/off spec, but that’s only to be fair. Otherwise, we’d have some major loot whoring that could be occuring.

    Then again, I’ve got enhance gear sitting in my bank that would make a lot of main spec enhance shaman cry. 264 T10 pants, Keleseth’s Seducer, ring from Marrowgar 25…the list goes on.

    The stat synergy in Cataclysm between caster shaman (along with caster druids) would help ease that pain some, I think.

  3. April 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I have to confess, I sort of actually like being “stuck” in one spec 😦 Though don’t get me wrong, dual-spec is arguably one of the most brilliant and amazing things to happen to the game, absolutely. But I see it in light of the fact that it used to be possible to be a pretty decent offspec player using the “wrong” spec – healing as elemental, tanking as restodruid, etc. – but as the game has advanced and minmaxing has become more central that’s become infeasible so we’ve needed dual-specs to plug that gap.

    I could write a lot more on the topic, but while I feel the appeal of having access to more specs more conveniently – it’d be interesting, for example, to play my shaman as enhancement now and again – I sort of feel like it’d maybe detract from the game. Choosing your spec was meant to be a sacrifice, a choice to be poorer in one area and more proficient in another, and that was part of the “fun” of it.

    Having said that I do really enjoy being able to experience playing as a true, fully-specced healer on my shaman now and again, or swapping my DK between awesome tanking and awesome DPS (she’s levelling up so is presently OP) – and having the ability to do that without having to reroll or pay expensive fees in time and gold is fantastic.

    I suspect I’d feel differently about things if I PvPed. But then I’d probably want quadruple spec – so I could have a PvP healer and PvP DPS spec. Or maybe quintuple spec – so I could PvP as elemental, enhancement or resto as the whim took me.

    I guess it does seem kind of silly that the more of the game we get involved in, the more limited we are by its mechanics.

    • April 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      Specializing as one flavor of shaman over the other two entails sacrifice, though. A shaman has more of the switch-on-the-fly capability, where I can heal in a pinch even when specced elemental, or I can chuck LBs and LvBs when resto. I can even shank people with a dagger, although I’ll never come close to the melee dps of an enhance shaman (although shanking an enemy flag carrier to finish them off in WSG is hilarious :p).

      There’s still the specialization involved; I suppose some of us are looking for easy ways to change said specialization. On the flip side, if someone wants to stick to a particular spec of their class, then they should be free to do that, too. I have recruited several people who could have off specs that perform a different role, yet they choose not to do so and yet we still accept such apps (because they are good at the one spec they choose to play).

  4. May 19, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Triple spec would totally rock.

    My main spec is and always will be Elemental. I just love it. But our server (like most) has always had an abundance of dps and a severe shortage of good heals and tanks. So ever since dual spec came in I decided to roll Resto as my off spec. This meant no more waiting 15 minutes for random heroics and almost instant invites to pug raids. Being able to switch from dps to heals mid raid as needed has been invaluable to me and to those I’m raiding with.

    But now that my Shammy is half way through ICC the options for new content and gear upgrades in the land of PVE are thinning very quickly while we wait for Cataclysm. My week consists of a daily random, an ICC 10m, an ICC 25m and a VoA 10/25 (if I’m lucky).

    With very limited options available as I surged onwards towards end game (3.3) I found myself twiddling my thumbs (and doing pointless achievements just to keep things interesting). Naturally my attention started to turn towards the only remaining unchartered frontier… PVP.

    So thinking “Yeah, I’ve got my 4pT10 set, I’m topping the dps meters, I’m must be pretty damn good now. I’m gonna start kickin some Horde PVP ass!.

    It didn’t take long for the reality of PVP to hit home. After getting badly burnt and 2 shotted time and time again in my T10 gear and PVE spec (lol), I decided to put all of those stockpiled Wintergrasp tokens to use and began building a PVP set. This would surely be the answer to more survivability and more kills!…sort of…but not really. Obviously skill plays a big part, but even with my new gear I was still loosing 8/10 fights.

    I’m a PVP noob… but PVP is very addictive. The more I loose, the more I want to get better… and get even! But the new PVP gear isn’t enough, I now want a full PVP spec, glyphs and all to complement my shiny new gear and my slowly improving skills.

    But I don’t want to lose either of my raiding specs as I need them each week for my guild’s ICC runs. Hence my dilemma with dual spec. What to do??

    Ideally I’d love to have Ele PVE / Resto PVE / Ele PVP.

    So to cut a long story short.
    YES – triple spec would rock!


    • May 20, 2010 at 2:37 am

      We’re practically in the exact same boat, although I no longer have to carry a resto off spec since I’m no longer raiding, heh. That’s one way to solve the problem given the current conditions. 😛

      You could use those unnecessary frost badges for relentless gear, though…decisions, decisions. 🙂

  1. April 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

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