On Dual Specs

Posted by on Mar 5, 2009 in Commentary |

Patch 3.1 is live on the PTR and it’s the one that finally allows players to dual spec. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, dual specs will let players switch between two specs nearly on the fly. WoWWiki describes it as “the ability to switch between two talent specs, glyph sets, and action bars on each level 40 character.”

For hybrid classes, it’s easy to see how this can be exciting. As a paladin, you can be a main spec tank and a healer off spec. Of course, that would mean bringing two sets of gear, something that casters won’t need to do (or at least not as much). A priest can go resto to shadow without changing a lot of armor since spellpower benefits both offensive and defensive spells. Minus the inconvenience of gearing and re-gearing (so to speak), dual specs sound great.

Here’s the thing though: dual specs are less useful if you’re a DPS class. Rogues, warlocks, hunters and mages are all there to do one thing: deal damage. We don’t tank and we don’t heal. Sure, rogues can dodge-tank and voidwalkers took on Illidan at some point, but generally speaking, pure DPS classes get the shorter end of the stick with dual specs because of the limited options. A mage that goes from frost to fire simply changes the way how he or she deals damage. Rogues can switch from assassination to combat if they get bored with daggers. Warlocks can go from destruction to demonology if they want to do some PvP. The point is that regardless of the chosen spec of these classes, they will not be able to do anything other than deal damage.