Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Looking Forward to Simple Specs

When the new design for the talents was announced for MoP I immediately looked at it as if it was about as cookie cutter as you can get.  While others made some valid points as to why they considered it was not cookie cutter I continue to disagree.

While I still dislike that I will not have any ability to create my own specs and I am stuck with the cookie cutter option only I am starting to like the idea of them.

First a side note to why I dislike the cookie cutter design before I move on.

As a hunter that loves to solo content I am often making some strange specs.  That ability is being taken from me and I am being handed just the cookie cutter version of the spec I choose.

No more mutilated specs like in wrath, which I really had some funky ones to get the job done.  In cataclysm I had even less options being I was tied into one tree for a while and needed to get 31 points in it, but I was still able to make some usable specs for special tasks.

Next expansion, all my originality, all my creatively, all my messing around for fun with spec is gone.  I will have what they give me and nothing more.  This is why I believe it is cookie cutter, this is also the one thing I dislike about it most

I also dislike it because I am not sure what to expect.  Will my concussive barrage now be base for all MM specs?  Maybe for all hunter specs?  That would be cool, no more needing to respec just for PvP.  I did not see anything about individual abilities, perhaps I missed it.  My guess would be that they are removing it completely, which would suck.  I love that ability for PvP and it sure did have some usefulness for PvE as well.

Enough of the things I do not like, this is about the things I do like about the coming changes.  They make specs easy.  So easy that you do not even need to do anything except choose your spec.

While I am usually all for everyone having different specs and believe that a spec in itself can show you the skill of the player to some extent, having the easy route might have some benefits.

Now the random dungeon system will not need you to check tank, healer or damage. 
Your spec is what you are.  No more dungeons where someone picks tank or healer and does not even have a tank or healer spec.  Now they have to have the spec to choose the roll.  There is no real downside to this.  Sure, the person does not need to know how to play the role they are in to check the option but at least they will be in the spec meant for the role they are in.  It's a start right?

Looting would be more specific as well.
If they are changing all loot rules for everything to be like they are using for the LFR it will be nice that someone can not ninja loot from you.  Sure it is not really someone being an ninja if they can use something and they do intend on using it but it will be nice to not lose rolls to the restoration shaman for stuff I need on my hunter.  You will get a bonus to the role you are currently speced for.  So as DPS I would get a +100, which means there is no way that restoration shaman can get my boots now.  Making the specs specific and cookie cutter there is no way someone could enter as something else.

Speaking of entering as something else.
You are your spec now.  In restoration?  You have the healer option only.  In elemental?  You are a ranged DPS.  In enhancement?  You are a melee DPS.  Simple and much better for the system to make groups with.  If the system wants 1 melee and 2 ranged then the system is not gambling bringing in a DPS shaman or a DPS druid.  They will know before hand what they are.  They are ranged DPS or they are melee DPS.  It is no longer a gamble.  You know how many times I had three melee DPS on the last boss of ZG?  Too many.

No more talent points forgotten about.
Okay, I admit it and you would too probably.  We have all forget to use our talent points at least once in our playing time.  I have on a few occasions.  Once even made it 6 levels on a character back in wrath forgetting about them.  Someone whispered me, are you aware you have 6 unspent points.  Wow, thanks, I totally forgot about that.  Oops, we all have total noob moments.  You can admit you have missed a few here and there too, nothing wrong with that.  Thing is, we are all cookie cutter now.  We have our points assigned for us.  We do not need to put them anywhere.  They are put there for us.  In a way I like this.  No more forgetting.  If you are taking away my ability to choose then at least do it like this and automatically give it to me.

Speaking of automatically giving me things.
No more heading back to the trainer.  How many of you have been somewhere when you reached a level you could get a new skill and said you wish you had it now?  You have to make the trek all the way back to pick it up.  No more, it is just given to you.  Awesome.  No more treking back to the trainer every time I get a new ability.  When I get it, I got it.

No more out of game research for specs.
What is the best spec for paladin tanking?  While recently specing my paladin I spent an entire day going over specs.  There was the cookie cutter one and a few other really popular ones.  I decided which one was best for me and then I assigned my points where they need to be to get that spec.  No worries any more.  If I want to know what the best spec for paladin tanking is then it is as simple as picking protection and tada, I am in the best spec because it is the only spec made for tanking.

No more out of game researching also means no more bad specs.
There are some people that try, please give them credit, but they end up missing something that was important to tanking and you have to point it out.  Some are good about taking advice, others get rude about it, most will just say thanks and not do anything.  Now there are no worries, everyone will have the same spec.  No more people getting rude with you because you pointed out they missed what is normally considered vital to tanking because you read up on things and they do not.  As someone else mentioned on a blog I read, it is a good thing to take part of the game out that required people to use outside resources to succeed.  You needed to research to have the ideal spec before.  Now you just choose the spec and you have it.

Instant ability to try something new.
I would love to give boomkin a shot this expansion.  Have not been one since wrath but I really have no desire to read up on the right spec and such for something I just want to play around with and have no intention of using.  Soon I will just switch my spec to balance and I have the perfect spec.  Rotation is still up to me, but rotation is 3 seconds of a google search followed by 20 seconds of reading whereas spec could be hours of reading to understand everything they are saying to choose and not to choose and the reasons for it.

No more need to respec for PvP all the time.
I have to completely respec each time I want to do some PvP and it is annoying.  It has even made me skip some PvPing because I was just not in the mood to go respec being I knew I had a raid in a few hours and would need to respec again.  Now, I might switch one or two of my support abilities but my spec is the same if I am doing PvE or PvP.  Even if BM becomes the spec of choice I will just choose BM and have everything I need already given to me.  BM has the same 6 secondary options that MM does, so it not like I need to learn something new either.

Repsecing on the fly makes life so much easier.
My warrior has two specs right now for tanking.  One for single target and one for add tanking.  I would love to have a DPS spec as well but I can't.  I need both my tanking specs and use both my tanking specs.  Well, soon I will only have one tanking spec, like it or not.  No more special tank specs for special tasks.  Also, no more worries about deciding on a DPS spec if I ever feel like running as DPS.  I just choose arms or fury and I am ready to roll.  Need to go back to tanking, just pick prot and I am back where I belong.  Switching on the fly for every fight now becomes easier.

No more special specs.
While I dislike this as I mentioned at the top, I also like it in a way.  No more special specs means less outside work.  I can not even mention the number of times I have changed my spec for just one fight and then had to change back.  I actually had a whole folder saved on my computer for different specs for different fights.  Some I might need more AoE, some I might need the single target boost, some my pet would be useless on so I could get away from anything that helped the pet, etc.  I have specs for every fight in the game that had some sort of gimmick I could either take advantage of or needed to work my way around.  Now I don't have to worry about that.  Now it is as simple as what is best for the fight.  BM, SV or MM.  Then all I do is switch.  No research, no special placement of talent points, just a spec, the same cookie cutter spec everyone will have.

No excuses any more.
Are you speced into silencing shot?  Well choose it.  It is now one of three options for every spec on a level that has no DPS increasing abilities and we need it on this fight.  Before.  No, I did not spec into it because it was a DPS loss.  No, it is not an option in the spec I am in.  No, it is melees job to interrupt.  If I spec into it now I need to go find a good spec that is top DPS while still having it.  I have to go back and respec just for this fight and then I have to go back again and respec again and it is just to much trouble.  Enough of the damn excuses.  Now there are none.  If your spec is supposed to have something, it will.  If it is a special it will be on a row with specials that are all the same for the most part.  Love that there are no excuses now.

Instant knowledge.
Okay, not knowledge but it leaves it open for it.  Before, which are the best secondary things to take while in my tank spec?  Now, everything you need for your tank spec is given to you.  No research needed.  Or how about, I will never use this it is useless.  No it isn't, if it was given to you as part of your tank spec it is because it is needed by tanks.  Read the damn thing and figure out why they gave it to you.

Easier to balance classes.
Before you had two talents, lets call them A and B.  You could put 3 points in A or 3 points in B.  You could do 2 and 1 or 1 and 2.  Now, you get what you get, that it is.  No longer do only 2 skills have the ability to do 4 different things.  They do not need to balance around people mixing and matching with sometimes odd results.  Before if you tweaked B because it seemed a little over powered it changed the 3 B option, the 2 A 1 B option the 1 A 2 B and quite possibly the 3 A option as well.  Being people could mix and match one small change could change many other things in ways that where unintended.  Now, with everyone having the same cookie cutter, there are no problems with people mixing and matching things like that.  You can adjust want needs to be adjusted and it will not have any effects you could not predict because there will never be any spec that had something in it could not predict.

Leveling new characters.
Pick your role and you get what you need now.  No more need to decide.  This talent is awesome end game but useless now.  Do I take it anyway being my other three 85 hunters have it or do I ignore it and take something that is more useful now?  Sure, it was a simple question, and I usually just put my points in as I want them to be end game regardless if they are useful while leveling or not.  Now I do not even need to let is pass my mind.  I will get what I get when I get it.  This is also good if you are leveling as a spec you never leveled before.  I never leveled as a destro lock, now I can and I will get what I get when I get it.  No need to look up leveling specs or end game spec or any specs for that matter.  It will give me what it gives me when I should get it.  Takes all the guess work out of my hands.

Great for new players.
We might forget what it was like to be new but I try to remember and I do remember that I was always afraid of putting my points in the wrong place.  I am sure new players felt that as well and with the elitist jerk culture of the game one wrong point spent and you where the butt of all jokes for the rest of forever.  That does not make for a very friendly or attractive leveling experience.  Now the people that do not know any better do not need to know any better.  They will get everything handed to them.

Having it handed to you makes it seem like more of a reward.
For new players each new ability you get is exciting.  Having to go train it makes it seem more like a process of having to attain it on your own.  Giving it to someone automatically seems more like they just won a prize.  Woohoo, I just won concussive shot, I am using this baby right away.  Abilities also seem to get lost when you go train a few things at a time.  If you are given them as a prize each time you level you will look to see what prize you just got.  It will help new players a great deal I think.

Possibility for easy expansion.
Okay, this one I have to give its own little section and not just a simple paragraph because this one really has me very excited.

With the announcement that there would now be four druid specs it opens the door for new specs for every class in the game.  Adding new specs would be much easier to balance and introduce as well for the reasons about balance I mentioned earlier.

Druids could add a wolf spec as a differently designed melee DPS spec or a rhino spec as a differently designed tank spec.  Each with their own resources and different from the current ones we are used to.

We have arcane, frost and fire mages but they could add shadow, earth, and wind mages as well.

How about a hunter spec that has no pet.  Or one that is mostly meant to be in melee range with traps as their main damage dealers.

Maybe add a second healing spec for shaman or even a tanking spec for them.

Perhaps we could have a ranged paladin spec where they are casters so we will have two classes that could fill all four roles.

Maybe have different tanking specs.  Like I have two tank specs on my warrior now, one for add management and one for single target.  While they both can do either, each one is better at one aspect.  Being we no longer have the option to do that on our own we could be given more specs that will then allow us that option.

There are so many ideas that I have for different specs.  A ranged rogue?  A tanking warlock?  So much could be done with this change and it is awesome but there is something else that can be done that I have never heard anyone even mention.

Support classes.  While they might have no use now they can create support classes that would have uses in raids or maybe even PvP.  The ideas for support classes are endless.  A class that buffs people so whatever they do gets done better while buffed.  Or debuffs bosses so certain things do more damage to it at certain times.

No one would level or quest or even dungeon in these specs but it would give an option sometimes.  Say you are in a dungeon and the rogue is doing horrible DPS but the warrior is really kicking butt you can tell the rogue to change to his support class and buff the warrior with the speed and melee damage buffs and keep them up and stacked.  That horrible DPS rogue now can be really useful in the dungeon.

Having the ability to just add specs like that means the availability for expansion on what the classes can do which in a very interesting prospect.  Like I said, being we do not make the choices means balancing becomes easier as well which means it might be very likely we will see new specs for some classes in the future.

For as much as I hate that it is taking away my ability to make some of my psycho solo builds I do like that it opening the doors for so much more.

Lets hope they actually do something with this new change instead of just letting it be the latest in their effort to make things easier.  If it does turn out to them making specs easier to give us more options in specs I think it would be a fantastic thing.  Quite possibly the best addition to the game since reforging.

I am really starting to look forward to the simple specs, even if I am really going to miss my soloing builds.


  1. You know what I find most hilarious about this particular facet of MoP?

    Go back to the 2011 April Fool's day patch notes.

    "Classes: General

    •Talents are now automatically chosen for a player based on the main specialization chosen."

  2. Grats on the WoW Insider Daily Quest shoutout Grumps! :D

  3. @The Renaissance Man

    That is the first thing I thought of too. Odd how a joke became real.

    I can see the completely dark instance becoming real some day too.

    @The Godmother

    Thanks. :)