The 5 W’s of Dual Spec

09 Sep

Not too long ago I gave a my Review on Dual Specs. My mind has somewhat been altered by that since then after seeing my wife do it on multiple characters, but not a whole lot (mostly due to the fact that I’ve still only done it on the one and am not impressed).

What I want to talk about today though, is a problem I see with other people who are doing it and a question that has been asked of me: When should I dual spec? the answer to that question will follow. However, I’m going to cover all of the W’s concerning dual specs: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?

This is my opinion, and I share it with you now:

Who Should(n’t) Dual Spec?
Basically, anybody who wants to dual spec, and can afford to do so, should do it. There’s no reason not to dual spec if you want to try it out and don’t mind spending the money to do it. My wife loves being able to switch between her specs and has a blast being able to step into different roles on the same character. I enjoyed it a couple of times here and there, though in the end it just never became necessary.

The people who shouldn’t dual spec are the ones who:

  • 1) Don’t want to
  • 2) Are not willing to get gear for both specs via question, PvP, or grinding
  • 3) Can’t afford it themselves and are not good at making/managing their gold

Dual Specs are not a requirement to play this game. Some guilds I have seen do require it, but if you’re in that type of guild then you probably already know this stuff and don’t need to bother reading. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t bother. Save your gold and spend it on something a little more useful, like Epic/Cold Weather Flying.

If you aren’t willing to get the gear for both of your specs then you should probably avoid DS. The reason I say that is because if you have the wrong gear (tank gear on your healing spec, for instance) then you’re not going to perform very well. If you can’t perform in your second spec, then you’re never going to use it either. In cases like these you’re basically just throwing away your gold for no reason.

If you can’t afford something that you want, you simply shouldn’t buy it. Making gold in this game is not hard. Holding onto that gold once you get it is for some people (/raise hand), but it’s not hard to make it. Please don’t ever make the mistake of trying to borrow gold from friends or guild members if you aren’t positive that you can pay it back quickly. I’ve borrowed gold from a guild member one time, and I only did it because there was an item on the AH that I had been searching for for months that was about to sell and I didn’t have the gold yet. I had enough auctions that I would have the gold the next day, but I wouldn’t have it before the auction expired and someone else won it. I got the gold, bought my item, and repaid the loan with 10% interest 3 hours later. If you can’t manage something like that, don’t ask to borrow gold. (/end mini-rant)

What Should Your Dual Spec Be?
For some reason, people ask this a lot. I really don’t think this is a question that needs to be asked to anyone but yourself. What should my dual spec be? Well, probably whatever I want it to be..? For this question, ask yourself what you want to do with your character. If you want to heal, and your class is able to heal, then make one of them a healing spec. If you want to tank, and are able to do so, then make one of them a tanking spec. If you want to dps, then spec for it. If you want to PvP, then spec for that.

The answer to this question is really one that only you can answer. Spec for whatever you want to do with the character. If you are doing it for your guild because you need to fill an open role, then you probably already know the answer to this question yourself. If you are doing it because you want to try a different build to see how it works, then again you probably already know the answer to the question. If you want to do it, but you don’t have a specific reason driving you towards it, then that’s when the question needs to be asked. But, it’s a question you have to ask yourself; what am I doing right now? (tank, heal, melee/ranged dps, single/AoE dps), what would I like to try instead or perhaps in addition to?

When Should(n’t) You Dual Spec?
If you are going to dual spec, then I suggest you do it as early as you can so that you can get practiced at using both of them. Whatever the specs are for, use them for that purpose. So if you have a healing spec, then use it when you are in a group like when running through instances or doing battlegrounds. If you have a PvP spec, then use it in BG’s and Arenas while you level. Whatever the role of the spec is going to be, use it when in that situation. If you happen to have two specs that fill the same role, but with different talents, then trade off on a fairly regular basis so that you get practiced with them.

Generally speaking, and in my own opinion here, you should not wait to dual spec at high level unless you need to. If you do wait that long then make sure that you gather the gear you need for it before hand, and try to do some research on your spells and talent points. Waiting until higher level to try out a dual spec is a good way to find out that you suck at what you want to do. Unless you have played the class at that level before then you aren’t going to know what to do or how to use the class. You might have a good idea and be able to scrape by, but if you haven’t spent any time during your leveling to learn how to play the class then you aren’t going to be very good at it and probably won’t bother using it very often.

What I’m trying to say here is, don’t put it off expecting to just step into the role at higher levels and be good at it because it’s probably not going to happen. Get it early and start practicing using it so that you have at least some idea of what it is that you’re going to be doing. You can’t expect to be a good tank when you’ve never had to bother with generating threat or using your taunts. You aren’t going to be a good healer if you’re constantly spamming a single heal that doesn’t even begin to compare to your other options even though it looks like a great spell to you.

Where Do You Dual Spec?
Any of your class trainers around the world can open up your dual spec talent tree for you. The cost is 1,000g and there is currently no way of lowering that price. Most of your trainers will be in the major cities though some of the smaller towns throughout the game have trainers as well.

Why Should(n’t) You Dual Spec?
There are plenty of reasons why you should dual spec, as well as why you shouldn’t dual spec. If you want to try out two different talent trees, then dual specs might be for you. If you want to be able to heal when you’re in a group but also love to solo your own dailies and such, then dual specs are probably great for you. If you like to grind mobs with an AoE Frost build but love to instant cast people to death in battlegrounds, then dual specs are a good idea for you.

If you have a fairly small raiding guild that likes to mix things up now and then with which people fill which roles, then dual specs might be for you. If you have a guild that does not have members on a consistent schedule and may need to cover a role that is usually filled, then dual specs might be for you. If you just want to have fun and enjoy the game from multiple perspectives then dual specs might be for you.

You shouldn’t dual spec simply because someone else wants you to or because you feel pressured by a guild, unless you were already aware that they would require it and knew ahead of time. You shouldn’t dual spec because some loser thinks it’s required for you to be recognized as a good player. You shouldn’t dual spec simply because you have an extra thousand gold sitting around burning holes in your pouch. Instead, send that gold over to me.

If you want to dual spec because it’s interesting, opens up more opportunities for enjoying the game, or because you just want to have fun with it, then by all means jump right in and do it. Just don’t do it because some guy tells you that you have too or that you’ll never be able to raid or get invited to a good guild if you don’t.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 9, 2009 in World of Warcraft



One response to “The 5 W’s of Dual Spec

  1. We Fly Spitfires

    September 10, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    Nice article :) Personally I love dual speccing as it opens up a lot of doors for me – usually I want to be able to group and solo and often those specs are mutally exclusive. Thus, if I was playing a tank, I would spec for tanking and for DPS giving me the maximum freedom possible.


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