Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Insidious Nature of Dual-Specs.

Am I the only one spending more time on my secondary, rather than primary spec?

Jana was, is and continues to be my main. I've gathered gear in the stated desire to Raid as Ret, but I haven't been able to Raid as often as I'd like and probably not stamped my identity as a DPSer on the Guild. But of course I still want to Raid, and acquire gear which will improve my raid performance (even though we're nothing like a front-line hardcore guild). How do you get gear outside of Raids? You guess it, Heroic and their associated Emblems. But DPS are a dime a dozen in our guild like many others, so what do I do?

Yep, I volunteer to tank.

"What could it hurt?", I rather naively said to myself. "I'm still Ret, and this Secondary PvP spec isn't exactly seeing much use." I had bought the Dual Talent ability with a spare 1k gold I had lying around but hadn't gained a huge amount of use from it. Also like many others I abstained from PvP until Druids were banned for being unkillable. Healing was out of the question, not only because I hate healing on my Paladin but also because I ritually destroy all healing gear I come across.

(by 'ritually destroy' I of course mean 'sell to the nearest Goblin'. Sure, I hate the very idea of Paladin healing, but I have to fund my desire for whelplings somehow!)

It started innocently enough - a quick Violet Hold run. No drama, no deaths, all good. Utgarde Keep was next, and predictably it was a walk-over. Heroic after Heroic followed, and pretty soon I was tanking more than I was DPSing. I even volunteered to off-tank an alt and emblem run in Naxx-10. Suggestions from well-meaning guildmates to make tanking my main spec didn't help my state of mind and annoyance. The one saving grace, and the reason why I'm not tanking in Raids that I do attend, is that tank gear requirements are relatively high and that you don't need to take 5 tanks to a 25-man.

Other Paladin guildies who run as Primary - Prot, Secondary - Holy are being pushed into the Healing role because of a relative lack of Healers on at odd times. They're treating it with good-natured joviality but I feel guilty every time I ask one of these guys to heal as I tank a Heroic.



Dual Talent Specs are a frustrating feature for hybrids. On the one hand, it gives the purchaser a huge amount of added flexibility and convenience, but on the other you can very easily be pressured into a role not to your preference. So it is with me. Be very careful when buying the ability and make sure that the secondary spec is one that you can live with, you may be using it more often than you'd like.

8 comments:

Merlot 10/09/2009, 17:06  

I feel ya. Merlot's in the same boat. I heal so often, I'm starting to get a bit grumpy. But then, this is the flip side of convenience - would we be raiding so much if we refused to spec out of dps? Would our guilds have tanks and healers to step in? Would we still get a dps spot? I dunno. Mostly I wish tanking and healing was more popular - but with so few tank spots in a raid, that would cause its own problems.

BigFire 10/09/2009, 17:27  

I'm a protection paladin, and I pretty much tank all the time. My secondary spec is retribution, and with the exception of the instance where other tank is better served due to their cooldown (Hodir), I tank.

Even though I run around as retribution pally doing my dailies, at heart I remains a tank.

So I made my DK with the idea of doing nothing but mindless DPS. But very rarely do I get to do that either. I'm pretty resigned to the fact that I will be tanking on my DK alt as well.

Dorgol 10/09/2009, 17:35  

Dual specs works for me about how I expected it:

I'm Holy in group content and Ret when solo. Rarely will I do DPS in a 5-man, though I'm about 50% Ret in raids (we have a very strong cadre of healers).

Most amusing thing for me, recently, was switching to Ret after another Pally asked to heal a 5-man. I ended up #1 on damage in my offspec... :)

Suicidal Zebra 10/09/2009, 17:51  

I'm certainly not going to bother leveling up another Tank/DPS hybrid character as it just seems overly redundant. A Healer/DPS hybrid or pure DPS character is an option I guess (I have 3 of the latter languishing at lvl70, and a Shaman at 66), but will probably be on the opposing faction.

*sigh*

Alts. Once a boon to the bored WoW-player, now a waste of time due to Dual-specs, Rep grind or Achievement hunting. Shame :(

Fish 10/09/2009, 20:10  

I went off-spec ret and I have to say I don't care for it much, but as I'm only the 5th best geared tank in our guild, I run as ret more often. I've been leveling a druid who is DS into resto and I'm sure if/when I get to end content, I'll be healing. One thing there are never enough of are healers. . .

crysana 11/09/2009, 03:37  

Its funny isn't it - I was always main spec Shadow, off spec heals but with the disappointing state of shadow and the ease of getting groups as disc, i haven't been shadow in so so long.

Hell, i've spent my emblems on healing gear rather than dps gear so I guess my off spec is shadow now...

Karl 11/09/2009, 16:04  

I'm prot main, and ret secondary. For a MT, it comes naturally to have Ret as the offspec, since as mentioned above, sometimes the raid only needs one tank (Hodir is the usual case). It would be a lot harder to go Holy. And as they say, once you go Holy, you can't go back.

But having the Ret offspec also gives me a chance to get in pug Vault runs where they may be full on tanks already.

Anonymous 17/09/2009, 21:16  

I run ret/holy most of the time. I keep a prot set but rarely spec into it or tank in general. Ret is my main, but I feel you on spending more time in the offspec. I don't trust pug healers (because most of them are bad.) and it's easier to find a group as holy than ret, and I also pvp as a healer, so its natural that holy is my offspec, but due to real life time issues I no longer raid much and find that I spend more time as holy than ret.

I actually rolled a DK before dual specs to tank with, but before I could gear him DKs saw waves of nerfs and now I feel terrible trying to tank in groups with him having bad gear. (no dps gear for him, cause ret is and will be my melee dps.)

Alternatively I just finished leveling a shadow priest and I'm highly debating not bothering to buy dual specs for her just so I won't get cornered into healing on that alt as well.

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