Friday, December 4, 2009

WTB Triple-spec

Blizzard has stated that they don't intend to implement anything beyond dual-spec anytime soon. I can see some logic behind their reasonings; If you implement 3 different specs, why stop there? Why not 4? And then some would cry for 5... Better to leave the beast alone by only giving two specs.

What bothers me about the dual spec system is that I enjoy three aspects of the game. PVE dps, PVE tanking and PVP. With only two specs, I will have to choose either to optimized for two purposes and lacking for the last, or optimized for one and compromised for the two others.

With my druid, it was even worse. Ideally, I wanted five specs with my druid. Tanking, PVE dps, PVE healing, PVP dps, PVP healing.

For the moment I'm running a
Blood tanking spec and a Unholy PVP spec. It works out fairly well. I use the PVP spec when going dps, and still manage to put out above 3k thanks to my gear. I'm wondering if I can reach 4k with the last gear upgrades and a hardcore dps spec.

However, I'd like to experiment with other specs as well. If they don't work out too well, I can always return to status quo.

For tanking, I need mitigation and avoidance talents. No matter what tree I spec into, I'll need Toughness, Improved Icy Touch, Anticipation and Blade Barrier. I don't need all of them to tank 5-man, but for any pug raid I join they're essential. In addition, there's the tree-spesific tanking talents.

For dps, I need the dps-talents of the tree, which various greatly depending on what tree it is.

For PVP, I need a mix. Survival is important, so is utility, but you need dps as well. However, no matter what tree I spec into, Endless Winter is almost a nescessity, along with a more permanent snare. Blood has Glyph of Heart Strike, Frost has Chilblains and Unholy has Desecration. In addition, Virulence can make all the difference in the world against some classes.

For all three aspects of the game, Epidemic is a talent I love. Cleans up rotations, makes losing the enemy in PVP for a few seconds less painful, helps keep up AoE threat... I love it.

Finally, I'd love to have One a Pale Horse in one of my two specs. It's so handy to have an on-demand 20% extra riding speed, both in BGs and when travelling generally. However, only Unholy specs get it easily. Blood or Frost tank specs can't get it at all. Blood and Frost dps specs can get it without sacrificing too much, by sticking at least 17 points in Unholy.

Note that my PVP is limited to BGs and WG for the moment. Might go arena sometime, have a friend I can go with, but we haven't worked out a good schedule for it yet.

I've thought of a few combinations that might work.

A Blood tanking/PVP spec might work, if I sacrifice Endless Winter, but take the Glyph of Heart Strike. Even a tanking spec can attain almost all dps talents in Blood. Tons of survival.

A Blood dps/PVP spec might also work. Less survival, but more dps thanks to the talent points freed up to go into Unholy. Still need Glyph of Heart Strike.

The problem for me with Blood PVP is that with 51 points spent in blood, I don't have points enough for both Epidemic and Endless Winter. Endless Winter is generally more important for PVP, making 51/17/3 the spec of choice for a pure PVP spec. However, that spec lacks the mitigation talents for tanking, and has to chew to a lot of suboptimal dps frost talents to get Endless Winter. However, it is a possibility in the same way as my current Unholy PVP spec. Unholy does, however, benefit more from +10% shadow and frost damage than Blood does.

Frost have a ton of choices connected to it. Unlike Blood, you can successfully go DW or 2h, either might work. I'd love to try DW tanking sometime. However, that sometime will have to wait 'till 3.3. I don't have the gear to attain 540 defense without the Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle. 3.3 will add a similar Rune for one-handers, called Rune of the Nerubian Carapace.

Further, since I lack two slow and solid one-handers (above ilvl 200), I'll have to go for 2h until I can get some solid 1h upgrades somewhere.

The next choice for Frost is the Glyph of Howling Blast or not. It allows a single-disease rotation, ignoring Plague Strike and Blood Plague completely. It allows 5 obliterates during a 20 sec rotation rather than the normal 4, but each hit for less. However, that's another 15% chance to proc Rime. It is not a valid choice for a hardcore dps specs. The loss of the damage from Blood Plague hurts, and throwing a Howling Blast from the very start in AoE might steal aggro from tanks that need a bit time to get proper threat on all enemies, particulary other Death Knights.

However, for PVP, for the price of a some dps, you gain a ranged AoE snare with Chilblains. For tanking, you gain even more and snappier AoE threat; Howling Blast -> Blood Boil -> Death and Decay. For either, you can completely avoid casting Icy Touch at all provided Rime procs on one of those Obliterates. No need for Epidemic at all.

So... Frost can offer a HB glyph tank/PVP spec, or a non-HB glyph tank/PVP spec, or a non-HB glyph PVP/dps spec.

Unholy... well, to be honest, Unholy PVP completely sucks without Endless Winter. The snare from Desecration takes a few moments to kick in, and on a moving target often doesn't kick in at all until they're out of the desecrated area. The snare does have it's uses, but it's not completely reliable. That means I don't want to attempt to make a PVP/tank spec. The spec I have now, PVP/dps, works fairly well, but not exactly superb for dps.

So... I'll try to boil down the options I have. It's a safe assumption that if possible, I'd like to delve into two different trees. Before I had tanking gear enough to tank seriously, I ran Unholy dps/Unholy PVP, but it's kinda fun to have different options to fall back on.

  • Blood tank/PVP, Frost dps

  • Blood tank/PVP, Unholy dps

  • Blood tank, Frost PVP/dps

  • Blood tank, Unholy PVP/dps. My current setup.

  • Frost tank/PVP, Blood dps

  • Frost tank/PVP, Unholy dps

  • Frost tank, Blood PVP/dps

  • Frost tank, Unholy PVP/dps

  • Unholy tank, Blood PVP/dps

  • Unholy tank, Frost PVP/dps

Choices, choices...

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