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You Know Like No One Told You How on Game and Player

You Know Like No One Told You How

Heather Richtmyre  //  January 19, 2010

On pure classes and dual-specialization.


n World of Warcraft, a pure class is any that can only perform one role, with the roles being the traditional tank, healer, and damage-dealer. As all classes within the game have an option for a damage role, pure classes are those with only that option: namely, the hunter, mage, rogue, and warlock.

Now, dual-specialization is usually considered for the hybrid classes, as an option to easily allow role-switching. The healer becomes the tank, the tank becomes the healer, the healer becomes a damage-dealer. However, this is not applicable to pure classes.

For a pure class, the choice consists of variations of the same role, or talent trees; some of which will be more suited to Player vs. Player combat, while others will fit better within Player vs. Environment combat. The most common choice is to pick one tree specializing in each, thus allowing for participation in both at a reasonable level.

However, in PvE, different specializations can vary in effectiveness, even within the same role and focus. At one point, I had a request to pick up one in the combat tree on my rogue, as it brings a physical damage buff that was only being covered by one other player in the group at that time. Various other pure class specializations can bring such abilities as increased critical damage or mana regeneration, along with being more effective for certain encounters and against specific enemies. Overall, this level of maximizing for a specific advantage is more useful for higher levels of content and smaller groups, especially where no one else can cover a certain buff.

Oddly, I have seen more surprise and confusion on the choice to pick up two PvE choices for a pure-classed character than over such maximizing techniques as spending one hundred or more additional gold to improve gear by as little as a few percentage points. When this is done nearly a dozen items, the financial cost begins to surpass the cost of secondary specialization. The average price of certain useful items such as a Darkmoon Card: Greatness trinket is also rather stiff, but the purchase is seen as a mandatory upgrade in some circles.

For myself, I find the flexibility of utilizing the two specializations is more important than both the cost for having both and the limits on my performance in PvP situations. But, decisions in this area will vary depending on both progression, time spent on various facets of the game, and whether the regular group requests any particular talents to increase group performance.

Michael Ubaldi // January 19, 2010 // 11:03 AM

Having seen the effectiveness of warlocks in PvP firsthand, I'm seriously considering a second spec for battlegrounds or arena matches at endgame.

And the nagging question has come up while kitting out Aedilhild for PvP: how much do I really want to spend on another set of gear?

Jai // January 19, 2010 // 11:26 AM

Well, it shouldn't be too difficult to gear up if you have some Wintergrasp marks and extra triumph badges. It's more gemming and enchanting another set that I find off-putting.

Michael Ubaldi // January 19, 2010 // 12:23 PM

Oh, I mean gems and enchants. Then again, since 3.3, collecting Emblems of Triumph to redeem epic gems (not to mention enchantment materials) has never been easier, making the process less onerous.

Timm // January 19, 2010 // 12:26 PM

i use marks and survival rather successfully. Survival is for 5-man groups and pvp, while Marks works better for raids and large groups.

i just restarted my account a week ago and already the warrior i buddy with cant keep up with me in dps. by the time i got my looking for Many achievement i was sporting comparable dps. badge rewards are good. now i just need to get a new weapon from forge of souls or ToC-10.

PVP is a slaughterhouse though. but that just depends on the battle group, really.

Jai // January 19, 2010 // 12:34 PM

Ah, yes. My rogue uses combat exclusively for heroics, as a high level mutilate raid build assumes another player is putting a bleed on the target. Combat produces better burst damage, also useful in heroics.

Michael Ubaldi // January 19, 2010 // 12:54 PM

Timm, that distinction between hunter trees shows the subtleties between similar specs (other examples being, to expand this to hybrids, holy/discipline and arms/fury).

Straying from the topic a bit: do death knight trees (with which I am again unfamiliar) offer the most flexibility, demonstrating Blizzard's four years of design experience?

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