Monday, November 24, 2008

Dual-Spec Indecision

The votes have been tallied from the last poll - 60% of you think that ret is a-ok how it is, and another 25% think that ret is underpowered. Interesting. On to the next topic!

Free talent swaps between two preordained talent specs are not yet available. That doesn't stop me from wondering what I'd be better off doing for my off-spec.

So far in Northrend I'm having a jolly good time going up to things and going Crusader Strike, Judgement, DIVINE STORM!, dead mob. I'm fairly unstoppable. The new Repentance is awesome, Art of War and Sheath of Light are amazing, and I can't wait to get some more talents so that I can grab Divine Purpose and be pretty much unstunnable too. Prot paladin AoE my eye, Divine Storm with wings works pretty well too!

But every time I end up instancing (Utgarde and Nexus, so far), guild or PuG, the group needs a tank. So I sigh inwardly, hearth to a bank, slap on my tanking gear, and then trudge back out to the instance zone. In several instances runs, I haven't once DPS'ed a run. DPS is a dime a dozen.

On the flip side, there's not a ton of healers available for runs either. For one Nexus run, the group had to wrench a priest's arm to heal it instead of questing.

So I've been rethinking my initial impression for dual-speccing. At first I was like "sweet! PvE main, PvP off, bing bang boom!" But now... if I want to PuG instances and do 5-mans, I might have to focus on building my tanking and/or healing set. Which one should I focus on, though? After I shore up my ret set, should I turn to my protection set, or my holy set?

What's everyone's feel out there for group needs? Do groups consistently lack a tank, or is finding a healer more of a problem? I always want to smash stuff first, but I'm ambivalent as to healing or tanking, since I haven't tried out the new holy talents like Bacon Beacon of Light and Judgements of the Pure. Nor have I had a chance to play around with Holy Shield Slam Shield of Righteousness.

Off-spec PvP ret, PvE prot, or PvE holy?


Kevin said...

I've been leveling in Northrend as a Prot Pally and I've had a blast at it. There does, however, seem to also be a shortage of healers on my server, but I'm not sure how well received Paladin healers are.

Many of the instances still seem to have group healing and healing on the move requirements that don't well suit holy paladins.

I fully intend to make Ret my offspec when it becomes available.

virtualspinach said...

The only reason there are a lack of healers on Malf right now (or any other server) is because most healers have specced dps for questing and such. After the initial leveling wave most healers in high end raiding guilds will go back to healing since its their proffered path. Everything will be back to normal soon.

I healed a few instances but i havent switched my spec to do so. With Sheath of light giving me my spellpower and adding a hot to my crit heals. All i really needed to do was to change my healing gems in my gear to attack power gems for the Sheaths scaling.

As far as my other spec goes. Healing is looking to be my duel spec of choice. I like pvp but i don't do it often enough to warrant a pvp spec, since most of the major talent in ret are easy to pick up and take to pvp anyway when I'm feeling that itch.

Redfoxm18 said...

Definately go Holy off spec...It's great to be able to just replace yourself as DPS and be ready to heal an instance cause there is a lack of anything resembling a healer. Besides I very rarely run into Holy main specced pallies anymore so collecting ahealing set is easy.

Honors Code said...

I definately think healers will be more rare, but that is a trap I don't wish to fall into. Once you start healing, forever will it dominate your destiny.

To that end, I'm vendored every bit of spell power I've come across in the Expac. I haven't vendored my Healing Epics because I'm a packrat and a bit of sentimentalist, but the thought crossed my mind once or thrice.

Josh said...

More power to ya! Go go prot with a minor in ret! Being a tank with a DPS alt-spec is a no-brainer.

Gaizen, I know that ret heals fine in normal at-level instances. I've done it. My eye was more toward heroics & 10-mans, which may or may not have a bit more stringent requirements on abilities and gear. I'd want Holy Shock, Beacon of Light, and Illumination if I ended up healing a heroic. Even on normal in an at-level instance, I let a person or two die when the proverbial sh*t hit the fan. Right now my t6 healer stuff is powering me through.

Thanks for your opinion :) At the time of this response, I think you're the only person who said "go holy!" I blame whatever Maintankadin paladins that actually read my blog for tipping the scales to prot, haha.

I'm the consummate instance doormat. No matter what I want to do, I'll grab the appropriate gear and play healer or tank if it means a run happening or falling apart. But then I roll on whatever is useful to me as a result, and they can't complain back because, well, I sacrificed my preferred role to make things happen.

Orgauth said...

I'm pretty much on the Prot main, Ret secondary train. People on my server can't get enough Prot Pally lovin' - so I will cater to the adoring masses. I'll still maintain a heal set for those times when a healer just CAN... NOT... BE... FOUND. But it raids where the tank requirements fluctuate boss-to-boss, being able to swap into face-smashing Ret in an instant will be sweet.

Anonymous said...

I'm Prot at the moment, and my questing/levelling would be going a LOT slower if I weren't married to a BM Hunter.

I wouldn't mind going Ret until 80, but at the moment it seems like my guild needs tanks for 5-mans.

I cannot wait for dual-spec; at the moment I'm thinking my 2nd spec will be Ret PvP, and I'll use it for questing as well. I'm imagining that I can use it to do acceptable (but less than uber) DPS if I end up in a group that already has a tank, but I haven't specced Ret PvP yet, so I'm not sure how well that works.

Any idea where I might find the best PvP specs? Seems to me that EJs just does PvE.


Orgauth said...

And oh by the way - Holy Shield Slam (/snicker) is BE-YOU-TA-FULL! I wouldn't be shocked to see it nerfed somewhere down the road - it's that full of goodness.

Josh said...


I wrote up a lovely piece on level 80 builds a few weeks ago. I don't think anything that's been patched/changed has changed my opinions.

If you need more, let me know, I'll write some more!

Dimitris said...

Healers are in short supply.
Since all hybrids (druids, shamans, palas, deathknights) do crazy damage at 80 even in blues, there is a significant shortage of healers. Most PuGs in my realm, are missing a healer.

Lance said...

Leveled as ret to 80, respecced to Holy for my grouping and raiding needs. Ret will be my secondary specc for farming and kicks. Healing will be the main for grouping, raiding and guild contribution.

I think ret is exciting for hammering things but a bit different from my style. I bit blunt, just kill kill kill :p. I find Holy a bit more challenging when it comes to solo quests etc. And I always found healing challenging in groups. So, I am fairly sorted.

Once you sort out your main spec the secondary simply should cover the next bit of content you wanna do.

Alex - aka Firelight said...

I've found myself a nice 0/10/61 Ret build for PvE and I'm going to have my alt spec as a Ret-PvP build. We have enough tanks/healers in my guild - and besides its been so long since I've done either with any commitment I'd be very worried doing either in a raid!

So its Ret-PvE and Ret-PvP for me, no more - no less!

Anonymous said...


There is much more often a lack tanks than healers, except for 25mans perhaps.

While leveling, there is a small decrease in the healers as we've mostly gone ret to level but this won't last long.

At end game, perhaps having ret/holy will see you switching more regularly but having that tanking gear for those particular occassions its needed will probably be a more critical help to your raid.


Paul said...

Well, what do you enjoy most?

With Ulushnar there's no contest, his main build will be tanking and his offbuild will be Ret with a PVE slant. I'm planning on levelling a Death Knight as my PVP toon.

Klepsacovic said...

Right now, I'd make ret one of my specs. It's too important to be able to solo effectively right now.

For the second, definitely not PvP ret. I'm not super-serious about PvP, especially while still gearing up.

Holy and prot are in close conflict. Tanks are always in demand. But so are healers. I can tank as ret, but how well? I'd be missing a lot of mitigation, meaning extra stress for the healer. However that's a single target stress, which I think can be worked around, at least pre-heroic or once I'm overgeared (currently I'm undergeared for pretty much anything).

Holy brings multi-target and instant healing. Those are something that I am definitely seeing as important, at least in 5-mans. My final decision is pretty much which is worse, ret tanking or ret healing. I'd have to go with ret healing. So, despite liking tanking more than healing, I'd have to go with ret main and holy off.

Though currently I'm prot, having switched ret to holy to ret to prot in about three days.

WTB tri-specs for hybrids.

HKPaladin said...

Well. Getting into Raids/instances, and chalking up that gear, 2 specs will be good, Tank and Holy.
So you can Tank or Heal, meaning you can get into most raids, and earn that gear, was you max on the gear, Change on of your specs to other Fav.
For me, I will keep Holy, I liek healing, and change the Prot to Ret, Then I will be able to PVP with serious damage, but still enjoy instances with Holy.
My choice, but feel free to coment

Sam said...

I am having a similar dilema. I have decided to stick to holy and do ret for my off spec. I think it's just a matter of what you like. A lot of preists will have a healing spec reasy and a lot of DKs/warriors/pallys will be tanking in one spec. I think it's going to help a lot with that problem.