Triple Spec – A Dream Come True?

Triple spec has been datamined in patch 5.3. Ghostcrawler has tweeted about it saying that it’s “not announced yet” and to “take anything datamined with a pinch of salt”. So I’m trying not to get too excited. However, I’m pretty sure that on one of these site posts I put a wishlist, and triple spec would have definitely been on it. It’s something I’ve been wishing for ever since my paladin became my main. Towards the end of Cata I was respeccing multiple times a week as I maintained gear sets for all three specs. It wasn’t the gold cost that I objected too, rather the pain of changing my ui each time. I kept a screen shot of each spec for easy reference, so it was doable, but a real pain. Not to mention needing to do it within a raid, and, if I respecced the spec I then had to change back too, I’d then have to hearth out and do it again.

So I’ve wanted triple spec for a long time. Every time I ever mentioned it I’d be told that it would never happen, that it was unnecessary, that a line needed to be drawn and dual spec was good enough. If blizz changes this, what does that mean? What does triple spec mean for the game?

The good
Every class can benefit from triple spec if they choose too, as every class has three specs. The days of needing a spec for PvE and for PvP are mostly behind us, due to the ease of talent changing. It’s possible that people would still like to have it on different specs due to UI changes, and triple spec would just make that easier. It’s easier to think of the benefits for hybrids, as their specs are very different from one another. My days of running all three specs on my paladin are behind me. However, I’m wanting to run all three specs on my monk, and giving up in frustration, as I can’t be doing with the constant respeccing that my paladin was subject to in Cata.

Every class that can tank, is a tank, for me. I also like to try healing on any class that can, with dps coming last on the priority list for me. However, I do like to dps, especially when running around questing. So the ability to have a tank, healer and dps spec would be really handy for a lot of people. Tank/healer for groups and then dps for solo play. I always shift into my retribution (dps) spec on my paladin when I’m doing dailies, and it is so much faster than running as protection. I don’t have that option currently on my monk, which is running brewmaster/mistweaver, which is partly why doing dailies on it is such a pain.

Take priests for example, they aren’t full hybrids but they have two healer specs and one dps. Now, I know that each of the healing specs have their own strengths and weaknesses, one is better for some encounters than the other. Therefore a lot of priest healers run holy/disc for more healing diversity, those are the specs of choice on my priest. Now disc can put out dps, but nowhere near as much as a dedicated dps. I’ve been levelling my priest on and off (it’s currently level 89) and I’m fed up with it. I’ve been levelling with a friend and I hate it as it feels like he’s doing most of the work. With triple spec, I could keep my two healing specs, and then have the dps spec to burn mobs down. No more would I feel useless while levelling with him. I’m not the only one with a priest to feel this way, a friend of mine levelled with her friend at the start of the expansion, and her friend got a little frustrated with how slow going it was due to her not being dps specced.

The bad
Where does it end? That was always the biggest argument I heard whenever I campaigned for triple spec. Druids were always used as the response, after all especially now they have four clearly defined specs. Should they have quad spec because of it? As I mentioned above the days of having PvP and PvE specs are mostly gone now because of the ease of talent switching, but for those that still keep it that does introduce another ‘spec’ to the mix. Therefore you have your three PvE specs plus a PvP spec so you have to respec for one of them even with triple spec. So where would it end?

Personally, even though I’ve got into PvP recently, I don’t feel like PvP would really impact very much, especially now. That’s a judgement of course, from my own experiences. I recently set up the ui for my ret paladin to have PvP in mind. However, a couple of extra actions bars with macros don’t affect it’s performance in PvE. The biggest annoyance with swapping PvP to PvE is if I forget to deactivate a couple of addons, like “Healers must die”, which goes nuts with PvE AoE spells as it says the friendly healers are being attacked. That isn’t a spec issue.

Druids are the only ones with a legitimate complaint as they do have four specs. Therefore they’ve always run at more of a disadvantage with the spec system. For my druid three specs would be plenty as I’ve never really tried, or liked, boomkin so that fourth spec would’t be a factor. However, for those that do like, and want to use, each spec, it does seem a trifle unfair if triple spec was introduced, that every other class in the game could have a spec for each spec, and druids would still have to choose. Perhaps they could make quad spec purely for druids? Mind you that would be a little like doing away with spec choice all together, which was another argument I used to hear against having triple spec – choice.

In this game you have to make choices, you can’t have it all. I always fought against this idea, as I kinda thought you should be able too if you worked hard enough. Anyway, they said that you should have to choose which specs you wanted, and that if you refused to be sensible and choose then you got penalised for it. There was the gold cost of respeccing and the time cost of resetting the ui up, if you refused to choose a spec then you were choosing that aggravation. They also said that we were lucky that we got to swap about, which is true. In Swtor you make a choice at level 10 that locks you into one of two specs, and you can’t change that choice. I got to level 30 something on my Bounty Hunter before I realised that I’d really made a mistake with the choice of specs, but it was done and couldn’t be changed. I think that’s a mistake really of Swtor developers, but then this isn’t a post about Swtor’s shortcomings, of which there are many.

The conclusion
Well I’m overwhelmingly in favour of triple spec. It’s no longer a burning desire of mine purely because I gave up my third spec on my main. I no longer run tank/healer/dps on my paladin. I’m just tank/dps as when Mists started I point blank refused to spec healer, I didn’t want to do that anymore. I have on and off regretted that slightly, especially when we were chronically short of healers. However, I never regretted it because I wanted to heal, more because I thought I should to make things better. Anyway, I still think triple spec is a good idea, as it’s a quality of life change, that will make things easier and better for a lot of people. A friend of mine on his warlock is specced affliction/demonology, I love destruction and he wants to try it but not at the expense of losing one of his current specs, triple spec could change all that.

At the end of the day with triple spec, the only players who might still be unhappy are druids. So the solution is clear – bring back bear/cat. It was OP, it was a ton of fun, it was what made me love my druid. It’s loss was a huge blow to the class and the game as a whole. So yeah triple spec and bear/cat. Go for it blizz!