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Dual Specializations in WoW
Patch 3.1 for World of Warcraft gives players the ability to switch their character's specialization by pressing a simple button. If the reader wants this expressed from the character's point of view, he will be able to cast a simple spell. The dual specialization ability has many players, including one of my Bright Hub co-workers, eagerly waiting for Patch 3.1 to go live.
The new functionality will make it easier to find groups and make it easier for characters to switch to a specialization that better suits the character's current situation. People in the author's guild have leveled up as a holy paladin and a restoration shaman, but the healing talent trees increase the difficulty of gaining experience in solo play.
How World of Warcraft Players Can Gain the Dual Specialization Ability
The author of the Spooncraft blog reported that players originally needed a Lexicon of Power to gain use of dual specialization. The current patch notes and WoW Insider do not state that inscriptions will be required. A World of Warcraft character can gain the knowledge of how to possess two different specializations at a time by talking to a non-player character found throughout the major cities of Azeroth and Draenor. Only level 80 players will be able to learn this spell once the ability is implemented on the live World of Warcraft servers.
Knowledge may be power, but such power does not come without a price. The cost to gain this ability will be 1,000 gold. Many World of Warcraft bloggers have expressed frustration at Blizzard for implementing such a useful ability as yet another money sink. A Blizzard spokesman responded to this concern by issuing a statement saying that not every player needs the ability to switch between specializations. Whether or not the new ability has been implemented as a money sink, the daily quests make it easy for high level players to get the gold they need to train dual specialization.
Benefits of Dual Specialization
The Hybrid classes, such as the shaman, druid, death knight, and paladin benefit from this change the most as the player can switch to a more needed group or raid role, but it can be useful to every class. Giving classes capable of fulfilling more than one key role the ability to do so will make it easier to fill the needed roles in a group. Raiding characters will be able to switch to a damage per second talent tree when the player does not need to be the tank or healer. What World of Warcraft player has not had a group fall apart because he could not find a healer or a tank?
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Player Reaction to Dual Specialization -- Pros and Cons
Response to the new ability has been largely positive, especially amongst those who spend most of their time raiding. The dual roles will allow classes that can tank, heal, or sometimes both switch as needed. Fatherjones, the raid leader of the author's World of Warcraft guild seemded ecstatic that his priest would be able to switch between shadow and healing specializations as the situation calls for. Musgrave, a hunter from the same guild, seemed to feel that the spec would benefit hunters the most, but did not elaborate on exactly how this would occur
Even though the response has been largely positive, not everyone feels that dual specialization will be a good thing. The concern of people who oppose the change in World of Warcraft Patch 3.1 is that it will make the game easier for many and, thus, make the leveling process too simple. Blizzard has made many changes in this direction, including reducing the amount of experience a player needs to get from level 10 to level 60. The author could not find anyone specifically opposed to the new ability and gleaned this information from the World of Warcraft forums. On the other hand, anyone who has spent hours in the LFG queue waiting to find a needed role for a pick up group understands the many benefits of this, especially as it allows hybrid classes the ability to fill dual group roles, which in theory they should be allowed to do without focusing on a single talent tree.
A shaman, a druid, a paladin, a warrior, or a death knight can use the dual specialization to switch between the tanking or healing roles, depending on which one the player has selected for his character, to the more fun role of dealing damage – a role that many players prefer to taking damage or keeping the hit point totals of another player as close to the maximum as possible.
The notes for Patch 3.1 can be found on Blizzard's World of Warcraft web site.
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Effects of Dual Talent Specialization in WoW
Dual-talent specialization has been in World of Warcraft for nearly a years. Dual talent specialization allows greater customization and utility. However, it also made it necessary for players to use more bag space for additional gear. Most players choose specializations that require similar gear. Balance and Resto druids or elemental and resto shamans are popular combinations. The classes that can tank druid, death knight, warrior and paladin must keep different sets of equipment to fulfill their role.
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Screenshots: World of Warcraft