This will come as no surprise to you folks, but it’s once again Monday. I am once again sitting in my office in a horribly tired not yet caffeinated state of mind. As I listen to the coffee pot make burbling hissing noises I started thinking (of all things) about job descriptions.
Just like real life there are job descriptions within Warcraft. When you are running solo questing your way to 80 you are pretty much a one man band. Anything that needs done is kind of up to you. That is why Hunters in particular are very strong at leveling, they have from as early as level 12 the ability to tank with a pet, heal the pet in combat, and do damage (hopefully from range) at the same time. Once you start grouping though, things change up a bit.
At the risk of gross oversimplification the way I see it there are four different jobs within a group.
Pretty much the art of pissing things off and keeping their attention without dying, buying the group time to kill the mobs and the healer time to keep everyone alive.
Feral Druids, Protection Warriors, Protection Paladins, and Death Knights of any tree when properly specced are generally called upon for these duties. They are designed to handle the pounding and keep things pissed off at them, there by keeping the rest of the party from getting their heads caved in.
The fine are of pouring more health into the party than the bad guys are taking away. In an ideal world they should only ever have to heal the tank, but its not an ideal world.
Holy and Discipline Priests, Restoration Shamen, Restoration Druids, and Holy Paladin are the ones most equipped to handle this.
Ranged Damage Dealers (DPS)
Kind of like their name suggests they stand at range while the tanks keeps things occupied and the healer keeps everyone alive and try to make sure that the bad guy runs out of health before the healer runs out of mana. Some use magic and some use physical damage to get the job done. One, the Hunter, even kind of combines ranged DPS with melee DPS in the form of their pet. However the actual damage is done the job is similar, kill bad guys.
Mages of all specs fit this bill, as do Balance Druids, Elemental Shamen, Shadow Priests, Warlocks of all flavors, and Hunters of all specs have the tools to handle this job.
Melee Damage Dealers (DPS)
Melee Damage dealers have pretty much the same job as ranged Dps. The method of going about it is a bit different though. Instead of staying back they are up close and personal with the bad guys. The way they go about it may be a bit different but the end result is the same. Make the bad guys run out of health before the healer runs out of mana.
Death Knights of all specs, Retribution Paladin, Arms and Fury Warriors, Feral Druids, and Enchantment Shamen all do this job. Edit: somehow my decalffinated noob self forgot to put Rogues here. Not quite sure How I managed to do that .*shakes head at self*
As I was thinking about this I realised that with the new dual spec feature and the latest alt that I have been leveling I will have all four bases covered. As it sits right now I have a healer in Morham, my holy priest and a ranged Dps in Drupadi, my Hunter. The last piece of the puzzle is my Druid, Giligan, who put five more levels on this weekend and is now happily melee Dpsing his way along.
Assuming three things, Giligan makes it to 80, dual specs have been implemented, and i don’t get bored and quit playing, It will look like this.
Morham, my priest. Healer (Holy) and Ranged Dps (Shadow)
Drupadi, my Hunter. Ranged Dps (Beastmastery) and Ranged Dps (Survival)
Giligan, my Druid. Tanking (Feral) and melee Dps (Feral)
I have read a lot lately about the dual spec feature and how it will either be a non-issue or the end of the world. My thoughts on the matter are that it will be not be game destroying. It will be game changing. There is a paradigm shift coming, and it’s coming on fast. Where it goes from here remains to be seen.
I can tell you from where I sit though I plan to put most of my effort into Morham and Giligan. Between the two of them I will be able to do pretty much any job in the game. Maybe not as well as someone who specialises, but such is life.
A last thought on dual specs. If I were to start over somewhere new once they go live I really think it would effect the character I chose. I could roll a Mage, Hunter, Warlock, or Rogue, but why? I simply would not want to limit myself down the road. That’s kind of sad really.