Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Did someone say [Triple Spec, Joyful Bane of the Alt Seeker]?

Okee-doke. Time to come clean. When I saw that the option for a third talent specialization had been data-mined, my initial reaction was oh god, please no. I really don't like the idea of a tri-spec option, because of...and I couldn't really come up with reasons I felt were objective enough to toss out there. Twenty-four hours later, I'm just feeling weird, but that's par for the course. How might this be different than duel spec? It's not, really. It will allow players additional freedoms when it comes to playing their character of choice.

I don't think you can argue that this is bad, or detrimental to the game, but someone will. Or probably already has. Oh well. I definitely believe it has the potential to alter/effect playstyles, and that's what I look at below. This one's very much internal-facing and opinion-based. You've been warned.

Dawn of the mainoholic
When I google "MoP alt," the first auto-complete suggestion I get is "unfriendly." Ghostcrawler even stated in November '12 that MoP was "designed to be compelling without alts." I would argue just that: MoP is compelling without alts. I've spent the vast majority of playtime this expansion on the Main, and I still have plenty to do. Several of my friends have multiple toons at max level, but unlike me, most don't raid weekly, play the auction house, blog about WoW, (try to) run a guild, or get distracted by pet battles to the point where you feel compelled to write a series of detailed guides

How does a third specialization further affect the time I spend leveling alts? Frankly, the leveling of alts likely won't happen. Which is ok...I guess -- good god, what am I saying?! Bidding farewell to alts is a GOOD thing! I've really no right to complain if Blizzard's designed a game that keeps me interested to the point where I literally get hundreds of hours of enjoyment from playing one character. If a third spec is really right around the corner, I don't see why realm/account-wide professions can't be lagging just behind on the horizon. Mark my words. Really. You can bookmark this blog if you like.

Joking aside, I'll opt for a third specialization on the main and make sure his gear on all fronts is viable enough to hold his own in a raid environment. I'm actually kind of looking forward to finally playing as elemental! 

I'm rolling for my off-off-spec
While loot rules in 5-mans aren't really spelled out anywhere, it's generally acceptable for players to roll need for main spec items and at least ask before rolling need on off-spec items. But come 5.3, my shammy's going to want to two sets of intellect gear in addition to his enhancement set. Might triple spec mean the LFR loot system will be transplanted into 5-mans, where we're no longer rolling against our groupmates, but instead rolling against the system itself? 

Three specs may signal greater competition for loot -- at least in 5-mans -- if Blizzard doesn't remove that competition altogether, as I suggested above. Unless Valor/Justice accumulation rates increase and caps are removed or loosened, players won't be able to count on those methods to gear up their third spec at a quick rate, either.

Wardrobe needed more than ever
At minimum, we need more bag space. Pie-in-the-sky? It's time to implement a wardrobe-like feature to address the fact that a good portion bag space is being gobbled up by gear sets. I'm making a serious effort to remove unneeded items from my bank on a monthly basis and tossing unused gear into void storage. Still, there are currently less than 10 free slots in my bank, and barely more than that free in my bags. Between a couple of vanity items, a stack or two of profession mats, my healing set, a PvP enhancement set, raid consumables, food and the like, I'm constantly dealing with full bags, which is a tiny, annoying PITA. 

Not the features you are looking for...or are they?
Could...could this be the special, unannounced feature our favorite crab alluded to in January? Eh, I kind of hope not. And it's not because I don't think triple spec is cool. It's tres cool, but not on par with what I consider to be a major feature. Then again, Ghostcrawler did essentially say that some people would be all like "Yeah!" while others would be all like "Meh." We'll find out definitively within a couple of months, but if MoP's equivalent to Cataclysm's LFR is the option for a third spec, it would mark the first time Blizzard released a major feature for the game that I felt didn't live up to the hype.

After further thought, I'm 90% positive that triple-speccing is not Ghostcrawler's unannounced feature. Sourcing my gut on this one. 

Conclusion...made ya look?
Now, giving the timing of the triple spec discovery, many players are wondering if this might be an April Fool's joke. Given Blizzard's penchant for perpetrating 4/1 jokes on its playerbase, I'd have to say...no. No, this isn't a joke. While it might make more sense to implement the third spec option at the start of an expansion, Blizzard can do what they want. Plus, when it comes to April Fool's jokes, Blizzard tends to be a bit more over-the-top. A third spec doesn't seem very outrageous at all. In fact, it's something players have been asking for quite some time.

Plain and simple, I'm looking forward to rolling elemental. I'm also looking forward to being able to fill a ranged DPS spot in our progression raid, since we tend to find ourselves a bit melee heavy. How 'bout you? Do you think it's a joke? Either way, is it something you're looking forward to?

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