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05 June 2010

Which talent tree is the right talent tree?

Here I am to discuss talent trees, we have all been there trying to squeeze out the best we can from healing to DPS back to tanking. But when we change our specs over to match the "theory crafted" best we may lose abilities/utilities that we may need or have wanted.

To start lets discuss DPS:

Is there such a thing as too little DPS? Some classes have talent trees that limit their DPS to the point they're avoided by everyone that is max level, and others increase there DPS so much they're universally accepted as the "only viable" spec. What does this mean? Are the other trees really that "bad"? Are they ever of any use? Were they there solely to add some leveling ease? Lets take a look at some under used specs.

For a Mage, frost is the plague spec outside of PVP despite having reasonable raid utility. Talents that allow replenishment (a % mana return for all raid members) talents that slow down adds, freeze them in place, and in some cases encase them in ice and stop them from attacking for X seconds.

For a Warlock Demonology is pretty much on the shelf after you are 80. Why? cause it's pet based damage and again is considerably lower than the others. Like frost this is avoided for the low DPS, despite having a raid wide (proc based) spell power buff from the felguard.

Yes I know my name is being cursed and your mashing your faces with your palms at each consecutive word. But Remember these spec still deal damage and in a 10man 3-4k is not overly low. Yes tanks can make 3k etc etc but the point being that some DPS are already pulling 8k so 3 toons getting 8k and you getting 4k but providing more mana other buffs etc may not be a bad trade off for a DPS "loss". There are heaps more than this I know, this is just to make you think, raid leaders should be aware of these advantages. Of course DPS is still gear dependent to a certain extent and at higher levels of gear the gap may close enough to make it viable again.

In 25mans would these become more viable? Not really, because your utility isn't really felt, as a Shadow priest can provide replenishment and they're not the only ones, but again its not likely to be used in a 10man either as no one will accept your utility for DPS losses. Basically these are lost specs, they are covered in so much hate in 10mans and do not stand out that much in 25's so is there a point to this post?

Well yes, the point I am making is that these are still viable despite the hatred. Why are they viable? Because your guild can still request this of you, and you should make them aware that you can provide a specific buff. It may be a one off thing or a permanent thing. The beauty is that dual spec allows you this freedom between boss fights so if you need a spec for one fight but not the rest then why not have an off spec for that fight? Why not have it for a fight you know your guild can easily beat with your lower DPS from a utility spec?

Healers, there is not much for healers you would think, but again there is. Healers have a few tricks in their trees for different things. They have raid/AOE heal talents to focus there healing through multi-target healing, or single target talents to push their single target heals as far as possible. A healer will spec based on what they are doing for there guild, or for how they heal, and others spec a cookie cutter talent tree. The problem with cookie cutter trees is they hover dangerously close to the point that people start hating the tree or their class. Specs for how you play have the opposite effect. You like your class, you have all you want, but you may let others down due to a few missed choices. Specs for how you heal again fall in between this and make you think about talents you want or talents that cookie cutters suggest. Tanks are in the same boat and many warrior tanks will sometimes take two talent specs in with one for AOE and one for single target. Why? because they cannot take both well enough, healers are the same and DPS falls on another scale where they have the ability to kill either way but can be substantially weakened in utility.

So to clarify what all that dribble means:

* The "best" spec is not always the right one
* Spec as a mixture of what you do and how you do it
* Tanks and Healers specialize between multiple or single targets
* DPS.... Raid contribution based on selective talents and trees

Yes I know half the WOW community is now going to end me, the other half sees my point and the third half....hang on.... Anyway, the point being all trees are viable as long as you make them viable.

If you want more DPS there is going to be a more prominent tree, utility again has more prominent talents that may be missed by cookie cutter trees. So work out what you like and what everyone in your guild is comfortable with and have fun. Hell I play a frostfire mage and that spec died on release, so enjoy what you do and make it work. Remember, you can't dps if you're taking a dirt nap because you didn't give yourself utility talents. A healer with no mana is not a healer, its a liability. A tank with no.... HEALTH! is not going to save your DPS'n butt. You may be there to kill but you are all linked to each other.

Egamad...the SHAMAGE

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