Dual specs and loot

| Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm going to work off the assumption that "mainspec before offspec" will remain. The thing to change is how we define main and off.

This may vary with the server or individual, so please keep in mind that this is just my own experience. However for purposes of being better than everyone else, I will assume that my experience is the right one and everyone else is doing it wrong.

What is a main spec?
In a PUG, it is the spec you came as, with the exception of respeccing specifically for the run.
In an organized group, either with a guild or friends, it is your most common spec. It may be a spec that defines your character.

What is an off spec?
Anything other than the main spec.

I propose that a new spec type will come to exist: secondary spec.
Main spec will remain the most common spec, a sort of RP-based identity, what you are most comfortable playing or that your guild expects you to play.
The secondary spec will be the alternate spec. You'll play it and you can become it in five seconds, but it's not your main. It will be a middle ground between the current main and off; closer to main, but not quite.
Offspec will be the third (or fourth, fifth, sixth... hybrids need decimal specs). It is not something that you can easily switch to, having the cost you see now when respeccing, but it will be more unusual than it is now since 5 second and free will be the new standard for role-switching.

Secondary specs may eliminate the current exception on mainspec before offspec: respeccing for the group. Now people are unlikely to fully respec and so it's hard to really say to outsiders what is main. I think PUG loot is going to start going by current spec without "I respecced for you, let me roll like my main spec."

In guilds, main specs will go first, then secondary, then offspec. If I am prot/holy and you're prot/ret, I win on holy gear, you win on ret, we are equal on prot.


Kiryn said...

A lot of people are worried about how we'll manage loot rolls when everyone has two specs. I don't think it'll change much. We already roll for main and offspec gear, the only difference is that you can now switch between them much more easily, and some people will feel more entitled to roll on offspec gear now that it's a switch on a whim rather than an annoyance and a cost.

I really hope people will just get in the habit of saying what their two specs are at the beginning of every run, so everyone knows what to expect. But at the same time, I know people usually don't go over loot rules at the beginning of a PuG and I shouldn't expect that to change. I know a lot of people will be rolling need on things I need for my main spec, saying "but I need it for my second spec!"

Stabs said...

This is how I think it will work

In pugs everyone will press Need on anything they can use in either main spec and possibly in third specs too. Unless you make a point of saying "Is anyone else planning to roll on the tanking trinket?" and they agree not to.

In guilds most people will just main spec/offspec because your system is too complex for them. Much qq will then ensue along the lines of "you took that to gather dust in your bank when you KNOW I have to tank a drake in 30 mins???? You selfish git!"

I do like your 3 tier system btw, I just don't expect most players to be bright enough to adopt it.

Green Armadillo said...

The thing that may differ is that your group's healer's primary character identity may be as caster DPS. With the lower barrier to switch (secondary spec versus off-spec), I think we will see more "I'm willing to heal only if you allow me to roll main spec on DPS gear". (That person then may or may not ALSO end up with healing gear by default.)

Also, the distinction between secondary and off specs may not be so firm. Priests and Death Knights can only fill two of the holy trinity class role, so they wouldn't have an off-spec anymore, just a secondary. Meanwhile, the cash cost of respeccing your secondary slot may be the same, but the personal cost - either having to live with the new spec or having to pay for another respec - is much lower when you have your "main" spec to fall back on at the touch of a button.

Fish said...

I think the expectation in 5 mans should be if you are running off-spec, you should be able to need on something if it is not an upgrade for the person filling the role i.e. if I have a prot main spec and holy off-spec, but I am healing on a run, I get to need on any healing gear and any tank gear that isn't an upgrade for whoever is tanking and if I'm tanking, I get to roll on tank gear and any healing gear that is not an upgrade for the healer. DPS will get filtered out in this because it is highly unlikely there will be a piece of DPS gear that isn't an upgrade for SOMEONE in the group.

Klepsacovic said...

@Kiryn In my experience people generally assume a few rules but will generally ask if there is an enchanter, at least after the first boss dies and everyone passes. So I don't think loot discussion is totally unusual and hopefully people will accommodate the new system. A good start would just be people putting their specs in the LFG note. That's just a good habit in general.

@Stabs Sadly, you may be right. But we can hope, right?

@GA I'm actually seeing that even now, though for different reasons. A few times I've said "I'll tank this, but I want to be able to roll on X item." Healers and tanks get groups pretty easily, so we run out of tank/heal loot and need some incentives. You're probably right that the distinction of main and off will be weak, I'm sure it's unusual that I really identify myself as prot. This is why I'm expecting current spec = main spec to be the rule in PUGs, except when the healer/tank wants DPS gear.

@Fish That seems about like the current system I've need "anyone mind if I need that for offspec?" Sometimes people will do "need for main, greed for off" but that sometimes messes with enchanting since they may greed for DE, even though DE after all pass is safer.

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