Patch 5.0.4 Impressions; fourth specs

Patch 5.0.4 is finally upon us and I apologize for not having blogged in a while. I was busy with RL and also preparing my investments for the eventual patch. I’ve made around $10k in profit so far by buying materials that I foresaw was going to appreciate in value. Not too shabby. I’m sure I could make much more if I had invested the time to do more careful research and perusing the beta info (which I totally had access to but never used because my PC is running out of space).

With that in mind, here are the first impression of the new patch. I will add more and more impressions once I play more.

  • Warlocks rock!! I feel so powerful now, and downright invincible playing as demonology with wrathguard pet. I have been soloing level 70 heroics for reps, and previously I would have to be a bit careful with not overpulling. Yes, you can actually die if you’re not careful. But now, especially with Sacrificial Pact, I’m never even close. Also, AOE looting is nice.
  • DK is a bit clunkier to play, maybe I’m just not used to it. I did gain a lot of hp and avoidance with the new conversion rating, so instance runs are really easy now. What’s nice is that I’m self-healing a lot more, and I very rarely fall under 80% of health in heroics. That’s with my healer DC-ing.
  • Playing my resto druid, I didn’t notice any significant power increase, although I was paying a lot less attention in general. The new healing treant talent is nice, you can fire it often, and that allows you to “sit back, relax, and alt-tab” for a little bit during trash pulls. Their healing is not super big, but after you set all your dots, put the treants in place, you can afford to be afk for 5 seconds before getting back into action.

Now, following a thread of conversation I had with a friend, now that druid has a fourth spec, what if each class is given the same treatment. What would it look like? I don’t claim that these ideas are all good, but these are the ones that first came to mind:

  • Shaman should get a tanking spec. This way, each spec can be attuned to one of the elements: earth for tanking, air for melee, fire for caster, water for healing. There are already tools in place to increase threat generation, they just need to add more totems and spells that support a complete tanking toolbox.
  • Death Knights should get a healing spec. A lot of what they do is already healing: self healing, rezzing, preventing damage. This could be interesting because instead of mana, their main resources would be runes and mana. (Runic power would not work well with a healing class, because a resource that starts at zero can’t be longevity-limiting). This is similar to how monks suddenly use mana when healing.
  • Paladins should get a caster spec, with Holy Shock as the main nuke. Now intellect plates won’t be as wasted.
  • Priests should get a tanking spec, thematically similar to discipline, except bubble galore. You can still wear cloth, but introduce a stance that increases armor like crazy (similar to how ice armor used to be).
  • Mages should get either a tanking spec or healing spec. Tanking spec could be similar to frost where cold winds reduce your chance to be hit, ice barrier bubbles yourself, etc. Healing spec can be based on the whole time-warp theme where you restore some life via warping time, because the wound wasn’t there and now it’s there, after you warp it it’s no longer there.
  • Warlocks should get a tanking spec, which they totally almost did. The thing with clothies all get tanking spec is that now you can introduce dodge and parry in cloth gear and it would be desired by multiple specs.
  • Hunters should get a tanking spec via pet. I don’t know how to make this fair, because while the pet is tanking, what should the hunter do? Keep dpsing and do excellent dps? That won’t be fair to the other tanks. Also, a large part of tanking is reactiveness: cooldowns, pushing buttons to anticipate the next boss abilities, actively managing mitigation. Maybe if you change some abilities to behave: as long as serpent sting is active, your pet gets 5% extra dodge, then it’d be possible. However, movement fights would be a nightmare.
  • Rogues should get an evasion tanking spec, which they kinda did back in TBC.
  • Warriors? Hmm I admit I have no clue here. They should get a healing spec, but how would that work thematically? Band-aids?