Class Specs in Legion 7.2.5.

As I’m exploring the least played specs – due to investing the artifact power in them, it’s time to revise my thoughts and feelings about them.

Legion is encouraging me to try every spec which I do, so by the end of expansion I’m becoming a natural in each and every of them. I’m quite capable now of telling my likes and dislikes as my artifacts are fully – or almost fully developed by the moment. It’s time for revision.

Demon Hunter – Melaris the Night Elf

Havoc – the DPS spec is one of the best melee DPS due to its extreme mobility. I’m a whirlwind of blades, and it’s still awesome.

Vengeance is powerful and cool for tanking. I praise it for perfect self-heals, pro-active gameplay (no cooldown waiting), and very cool AoE damage and aggro.

Death Knight – Mindebad the Gnome

Frost – is yet my favorite DK spec. I like winter, I like how powerful it is, excellent against a single target and not bad for AoE.

Unholy – is a very strong spec, maybe even more powerful than Frost. But the gameplay feels slow, cooldowns are often there, there’s debuff tracking involved, and an ugly pet to guide. Not my piece of cake, not playing it whatever the numbers it delivers.

Blood – the slowest tanking spec of all. I like the vampiric fantasy of the spec very much, but imo it should be a hurricane, now it’s a very slow doom type. It just doesn’t fit.

Druid – Helu the Tauren

Balance – is still a mortar, but it’s feels more channeling now. Very powerful, very comprehensible, perfect for raids, although maybe not for the field.

Feral – vice versa. Perfect for the field gameplay to quickly slay all the mobs if you have enough Haste not to wait for cooldowns, but I’d prefer a caster in raids.

Restoration – a new and enjoyable healing spec for me. I like the HoTs rolling on, but I think that massive healing is not its strong side.

Guardian – with all the range of other druid specs, I’m rarely playing it, but it’s one of the easiest tanks. Nothing bad to say about it.

Hunter – Backston the Human

Marksmanship – once you learn the synergy between abilities, it becomes the most enjoyable spec to play. It benefits from pets, massive damage, ranged gameplay and what not. Excellent one, and once again my choice in every situation.

Survival – I haven’t played one much or even at all before Legion. Its fantasy nowadays is awesome, I can’t help repeating that. It’s definitely more dangerous to play than ranged specs, but it’s effective enough and has this trapper’s vibe. Haste is very drastic, or it just turns into pile of shit if there are cooldowns to wait for. Should be very swift.

Beast Mastery – is hell. Again, I’m not sure what has it been before, but it’s just awful in Legion. Naturally you don’t see your pets much, because they’re somewhere there in the fray of battle. You have ONE shooting ability in your single target rotation. You, a hunter with a gun, have ONE shooting ability. The rest of the time you’re YELLING. No kidding, three of your basic rotation abilities + artifact special trait are YELLING OUT LOUD. And you’re supposed to be immersed about that. Imagine you’re in raid, and what you do is just crying at the boss, then it dies. Besides, the spec was probably designed for kindergarten. I stood in raid and just pressed the abilities when they went off cooldown. It’s faceroll, there’s no depth, no nothing. You faceroll and shout at the bosses, and this is Beast Mastery. Very immersing (not).

Mage – Micromantica the Gnome

Frost – is the best spec, but to my liking, I have a soft spot for snow and ice magic. You need to be cool, let the ice flow through your palms and let it do the job. Every iteration in every expansion is enjoyable, albeit very different from its predecessor.

Fire – feels more devastating, and offers excellent bursts.

Arcane – I grew to enjoy it in general. Although I hate that mana runs out which slows you down for 5 seconds to replenish. Quite unnecessary. The spec is not convenient in the field, but excellent for AoE mobs in older raids.

Monk – Paitsu the Gnome

It had some changes from Pandaria and Draenor, although everything is pretty fine with it.

Brewmaster – tanking spec offers excellent AoE options, including aggro. The major mitigation mechanics of the delayed damage is perfect to ease up the job for healers. Yet it feels a bit slow and clumsy.

Mistweaver – is a brand new spec for me, and I like the clever mist spell as well as other healing options. Probably one of the most enjoyable healers for me with lots of opportunities.

Windwalker – is less enjoyable than before, with trademark stuns gone, although quite cool and powerful. Not so fast as expected from a martial fighter, although very much pleasurable to play.

Paladin – Anibell the Human

Protection – is one of the most solid tanking specs with excellent movement and aggro, sturdy, powerful, designed to stand on your ground. It’s so stout that I rarely even use the most powerful cooldowns – because basic rotation is normally quite enough.

Holy – is my least favorite healing spec of all. You have to be in close proximity to the healed players to be the most effective (based on mastery), so when the raid is spread wide, you just suck. And despite the strong single target heals, AoE is a problem for you, so whenever massive AoE damage, you struggle, and your fingers are steaming to keep up.

Retribution – has always been the easiest build – spend damage dealing spec. It has some abilities’ synergy to think about, but it’s not quite interesting to play nowadays.

Priest – Aurinko the Gnome

I’m quite new to the whole priesting business, as I started my first serious priest toon only a month prior to Legion.

Shadow – the new madness mechanics is nice. I did a trick in my latest raid run, juggling my panel a bit to make it more accessible, and carrying out DoTs a bit farther, now I’m a killer machine.

Holy – is the best healing spec in the game, period. Direct heals and HoTs, a range of spells for every situation and in their own niches.

Discipline – I guess it was mainly shields before. It was very nice to play (I believe I played a Disc priest once until level 40). Now it’s a frenzy! You have to think in two ways at once: thinking about delivering lots of damage and thinking about delivering heals. It’s the most pro-active spec in the whole game, and not only healing ones. I’m enjoying healing with it because it’s super fun, but I doubt it would compare in effectiveness with Holy – at least in my hands. Yet :) Maybe I need a lot more practice.

Rogue – Hexen the Goblin

Assassination – my love. Heavy hitting poisons and bleeds which continue to work their way in enemy’s veins even if you had to step away from him are precious. Nuff said.

Subtlety – I’ve never tried this spec before Legion, but it’s a killer. You dive in and out of the shadows, almost no DoTs (strange for a rogue, huh), but the strikes themselves are mighty. Literally two hits to slay a mob. I’m trembling at the sight of its power. Super effective, and a very enjoyable rotation.

Outlaw – is a spec with a face turned to people :) No hiding and sneaking, you step proud and start a saber slashing game. I’m not a fan of this pirate thing – well if I were, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Shaman – Schlitzchen the Goblin

Enhancement – is super squishy nowadays. This is why I’m not enjoying it, although it’s well fitting to questing, because mobs die fast enough. Seriously, mobs keep taking off health very quickly, and you have very few self-healing options now.

Elemental – is a mortar which is very enjoyable, fun… but slow. You have to collect enough firepower for the most powerful spells, and you can’t do that with common mobs. So you just plink them chip by chip, and it’s tedious. Killing 10 wossnames bores you to the bowels – NOT good for questing. When you have enough time – like fighting a raid boss – it suddenly shines.

Restoration – is my second favorite healing spec after Holy Priest. I’m enjoying the major Chain Heal for being a clever heal, and it’s quite spectacular too. Excellent AoE utility.

Warlock – Faerella the Goblin

Affliction – my favorite spec. The two new things in Legion are these: one of the DoTs now can and has to be implemented multiple times (the more of this DoT, the more the damage), two, mana is being depleted nowadays – which is just an extra nuisance lingering you. These are irritating in raids, but you kill everything in the open world super fast.

Destruction – is a mortar type thing which makes it hell in the open field. When you want to rush into a fray of battle, you start caaaaaaaaasting. Yikes :) Although it has no mana troubles, and thus perfect for raiding.

Demonology – I have as many issues as possible. It’s not complex to comprehend, but many of your spells are summoning packs of demons which deal damage. Fantasy-fitting approach, the only problem being: you don’t see any of those demons. They are dark, small, and even casting imps are summoned not beside you, but near your enemy. So you can’t tell them even in the field, save the raid environment. You keep clicking your ability buttons, and enemy health just drops – you don’t feel like you control anything. You’re just clicking buttons. This is awfully discouraging.

Warrior – Bons the Gnome

Protection has excellent saves, yet it feels very slow. I think I enjoyed the previous Draenor version more.

Arms is a heavy weapon swinging, everything’s ok with how it feels and spec fantasy. Although… not so powerful. That’s the rarest case when I want less frequent actions compensated by more powerful blows.

Fury is really furious, but very squishy – again. I don’t know how, but a warrior manages to get it all even in its plate armor. And I’m not quite happy with the ability range – one of the blows must be there in rotation yet it feels so out of place.

Generally every warrior spec is not fine for 100%, it’s a solid 70%.

So, this is my spec review for Legion 7.2.5.

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New Specs!

For the second time in Legion the artifact system dictates me trying and playing the other specs than I normally like to play.

When you have a goal of driving every artifact to 52 traits, and you accidentally drop 21,8 million token into the already upgraded weapon… well, it sucks. So just in case I’m running, questing and exploring the pleasures of now-upgraded spec.

I think however good I’m becoming in playing an extra spec, sometimes I just don’t like to do this. Examples would be Beast Mastery for Backston, Demonology for Faerella or Unholy for Mindebad – outright boring. Mindebad is almost at 52 with her Unholy spec, and yet I didn’t grow to like it as much as I like Frost. So it’s 52, and I’m done with it.

Sometimes I switch specs due to their utility. Obviously tanking specs are a mere pleasure when engaging specifically fat very dangerous mobs during a world quest.

For warlocks it’s extremely awesome to quest in Affliction, because everything dies super fast, but I hate my mana depletion during raids, and a very slow Destruction is much more enjoyable for nuking bosses, although its mortar-type playing style is a torture in the field. It’s the same with shaman: Enhancement is very cool in the field, cause you rush into the fray, and in few quick blows everything’s dying, but Elemental is a preferable thing in raids to rain elements from afar and have a better sight of encounter.

Draenor introduced tanking specs to me, and in Legion I started healing. Actually every spec that can heal is my choice for Tomb of Sargeras today. It’s fun, relaxing, and very engaging. My paladin Anibell pulled off the Har’jatan encounter when our tank had 30 (!) stacks on himself. The other tank just died 5 seconds after he tried to tank any boss, I don’t know the reason. He was a warrior, he had a decent ilvl around 870 – quite enough for LFR. He just got one-shot – nothing a healer could do.

The most challenging spec is Discipline, and I tried it yesterday. It’s mind blowing by all means, but I think I’m starting to get the general idea. You have to place a heal on a friendly character, then start DPS-ing a boss very quickly to heal the friendly target, BUT if he’s dying, you have to switch to mighty direct healing spells. It’s outright insane :)

For a test, I ran Aqueducts to make it a bit challenging, but not so stressful as Tomb of Sargeras. Whew, it was fun. I want to learn the “how” at least. I like Holy very much, but Discipline has a potential in my case.

And when I’m done with healing artifacts, it’s gonna be time for tanking :) My goal with tanks is making it a fun and relaxing experience, not a run where I sweat and get tired :)

Anyways, exploring new specs is very fun! By the end of the Legion I’m gonna be decent in every 36 ways I guess.

Trivia: Every Little Thing We Do

Insurrection Completion & Further Plans

My Insurrection project comes to an end. I have 2 toons left to complete this questline. Melaris the Demon Hunter is today at step 9 (final), and Mayluna the Druid has completed the second and last intermission of 5 order hall missions, so she’s ready to whoosh through steps 7-9 in one breath.

It means that we’re ready to kill Gul’dan next week for a quest – which is a perfect timing.

It also means that the main expansion storyline will be completed for all of my toons. We could probably do some side questlines for fun – like murlocs or kobolds in Highmountain – but it’s very optional and not at all urgent or obligatory.

  • The priority goal (except the obvious LFR runs for transmog and gear upgrades) will be reputations. I don’t know if I’m gonna do Exalted for every toon, but I must definitely go Exalted for profession-related factions on my toons.
  • I also need to get busy with profession quests and professions themselves. Like I said, I don’t want to craft anything in Legion except toys and transmog items – all the fun is dead in this expansion. But I definitely want to max all profs to 800 and settle there quite happy. Darkmoon is coming this week too.
  • Transmog runs – with 7.2. coming, I’m eager to collect some full sets from older raids. It’s a leisure activity – and with lots of rewards. Besides, the raids hold many models that I simply crave to have. For example, I’ve visited old Karazhan on every leather toon to get the coolest black high boots which make you legs look slender, not tumors. It’s a must item for my Night Elves.

Mastering Non-Played Specs

I’m in a sort of a lull state – as my activities now consist of either repeatable content or forgiving LFR runs. So it’s the best spot to try the specs I did not play before and see if they’re cool.

1/ That One Quest during Good Suramaritan made me learn to play every tanking spec I haven’t tried yet. Now I’m very confident about tanks of every class (except DK), and I could easily perform a tank role in dungeon or raid if needed. Still I leave that role to crack the harder questing nuts if it’s too hard to complete as a dps. For example, Melaris does the final legs of Insurrection in Vengeance because it involves groups of hardened mobs attacking you at once, and Havoc is too squishy to play there comfortably, it lacks endurance.

2/ I still have some strong objections to healing, but “not that we needed healing for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious spec trying, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.” The major reason for me not to heal is that you’re not only looking on your action bars, but instead of the battle field you look at health bars. So I’m a complete wuss in healing. Still I may try some healing in very forgiving LFRs EN and ToV which are on farm: yesterday our tank (and thus raid) completely ignored Guarm’s breath mechanics, and we slew it. I’m eager to try Priest and Shaman for a start – but not now, not now.

3/ DPS-specs that I didn’t try before. By now I’ve pretty much played all the specs I’ve previously ignored, I got the idea, and I know how to max my performance to be most effective. What have we got here:

Rogue: In Legion I’ve mastered Subtlety and Outlaw. Subtlety is super effective but your abilities constantly switch on the bar as you dive in and out of shadows, and it lacks the heavy DoT component. It’s good for outdoors, but a bit dull for raids. Outlaw is precious for its pirate vibe, and it must stay as such, but it’s not very fun to me. Assassination is my choice for every situation.

Death Knight: Hellyeah, I’ve finally tried and liked Unholy spec. It appeared to be very cool for every situation: in raids you are on your own because pet is busy somewhere, and outdoors it’s great to kill many mobs and do it fast. Death Coil is amazing spell too :) But it has its drawbacks: it’s not so fun for raid marathons as you wait too much for cooldowns on the long run, and your pet is annoying you – I don’t like pets, and I grow tired of them very fast. Especially when it’s an abomination which is too hulking. I think I would sacrifice my DPS and walk with a ghoul. If they had a talent to dismiss your pet forever, Unholy would definitely be equal to Frost for me. Otherwise it’s an occasional fun spec, but not my main.

Unholy-DK-Gnome.jpg

Hunter / Warlock: share the same problem with Beast Mastery and Demonology specs. It’s easy to learn how to play them, but they are not fun at all. Much of your abilities are about pets… and you just don’t see what these abilities do. You press a button, and enemy’s health drops a bit. So, your character seems like lazy and doing nothing.

Some Fun Stuff

I took part in hippogryph hatching event. It was pretty useless, and I felt myself a bit cheated.

hippogryph-hatch

Adding achievements would have been easy and motivating. Why not do so? Otherwise I just don’t have the urge or desire to participate in these events. I didn’t go to Silithus, and I’m not gonna celebrate the guards day in capitals or whatever it is.

drums-achievement-highmountain

Highmountain has a hidden achievement: collect your friends and find out that the Thunder Totem floor where chieftains are is actually a big drum!

Wowhead says that 5 people is enough – we did it with 10 guildies. Countdown and jump-jump-jump on the drum altogether!

Enter Warlock…

Reading a post about Microfury – did you think for a single moment that I’m not playing warlocks anymore?

Meet Faerella.

f8

She’s glorious, she likes shinies, and all her life is a never-ending carnival.

By the way, it’s interesting how I localized her name into Latin letters :) In Cyrillic it’s spelled as Феарелла – if you change letters one by one without thinking it would be “Fearella”.

I can’t spell it this way by some reasons.

First, an English reader would detect the word “fear” in the name. As suitable as it could be for a warlock, in Russian the meaning of nickname reminds more of the word “faerie” and has nothing to do with fear. Second, you would also read “Fear-” as [fɪə], and in this case you should spell it in Russian as “Фиарелла” which is a different nickname.

So, to keep reading the first syllable as [fɛə] and keep the association with faerie (her life is a life of a princess, full of pleasure and singing butterflies) – I’ve swapped two vowels for the blog, and I give you Faerella :)

Changing Specs

As long as I’m forced not gaming this week, I thought I could write a long-planned post about my spec issues in Legion.

So, specs.

Spec Swapping Philosophy

Switching specs is becoming easier and easier with every expansion. Gear has been given double or triple major stats: that is, you’re automatically start to benefit from Intellect rather than Agility if you Enhancement Shaman switches to Elemental or Restoration. Rings and trinkets have those stats removed – this is the next step in this direction. Legion has also granted us the ability to switch to whichever spec you want upon click without visiting training masters.

At the same time the introduced artifact weapons became some sort of impediment. You could find it hard to try some serious tanking if you’ve put all your artifact points in a healer weapon, or try to swap from one DPS spec to another for the same reason. But I suppose it concerns only serious raiding business guys only. For a casual player like myself, a spec swap is not a problem. In half a day your second weapon could be upgraded to 25 traits with absolutely no effort, and you could buy some basic relics at AH and win the upgrades in LFR and world quests. Maybe you won’t be as cool as a badass main spec too soon, but at least you won’t feel too undertuned to suffer during raids , dungeons and questing. So if you want to try another spec, I see that there’s little trouble. Which is good, and even more exciting that it happens considering the whole complexity of the artifact system.

Before Legion, I stuck to the philosophy of one spec – one alt. I enjoy starting alts and leveling, so it’s never been a problem to get myself a new toon and drive it to level cap while learning to play a spec from basics. And I had time to do so – there was not much to be done during WoD and MoP expansion ends. Still I’ve reduced my alt number to 12 in Legion – covering all classes. This decision during pre-patch was quite a prophetic one, as I’m barely coping with keeping even them 12 up-to-date now. The amount of content in Legion is pretty overwhelming.

Now I’m feeling good with my toons – I’m just at the right place. They all are ready to drive through The Nighthold LFRs, and it also means that I may pick whichever class and spec I’d like to play at the moment. My goal now is to open 35 traits for all artifact weapons, then I could slowly and lazily invest the leftovers until 7.2.

Spec Choices

Legion has brought us massive spec changes, so in some cases I’ve started questing in August with another specs than I’ve played before. And it’s time to revise how it played out – let’s do it class by class.

Mage

micromantica

By the start of the Legion Micromantica mained Frost throughout her lifetime, and I’ve also had a maxed Fire alt (deleted now). Leveling in Frost in Legion was pain, but I’ve remained true to the spec apart from few quests in Suramar in Fire. Now that all undertunes to Frost are long gone, I’ve forgotten about Fire and main Frost again. I have recently tried Arcane for the very first time in my life. It appeared to be interesting, so Micromantica could grab her Alu’neth from time to time to have some fun in LFR. Though if she’s outside raiding environment or if she wants some serious damage, it’s Frost only.

Warlock 

microfury

Microfury has been faithful to Affliction until Legion pre-patch. Questing and leveling till January was spent in Destruction though. A slow but powerful mortar, Destruction seemed more suitable to me. Now that I leveled traits in Affliction in January, I’m back there again. I was positively surprised how Suramar mobs just POP under Affliction spells – you don’t even have time to place all the DoTs. And it’s extremely fun and complex rotation with fatter foes – elites and bosses, that is. So, Affliction it is now – as a faster and more vivid spec. I’ve tried Demonology, and it didn’t seem fun or engaging at all.

Priest

aurinko

No surprises for Aurinko. I’m not into healing game, so the only choice here is Shadow Priest. Quite enjoying the spec and the whole madness mechanics which is quite unique.

Warrior

bons

My warrior history is long and complex. Bons is a blend of three initiate warrior toons who mained all the three specs. During Legion I’ve played her as Protection, but felt the need of having an extra DPS spec if I felt lazy to tank multiple LFRs. With quite a squishy Fury, I’ve turned to Arms for the first time since Pandaria, and it appeared to be very satisfactory. So, it’s Arms now – with occasional switches to Protection to make the most tough quests easy. I could say these specs are equal here.

Death Knight

mindebad

Rumors (and proofs) are that Death Knights are the best tanks who could even solo the current expansion raids. Well, not for me. I’ve tried playing Blood in Suramar, and all I do is dying at fat and dangerous mobs. Obviously I’m doing something wrong, but I just can’t figure it out. Nevermind, the one and only DK spec choice for me has always been Frost which is quite amazing in Legion. Unholy – as a pet spec – is dismissed forever.

Monk

paitsu

Paitsu was a Windwalker once, but she inherited some knowledge from Oluu, the retired Draenei Brewmaster, and was leveling and having fun as a tank in Legion. Brewmaster spec mastered, she picked up her Windwalker skills once again. Killing mobs may prove way too long if you’re tossing kegs. Basically she shares the approach with Bons: tanking the toughest enemies and multiple mob clusters, but enjoying herself as a Windwalker during normal questing and raids. No Mistweaving for sure.

Paladin

anibell

Anibell nurtures love and respect for Retribution as the only DPS spec. Although That One Quest in Suramar made her try Protection too, and now she can effectively cosplay Captain America-style Alliance knight of the Light too. Dual-specced, played the same way as Monk and Warrior. And no too Holy business with Silver Hand.

Demon Hunter

melaris

Obviously Havoc is the main spec for Melaris. A very enjoyable and super fast melee spec, it’s a great success introducing the new class. I’ve got a grip of Vengeance as well during That One Quest. The first mob nearly got me killed, so I figured out I was doing something wrong. It was obvious I was missing some vital spell on my bars. So a quick scan of the spellbook introduced me with one of the basic blows which is also the core of providing self-heals. Everything is a piece of cake ever since in that spec. Although, unlike Paladin, Warrior and Monk, I would stick with Havoc only. I don’t like much those Vengeance trademark jumps and all the rotation. Easy, but I’d better Havoc.

Druid

mayluna

Mayluna has always been my only druid, and during her long history she’s tried all the specs – and in raiding environment too. In Legion she leveled as a cat, and she’s extremely enjoyable, swift and super effective fighter. For raids though I’m rapidly growing her Balance scythe now. Ranged DPS is my thing, it’s more relaxed – especially with pretty squishy kitty. But for the field it’s the cat only. Balance casting is unforgivingly long compared to the quick bites and scratches of a ferocious feline. Bear feels solid, easy and powerful, but I can’t figure out any situations I may want to use it. Restoration is best when played by other players.

Shaman

schlitzchen

Same way goes with Schlitzchen. Doomhammer is a cool choice for the field now, it provides super fast skirmishes. For longer fights like elites and raids – it’s Elemental. An extremely enjoyable, flashy, powerful, ranged spec, but not for sprints – it’s a marathon one. Restoration? Yes, this is exactly the spec I don’t play.

Hunter 

lizgun

Lizgun couldn’t help trying the Survival of course, and she has been swinging her cool spear up until raid farming. Apart from everyone else says, Survival is a perfect reboot, and I’m enjoying it. Still, for raids it’s Marksmanship and Lone Wolf talent to please my extreme laziness. Beast Mastery – no, never. Not only most of your spells are about beasts, not shooting. But there’s a whole zoo running with you now. Not on my watch.

Rogue

hexen

Hexen has always been a master of Assassination which is my favorite spec, and it stays as such. Outlaw needed some tunings to exclude the annoying finishers, and I would eagerly play it for fun from time to time – much like Arcane spec with my Mage. Subtlety – I’ve tried that. It’s probably the most complex and interesting spec to play in the whole DPS camp. But others have guns and poisons…

***

One of the lull symptoms for me is the urge of trying new specs and starting new toons. I think this is what happened in January. Although I have raids to run and Insurrection to complete yet for most of my toons… but I’m eager to try it in other specs. Not the ones I’ve leveled in.