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Dual-speccing has brought about a lot more ease and flexibility into raids, no doubt about it.

Back in the day, when buffs weren't raid wide, it was a headache to try and organize the perfect raid. You had to be a lot more concerned with who was in what group, so that you could maximize the buffing potential of your raids. Now that most of that is generally taken care of, we have the new organization nightmare on our hands - dual-specs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this added flexibility. Particularly when you have a particular dungeon on farm, it adds several new dynamics for your raid. The problem is that it is becoming more and more difficult to know what anyone's main spec is anymore. This is beginning to cause problems for us in loot.

We have a tiered loot system, and we set it up in such a way where we make no rules about off-spec or main-spec. So many of our raiders switch back and forth between specs for the benefit of the raid, that it seems a bit unfair to limit them loot-wise when they are enabling us such flexibility - and it gets complicated trying to keep track. Therefore, if you are a holy/ret pally, and you are running holy one night, and an awesome ret item drops, you can feel free to roll on it. It's your call - it's your tier to do with what you wish. This individual agency gives our players the power to choose what they think is best for themselves.

Once people got used to this tiered loot system (and it did take some time), everything was going great - in Naxx, anyway. But now we're in Ulduar, and we are trying to seriously gear up our folks. This is proving to be incredibly tricky.

It's not about individual players being greedy about loot. For many, it's a problem of not having one set role for our raiding team, because it keeps changing. On any given raid week one of our druids may go feral or may go resto, depending on what we need that night. Sometimes it even varies by fight. So essentially, instead of gearing up one character, that druid is trying to gear up two simultaneously. So when an item drops for a feral druid, why shouldn't he or she roll on it?

This hasn't been a problem for all of our dual speccers. Raiding wise, a lot of my holy gear can be used for both my disc and my shadow spec (I switch my off spec around as needed). For Boomkin druids, much of their gear can also be used for resto. But feral/resto, prot/holy/ret pallies, enhancement/elemental shammies, and various other class combinations really feel the gear-up burn.

Unfortunately, the way our raid makeups are created means that we are heavily dependent on that dual-speccing flexibility. Our alliance is founded on the idea of flexibility, of individual freedom amongst a group of raiders. We do everything we can to avoid telling someone "sorry, you can't come, we have no need for your class."

Basically, what it is going to come down to, is that each individual raider is going to have to make a decision for themselves - what do YOU want your main spec to be? During progression, this is a very important decision to make. When we get to the point where we have it on farm, such as we did with Naxx, it won't be nearly as big of a problem - we can clear the instance regardless, so just pick up pieces as you need to fill out either gear spec.

Sure, I could roll on hit gear. It would be awesome to have that for my shadow spec, but at this point in time, it is more important that our dps casters get their gear up than it is for me to get my off-spec up. Granted, I do not run shadow very often, and never in Ulduar so far. But this is why, when we asked some of our holy pallies if they would mind speccing ret for the night, they told us plain and simple - "No, sorry, I can't. My ret spec is not geared." You know what? That is completely fair - and thank you for telling us that. We use wow-heroes to evaluate people's gear, but we can only see one set of gear at a time. I appreciate the honesty given when people politely refuse to respec for a raid night. They know that they have a primary spec they are gearing - and this is a benefit for our raid as a whole.

As raid leaders/organizers, we are not omnipotent, and nobody knows your own limitations, gear, and capabilities better than you as the player do. So if you are asked to respec for a night, but you know that you are primarily working to gear one spec over another, be honest about it. Sure, it might cause some organization difficulties in the short run, but in the long term we will progress much faster, and with much less frustration on the whole. For our part, we raid organizers need to get out of the habit at looking at the sign ups and saying "oh well so and so can come, we'll just ask Treebeard the druid to respec to feral for the night".

Everyone needs to decide once you start attempting progression in a new raid what spec you will prioritize. When we have the raid on farm, that is when you can try gearing up another spec. And then, if you decide you want to play the other spec more, once you have it geared up, feel free to start using that spec instead when we start progressing in a new instance. We will adjust and start making the needed changes. Variety may be the spice of life, and I know people can get easily bored playing one type of role over and over, but as much as I would love very much to tell each raider they can play and do whatever they want, it will lead to frustration on the part of all our other raiders. This also applies to trying to bring multiple toons to raids. Pick one toon, one spec, and focus on that when we begin progression. Once we dig our feet in and have more confidence, that is when we can start trying to gear alts and off-specs.
3 Responses
  1. Fulguralis Says:

    Yeah, I never assume someone has a geared dual spec when trying to plan out who to ask for. If someone is signed up as a feral druid, I assume that's the ONLY role they think they can fill. I may ask them if they are capable of "off-speccing", but I would never assume. I find that works out better, but it doesn't help at all with the gearing problem you mentioned.

    However, gear doesn't matter if you wear your fishing hat for half the raid, amirite? :-P

  2. Jessabelle Says:


    I don't assume it either, but we actually have quite a few players that run both specs equally often, sooo, yeah.

    And it wasn't half of the raid. It was like, the whole damn thing, everything but the last boss we hit, Auriyaya or whatever. The fishing hat wasn't the worst part though - I was wearing my hit gear. Nearly 275 hit rating! I could punch myself. Sigh.

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    What's funny is that I kept asking you if you were having problems healing me.

    "Oh No! You are so easy to heal"

    Good Lord, so I MUST be UBER geared or something lol. Or the hit gear heals better? lol

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