Brief mock question and answer session between Ghostcrawler and Nethaera regarding the upcoming dual talent specialization feature.
Talent Dual Spec Q&A with Ghostcrawler
With the next content patch, we will be introducing a number of additions and changes to the game. One new feature in the works is the ability to set up two separate sets of talents, or “dual spec”. While the complete feature may not be immediately available in the Public Test Realms (PTR) and specifics are still liable to change, we wanted to go over some questions with Senior Game Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to find out more.
Nethaera: What is dual speccing?
Ghostcrawler: Dual speccing is the ability to save two separate talent specs, glyphs, and action bars.
Nethaera: Why are we allowing players to dual spec after all this time?
Ghostcrawler: We really felt like this was a great way to increase the flexibility available to players and encourage them to take part in more aspects of the game. To use just one example, some players like to participate in both raids and Arenas, which is awesome behavior that we want to promote. But, there are some talents which are more useful in one part of the game than another. Currently, players have to pay respec costs and go through the process of setting up the desired talent spec and action bars whenever they switch.
The new system makes this a much more logical process, saving on time and cost and allowing players to easily move from one aspect of the game to another.
Nethaera: Who will be able to use it?
Ghostcrawler: Players who have reached the maximum level will be able to set up dual specs.
Nethaera: Why do players need to be max level in order to do this?
Ghostcrawler: We didn’t want to burden lower-level players with extra complexity as they’re working to level up and learn their class. But if the feature proves popular we might consider expanding it.
Nethaera: How will you be able to set up a dual spec?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to visit their trainer and pay a one-time fee to be able to use it.
Nethaera: How do you switch between specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to switch between their talent specs by visiting any Lexicon of Power provided they’ve paid for the ability to have a secondary spec. Lexicons of Power will be available in major cities, and inscribers will also be able to create a new item that summons one. Anyone can purchase this item, but it requires a ritual of several players to summon it for use by the party. It’s similar to a repair bot in that it will exist in the world for a short duration. It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be able to switch specs while in combat or Arenas. While you won’t be able to switch your spec without the Lexicon, you will still be able to look at your secondary spec whenever you want to.
Nethaera: Will solo players have the ability to switch their specs outside of the cities or will they still need to visit a Lexicon of Power?
Ghostcrawler: Solo players will still need to go into the city to visit the Lexicon of Power to switch their talent spec or will need to get together with other players to summon one in.
Nethaera: Is the item that allows you to summon a Lexicon of Power reusable, or is it used up?
Ghostcrawler: We haven’t made a final decision on that yet, and will be evaluating how it works on the PTR.
Nethaera: Can I respec only one of my talent sets, or will I need to respec them both if I reset one?
Ghostcrawler: When you reset your talents, it will look at the spec you currently have in use as the talent set you want to change.
Nethaera: Will you be able to switch gear easily to match your spec?
Ghostcrawler: At the same time we implement dual specs, we will also be setting up a gear system. The feature is called “Gear Manager.” It can also be used to just swap weapons or trinkets or put on that tuxedo to strut around town. It will not automatically switch your gear when you change your talent spec, but it will allow for an easy gear change between them. The feature may not be fully functional immediately in the PTR, but we’ll have more information to share about it before too much longer.
Nethaera: What about hunters? Often their pet talents are set up to match the talents of the hunter. Will they be able to switch their pet specs as well?
Ghostcrawler: We will wipe the pet talents. However we are going to remove the respec cost for pet talents so that players won’t feel like they need to jump through an additional hoop to respec their pet. In addition, we are going to provide hunters a new core ability to let them remotely access their stable on a long cooldown. This way if their exotic pet heads off to the stable, they will be able to get a different pet. We hope to be able to discuss this new spell in more detail when we get a little further along.
Nethaera: Will you be able to change your Glyphs as well?
Ghostcrawler: Glyphs will be tied to each talent spec so that if you switch between them, so too will the Glyphs. You’ll notice the UI will have changed a little bit so that the Glyph panes show up alongside the Talent panes now that they are associated.
Nethaera: What about hotbars? Will players be able to save them for the talent spec they’re running?
Ghostcrawler: Yes, you will be able to save hotbars and use them with your talent specs. It just saves your bars at the same time as it saves the glyphs and talents. If you want to switch to your other action bar, you will need to change specs.
Nethaera: Is there a way for players to choose their talents without them being saved? Currently, once you spend your talent point, it’s spent unless you pay the respec cost again.
Ghostcrawler: With the dual spec feature, we are going to allow players who respec to configure all their talents before they get saved. They will be able to allocate the points, then choose if they want to use that as their spec, rather than needing to carefully diagram out their talents ahead of time. This will allow players a little more freedom when deciding on the talents they want to pick and avoid costly mistakes.
Nethaera: Will players be confined to only setting up two specs?
Ghostcrawler: We will be launching the feature with just two specs, but depending on how we feel it works out, we might consider additional specs in the future.
Nethaera: When can players expect to try out dual specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to try out the dual spec system on the Public Test Realms when they are made available. This has been a pretty big project with a lot of people working toward making it a reality in the game. We’ll definitely be watching the feedback and looking for ways of making sure the system works the way we all envisioned it to.
Will the current respec costs be reset or will they stay at the current 50g max?
If you mean will respec costs be changed permanently, no. If you mean will the costs be reset or will you get a free respec when this goes live, possibly.
How about the cost of our second spec? If the respec fee starts out at 10c or 1s (I forgot what it starts as) shouldn’t our “main” respec fee be reset?
A respec should be a respec.
In regards to hunters and exotic pets. If I spec into the 51 point talent and I go to switch to survival how will I change pets? You said you wanted it to be somewhat easy to switch between specs but nothing trivial. Will we have a second pet that is automatically summoned when we switch specs? What about the extra four points our pet’s talent trees have? How will those be taken away or replaced when changing specs?
We have a solution for pets, but we’re not ready to announce it yet. You’ll like it.
Are there any plans to make switching gear sets easier? Healers, tanks and dps roles usually carry more than one set of gear. It can take up a lot of bag space and can be rather annoying at times. Is there a way to have your gear automatically switch when you change specs?
Not automatically, but we’re aware of the issue and dual spec would be a really opportune time to examine it.
How do you think dual specs will affect addons that modify the action bars? It seems like it will be a hit and miss. The addons will either become broken or no harm, no foul and the addons work as intended.
I’m sure the addon authors will figure out how to make them work with the new system. Things can sometimes be a little rocky just following a patch if you use a lot of addons.
We haven’t finalized the design, because ideally we want to be able to get it on a PTR and have players try it out.
Our thought at the moment is that swapping specs (going from A to B) will truly be free in towns and possibly during the prep phase of PvP. In an instance it may cost a nominal fee (think reagent level). We want you to be able to do it when you want to do it, but we also don’t want to slow things down if everyone is constantly flipping spec from fight to fight. But if it’s free in town, then obviously it can’t be more of a burden out of town than just hearthing and being summoned back is or nobody will use the remote option.
Someone helpfully quoted our response on why we are likely to launch the feature with “only” 2 specs.
- Players may now create death knights on any realm once they reach level 55.
- Bonus Armor: The mechanics for items with bonus armor on them has changed (any cloth, leather, mail, or plate items with extra armor, or any other items with any armor). Bonus armor beyond the base armor of an item will no longer be multiplied by any talents or by the bonuses of Bear Form, Dire Bear Form, or Frost Presence.
- Racial restrictions on mounts have now been lifted. Night elves on mechanostriders? Tauren on raptors? You’re not seeing things.
- Tapping: All player spells which cause a creature to become aggressive to you will now also immediately cause the creature to be tapped.
- A new mailbox is now available at the Crows Tavern in the Dalaran Sewers.
- We have added over 60 new graveyards to Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.
- The run speed in spirit form has been increased by 50%. Night Elves in Wisp form will now move at 75% speed.
- All rage and runic power are set to 0 when an Arena begins and the preparation period is over.
- Lake Wintergrasp
- Wintergrasp Commendations can now also be purchased for the low low price of 9 Wintergrasp Marks of Honor. Players can visit their respective Wintergrasp vendors and put those Marks of Honor to use!
- Elementals should now always despawn when the battle begins.
- Wintergrasp now extends further south so that more revenants can be reached.
- There are now three ranks in Wintergrasp: Recruit, Corporal, and First Lieutenant.
- Players will be eligible for participation rewards after two honorable kills.
- Players will receive increased honor with increased rank.
- Players will receive additional Marks of Honor at Corporal or higher rank.
- Players will receive corporal rank at 5 honorable kills instead of two.
- Strand of the Ancients
- Antipersonnel Turrets will now gain vehicle immunities, use falloff damage, and damage increased to 4000 + 200 per level to compensate for falloff.
- Seaforium charges have been moved closer to the graveyards on the 2nd tier.
- Lake Wintergrasp
- All multi-rune abilities generate 15 runic power.
- Anti-Magic Shell: The cooldown has been lowered to 45 sec from 60 sec.
- Blood Aura now grants 2/4% instead of 1/2% healing.
- Blood Presence now grants 2/4% instead of 1/2% healing.
- Bloody Strikes will receive extra bonus damage from Pestilence.
- Bone Shield: The mitigation has been reduced from 40% to 20%.
- Corpse Explosion: Damage increased substantially, added 5 sec. cooldown, and changed cost to 40 runic power.
- Dark Command: Range increased to 30 yards.
- Death Knights have access to unique death-knight only facial textures and skin tones. These can be selected at the character creation screen.
- Death Pact now grants 40% instead of 20% healing.
- Frost Presence: The bonus armor has been increased from 60 to 80% and magic damage reduction increased from 5 to 15%.
- Heart Strike no longer has a haste debuff but will now be able to strike two targets.
- Horn of Winter now has no cost and grants 10 runic power in addition to its stat buff, but has a 30 sec cooldown.
- Icebound Fortitude now reduces damage by 20% instead of 50%. The amount of damage reduced increases with bonus Defense (to about 35% for 540 Defense, but can go higher).
- Night of the Dead now grants 40/70% passive area spell avoidance to your pet in addition to its current effects.
- Outbreak will no longer receive bonus damage from Pestilence. The bonus from Plague Strike and Blood Boil has been increased slightly.
- Pestilence no longer has a 10 seconds cooldown.
- Raise Dead has now been split into two spells:
- Raise Dead now raises a ghoul or pet ghoul (if talented). Requires corpse dust if no humanoid corpse is nearby.
- Raise Ally now raises a fallen party member as a ghoul and has no reagent. Available at level 72. This should now last for 4 minutes.
- Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle (two-handed only) now grants 25 Defense and 2% Stamina.
- Rune Strike: Damage decreased from 200% to 150% but threat increased to 150% from 100%.
- Shadow of Death: The duration has been changed from 45 seconds to 25 seconds.
- Unholy Blight has had its cost reduced from 60 to 40 runic power.
- Wandering Plague will now properly reset after being cast.
- Vampiric Blood: In addition to its current effects, also adds 20% health temporarily.
- Will of the Necropolis will now reduce the damage of any attack that takes the DK below 35% health by 5 /10/15% instead of boosting armor when wounded,
- Feral Attack Power: All weapons now have the potential to grant feral attack power based on their dps (as compared to the best superior-quality weapons available at level 60). Players will see their existing feral weapons grant roughly the same attack power as they did before (+/- 2 or so), but many new weapons will be options for the feral druid. Some feral weapons have had strength converted to attack power to be more appealing to other classes able to equip them. All druids will see the amount of feral attack power granted by an item in the item tooltip, if it grants any, but other players will not see that information.
- Remove Curse and Abolish Poison can now be used in Moonkin form.
- Genesis: Now works with Tranquility and Hurricane.
- Growl: Range increased to 30 yards.
- King of the Jungle – The Bear effect is now physical, and thus cannot be dispelled.
- Nature’s Grace – Now also effects Revive.
- Primal Tenacity: Now reduces the cost of Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form by 17/33/50% in addition to its previous effects.
- Protector of the Pack: No longer changes value based on party size.
- Savage Roar: The buff now persists outside of Cat Form but only provides its benefits while in Cat Form.
- Starfall will now be cancelled by any shapeshifting.
- Survival of the Fittest: This talent now grants 22/44/66% bonus armor in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form in addition to all of its previous effects.
- Swipe: Swipe (Cat) has now been added at level 71, dealing 260% weapon damage, costs 50 energy with no cooldown. All talents affecting the Bear Form version affect the Cat Form one as well.
- Wild Growth now has a 6 second cooldown.
- All Hunter pet abilities with a cooldown of 30 seconds or more are no longer on the global cooldown.
- Aspect of the Wild – This aspect is now raid-wide.
- Call of the Wild: The benefit from this pet talent now applies to only the Hunter and their own pet.
- Deterrence: Design changed to grant 100% parry and 100% chance to “deflect” spells coming from the front, but prevents the Hunter from attacking. Lasts 5 sec. 60 sec. cooldown.
- Improved Tracking(Survival): This talent has been slightly re-designed. Now reads: While tracking Beasts, Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals, Giants, Humanoids and Undead, all ranged damage done to those types is increased by 1/2/3/4/5%.
- Kill Shot – Cooldown reduced to 15 seconds, down from 35 sec.
- Kindred Spirits: This talent now grants only 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
- The coefficient of Rake (Cat) and Scorpid Poison (Scorpid) has been lowered.
- Readiness: No longer resets the cooldown on Bestial Wrath.
- Steady Shot: Now gains 10% of attack power as damage instead of 20%.
- Serpent’s Swiftness: This talent now grants only 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet. The hunter attack speed bonus is unchanged.
- Unleashed Fury: This talent now grants only 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
- Viper Sting: Now drains a percentage of maximum mana.
- Volley: The damage has been reduced on all ranks by approximately 30% (including attack power scaling).
- Arcane Blast: This ability has been significantly changed. Arcane Blast now increases the damage of the next Arcane spell by 15%. However, using Arcane Blast itself does not consume the charge itself. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the damage of Arcane spells is increased by 15% and the mana cost of Arcane Blast is increased by 200%. This effect stacks up to 3 times and lasts 10 seconds or until any Arcane damage spell except Arcane Blast is cast.
- Arcane Flows: Now also reduces the cooldown of Evocation by 1m/2m.
- Elemental Precision: Renamed to Precision and now works on all spells.
- Evocation: Cooldown reduced to 4 min.
- Improved Blizzard: The snaring effect has been reduced to 20/40/50%.
- Slow Fall is now castable on others.
- Torment the Weak: Now works with Arcane Blast and does bonus damage against targets afflicted with any type of slow (such as the combat slow from Thunder Clap).
- Avenging Wrath: Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Hand of Protection, and Avenging Wrath cannot be used within 30 seconds of each other anymore. Forbearance removed from Avenging Wrath.
- Divine Protection: The penalty has been removed.
- Divine Shield: The penalty has been changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% in place of an attack speed penalty.
- Hand of Reckoning(NEW): Available on trainers at level 16. It’s a 30 yard range taunt that causes Holy damage.
- Judgements of the Pure: This Holy talent now increases the damage done by Seals and Judgements.
- Judgement of Wisdom: Now returns a percentage of base mana instead of a percentage of max mana.
- Sacred Duty: Interaction with Divine Shield and Divine Protection removed, but stamina bonus increased.
- Abolish Disease and Cure Disease can now be cast while in Shadowform.
- Holy: Circle of Healing now has a 6 second cooldown.
- Levitate is now castable on others.
- Mana Burn: Now burns a percentage of maximum mana.
- Fan of Knives: The cooldown has been removed. In addition, now deals 150% of weapon damage when used while daggers are equipped.
- Feint: Rank 8 now reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 50% for 6 seconds in addition to its existing effects.
- Fire Nova Totem: Now no longer generates threat.
- Healing Way: Now only one application is required to reach full benefit. No longer stacks.
- Improved Water Shield: Lesser Healing Wave now has a reduced chance to trigger this talent.
- Magma Totem: The damage and scaling has been increased and no longer generates threat.
- Mental Quickness: Reduces the mana cost of instant cast Shaman spells by 2/4/6% and increases spell power by an amount equal to 23/46/70% of your agility.
- Searing Totem (Rank 4) now does the proper damage for its rank.
- Tremor Totem’s duration has been increased from 2 minutes to 5 minutes.
- Elemental Shields: This talent has been removed. It has now been merged with Elemental Warding.
- Elemental Warding: Now reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%. Changed from only reducing Nature, Fire and Frost by 4/7/10%.
- New Talent: Shamanism-Your Lightning Bolt spell gains an additional 2/4/6/8/10% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.
- Storm, Earth and Fire: This talent has been moved up in the tree, and its talent points have been reduced to 3 down from 5. Wind Shock is also included in the range increase (with Earth Shock). The damage bonus to Flame Shock has been increased, up from 10/20/30/40/50 to 20/40/60.
- Unrelenting Storm: point cost reduced to 3, down from 5. Now does 4/8/12%
- Drain Mana: Now drains a percentage of maximum mana.
- Emberstorm: Now works with Conflagrate.
- Ritual of Summoning: Will now create a summoning portal object which can be re-used for multiple summons for 5 minutes.
- Bloodthirst: Charges have been decreased to 3, but the effect has been raised to 1% per charge.
- Fury: Bloodsurge: Now has a chance to trigger from any hit with Heroic Strike, Bloodthirst, or Whirlwind.
- Fury: Titan’s Grip: The hit chance penalty has been removed.
- Taunt: Range increased to 30 yards.
- All flasks no longer require an alchemy lab to create.
- Reduced the spell power on the Titansteel Guardian to bring it in line with its item level.
- Increased the material requirements to make high level frost resistance gear created with blacksmithing.
- Engineers may now be able to properly engineer Centrifuge Constructs.
- Iceborne Belt pattern skill up range has been increased to the correct range.
- The quest, “Scare the Guano Out of Them!” now only requires 10 Darkclaw Guano, down from 15. Also, only the character that scared the bat, or their party, may now loot the guano.
- Shoveltusk Meat obtained during the quest, “Shoveltusk Soup Again?” is now correctly flagged as a quest item with no sell price.
- During the quest, “Scalps!“, you can no longer use Ahunae’s Knife to scalp kills that you aren’t tapped to.
- The path followed by the Har’koa’s Kitten during the quest, “I Sense a Disturbance” has been improved.
- Westguard Sergeants, Winterhoof Braves, and Ethereal Frostworgs should no longer attempt to attack their opposite faction counterparts unless the character controlling them is first attacked.
- Westguard Sergeant and Winterhoof Brave demoralizing shouts will now only affect the Winterskorn vrykul and worgs at Skorn.
- Various fixes to the Queen Angerboda event during the quest, “The Slumbering King” ( / ).
- The daily quest, “Shoot ‘Em Up” now only requires 15 Jotunheim Proto-Drakes to be shot down, down from 20. As well, the harpoon now only costs 5 energy to shoot, down from 10.
Dungeons and Raids
- The Obsidian Sanctum
- Players will now be affected by Twilight Residue when they leave the Twilight Realm. Twilight Residue grants immunity to Fire and Shadow damage for a few seconds.
- For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.
- Amberglow Signet now correctly grants Hit Rating.
- Deadly Gladiator’s Staff has had the Agility and Critical strike rating restored to ratios consistent with other instances of the Gladiator’s Staff.
- Gifts and Pledges of Adoration for the capital cities are now soulbound.
- The Flag of Ownership now has only a 60s cooldown to match the 60s duration of the flag.
- The following crafted weapons have had their stats adjusted to properly reflect their intended power:
- Living Lashers can now properly be skinned with Herbalism.
- Players can now open clams while riding a vehicle, sitting, mounted, stealthed, and invisible.
- Reduced the stats on the Savage Cobalt Slicer to match the weapon’s level.
- Some low-level rogue pvp gloves were accidentally omitted from the patch 3.0.3 update. This has been rectified.
- Some neglected creatures in Icecrown have found the contents of their pockets.
- Totem of Hex now correctly grants 165 spell power to Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt, up from 85.
- The White Polar Bear Mount is now the proper (larger) size.
- Incapacitating Shout now has an 8 second duration.
- Conquered Soul of the Blighcallers are no longer AE immune.
- Corrected a raid emote in Violet Hold to display the proper creature name.
- Corrected a redundant aura tooltip for Locust Swarm (10-person / 25-person) in Naxxramas.
- Several creatures in the Construct Quarter of Naxxramas did not have Heroic values for hit points and damage.
- Storm Peaks, Grom’arsh Crash Site – Peon Gakra is now an innkeeper and the zeppelin hull, an inn.
- Death Knight: Corpse Explosion: Fixed a bug where how much Runic Power the Death Knight had was affecting the damage done, and also increased the damage substantially.
- Druid: Savage Fury – Mangle (Bear) damage was being increased by a higher percentage than intended. This has been fixed, and in result Mangle (Bear) should see roughly a 16% damage reduction. Also fixed a bug with Savage Fury where the Rake bleed effect was not being increased.
- Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.
- Paladin: Repentance: Avenger’s Shield no longer breaks Repentance, but unfortunately, Seal of Vengeance and Corruption damage will break it again. This will be corrected in a future patch.
- Paladin: Shield of Righteousness now properly shares a cooldown for both ranks.
- Priest: Mind Flay – Fixed a bug with targeting where you would not deal damage if not facing the target while channeling.
- Shaman: Elemental Shields was reducing flat physical damage, not a percentage. Now properly reduced by a percentage.
- Shaman: Lava Lash – Fixed a bug which allowed you to use the ability even if you had a shield in offhand. Now requires a 1hand axe, fist or dagger to be able to be used.
- Shaman: Fixed a bug where Thunderstorm (Elemental) was knocking back 15 yards, instead of 20. It should now roughly knockback the correct length of 20 yards.
- The Wintergrasp Aura should now properly update in all instances, transferring the buff when the zone control changes.