1. #1

    4th spec discussion

    Lets assume that the next Xpac will provide a 4th spec.

    What will they be? What can they be?

    Warrior
    Warriors already have 2 DPS Specs, and a Tanking Spec.
    Their trees cover 2x2H DPS; 2x1H DPS, 2H DPS and Sword and Board Tanking.

    As a Melee class, they are fairly well rounded. Whats missing is the "Mastery of all Weapons" bit - so could we see a Plate Ranged class?
    As a melee class, Warriors already fill two roles. Could they gain a third via a "Combat Medic" style specialisation?

    4th spec options: Ranged Physical DPS: Sniper. Healing: Combat Medic.

    Mage
    Mages have three ranged Spell DPS specs.

    Do we need three specs? Could Fire and Frost be Merged into an Elementalist build? Should the trees be renamed? Fire appears to be a WC3 style Blood Mage in many ways.
    As a Spell DPS, Mages have just one role they can fill. In the novels, however, Mages are shown engaging in minor healing activities. Could we see a fourth healing spec? Or the Timewarping Arcane revamped for that role? Perhaps a melee DPS role could be reward enough

    4th spec options: Healing: Chronomancer. Ranged DPS: Spellbow. Melee DPS: BattleMage/Spellsword


    Rogues
    Rogues have three melee Physical DPS Specs.

    Again...are three similar specs needed? Can they be merged?
    As a melee DPS, the Rogue fills just one role. But the archetype itself leands itself to others. Could we see a Ranged DPS class, helping give competition for AGI Bows and Guns? A leather wering AGI based class with stealth capability? The traditional Ranger? Or could the space be there for a tanking class of some sort? And what about the spy and saboetur roles embodied by SI:7? Or the possibility of Light infantry? The class also embodies some of the concepts of the Bard. Could we see a Rogue develop a use for that singing voice? The bard as a Rogue Healing spec?

    4th spec options: Ranger. Tank. Bard/Healer

    Hunter
    The Hunter is a Ranged combat specialist with a pet and mail armor. That, to me, isn't an archetype easily filled. Again, we have three specs but do we need all three? What if the Pet was moved entirely into BeastMastery? Then we'd have a Petless Ranged DPS spec and room for a melee DPS Spec. With the Hunters emphasis on traps, there'd be room there for a D3 style Demon Hunter, and perhaps a Shadow hunter or Dark Ranger.

    4th spec options: Pet based Tanking: BeastMastery. Petless Ranged DPS: Dark Ranger. Melee: Shadow Hunter

    Shaman - Tank spec
    Shaman, OTOH, is easy to accomodate.
    Four specs
    Fire - Melee DPS Water - Healing Air - Ranged DPS Earth - Tanking

    4th Spec options: Tank: Earth Warden

    Priest
    Priests have two healing trees and a Ranged Spell DPS tree. Fairly well covered.

    Does the class need these tree? Disc and Holy are styles of healing and all three are forms of casting. Buff Holys shields a bit, make Shadowform a stance and perhaps you can get away with 1 tree. What else? What if we made Discipline the Melee DPS Spec it was originally intended to be. Could we see the priests as a Monk style fighter? Or how about a "Ninja" as a cloth tank?

    4th spec options: Melee DPS:Acolyte

    Warlock
    Warlock, like Shamans are easy. Three Ranged Spell DPS specs leaves them well covered in that role. Whats open is tanking, healing and melee. Healing seems a bit outside the Warlock theme, but not beyond it. A suitable Demon could be summoned, the Healthstone mechanics expanded upon. The most plausible fourth role, hwoever, seems to be a melee based tank centered around Metamorphosis. Y'all know where I'm headed.

    4th spec option: Melee Tanking: Demon Hunter. Demon based healing: Mystic Theurge

    Paladin
    Three specs, three roles. It seems possible for Paladins to collapse those into 1 combined DPS/Tank melee spec and 1 healer/caster spec, relying on Seals and other mechanics to balance them.

    Paladins cover Sword and Board Tanking, 2H DPS and healing. There is perhaps room to grow. 1H and Shield DPS, 1H DPS and 2H tanking seem plausible options. Some of these COULD be provided for via a single talent/ability akin to SMF or TG. Blizzard also seemed interested in providing for Melee healing...which could be attached to Ret or Holy or its own spec. Most plausible would be a Ranged Spell DPS spec.

    4th Spec options: Ranged Spell DPS. Inquisitor.

    Death Knight - Healing
    Three specs, two roles. It also has the option for a pet. DPS and tanking seems covered, although as before a new spec for a new style is possible. A healing spec is a possibility, but seems unlikely. A Ranged DPS Lich spec or a Pet centered caster spec (Necromancer) seem much more likely - th lich less so so as to avoid comparison with the aladin.

    4th spec options: Pet Based Caster: Necromancer. Ranged Spell DPS.Lich.

    Monk
    The Monk has 4 focii but only three specs. Tanking. Melee DPS. Healing. Ranged DPS via the Crane seems likely, with both physical and spell based as plausible options. Maybe this would be a good place for the Spellbow?

    4th Spec options: Cranedancer: Ranged DPS

    EJL

  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire grumpyoldman's Avatar
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    I understand that some classes could benefit from having a 4th spec (although a redesign of one of the specs would be better, IMO), but still I don't understand the current obsession of several players with creating a 4th spec for all classes, even if it's only to exercise imagination.

    Once in a while someone says how difficult it is to balance this game the way it is, both in pve and pvp, with 11 classes and 34 specs total, imagine if we add 10 more specs to the mix.
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  3. #3
    I will only comment the classes i play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talen View Post
    Lets assume that the next Xpac will provide a 4th spec.

    What will they be? What can they be?

    Warrior
    Warriors already have 2 DPS Specs, and a Tanking Spec.
    Their trees cover 2x2H DPS; 2x1H DPS, 2H DPS and Sword and Board Tanking.

    As a Melee class, they are fairly well rounded. Whats missing is the "Mastery of all Weapons" bit - so could we see a Plate Ranged class?
    As a melee class, Warriors already fill two roles. Could they gain a third via a "Combat Medic" style specialisation?

    4th spec options: Ranged Physical DPS: Sniper. Healing: Combat Medic.
    The problem with a plate ranged spec is that bows/crossbows/guns no longer fit warriors because there is no longer any of those items with strenght, and current development leeds me to believe they won't make any again, because they don't like to keep creating specific class gear, being that the main reason why they transformed all existing strenght ranged weapons into agility.

    As for a caster like speck, there are a few set backs... Classes have the so called core class abilities (which are shared betwin all specks), if we look to warriors class core abilities we can see only 3 that fit a ranged play style, being those Shockwave, heroic throw and shateringthrow. problem with those is that they are all AP/weapon damage based... I doubt Blizzard is going to create a full rotation around a ranged plate caster, both caster or healing, because they never did it, unless they decide to fix the already existing ranged abilities to scale with intelect.

    The only true 4th spec i can see for warrior, is a dedicated SMF spec, meaning these that Fury would be purely 2x2h based.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talen View Post
    Shaman - Tank spec
    Shaman, OTOH, is easy to accomodate.
    Four specs
    Fire - Melee DPS Water - Healing Air - Ranged DPS Earth - Tanking

    4th Spec options: Tank: Earth Warden
    I agree, a tanking speck or a 2h like speck (even that i would prefear it to be implemented in enhancement speck)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by grumpyoldman View Post
    I understand that some classes could benefit from having a 4th spec (although a redesign of one of the specs would be better, IMO), but still I don't understand the current obsession of several players with creating a 4th spec for all classes, even if it's only to exercise imagination.
    Fill in gaps in gearing and itemisation, and open up various character themes for play. It would also be a way to break the pure/hybrid problem by ensuring there are no pures and it would allow players to experience a different style of play without levelling new characters.

    Once in a while someone says how difficult it is to balance this game the way it is, both in pve and pvp, with 11 classes and 34 specs total, imagine if we add 10 more specs to the mix.
    That's not an insurmountable issue.

    If Blizzard bites the bullet and separates PvP from PvE entirely, major balance issues such as this become a thing of the past. There'd be some issue with relative performance but hopefully nothing major.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuor View Post
    The problem with a plate ranged spec is that bows/crossbows/guns no longer fit warriors because there is no longer any of those items with strenght, and current development leeds me to believe they won't make any again, because they don't like to keep creating specific class gear, being that the main reason why they transformed all existing strenght ranged weapons into agility.
    Yes. But they've also talked about such problems and the issues with various professions. Then there is the item squish that is possibly coming. It makes me wonder if Blizzard might not have plans to look at gearing as well; the current system works in some ways...but ist also fairly static, boring and has problems with issues such as Hit. I doubt we'd see a major shake up though and without that, yes - I can't see the return of STR Ranged weaponry.

    The only true 4th spec i can see for warrior, is a dedicated SMF spec, meaning these that Fury would be purely 2x2h based.
    A possibility - but it ends up giving Warriors nothing. One could work a spec around a new combat style as well...but warriors already have multiple styles so even a 1x1H or SnB style DPS would likely have limited impact. As SMF shows, such aspects can be added in via Passives and you'd get moreof an impact gicign such new styles to Paladins or DKs.

    EJL
    Last edited by Talen; 2013-05-15 at 01:27 AM.

  5. #5
    If anything I think Blizzard wishes it could reduce the number of specs in the game.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grumpyoldman View Post
    Once in a while someone says how difficult it is to balance this game the way it is, both in pve and pvp, with 11 classes and 34 specs total, imagine if we add 10 more specs to the mix.
    To be fair, I think that a lot of the complexity in balancing the classes comes from the differences in PvE and PvP. I think if they would make all abilities (instead of just some) function differently in PvP than in PvE, it would be significantly easier to balance the classes. Not all abilities need to function much differently, but if a certain ability is way too powerful in PvP, for example, it could be altered without gimping PvE and vice versa.

  7. #7
    Even though there's a ton of these threads already,

    I honestly support the 4th spec idea. Yeah, it'd be hard to balance, but it would bring an ambiguous aspect to the game again. Think back in Vanilla/TBC/Wrath. It could bring more unique spells 'n stuff.

    Chances are, Blizzard won't, as they're very hard on the fact of making almost every class linear. Which I think is just silly. Maybe it's just me, but every melee DPS class feels the same to me. Warriors and DK's look out for cooldowns and a small bar that fills up. Rogues and paladins have combo points/Keep a buff up for maintaining DPS.
    Healers can fit practically any role now-a-days regardless, and I don't have a huge amount of experience in ranged DPS, but it all feels the same. bring back the old times, imo~

  8. #8
    Elemental Lord Teriz's Avatar
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    I think there's two paths Blizzard could go with a 4th spec: One is to use the 4th spec to bring int the hero units from WC3. The other is to add more healing and tanking specs to the game and to hybridize the pures. Here's how I see it breaking down;

    Death Knights: Runemasters: Utilizing Runes to turn the DK into a ranged caster spec. This spec would use INT plate.

    Hunters: Rangers: Healing spec/ Dark Ranger: Ranged Necromancer

    Mage: Chronomancer: Healing spec utilizing time magic./ Blood Mage: Mage that utilizes Phoenix magic at the cost of life energy.

    Monk: Red Crane spec: Ranged DPS utilizing Chi energy

    Paladin: Shockadin: Ranged DPS. Uses INT plate

    Priest: Psion: Utilizes psychic attacks. Ranged DPS/ Inquisitor: Ranged DPS Shadow/Holy DPS

    Rogue: Bow-based DPS/Agility-based tanking/Physical based healing

    Shaman: Earth-based spec. Either used for 2H Tanking, or 2H DPS

    Warlock: Dark Apotheosis: Glyph basically becomes the spec it was meant to be.

    Warrior: Blademaster: A spec utilizing speed, quick and brutal attacks, and illusion. Would be unlike any other warrior spec.

  9. #9
    god i hate when people mix these up. For Shamans, FIRE is ranged and AIR is melee. water is heals and earth would be tank but that's irrelevant.

  10. #10
    i think that adding in 4th spec would b an interesting idea however as most have already said it might just complicate things more...... but im all for it, really like the idea of it . The reason ppl are trying to figure out 4th specs for all of them is because if u only added a couple new specs for sum classes it would not be fair/balanced for the other classes. but its hard to come up with sum of the ideas as there are 2 hard ones to come up with stuff for imo is warrior and mage. if they could figure sumthing out for these two then we could let it fly and prolly have 4 specs. What i would like to c tho is the warrior with a gun/bow, it is suiting for a warrior because a warrior is supposed to be a "master of weapons" they could make a rotation for it and kill two birds with one stone 1) make another class have use of gun/bow 2) would create the "petless hunter" class that people have been asking for forever. As for the mage i would love a healing spec using time magic or sumthing but idk if blizz would do that as priest is the "cloth" healing class and i could c it making all the priest qq if they have to start giving there spirit gear to the mage lol (jk), so instead i would like to see a spellblade/spellknight would open up melee dps for a mage and it could be interesting.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue The Shaman View Post
    god i hate when people mix these up. For Shamans, FIRE is ranged and AIR is melee. water is heals and earth would be tank but that's irrelevant.
    Lava Lash is melee.
    Fire Nova is melee.
    The Fire Elemental wades into melee range

    Lightbing Bolt is ranged

    The Air Elementals attack from range

    There's crossover to be sure, but the system is Fire: Melee Air: Ranged.

    EJL

  12. #12
    As always, I'm chiming in for a Ranger spec for Rogues, and to rework combat for tanking. And to exercise my veto power such as it is against any talk of a Rogue healing spec. And above all, 4th spec > new races > new class for next expansion!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Talen View Post
    Lava Lash is melee.
    Fire Nova is melee.
    The Fire Elemental wades into melee range

    Lightbing Bolt is ranged

    The Air Elementals attack from range

    There's crossover to be sure, but the system is Fire: Melee Air: Ranged.

    EJL
    Both enhancement and elemental uses fire and air elemental magic. But elemental is fire based, enhancement is air based. Elemental gets flametongue on their weapon, enhancement gets windfury.

    When a elemental shaman uses ascendance they turn into a fire ascendant. When a enhancement shaman uses it, he becomes an air one.

  14. #14
    I do so love these idle daydream threads. From the last time I posted in one:


    Death Knight - Necrolyte: These masters of death use dark powers to fend it off from their allies. Sometimes, the cure is worse than the ailment.

    Druid - Flame: The watchers in the Firelands have learned to harness the pure, cleansing power of fire to create a new type of ranged DPS.
    5th spec, Blizzard's greatest troll ever.

    Hunter - Naturalist: The frontiersman/survivalist uses his knowledge of herbs, slaves, and natural magic to heal his allies.

    Mage - Physica: a highly trained healer using knowledge of anatomy and the arcane to mend his allies.

    Monk - Sky Dancer: Ranged-weapon spec using a new Stance of the Flying Crane

    Paladin - Inquisitor: Caster DPS, finally giving the Shockadin that has so long been desired.

    Priest - Sentinel: Ranged DPS using a bow + holy and arcane, based on Tyrande in Well of Eternity.

    Rogue - Swashbuckler: A parry-happy tank who uses speed and subterfuge to stand up to the most terrible of opponents.

    Shaman - Earthbreaker: Dual-wield tank using the powers of stone and ice to harden himself against damage. Modeled on Wrath-era DK Frost tanking.

    Warlock - Apotheosis: A dark tanking spec that grounds damage directly into the Twisting Nether.

    Warrior - Beast Mastery: Melee+pet DPS. Battling on the frontiers of more than one world, some warriors have learned to train beasts to be as effective a weapon as their swords. (Probably limited to a few pet types, the intelligent predators: wolves, dogs, birds-of-prey, perhaps cats and raptors).


    If Blizz only wants to add a few 4th specs in an expansion, I'd say do one for each role. Off my list, I'd want the paladin, warlock, and DK first. Paladin casters have been wished for for years, and lock tanking was a smash hit during the MoP beta. DKs could make the most interesting new healer, and would also tap the most underused gear in game: Int plate.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Therougetitan View Post
    Both enhancement and elemental uses fire and air elemental magic. But elemental is fire based, enhancement is air based. Elemental gets flametongue on their weapon, enhancement gets windfury.
    As I said...cross over. But Air powers the Main ranged strikes. Fire powers the main melee strikes. In the same way, Earth Shock is ranged attack but you still see Earth as a Tanking system. Sure, Lava burst is a higher priority for Ele, but LB is the bread and butter ability and the lightning spell becomes more and more important as AoE increases.

    With melee? Again you use a wide spectrum of elements. Fire, Earth and Air. But as you get more and more targets, it is fire which gains in importance. Yes, Air has an important DPS element to it, even in melee...but Fire is the goto element (Fire Elemental, Fire Nova, Lava Lash, Flame Shock) , Air is ranged (Lightning Bolt).

    EJL

  16. #16
    just give the pure classes a 4th non-dps spec and it is going to be ok, seriously, today we couldnt progress in Tot just beacuse ONE of our healers was absent and we couldnt find a suitable pug to replace her

    And yes, I want to tank as a warlock

  17. #17
    Dreadlord Baine's Avatar
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    They should make it so each 3 specs have its separate identity, in particular the pure dps classes. Besides, adding a spec for each class is like if you added 3 new classes in one expansion (10 specs to "fill"). That's a lot to deal with.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Talen View Post
    As I said...cross over. But Air powers the Main ranged strikes. Fire powers the main melee strikes. In the same way, Earth Shock is ranged attack but you still see Earth as a Tanking system. Sure, Lava burst is a higher priority for Ele, but LB is the bread and butter ability and the lightning spell becomes more and more important as AoE increases.

    With melee? Again you use a wide spectrum of elements. Fire, Earth and Air. But as you get more and more targets, it is fire which gains in importance. Yes, Air has an important DPS element to it, even in melee...but Fire is the goto element (Fire Elemental, Fire Nova, Lava Lash, Flame Shock) , Air is ranged (Lightning Bolt).

    EJL
    You are right that the specs take advantage of all their available schools; shaman aren't mages. But Lightning Bolt is Ele's filler when there's nothing better to use, while it's ahead of everything you mention as "goto" for Enhancement.

    Historically, Windfury and Storm Strike are the definitive elements of Enhancement. Currently, Ascendance ties it even more tightly to air/nature damage, while Elemental favors fire with that cooldown. Thematically, Enhancement is swift as the wind, while Elemental burns with fire.

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