Blizzard have finally released information on the dual specs feature talked about for months. You can read the full Q&A on the official site; here are some of the highlights, with my reactions.
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.
Frankly, I hope they do expand it; it’d be tremendously useful to be able to have a DPS spec and a tanking or healing spec while levelling.
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.
Nice and easy.
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.
Okay, that’s a pretty awesome way of handling it. I’ll be interested to see whether the item used to summon a Lexicon requires a Scribe to use it – will raids need to take Scribes for Lexicons in the future, in the way they need an Engineer for Repair Bots now? My guess is yes.
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.
Excellent. I’d been wondering how they were going to tackle multiple specs for those people for whom two regular specs isn’t enough. You’ll still have to fiddle about with the manual respecs when you go to and from your third spec, but at least it’ll be a simple process.
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.
Speaking as someone with about five specs to choose from, I hope they decide to add more.
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.
Hello, in-game ItemRack! ItemRack’s one of my ‘can’t live without it’ addons; this might relegate it to a nice optional extra, or replace it altogether.
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.
Excellent! Of course, if you do want to change glyphs around in a raid, you’ll have this handy summonable Lexicon of Power…
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.
Five bucks says this breaks every hotbar addon in heinous ways. Most of the addon authors will no doubt be all over the PTR getting their addons ready for the changeover; I hope the author of my bar mod of choice (Macaroon) does the same.
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.
Well, there’s a feature that’s about four and half years overdue. ;-)