Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Dual spec for warriors
As I mentioned before, going dual spec on my holy priest was a huge success. In very short time I had a shadow spec, and spell rotation, and with just minimal changes to my raid healing gear I was easily doing 3k DPS with my second spec, both on a training dummy and then in a raid. So of course I tried to apply the same idea to my protection warrior: Follow Spink's guide of Fury for Beginners, slightly updated for a patch 3.2 fury build, use the Bloodthirst > Whirlwind > Heroic Strike rotation, and transform my tank into a damage machine. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.
I had picked up over time some dps plate. But while my tank gear is universally iLevel 200, my dps gear is on average iLevel 187, with some iLevel 200 and some iLevel 174 pieces mixed in. But hey, everybody is telling me that "gear doesn't matter", and at least I had two good epic two-handed weapons, the smithed one, and the one you can buy for 25 Champion's Seals. So I set up Fury as second spec, my dps plate gear in the new equipment manager, and traveled to the training dummy in Orgrimmar to test how much damage I did as protection warrior in defensive stance, and how much I did as fury warrior in berserk stance. The result was a huge disappointment: On the heroic 80 dummy both of my specs produced nearly the same result, and that was less than 1k dps.
That appeared somewhat fishy, as I had previously done over 1.3k dps as tank in heroics when I wasn't even trying to maximize damage. Part of the answer of course was rage: As a tank I get hit a lot, which produces a lot of rage, powering all my abilities. But how is that supposed to work for a fury warrior, who as dps in a group shouldn't get hit at all, or very little?
I tried the two specs on regular level 80 mobs in Icecrown next. The results were better, but still there was only a small difference between the dps I did as fury, just about 10% more than I did as protection. And of course even at just over 1k dps, a regular level 80 mob dies in a few seconds, so it is hard to get a steady spell rotation going. I need an improved dummy with lots of health which hits back. Hmmm. Where do I find one of those?
A short trip to Molten Core later, I'm standing in front of two impressive molten giants. Those will do! First attempt in fury spec I'm getting my ass kicked, and need to run out, because the two giants both hit me at the same time. Second attempt as tank works a lot better. I could easily have soloed both giants, but stop before the second giant dies. Third attempt with fury again, this time against only one giant, and I'm doing fine. But the overall result is 1.6k dps in protection spec, defensive stance, and protection gear. And only 1.8k dps in fury spec, berserk stance, and dps gear. Given how much more vulnerable I am in dps gear, that appears hardly worth it.
Now I assume that if I had full iLevel 200 dps gear, I would do better, and there would be more of a difference between protection and fury. But either I'm completely missing something, or getting to 3k dps with a warrior is going to be rather hard in pre-raid gear, unless I'm farming heroics and battlegrounds for months. And then of course the question is why should I bother, if I already have a priest who can easily do dps if needed.
All in all the dual spec experience of my warrior was disappointing. Unlike the priest, where +spellpower is useful for both specs, the +defense, armor, and stamina I'm looking for my protection warrior's tanking gear is doing nothing for the dps of my fury spec. Thus a warrior needs two completely separate sets of gear to dual spec. And even when he got that, the difference in dps between tank spec and dps spec is smaller than the priests difference in dps between holy spec and shadow spec. For the moment I'm just staying in tank spec with my warrior for doing quests etc., and I'm certainly not joining any groups as dps, I'd be ashamed. I think I wasted 1,000 gold here, what do you think? Anyone got a successful tank/dps dual spec warrior going?