Recently there was a post at OutDPS! about dual specs and what different hunters do with theirs. While we obviously can’t do that “I have a heal spec and a tank spec!” (or tank/DPS, or heals/DPS) thing that I’ve seen the hybrids do, I still think that we as hunters have a lot of options.
I, personally, am spec’d my preferred Beast Master raid spec as a “main spec”… and Survival as an “off spec”. I originally went Survival as an off spec for one reason and one reason only: to make the sacrifice and be the Replenishment-bot if needed. As you may or may not have gathered, I do 10mans a lot more often than I do 25mans, and for some reason all my groups seem to lack Replenishment. While Replenishment has become rather less needed in the “old content” as my raid groups steadily improve, I still keep it around “just in case”, and because I volunteered to my guild that I would and, well, I stick to my word like that.
However, I have also come to realize that there are a few other handy reasons to have Survival as an off-spec. Firstly is utility. Although I’ve yet to encounter that glorious crowd control that I used to see all the time (ahhh… chain-trapping every pull in Heroic Mech because our beloved warrior tank could really only do one mob at a time… how I miss ye sometimes), there is at least one encounter where I still feel like I can drop everything and focus on the trapping: Gluth. Typically in my groups we have a Death Knight kite the zombies and it’s my job to back him up by making sure there is a Frost Trap on the grate at all times. With Survival’s reduction of cooldown time and longer trap duration, I really feel useful on this fight. I mean, yeah, I’m sure we’d be fine without the extra utility. But I like Survival being about traps ‘n stuff dangit! *waves cane* >.>
Secondly is the oft-tossed-around “Spec for Pet Unfriendly Fights” thing. Interestingly enough I very rarely switch to a non-BM spec for such fights. Heigan? I’m BM. Sarth? I’m BM. I find keeping my pet alive through those fights to be a fun and exciting challenge and I can usually pull it off… probably much to the chagrin of a lot of the other hunters that I group with!
There is currently one fight, though, that I tend to switch to Survival for pet-unfriendliness reasons on, and that fight is Kel’thuzad. It really depends on the group composition; if it’s a mostly ranged group then I usually won’t have an issue and I can stay BM. But if it’s a heavy melee group– as my current Naxx group tends to be– then I suck it up, respec, use Call Stabled Pet to pull out Perezvon the wolf and let him stand there and be the buffbot because he wouldn’t have a a shot at staying alive until near the end of the fight. It’s sad that he can’t join in the fun, but it’s sort of a necessary evil. Oh, and to tell the honest truth… I’m not sure on the specifics on why the survival rate of my pet on KT seems to directly correlate with whether we are a mostly ranged DPS or mostly melee DPS group. I think it has to do with either that jumping ice block thing or an increased rate of void zones that my pet is likely to eat. I should probably pay more attention to this kind of thing but hey, I’m a hunter. I just shoot stuff until it falls down.
So yeah, that’s the only fight that thus far I’ve felt compelled to swap specs for due to pet issues, though who knows how that will change if I ever get into Ulduar? I’ll keep you posted.
So there’s my reasons for dual-spec’ing what I dual-spec. Works out pretty well, I think. There are a ton of other possibilities I can think of, though…
PvE / PvP. A lot of people are doing this and it’s something I’d seriously consider if I was actually doing PvP these days… which I’m not. =/ Someday I will get back into it. And by “it” I mean battlegrounds… was never big into Arenas.
The Mana Conservative Spec / The Mana Intensive Spec. Similar to Replenishment and non-Replenishment but seriously sometimes I really wish I had my 53/11/7 spec without Invigoration… and then a 55/11/5 spec with 2/2 Invigoration that I could switch to if I was having mana issues but nobody else really was. Seriously, if you could tri-spec I’d probably do this. (Please tell me I am not the only one who is tempted by a dual-spec that is like… two talent points off from your main spec.)
The raid spec / The MY PET IS A CRAZY MAIN TANK spec. I see this a lot and it’s understandable. You raid on the weekdays and solo Onyxia (or just do a ton of quest-ish dailies) on the weekends. Sometimes I think it’d be fun but I can’t be bothered… I don’t do the solo Onyxia thing (though I’d love to try it sometime) and raid-BM works perfectly fine for dailies!
…A spec you just plain like / Another spec you just plain like. Absolutely nothing wrong with this! It’s fun to be able to swap specs just because you’re feeling like something different that day.
Spec you are testing / Another spec you are testing. Then swap between them on the training dummies. I’ve actually been tempted to do this sometimes, with specs that are a single talent point different from each other. But in the end I’m too miserly with my gold to actually do it. >.>
In the end, I really do find dual-specs to be a welcome addition to my repertoire– yes, even as a hunter.
How do you guys dual-spec?