So with the announcement of 401 tomorrow I had a minor panic attack. With my usual cohorts (Task and Gordrin) AFK due to RL, I've been left to breath into a paper sack, find my notebook, and hit the PTR once again. With that I've decided on the final specs my 4 level 80 toons will take come patch. I'll try and make this brief and just hit the basics of what I have decided, no matter how major the changes. I'll go deeper into them once the patch hits, I solidify my choices, and gain some experience. The blood diamonds after the break.
[Srixon] Druid - Feral Tank
This spec is the basic spec as outlined in my in depth article on feral tanking. This is really what I enjoyed the most so far about Wrath and I hope the changes don't take that away from me. By that I mean the changes to tanking I hope don't frustrate me to the point where I'm not willing to do so for leveling via instances OR for T11 raiding. I love tanking and I love my druid and I hope this continues.
[Titleist] DK - Unholy DPS
This is a major change to me. For those who know me IRL or in game, they know I've always been 100% DW frost. In fact, I made a name for myself with my instructional video regarding this spec. DW frost was incredibly fun for me as well as extremely competent. This is no more via patch 401. The reason is simple, Blizzard has not balanced the rune cost with the abilities you need to do substantial damage. The basic idea is this; create an ideal "rotation" based on abilities and cost, then leave it up to operator error (how well you play) to release the potential. If you have a spec that leaves you rune locked 60% of the time without leaning more on procs (for example Boomkin) you have failed. Unholy on the other hand is VERY well balanced. Because of my guild I have access to a nice 2 hander so I'm going the way of unholy. I will make a deeper post on this however I want to cover this real fast for the sake of explaining why I choose this. For unholy, once you have your disease up you just Scourge Strike or Festering Strike. Both do a ton of damage and they compliment each other runically AND refresh the diseases. All that is left is to dump RP with Death Coil, which also builds a buff that (when hits 5 and used) empowers your ghoul to do a ton more damage. So all in all it's a pure win scenario.
[Azzafex] Shaman - Restoration
My shaman was originally Resto, then she went mDPS and now she is back Resto. Here is the easy part, the changes for shaman resto don't really get major until we can level into the new talents. Until then the only changes are with mana. Basically, players need to make a choice between a mana efficient spell (that does less healing) or a mana inefficient spell (that does more healing). That all comes down to have a solid spec, solid gearing (gems, mastery, glyphs, enchants), and a brain to understand which button to press when. Once we hit 85 I'll post more on this.
[Blachand] Hunter - PVE Marksman
Considering my hunter was my main for the majority of my WoW career, I tend to pick up hunter changes faster than the other classes I play. I've been casually trying to "hunter" for the last few weeks on the PTR but with minimal success. Once the patch drop was announced I basically said "Oh shit, I'd better figure it out for reals". My wife shot me a sideways glance for talking to myself and I made a choice to log in to the PTR to learn the new style. MM is still on top for the patch, that much I can say. I was never an Armor Pen MM hunter so I'm not at a disadvantage like some other hunters with the loss of ArP. What I can see is this; my damage stays the same but the rotation gets easier and my resource becomes limitless. I've gone back to a rotation (with a few variations) and here are the details.
SrS -> CS -> SS -> SS -> KC -> SS -> ?SS
So basically once my dot is up Chimera Shot will refresh that (as always) but my other main damage dealer is Kill Command. I will pad between them with two Steady Shots (to get the buff, unless I'm full on focus, then I'll only do one SS before my KC) and then Aimed Shot when a free/instant one procs. I dislike the fact that I have to lean on my pet for the majority of my DPS via Kill Command (that should be reserved for BM) however the cleaner rotation and limitless resources are great. It makes me want to come out of retirement.
There you have it. Once I get some more experience and some footage of these new specs I'll make posts confirming my choices or changing them up. If you have ideas or suggestions PLEASE post them below and we'll work them out.