I think I use that blog title a lot. I am sure I have used it for NaNo in the past but really it works for anything with a countdown to a ‘launch’ date.
Dragonflight. In less than two weeks we’ll be levelling to 70 (again) and I am actually quite pumped. This is typical of me pre-expansion launch. I make all kinds of plans about how it “will be different this time” in terms of getting stuff done like levelling professions, gearing alts etc. and then it never turns out like that. I haven’t been able to do anything but run my main since Mists. I eventually did level the Shadowlands professions but not really in time to do any good with them. The Legion and BfA ones are still a mess…
Anyway! Reality will bite soon enough and I wanted to do a post talking about the classes and the various specs. I’ve been playing this game over a decade now. New classes have been added, and new specs; specs have been reworked, and some things have stayed the same or have they? If it’s been a long time unless I try it then how do I truly know? I guess I don’t and I can’t even say it’s unlikely to have changed in a significant way as – rogues. I loved the aesthetic of that class but until they had a big rework in Legion? I couldn’t kill anything before I died and it was just zero fun.
So let’s talk classes!
My main is a tank. I like to tank. This blog is old enough that there are posts written a decade ago in which I made a distinction between raid tank and dungeon tank. I said I liked to do the latter, but didn’t like to do the former. I’ve been raid tanking since Mists now and barely ever dungeon tank, oh how the tables turned.
You see I used to like dungeon tanking best because I could have “hero moments”. It was possible to finish encounters myself if the group died, or just make a bigger impact. I now don’t like dungeon tanking precisely because of that responsibility. Mythic+ is something I avoid because I struggle and I don’t like messing up. I get embarrassed and feel bad. Now I can screw up monumentally in raids too but I find I do it less, and others do it enough that it’s “something that happens to everyone” and while it still bothers me, it doesn’t upset me as much.
Anyway there are 6 classes that can tank (I’m still sad that the new evokers don’t have a tank spec).
My main is a Prot Paladin and I love it. I have enough “oh shit” buttons, the aesthetic is cool, I like how the rotation feels/how it plays regarding the resources. Now it’s not all sunshine. I struggle with trash packs and threat. My dps is nearly always lower than my co-tank which I find embarrassing. I don’t think the problem is with the class, I think I am just not a very good player which is sad. Feeling OP is always more fun.
One word – boring. There are not enough buttons. The rotation is just a couple of buttons, mangle and swipe and not much else. I suppose it suffers in comparison to other specs that have more going on. This spec was universally panned on beta and has had a rework recently but I’ve tried it out most expansions since Cata, and it has never functionally changed so I don’t anticipate enjoying it in Dragonflight.
Vengeance Demon Hunter
I raid tanked the Azshara raid tier in BfA with this. There is a lot to like. The mobility is amazing. It was fun enough to play. Again it sort of suffered in comparison because I missed my paladin. I felt like I needed one more “oh shit” button with this spec. A lot of times I needed a cooldown and there just wasn’t one available. Paladins have more. Still this is a very good option. My main problem really is now I am not raid tanking on my Alliance DH, I pretty much just play with the Horde DH (as it’s been my Horde main since I made one for BfA), and obviously I am mainly Alliance. It feels like duplicating work though to play the DH on Alliance.
Ah warriors. Back in Cata I started to call them “poor mans paladins” because they had the same sword and shield thing going on, without the benefit of the holy light. I did a cosmetic race/name change to try and get back into the warrior. I liked it much better and played it a little in Mists. Truthfully I don’t really remember tanking with it and that is on my ‘to do list’ with Dragonflight. Warrior was the last class I had left to recreate on my new server (as I didn’t bother doing another shaman), and I used the boost I got with Dragonflight to make it level 60. I had levelled it to 13 as Fury and that had been good so I have some hopes for this class. Time will tell.
Blood Death Knight
I have been blessed with exceptional co-tanks who are blood dk’s. My current co-tank is a blood dk, and so was the co-tank I had back in Mists. They are amazing and I look at them, and their dps, and their death grip, and I wish I could play like that. However, everytime I try blood dk I don’t like it because I suck at rune management. I am forever out of buttons to press and it’s not fun. So as much as I want to like it, I don’t expect I will.
I tanked on this a bit back in Mists when it was new. I liked it well enough but I struggled with it because like death knights, it has a mechanic that paladins don’t have – stagger. I vaguely remember trying it in Warlords and just going splat repeatedly until I dropped group out of embarrassment. I thought that Brewmasters were great at ‘progression’ but again I’m guessing it was a skill thing and I didn’t have any. I really want to try this again. Definitely on my list for Dragonflight.
I started my raiding ‘career’ so to speak as a healer. Back in Cata I healed as a Holy Paladin, and I also sometimes healed as a Disc Priest. I liked it ok back then but I enjoyed hitting things. Healing is a very different experience as it’s focused on the raid bars and not the boss/encounter for the most part. I wanted to be more part of the action and not just standing at the back. Since I quit healing with the launch of Mists I haven’t successfully managed to heal since. I have tried the odd dungeon and I was so stressed that it hasn’t been repeated. I don’t know if damage is a lot more spiky now than it used to be or if it’s a matter of practice/skill/gear and obviously I don’t have any, but it’s not a fun experience.
I deliberately refused to gear my paladin as Holy when Mists was launched as I didn’t want to have to ‘off-spec heal’ when I really wanted to tank. By not having any gear – I couldn’t do that. I haven’t healed as Holy since Dragon Soul. I have some nostalgia about it but I am settled as Prot and feel no real urge to even try Holy again. I do have some Horde Paladins I may level one day and possibly I will do one via dungeons as Holy, haven’t decided, but it’s not a priority for me.
This was always my go to ‘alt healer’ in Cata, and it is the healer that I have tried a few times since. When I have said how stressed it makes me, it was suggested I try Holy instead as Disc is about preventing damage/indirect heals, and Holy is the more traditional direct heals that I was previously used to as a Holy Paladin. I always figure that I preferred Disc back in Cata so why wouldn’t I like it now? I think it’s the nature of healing that stresses me and I would be fairly useless as any class. I am tempted to try again in Dragonflight and so I may dust the Disc Priest off then. We’ll see.
Honestly I don’t remember playing it. I might have done. Is Lightwell disc or holy? I suppose I could give it a whirl but I’m not feeling a real urge to do so. Not when the nostalgia of “I used to like disc” is where my head is at with healing on a priest.
Never tried it. We have amazing resto shamans in my guild so I know it can be a powerful class. Honestly though as much as I like the aesthetic of shamans they have always been my least favourite class to play. So I simply don’t care enough to try to be honest.
I tried this back in Mists as part of my effort to tank/heal on everything that it was possible to do so. It was alright but the slow DOT nature of the heals caused a fair bit of panicking so I can’t say I ever really enjoyed it. I should probably try this again.
I have a vague memory of trying this ONCE. I was so bad at it I think I got kicked from the dungeon. I just couldn’t do it. I am tempted to try again just to see if I can do any better.
New kid! Haven’t tried it yet but it’s new so I have to 🙂
I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate feeling regarding dps. I don’t know why but perhaps due to how tanks/heals are usually in short supply I always felt if I could tank or heal, then I should. So unless the class was pure dps I had this sort of guilt. These days as I have got more and more afraid with LFG I queue as dps unless I am on my main. As you can perhaps tell from the above pondering I am wondering if I should change that in Dragonflight.
I went Arms back in Mists I think? When I couldn’t kill stuff as Prot. It was ok. I think I tried Fury and couldn’t manage it, so Arms won by default. I think I enjoyed it to begin with because the animations on Pandaren were so much better than the Human I’d been before. However, when I’ve played it in the years since I didn’t really vibe with it. Ok but not all that fun. Not really memorable in either a good or a bad way.
When I rolled the new warrior on my new server I went with this spec. It was one I hadn’t tried since Mists and suddenly warriors were fun again. I went through Exiles Reach and it was lots of fun. Then I boosted to Level 60 and I am very confused. So many buttons, what do they all do? I still like it because I have rage. With Arms I remember feeling constantly rage-starved. At the moment with Fury it’s not like that at all. I have buttons to press and I like that. As much as I want to try Prot Warrior in Dragonflight, I imagine Fury will probably be my warriors main spec.
Oh kitty druid. I enjoyed this spec so much back in Cata I gave a passing thought to ditching the paladin as a main. I didn’t in the end because I wanted to tank but yes I loved kitty back then. I was very sad when they split the feral tree and made Guardian a separate spec. It had always been so much fun in dungeons being kitty, the tank died, and I would go bear and blow all the CDs and save the day. Then that didn’t work anymore as kitty was very squishy when Guardian became a thing. Also I did not enjoy kitty as much because I felt very energy-starved. You’ll notice a theme with these posts in that I like to hit buttons, so not having the resources to do so = no fun. However, I tried this out on the beta and kitty was fun again. So I am very hopeful for this class in Dragonflight and it’s possible it might be my main alt again.
This was my off-spec from Mists to BfA I guess. If I wasn’t tanking then I would go ret and then I wondered eventually why. I had better survivability as Prot. I was more practiced at it, and playing it all the time just increased that. So yeah I don’t really have an off-spec on my paladin anymore. I am Prot all the time and I don’t miss Ret really. I have heard it’s awful in Dragonflight and I have no desire to test that.
Frost Death Knight
My original dk was frost when I couldn’t take playing blood anymore. I forget why I picked it but I don’t think I enjoyed it that much. The dk on my old server was mostly ignored. It was probably an aesthetic thing. I think I tried it on my new dk and just didn’t enjoy it. My abiding memory is that it’s not a fun spec but that could be unfair as I don’t remember why I think that.
Unholy Death Knight
This is my current spec on my dk. I like that I have buttons to press! Seriously I have so many buttons that rune management isn’t such a problem. I can go back and forth between the runic power, and the runes, and always have something to hit. Basically I like this spec because there’s a lot of buttons. I expect this will remain my main spec on the dk unless I try and force playing blood.
This has been my primary spec on my monk for years, ever since I gave up trying to tank with Brewmaster. It’s fun. I really like the aesthetic of monks. It’s accessible enough to play. It’s probably the most enjoyable of the monk specs for me, but then the whisper of “you should tank” starts again and so back to trying Brewmaster. But yeah this is a good spec.
Havoc Demon Hunter
Can we say eye beam? Honestly this class is fun. When BfA launched I did Horde and Alliance together to see both sides of the story as I levelled up. I had to restrain myself from levelling too much on the Horde DH as I was having more fun on that than I was on my main paladin. Just like with tanking on the DH the mobility is awesome. I love the glide. I really should play this class more but as the Horde main or the neglected Alliance alt? That’s what trips me up.
I think this is my current spec. I don’t enjoy shamans. Don’t know why because the aesthetic is cool but I have just never gelled with the class. I swap back and forth between this spec and elemental out of frustration as I struggle to kill stuff before it kills me. Honestly I have nothing good to say really. This will get levelled to max because I try and have one of every class/alliance race at max, but I don’t really touch it apart from that.
I don’t think I have played this spec since it was reworked to be melee. I think my general feeling is hunters are ranged, why is it a melee spec? So I have no real interest in it.
I believe my Horde rogue is currently specced like this, or it might have been subtlety? That’s why I am putting both of them into the same paragraph because I really don’t remember. My main alliance rogue is Outlaw, and I know I wanted to do an alternate spec on the Horde but I haven’t got very far with levelling it. I do want to level it to 50 for the heritage armor quests (it’s a goblin) but that’s very much a ‘when I have time’ goal, and so it has slipped for a couple of expansions. Either way I don’t recall these specs and should try them out.
Aka the spec that made me actually enjoy playing the Rogue class for the first time. Rogues were always such a frustrating disappointment prior to this rework. I loved the aesthetic of the whole ‘spymaster, sneaky’ thing, and so not enjoying playing it was just sad. I could not get on with it and then I picked it up in Legion and I was laughing out loud I was having so much fun. It became one of my ‘go to’ alts for if I ever had any time to play an alt. So yeah, fond memories. I really should play my rogue more.
My first character in the game ever was a mage. That’s because the person that introduced me to the game mained a mage and so I figured it had to be the best. No. I suck at kiting (which yes is bad from a tank perspective too) but that’s why hitting mobs in the face is so much better. Ranged have a reputation as glass cannons for a reason. Now Hunters and Warlocks have advantages with their pets – it’s like a pocket tank, but that isn’t true for other ranged. So that is the biggest stumbling block I have with ranged. It just doesn’t generally suit my playstyle of “hit mobs in the face”.
I think I may have specced a Horde druid as moonkin? I forget to be honest. It’s not something I have ever really played around with. Not sure why. Possibly it was the shapeshifting thing. It was just always more fun as a kitty. If I didn’t make a Horde druid a moonkin then I probably should, just to see what it’s like as a spec, but it will suffer with the ranged problem ^^.
When I swapped servers I levelled a new priest and I went with a Void Elf. Now this fits perfectly as Shadow, and obviously as that’s the dps spec that’s how I levelled it and how it is specced most of the time. I do want to try healing on a priest again but shadow just fits the void elf so much better. My old priest was a human and I didn’t have that sticking point with it. I do have a Vulpera Horde priest I need to level and maybe I’ll do that as a healing spec and leave my Alliance Void Elf as Shadow. It’s alright as a spec but it suffers from the classic ranged issue, that I talked about above ^^ so it’s always a race to see if I can kill the mob before it kills me.
My abiding memory of this spec if from raiding Siege of Orgrimmar and boy were they powerful. Their chain lightning did huge numbers, and it was always so much fun as it reminded me of Palpatine from Star Wars. It made me want to play a shaman, but then it was not so much fun levelling up (perhaps it requires gear?) so yeah it’s a frustrating spec, and a frustrating class. As I said on enhancement, not a class I do much with.
Oh I liked this back in Cata when it was reworked. It became one of my favourite alts. Having the voidwalker tank is good and I still like the spec, it hasn’t changed substantially, but I don’t know whatever joy I had back then I don’t feel so much anymore. It’s ok but it’s not laugh out loud fun. Maybe I got annoyed because I never managed to succeed with the green fire quest, I just wasn’t good enough. Anyway this is the spec of my alliance lock and will probably remain so in Dragonflight but I am not anticipating levelling this early on, it’s much lower down the priority list.
These specs are the same deal as the rogue specs. I am reasonably certain that my Horde lock is specced into one of them as I had the intent with those alts to try the alternate specs. But it’s been so long since I levelled any of my Horde I can’t actually remember if I have a Horde lock. I know I had a Goblin one that cleared the starting zone but then I reassessed so that I could have one of every race like I do alliance side (and I already had a Horde rogue) and now I’m not sure what is happening. Anyway I should definitely try them. Eventually.
Perhaps I just like fire as obviously Destro is a fire spec. This is my current spec for my mage. I wasn’t having much fun as frost and changed it and boom fire is more fun. I like critting the big fireballs, which does mean I don’t press buttons sometimes when I should as I don’t want to lose the crit. It’s a class to mess about on, not to do any kind of serious content where I should be trying to maximise dps. It’s funny that mage was my first ‘main’ and now it’s one of the alts that often gets left until last. I do like my new mage (I made it a gnome with pink hair) and so that’s fun.
To continue the theme of joining the alternate specs. I intend my nightborne horde mage to be arcane because thematically that is perfect. I just haven’t touched it at all since creation. Frost I am unsure about as it’s been so long I don’t want to do the spec a disservice. I remember I moved away from it but that doesn’t mean it might not be fun now. I should maybe give it a go but I don’t feel a real urge to do so.
Beast Mastery Hunter
If you are a hunter then you need a pet – and beast mastery gives you two. I find this class quite boring to play as there aren’t that many buttons. The utility of the pet is nice and it’s fun to tame pets and name them. Honestly though those gimmicks are the best part, and everything is just a bit meh for me. I want to like it more than I do.
Last I checked this meant you didn’t have a pet. That defeats the whole point of hunters to me but I sort of get the point, about the sniper vibe etc. I haven’t really tried this spec out at all because the lack of pet bothers me. I may try levelling my horde hunter as this but I will miss the pet, so I doubt that will last.
So the new kid on the block is apparently not melee and not ranged. To be honest I nearly put this in the melee category because if you are questing then every class is melee really. However, I get the point because it is a caster. Again brand new so haven’t tried it outside of a little test on beta (Deep Breath = much fun graphics). The one thing I will say is I don’t entirely get the point of the ’empowered spells’ as the cooldown is the same whether you cast rank 1 or rank 3, so why wouldn’t you always cast rank 3? I need to look into that more, but yeah as it’s brand new I am sure I will be playing this a fair bit at the start of the expansion until the shiny wears off.
So what am I going to play in Dragonflight?
That was how this post started. I have enthusiasm! I wanted to think about what alts to play. As I said at the beginning never mind the logic that I haven’t been able to gear/play alts effectively really since Cata (I did a little in Mists but I complained bitterly because of Raid Finder and reputation-locked vendor gear).
My main is my Protection Paladin so that comes first, but then what?
I made my druid my primary gatherer as it has instant flight form, so that is usually sensible to do next. I don’t enjoying tanking on the druid though and I am wondering whether I should make my main alt a tank (because I like tanking best), or go for something completely different and in which case should I then heal? (going back to the old ‘dps guilt’). With how kitty druids felt when I tried it out on beta I am interested so yeah this is probably my #2 pick.
The other class/specs that are calling to me are surprisingly warrior. I liked playing fury in the starting zone and I have boosted it to 60. I guess it feels shiny somehow and it has a tank option. It’s also plate which is good for transmog. So I am definitely feeling good about this class.
Rogue is one I have liked in the past (since the rework) and always think I should play more. It’s a little squishier but gear would help with that (if I actually get some). I want to like dk more than I do and as it’s a plate class I have stuff to do on it re: covenants, but going back to finish things isn’t a “start of the expansion” job so while I feel like I should level it early, I don’t really want to.
Demon Hunter is definitely a class I enjoy and because I enjoy it I should play it more. I just need to decide whether to go Horde or Alliance with it. Alliance would make the most sense because I am Alliance otherwise, but my Horde DH was my first DH and I have a special fondness for it.
Evoker is brand new and I definitely want to play that because shiny! Which just leaves monk to round out the ‘classes I feel drawn to’ (for one reason or another).
So levelling priority:
#1 Prot Paladin
#2 Kitty Druid
#3 Warrior or Evoker?
#4 Rogue, Demon Hunter or Monk
Basically I know what I am doing first but after that I’m not so sure. Also – reality. I haven’t been able to play alts properly since Mists, and that was only half-properly, really since Cata is the fairest comparison. I don’t know why I’m thinking Dragonflight will be different. I guess it’s new shiny season and I’m pumped.
I really hope I’m not over-hyping Dragonflight in my head. I didn’t vibe with Shadowlands at all. Everytime I saw it was dark and dreary somebody mentions Bastion and yes that was a light zone, but I’m just talking general tone. Dragonflight has a fun vibe, and the Dragon Isles generally seem bright and like it’ll be a fun adventure. I don’t know if the reality will match that expectation, but for the moment I’m looking forward to it.