Jan 5, 2012

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 57 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Should TOR Have Dual-Spec?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Yes, I realize we’ve done this debate at least once before here in Blue Milk & Cereal, but now that the game is out and everyone is playing, the debate seems to be raging harder than ever. The current “hot thread” centered on this topic can be located here.

One side of the debate (which I happen to be on) thinks that class-based nature of an RPG should be held relatively sacred. The choices you make to form your character (in combat and otherwise) should carry with you to define who and what your character is.

Players on the other side of the kerfuffle argue that this is limiting, and they should be able to more freely change their spec to handle the situation they are in. The most common complaints seem to come from “tanks” or “healers” that feel their class isn’t as able or as competitive in those roles.

Now, it’s important to note that there already IS a way to re-spec your character. You simply need to visit a Skill Mentor NPC located in various locations around the galaxy who will reset your skill points for you. But that doesn’t seem to be good enough, as players who support the idea want more convenience and/or less cost involved in doing it. It’s also important to note that this debate is not about being able to switch your advanced class. That’s another thing entirely!

There are a million other points to both sides of these arguments, so we want to know where you stand. Now that you have had a chance to see for yourself exactly how classes, advanced classes, roles, the trinity and other group and combat mechanics truly work, did it change your opinion on the matter?

It’s a Yes or No poll, but would love to hear your discussion points below.

Should TOR have a dual-spec option?

View Results

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  1. YES, FOR THE LOVE OF THE FORCE, YES!

    (If you disagree, you can choose not to purchase dual-spec and leave the rest of us to have our fun)

    • ScytheNoire says:

      I agree completely. More options is always good, especially when it comes to helping fill the rolls or tank and healing in Flashpoints.

      Players will still be stuck in their Advanced Class, but at least allow those who play tanks and healers for Flashpoints to be allowed to raid as DPS if needed.

      I hate the elitist attitude where others seem to feel they should decide to remove options and fun for others. Dual-Spec increases the fun factor, so it’s a must have.

    • It’s clear that if you want to have pick up with tank&heal in a mmorpg, it requires dual spec. It’s simply not fun to pex as a healer! I’m waiting for it! And it causes trouble for me that it is not actually in game. So I play Dps for the moment

    • TwilitSoul says:

      “YES, FOR THE LOVE OF THE FORCE, YES!
      (If you disagree, you can choose not to purchase dual-spec and leave the rest of us to have our fun)”

      I was just about to say FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YES, but yours is more entertaining.

      • Why do ppl need dual spec? I just don’t get it. If I wanna play DPS, I am going DPS. Then, if I wanna play healer, cool, lets enjoy another story line with new character as a healer. Dual spec degrades the importance of your decision.
        Just think about it. Every class has 3 talent trees of 2 different roles (except Sentinel/Marauder). !!!!3 trees – 2 roles!!!! And you want to be able to use two of them. So basically, you want it all and you want it easy. Got news for ya. This game is easy enough already. Leveling rly doesnt take that long. You even have a different story lines to keep you interested in creating new characters. You get rewards even for losing the warzones. So what’s the dual spec rly so “needed” for? Eventually you are going to make alts anyway. Oh yes you will. So it’s not like the game prevents you from enjoying every aspect of the game by not having dual spec option.

        Cheers!

  2. Benjidesuka says:

    No. This is not wow..

    Please get over the mindset of WOW.. please.

    • Please get over your “this isn’t WoW” mindset. Both are great games and are supposed to be fun. Dual spec makes it easier to form groups which is the crux of both games.

    • Please get over your “WOW is bad” mindset.

      WOW, whether you like it or not, innovated many MMO mechanisms that other games should imitate. And they’re nothing less, and nothing like WOW overall for doing so. Good ideas are good ideas.

  3. Everquest 2 had a AA switching mirror, which was their version of Dual Spec. You could only have one on and one in the mirror, so this is not just a WoW thing,

  4. I just don’t see the need to have 2 or more specs your character can change into at the drop of a hat. There has to at least be some deterrent to it, which there is (time and money) in the form of traveling to a skill mentor and the credits cost.

    • What? how can you not see the need. Healers and tanks should be able to switch between questing and flashpoints/operations. There is as much a need for dual spec in this game as in any other.

      • They can already switch. They just have to travel and pay for it.

        There is no need, whatsoever, for an option to save a dual-spec and switch on the fly. Period. It devalues the role. It’s a class-based RPG.

        If you want to play on the fringe, and constantly swap specs, then you pay the price. Simple as that.

        • Why are you so determined for others to be restricted to your RPG gameplay beliefs. Feel free to not make use of dual-spec and the flexibility it provides, but don’t limit the rest of us who just play to have fun.

          • Lethality says:

            Because it affects the overall game. It deteriorates the value committing to choices and devalues the concept of a class role.

            Why do you think BioWare didn’t include it from the start? Do you think they were unaware of it? No. They know that it doesn’t foster the kind of game they would like.

            They gave you a way to re-spec. But not on the fly. I think that is _more_ than enough.

          • I totally disagree. If it truly devalued the game…you prohibit it. Right now it is a nuasance and inconvenient. No reason at all for not having dual spec.

        • I completely agree with Lethality on this one. If people want to re-spec on the fly they should go back to WoW… It’s one of the many reasons i left this game.

          For my concerns i think the game is perfect like this and should not change. You want to switch as an healer or a tank?? Re-roll it. Simple as that.

          May the Force be with you!

    • I think there’s a need because I love playing a healer but soloing as a healer is not fun. Even with the addition of companions it’s still slow. I’ve had enemies who will place a healing debuff on my companion and then when he’s unhealable I’m up the creek as it were. I would love for a DPS offspec for PvP and knocking out dailys on Ilum and a Heal mainspec for Flashpoints and Operations.

      • 100%. Have never heard a valid argument against respeccing in the case of healers and tanks.

        • Healing specs and tank specs are perfectly viable for normal gameplay. If that’s not good enough for you, then BioWare has given you an out – go visit a Skill Mentor and cough up the credits.

          • You just dont get it. I would make an educated guess that you play a dps character. It is not about being viable, it is about enjoying different parts of the game. Have not seem one resonable reason to not have dual spec….not one.

          • I owuld make an educated guess that you play a dps character and just don’t/wouldn’t understand it:)

  5. ronin1572 says:

    If you need to respec cough up the credits.

  6. AbstractQuantum says:

    I like that you have to choose one AC and stick with it… I also don’t mind having one skill spec. BUT I think that it is useful for when you PvE verse PvP. I definitely would have a different spec for pvp than pve… depending on the toon I am playing I just PvE because I can’t switch specs for PvP (or choose not too switch back and forth (since I will PvE will waiting for the PvP queue to pop.) Some of my toons are fine with one spec for both PvE and PvP so it’s not an issue. ultimately the game hasn’t been out a month and everyone seems to want features that most game add 2-5 years into the game. I was thinking the other day about how solid the game really is compared to some of the other nightmare games I have played from launch. :-)

  7. I say no. If you want to learn to do something new, you should have to go somewhere and learn it, and PAY to learn it. You shouldn’t be able to just know how to do something on the fly like that.

    Wasn’t a huge fan in WoW, and then Rift took it and made it a QUAD spec!

    Your spec is your spec. You don’t like it? Visit a trainer and relearn.

  8. Not bothered either way. I’ve been leveling as a Powertech Tank since lvl 15 and it goes perfectly fine with mako healing me. Perhaps healers struggle more leveling up.

  9. Without question this is a needed feature. Even if you discount the ludicrous cost of respec (which is a joke by itself) this is just to useful to not have in game.

    I would wager that 80% of the people who are against it can either only handle doing one spec somewhat decently, don’t pvp, don’t raid, or are in a large enough guild that they never need to fill a role they don’t normally fill.

    As someone who pvps, raids and is in a smallish guild this feature would be extremly useful.

    • You can do all the raids…oops operations, pvp and pve you want with just 1 spec to say that those who are against it are simpletons is just false. Maybe those who need it are just epeen gimme gimme gimme cause i want it????

      • Here is a shocking fact: Not every raid encounter requires multiple tanks and healers. What would you rather those people do, laughable and useless dps when your facing a tight rage timer, or useful dps by changing to thier offspec?

        Sure you can do all of the content with one spec, but you won’t do it as good as someone who who is spec’d correctly for whatever.

        It has nothing to do with epeen waving as much as people wanting to do the best they can at the content they are facing.

        If you are happy doing just one thing well and being mediocre at everything else you do, then more power to you.

        Personally I don’t like being pigeonholed and I like variety and excelling at what I do.

        And before people start with the bs about rolling a new character.. I already have 50’s in all three roles.

  10. Dual specs are not needed in this game. To do so would dilute a great game into something less great.

    • I mostly agree. The one thing is, why not just make it cost the credits, minus the vendor, to re-spec? You could do it “on the fly” if you needed to, but you’d still have to cough up the dough. That would seem, to me at least, to be enough to satisfy both camps.

      • Mainly because the current cost to respec is prohibitively expensive. I have no issue with paying for a respec except when I have to go farm for 2 hours in order to afford one respec.

    • Dual specs are needed in this game as much as any other mmo. Ridiculaous those that oppose dual speccing.

  11. Yes… as someone that plans on going heals at level 50 I don’t want to have to pay each time I want to do some damage.

  12. As much as I would like to see dual spec, I would rather they focused on the horrid state of the end game.

    Illum = completely broken.
    Operations = bug ridden. Its more a challenge to get past the bugs than the encounters.
    Warzones = broken without a level 50 bracket.
    Hardmode Flashpoints = Like 3 of them actually work mostly correctly, the rest are bug ridden and broken.

  13. I love the flexibility of having the dual spec. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that we need in SWTOR, but I’d like to see it there just for the flexibility if nothing else.

    Having a credit fee to respec isn’t a big deal. Earning credits in this game is so ridiculously easy that it’s a non-issue. Those of us who want a dual spec don’t give a crap about the credit cost of doing it, it’s the time sink that’s the issue. You can make me toss 10k credits out the window in order to activate my dual spec and I wouldn’t care, it’s being able to make a switch when needed instead of spending 20 minutes leaving your current area to go respec, spending your talent points, and then getting back to the questing area that’s the problem.

    If you’re alone, then big deal, time’s not a huge factor. But when you’re in a group it’s a time sink for the entire group as everyone has to wait for you. Switch that to a raiding environment where a healer or tank has connection issues and suddenly you’re having to wait for several people to go through the respec process.

    I don’t think people should be able to switch their AC on the fly, but I would definitely like to see the ability to make that switch once or twice in your character’s career. I didn’t know how much I would dislike my Inquisitor’s AC until I was in my 20’s and suddenly hating my main with no option for changing. Having to reroll for one bad decision when you have no experience with the result of that decision sucks.

    • I agree about the time sink with having to travel to and from the skill mentor when your group is waiting on you.

      But the cost of respecs can also be nontrivial if you do it often. If you daily alternate between pve and pvp specs or healing and dps specs you will be looking at 80k a respeck, 100k a respec, etc in short order.

      There is a small relief in that is resets to 0 every week, but still.

  14. Either there should be dual spec, or they should look into the cost of respecing. (I have not respeced enough to know, but is there even a cap to how much it costs or does the expense keep growing each time?)

    I can see multiple reasons for including it and fewer for not including it, some of which have already been mentioned here. The system as it is puts tanks and healers in a tough spot or even dps if they expect to fulfill any other roll or even do something as little as focus on single target combat vs. multi target combat. This doesn’t even factor those who like to play both pve and pvp. (If you are serious enough about either part of the game, then you know that how you distribute talents will affect how effective you are at what you are doing quite drastically.)

    So here is my biggest reason for wanting this:
    In an MMO the endgame content is mostly going to be team play based. That is, you aren’t just going to be soloing ops and warzones any time soon. Therefore how your character is spec’d not only affects you, it affects others.

    (Perhaps the reason tanks and healers are more vocal is because their responsibility individually for the rest of their team is usually greater than any single dps. How they are spec’d is basically put under a magnifying glass during every second of every fight.)

    Personally I’d rather be the best that I can be and not be a detriment to others. To do anything less than my best is letting down everyone who I am teamed up with as we work towards a common goal.

    However, I admit that I don’t understand the other side of the argument quite well. Why exactly are people so against it?

    I ask because the only way to solve any problem effectively is to understand both/all sides of it.

    Heck, it may even turn out that there is a better solution than dual specing and that the community could cause a new innovation to come about and be implemented in our favorite game.

  15. Dual Spec should not be made available at this time. Bioware are trying to make us build communities on our servers, and being able to Dual Spec takes that away because; if everybody could be a Tank/DPS or a Healer/DPS you wouldn’t need to interact with other players, EVERYTHING could be done in-guild by a small number of people isolated from a community. NOT having Dual Spec forces people to interact in an MMO, and builds stronger communities, new friendships, etc…

    The high cost of a respec is only temporary. After a week the price “apparently” drops to zero credits, the hig cost is only for people who respec several times per week and is the price you pay for being a switcher/indecisive/stupid with your talent points.

    If you want Dual Spec, go play WoW.

    Both myself and my Boyfriend have rolled Mercenary BH’s specifically and solely for PvP. My BF even plays a Bounty Hunter as his main and has simply rolled the other advanced class JUST for PvP…It took 2 hours to get off Hutta and into warzones…it’s not hard.

    • Yes, because spamming general for an hour trying to find a healer or tank when someone you know could just swap specs is so much the better alternative.

  16. Anyone who says that “Everyone will be a tank or a healer” has never been a tank or a healer. Sure you might do a quick tank or heal for a heroic mission but as more and more group content is introduced tanking and healing will become a major job.

    Everyone who is saying no to dual spec just remember that when you start begging for a tank or a healer and there are none because they do not want to spend the time and credit to respec to run your little flashpoint

  17. I pretty much hate the idea of dual-spec…I mean really? How lazy can it get? It’s just another way to water down the differences between faction/class/advanced class/skill spec…why stop there? Why not just make one class that can do everything, all the time, that should make everyone happy…right?

    It seems that the main reason supporting it is so people can switch different specs from PvE to PvP, but that pretty much destroys the developers plan of having a tank role in PvP, and people who switch to dps from healer are just greedy anyways, as almost all battles are won by healers (show me the winning team, and 98% of the time I can guess who has better healing)…

    I’m kinda sick of fickle players…choose your role and live it…

    • Actually it doesn’t destroy the plan of a tank in pvp, it supports it. My Powertech would actually have a tank pve spec and a tank pvp spec if there was dual specs. The spec differences arnt that huge but there certainly are talents that only apply to one or the other.

  18. Gimongous says:

    This is not necessary in this game. There more than enough options to pick the type of class you want to play, given the AC choices and skill tree options. I rarely find myself on the defensive side of immersion-breaking, but this seems to dilute and trivialize one of the core mechanics and characteristics of this game; this is, anyway, a mmoRpg. Roles are critical. All roles are viable in all aspects of gameplay – PvP, PvE and Operations – the devs went to and still go to a lot of trouble to make this a reality. We need tanks, healers and DPS for any of them to be fun and successful. If you don’t like what class or role you play, pick what you want. If you want options, do what I do and role multiple characters. I am a Scoundrel/Healer and enjoy all aspects of gameplay doing so, because they all feel viable and fun. This seems unnecessary and I hope we don’t see it in the game.

    • Are you taling about dual talent specs or dual AC? Your post implys dual AC which as absolutely nothing to do with this topic.

      Dual talent specs are a quality of life option that does nothing but improve the game in many aspects.

      • Gimongous says:

        I don’t see that my post implies that, but that’s a moot issue. I am referring to dual-speccing, not dual-AC. Bottom line for me, I feel there are some game mechanics that improve the game and/or… ‘spirit’, for lack of a better term, and some mechanics that make the game feel gimmicky, shallow, or ‘game-y’… I know this isn’t incredibly clear but that’s because I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I don’t like it. I didn’t like it when it was introduced in WoW and I personally don’t want to see it in this game. KotOR and TOR are both near and dear to my heart so accepting changes may at times be difficult. I know this is a game that is built to satisfy millions of people and not just a love letter to me fr BioWare. That being said, Xerus does a good job of explaining the other side and I better understand the desire for it. And although my concern regarding this diluting the talent pool in more than one way is minimal, I just don’t like the idea. After reading through all the comments and playing devil’s advocate, I would tell myself what I would tell others if I wanted the option: if you don’t like it, don’t use it. The reasons for adding it outweigh the reasons for withholding it and I can accept that. If I did want it, I wouldn’t want the vocal minority to overrule me for ambiguous reasons, so if it makes some people happy and increases enjoyment of a game I love, then I can live with it. Diversity ftw :)

  19. In the end it really doesn’t matter what people think about it because they have already stated that dual specs are comming.

    Luckly the devolpers realize that there will never be enough tanks or healers and that occasionally tanks and healers need (or want) to do something different.

  20. I can se the need for dual spec, however I would like to see it limited to the trees available after choosing advance class. Ie once you choose to go Pwertech or Mercenary you are locked in, but you could change from dps to healer as a mercenary.

    Yes you can respec, and I do not have a problem with the cost, what I have an issue with is that if I want to do flashpoints or operations and they already have a healer or two, then I would like the ability to switch to dps without having to run all over the place to respec. I think having the ability as a pay to train skill at a high cost is worthwhile. Those that do not want or see the need to respec, sniper for example who has the choice of 3 different dps trees, could save thier credits to spend on fancy trinkets.

  21. Dual specs benefits everyone.

    Healers and tanks can now have a dps option for faster farming, thus encouraging more people to have healer/tank off-specs,

    DPS queueing up for dungeons will find that there are more healers/tanks available in the market due to the above effect.

  22. There could be a difference in dual spec..

    1. dual spec to choose in 2 different AC’s
    2. dual spec inside the first chosen AC?

    I say yes to #2.

  23. 28% of people that voted have wrong opinions. Fact.

  24. If you have a game that uses the ‘Holy Trinity’ model, then a modern MMO should also offer the flexibility of dual-specs within your chosen AC. Those of us who do pick healing as main spec definitely slow down their solo experience considerably. It’s not immersion-breaking for me to be able to choose if I want to DPS or heal for a flashpoint.

    Of course respeccing is an option, but how many times do you want to set up your quickslot bars and be all set? It’s not 100% necessary for the game, but it would be a HUGE quality of life improvement.

  25. YES, FOR THE LOVE OF THE FORCE, YES!²

  26. Personally, I say NO. Why? It’s a Role Playing Game, notice the word Role. Your spec is part of your Role (sometimes literally). Also, I believe that every choice you make, has to have consequences, some of which you like, some you don’t. Personally I like the single spec, makes you carefully consider the pro’s and con’s the choice you maken, and actually makes you consider which part of the game is more important to you. And I like some semblance of real life in the games I play, even in a fantasy-game. And to be honest, it’s almost impossible to excel in different specialisations (that’s why they’re called a specialisation). And I don’t mind leveling another character for a different role I want te experience as well.
    Another problem I have with it, is gear. People with 1 spec loosing on gear-rolls, because the dual-specs need on the gear of their off-spec. But this is not an argument that will hold in trial, cause there are people needing on gear for the companions atm as well. This ofc is remedied easily with good & clear rules made in groups/guilds about loot-priorities for main-specs, off-specs & companions.

    That said, I do acknowledge that for players who like to do it all, it can be a pain in the ass to level multiple characters for different roles. So, if BW decides to implement Dual Spec, I advice 2 things:
    1) Make it optional (every guild can then decide if they want to keep it optional for there players, I think a good guild would keep it optional).
    2) Make it (freakingly) expensive to dual-spec. You really have to work your ass off to even get to dual spec (just as it would be very hard for most people to excel in 2 completely different roles in RL).

    That’s how I feel.

  27. I won’t be surprised if we see this feature get included added at some point. It’s a no-brainer!

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