Offspec Proficiency

If you’ve read my blog to date, you may recall that my current guild is my 2nd guild ever. That means I’ve only completed 2 guild applications. But….I have seen a few out there and all of them seem to ask 1 question that I’d like to evaluate a bit today: “What is your offspec, and can you play it as well as your main spec?” With all the apps I’ve seen, the vast majority of them indicate that yes, they are proficient in either. Some are up front and disclose that they are not as familiar with it or that they don’t have proper gear for it, etc. Most of the time a healer MS will have a DPS OS or a DPS will have a Heal or Tanking OS, etc. About the only exception to that I see are non-hybrids or I’ll see Priests with dual heal specs. Why is this an important question? Well, I didn’t really think too much about it until recently to be honest. But, it really can prove to be detrimental if you’re terrible at your OS.

This past Thursday, we had an issue with attendance. Normally, we have 30-35 raiders on with a healthy bench This week we had exactly 25 raiders online but 9 of them were healers. Not ideal. It was an important night as we were looking to down Heroic Domo and end the week at 5/7 for progression. I was asked to go Enhance for the fight and a couple other healers were asked to go to their respective DPS specs. I was pretty nervous about raiding in Enhance, actually. Sure, I leveled a bit enhance and I use it for dailies…I like watching quest mobs literally melt to the will of my axes! I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up some really solid AGI gear in our raids, including lots of 391 (heroic) stuff. I have a 3 set now and am aiming for gloves to complete my Enhance 4 set. The bad part? As of the time of this writing, I’m not hit or expertise capped, I have not properly reforged to the correct stat weights, nor was I specced appropriately. The good news? I was able to actually be pretty competitive with the other DPS. I was still about 3k behind the actual Enhance Shaman but was beating out many of the other MS DPS raiders. Naturally, I was a bit excited (and obviously I’m bragging just a bit :p) about that but I knew deep down that I wasn’t maximizing my potential.

There were 2 issues which came from that night that really prompted this post.

1) One of the other healers who went DPS was pulling far less than even half of the top DPS numbers (41k vs. 19k).

2) We were hitting enrage timer, meaning we understood the fight and were executing the mechanics but were just taking too long. The excuse we had as a team was “next week when we have all main spec DPS’ers…” Well, I agreed with that up to the point where I was reading an app from a new applicant to the guild and there was that question regarding offspec. If we all answered that question with the indication that we could play our offspec well, where is the validity in the excuse?

So, here’s my charge to anyone who comes across this post: Study up on your offspec. Practice it. Know it. You may be called to use it and when you are, you need to be competitive.

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