Pure DPS “Off Spec” Gear?

I used all my writing mojo writing a post on the officer forums today.  Naturally this leaves me sitting here staring at a blank wordpress page…so I decided I could just copy and paste my forum post!

It’s not sensitive information (or juicy, soap opera-esque drama) so I think it’s safe enough to plaster across the interwebs.

The topic was offspec gear.  BoO uses DKP in 25 man raids, but if no one wishes to have an item for their main spec, then it goes to off spec rolls and costs 0 DKP.  The debate arose over whether or not a pure DPS class should be allowed to roll for off spec gear.  We’re leaving weapons out of the equation because they can be a slightly different kettle of fish, if you’re wondering.

Here, there, is my opinion on pure DPS classes rolling on off spec gear against the tanks and healers:

Healers and tanks both, due to the nature of raiding, sometimes HAVE to DPS in the raid. Either the fight requires a varying number of tanks, or the fight requires a varying number of healers. Also consider that as we get better at content, we need less healers…leading, potentially, to having to bench several of our healers as we PROGRESS in content.

That in mind, tanks and healers both have a legitimate claim to off set gear for a raid setting. If DPS were allowed to roll on “offspec” gear along side the tanks and healers, then this would drastically reduce the chance of them getting any offspec gear, leaving them-and the raid-at a disadvantage. I’m already competing for MAIN spec gear with the DPS as well as my fellow healers, due to the quirks of my class and spec (we can’t all be holy paladins). I don’t have DKP to spare, either. If the DPS claims their main spec loot, and then starts claiming their off spec loot…well, if I’m doing 3k on a boss fight later in my Ulduar10 DPS gear because the mage needed 3 robes for his 3 different specs…that’d be why. As a pure DPS you can DPS as Y spec in X spec ideal gear. The holy paladin can’t do jack shit in her healing gear as ret. I’m not sure how this disadvantage is less damaging to the raid than the pure DPS not being optimal for some fights. DPS has never been optimal for all fights. This is why you like to have variety in your raid group.

While some stats may not be OPTIMAL on certain gear, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically offspec and available gratis. I mean fuck, if you want to do that, then half of my gear was really offspec gear because it’s better for holy than for disc. And take my hunter-the quirks of a BM hunter mean that to get anywhere I’m wearing a lot of stuff that doesn’t have OPTIMAL stats.

I think that allowing DPS to roll on “off spec” gear is a path I don’t care to go down. For one thing, not everyone knows the ideal stats for certain specs and classes. Not everyone agrees with them, either. What seems like an obvious offspec piece to you might not seem that way to JimBob over there, leaving the officers with a lot of potential misunderstandings and hurt feelings to soothe.

Think back to the days before dual specs. You didn’t swap specs for this fight or that one. You just knew you were good for some fights and not so good for others. Not everyone has dual specs, either-they aren’t a necessity for raiding, as helpful as they are. I do not feel that content is so tightly tuned for non-hardmode raids that the DPS needs the best gear for multiple specs, not when the tanks and healers are just as if not more likely to use the same gear in any given encounter.

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  1. #1 by Krikket on March 17, 2010 - 11:47 am

    I agree with this completely – and if looks like I’m coming from the perspective of a hybrid class, I felt the same way on my warlock (who kept different gear for her affliction and destro specs due to one spec having a 3% hit talent and the other not).

    However, the thing this *doesn’t* appear to take into account (and I’m not trying to be nitpicky, but it might come up), is what about hybrids who have 2 dps specs (i.e. ele/enhance shaman or boomkin/kitty druids)? Since one spec is caster and one is melee they do require complete different sets of gear (although they are both DPS specs). Just something you may want to consider if you’re making an official policy on this, so when it comes up, there’s no scrambling.

  2. #2 by Forreststump on March 17, 2010 - 12:24 pm

    Aye, lassie, ye be navigating some treacherous waters. But, I think your assessment is spot on.

  3. #3 by Ori on March 17, 2010 - 12:55 pm

    @Krikket I would put hybrids in a different category. Obviously you need different ger to be a boomkin than to be a kitty.

  4. #4 by Krikket on March 17, 2010 - 1:07 pm

    @Ori, I agree, but I think it needs to be addressed.

    Devil’s advocate: Resto shaman (with an ele offspec) and enhance shammy (with ele offspec) both want the same piece of offspec, DKP-free gear. Should their priority be equal and given over to random? Should the item be given to the healer who is likely to be asked to go DPS rather than the melee who is less likely to be asked to go ranged?

    I just believe that if things are going to be officially addressed, all the possibilities should be considered at the outset.

    Disclaimer: I don’t care. Yes, I have a resto offspec. Yes, I take resto gear when NO ONE else wants it. However, if there’s someone more likely than me to use it? It’s all theirs. I’m sick of gemming and enchanting stuff I wear to lolheal heroics and arenas. :P

  5. #5 by shadowtycho on March 17, 2010 - 1:21 pm

    wouldn’t off spec pure dps gear be thier main spec that they did not want to spend dkp on, since the stuff is there main spec gear set. AS such they are gaming your system, regardless of their reasoning for it.

    what it woudl boil down to is “hi im a dps and that’s not a huge upgrade for me so ill not pay dkp for it, instead ill roll for it for free because im patent, now i have a lot of dkp, getting free upgrades, and i get to run around buying gear out over honest people.” it would allow say a rogue who only has a few competitors to pass on leather and get it for free so that when he needs a trinket he can take it, unless you have alot of druids hellbent on getting a kitty set this is a really good plan for him.

    @ krikket: as for kitties going boom elemental shamans going enhance, its not a offspec thing unless you are changing your role IMO(dps is a role not ranged dps) also, it seems like this was about pure dps getting off spec rolls(rogue, hunter, warlock, mage) which is clearly a person gaming the system(see above)not anything to do with droods or shaman.

  6. #6 by shadowtycho on March 17, 2010 - 1:24 pm

    a better way to phrase this argument would be,
    “should pure dps have to pay dkp on items there is no competition for?”

    and the answer is yes.

  7. #7 by Gowron on March 17, 2010 - 1:34 pm

    Look at it the other way. My mainspec is threat-tank. My offspec is Block-Value tank. No RL will let me use the OS-arguement if a BV-piece drops…

  8. #8 by Askevar on March 17, 2010 - 1:40 pm

    We had a little confusion/concern this past week on our 25 man in ICC. A piece of plate dps gear dropped that the one plate dpser we have in the raid [yup only one] already had… So our Loot Master did offspec roll [which won’t cost you your spot on SK list], which I [a tank], the other 2 tanks and a healer all rolled on. Some people are concerned that this can be abused [it can be…if we let it – offspec is OFFspec].

    But as I said, I’m not spending my spot on dps gear. I’ll let it go to shard and not cry about it [my dps spec is only there to be able to help the raid when I need to go dps – I won’t spend badges to upgrade it till my main set is done with that level of badges, therefore it lags a tier behind – at best].

    On the other hand, it would stink to shard something that could aid one of our tanks when they have to swap to dps spec for certain fights. My dps set is still rocking a couple 219s… and is mostly 232, so eh.

  9. #9 by Ambrosine on March 17, 2010 - 1:51 pm

    @Tycho – I tried really hard not to say “I can’t trust everyone to not game the system, sigh” but there is that, too.

  10. #10 by Armagon on March 17, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    I do agree but I can’t stop wondering why you excluded weapons.
    When I, as a Rogue am wearing 2 iLvl XYZ Daggers and an iLvL XYZ Sword drops, what are we gonna do?

    You can be sure that I won’t be spending DKP on something that will not up my DPS (before anyone chimes in, let’s say Assassination DPS = Combat DPS, it’s shifting every 1-2 patches anyway).
    No, it’s a *potential* DPS upgrade, if I get a *second* Sword with higher DPS (and thus, probably higher iLvl)

    Over the years this had me
    a) paying full price for a sidegrade – meh
    b) seeing it disenchanted, just so I couldn’t have it for free – meh²
    c) paying 1/3 of DKP and end up never using it – meh as well

    So actually, even this is probably quite specific to Rogues (and used to be Warriors in pre-TG) – but it’s even more annoying.

    Plus I have to admit I never tried to get any “off-spec gear” for my DPS offspec when I have a DPS mainspec.

  11. #11 by Kotakh on March 17, 2010 - 2:07 pm

    (Amber already knows my opinion since we talked about it on gtalk but you guys dont so there; )

    I totally agree with Tycho.

    A Rogue, Mage, Warlock, Hunter rolling for an “offspec” piece is trying to game the system. There’s no such thing as an offspec piece of gear for a rogue (except weapon of course). It might not be an optimal piece for your main spec but it most likely is pretty darn good anyway.

    Offspec piece are DKP free which opens the door for abuse of the system. Even if we’re sure that nobody is gonna use that “open door” to abuse the system, that door cant stay open.

    I’d say you either dont allow it at all for those pure dps class or you put a high price on it. What i mean is you could say if a pure dps wants to have a piece he consider to be “offspec”, he has to pay a flat fee of 1000 gold to the guild bank and he can use this option ONLY if NOBODY else want that piece of gear.

    The hybrid case is tougher. But i tend to agree with Tycho again. A Hybrid who has 2 dps spec (ele/enh, kitty/boom) is pretty much a “pure dps” in the sense that all hes ever gonna be is a dps. He wont be tanking nor healing anytime soon, so i say his offspec gear should cost DKP. The chance that him being range instead of melee making a huge difference is pretty slim.

  12. #12 by Kotakh on March 17, 2010 - 2:12 pm


    She says except weapon because of Rogue. As you said, a Combat Rogue doesnt want dagger for his main spec. So if a dagger drops that nobody wants for Main spec, then the combat rogue gets it for FREE (no dkp, no gold) for his off spec. (or we do a /roll if many ppl want it for offspec. Winner still get it free)

  13. #13 by Ron on March 17, 2010 - 2:47 pm

    /winds think

    Why not allow your raiders a chance to bid DKP for off-spec items if no one bids on it for a raid spec? This way there can’t be any bitching about it not being “fair”. If someone wants it, they should’ve bid on it.

    You will still run across some folks that would rather chance lady luck then bid for an offspec item, so why not supplement things with a SK system for off-spec no bids. Yes, you’ll still have people try to cheat the system, but at least everyone has an equal opportunity to cheat this way.

    That is the definition of fair isn’t it?

  14. #14 by Fricassee on March 17, 2010 - 3:06 pm

    The way I see it for pure DPS, off-spec means side-grade. Rawr does silly things to us all on account of hit rating, and sometimes it pays to have a hit item and a no-hit item of the same item level.

    The reason forcing pure DPS to pay for side-grades is bad is that we do compete with other classes for main gear, even if they’re not DPS. Let’s use the example of the haste/crit/SP off-set item (rings, cloaks, necks). If the pure dps class has to pay more dkp to optimize their gear, they will never win BiS gear everyone wants.

    We do need/greed whispered to the Loot Master. The item goes to the peron with the highest dkp who chose need, followed by the highest dkp who chose greed. Greed gets it at half price. Now we also have the benefit that the LM inspects what people are wearing to make sure they’re not greeding because there are no main specs and they have the highest dkp. Seems to have worked out pretty well so far.

  15. #15 by The Renaissance Man on March 17, 2010 - 4:52 pm

    There’s several ways you can work that issue. The cleanest fix would be to catagorize each peice of loot as a certain main spec, and catagorize each player as a certain main spec. That way people can only bid main spec on gear that’s optimized for them, and they have to try for OS on gear that’s better optimized for someone else.

    One of the benefits of allowing DPS to roll for offspec dps gear is that it encourages them to build new gear sets optimized for new specs that will become more powerful after certain patches, or stat thresholds have been reached. A great example would be the effect that patch 3.3.3 will have on DKs. Right now unholy is the top DPS spec, and it competes with Ret Pallies, DPS warriors, and the occaisional hunter for its weapon. When the patch drops, frost will become better by a decent margin, however, a frost build uses one handed weapons, which would mean that they’re now competing with Enhance Shamen, Rogues, and the occaisional hunter. A proactive DK is already looking for ways to get his hands on those weapons so that he can be ready for the patch. Allowing him to roll OS if a rogue/shaman doesn’t need it is a good way to afford him that opportunity, without creating friction in the raid over people inflating prices on main spec bids for other DPSers who could use it immediately.

  16. #16 by shadowtycho on March 17, 2010 - 6:21 pm

    @ ron: because if you do that and you have say… one plate dps in your raid all he has to do is bid 1 dkp, he isnt playing fair versus other poelp that he has to share loot with (be it tokens or trinkets)

    “should poeple be allowed to upgrade there main spec for less then full price?”

    … no…

    this seems really obvious to me, the idea that a item is going to offspec should be that is is goign to be sharded if poeple had to spend anything on it, and by giving it to the tank so i can frown at his numbers while he wails at the target dummy and entertain him self for a bit wont get it sharded its a better use. not that people should get a chance at free gear if they are going to use it in raid.

    the best alternative is to have it cost /something/ and have overall dkp decay in some way that way stockpiling is discouraged and poeple will spend it (use it or loose it)

  17. #17 by Voink on March 17, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    This is a tricky situation that I’ve encountered myself because I’ve rolled greed on several hit or spirit pieces as a moonkin because I’m well over the hit cap as is and while I wouldn’t mind having that piece to swap in, I’m not spending points on it. If that means it goes to a priest or shaman dps offspec I’m perfectly okay with it, or even if it’s sharded.

    If there was a way in a dkp system to differentiate between offspec and a “secondary main spec” piece, with the priority being offspec, I think it’d solve most issues. But whoever’s doing the loot should be aware of who’s doing what.

  18. #18 by Rake on March 17, 2010 - 7:42 pm

    Seen this problem before in a former guild. DKP costs on items was all fixed price. Whoever had the most dkp to spend got the item. Zero sum for purchases. If no main spec showed an interest it went to off. Dkp cost for off spec was half to 2/3 of the main spec buyin (usually depended on rarity) but the point was that it still costs you something. Having off spec go for free is inviting your raiders to game the system.

    This system is still open to abuse, if only from the pov of collusion between those likely to buy an item, but it requires a lot of cooperation. And human greed being what it is any kind of agreement usually comes unstuck.

  19. #19 by Ricah on March 18, 2010 - 3:53 am

    Instead of calling it off-“spec” you could call it off-“role”. A pure dps therefor has no off-“role”. Of course this does bring up the issues like presented earlier with the different off-“roles”, such as a resto tree going for caster dps gear or kitty dps gear, and a resto shaman going for either ele or enhance. In that, you will have to trust/bribe/enforce your raiders to go with 1 spec for their off-“role”.

  20. #20 by Commander Shepard on March 18, 2010 - 4:45 am

    I am Commander Shepard and this is my favorite blog in the internet.

  21. #21 by Zombiee on March 18, 2010 - 12:04 pm

    My guild is using SKG as a loot system and I have the dubious honor of maintaining it. It’s a list, top person on the list who wants it, gets it and moves to the bottom. I run 4 different lists so it’s a little more forgiving (armor, weapon, accessory, tokens) No recognition of offspec, mainspec or tertiary spec .. with a “Don’t be a jackass” clause. While people high on the list have the ability to take an item for offspec before someone gets it for their main, it’s rare for our group. When it does happen there is usually limited butthurt since it’s a clear rule and has been for nearly a year.

    What frequently happens with a caster trinket is
    – it goes out for bid
    – all healers with a dps spec bid
    – they notice a caster is bidding for their main and retract their bid
    – caster takes item and drops to bottom again
    – healers make jokes about blacklisting said caster for ninjaing their trinket

    In theory, only people whose offspecs are important enough to them for them to burn their position will take offspec pieces. In practice, we probably end up sharding more gear than we should because people want to save their spots for a mainspec item.

    On the other hand, not having to police people trying to game the system and not having to keep track of mainspecs, offspecs and itemization has allowed me to stay sane thus far.

  22. #22 by Nzete on March 18, 2010 - 4:20 pm

    We run “off spec” is open roll with a 2 SK lists tier token and everything else. I badly want to put a caveat of “if you actually use your off spec in raids, /roll 1-100 and add 100. It is irritating to see someone who has never played shadow in a group (and has no intention of so doing) winning gear over me. (I am “main spec healing” and “off spec shadow” but spend a good half of the time as shadow in raids).

  23. #23 by Eristhan on March 19, 2010 - 12:41 pm

    My guild runs across the same issue, albeit rarely. A lot of times, when people roll on an item, I’ll eyeball it and declare if it’s offspec or mainspec, despite what they say. An elemental shaman rolled on some mp5 gloves, so I gave it to a resto shaman with less DKP that needed them. He threw a fit, claiming he had more DKP and that it was an upgrade. Sighing, I gave the item back to him. Should I have? Hell no – it put him under hit cap and his DPS dropped.

    Then there are those who want offspec gear who never use said offspec, and have more DKP than someone who’s constantly switching up specs for the sake of the guild. At this point, I *ask* the person with the offspec to pass, or I’ll point out “Do you really want to spend DKP on an item you’ll never use?” and I get my selfish way.

    Offspec DPS on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. I normally have to pause the raid, and listen to a well-constructed argument between the bidders and myself while the rest of the raid moves on just so I can decide if the warrior really wants an AGI cape because he’s expertise capped.


  24. #24 by Golle on November 10, 2010 - 11:31 am

    What if you let DPS roll for loot as offspec, but a tank and a healer who rolls automatically has a higher prio and will take the item regardless of numbers rolled.

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