Tell us how your spec is doing in 4.01!

by on October 23, 2010

So it’s been a week and a bit now since 4.01 dropped on us like a whale from a cargo plane.

And by now we’ve picked up most of the blubber and started landscaping the crater, by which I mean that we’ve got our addons working again and are starting to get a handle on our new class mechanics.

Every hunter in the world: Speak for yourself, mate!

Shut up, you lot. Rogues and kitty druids have been dealing with energy mechanics for years now and do you see them whining? Well, yes, all the time, obviously. But anyway…

We’ve seen a lot of individual posts on how specific classes are faring – but what we’ve not yet seen is an overall roundup of who’s up, who’s down, and whose spreadsheet just became so complicated that all of the Elitist Jerks posters spontaneously combusted.

So we’re going to assemble one, and we need your help!

Let us know in the comments how your characters – levelling and 80 – are playing post-4.01. Let us know if you pwn! Let us know if you nwp. (That’s the reverse of pwning). Let us know how you’re finding the new mechanics against the old content!

Your humble Melting Pot staff will start the ball rolling below.

Tell us – how’s your spec doing post 4.01?

[ Hugh's written a small book below, but you don't have to! Let us know how your class is faring in as many or as few words as you like. I'll be posting later- Rebecca]

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: World of Warcraft

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Hugh Hancock October 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm

OK, so I guess I’m up first. Darn this volunteering lark.

Levelling Boomkin (36): Wow, OK, that was a bit of a buff. I went from a one-button (and a couple of DOTs if I could be assed) mashing no-AOE machine with distinctly iffy damage output to an Owl Of DPS-Meter Toppage. I’m liking the new Eclipse mechanic, which is more subtle than it looks, and I’m really liking the fact I get Typhoon now (yay, some AOE!) and the new Thorns (it does HOW MUCH DAMAGE?). Oh, and Having Some Mana Now is nice too. And, like I say, I top the DPS meter a lot, even against a warrior (whom at this level is OP-tastic).

The not-so-good: my word, I thought that instances were easy at this level before. Indeed, I thought questing was easy too. My standard pull against same-level mobs is now to pull about 4 of them with Insect Swarm, cast Thorns, and watch them beat themselves to death on my spiky spiky feathers. Single-pull mobs rarely get to me before they drop dead, and I basically never have to re-mana – which is nice in a way, but a bit boring in another.

The wierd: Typhoon is trainable at 32ish. The GLYPH of Typhoon which makes it usable without your tank hating you? Still min level 39. Er, Blizz, are you sure?

80 Hunter With Shoddy Gear (some blues, GS about 4.3): YAAARGH! What? Where? Who? A dolphin? (They’re the assholes of the sea, you know).

OK, the initial confusion has given way to this: I absolutely love the new focus mechanic. I was extremely dubious when I heard about it, and even more dubious about not needing ammo any more (I’m an old-school “but I LIKED having to have wood and tinder on me to make fire” type player). But it’s awesome. It had never occurred to me how little sense having my hunter drink all the time made. And the added tactical challenge of avoiding running out or capping focus (something I know from rogues) are really interesting.

The not-so-good: In a raid, I can imagine playing my hunter would kick ass. Sadly, I haven’t gotten to do that yet. Instead, I’ve been running Heroics. Now, before the patch, my hunter was rather thoroughly optimised to do far, far more DPS than his dodgy gear would suggest – I usually out-DPSed people with 1k more Gearscore than me. (Indeed, it was a bit of a project to see how many people I could have shout at me for low gearscore and then massively out-DPS).

Now? My DPS sucks. It sucks if I use Explosive Trap. It sucks if I don’t. It sucks if I use a proper rotation with Chimera Shot and all. It sucks if I just spam Arcane Shot like Frostheim recommends. It doesn’t help, of course, that everyone’s gone back to their mains and so I’m regularly massively outgeared, but even against Rebecca’s Fury warrior at only a bit higher gearing, my DPS sucks so hard I end up wishing my gun was made by Dyson.

UPDATE: I have now taken my hunter on a raid. In AOE situations he sucks so hard it’s a miracle mobs don’t end up unable to move away from his horrible vortex. After a bit of rotation fixing, though (Kill Command SHOULD NOT be on an MM hunter’s bar, apparently) my DPS improved to the point that sometimes I wasn’t bottom of the meters. Hurrah! (In fairness, it is worth noting again that my gear really, really blows).

I’m planning on trying some more of my characters later – my Kingslayer pallie tank, my high-gear Assassination rogue and my 74 DK tank. So I’ll update further then.


Markco October 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm
Hugh Hancock October 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Cool, thanks!

Yeah – if you’ve already written a post about your impressions, feel free to link it here!


Ian M October 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

80 Fury Warrior – Kingslayer and endgame raid-geared - damn you, blizz, where did my pwnage go?
Given that my damage was rather based on having all the armour pen I could eat, Blizz’s removal of the entire mechanic (and replacement of all my gems with critstrike…damn them!) has caused a significant overall reduction in my dps.  Strength appears to be the way to go instead, but that’s a) viciously expensive to entirely re-gem for, and b) not nearly as effective.
The new Fury mechanic seems relatively simple – with a little work it’s fairly easy to be in some form of enrage virtually all the time.  Mastery seems rather unimpressive for furries just now – it’s a minor improvement to enrages, which themselves tend to be minor improvements.
As for the talent build, it seems to be rather confused about what it’s meant to be achieving.  There’s a lot of redundant pvp talents that have to get stuck in there in order to make up the full 31 points.  It gives you a little haste here, a little crit strike there, but nothing really emphatic – the only really pleasing additions are that 1-handed weapons are now an option, and that contributions other than DPS are now encouraged by a talent that gives you a temporary buff if you use a spell-interrupt successfully.
In conclusion: not as bad as it could have been, but it’s still a pretty hard pill to swallow.
75+ Retri Paladin, levelling – the death of the loladin?
Given the howls of rage that have arisen from some quarters, I was dreading what had been done to my latest levelling character.  However, it’s not so bad.  DPS isn’t exactly insane, but it’s respectable.  I’m usually comfortably high on the meters in levelling instances.
The new Holy Power mechanic is…mixed.  On the one hand, I like the way it increases versatility and survivability by allowing you to drop instant heals.  On the other, the Holy Power-dependent dps spells are very underwhelming.  The ‘selfless healer’ talent gives incentives for the pally to contribute to his party, however the Holy Power mechanic still has a way to go before it’s really a fully active feature of the class, rather than just an interesting bolt-on.
In conclusion: Retris seem to be more about the versatility now and less about raw dps.  It remains to be seen whether the challenges posed by the new content will make that a vital improvement or a crushing nerf.
36 Subtlety Rogue, levelling – less ca change?
In short, so far, very little seems to have changed at this level.  The talent tree’s been shuffled round a bit, so that I have to wait a bit longer for Preparation to be available.  The mostly pointless Ghostly Strike has been taken out.   All in all, I’m doing no better or worse than I was before.


Celendus October 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm

80 Paladin tank:
The old “969″ rotation was simple enough that I could do it using only muscle memory.
The new “939″ rotation requires that I make constant decisions about which ability I use.  It requires quite a bit more thought than the old one, but I like it.  The difference between AoE rotations and single-target rotations is fun.  My survivability in dungeons has gone down, but in ICC gear that just means the healer can’t autofollow and watch TV.  Threat seems about the same when I don’t make mistakes, but suffers if I get lazy or careless, which is how it should be.  Holy power lets me choose between threat and self-healing, which is usually an interesting choice.  Shorter-cooldown, weaker, stackable defensive cooldowns let me use them pretty much any time I get worried about incoming damage.  I like it.
I like my Holy offspec more than I did before, but I honestly can’t say whether it’s been buffed or nerfed.  I just think it’s a lot more interesting.  Might be because I always loved holy shock and now it’s our bread and butter.
25 mage:  Wow, this guy is way more fun now with arcane being viable at low levels and not having to drink every other pull.  New favorite alt.
22 rogue:  Subtlety lets me oneshot a mob every time shadowstep comes off cooldown.  Honestly it’s too OP.
19 priest:  Penance for the win.  I’m interested in Archangel / Evangelism too.  I’ll probably reroll this guy as a gnome priest though.  I wanna name her Carla Saganawhistle and roleplay a “Church of Science”.


Caelynn October 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

80 Holy Paladin – (VERY well-geared. Played her all throughout WotLK): At first, I was really bummed out about the changes. Now that I’ve taken the time to raid a little with her, I’m still really bummed out. They’ve taken away our usefulness as tank healers by restricting us to frustrating cooldowns and combo points, and most other healing classes have been buffed significantly enough to take over tank healing for us, anyway. So now holy pallies are sort of stuck in limbo. We’re not particularly good at anything, so why bring us along at all? In my opinion, healing shouldn’t be about being FORCED to adhere to a set rotation, you should heal based on instinct and what would be the most efficient spell to use in which situations. Yes, some holy pallies were just spamming Holy Light and keeping the tanks alive, but the GOOD ones were using their cooldowns as well as their ENTIRE toolkits to help EVERYONE, not just the tanks. I will dearly miss healing as a holy paladin during WotLK. It was fun and challenging. Now it’s just annoying. Light of Dawn is cool, but the most frustrating thing in the world is when you KNOW there are tons of people right in front of you and everyone’s taking damage, so you hit it, and it doesn’t seem to do much of anything. Extremely disappointing.
80 Restoration Shaman (Well-geared, mostly ICC): Still OP. Not much has changed for my resto shaman except for a larger mana pool, more regen, and Healing Surge. They can still spam Chain Heal if things are going badly for the raid, and Healing Surge is big enough and spammable enough to take a firm place in our rotations. It’s not as mana efficient as other spells, but who cares? We never have to drink anymore, anyway.
80 Restoration Druid (ToC and Ulduar geared, only recently started trying to catch her back up): Druids seem amazing now, despite the death of tree form as we know it. Crittable HoTs make all those rolling green numbers on your screen look a LOT more impressive, and their healing seems to have gotten a significant boost. I still don’t understand the reasoning behind the removal of tree form, though. I mean, kitty druids don’t have to shift into cat form on a cooldown to do extra damage…and druids have traditionally been about SHIFTING and taking on different forms to do different jobs. I just. Don’t. Get it.
30 Protection Warrior (LFD abuse, as well as some questing): I am IN LOVE. The Blood & Thunder talent makes tanking a breeze, and you can pretty much run around like a superhero in the world, gathering up a billion mobs, and Thunderclap/Rending them down to nothing. The only issues I’ve had have been in instances with overenthusiastic DPS who want to pull for me, but that’s a minor annoyance. So much fun.
I have other classes to try out, but I haven’t been interested enough to give them a chance. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else thinks of their class!


Jerlynn October 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I just want to leave a comment about the new vamped up BM solo mode hunter.  My hunter sits about a 6k GS to give you an idea and I love to go and solo old places for mounts/rep/fun.  I’ve noticed that since the patch I have no problem walking through Heroic Sethikk Halls and Heroic MagT for mount runs (ZG tiger boss was already possible pre patch).


Babb October 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm

80 Resto Shaman – (ICC10 ish with a few ICC25 mixed in)
Chain heal spam as mentioned above still seems to be our bread and butter, though they seem to have reduced its actual healing(not a big deal though since it was usually overhealing). Before the patch I was a reasonably decent tank healer…after the patch, tank healing seems to be a little stronger, though that might be a reflection of my spending a good deal of time the last few months on my druid instead of this guy. We still lack an external(or internal for that matter) damage reduction cooldown which does limit our tank healing options but overall Resto shaman’s seem to be improved
80 Resto Druid (ICC25 geared)
I haven’t actually raided on this guy yet. Prior to the patch, I felt this was my strongest healer. The last couple months he was who I took to ICC10 Heroic since hots are so yummy. I’m disappointed about ToL. Its mostly just an appearance thing to me. I liked being a tree when I healed. I expect that Efflorescence is going to give us a nice boost but its probably offset by the increase in the WG cooldown. I really miss the 1 second nourishes and the long duration of Regrowth. Probably going to have to swap those two around in Clique.
80 Death Knight tank(ICC10 geared with 264 badge gear. Still have a couple crummy offset pieces though)
DK Tanking seems to be much more relaxed than before. There is a little bit of a panic phase if your DPS doesn’t give you a few seconds to grab aggro on AOE pulls…I really miss 15s DnD. Single target threat  output when the boss is targeting you seems fine. Single target to maintain second threat(LDW for example) is a bit iffy but I expect this to improve when we can RS whenever instead of just on dodge/parry. The more relaxed nature of tanking(particularly single target) does give us the chance to keep an eye on other aspects of the fight. I feel a bit more squishy than prepatch, but that is offset by the generous amount of damage reduction cooldowns we have. In tanking 11/12 ICC10HM for my first time ever, I think the hardest fight to survive was Fester…though that could have been more due to heals getting VG or MG than me being slightly under geared.
80 Death Knight Unholy DPS(ICC25 geared with a few of the easier 277 pieces)
I’ve only had a chance to DPS on this character once since the patch,  and the thing that bugs me most is the BF rune pairing. Totally throwing me off since I am more used to skills using FU rune pairs. I also don’t like having to mind where my ghoul is on fights like Sindy. Before I didn’t have to worry too much about him getting killed since 30s later I’d have a new one. Now its the full 3m cooldown to summon another little buddy. Outside of those two problems, dps output(for me at least) seems to be comparable if not slightly more.


Ari October 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm

80 Disc Priest (Mostly 264 gear, 11/12 H 10man ICC): I’m still using Bubble, PoM, Penance and Flash Heal.  I know heal is supposed to be our go to heal spell, however its too long and not enough for current content for it to be useful.  As far as Archangel/Evangelism, I haven’t needed it yet — I have 45k mana, and even in Heroic Valithria where I was single healing the raid, I have no mana issues.
I will say the new default raid frames, almost give me enough information to effectively heal (Honest!) with Clique in ICC.


Erinys October 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

Holy Priesting is finally viable in PvP so I’m happy. A combination of lots of resilience, body & soul, holy word: chastise and chakra hopping is making battlegrounds loads of fun at the moment. Whether this continues at 85 remains to be seen but just in case I’m doing as much as possible right now.


Paul October 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Seeing what was coming in Cata, I let my sub expire Oct. 6, so all my specs are now at 0/0/0.

And there they will stay.


Lady Erinia October 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Level 80 Unholy DK- Geared and Awesome
Well, I’m still not sure if I like the changes. Yes, I’m still top (melee) DPS in the guild and they say I’m doing just fine, but I feel like I should be doing better. Paladins have to really fight to get ahead of me now…and by that I have to not be paying attention.  I don’t like  change gosh darnit. Right now, my rotation is pretty much the same, diseases, ss, fs, dc, etc etc. I feel lost without certain addons. When I hit level 81 though, and eventually level 85, my rotation is going to change a crap ton.  I just feel like I’m not doing as much DPS as I was before, but it’s variable. I do a hell of a lot better on AoE than I do in Single Target, and I was always a single target kind of girl. One thing I do like: My Ghoul’s Dark Xformation. It’s great and it confuses other players. “DAMMIT THIS GHOUL WON’T DIE! WHY CAN’T I TARGET THIS GHOUL?” “ERRRRIIIIINNNIIIIIAAAAAAA is that YOUR ghoul?!” *snicker snicker*


Ashazarn October 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

L80 6k Gs Raiding Combat Rogue tbh not an awful lot of difference other than a couple of new moves and expesnive gemming dps is a bit better thanks to the recuperation talent reducing damage taken for X amount of seconds means when berserk procs i dont just go splat on single target but aoe is just a no go now since the big nerf to fan of knifes  thanks blizz


Ben Sanders October 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Lev 80 Hunter, raid geared.
I’ve been in two ICC 25′s now since the changes. I’m thinking I’m starting to get used to things, althoguh the dps meters done seem to agree, and are putting me barely above the tanks. I dont think I like having a resource that runs out after one to four shots. Some people might be used to it, having played rogues and feral druids, but I leveled a rogue all the way up to about level 6 before deciding I didnt like the resourse system. So having it introduced on my favorite character wasnt quite what I wanted.
I’ve only realy tried Marksmanship so far – maybe one of the other specs might be more to my liking now.

80 Warlock. Not yet worked out a talent build or gone into an instance. Still makes enchantments just fine though. Gear now has lots of pointless spirit on it. Grr.

67-71 Paladin. I’ve got a holy spec, with the talent that reduces the cost of Exorcism. At these levels, its a bit on the overpowered side – I’ve been in dungeons as a healer and been in the middle of the dps meter and kept people alive. I’m quite liking Holy, works well for soloing, and the healing is interesting enough. Less mana issues than before the patch as a healer.
I’ve also tried a tank spec for one dungeon. It seemed to go ok, but I prefer healing.


Hugh Hancock October 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Lvl 80 Assassination Rogue, mostly Ulduar gear but 264/245 daggers: ZOMGWTF. OK, I’m a pretty good rogue player, and Assassination has been kinda overtuned for a while. Frankly I was expecting to be nerfed.
Play style is close to identical to pre-4.01, although Rupture’s back, back back.
DPS? Well, I wasn’t expecting that. Seems that Blizzard decided that the top DPS spec in ICC needed a pretty significant buff. I’ve not tried raiding yet, so maybe I’ll suck there, but single-target on bosses in Heroics I’m coming extremely close to breaking the 10k mark. In VH I was top DPS by about 2k on the beholder, at 9.5k. In CoS I was comfortably out-DPSing the (very competent) warlock wearing all 264 and 251 gear on all but one boss. I’m not unhappy about the changes, I’ll tell you that much! (Although rogue AOE is still a) boring and b) not very impressive).
Interested to see how I do in raids – although given on a raid boss I’ll be able to get a proper rotation in I can’t see how it won’t be “better”.
Soloing? With a minor tweak to include our Recuperation talent, Deadly Momentum, my soloing ability is absolutely absurd. To be fair, with my kit it wasn’t bad before – but now I’ve effectively got permanent Slice and Dice and a powerful self-heal up. I went through a room of about 30 level 80 mobs in Icecrown inside a minute. Unless this is a lot less powerful with worse gear, I’d expect Assassination rogues to be soloing gods right now.


Technical October 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Arms Warrior: almost fine. Damage is increased, got very-very good self-healing abilities. Tactical Mastery kicks ass. Throwdown is amazing.


Le Squeak October 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Lvl 80 Resto Druid. I had dual spec with Moonkin, but only specced Restro until now. Still learning the Moonkin stuff. I haven’t done anything with my other characters yet. One might say I’m a casual player.


Johnnie Ingram October 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

80 Death Knight DPS (Unholy) – I spent several hours weeping in sorrow at the loss of Glyph Of Disease, which was at the very heart of my spec and standard rotation, then I realised that Festering Strike basically replaces it, so that’s okay. The new rune mechanics take some getting used to. To be honest, I’m not sure the change is entirely successful, but it’s fun to learn. Dark Transformation is just about the most brilliant thing in the entire history of everything ever and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it. My DPS is way, way down right now, but I think that’s because I have no idea what the hell I’m doing any more, and because I haven’t touched reforging/mastery yet, so I’m not really very optimised any more. All in all, though, I’m happy.

80 Death Knight Tank (Blood) – Same DK as above, alt spec. My tanking spec has always been a very distant, rarely-used fallback, so I’m not really approaching this from the position of an expert tank pre-4.0.1. There seems to be only one talent spec which is even slightly viable, so there’s not much choice to make. Initial (very brief and decidedly unscientific) tests of the new tank build seem good. Threat is still high, and I seem to be basically invulnerable, which is nice.

61 Hunter (Beastmastery) – Wha? Huh? Help! It’s all changed! I have absolutely no idea whether I love or loathe this yet. I was a distinctly sub-par hunter before 4.0.1, but now I really haven’t a clue. I’m consoling myself with the thought that – by all accounts – no other hunter understands it either. No matter how chaotic the class, though, being allowed to tame so many more pets is a dream come true for someone as obsessed with pointless collecting as I am. Of course, it now means that I have to dedicate hours of time to go tame the rare pets I skipped back when I could only have a miserly five.

38 Mage (Frost) – Oh, joy unbounded! What rapture is here! This is so awesome it has its own helipad. I enjoyed levelling my baby mage pre-patch, where frost was a reasonably fun utility spec with some interesting twists, but the spec was mainly chosen because our guild already has a fire mage (a veteran Mage-a-holic who’s far more competent than I). Now, though, you’ll have to rip this spec from my cold, dead, frost-encrusted fingers. There is no literally no chuffing way any mob can get within ten metres of me. I have so many “stay right where you are while I happyslap you with mana” spells that I can kite half a dozen mobs without breaking a sweat. My DPS is down, but I honestly don’t care – this is too much fun. Interestingly, now that Frost mages have a pet waterfall, I now have no toons above level 30 that are not pet classes (even if you count the warlock I haven’t played in over a year).

I have to say, separately, that I agree with other posters (here and elsewhere) bemoaning the lack of challenge at lower levels. Lowbie instances are pathetically easy now, requiring nothing much more than lazy button spamming even on final bosses. Even our artificially-induced hardmode doesn’t take much effort right now.



Zahia October 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Instead of a much too long comment, I wrote a blog post about it :


Janyaa October 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I made a post about my initial impressions about holy paladins called “4.0 Healing is a Joke and Holy Paladins are the Punchline.”  The title pretty much sums it up.

Since then I have made a few adjustments and gotten another week of raiding in. While my healing has improved, it’s still not good or enjoyable. I plan on raiding again tonight and will be looking for any more improvement. I’ll be sure to post my thoughts tomorrow!

If you’d like to read the initial post, please go to:


Rebecca Judd October 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of responses – thanks guys, really interesting reads so far! I think we’ll be doing a summary review of all this soon, so keep them coming. For now, I’ve finally had time to poke some of my characters…

80 Fury Warrior (medium gear – 232s with a few higher pieces): Ooooooooooh I do DPS now! And with one handed weapons again! Thank you Blizz for putting in Single Minded Fury/SMF.  While lugging two oversized axes around looked cool, it never had the feel of fast, furious attacks to me. So yes, I’m one of those who’s specced SMF regardless of the rset of the internetz saying “let’s just go Titan’s Grip for now <patpat>” and I’m actually doing more DPS than I was prepatch with TG. And I love it. Back to speeding around, hitting things fast and pulling out more of my extra tricks than before when I was spending half my time making sure an axe didn’t lop my healer’s ear off.

Levelling 38ish Arms warrior: Arms doesn’t seem to have changed rotation-wise that much since before the patch, at least at this level. I seem to have less utility tools than before; logging in to find challenging shout, demo shout, and my retaliation cooldown all gone until later levels was a bit of a shock. This feels much simplified, which given I’d got used to weaving in those abilities when necessary (and boy were they necessary in Knew The Risks), feels a bit meh. Otherwise, enjoyable enough rotation wise, and it’s nice to actually have rage now.

Levelling 72 Prot warrior (yes, I like warriors): ran two dungeons today, after trepidation combined with curiosity having read the blogosphere go “oh noes new tanking”. I practiced on a target dummy first to get a bit of muscle memory then headed into my first run: Nexus. As I was typing to the group that it was my first run post patch, watch out for a hairy start, I realised they’d already started without their tank. Great, I thought. But it turned out into a mostly fine (if silent) run, with the only problem being the lowest DPS (rogue) clearly not caring about aggro. Throughout the run I was exclaiming to Hugh “I really don’t see the problem with warrior tanks”. “Aoe threat? Got enough.” Then I went to AN. That didn’t go so well. Let’s just say I think DPS who start DPS before the mobs get to the tank and who don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong (apparently what could he be doing wrong when he was being forced to tank, heal and DPS?) are still a problem. And always will be. Looking forward to levelling this character.

80 resto shaman, Kingslayer: …doesn’t seem much different, though only tested in a couple of dungeons so far. Weaving in shocks and lightning bolts is generally not too much of a problem, but it still doesn’t feel right. I’m of the caste of healers who think healers should be, y’know, healers. DPSing feels.. unnatural. We’ll see.


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