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What spec for leveling?

Postby Kalakaua » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:37 pm

I was pretty determined to level as prot, but thinking how crowded the starter zones will be, I've been considering leveling ret for the first few levels.

It will be difficult to round up lots of mobs with people tagging things as soon as they spawn. Ret might be better for getting that quick kill before going back to spawn camping. Besides, ret should be fine for tanking normal instances with my regular tank gear on...

Still, I don't want to seem like a FOTM retlol. I enjoy tanking and there's no doubt that I will be prot at lvl 80. Can someone talk me away from the ledge here?
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Postby Sevrinax » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:00 pm

I always level as my core function - so I'll be staying prot, as I have always done. I just feel better knowing I am tanking at my best when I AM tanking for groups....plus, I'm a sucker for instances so it works ok.
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Postby PizzaOfHut » Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:44 am

So far, I've found that with a full maintankadin spec (i.e. 70 raiding spec elaborated on) can produce very respectable DPS if you wear the right gear. In my case, I'm approaching 72 as of this writing with the following spec:

My Prot Leveling Spec @ 71

The right gear for such an approach is exactly the same gear you would wear as PvE Ret, minus the two-hander (you will ALWAYS do more DPS with a sword and board as Prot than with a 2h weapon). Use you standard tanking shield, and if you have one, a good DPS (think Rogue) sword and a spec neutral DPS Libram, such as the one that drops off The Maker in H-BF. I use a Merc Glad's Slicer, but a single target threat weapon works too.

Granted, I could easily kill stuff much quicker if I equipped a Two-Handed Ginourmous Mace of Bonecrunching Megadoom and respecced Ret, but I'm sticking with Prot simply because my I find my technique a bit lacking, and would like the practice before my guild begins the new endgame. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, and if you go this way, use SoR, and not Blood/Martyr.
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Postby vschiano2008 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:15 am

i went ret.. and went back to prot.

ive been aoe grinding quests. "kill 12 of XX" in one or two pulls ftw.

if i see a big group of mobs, even if i'm not on a quest for them, i gotta aoe them all real quick. especially undeads.
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Postby majiben » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:22 am

As a ret with 50% Prot gear I find it safe to AoE down 5-6 mobs down at a time if I can get them close enough. Honestly the mobs aren't close enough for massive AoE all the time plus this ets me kill single targets easily.
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Postby erdirck » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:03 pm

yeah, i was prot until 72, then I went ret and have been leveling faster. I have half tank gear and half ret gear. I will be going back to prot once i either pick up SoTR or at 80. You can tank regular 5 mans just fine with being ret with the right gear.
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Re: What spec for leveling?

Postby Agodaar » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:13 am

Kalakaua wrote:I was pretty determined to level as prot, but thinking how crowded the starter zones will be, I've been considering leveling ret for the first few levels.


Im full prot right now.. Doing non-stop instances (when possible). Only questing when its not possible to find guildmates or pugs to do runs with. It might not be THE fastest way to lvl but its pretty damn fast :) And theres always a great need for tanks. Its only early morning and late night i cant find groups. And since i like to tank thats the most fun way for me to lvl. Hate questing.
Calithra Lvl 80 Paladin Tank @ Ravencrest :)
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Postby uke » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:32 pm

If you plan on leveling mostly by questing, and want to aim for quickness and efficients, then Ret is THE better leveling spec. Seriously, this isn't even remotely debatable. Even more so if you're on a PVP server.

Now, if you're not in a big rush, and would rather tank instances on your way to 80 (even though it's still slower than just questing), then by all means go prot and do what you enjoy.

In short, do what's fun for you. However if you're asking what is more efficient and quicker, then ret wins by a VERY long shot. Anyone who says they can quest nearly as fast as prot has never specced ret, or specced and didn't do it right. It's seriously that big of a gap.

Also, it is entirely possible to tank as ret in the normal dungeons. And I can aoe grind about 6 mobs at once as ret using Art of War procs to keep me up.
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Postby mconeone » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:53 am

uke wrote:If you plan on leveling mostly by questing, and want to aim for quickness and efficients, then Ret is THE better leveling spec. Seriously, this isn't even remotely debatable. Even more so if you're on a PVP server.

Now, if you're not in a big rush, and would rather tank instances on your way to 80 (even though it's still slower than just questing), then by all means go prot and do what you enjoy.

In short, do what's fun for you. However if you're asking what is more efficient and quicker, then ret wins by a VERY long shot. Anyone who says they can quest nearly as fast as prot has never specced ret, or specced and didn't do it right. It's seriously that big of a gap.

Also, it is entirely possible to tank as ret in the normal dungeons. And I can aoe grind about 6 mobs at once as ret using Art of War procs to keep me up.


this. However AOE pulling usually means I have to heal/drink after. But single targets go down incredibly quickly. You can't always AOE tank anyway, especially in crowded areas where killing slowly is a huge disadvantage.
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Postby Neroth » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:01 am

I made the switch to Ret and I'm loving it.

My results through LVL 74 (levelled my Rogue to 74 first)

Questing -

Protection - 180k to 200k per hr

Ret - 300k to 400k per hr.


Instances -

I get about 180 to 200k xp/hr in instances. As Ret I can tank Nexus and UK no problem. Azjol was fairly simple. Old Kingdom got dicey on some trash but we made it through with me getting killed twice.

For me.... Ret has been way more fun to level and I keep getting new gear, which makes it even more fun. I haven't seen any real upgrades to my protection set which sorta takes the fun out of that spec as well. I can still take 3 to 5 mobs at any given time without worrying too much as ret.
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Postby Doktah » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:49 am

I always level with my core spec which is prot. My bags are full of crap already and don't want to have a prot set and ret set. I aoe 10-15 at a time anyways so it goes by pretty quick.
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Postby uke » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:24 am

mconeone wrote:
uke wrote:If you plan on leveling mostly by questing, and want to aim for quickness and efficients, then Ret is THE better leveling spec. Seriously, this isn't even remotely debatable. Even more so if you're on a PVP server.

Now, if you're not in a big rush, and would rather tank instances on your way to 80 (even though it's still slower than just questing), then by all means go prot and do what you enjoy.

In short, do what's fun for you. However if you're asking what is more efficient and quicker, then ret wins by a VERY long shot. Anyone who says they can quest nearly as fast as prot has never specced ret, or specced and didn't do it right. It's seriously that big of a gap.

Also, it is entirely possible to tank as ret in the normal dungeons. And I can aoe grind about 6 mobs at once as ret using Art of War procs to keep me up.


this. However AOE pulling usually means I have to heal/drink after. But single targets go down incredibly quickly. You can't always AOE tank anyway, especially in crowded areas where killing slowly is a huge disadvantage.


It probably helps that I'm decked out in full PVP gear, though a nasty 6-pull will still take me to about half life sometimes. A Holy Light and Divine Plea usually does the trick to get me topped off if I open with judgement on the next mob I face.

Speaking of which, if you're leveling Ret and haven't bound Flash of Light to a hotkey, DO IT! I have mine bound to my mouse wheel/button. Art of War procs giving instant FoL's while fighting are what enables me to both never have downtime, and to be able to solo 2-3 person group quests with general ease.
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Postby Neara » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:31 pm

i did ret for solo questing and prot for instances

gold isn't really an issue while lvling up.

On my way from 70 to 80 i respecced around 20 times, and still made ~2k gold just through quest-rewards and selling grey or soulbound items. And another ~2.5k at the auction house
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Postby Schijnn » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:28 am

I did fine in Outland as Ret, but as soon as I hit Northrend, I started having a terrible time, especially compared to my Death Knight. I just felt like I was sitting around waiting to attack, plus I was losing nearly half my health in every battle. I felt I had little chance of winning if I aggro'd more than one mob.
I switched to Prot, picked up a nice shield and decent mace at the AH, and I'm now coming out with nearly full health. Adds aren't even a concern anymore. The last instance I ran was Mana Tombs, so my gear isn't so great, but I'll take suffering 25% as much damage over a 20% increase in base damage any day.
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Postby rodos » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:24 pm

Schijnn wrote:I did fine in Outland as Ret, but as soon as I hit Northrend, I started having a terrible time, especially compared to my Death Knight. I just felt like I was sitting around waiting to attack, plus I was losing nearly half my health in every battle. I felt I had little chance of winning if I aggro'd more than one mob.

I think if you're waiting around for auto-attack/cooldowns then your gear might be a bit weak. With about 1800 unbuffed AP and 25% crit, one round of CS, Judge, DS just about kills anything in the starter zones. Finish them off with HoW if you have plenty of mana, otherwise wait 1-2 seconds for an auto-attack or CS cooldown.

In this amount of time most mobs don't get me down more than about 1k hp, and an instant AoW FoL on the way to the next mob leaves me good to go. If you open with HoJ when it's up you get double damage from Judgement, and can probably kill the mob before it wears off taking zero damage.

I did spend a bunch of gold and badges on ret gear before the expansion though, so maybe this is unrealistic for a toon with only prot gear or random Outlands quest rewards.
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