Raiding went out of the window for Merlot weeks ago, now my biggest concern is how to spec and dress to surge through Northrend like a dose of clap. I think the weeks of inactivity have gone to my head, because I'm playing with a rather wacky hybrid idea.
What I really want is a heavy spirit shadow build. It suits how I like to play — dot, wand, loot, rinse, repeat. The combination of high base regeneration and spirit tap make for a single-target grinding dynamo. Or so I like to think.
It's a great idea in theory, but there are some practical obstacles.
Gear is one problem. I have only slightly more spirit on my current raid gear than agility. In Outland, spirit is almost exclusively a healer's privilege.
Had I the foresight to collect an off-spec set of healing gear, I'd be in a much stronger position now. With the upcoming changes to spell power, healing gear is looking ideal for my needs.
Sadly, I didn't. I can run a few instances now and pick some up, but my best bet is badge gear. I have over a hundred burning a hole in my bank, which should be enough to boost my spirit for starters.
Longer term, spirit seems more prevalent in Northrend so it should work itself out as I go.
The real headaches start when I look at talents. Spirit stackers have a clear incentive to pick up twisted faith, which increases spell damage by a proportion of your spirit. But if you're stacking spirit, you also want divine spirit and its improved version. Unfortunately, you can't have both.
In a raid situation, it's a no-brainer, you take the shadow talent and hope you have a disc priest in your group. But solo, I'm not so sure. The purpose of a levelling build is not to min/max but to support solo questing and grinding. Improved divine spirit also provides mana regeneration.
The question then becomes: can I kill quickly and easily enough without the greater spell damage? If the answer is yes, being able to kill mobs continuously without drinking downtime wins out.
So you see I'm leaning slightly in favour of improved divine spirit for levelling, but there's another problem. I can't get improved divine spirit and vampiric touch at 70. Meh. The earliest I can have the two is 73.
Do I really need VT for levelling? If they hadn't changed the mana regen, I would have said yes, absolutely, without question. But now I'm not so sure. Considering you have to cast mind blast to trigger replenishment, which just isn't in my normal grinding rotation, I doubt it. And anyway, I'm planning to end up with full mana between pulls, I shouldn't need replenishment.
I might need it for damage though. I just don't know. Maybe devouring plague will be able to take its place.
So in the end, I'm facing the possibility of a hybrid build for the journey to Northrend, one with divine spirit and shadow form — what I've taken to calling the divine shadow. But it all hinges on how much damage I need to put out on the way.
I know it's not going to win any dps race, and I'll almost certainly have to respec to run instances. But you've never needed high dps to burn through world mobs anyway, and I can't help drooling at the thought of those huge spirit tap ticks.
What do you think? It's a terrible idea right? Should I suck it up and spec dispersion? Go on, you can be honest. Just try to be kind :)