So after I initially went through the list of possible mains for BfA a few months ago, and had come up with Hunter, plus some Druid and Warlock action, Alpha and Beta continued apace, and with that came Alpha access for me, and the ability to judge classes and specs first hand.
That turned out to be a waste of time…
What turned out to be a better indicator for me for a new main spec was actually completing all those damned Mage Towers, which gave me a much more in-depth look at all of the various specs I had at 110.
So, during the week I sat down with a spreadsheet, and went through all the classes and their specs, and marked them all on various factors:
- Whether I did the MT for the spec (1 Bonus point)
- Whether I got the class mount (1 BP)
- Whether the class can be a Void Elf (3 BP – I really want to play Velf)
- How the spec performs at their role (marked out of 10)
- Self-sustain (x/10 – very important, especially for older content soloing)
- Mobility (x/10 – again hugely important, same as self-sustain)
- Fun rating (x/10 – how fun do I find the spec itself?)
- Transmog (x/10 – again important to me, as I love Transmog)
That gives a possible total of 55 points overall. I didn’t want to cripple any potential choice through a lack of MT appearance or class mount, as they weren’t deal breakers, just a nice bonus. As for Void Elf, it was more important for me. Not the be all and end all for a choice, but it did rank as an important consideration for me.
So I set about rating each spec on how fun it currently is in pre-patch, after the squish and after the Artifacts were disabled.
I ranked the Tank specs on how good their Mitigation is, DPS according to their current rankings on Warcraft Logs, and healers in the same WCL manner.
Each spec would only get 1 of these 3 options rated, so tanks for example wouldn’t get DPS, Mitigation and Healing scores, just Mitigation. Tank ability to self heal would be ranked alongside all the other specs for self-sustain.
After running through all the specs, and trying to be as balanced and fair as I could possibly be, a few surprises sprung up, not least the spec I should play as main in BfA.
Bottom of the pile to the top:
- 12: Shaman: 54.5%
- 11: Rogue: 58.2%
- 10: Mage: 60.6%
- 9: Druid(!): 64.5%
- 7: Priest: 66.1%
- 7: Warlock: 66.1%
In that lower half of the rankings I was shocked to see Druid in there, as well as DK. However Guardian has been trashed in BfA and is currently looking like the weakest tank. Balance is not something I particularly enjoy, and Feral is meh. Resto got it a lot of points, otherwise Druid would’ve ranked even lower.
DK got dragged down by my lack of enjoyment of Unholy, plus its lack of mobility, however Blood did rank max points for Self Sustain!
No huge surprises to see Shaman Rogue and Mage down towards the bottom tbh, or Priest in the mix there at all.
Onto the top half and we have from worst scoring to the best:
- 5: Death Knight: 67.3%
- 5: Warrior: 67.3%
- 4: Paladin: 70.9%
- 3: Demon Hunter: 74.5%
Here we start seeing a breakaway for the final 3 classes. There’s a significant jump from Paladin to the final 3, and an even bigger jump from Demon Hunter on 74.5% to the final 2 classes:
- 1: Hunter: 79.4%
- 1: Monk: 79.4%
A tie! A dead tie, after all that scoring…
So next I had to break it down into individual specs for Hunter & Monk:
- Marks Hunter: 76.4%
- Mistweaver Monk: 76.4%
- Windwalker Monk: 78.2%
- Survival Hunter: 78.2%
Finally onto the 2 most important specs of all:
- BM Hunter: 83.6%
- Brewmaster Monk: 83.6%
After all that we’re still tied!
I honestly didn’t expect to be heading into BfA considering maining a spec I hadn’t played at all in Legion (Brewmaster), never mind double-main speccing with my beloved Hunter.
I’m more shocked about Survival Hunter! To see it ranking so high overall? Holy crap, what the hell!?
But I’m surprised Brewmaster beat out 2 of the Hunter specs, but then again since the Mage Tower challenge, I’ve really been enjoying Brewmaster, which again is something I never expected to happen.
One thing I did gather from the overall data was surprising:
I’m starting to enjoy tanking again.
This, again, is mainly due to having to get back into the various tank specs for Mage Tower challenges, and learning how to beat Kruul.
The lowest ranked tank spec was Guardian, but after that the other 5 tank specs all featured in the top half of the spec ranking, with 2 tank specs in the top 10 overall (Vengeance being the other after BrM).
Top 10 wise:
- 3 healers (Resto, Mistweaver and Holy Priest)
- 2 tanks (Brewmaster and Vengeance)
- 3 melee DPS (Windwalker, Survival and Retribution)
- 2 ranged DPS (BM and Marks)
That’s a pretty good split overall, so come BfA launch, I’ll be levelling my Monk and Hunter as first priorities, and then after that I’ll be levelling in order:
- Monk & Hunter
- Demon Hunter
- Death Knight
So between Hunter & Monk, I’ll have all 4 roles covered off, as well as 2 different armour types for transmog collection.
I’m surprised at how poorly some old favourites came out of this exercise, such as Prot Paladin (my baby, suffered due to no Velf bonus points) and Guardian Druid (torn to shreds by BfA changes and lack of Artifact and self-sustain).
But taking their place are some real surprises. I’ve already mentioned Survival Hunter being a shock, as is Holy Priest tied with Resto Druid and Mistweaver. And I was surprised to see MW getting anywhere near Resto as a spec!
These were the full scores. First by Class overall:
And then ordered by Spec:
So there we have it! Nothing to get between Brewmaster and Beastmaster. BrM and BM.
In terms of content I’ll be running? 5 mans and M+ will probably be the Brewmaster, and raids/LFR will be Hunter. Still no signs of Boogie Knights taking off hugely on AD, as apparently AD RP-ers are fairly hostile to advertisements in Trade Chat for non-RP guilds.