Updated Mon, May 27, 2013 by Messiah
The World of Warcraft patch 5.3 contains many big features, changes, and additions that attract attention. One small change that many players may missis the new Loot Specialization feature. It really should not be overlooked though as it can be very important, and I am here to explain what it is and why you should be interested in it.
While not a large feature in the game, it is important. It is so small in fact that the only way you see it is by right clicking on your characters image and finding it in the pull down menu.
The options you see listed there will be based on your character class, but will always include “Default” as well. There will be an option for each of your classes specs no matter if you have that spec as your main, secondary, or not used at all.
Quite simply, loot specialization makes the game behave as if you are the selected specialization for all loot distribution done by the loot priority system. This means that you will be treated as that spec whenever you are given loot from:
Therefore, if you are a Protection Warrior, but select Fury as your loot specialization, you will be awarded DPS gear instead of Tanking gear.
If you leave the Loot Specialization selection as Default, you will be given gear based on your current active specialization. This means that the system will continue to function for you as it always has in the past.
It does not work for normal scenarios, at least not yet, nor does it function in 5 player instances.
Normal scenarios seem like an oversight on Blizzards part at least for not, so they may get added at some point. Dungeons already give you the ability to roll on whatever you want, so I am assuming Blizzard saw no need to enable this there.
A great way to use this new feature is while levelling. Leveling as a Healer or Tank can be painfully slow compared to doing it as a DPS spec. Now you can simply level as a DPS and have your loot specialization set to Tank or Healer and be granted all the quest rewards that will help you get ready for your main role in the game.
With this new system in place it is critically important to keep the use of it in mind all the time. This is especially true in LFR situations. To explain what I mean let’s look at the following example:
You are playing a Paladin Tank in a LFR group, and have left the Loot Specialization set to Default since you are looking for Tank gear. However, you get to a boss fight that you already have all the tanking gear from. You do play as DPS as well though when you are doing your daily quests and could use some additional gear since most of your raid gear is all tanking orientated. What you do is for this boss, just change the loot selector over to Retribution and you will have a chance to get some DPS gear that you could use. Just remember to change the selector back to Default or Protection before the next fight so that you don’t loose out on tanking gear that you may want or need from it.
By making appropriate changes to your loot specialization you can get gear that you can use, even though you are not playing that spec. This can help you out immensely with your off-spec as well as preventing wasted equipment, since you would have been given a duplicate item and have to sell or disenchant it.