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- See Specializations for just a summary of class info and listings of specific abilities.
|Links to listings of specific abilities.|
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Upon the release of Patch 5.0.4 (the main pre-patch before the Mists of Pandaria expansion), specialization turned certain class spells exclusive under a specific class specialization. With the major revision of the talent system, most of the existing talents that are learned previously by spending talent points have been incorporated as specialization abilities and are learned automatically at a designated character level.
Specialization selection still happens upon reaching level 10. Each point of Mastery bonus (not rating) obtained from gear and other sources will increase specialization Mastery by 12.5% or one-eighth of the base value.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
All characters have max-spec potential; i.e. demon hunters can dual-spec, druids can quad-spec, and the remainder of the classes can tri-spec. Characters can now change between any of their specializations while out of combat. Action bar configurations and talent loadouts are saved for each specialization.
In Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
All specializations now receive a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources. This bonus is granted through new passive abilities or additional effects added to existing passive abilities.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
"Specialization" referred to the concept of choosing a talent tree introduced in the Cataclysm expansion. A character is asked choose a specialization at level 10 before spending their first talent point. Making that choice gave the character some passive bonuses they need to effective in their chosen role, as well as a signature ability of their tree.
For hybrid classes, selecting a specialization would determine the role (healing, tanking, melee DPS or ranged DPS) that the character is optimized for.
For hybrid classes (excluding Priests) a character's specialization determined the attribute increased by the armor specialization bonus. The armor specialization bonus is a 5% increase of your primary attribute while wearing your correct armor class (plate, mail, leather or cloth) in all slots. For hybrids, the primary attribute depends on the specialization chosen.
- Intellect is considered the primary attribute for healers and offensive casters, i.e. Balance and Restoration druids, all mages, Mistweaver monks, Holy paladins, all priests, Elemental and Restoration shaman, and all warlocks.
- Agility is considered the primary attribute for leather and mail wearing melee damage dealers and hunters, i.e. Feral druids in cat form, all hunters, Windwalker monks, all rogues, and Enhancement shaman.
- Strength is considered the primary attribute for plate wearing melee damage dealers, i.e. Frost and Unholy death knights, Retribution paladins, Arms, and Fury warriors.
- Stamina is considered the primary attribute for tanks i.e. Blood death knights, Guardian druids in bear form, Brewmaster monks, Protection paladins, and Protection warriors.
The Vengeance mechanic
The April 2010 class preview introduced the Vengeance mechanic.
In Mists of Pandaria, a few abilities and passive bonuses were obtained just for selecting a specialization, but many abilities and passives are gained while leveling, usually starting from level 11 to 20.
In Cataclysm several abilities and passive bonuses were obtained just for selecting a talent tree and do not cost a single talent point. In fact they are obtained before the first talent point is spent. Damage and Healing numbers given for abilities reflected maximum rank (level 85 at the time).
- Patch 7.0.3 (19-Jul-2016): Characters can now change between any of their specializations while out of combat. Action bar configurations and talent loadouts are saved for each specialization.
- Patch 5.0.4 (28-August-2012): Updated in preparation for Mists of Pandaria.
- Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): Added.
- ^ BlizzCon 2015 Q&A Panel
- Specializations - a summary of class specific info