How to Change Specialization in Dragonflight

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Over the years in World of Warcraft, it has become much easier to change specs.

The game wants you to fully experience your character’s class and not be bound by any particular limitations. In Dragonflight, changing specialization is as easy as a click of a button.

However, there are a lot of tricks you should know to make life a lot easier. Things like talent loadouts, customizations, and action bar settings can help you save time.

Here is a short guide on how to change specialization in Dragonflight, complete with everything you should know about spec and talent changes.

What Are Specializations?

Specializations are essentially different class builds that allow your player to change playstyle or even roles. Switching spec for the first time can be somewhat jarring if you’ve only ever played DPS and you switch to Healing for the first time, for example, but it’s a great system.

Some classes have two spec choices, most have three, and some have four. The majority of classes have a Tank, DPS, and Healer option.

For example, the Druid class has four specializations. These are:

  • Guardian. This is a heavy-hitting Tank specialization.
  • Restoration. This is a Healer specialization.
  • Feral. This is a melee DPS spec that’s popular in PVP.
  • Balance. This is a powerful ranged DPS spec.

Other classes, like the Mage class, have three specializations. Mages can pick between Fire, Frost, and Arcane.

All these specializations are all DPS roles, but changing your spec will completely change your rotation, play style, and focus. Some specs have better single-target damage, while others have powerful AoE damage.

How to Change Specialization

To pick a new spec, you need to press ‘N’ to open the talent and specialization window. This will open the talent tree tab, so you need to click the specialization tab on the lower-left portion of the window.

Under the specialization tab, you’ll be able to see each available option for your current class. You can activate whichever specialization you want, and it will automatically change after casting.

Keep in mind that changing specialization during a raid or dungeon changes your role, but it isn’t necessarily noticeable unless you tell your group. When you’re in a group with people, it’s good to call this out or ask permission to change your spec because it can completely change the dynamic for your team.

When you change your specialization, your hotbars will change. Since you will have a new set of skills or abilities, you need to set up your hotbars for each specialization.

Once you set up your hotbars for a specific specialization, it will remain that way every time you switch back to the same specialization.

It is best to fix every specialization you have before pushing through any content, so you don’t have the problem of fixing things during a battle and making everyone wait. Ideally, you should set up your hotbars for every spec before pushing to max level so that you’re ready to jump into endgame content and switch specs quickly.

How to Change Talents

Dragonflight made changing specs a lot easier. The expansion completely reworked the talent system, introducing the talent tree format, and it was a huge quality of life improvement. Being able to change talents freely without any limitations is incredibly beneficial.

Before the changes, you had to use tomes and codexes or be in a city to change your talents. But in Dragonflight, you just have to open your talent tree by pressing ‘N.’ You can right-click each talent you want to withdraw and allocate points back to the talents you need.

Some talents give you an active ability or skill, which makes it a lot harder to manage. If you have a specific skill set on a specific keybind, removing that skill for a passive skill opens it up.

It takes a while to get the hang of slight changes in your keybinds or rotation, but it definitely helps to have a static or fixed keybind that helps you remember your rotations better.

If you’re finding a new rotation or set-up difficult to manage, try looking up some addons for World of Warcraft. There are some that can help you maximize your efficiency in fights and make trickier PVE or PVP content much easier.

How to Set Up Loadouts

There is a ton of content available in World of Warcraft Dragonflight. Most of this content is available when you reach the max level, with players often starting out with rated PVP or the easier M+ dungeons in the adventure guide.

In PVP, you have a specific talent build that you’ll use in almost every PVP scenario.

For PVE, your talents and build will change depending on whether you’re in a raid or dungeon, and what kind of damage you’re trying to focus on e.g. AoE or single-target damage.

If you are a Fire Mage, you will want to add Flamestrike to your rotation for multi-target or AoE, but on single-target fights, it is basically unusable.

You have talents that buff your AoE damage, but that means you are sacrificing other areas like single-target damage.

It is different for each class and specialization. This is why you should set up loadouts. Loadouts make your talent changes as easy as clicking a single button. All you need to do first is set up a talent build for the specific content you want to use the build.

Once your talent build is set up, you need to click the drop-down text bar on the lower-left portion of the talent tab. Select ‘New Loadout’ and enter a name for the build.

To set up another loadout, rearrange all your talents again. After making another talent build, click the same ‘New Loadout’ and enter another name for it.

If you end up pressing another saved loadout, it will change to that saved talent loadout, so keep that in mind.

You can create multiple loadouts for each type of content, and it’s worth doing so. It can help to save you time and it can improve your priorities and focus during fights, too.

What to Do After Changing Spec

After you’ve changed your spec, test out your new rotation on practice dummies to get a hang of things. It may sound dull to practice but switching from, say, Holy Priest to Discipline Priest can completely change the way you play and it’s worth the time.

If you’re playing in a new role for the first time (for example, if you’ve never been a Tank or DPS before) then spend some time looking at role guides or walkthrough videos online. For Tanks in particular, have a look at the layouts of any dungeons or raids you might need to lead people though so that you don’t go round in circles.