That scene in the Matrix when Neo fights an upgraded Agent and says, “hmm, upgrades…” resounds at the moment.
Recently I’ve been lucky to have some very good gear drops in normal MV and also had some of the hard work grinding and AH farming pay off. I found it odd that the relative score of the gear in sites like Wow Heroes did not jump significantly. It’s not like there are not 300+ characters who are better geared on the server, but bragging right are fun sometimes.
Gear which changes was:
- a Dps 489 ring from Quest/Exalted Rep with Klaxxi. It is no small effort to get to Exalted with this faction, and it is a pity that I took the reward so close to the update to patch 5.1 as the ring will hopefully be replaced in the coming months. I will not be doing the Klaxxi zone at all unless I max out all the other dailies, which in very unlikely.
- a Dps 489 gauntlets from MV, upgraded from item level 372.
- a Dps 489 cloak from MV, from level 372,
- some Dps boots that I’ll be using as part of a Tank set,
- switched the old 472 dps Cloak and Gauntlets to the Tank set,
- and purchased the Dps trinket from DMF, which replaced the 450 ilevel dragonling trinket. I’ll miss that little dragon proc. I think it cost around 12,000 gold buying it with cards.
- then finally purchased the other DMF trinket too for the Tank set, for around 8,500 gold. It was far less of an upgrade that the Dps one, but it will serve well for the rare Tanking I do in instances and is more than powerful enough for 5 man runs.
Yes, its been a good few weeks.
I know that using Dps gear is not ideal for Tanking as I miss out on loading the secondary Tank stats like Parry and Dodge, but a 486/472 dps item is rated higher in terms of overall itemisation than a 463 item with those stats because often the Mastery loading on the dps items is still good. It is not ideal, but any upgrade is an upgrade.
Next on the list is:
- I’m likely to valor-upgrade the two-hander Star Shatter, as it is likely the best weapon I’ll see before we are either killing the end boss in Heart of Fear on normal (a while away), or killing Heroic Elegon (longer still). Spending Valor on that seems a worth while update as it is unlikely to be replaced.
- Rep farming the Shieldwall faction is important (Ring, then Trinket, then Boots/Belt),
- but as is completing the Exalted rep with Goldebn Lotus for a Tank Neck (a quest reward), because I have a 489 item on neck already and the itemisation on the Dps quest reward is sub-par for DKs playing Frost 2 handed. Might as well get +5 Valor and a nice upgrade when it does not disadvantage the other grinds.
- getting to Revered with the Shadow-Pan for a new 489 trinket (also costs VPs), but I am now sure that the Ironbelly Wok is nothing compared to the upgrade of switching to a 496 with the Shieldwall trinket. Those poor Shado-Pan might have had their day.
- I’ll visit the August Celestials soon to see how I can help them too.
At this stage I’ll wait to see how my reps are when I next cap out on Valor, then purchase the item which gives the best upscale in core ilevel, with a preference for the Shieldwall gear.
I did wonder and have no answer, except to perform case-by-case testing for:
- Is it worth upgrading a weapon by 8 item levels (say 489 to 497), or a trinket (from 472 to 480)?
- or better to spend VPs on higher gear? buy a 489 which replaces a 472, which is more of a point difference.
- How far does the preferred vs sub-optimal secondary stats factor in that?
Perhaps the answer is to only upgrade the gear which is both the highest level you expect to attain in the short to mid term, and also only when the same amount of Valor Points could not purchase an equivalent upgrade elsewhere on the character.
i.e. You’re better off purchasing a higher ilevel item than upgrading another, as you change the base level of your gear to be higher, and therefore open to enhancement with Valor later. This means that as most of my stuff is 489 now, I’d be mad to upgrade a 472 with VPs, especially when 496s are available with Reputation.
There is no sneaky way to grab my last 472 upgrades for Legs and Bracers except getting lucky in a few runs, or Valor farming – so farming it is. Yay! Cough.