Quick night in Warlock mode

Aside

26px-Ui-charactercreate-classes_warlockI had a good quick night playing wow last night, in Warlock mode. I’ve loving Destruction as a spec choice as it takes very little management and stops and starts easily. For long fights it get a bit the same quickly, but I suspect that will change when i start learning how to use the cooldowns and specials I’ve been ignoring while leveling.

After jumping around a few zones my Warlock dinged 90 and I started throwing timeless isle gear at him. After thre 90s have been through the Isle of Random + Random there was a set of Boots, Bracers, Cloak, and two Rings gathering dust in my bank. Then it was a quick quest accept for the Black Prince storyline, another YUP for the start if the Warlock green fire quest, then finally off to timeless isle.

A few minutes in and I had a Chest token, and the bloody random gift gave me Bracers again. Boo hiss. Alas I was only able to get to 455 ilevel, but that felt a lot faster than I remember. As you’d expect it is the trinkets and old-ish blue gear which is holding my ilevel down, and the game tells me I should be doing the older LFRs to gear up. Hmm. Maybe later.
As a fresh 90 I look like a hodge-podge clown suit freak again. Perhaps some transmog is needed to save embarrassment.

skygolemI also finally got the mats to craft the Sky Golem, which I think is far more of a fun mount to use than it is too look at. Finally.

Happy killing folks.

WoWers are such murderer hobos.

What will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor?

Update: It is a Ring

I’m curious what will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor. Not if there will be one, but what item. I’ve already seen rumours that there might be two items up for grabs, and much discussion – perhaps one which will be like the People’s Cloak of Everybody is LeetSauce, and another as a much harder to get item, or an item which requires dedicated effort in Heroic or better raids.

Lets just push the us vs them, casuals vs hardcore, its not fair, and waste of dev hours discussions to the side for this post and enjoy some speculation. I’ve bloged some snarks about the Legendary before, but I’m holding that as an aside now. This is about what will work going forward.

The opinions of the Mists of Pandaria legendary quest chain has mostly been positive, and those who liked it tended to really like it. With that in mind I think the designers will again seek to tell a lore heavy story as the background to a Legendary item and achievement. I’m all in favour of that. It worked for me as a roleplayer and as a gamer.

Please make it link to both the history of the realm and the current story which is unfolding. Add some hooks which are quasi-role specific, like altering the challenges for the roles the characters might take (dos vs tank vs heals doing different things). And despite the fact I hated it the link into repeat raids and grinding drops is something that I think needs to stay too.

Konachan.com---100777-blue_eyes-blue_hair-elf-green_hair-long_hair-short_hair-weapon-world_of_warcraft-yao_renIn terms of gear slot the Necklaces, Rings, and Trinkets look to me to be an obvious next step, but any slot really could be used given that there were many versions of the final legendary in MoP to suit every spec. I think a trinket could be something really special. The lore aspects of many other games in having an uber-powerful-widget that enhances the characters matches a trinket very well. Say the a Ever-burning-vial-of-demon-blood which was going to be the thing which corrupted the Orcs, but instead is re-purposed into a trinket for our hero to use against the Warlords.

I saw a suggestion for a Helm but matching a helm to look right to all the other armour styles will be a bitch, and I cannot see that happening.

Another suggestion was for a Shield and as it would be useless for all the non-shield users I think that gets shot down quickly. Likewise I don’t think we will see another range weapon as it is too class specific. I’d love to see a weapon again, but I agree with many folks who have said that we have had many weapons before.

Happy hunting, and may all your legendary grinds be quick and uneventful.

(A few previous posts on mine on the Legendary items)

cropped-watcher-on-ice.jpg

DK DPS on WoW Patch 5.4 … again

I shouldn’t look at DPS Rankings, as they are skewed in ways that mean they are one source of input for performance and are nothing like a perfect. That said, the recent updates from SimCraft are giving me deja vu.

I wrote about the 5.3 Dps rankings in August this year, and this post could use many of the same words. Meaning the upward geared DKs will be fighting harder to get the same dps as some other classes. Ref: http://www.noxxic.com/wow/dps-rankings/realistic#553. 

This is the Ranking for ilevel 553-ish gear, and I’m uninspired by how the ilevels scale.

5-4-dps-rank-553-gearWhat do we have here for Patch 5.4? Continue reading

The Cloak of Virtue claimed

After a lucky run this week which saw three of the Titan runes drop, I’ve acquired a Cloak of Virtue quest reward for patch 5.3 – The Tiger Claw Cape.

To say it is an upgrade from the ilevel 530 dps cloak I was using is a shattering understatement. 530 vs 608 is a wonderful difference when you are on this side of the quest reward.

I chose the Tank challenge as I’d been told is was a little easier and I was short on time. Overall it was very straight forward, with the only trick being where the tank must stand in front of the incoming blasts from four directions. Cute mechanic for a mini-boss style encounter, but I’d be annoyed to see that in a raid fight.

It also means that I’m actually caught up on “current” for the legendary questline for the first time since starting it. Luck has a great deal to do with that.

I cannot wait to use it. Happy Killing.

Rumour – Final stage Legendary, might not be a weapon…

The final stage reward for the legendary quest might not be a weapon, as hinted by Bashiok in this little thread. Yep, I know that is a rumour, but it raises that question of expectation on rewards for effort. Let the conjecture begin…

It could be that we have a choice of trinket, or any other gear-slot. Given how the rewards through the quests have allowed a choice on reward it makes sense that WoW could reward players with an option.

Would that suck? Kind of, but mostly not. It might fit well.

Kind of sucky as I think getting to THE LEGENDARY is the goal. By tradition in previous expansions these have been weapons, and Pandaria has gone the Gem, Gem Slot, enhancement, and now Cloak route. It is easily conceivable to not be a final weapon.

Take the lore into consideration for a sec too and ponder why Wrathion would give another person a great weapon in the first place. He’s a Black Dragon and they are an evil selfish kind of lot. I wouldn’t trust him to not give us a cursed weapon, and then giggle about it while he attempts to subvert things to his own agenda.

But what if the item was something which is not a fixed mechanical advantage at all?

  • Imagine the final reward is a ilevel “high” widget, which always continues to scale to the level to your other highest gear +5. You’d want it, and you’d always want it. Legendary. It could take a trinket slot, add gob-smacking a mounts of two stats, and be done with it. eg. Haste & Mastery +nnnn, with a proc on cast or melee to look swirls and wonderful. I’d want that.
  • A reward that allows the wearer to assume a constructed illusory appearance. Like your own little transmog illusion over the top of whatever you wear. No more transmog costs, just this widget in your bags. I’d want that too, especially if I could turn it on and off.

And so on with all sorts of blisteringly cool features which will cause every player to want this item on all their characters. And despite my previous rants about legendary being a little washed out, or the process being odd – that is what they are: something that all toons should desire.

Just a thought, TyphoonAndrew.

Great feature – Loot Spec Selection

Aside

One aspect introduced recently in World of Warcraft was the option to select your preferred spec for Loot. By golly! It is great. If you are a hybrid class and not doing this then you should really should give it some thought. My Tank set has been improved by this feature more than once already.
2-Loot-specialisation-choice
It is one of the best quality of life type improvements I think have been made ever.

Loot Bragging from a while ago

Aside

I love and hate the loot system, and have days where it seems to be raining epics, and then weeks where I get nothing useful. I was going to pop another rant about how much it could be “fixed”, but instead here are a few screenshots of where I’ve made out OK.
2-Loot-bragging

Yeah you read that right. One shot the bosses and 3 bits of gear. Now granted a few I can’t use or already have, but three in one run is still lopsided in a great way.

3-Loot-bragging

And then who doesn’t like getting 50,000 valor points. I’d prefer 7x more Secrets of the Empire, but hey – have to keep running on that treadmill.

WoW p5.3 this week, highlights include

Patch 5.3 notes are out, for the Prod drop on May 21st. Ref: MMO-Champion – Patch 5.3 Live This Week for a full summary. I expect downtime to be bigish, with the downloader churning away. This means the cycle is less than three months between patches, and if the next patch comes quickly we might see a staggeringly fast end to the Pandaria story-lines. Blizzard’s website also has a nice prep summary.

garrosh Hellscream image from Blizzard's website

I’m pondering the amount of ilevel 500+ gear which is being made available in one time rewards, and perhaps it is time to consider the offset as a priority.

A few highlights for me are:

  • the return of the Item Upgrades, via that vendor. Yes, we can again decide if an existing upgrade is better than buying off-loot (” items upgraded with Valor will now cost 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item “). Cool. Mr Robot and others will have their systems ready too if what I read is true.
  • the ilevel 600 cloaks from the Wrathion quest chain. ilevel 600 is huge, and worth it for everyone. I want it, and want three of them.
  • the Heroic Scenarios is a boon I’m looking forward to, not because I want to see that older content again, but because of the chance for the ilevel 516 gear. Including a quest that has a reward of a 516 built in. Wowhead has a comment which lists the rewards by armour type. Why on earth are these using the Pandarian models for blue and green loot? Lazy. A re-colour at least might have been nice – all emeralds and ruby.
  • the Heroic scenarios need item level 480 to enter, and use a pre-made team of three. Still hopefully should be not too hard at ilevel 510.
  • the new scenarios for the lead up lore/story to the Siege of Orgrimmar. Assuming that is the big deal in patch 5.4, this should get all the players happy with killing Orcs and agreeing that the War Chief is a bad guy, not a good-bad guy.
  • a quest has been added that reveals the final Sha and some ilevel 502 boots. Nice upgrade for the slow and unlucky guys like me. Shamefully I’m planning on getting better than this, so I might just take the Tanking option instead of the Dps option.
  • I know I should try the brawlers guild soon.
  • the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster will sell re-colour of popular old Tier gear, upgrades to ilevel 489 which is nice for the alts and new main toons. I don’t mind at all they the stuff is available in a different way. They’ve chosen some nice sets, and as a DK I had access to my set anyway.
  • we can now transmog from the Bank and Void Storage directly. Good. Nice change.
  • the Heirloom Shields are in. Great news for alts. I’ve been saving the odd Justice Point for this.
  • Lastly – I’d love a Hearthstone Beta. I’ve ripped on it recently as a distraction, but I am curious. HINT. Too strong? Nah. HINT HINT.

King Wyrnn and a Panda, they all look alike

Overall I’m looking forward to the 5.3 patch. It is not a huge patch for content, rather is a prep patch. It is a great patch for gearing your toons. The folk who don’t get much are those who are already geared up beyond 522 or higher. Sorry guys, only the cloak for you.

I did not finish collecting the Wrathion tokens from boss kills in patch 5.2, but will get there soon. I also don’t run the downloader often, so I’m going to kick that off before bed tonight.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Crafting of Bloodmoon Reborn

The axe named Bloodmoon Reborn is a weapon (two handed strength based axe) that you either buy for huge amounts of gold, or craft yourself. I’ve never seen one on sale, but my AH mod tells me that they start around 50,000 gold. That seems cheap actually considering that to start from scratch it costs a small fortune in materials, and uses a daily cooldown for almost a month. Nuts.

crafting-BloodMoonReborn

As I have terrible luck with drops I decided to craft this. One month later I have a 502 ilevel item, which could just as easily be switched for a drop from LFR. That sucks a little, but Bloodmoon Reborn does have good itemisation for both Dps DKs and Tank DKs, as it loads Mastery and Haste.

I have two bitches about this in game:

  • A craftable which takes this effort should be a touch better than an LFR drop, considering the time and resources it takes. That shits me a little.
  • This weapon cannot make use of the Legendary upgrades. So it is not Thunderforged despite being forged in the Thunder Forge. Think about that for a moment.

If you want one don’t ask me for it unless you’re willing to pay for all that Living Steel and Motes of Harmony spent. Plus the trips out to the Thunder Forge. I can see these as patterns which really demonstrate the obsessive Blacksmiths in the game from the folks who just take it as they come. Full respect to any Blacksmith who gets all the 502 level patterns.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Quick PvP Round 3

PvP round three was much better. How you ask? Well I seemed to get into more teams that knew what they were doing, and were better able to bolster my silly ass through the experience. I did participate as well as I understood.

(Warning – Achievement screenshot spam).

For Temple of Kotmogu – 4x killing blows, 3x deaths, 48 Honorable kills and 4x Orb possessions, which also grants 403 of the 1600 points were mine. Another DK teamed with me for the match pulling in a very nice 498 points.

For Mines – less impressive and far more like the noob I am in PvP. 1x killing blow, 1x death, 26 honorable kills, and 2x carts controlled. If not for the frustration I think PvP could be enjoyable.

Legendary-Quest-Part2Complete

Best of all, this means I’m back onto the PvE based grind for the Wrathion quest chain. Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Arrrg loot in LFR and the Useless Ordinary Legendary Gem

This post is brought to you by the word: Random.

I was going to whine about loot in LFR, as a run through Terrace and the first part of Heart of Fear saw nothing. But then I got lucky in the second part of Heart of Fear LFR, and got the Gloves token which I’ve now had drop 4x times. Arrrrg. No weapons, side grades, other drops for ages. Oh, working as intended? Random rewards are fun. /sarcastic

On an actual positive note I have now handed in and completed the first stage of Wrathion’s quest-line for the “Ordinary Legendary Gem. Now the slow grind up to 6000 Valor points has started, and we’ll see how far behind the curve I am. I doubt patch 5.2 is 6-7 weeks away given the news and press flying around.

I love the fact that the Legendary quest line is a pain in the arse and bloody difficult for a casual player. Blizzard got this right. it should be driving those players crazy, and should not be something that we feel is deserved; earn it. I get a good quest line and the promise of more great stuff to come.

Not that the “Ordinary Legendary Gem” is actually useful as it requires a Sha Touched Weapon to be slotted into, which is also RANDOMLY DROPPED. So the Ordinary Legendary Gem” is actually a “Useless Ordinary Legendary Gem“. I’ve decided to treat the gem like getting the Left Binding in Molten Core. Now begins the stupidly long path of getting the other random thing to drop.

My Death Knight could really use a Sha Touched weapon for Tanking. Really, really, handy. Random and hard for LFR upgrades is poor, random and hard in a Legendary quest is perfect. Its like the two are the same now. Just saying.

wrathion

Time for Tokens to die

Years ago the wow community were rousing about the token system was ok, but fundamentally flawed. The mini-game we play after the boss dies is another treadmill-merry-go-round where gear drops which is useless. As a design principle wow’s reward for effort is based upon re-trying the kills each week until you get lucky. Today I’m bloody mad about this as its been far too long that we’ve been suffering this. Rant incoming.

In our guild forums I wrote this class tokens:

On the token (issue) I think we’re screwed for two reasons: we need to take what we can in terms of characters who are able to join and raid above their match on the token, and we can’t get people to switch characters just to suit the bloody token system each major content patch. It is a bullshit scenario to be in, but I can’t think of a solution that does not have the regular raiders re-rolling each patch.

The token system was an ok idea to allow a boss to drop loot which would not be fraught with drama, as only a few classes could use it. Less people = less drama right? Wrong.

We have in guild now is one character with a token to himself, and half the raid split on each of the other two. Ah shit, gear drama. And I don’t mean people being bitches about loot, I mean that we see Tokens getting cycled for gold/de as we’ve had too many of one type and miles from enough of others. The drama is that our progression is slowed due to shitty luck. A boss dies but the drop is totally pointless.

Also with 4-5 players on each 2 tokens it takes huge amounts of time to gear those 9 players. It is not just 9 kills job done, because we have alt sets, and subs who join from time to time to help with the roster, which makes the distribution ever worse.

Just bring more people to suit the tokens? The server populations are shrinking and this is a totally non-viable response.

Bring the player not the class? Nope. Bring a balance of classes for the tokens. Oh and the tokens change each major content patch. Arrrg.

Reroll? Good god, have you seen how unfriendly the alts are? Forget that as viable for everyone except those with huge amounts of time to play.

The outcome is our raid group just has to suck it up, and keep grinding.

Honestly I am so sick of the loot rewards or issues around loot getting in the way of actually having fun with my raid team in World of Warcraft.

Fark this, I’m soon going to play something else. If Blizzard need a reason why I’ve moved to month-on month payments now, and will shortly consider reading a book instead of logging in they can start with this. Fark it. Destroy it all.

(p.s. what about suggestions for alternatives? Nope, I’ve done that for years suggesting ways that progressive “coins” or currency could be acquired each kill. Do a search on Gear on the blog… they’ll be a few.)

Whats next for upgrades?

dk-symbolThere is a new-ish site which indicates which item on your character will benefit from Valor Points the most according to your class and spec stat weightings. Wowupgrade.com.

Cool stuff, and a great idea. Check it out.

That said, the best use of Valor for me is buying new gear, not upgrading. I suppose it should be obvious, but I jumped straight at the tool to see where the bang-for-buck was, and initially forgot to consider the purchase.

eg. 1500 VPs to upgrade a 476, or 2200 VPs to buy a 489? Get the 489 every time, as it can be upgraded later to even higher. Then once all the purchasable VP gear is obtained, then start the upgrade spends as per the site’s recommendations.

This week if I cap the 1000 pt limit successfully, then I’ll be darn close to the 3000 hard cap as well. A spend is a must do. This is a great problem to have, as I can replace either a set of 476 Bracers or Legs.

The choice then becomes between the two items – the bracers have Exp and Crit, where the Legs have Mastery and Haste. No brainer – Legs. I have no idea what the dps increase will be by upshifting 13 item levels, but it moves to what are almost perfect DK stats. And when they get replaced by 5.2 stuff the Mastery might be re-used in a Tank set.

I’m soon off to spend VPs – Wheeeeeee.

Happy Killing.

Mathy question on DK set bonuses and gear item levels

dk-symbolOn first drop I was stoked – the tier gear is something that I crave due to the old days when the BiS gear was almost always Tier only, and all the rest of the gear was a poor shadowy reflection of the Tier gear. And the Tier generally was a great looking matched set and transmog was still a gleam in the lead dev’s eye.

I had the pleasure of getting a few Tier tokens from kills (four items in two weeks – DPS LFR Chest and Normal Gloves, and also LFR Chest and Gloves) and now have a ponder-some issue for DPS gear is due to a difference in item level between my current Chest item (489), and the Raid Finder DK set Chest (483).

TLDR = To get the Tier 14 2 set bonus I have to drop the chest item level down 6 item levels. Is the set bonus of +10% damage to key dps abilities better than 6 item levels of stats other stats?

I’m really not sure. It is likely an overall dps loss, but if so by how much? Does that DPS loss become mitigated by the 4 set bonus if I can get those drops instead? Hmm.

In thinking through the solution I compared the 489 Tier 14 with the 489 Breastplate I was using and they are almost on par, with the current one (King’s Guard) a smidge ahead. This however does not include the benefit of adding either of the Tier bonuses themselves, which I’d argue makes the Tier Breastplate at 489 better.

By comparison the items show a clear difference, which is to be expected with 6 ilevels.

questionT14-1

Left is the LFR T14 Chest, and the right column shows the 489 King’s Guard chest.

Overall gains of 62 Str, 590 Mastery, and 186 Haste vs the 694 Crit is the point of differentiation, as the Stamina and Armor is moot.

So then I thought to apply the stat weightings for  Frost DKs via Wowhead. The goal was to see what difference for teh item alone was, in terms of marginal upgrade or significant upgrade.

This showed the combined weighting value of 156,784 pts for the T14 LFR Chest, and 161,280 for the 489 Chest; meaning a difference of only approx 3% in the two items. Ignoring that this is probably not the way to use item weightings (?) it shows that the LFR item is only a minor downgrade.

It also made me realise that even if I know what the weighting is for the items themselves, I do not have a dps value to compare too, as I cannot ratify a specific DPS figure increase against items level without a set of repeated simulations (like SimCraft).  I don’t know a way to settle what the difference is. Fark. Continue reading

How do you get to 1000 valor per week?

I’d like to know how other players get to the 1000 valor cap per week? My method is constrained by small blocks of time, and a desire to alternate activity. I do:

  • as many dailies for valor and rep as I can fit in while waiting for a queue
  • x1-2 scenarios and x1 instance run per day, for the 3 nights a week I play. As a priority the Instance comes first, as it rewards more VPs, although the Scenarios can be quick.
  • rarely I’ll do one or two extra daily quests before work, or on an off-night. Only 10-20 VPs worth at a maximum.
  • even more rarely I get to kill bosses in a Raid or an LFR. Typically this happens if I don’t get a raid spot and I also get a night with no distractions. Once a month typically.

How successful is the strat? Its generally not enough. I get to around 650 VPs per week, although on a great week that might be almost 900 VP.

golden-pagoda-golden-lotus-wow-daily-quest-hub

Is this the fault of me as a player not having enough time, or the fault of game design?

Given I spend approx 9 hours playing a week broken into small chunks of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours (if not raiding) I’m very comfortable saying that it is my schedule which affects the lack of capp’ing Valor points. Adding a night, or even 1 extra hour per day would make a huge difference on this time, and that is my long term plan – to spread play into “off-nights” but only doing stuff that is very easy to be interrupted in.

I’ve posted about the Valor rewards themselves being poor, and it may appear to be an attack on the overall system. The facility for obtaining Valor is fine, but the reward rate (5x per Daily) feels very low, but has not totally prohibited gear upgrades.

Happy Killing.

The Offensive Shieldwall Operation

Aside

kek. Somewhat silly and irrelevant – while pondering the names of the new daily quest faction content it appeared in my brain that there are a few odd variations to have fun with. You might have to be a little loopy to enjoy this:

  • The Offensive Operation
  • Operation Dominance
  • The Dominance of the Offensive Shieldwall Operation, which cannot be denied.

It all sounds a little like a special evening event at the boutique bondage and discipline house-of-ill-repute. Collect those tokens for an extra lashing! At least they chose ShieldWall which I can’t do too much damage with.

I blame a lack of sleep due to crying babies, tired parents, and the holiday season. More is the pity that no alcohol or fine food was involved. Shameful.

Also silly, but cleverer by half is Penny Arcade’s commentary on WoW as played by moms eight years after the initial jump (comic url). PA are brilliant, colour me a fanboy.

(thou shalt wolves and grind valor!) Strange days.

Dungeon and Raid Requirements

A “note to self” on what item levels are needed to get into the MoP Scenarios, Dungeons, and Raids, and what item level they drop. Also what is obtainable from Factions and Craftables, via gold and Reputation.

Why? Because I frequently get them confused with each other…

cropped-woww2716topdumto.jpg

Scenarios

  • Requires: 425
  • Awards: chance of 463, and now a small chance of 476

Heroic 5-mans

  • Requires: 440
  • Awards; 463, with very rare 476 on a few end bosses.

Mogushan Vaults (raid)

  • Requires: 460
  • Awards LFR: 476, Normal: 489, Heroic: 502

Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (raids)

  • Requires: 470
  • Awards LFR: 483, Normal: 496, Heroic: 509

Reputation Rewards

  • (most) faction = 458 gear purchased with Justice points
  • (some) factions = 463 gear, such as Klaxxi Exalted weapons, for gold.
  • (most) Honored and Revered with faction = 489 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Friendly with ShieldWall Offensive = 458 gear purchased with Justice points
  • Honored with ShieldWall Offensive = 496 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Revered with ShieldWall Offensive = 496 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Exalted and doing a Quest chain, with the Golden Lotus grants a 489 Neck
  • Exalted and doing a Quest chain, with the Klaxxi grants a 489 Ring

Craftables

  • Item level 450s (no special mats needed – dirt cheap)
  • 463 (Spirit of Harmony needed – cheap-ish)
  • 476s (Spirit of Harmony needed – not badly priced at the moment due to new gear)
  • 496 (Bloods needed – very expensive)

Happy killing

Raidboss Valor Reward Increased

https://i2.wp.com/mmo4ever.com/mists-of-pandaria/gfx/icons/pvecurrency-valor.pngHuge news – and perhaps in response to the community being pissed off about the low rate of valor collection – the rewards will be boosted in maintenance today – from 25 to 40 VPs per kill. Wow Insider has the skinny, twitter post from GhostCrawler, and patch notes.

Normal and Heroic raid encounters in Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring now award 40 Valor, up from 25. This will take effect after the weekly reset.

Wow. Excellent!

What does it mean? Well for a start raiders have a reason to spin through a clear of Mogu’shun Vaults for Valor instead of doing dailies. 240 VP per clear is far better than 150.

Also in this patch is the Spirit Kings appearing in a set order – interesting. Was it enough of an issue that folks found it hard? A particular order did not seem to be more difficult. No more than the selection of Doggies in the 3 Dogs fight being sometimes a pain.

Happy Killing. Continue reading

Gearing up for an adventure

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.

dk_headshot_armour by wow insider