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

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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://i0.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

Shieldwall VP rewards

The Shieldwall rewards are live, and are as follows (5.1 patch notes):

  • 458 trinket for approx 100 gold as a starter reward,
  • a 496 ring at Honored, costing 1250 VP,
  • a 496 Belt, Boots, and Trinket at Revered, costing 1750 each,
  • Exalted gets you a new flying mount.

The starter reward is likely to go to an offset, as most raiders have better in main at the very least. Despite the undertone of my last post, this gear is welcome, and will make the dailies for the other factions a secondary consideration.

Getting to Revered will be very rewarding for raiders as 496 gear is far better than MV gear, and good for HoF. The honored Ring also means that you should skip the other Valor rings now if you have not purchased them, by comparison this is better – because it can be upgraded with more VPs to 504 gear level.

There are five dailies to do each day, each granting +250 reputation, 5 VPs, and 2 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

You will need 6500 Valor points to buy all the gear for one spec, and will also need to have unlocked the various Reps. That is 1300 daily quests performed if this is done by dailies, so I hope everyone has a realistic impression of how long these will take to get, and also how important a 496 ilevel is compared to some raiders still using 476 gear. I think a raider who is missing key items such as Boots, Belt, Rings, or a Trinket should be doing these dailies before they raid – the upgrade is guaranteed and a powerful change.

Or 13,000 VPs if you wish to have gear for both specs which might be used in raiding.

Yet the VP rewards for activities are apparently as desired and working as intended? Bullshit. Only working as intended by people who don’t play the game. I’m nudging closer to giving this Valor treadmill away for good.

ps. Wasn’t operation shieldwall something in Mass Effect, or by Bioware? Have we run out of names for armies fighting?

pps. If the end boss of the Tier is the Sha of Fear, does that mean this is the War on Fear? How did the war on Terror go?