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Posts with tag Epics

What is the meaning of gear?

What is the meaning of gear
The forums are a constant source of interest. I was browsing their pages this morning, and came across this gem, not the writing of the blue, but a quotation from elsewhere.

Draztal
Quote:

Looking at people with epic gear should be a motivator to get yourself into raiding, and if you don't have the time for it, then to bad for you. Get over it.

You can't control people's motivations. For many players out there, gear is not the objective, just the mean to an end (defeating more difficult foes).


This got me thinking about what gear means, simply because my attitude to it was so different to that of the person Draztal is quoting. I love things that generate different opinions within WoW, and it seemed fairly likely that this was one of those things.

The person who originally wrote this is quite feasibly someone who sets great store in the importance of raiding, probably at a high level, such as heroic raiding, and sees gear as a trophy which he or she has won from their exploits. It's a token of remembrance, almost, something to show the world that you have achieved great things. There are plenty of elements of WoW that cater to this view, such as achievements that award titles for long-gone feats of strength, or mounts, anything that says "I was there. I did this."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Are common quality items rare to find?

Common may not be quite so common anymore. While working on an article about a legendary quest chain, I recalled the days of class quests -- specifically, the days of Molten Core and The Eye of Divinity, along with the Ancient Petrified Leaf that started the class quests for epic weapons. Epic anything was rare to see in the early days of vanilla, and even when Molten Core first came out, it was rare to see people decked out in purple gear. But these days, it seems everyone is wearing epics, as it's dropping from dungeons with alarming frequency.

When you look at gear labels, each color of gear is assigned a different label. Common quality items are white, uncommon are green, rare are blue, and purple of course are epic. But as the game has evolved over time, each expansion offered more raids and more epic gear, which led me to the question -- just how common is common gear? How rare is rare? Is uncommon gear really that uncommon? I hit Wowhead just for a quick look at these items to compare numbers, and the results were actually pretty surprising.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Gold Capped: Patch 4.1 and Maelstrom Crystals

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Is the sky falling? Will patch 4.1 herald the end of the high price for Maelstrom Crystals? The informal communication channels between auctioneers (sharing market analyses with each other in IRC and custom channels or tells in game and on gold blogs) have been abuzz with the frantic analysis that patch 4.1 will drive the price of Maelstroms down to ridiculously low amounts. Personally, I'm not sure I'd blindly buy that.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Yogg-Saron in blues


This story's from last week, but I love it anyway -- over at the Greedy Goblin, Gevlon's guild was getting a little tired of all of the achievement-checking and gear requirements for endgame raiding, and so they set out to do something that many experienced raiders might admit seems impossible: take down Yogg-Saron with nothing but blues on. That means no epics at all -- no epic gear, dropped or crafted, no epic enchants, no epic gems. They did use profession bonuses, but everyone should have access to those by now (all it takes is money, and all that takes is time). And of course, they did it: toppled Yoggy with the group you see on the page there. The combat log is also posted, and it's about what you'd expect: none of the damage numbers are crazy high, but the group works so well together and plays so evenly that they get it done. That's the message to be taken away here: gear is nice, but nothing will get you farther than a well-oiled group of solid players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

Lichborne: A PTR preview of 5-man Crusader's Coliseum Tank loot for Death Knights

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column, where all Daniel Whitcomb wants is his runeblade back. But he'll settle for a sweet axe if he must.

Ok, Casual and non-raiding 2 hand wielding Death Knights, you might want to sit down, because I have some big news for you: You may finally be able to chuck that Titansteel Destroyer. That's right, we're getting a new, higher level epic weapon in Patch 3.2's 5-man Crusader's Coliseum. The loot we're seeing come out of the Coliseum is all epic, and all amazing, and if you haven't even been to Naxxramas yet, either by choice or by lack of time or opportunity, you're going to have a reason to love the coliseum.

Weighing in at a whopping 203.7 DPS with a high end damage of 856, the Edge of Ruin is pretty much the dream for any serious casual Death Knight. It's right up there with Death's Bite or Armageddon from Naxxramas. The only downside is that it's an axe instead of a suitably awesome sword, and that it switches out hit rating for armor penetration, which means you may need to do some regemming to stay at the hit cap. Other than that, this is probably the number one thing you want to be gunning for once the Coliseum goes live. It even has a big chunk of strength and stamina, making it great for tanking as well.

Of course, that's not all you'll want to grab out of the Coliseum. Let's start with the tank loot.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Instances, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The high cost of rez sickness

Lotonero got his thread locked because he posted it in the wrong forum, but he makes an interesting point: rez sickness costs are higher than ever. Death costs are already pretty high -- when you're dressed in greens and blues it's not much of a problem, but get yourself down to red on some high-level epics, and see if you don't wince when you hit up the repair vendor to pay the piper. But rez sickness costs are even worse -- they affect durability on all of your items, even those you're not wearing, and so when a dual-specced healer or tank with two or even three sets of gear goes rez-sick, the amount they have to pay goes through the roof.

Now, you might think what I thought: if you're carrying around that much epic gear, then a) why are you dying, and b) why are you rezzing from a spirit healer? But Wryxian, right before sending Lotonero packing to the suggestions thread, throws in his own two cents: "Maybe not." Maybe Blizzard might consider it -- dual specs wasn't around when they originally thought up the cost of rez sickness, and maybe since many players are carrying around two sets of gear now, it's due for another look. I didn't think the Hearthstone cooldown needed a nerf either, but we got that anyway.

So maybe it's something for Blizzard to think about. My guess is that most players will not think it's worth the change -- gold is flowing so freely nowadays and the death penalty is so cheap (back in the EQ days, we used to lose XP or even levels) that it's not a big deal, especially when you choose to go rez sick. But it's true that this is one of the game's oldest mechanics, so maybe it's time to take a critical look.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear

10-man ilvl 25-man
Naxx 200
KT, EoE 213 Naxx
Ulduar 219
Ulduar hard 226 Ulduar, KT/EoE
232 Ulduar weapons
239 Ulduar hard
Once upon a time, the only raiding in WoW was 40-man raiding, and we did it uphill, both ways, and flasks went away when you died. And we liked it. Later on in Classic WoW, some 20-man raids were introduced in the form of Zul'gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, and they were generally seen as successful.

So successful, in fact, that when Burning Crusade came along, there were no more 40-man raids - only 10 and 25. At the beginning, the only 10-man was BC's entry-level raid, Karazhan. Everything else, from the small T4 raids (Gruul, Magtheridon) on up through T6, was exclusively 25-man. Notably, Gruul and Mags returned the same quality of rewards as KZ. Eventually a second 10-man raid (Zul'Aman) was introduced, with roughly a T5 level of difficulty, and of rewards.

Blizzard noticed that people really liked these 10-man raids. And so it came to pass that in the current expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, every raid instance is available in both 10- and 25-man versions. However, in a departure from all previous tradition, the 10- and 25-man instances at the same tier (which is to say, T7, at the moment) reward different levels of gear: Naxx-10 gives you ilvl 200 epics, whereas Naxx-25 rewards you with ilvl 213.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: It's gotta happen sometime

Whitney over on WoW Ladies LJ has a story that's so improbable it must be true. Not only did her guild pick up an epic on command in Naxxramas, and not only did they pick up two of the exact same epic item in a row, but they actually got three of the exact same item in the same room. As you regular readers know, I'm horrible at math, so I'm not sure how unlikely that is (you'd probably have to figure how much trash you actually kill every Naxx run and combine how likely it is for each of them to drop the item), but I'm guessing very. Still, given that every drop is randomly generated when a mob spawns (in other words, when you walk into an instance), it's still possible. Even a flipped coin can come up heads 100 times in a row.

So yes, even though we don't think about it much, it's totally possible to get Mr. Pinchy on the first try, or pick up three epics in three pulls. Ever just been really, really lucky? I've had the opposite happen, too -- I go for an hour without seeing a drop, check all of the databases to make sure I'm in the right place, and then just before I quit, sure enough, whatever I was looking for drops.

Got any stories of the random number generator (RNG) being really random?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Naxxramas gear by type


Tobold has a post up with an interesting analysis of all the epic loot that drops in the ten-man version of Naxxramas, broken down by armor type and by broad stat type (tank, melee, caster). At the top of this post is a chart I made from his armor type breakdown ("Other" is anything that's not cloth, leather, mail, or plate, i.e. weapons, off-hands, shields, jewelry, and cloaks). As Tobold mentions, this confirms that there is significantly more plate than anything else, about 50% more, even though there are the same number of plate classes as cloth classes. My guess is that this is because they expected an influx of DKs bumping up the plate numbers.

As far as stat types, leather and mail are both split half-and-half for caster vs melee. This is a little iffy. In both cases, there are two caster specs (Balance and Resto Druid, Elemental and Resto Shaman) out of six total specs (Druids and Rogues, Shamans and Hunters), so it seems a 33/66 split would make more sense, but maybe they just wanted to keep it simple.

The case that really bothers me is plate, which is split evenly between caster, tank, and DPS (see right). The only plate spec that wants caster gear is the Holy Paladin. That's one of three specs from one of three plate-wearing classes, and yet it gets a third of the plate gear. I'm sorry, my plate-clad healing brethren, but that's just not an equitable proportion. Mostly it just means that our prot pallies have full healing sets and we're still disenchanting a good chunk of the plate every week. Here's hoping we see less caster leather, mail, and especially plate in Ulduar.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Phattest Northrend loot


Yeah, it's not Friday, I know. But seeing how easy it is to get loot in Northrend, I've been thinking about all the sweet loot we've been getting so far. A Rogue who joined our Guild run last night for the first time in 25-man Naxxramas got an epic from almost every boss we downed, ending up with him getting an epic upgrade in five slots in one run. It was like Christmas came early. On the other hand, a Paladin in plate like my character has to compete with all the newfangled Death Knights. Still, I managed to finagle a Shoulderguards of the Undaunted in that run, a piece with enough +Hit that it helped free up some of my gem slots and enchants for other things.

Overall, we had such a great run last night that about a third of the raid got upgrades. How about you? What's the phattest loot you've gotten so far? With the PvP items now available, I'm fairly certain some of you picked up some sweet Hateful Gladiator gear. I made sure to pick up my Medallion of the Horde before anything else, so that was pretty phat for me. What cool epic did you get this week? If you don't have an epic yet, I'm sure you've got more than a few blues. What cool thing did you purchase or dropped for you recently? With so much easy loot going around in Northrend, I'm curious to know what everybody's gotten so far.

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Profession epics go BoE in Wrath


Professions have undergone a lot of changes since WoW began. Most recently, in Burning Crusade, crafting professions were typically a good way to obtain surprisingly high-quality items that you couldn't get any other way, such as Stormherald or the Frozen Shadoweave set. So far we haven't seen any evidence of directly parallel itemization in Wrath of the Lich King, and according to a couple of recent posts by Verimonde, we're not going to.

Specifically, Verimonde said that "There will not be a Stormherald type weapon 'high level crafter only,'" although there are, for instance, several BoE epic smithed weapons in Wrath. In his second post he explains the reasoning a little more: Blizzard didn't like that many people were picking professions based on what would make them the most powerful, as opposed to what they enjoyed.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Items, Jewelcrafting, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

BoE epics on each Naxx boss

Someone on the forums noticed what at first appeared to be an oversight: Rusted-Link Spiked Gauntlets, from Grand Widow Faerlina in Naxx-10, are tagged as BoE, not BoP as most boss drops are. As it turns out, this is intended. According to Blizzard poster Verimonde, each boss will have one BoE item on its loot table. This has a few obvious benefits, as Verimonde points out:

  • More trickle-down items from raiding - non-raiders, be they alts, friends, or just random AH patrons, get access to a few raid items
  • More excitement - even if nobody needs anything from the boss, there's still a chance to get a potentially lucrative BoE (and badges, of course)
  • Another income source for raid guilds

Although it isn't mentioned specifically, I expect that this BoE philosophy will extend to all raid bosses in Wrath. I think it's a nice idea. Let's say the average 10-man boss has a 12-item loot table and drops 2 items from it plus badges. If one of these items is made BoE, there's roughly a 17% chance to get it, which sounds reasonable.

My question: what will raids' loot rules be for BoEs? My guild typically does open rolls for BoE items that aren't needed by anyone present, so that's probably what we'll do. But how will DKP guilds handle it? Will people who need it for their alts get precedence? Will they be auctioned off and the funds added to the guild bank, if nobody needs them? I guess it'll vary depending on the guild. But between these BoEs and Heirloom items buyable with badges, raiding is going to be a lot more interesting for those of us with many alts.

Filed under: Items, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Tips for taking down Coren Direbrew


Like many players, I was really bummed to hear that the Brewfest mounts had been moved from tickets to the holiday boss -- I was really looking forward to racing those rams for tickets, and I'm not always the best at finding a group for myself. But I ran Direbrew with a full group twice over the weekend, and it's not too bad -- as long as you can five four other people, all "with summons" (which just means, I had to learn, that they haven't done the quest yet that day, so Direbrew will appear in BRD), it's a fairly easy fight. To start it all off, you've got to do the Welcome to Brewfest quest from the guy outside of Orgrimmar or Ironforge, and then pick up the Save Brewfest quest there as well before grabbing a group and heading to BRD.

Update: Some people are saying you don't need the starter quests, which is probably true -- there's a quest NPC inside the instance, so probably all you need to do is talk to him. But it is important to not have done the quest already that day -- pickup groups won't take you if you've already summoned him that day, as that means they get one less chance at the loot.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, How-tos, Events, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, Guides

Forum post of the day: Epic choices

Even without a release date, we can all feel Wrath looming. Whether it's pouring over the new specs as soon as they become available, saving materials for future Death Knights, or leveling up an alt to send as a main character to Northrend, we're all prepping to take our adventures into Northrend. Many wonder how far their gear will carry them toward level 80.

Many players were frustrated that their hard-earned gear was quickly reduced to obsolescence in Burning Crusade, and fear that that will happen again. Manbearppig of Frostwolf wants to know if gearing up a character now will be a good way to spend time. Some point out that better gear earned now will translate into easier leveling in the future. In a similar thread, MVP Faizaniel of Dragonblight stated:
My scrubby non-purple gear is getting replaced pretty fast; high-end gear, not so much. While it's unlikely that you're keeping much from level 70 at level 80, it's really up to you whether the benefits of getting to use the nice gear now, and having it help you level more quickly once Wrath comes out, are worth earning the gear now.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Alts, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing your Retadin for Karazhan part II


Let's take a short breather from this whole flood of Wrath of the Lich King Beta news for a bit. I know everyone's excited to find out more about what's waiting for us in Northrend, but some of us would actually like to play the game right now, instead of waiting for *cough* a few months. As exciting as the new Paladin changes seem to be, players with fresh Level 70 characters would do well to focus on gearing up for now. After all, it'll make it so much easier to fight the numerous baddies in Northrend.

Previously, we discussed the weapons for a Retribution Paladin only starting to gear up for the ever-popular Karazhan. More than anything -- more than any piece of armor -- a Retadin must find the biggest, baddest 2-handed weapon she can find to strike righteous fear into the hearts of her enemies. Once she has that, everything follows. In this installment of The Light and How to Swing It, let's take a look at the armor pieces that every Karazhan-bound Retadin should be wearing.

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Filed under: Paladin, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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