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Posts with tag Raid-Gear

Potentials and pitfalls of Warlords of Draenor's proposed gearing system

Pally tank bracers
Not long ago Blizzard posted a long and detailed post about the gearing system that they are planning on implementing in Warlords of Draenor. Many aspects of it represent significant departures from what we're currently familiar with, particularly the ability of primary stats to morph with class and spec, the removal of spirit from all but non-armor pieces, and the addition of the randomized tertiary stat system (along with chances for sockets and a higher ilevel). As a result, there has been a lot of discussion, speculation, and debate about how the new system will work, and ways in which it may or may not be an improvement over the status quo.

I personally am excited for the new gearing system, and I'm eager to see how it will work out. I think there's a great deal of potential in it. While we can probably envision endless possibilities as to how the new system will affect gameplay, two major aspects of the change jump out at me in particular:
  • It's extremely friendly to hybrids
  • It's extremely unfriendly to min-max optimization
The latter refers to the fact that whether the gear has a socket, a tertiary stat, or a higher ilevel is determined by chance and there is no guarantee that a given piece of gear will have any of those things. I think there are both good and bad sides to be had here, so let's look at them in a bit more depth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Official tier 16 armor previews

paladin tier 16
Yesterday, as part of the patch 5.4 round of updates, Blizzard released the official preview for all the tier 16 raid armor sets. There are three color variants for each set: raid finder, flex raid/normal, and heroic. I admit I have mixed feelings about the sets. Heroic paladin tier 16 is perhaps my favorite, not that I'll ever have a chance to earn it, but my personal standard of druid is leaving me with something to be desired. The leaf motif is nice, though.

What do you think of the tier 16 armor? What are your favorites? Or are you going to mog that right over with tier 6 again, as soon as you get it?

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing options for retribution, part deux

The Light and How to Swing It Gearing options for retribution, part deux
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

I know you all have been waiting for this post with bated breath ever since I unveiled the first half of the list a few weeks ago. "Wonderful," you whispered quietly to yourself as you read that article while snuggled beneath a warm blanket, "now I know where all of the best gear comes from!" Then Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring opened up and you found yourself in a haze, unsure of where you should focus your coin attacks. Well fear not, stalwart reader, for this post is here to save the day!

Okay, so gear lists are kinda boring -- truthfully, they are probably just as boring to read as they are to write. But I'm going to try something with this list in an attempt to forestall the drooping of the eyelids. As embarrassing as it may be, I am going to walk through my own gear and discuss which upgrades will provide the most bang for my elder buck by determining the relative value of each piece using some generated stat weights. My hope is that this process will make it easier for you to pick out the amazing upgrades from the mediocre upgrades and the higher-ilvl downgrades.

It should be noted, of course, that stat weights fluctuate as you accumulate gear, and therefore in reality there is no single set of weights you should always go by. A good practice to get into, if you're looking to maximize your DPS any way possible, is to download SimulationCraft and generate your own weights.

Setting up

Before we jump into the list, here is a link to my gear setup at the time of this writing. Of course, you can always visit my Armory and make fun of me because my sword clashes with the rest of my transmog (I'm too lazy to find a more fitting sword). Anyway, I imported this data into the latest version of SimC and generated some stat weights using default settings and 25,000 iterations.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

Tier 14 Armor Previews available

Tier 14 Armor Previews
Yesterday afternoon, Blizzard CM Kaivax posted the Tier 14 armor previews on Battle.net. Kaivax clarified that the item level of Tier 14 gear would be 496, putting it 7 levels ahead of the reputation-based epics, which sit at 489. It's streets ahead of the 463 and occasional 476 gear which has been datamined from normal and heroic dungeons so far. I'm really not convinced that players who want to raid at a decent gear level won't have to grind out endless reputations, but that's a grumble for another day!

If you head over to the previews on battle.net, you can see every class's set. What do you think? I'm... well, I have mixed opinions. I don't want to moan or rain on Blizzard's parade, but this shoulder size arms race is getting way out of hand! I can't help looking at the mage set and thinking "man, if a mage Blinked in that, he'd fall over!" Priests seem to have similar issues, coupled with what appears to be a pope hat, which I guess is fitting. The warlock set is cool, but it looks more like a DK set to me. Warriors are going to have to spend some time on the bench press to carry their shoulders around, and those tennis ball size beads are going to be a bother when monks are rolling.

On the good sides, though, the druid set is really great, I love the mask! And, as someone who's switching raiding mains for mists, I'm really relieved that I like the shaman set. I'm not completely sold on the mask, but the firebird look works for me, even if my dwarf shaman might have to have a trip to the barber so her red hair doesn't clash!

Naturally, all this is just my opinion, purely subjective, rather than any objective assertion. What do you think? What would you rate "wow!" and what gets a "what the...?" Are you a fan of the giant shoulders?


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: 64-butt client

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley (@gomatgo) will be your host for today.

Which World of Warcraft client does Mike Sacco use?

Abbadon asked:

Do you think we'll ever get any gold or auction related titles?

I've been thinking it would be cool to have the title "Auctioneer" for posting some ridiculous amount of auctions, or maybe to stop players from just posting crap, successfully selling X items via the AH.

And while it's not a lot of players, there are more and more getting gold capped... Something like "the Gold Hoarder" would be pretty cool for hitting the gold limit.


I don't believe we will ever see gold-related achievements because gold hoarding and amassing fortunes in WoW is part of a meta-game many participate in, but by no way Blizzard wants to say, "Here's another reason to artificially inflate your gold amount by purchasing gold for these rewards." There already is a title in game for what used to be a large sum of gold -- of the Shattered Sun costs 1,000 gold after achieving exalted reputation with the Shattered Sun Offensive.

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Filed under: The Queue

Lichborne: Tier 11 raid and valor point gear for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

With 4.1 on the PTR, I've been hearing the usual grumbling. Why should we raid anymore? We'll just wait for the next tier of raiding and get all new good stuff. This argument always sort of strikes me as a little bit off, but it definitely doesn't apply to this patch. Not only is patch 4.1 heroic gear only going to be item level 353, but we won't get a new raiding tier until patch 4.2. That means you probably have multiple months left in which the best gear still comes from raiding tier 11 content.

With that in mind, this week we'll look at all the item level 359 gear available in game and figure out what's best for the up-and-coming DPS death knight. This guide will primarily cover raid gear and valor point purchases, with BoE world drops and crafting and reputation purchases where they seem to fit well into the hierarchy of what to wear.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Tier 9 to come in three quality levels

10-man ilvl 25-man
Naxx 200
KT, EoE 213 Naxx
Ulduar 219
Ulduar hard 226 Ulduar, KT/EoE
CC
232 Ulduar weapons
239 Ulduar hard
CC hard 245 CC
258 CC hard
Well, that answers that question. According to what MMO-Champion has found in the PTR item database, Tier 9 gear from patch 3.2's Crusader's Coliseum raid comes in three different versions for each set (T7 and T8 come in two, from 10- and 25-man). There's one version at ilvl 232, one at 245, and one at 258. This leads to the following loot distribution, I'd guess:

  • 10-man normal (232) < 10-man hard (245) = 25-man normal (245) < 25-man hard (258)

Others (such as 10n < 25n < 10h = 25h) are logically possible, but to me, that's the most likely distribution that leads to three different ilvls. It's also the way Ulduar is done with normal and hard modes, apart from some differences in weapon ilvl.

Crusader's Coliseum on heroic is a bit different than Ulduar hard modes, though. It seems that when you do a heroic CC raid, you start out with a certain number of attempts (wipes), and the more attempts you have remaining upon defeating the final boss, the better loot you get. So will ilvl 258 gear be contingent upon beating CC-heroic in (say) fewer than half your attempts? I guess we'll have to wait and find out.

Of course, the really important question is: what the heck will we call the 3 different sets? T9.0, T9.33, T9.66?


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Raiding

More MP5 on gear incoming

Mana regeneration has been a hot issue for raiding healers during this expansion. Basically, we had far too much of it in tier 7 content, to the point where we could ignore our mana bars in many situations. I once joked that I could replace our holy paladin's mana bar with a blue piece of paper without any loss of information; it wasn't very far from the truth.

When tier 8 came around they tried to nerf our mana regeneration so that we'd finally care about overhealing and gear for mana regen as well as throughput, but it seems they didn't go far enough, at least for one class. Many Holy Paladins are still ignoring MP5 gear; in fact, the aforementioned holy pally refused to pick up most Ulduar spell plate because it all has MP5 on it and he likes his Naxx-25 stuff better.

He's not alone in this tactic; many paladins are taking the same route, and mourning that this gear is no good for us. Ghostcrawler recognizes this problem, stating that "Regardless of any other changes we might make, mp5 just doesn't seem to provide enough point for point on gear." So what are they going to do about it? He says "It's possible (likely?) we'll just increase all of the mp5 on gear."

I'm honestly not sure this will solve the problem, since I suspect lots of people still won't want MP5, but it's a step in the right direction; MP5 has historically been a very expensive stat, which means the other stats on a piece of gear have to be lower just to get a little bit of mana regen out of it. And he does mention "other changes we might make," so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Raiding

Several Ulduar weapons buffed

Apparently a few tweaks to items were either too random or too last-minute to make it into the patch 3.1.2 notes. Three weapons have had their stats improved, "to match their appropriate item level:"

You can see a screenshot of the new stats at right.

Additionally, eight weapons have had their speed changed, "to make them more optimized when used in PvE content compared to equivalent weapons obtained in the Arena." I read that as "Arena weapons were too good, so we changed the speed on these ones to make them better."

If anyone can fill in the question marks, please leave the information in the comments.

Filed under: Items, Raiding

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Raiding Gear

This will most likey be a multi-part series. I know next week we'll be talking about the Warrior 2008 year in review, discussing talent changes and so much more, so it may be an interrupted series. With the new raiding system (normal and heroic raids), tier gear, emblem gear and non-affiliated drops, there's a lot of gear to talk about in the raid game.

Lately, in fact, I've noticed that 10 and 25 man raiding seems to flow back and forth into each other. I can be DPS in a 25 man Sarth run, then the run breaks up into two 10 mans and I'm asked to tank in one, then we recombine for a Vault of Archavon 25 man and split up again for two 10 mans. To be fair, we often do 25 man content with less than 25 people, possibly because it's Decemeber and a lot of folks are away for the holidays, which may be encouraging our raid swapping behavior. Or maybe we're just trying to get as much loot for people as we can.

My intention is to cover a raid in normal and heroic before moving on to the next raid, and then to cover Emblem of Herois and Valor rewards at a later date, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Tiers: The past, present, and future of dungeon and raid sets


Tier gear is a concept that has been with WoW since the beginning. In Molten Core, the very first WoW raid, each class had a set of gear that looked good together, could only be equipped by that class and that was, supposedly, specially tuned to that class's stat requirements. Priests had Prophecy, Warriors had Might, and so forth. This was called tier 1.

Classic WoW had three official raid tiers: tier 1 came from Molten Core, tier 2 from (mostly) Blackwing Lair, and tier 3 from Naxxramas. T3 is notable for a few reasons:

  • It was obtained via multi-class tokens. The bosses would drop, say, the belt token for Priest, Mage, and Warlock. You'd then have to take the token, some mats dropped by Naxx trash, and some crafting mats to an NPC to get the gear. This was useful because the boss drops became more flexible: if your priests all had their belt already, you could give the token to a mage or a warlock; if it had just been a straight drop of the priest T3 belt, you'd have to disenchant it.
  • T1 and T2 filled eight slots, while T3 filled nine, adding a ring. However, the highest bonus was for eight pieces, so you could choose which piece you wanted to leave out and still get the set bonus. This is continued in BC with five-piece sets, but only two- and four-piece bonuses.
  • When Wrath of the Lich King goes live (or possibly when patch 3.0.2 does) you will no longer be able to acquire T3. Naxxramas is being moved from its current location up to Northrend, where it will become the entry-level raid for level 80. Those who already have T3 will get to keep it.

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Filed under: Items, Features, Raiding, Classes

WWI '08 Panel: Gear Resets

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And if current information holds, you'll be looking like one of his elves when you hit Northrend. Say goodbye to your cool-looking level 70 purple gear and say hello to starting over with greens. It'll be like reliving your junior high photo day -- or worse.

Answering a specific question about the topic of ugly, mismatched armor during the WWI Q&A session today, the developer panel gave a cheeky answer:

We ended up having a little clown action, ok, a lot of clown action in TBC. We aren't going to eliminate it, but we are going to improve it. You won't be happy 100%, but we could just solve it by making everything gray.

I think this answer is perfectly reasonable. After all, it gives you an incentive to keep going for better gear: embarrassment.

However, on the positive side, Blizzard will offer more armor customization in Wrath. For example, they will make Raiding sets look different from PvP sets. For me, this means if I spy someone wearing a clear-cut PvP getup, I'm going to get the heck outta Dodge lickety split.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, PvP, Expansions, Humor, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics, Battlegrounds, Arena, Worldwide Invitational

Forum post of the day: Welfare Epics


What does it take to get epic gear? Well you can do arenas or battlegrounds and save up points for gear. It takes a few weeks of arenas to get a piece of the most recent releases. A good weekend of battlegrounds might net you a piece or two. You can do raids for epic drops. It can take weeks to learn fights and clear raids. A hard night of raiding could earn you nothing but a repair bill.

Among raiding and PvP, which shows more dedication and skill? The term "welfare epic" has popped up to describe gear that some believe is given to a player without the appropriate level of effort. In his official forum post, Kaizersosay of Spirestone asserted that there are no welfare epics- that every piece of purple loot takes effort. He said that the phrase welfare epic is elitist. The thread sparked a lively discussion of welfare epics for both PvE and PvP players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Forums

Should selling raid spots be allowed?

A guild called Invictus on Alextrasza has posted a sort of advertisement on their realm forum, offering to sell raiding gear to anyone willing to cough up enough gold. There are all sorts of responses, from "Hey, those prices are cheap!" to "This is cheating!" One poster said that players should go through these instances on their own, through teamwork and patience -- but a member of Invictus replied, quite eloquently, that players all over their realm are more than welcome to work their way through The Burning Crusade content on their own, Invictus isn't stopping that; rather they are just providing a service for people who might genuinely be in need.

Suppose, for instance, that your guild is in the middle of progressing through difficult content and a key player, such as a main tank, has to stop playing WoW due to real life difficulties. The next best tank you have in your guild is nowhere near as well-geared, and finding another outside person to fill such a crucial role could be difficult in the extreme. Invictus, they say, allows your whole guild to chip in and get your next best tank to pick up a couple pieces of gear from the highest raid instances in the game, thereby allowing him or her to catch up and start helping out much faster. It seems like a legitimate service to me.

Then again, this is clearly a different situation from some rogue who just wants some epic weapons so he can do tons of damage in PvP -- especially if he didn't earn this gold he's spending through legitimate means within the game itself. Is Invictus doing the right thing by opening the doors to all kinds of players? Should they be very careful in who they sell too? What's your opinion on the matter?

[Thanks, James!]

Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Making money

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