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Posts with tag gearing

Lichborne: Buy your death knight some patch 4.2 valor gear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out a few weeks, if you've been faithfully raiding or queuing up for your random dungeons, you should have a pretty good chunk of valor points ready for use. That means it's time to start thinking seriously about what you should buy. This week, we'll be taking a look at the new valor point gear from patch 4.2 and figuring out what each brings to the table for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

A survey of gear levels in current 10- and 25-man Cataclysm raiding

If you've been curious whether or not you're geared enough to start raiding, the answer is "definitely maybe." Let me explain.

The nice people at GuildOx have collected and passed on their information for the average gear level for groups completing 10- and 25-man raids, and they were good enough to share this information with us. There are several interesting things to keep in mind about these numbers.
  • These numbers are from the last seven days and only for the first time a group beat the encounter. Subsequent kills aren't counted in this data set.
  • The average ilevel is higher for almost every single Cataclysm raid fight on 10-man than on 25-man. That is, the fights were first overcome by groups in higher ilevel gear on 10-man than on 25-man. Ascendant Council seems to be the only real exception to this rule.
  • The ilevels for the groups defeating this content are well achievable, starting at 337 for Omnotron Defense System and Conclave of Wind on 25-man. This is well within the level of gearing achievable through heroics. Even the 10-man encounters don't require much more, starting around ilevel 341.
  • There's a lot more data for heroic 25-man encounters than heroic 10s. Some fights don't seem to have had many or any clears on 10 for this data push.
  • Heroic Conclave of Wind had 40 kills on 25s and none on 10s, while Ascendant Council on normal seems to be easier on 10s than 25s for some reason.
See the data in full behind the jump; you can make your own conclusions, but I find the higher ilevel for 10-man clears over 25-man to be very, very interesting indeed. I also find it very heartening that yes, you can gear up for this in heroics and rep rewards, so don't let your gear hold you back from attempting these raids.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, Raiding, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: The myth of the well-itemized elemental shaman shield

Guest hosting is serious business. Not everyone can live up to the challenge the way Alf did. Still, as part of a mission of mercy, shadow-priest-turned-elemental-shaman Fox Van Allen is rolling the dice and taking the helm of Totem Talk this week. How does mercy fit in, exactly? Well, have you seen what happens when rabid elementals invade the comment sections of Joe's resto version and Rich's enhancement version? Not pretty.

To get our children through their early days of life, we tell them little fictions to make things more magical and more fun.

Hurry up and get to sleep so Santa will bring you lots of presents!

You should take that tooth and put it under your pillow; the Tooth Fairy pays big money for those!

There are plenty of well-itemized spellpower shields out there for elemental shaman!
As you grow up, you learn the sad truth behind it all. That obese man coming sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve is actually trying to perpetrate a home invasion. Those who collect the teeth of others are most likely in need of serious psychiatric help. And for the longest time, we elemental shaman used to suffer the quiet indignation of carrying around gobs of useless MP5 on our shields, just because Blizzard didn't see it necessary to design shields around our specific needs.

Well, my totem-flinging friends, I have some good news -- not regarding Santa or the Tooth Fairy (sorry), but regarding that spellpower shield. You do have options. And there's more good news: With Cataclysm coming right around the corner, we're about to become proverbial kids in a candy store.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancing your gear in only four dungeons

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 12 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Holy Stormstrikes! I'm going to refrain from using the term casual in a post ever again. Wait, I just used it there. Ah well, rack that promise up with "I'll never drink again" and "I'll never die to cutters again." Lies, all of them, lies.

We all have different definitions of the term and judging by the comments in the last post, others' definition of casual is more severe than mine. I'll get into casual vs. hardcore and the ridiculousness of those classifications in another post. For now, I hear you loud and clear, so let's refrain from diving into that now.

I digress. As I was writing last week's article I had this sneaking suspicion that I already wrote several articles on gearing your non-end game enhancement shaman. In fact I had written articles many moons ago, and they are all on my neglected blog, Big Hit Box. Time for a revisit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental gearing for the new 80


Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Brought to you by Mike Sacco.

Last week I took you through Elemental 101, a crash course in playing your elemental shaman. Now that we've got the basics out of the way and you understand your talents and rotation, it seems as good a time as any to talk about gear.

We addressed the main stats you're looking for on elemental gear last week, but here's a quick rundown again for those who missed it: Hit rating, spell power, haste, and crit. These are the only four stats we'll be looking for on elemental gear, besides the obvious intellect and stamina boosts that'll be on nearly every piece of caster gear anyway.

If the above sounds like a pretty reasonable set of stats to look for, well, you're not wrong. So I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news? There's definitely elemental gear out there. The bad news? Good luck finding it. Elemental gearing has a lot of issues unique to both the shaman and this specific spec. And you're not gonna like them.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

A little pre-80 min/maxing can be helpful

Gnomeaggedon has written up a great guide to something a lot of players (including me) haven't worried about at all in the past: min/maxing your gear before you ever hit level 80. Aside from twinking, there seems to be almost no reason to worry much about gear before you hit the endgame -- you can level in almost anything these days, and by the time you hit 80, you'll replace it all anyway. Why bother? But Gnome makes a good point: he says you should put the minimum of effort in to max out your gear's power. Better gear will help you level faster, will help you play better, and I'll even add that it will help you learn your class better; figuring out early on which stats you want to choose over others will be a big help when you are dealing with all of the epics at level 80. You don't have to spend all your time choosing gear pre-80, as most of it will get replaced with regular quest rewards anyway. But it's good to put some thought into it.

So how's it done? Gnome's posts have some excellent tips on browsing Wowhead for new gear, using Rawr to analyze where your character's at now, and eventually looking ahead to what's next (I'll throw Gear Wishlist in again, simply because that's helped me out a lot). There's so many great tools out there for choosing gear, and it's interesting to note that they're still helpful even pre-80. Taking a second to check your gear while leveling up might actually make that grind that much easier.

Filed under: Items, Instances, Leveling, Guides

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

Why Hit is a "sexy stat"

This post on Gray Matter has some pretty insightful thoughts about the much-maligned Hit stat. We've posted quite a few times about Hit with the various classes, and yet it's still fairly hard to get a handle on -- most people know their class has a "hit cap" that they have to reach to keep any of their swings or shots from missing, but other than that, they haven't really tangled with the stat much the way they might have some of the more core stats for their class. But Grey Matter argues that "Hit is sexy" -- despite the fact that, unlike other stats, Hit is required just to make your class do the right thing (rather than doing it better), Graylo still likes the idea, and actually likes the balance that Hit requires. No matter what ilvl your gear, you still need a certain amount of Hit on it, and the balancing job of keeping your hit cap met versus providing other stats on your gear is what Gray seems to like about Hit. While other stats just go up and up, Hit is the great limiter -- having more of it frees up space on other gear for more pressing stats, but you still have to balance out the pieces you wear to try and meet the cap.

To that extent, I agree. I do think that Hit is a relatively arbitrary stat (we know what it means in real life to be Stronger or have more Intelligence, but Hit is really just designed to keep game levels in line), but on the other hand, Gray's right -- because you need a certain amount of hit in your gear, it does become an interesting balancing game of "do I need this more powerful piece of gear, or this weaker piece of gear with some extra Hit on it?" It does a nice job of mixing things up as an endgame-balancing mechanic.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Building Up To It


First off, this week's PTR news: basically, nothing new from the last time we talked about it. Arms warriors can pick up Juggernaut now. It's fun. I'm already sick of the macros I'm seeing with it, although I haven't had that much time to do more than charge and then Bladestorm a few mobs just for the laughs. As soon as I get a chance to PvP with the changes I'll tell you if the caster debuff on Overpower from Unrelenting Assault makes any difference.

I get a fair amount of email asking me what target numbers a warrior should be aiming for when he hits 80 and is ready to tank or DPS in instances. It's kind of a hard question because for some stats the best answer is always going to be "as much as you can get" - you're never going to hit a number on stamina where you should be satisfied, you'll always want more and more and more of it. However, there are reasonable suggested minimums for these things, based around what will be possible or impossible to accomplish. A lot of this depends on the folks you find yourself running with, of course. If you're just starting heroics but the healer you'll be running with has best in slot raid epics from all the 25 man content in the game, it's likely he'll trivialize the content to such a degree that you can be significantly lower than normal and still do fine. For those of us who don't have a pocket god coming along to heal our runs, however, you may have to pay attention more to your gearing.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Factions, Classes, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Blood Sport: Gear decisions for S4

We're now a few weeks into Season 4. And, we've known even before it started that Season 4 gear would carry some rating requirements. And while we're all hopefully enjoying the new challenges of the new season, there are some folks who are starting Season 4 relatively fresh.

They don't have much Vengeful gear, or even Merciless Gladiator's gear -- they might be starting out in some quest greens and blues, with only a smattering of PvP gear across the character. Heck, some players might be in all Vengeful and Vindicator's gear already, and still facing the same question. Where should you start with the Season 4 gear?

Rating requirements and high point costs can make the gear curve seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Don't worry -- WoW Insider is here to help.

Let's chart a basic path of gear accrual -- via PvP only -- that will help every fledgeling PvPer grow into an Arena powerhouse. We're going to follow two paths, actually. One will assume that you do have the ratings required for each piece of gear. The other will assume that you do not have the ratings. In either case, our goal here is going to be to be sure you have a plan to pick up the available gear as you gain the available points.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

WoW Insider Weekly

Miss out on some of these columns the first time around? Worry not! Here's your weekly chance to catch up on some of the best feature content coming out of WoW Insider. If you missed these earlier this week, don't make the same mistake twice.
Guildwatch: Open your face jellyfish
Your weekly look at guild drama, downed news, and recruiting from all around the realms.
Illusionary Tactics: Orb of Deception
Our new column about items that can disguise you hits on one of the most popular.
Know Your Lore: The Scarlet Crusade
When good Crusaders go bad, that's where you find the Scarlet folks.
Tank Talk: Do you feel lucky, punk?
Seriously, do you? Because we really need some lottery numbers -- this whole "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42" thing isn't really working out.
The Art of War(craft): DotA-style battleground in WotLK
A new battleground in Wrath might borrow a little influence from an old mod for Warcraft III.

More of our best weekly content after the jump.

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Filed under: How-tos, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, Leveling

Switching specs, switching roles

Now, there's some classes (mostly pure DPS) that have a special advantage when it comes to respeccing: When they decide to change specs, they can mostly get away with using the same set of gear. They may want to regem a bit toward one stat or another, or switch weapons, but for the most part, they can change their spec and settle right into their new role with relative ease, not having to wait for certain gear to come along before they make a "final" plunge. Even if they do need to make a bigger stat change, their old gear can usually mostly suffice until they get a few more drops.

I've noticed this because I'm strongly considering switching two of my hybrids to another role full time soon, and it's been a lot more complicated, because gear enters the equation in a much larger way.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Alts

Why PvE has been, and always will be, the only real game


World of Warcraft has two distinctly different types of play: Player versus Environment and Player versus Player. The styles of play are dramatically different and there are few, if any, skills that cross over from one style to the other. WoW started out as a PvE game, adding in PvP content as the player base expanded. And despite the numerous PvP fanbois out there, the real game in WoW will always remain the PvE game.

There are a few reasons why I think this. First and foremost, you cannot progress in PvP without first completing a large potion of the PvE content. You start out at level 1 and progress up to level 70. You don't level up by PvPing against one another. You level up by fighting against the environment. Put simply, without the PvE there would be no PvP.

Secondly, PvP is an addition to the game. If you remove PvP from the game entirely, the game itself would not fundamentally change. However if you remove the PvE elements, the game would be nothing like it is. Everything would just exist like the Arena Tournament server. That might be fine for some people, and this is evident in the success of the Arena Tournament server. Even I enjoy spending a couple hours a week on there, but by no means would I want to just exist on a server where the only thing to do is kill one another.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

A warrior and his spirit gear

For some reason on my home server, Eldre'Thalas, when folks see a tank standing around in Shattrath without anything to do, they immediately start sending tells asking if I want to go tank such-and-such an instance for them. I don't mind it when my friends or guild mates do it, but it does get a little annoying when complete strangers do it constantly.

So I've come up with a solution: spirit and intellect armor. Whenever I'm doing anything other than fighting, I'm wearing bright yellow spirit and intellect armor that I got off the AH. I spent about a hundred gold on this dastardly set. It looks awful, it smells awful, and it's a great repellent for annoying unsolicited LFG tells.

I got the idea from looking at people's gear who are apping to my guild. Some of it was just plain nuts – spirit gear on Warriors, "of stamina" gear on Priests, things like that. Of course, they might have just been logged out in that gear the same way I'm logged out in mine right now. But when you're apping to a guild and one of the requirements is to log out in PvE gear for the next week, well, too bad so sad for them.

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Virtual selves

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