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Posts with tag iLevel

Patch 5.3: New gear vendors for Cataclysm leveling

Patch 53 New gear vendors for Cataclysm leveling
Two new gear vendors were added in Patch 5.3 that sell ilevel 232 gear so that you can immediately do the Blackrock Cavern and Throne of Tides dungeons upon reaching level 80. The ilevel requirement for both dungeons is 226 which is greater than the questing and dungeon gear from Wrath of the Lich King. Before the patch, if you were leveling up via dungeons, you had to stop and quest for a bit at level 80 in order to get the ilevel of gear required to continue running instances.

Quartermaster Iris Moondreamer at the Nordrassil Inn in Hyjal sells full sets of gear for each class. In Vash'jir, Erunak Stonespeaker saves you from drowning and then sells the same gear as Iris. The beginning quest reward gear in Cataclysm is ilevel 272, so questing for a while will get you better equipment, but these new vendors help close the gear gap.

Note: If you are choosing to buy your gear from Erunak, make sure to do so before completing the quest chain that gets you out of the sunken ship. as he stops being a vendor in the next phase.

I had missed this detail in the patch notes so it was a pleasant surprise when questing in Hyjal on a mage that had leveled the previous 20 levels via pet battles and archaeology. Though the gear gap isn't as large between the older expansions, I'd still like to see more supply vendors like these and the ones in Pandaria as you level up, particularly if you are doing so in a non-traditional way.

Filed under: News items

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form?

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form
In the leveling homestretch, I tend to follow a pattern. My main goal is to boost my ilevel as soon as I hit 90 to get in on Raid Finder. Although, once I get there, I end up feeling bitter because waiting in a Raid Finder queue isn't fun. Even if you're not into Raid Finder, WoW presents players with plenty of opportunity to wait around at some point -- battleground and dungeon queues, or even sticking around for a PUG to come together.

As a tank on my main, I groan when thinking of entering Raid Finder, mainly because of the wait. There are only two tank roles, after all. With the new loot specialization coming to 5.3, players looking to win tank gear have hope of a less painful wait in a DPS role, at least. Even if you're used to the long wait, everyone has a limit. I remember waiting as a tank in a Raid Finder queue for an hour and forty minutes. I'm not usually willing to wait that long. I'm relatively comfortable with waiting about thirty to forty minutes before moving on.

When it comes to PUGs, I'm quite patient, usually waiting longer than I probably should. In a PUG, I tend to have a personal connection to at least one of the other players in the group, so I'm not quick to leave.

How long are you willing to wait, whether it be for a dungeon, Raid Finder, battleground, or a PUG? While in queue, how do you pass the time? I usually find myself completing dailies or battling pets. But at what point do you throw up your hands and leave?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Gearing Context: "... don't obsess unnecessarily over marginal iLevel improvements."

Ghostcrawler tweeted the following:

We don't make fights that are target dummies. Nerfing numbers means you can afford more mistakes on the mechanics. (source)

As I said, if improving gear is fun for you, that's great. Just don't obsess unnecessarily over marginal ilevel improvements. (source)

Truer words have never been spoken.

There's an attitude amongst WoW players, one that I've fallen into the trap of many many times during the past eight years, of having to get the absolute best gear. My brain is made in such a way that even if there is an item that's five iLevels higher than what I've got, I must have it, or else I'm a failure.

That's pretty messed up. No wait, that's really messed up.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Mists of Pandaria: UI Updates

If you've been nervous about how Blizzard intends to handle the item squish that Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street discussed in a developer blog back in November, worry no more -- we saw the solution in action first-hand at the press event. We also saw a few other notable UI updates and additions, such as the full implementation of the new talent pane, a new buff tracker, and a revamped character creation screen.

Mega Damage

Rather than compressing item levels and retuning seven years' worth of content, the developers appear to have opted to go with the concept of Mega Damage, replacing a bunch of spare 0s with a K or an M where appropriate. When killing mobs in Pandaria, my four-digit damage was not compressed. If I hit something for 3,000 damage, it displayed as 3,000 damage. However, five-digit numbers and higher were compressed. 30,000 became 30K. It's a very simple solution and should have very little impact on your gameplay overall.

Here's Ghostcrawler's explanation of the Mega Damage solution from that old dev blog:

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Adorable baby giraffe, take 2

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.

OK, I think I got it this time. Look at this adorable baby giraffe.

Questions, yes?

Arkonn asked:

Something that's been bugging me for a while: Why does PvP gear ilvl - specifically crafted gear - count towards ilvl required for entering dungeons and the LFR? I can understand giving the gear itself a level so you can quickly differentiate between what is potentially an upgrade and what isn't, however what I can't understand is why it counts towards your normal ilvl.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not an elitist so-and-so by any stretch of the imagination. It just bugs me that some people spend hours and hours running heroics getting gear and points to improve themselves and others spend 10 minutes at the auction house buying gear that essentially is a "free" pass to the next stage.

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Filed under: The Queue

Ol' Grumpy and the grimoire of gear inflation

Hello again, everybody. I'm Ol' Grumpy. You might remember me from such posts as Ol' Grumpy and the Goblet of Firelands adjustments or Ol' Grumpy's guide to outdated content and you. This time, we're going to be talking about what gear inflation is, how it happens, and why something eventually has to be done about it.

Gear inflation has actually been a concern of mine since about halfway through Wrath of the Lich King's expansion cycle. Back then, it was armor penetration that really set off my gear inflation warning bells, a stat that's since gone the way of the dodo. If you remember ArP, you remember that it start acting extremely weird at higher gear levels and often had to be adjusted and capped to keep it from doing things like reducing target armor into the negative.

In essence, for a brief period after Ulduar dropped, ArP could actually cause your target to have negative armor values so that their damage taken was increased by a percentage instead of just reduced by a percentage. This was very wonky. It was quickly capped and the stat adjusted. But by ICC levels of gear, it was possible again to reach 100% ArP, and doing so was absolutely your best bet as a melee DPS.

Now, let's be honest: Gear inflation is the inevitable by-product of a game where one increases in power via leveling and gaining new gear. It must happen. If you simply look at gear from original World of Warcraft's 1 to 60 game, you'll see that gear steadily increases in power and that raid gear from MC to BWL/AQ and to the now-vanished Naxxramas-40 steadily increases in power. Indeed, Naxx-40 gear was such an upgrade in power that it was roughly as strong as blue drops from level 70 instances. You could raid Karazhan in Naxx-40 gear. The Burning Crusade dealt with gear inflation differently than its successors did because it could.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 4.3 PTR: Gear levels revealed for Dragon Soul raid

The newest updates to the patch 4.3 public test realm have revealed the new item levels for gear acquired from the valor point vendors as well as the loot dropped from Dragon Soul bosses. With Dragon Soul, Blizzard is introducing a brand new difficulty tier in raids called Raid Finder, aimed at providing a new difficulty curve for new raiders and players who want to pug these raids.

Valor point vendors now have a piece of armor for every slot, mitigating that whole "no shoulders drop except tier shoulders" problem that warriors had this recent patch, among other classes. You will be able to fill every slot with new gear from valor points but will not be able to purchase set pieces. The new gear ilevels for Dragon Soul are as follows:
  • Raid Finder drops ilevel 384 (just a bit better than normal Firelands).
  • Normal Dragon Soul drops ilevel 397 (just a bit better than heroic Firelands).
  • Heroic Dragon Soul drops ilevel 410 (the best around).
As with other valor point tiers of gear, the boots and bracers on these vendors will be bind on equip, allowing players to purchase these items with valor points and send them to alts, sell them on the Auction House, or help out a guildmate in need.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Patch 4.2: Avengers of Hyjal reputation rings

The Avengers of Hyjal is the new raid reputation being introduced with patch 4.2 for raiders daring enough to enter the Firelands and do battle with Ragnaros' minions. Much like the Ashen Verdict, players will be able to gain rewards with the Avengers as they progress up the reputation tiers. At exalted, ilevel 391 rings will become available in a variety of styles. So far, these rings are available on the PTR:
Blizzard has said that the Avengers of Hyjal faction will work differently from the Ashen Verdict, however, in that it does not want players farming the trash in the Firelands for reputation. Rather, it looks like we will get a system like the Brood of Nozdormu or Hydraxian Waterlords, where after a certain reputation level, the only way to increase your standing with the faction is to kill bosses.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Are Cataclysm gear ilevels too big a jump from Wrath?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Throughout Wrath, I spent the vast majority of my time in game on my max-level main character, with just a few hours /played on alts at various stages along the road to being forgotten. With the onset of Cataclysm, however, I found myself motivated to level an alt to the level cap for the first time. After a few days questing, I succeeded in bringing my up-and-coming alt from Un'Goro Crater to the quest leading into Hyjal.

Thanks to the time spent on my main, my fresh lvl 80 alt was well-resourced. In addition to carrying pots and foods, I stormed into Hyjal wearing heirloom chest, shoulders, weapon, trinkets, and even a spiffy new heirloom cloak. I was ready to rock, and having come straight from Icecrown, I expected to be able to pull two to three mobs at a time without exerting much effort.

As it turns out, Hyjal is not Icecrown. I soon found out through a process of trial and error -- well, mostly error -- that I could barely survive one mob without popping cooldowns and potions. My response? "But Cataclysm content wasn't this hard on my main!"

Once I completed a few quests and received my first upgrade as a reward, I realized what the problem was: My gear was 100 item levels too low. Aside from my heirlooms, my alt was wearing blues and greens from questing in Icecrown -- ilvl 174 gear, at best. The mobs were much more difficult on my alt because he wasn't wearing anything remotely close to the ilvl 264 gear my main had brought!

What gear were you wearing when you took the plunge into the new Cataclysm content, and how did you fare? Do you feel the new zones are well-tuned for characters coming straight from leveling in Northrend? Is the ilvl jump from 174 to 272 too drastic or a necessity?

Is the gear jump from Wrath to Cataclysm too large?
Yes2274 (23.5%)
No4385 (45.4%)
Only for non-raiding characters3008 (31.1%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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.

Read more →

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

The great gear explosion

Gear is fairly easy to get at this point in the expansion life cycle of Wrath. That's not a flaw. That's actually how things should be: there shouldn't be too many artificial limitations keeping you from jumping into the newest content and getting a chance to at least see, if not down it. With the rise of 10 and 25 man versions of every raid and heroic modes, however, we are looking at something fairly unique to this expansion, a somewhat drastic power curve to gear scaling.

This isn't a new idea, and it's not one Blizzard themselves haven't commented on. It's one thing to be aware of it in a general way, however, and another to sit back and look at it. That's a comparison of itemization on select 2H weapons from the first crafted epic (equivalent to a Naxx 10 drop) up to hard mode Ulduar 25, which puts it squarely in the middle of the current expansion cycle. What you're looking at is a steady gain that leads to a nearly 60 DPS increase between the starting weapon (Titansteel Destroyer) and the last one compared (Voldrethar).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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.

Read more →

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

Wrath lockboxes appear in Karazhan

We did a run through Karazhan last night, and not one but two of these popped up -- Froststeel Lockboxes apparently require 375 Lockpicking (the current limit is 350), and so we have no idea what this might hold. The Ashbringer? Frostmourne? It's Wrath gear for sure, but it could be anything!

No, only joking -- of course it's probably just some Northrend green vendor trash (although item level 73... that might be pretty good). Too bad we won't know until someone hits level 75, as lockpicking's general skill formula is five times whatever your level is. But apparently the last patch added at least some higher level loot to the world drop tables -- any of you seen any Wrath greens or other gear randomly drop yet?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Bornakk on item scaling in WotLK

We're already seeing some significant changes to the way gear works in Wrath of the Lich King. However, in a thread on the official forums about the ever-increasing character level cap, Bornakk steps in to set at least a few minds at ease regarding the way gear will scale. He says the developers don't plan on overhauling gear in Wrath quite the same way they had when TBC came out. So, while the items will be more powerful, we shouldn't see the same disparity between WotLK items and pre-WotLK items that we did for BC gear and pre-BC gear. It won't be like you'll pick up a green from a level 71 quest that replaces your S4 gear.

But there's a bunch of stat changes in WotLK that've already been revealed. Does this mean the spellpower changes will go back through all of the BC gear, or is it just that the item level is going to remain a steady scale? Or will unified spellpower only be available in Northrend? Eh, we're only in Alpha right now. Just the notion that Blizzard is aware and considering this issue is enough for now, and I guess we can wait and see how the drops will look.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

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