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Posts with tag tier4

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Maximum stamina

If you want to live through any boss fight as a tank, the one thing that you need above all else is health. Stamina, which gives ten health for every one point of stamina, is by far the most important stat that a tank needs in order to do their job well. No matter if you have reached the armor and defense cap, or if you're producing more threat than your DPS can keep up with, you won't live for a lick if you don't have enough health.

Defining minimum health is an important concept in end game raiding and groups. For most instances, a minimum of 10,000 to 11,000 unbuffed is needed. This will at least let you take a few blows from a boss before dying, hopefully enough blows that the healer will be able to get off a few heals on you. For more entry level raiding environments, it's necessary to have unbuffed health between 11,000 and 12,000. If you've got 11,500 hit points going into Kara, you'll probably be able to reach 13,000 health fully raid buffed. This will let you survive a good portion of Kara, which means you can get more gear, which begets more health in the long run.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion

MMO Champion's Armor Showroom is out

Here's another cool tool from our buddy Boubouille over at MMO Champion-- he's put together a little viewing room of all the hottest armor in the World of Warcraft.

There's nothing really new here-- we've seen all of this armor before, and it's all currently available in the game. But in case you wanted to check out how hot that Cyclone set is (and it is hot) or see where the pieces drop, or check the prices and stats of that PvP gear you're hoping for, this is a great little tool to do it with.

And Bou's still planning on updating it some more-- as he says, it's a little strange to see a Human wearing the Shaman and Hunter sets, so he's eventually planning on putting in support for all the races. But if you wanted to get a good upclose look at the armor set you've been drooling over, here it is.

Filed under: Items, Tips, Raiding, Guides, Classes

Tier sets: Who chooses, guilds or players?

What classes should have priority on what gear in raiding instances has been a topic of debate for a long time. Tier 4 and 5 -- with their options of tank, DPS and healing sets for hybrid classes -- looked like they might help solve this problem. Feral druids can get their DPS sets, resto shamans can get their healer sets, and protection paladins can get their tank sets, and everyone will finally be happy and stop arguing with the master looter. This looked pretty good until someone on the Raids and Dungeons forum posed a nasty dilemma.

Let's say that you're a paladin officer in a raiding guild at 70 that's hoping to progress through content quickly. You have a couple paladins that are protection specced for tanking, maybe one paladin who's retribution specced because he has the gear for it, and a bunch of pallies who are specced to heal. Paul the paladin heals in raids and seems to enjoy his role.

One day, Paul wins his first Tier 5 token, and goes and gets ... the Crystalforge Battlegear. "What the heck, Paul!" you say when you inspect him. "You're holy specced! I thought you liked healing! This retribution gear won't help you in raids! How are we going to kill Illidan if people don't upgrade their healing gear?" "I do like healing in raids," says Paul, "and I'll keep doing it, but I need to solo too so I chose the DPS set. I know I won't wear it in raids, but in the end, it's my gear, isn't it? I earned it."

This situation is tough. On one hand, the guild helped Paul get that Tier 5 under the expectation that he'd use it to fulfill his primary raiding role, and thus help the guild progress. If everyone picks DPS sets for farming, the guild probably won't be able to handle some fights. On the other hand, it is Paul's gear, and Paul's got to farm sometime. As long as his healing is adequate, shouldn't Paul get to choose which set he wants when it's just him, the token and the gear vendor?

I'm glad that as a rogue, I won't have to face this choice. (Should I take the damage set or ... the damage set?) In theory, it would be nice if everyone took the set that they would use in raids, but that's not necessarily going to happen all the time. For those of you who are officers or hybrid classes, I ask: What should our fictional guild do about Paul the paladin? Should guilds have any influence on which sets their hybrid classes pick?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

Tier 4 set for most builds?

Tonight as I was browsing the WoW.com forums, as is my habit while my wife watches Dancing with the Stars, I noticed that there was a lot of complaining about an alleged deletion of a blue post that shed some light on the tier 4 sets in the upcoming expansion. With Lost just about to start, my interest in getting to the bottom of the issue waned, and I went to the couch to watch TV with my lovely wife (a much more lovely wife than I deserve, btw).

Thankfully, one of our beloved readers (thanks Kyle!) saw the post, copied it and shot it over to us via our tips form. Here is the text of the original, and recently undeleted, post from Kalgan:

There is a tier 4 set for most builds for each class.

The boss drops a "token" for a certain slot for a certain set of classes (it's not really called a "token", but I'm speaking of it mechanically here), which you then turn in for the type of set piece of your choice (ie: for a warrior, the tanking plate or the dps plate, or for a druid you choose between the healing, moonkin, or feral gear).


Um...wow. This has been hinted at before, but I think this is the first time someone has come out and said it in any official capacity. Assuming Kalgan is 100% accurate, this would be a phenomenal development for a lot of folks. Feral druids, shadow priests, dps warriors and every non-standard spec out there is going to be very, very happy. I know this is going to come off like I am some crazed fanboy, but it really looks like Blizzard listened carefully over the past couple years and is trying their best to make people happy with this expansion.

So, what do you guys think? Will their be dancing Moonkin in Ironforge tonight?

Filed under: Items, News items, Expansions

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