Tag Archives: Gear

Blood DK Gear Talk (Also – HoF/TES drops)

2 Nov

Originally this started out as a simple gearlist, but it has evolved into something much more as I was writing it. That tends to happen a lot sometimes, but there are some things I just can’t go without saying. I mean… I think some of you blood DKs out there DEPEND on me for vital info, and I’M HERE TO BRING IT TO YOU.

/ahem. Anyway!

Heart of Fear opened this past tuesday, and Terrace of Endless Spring opens in another week and a half, so I will kill two birds with one stone and get the gearlists for both of them going here. Just like I did for Mogu’shan Vaults, I will do them by boss instead of by slot. It tends to make things easier, so you can look at whichever boss you’re on and see what he may have, and if it’s of any use to you or not.

Heart of Fear

Imperial Vizier Zor’lok

Vizier’s Ruby Signet – Ring. Parry/Expertise, no socket.

Articulated Legplates - Legs. Parry/Hit, Red/Blue socket (+120 Str)

Blade Lord Ta’yak

Pauldrons of the Broken Blade – Shoulders. Parry/Hit, Yellow socket (+90 Stam)

Windblade Talons – Gloves. Dodge/Parry, Blue socket (+60 Parry)

Garalon

Ring of the Shattered Shell – Ring. Dodge/Mastery, no socket.

Garalon’s Hollow Skull – Helm. Dodge/Parry, Meta/Red socket (+270 Stam)

Wind Lord Mel’jarak

Cloak of Raining Blades - Cloak. Dodge/Mastery, no socket.

T14 Glove Token - Gloves. Dodge/Hit, no socket.

Amber-Shaper Un’sok

T14 Leg Token - Legs. Dodge/Mastery, Red socket (+90 Stam)

Grand Empres Shek’zeer

T14 Chest Token - Chest. Parry/Hit, 2 yellow sockets (+120 Parry)

Legplates of Regal Reinforcement - Legs. Dodge/Parry, Red/Blue socket (+180 Stam)

Terrace of Endless Spring

Protectors of the Endless

Kaolan’s Withering Necklace - Neck. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Bracers of Defiled Earth - Wrist. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Deepwater Greatboots - Boots. Parry/Hit, Yellow socket (+60 Parry)

Tsulong

Daybreak Drape - Cloak. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Grasps of Serpentine Might – Gloves. Parry/Expertise, Blue socket (+60 Parry)

Stuff of Nightmares – Trinket. 1152 Mastery + 20s Dodge Proc.

Lei Shi

T14 Shoulder Token - Shoulder. Expertise/Mastery, Blue socket (+90 Stam)

Cuirass of the Animated Protector – Chest. Dodge/Mastery, Red/Yellow socket (+120 Strength)

Protector’s Girdle of Endless Spring – Belt. Dodge/Expertise, Blue socket (+60 Dodge)

Sha of Fear

T14 Helm Token - Helm. Parry/Expertise, Meta/Blue socket (+90 Stam)

Shin’ka, Execution of Dominion - 2h Axe. Crit/Mastery, Sha-touched Socket.

Sigh. Hope you DKs weren’t planning on getting your sha-touched weapon anytime soon. Friggin last boss of the last raid of the last of the lastie last lasts. /flail

Tier 14 vs Off-tier items.

One of the things that plagues every class every tier of raiding is: “Is our tier set good enough? Are the bonuses worthwhile?” As a general rule, you almost never want to wear all 5 pieces of tier gear. 4 is plenty, you get the set bonuses, and there’s usually one piece that is weaker than the others, even if by a narrow margin. In this case, the weak link would be the Gloves, and i’ll tell you why. They’re the only set piece with no mastery and no socket. Other off-tier gloves have sockets that you can add moar delicious stats to, but the tier ones don’t.

Now then. If you only wish to go for the 2-piece set bonus, your ideal pieces are legs and shoulders (with the chest coming in a VERY strong 3rd place because of two amazing yellow sockets).

If you wish to go with the 4-piece bonus, you want to add the afore-mentioned chest, and helmet (good GOD that is a lot of parry rating.. /fans self)

Now then. Is it better to go for the 4-piece bonus, or is it better to go with the off-set pieces that have mastery? The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. You could go either way and probably be just fine. If you’re a bleeding edge progression raider then… well, what the hell are you doing at MY little blog? Honestly though. I cannot math hard enough to devise an answer to that question. I’m sure there’s a way to do so, but it’s far beyond me. The best I can do is provide you with comparisons and let you decide for yourself. Thank god for wowhead for making these comparisons much easier to look at.

Chestpiece comparison - Ignoring set bonuses, and all things being equal, I would pick Ornate Battleplate of the Master.

Glove comparison - I would go with Gauntlets of Battle Command

Legplate comparison - Even with one less socket than the other pieces, I would go with the tier legs

Helmet comparison - My choice is Giantfoot Headguard

Shoulder comparison - The tier piece is the clear winner here.

All things considered, I will probably only be going for the 2-piece set bonus. The amount stat-fuckery between tier and non-tier pieces is too wide for me, personally, to ignore (more on that in a second). Your mileage may vary, of course.

Now, as you look through the comparisons, you may see a couple items that I didn’t include in my drop lists above. The reason for these are there are crafted pieces that aren’t boss drops (but the patterns very well might be), or they are drops from Galleon or Sha of Anger (world bosses).

As you look through the comparisons, you may also notice that some of the stats aren’t normalized very well, even though they’re ALL the same ilvl (which I promise i triple checked, and then checked again, because I couldn’t fucking believe it myself.)  For instance, look at the glove comparison there. I already mentioned that there was no socket on the tier gloves, compared to the other 3 offset pieces. What I didn’t notice until I made that actual comparison link was that it ALSO has less strength (by a good margin) than two of the offset pieces. I’m not sure if this is intended or if this was just shit itemization that slipped through the cracks somehow, but as it is right now, i can’t very well just overlook some of those discrepancies.

 

The Death Knight Number Shuffle

28 Oct

I am not a theorycrafter really. I have a basic idea of how the stats work for the classes, and why we want some more than others, but I couldn’t tell you the exact values, or how people determine them, or even a vague idea of how people decide how to determine stat weights. All that having been said, I do want to talk about Death Knight stats for a few minutes. Basically, I am going to go down the line and list what each stat does for us (for each spec), why we would want it, and why we would not want it. I’ve noticed a rather disheartening trend among all of the so-called “guide” sites (noxxic, mr robot, EJ, icy-veins) in that NOBODY is giving the same information to the community. This is a problem because if 4 people are getting their information from any of the 4 different sites, who’s to say who’s wrong or right?

Strength: Initially, I wasn’t going to mention it, but I feel the need to do so because I *still* come across some numbskull DKs rolling on Agility rings or trinkets or what have you. Strength is our base stat. Long gone are the days of DKs using agility weapons, because we get absolute shit for benefit from them. If a DK is using an agility weapon, they’re doing it wrong. Some people have the sort of “golden rule” about a 3-tier improvement making agi weapons allowable based solely on weapon damage increases alone, but I think that’s shit. If you’re a DK, you should have strength on everything. All three specs get 2 AP (Attack Power) per 1 point of strength.

Blood – Blood DKs get an added bonus of having a parry rate conversion from strength. Roughly 90% of strength is converted into parry rating. To put this into easier-to-digest terms, if an item has 100 strength on it, and you’re a blood DK, it’ll give you the equivalent of 90 parry rating as well.

Hit: This is a simple one to explain. Hit lets you hit things more frequently. Easy, right? The percentage to never miss a raid boss-level mob is 7.5% (2550 hit rating at 90, or 2210 hit rating if you’re a draenei)

Frost Dual-Wield – Any dual-wielding class has things a bit differently. They will notice two sets of hit ratings on their character sheet when they mouse over it. Innately, it takes something like 15% hit rating to completely hit cap (aka “white cap”. Every attack that has white damage numbers is an auto-attack, whereas if it’s yellow numbers, it’s an ability). It’s worth noting that NO dual-wielding class will pour enough stats into reaching white cap. They will stop at 7.5% (“yellow cap”, or “specials cap”). The amount of hit rating it takes to white cap simply take too much away from the your other stats to be worthwhile.

Expertise: This one is relatively simple to explain as well. Every creature in wow (player-controlled or NPC) has a built-in chance to dodge attacks, and most have a chance to parry them as well (not all PCs do). Expertise removes the chance you will be dodged or parried (in that order). Now, prior to MoP, expertise was handled a bit differently in that up to a certain point, it would push some of both dodge AND parry off the table. Since 5.0, it is much more simply done. There is a maximum of 15% expertise. 7.5% (2550 hit rating at 90, or 2210 hit rating if you’re a have sword/axe/mace specialization and are using the corresponding weapon) will completely push dodge off the combat table, and the next 7.5% will push parry off the table.

Frost/Unholy – It’s worth noting that NO creatures can parry from the back or sides. If you are frost or unholy (or any other melee dps class for that matter), you should *always* be behind the boss whenever physically possible. Since you’re ideally behind everybody, you never have to worry about parry, so you can safely stop at 7.5% expertise.

Blood – Now then, obviously tanks don’t get that choice. They’re always in front of the boss, and as such will get parried sometimes. With this in mind, as a tank, you’re probably NEVER going to go for the 15% expertise level. The reason for this is because Death Strike cannot be parried. Basically, the most important ability that factors in your survival stops at 7.5% expertise, so why go higher?

Haste: Haste is a funny thing for Death Knights. Actually, it’s been a funny thing for a lot of classes since 5.0, but that’s not what i’m writing about. Haste makes our weapon swing faster, that’s the obvious part. Haste also plays a part in our rune regeneration, so it’s something that has the potential to be a big deal for all of the specs.

Frost 2-handed/Unholy - Haste is the biggest stat for 2-handers. Because of the way things work currently, haste will contribute more runes for you to hit the big button (either obliterate or scourge strike) more often. It also contributes more, proportionally, to your swing speed since you start off with a much slower speed.

Frost Dual-Wield - Prior to 5.0, haste was the big deal for all three DPS specs, but it doesn’t work like that anymore… more on that later.

Mastery: Mastery continues to be an interesting stat to look at across the board for all three specs of Death Knight.

Blood – Mastery is the king of the frickin hill for tanks. Death Strike is your mainstay of survivability, and mastery increases the percentage of your death strike that gets turned into a shield. For instance, i’m currently sitting at about 130% mastery, so to put it in easier to digest numbers… if my DS heals me for 10,000 then I will generate a shield for 13,000.

Unholy – Sadly, mastery is kind of the bottom of the heap for unholy specced DKs, and i’ll tell you why. Haste not only contributes to your swing speed and rune regeneration, but it ALSO contributes to your minion’s swing speed. It double dips, sort of. Crit has the same thing in that it increases your crit, as well as your ghoul’s crit. Mastery increases shadow damage, and while a significant portion of YOUR damage is shadow damage, your minion does NOT deal shadow damage.

Frost - Frost is a funny thing. If you are a dual-wielding frost DK, then mastery is going to be your kingpin. With Frost Strike being your heavy hitter (and dealing actual FROST damage instead of weapon damage like Obliterate), then mastery just makes your hardest hitter… hit harder. Conversely, for the 2-handed frosty DKs, frost strike is a much lower portion of your damage overall, so you don’t benefit as much from mastery.

Crit: Crit is, by and large, a pretty simple stat that is worthless to 3/4 of the Death Knight specs.

Unholy – As I mentioned before, Unholy is the only spec that really gets any actual benefit from crit. It’s not a strong a stat for you as haste is, but it IS stronger than Mastery in that your minion will double dip from any extra crit you already have. It’s relatively useless for Frost because most of your crits are going to come from Killing Machine procs, and it’s even more useless for Blood because your job is staying alive, not putting out big numbers… although we ALL KNOW that you’re tending to do both right now. So why do you need crit anyway, huh? Greedy.

Dodge/Parry: This is only going to be found on tank gear. If you’re an unholy or frost DK, and you have either of these on your gear, then you are doing it WRONG.

Now then, to break it down, the varied specs stat priorities SHOULD look like this.

Blood – Hit/Exp cap* > Mastery > Parry** > Dodge > crit/haste.

*I know that in a previous post I said that 7.5% hit/exp may not be the best way to go for raiding, and in fact I still stand by that feeling. However, to be completely optimal, you DO want to eliminate all chance for death strike to miss, so 7.5% hit and 7.5% expertise is the OPTIMAL way to go, but between 4-5% of each is definitely satisfactory.

**As it stands currently, Parry is more valued than dodge because we have a higher value of baseline dodge (with zero gear on). About twice as much, actually. That in mind, we want to have about twice as much parry as we do dodge, because it will take that much more for the diminishing returns to even out. It’s also worth noting that the 4% parry given from Rune of Swordshattering does NOT SUFFER from diminishing returns… it’s a free 4%.

Frost 2-handed – Hit/Exp cap > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Frost Dual-Wield – Hit/Exp cap > Mastery > Haste > Crit

Unholy – Hit/Exp cap > Haste > Crit > Mastery

It should be noted that these priorities COULD be wrong. They are based on what I know and understand about the various specs with my own personal experience, but I have no math to back them up because… well, honestly i’m not very good with the maths. I don’t have stat weights for any of these. They are just “X is better than Y” in black and white, because that’s generally how it works.

Mogu’shan Vaults gear for Blood DKs

19 Oct

Now that Mogu’shan Vaults has been live for a couple weeks, and everything is out on LFR, I figured now was as good a time as any to put together the next gear list for t14 raiding. I’ll make a new gear list for Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear in the near future (probably around the times that those hit LFR as well).

As always, I prioritize hit/exp and mastery on all my gear. Dodge and parry are still good stats, but mastery is the top of the food chain for DKs at the moment, and it doesn’t get any worse the better your gear gets like dodge/parry do (diminishing returns are a bitch).

I’m going to change it up a wee bit and go down the line boss by boss instead of by gear slot.

The Stone Guard:

Beads of the Mogu’shi – This one is pretty much the exact counter to the VP necklace, so if you find yourself needing more dodge or expertise, go with the drop. If you find yourself needing more parry or hit, go with the valor buy.

Jasper Clawfeet - These are clearly meant to be DPS boots, but the mastery still makes them desirable for us. Only take them if you’ve had absolute shit luck for boot drops, and you’re not taking them from a plate DPS who could put them to better use. The socket, and baseline mastery make them better than the Sha of Anger’s quest boots, but still… don’t take them from a DPS.

Star-Stealer Waistguard - This belt is just plain sexy. Two sockets (plus a third from the belt buckle) mean MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF MASTERY. Also, it comes with mastery on it. There’s no reason to bypass this belt. Roll on it and pray for lucky dice.

Feng the Accursed:

Bracers of the Six Oxen - These are about equivalent to the VP bracers, with the exception of the hit. If you need more hit, go with the VP buys, if not, go with the drop.

Gara’jal the Spiritbinder:

Sollerets of Spirit Splitting - If you’ve made it this far, these boots are worth waiting for, and definitely better than the Jasper Clawfeet off of Stone Guard.

The Spirit Kings:

Breastplate of the Kings’ Guard - This is another item, clearly meant for DPS (haste what ew), but is still pretty good for us, since it has buckets of mastery. There’s also a BIG number of haste to reforge into something more beneficial (296 rating to turn into dodge/parry/hit/expertise)

Shoulderguards of the Unflanked - Red sockets weird me out on tank pieces, but even still this is a good shoulder piece. No mastery in it though, which is a shame really.

Elegon:

Band of Bursting Novas - A pretty solid ring, which seems to be another slot that we are going to have trouble filling in this first raid. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Vial of Dragon’s Blood - This trinket is *awesome*. Seriously, loads of mastery, and a huge dodge proc, and nothing to use manually? *sexy*. I would burn multiple coins on this trinket if I could. Very amazing.

Starshatter - This being the only two-handed strength weapon puts us in an awkward place, because all the DPS warriors, ret pallies, and dps DKs will all be fighting over this weapon. Stand your ground though, because it is BiS for all of you (until Terrace and Heart are released anyway).

Will of the Emperor -

Chestguard of Eternal Vigilance - The only real tank drop off the final boss of Mogu’shan Vaults. At least it’s a pretty good one, but the red and blue sockets are still weird as hell to me.

 

Itemization continues to be a weird-as-hell thing coming into the first raid of this expansion. I did discover, arbitrarily, that about 90% of our strength is converted into parry rating, however. That would explain a lot of the “Strength” socket bonuses on tank gear i’m seeing lately, but it’s still just… REALLY weird I don’t even know. It seems like they’re trying to have something for everybody, and while that’s GOOD, it tends to make itemization weird for us DKs who prioritize mastery above the rest of the planet, compared to, say Prot Pallies who have a *really* weird stat priority system. (Apparently they like haste now? I don’t even know). Anyway, Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear are released in a couple weeks, so expect to see follow-up posts regarding those two raids in the near future!

MoP Rep Gear – Bears & DKs

25 Aug

So when writing my gear lists last week, I stumbled across something unexpected. It turns out that there are 4 factions who have rep gear, purchasable with VP, that is 489 ilvl epics. Of course, these are probably going to be gear pieces you would be interested in, but which factions have the best pieces for you? Which factions should you focus on, or ignore?

It’s worth noting that each of these factions ALSO have ilvl 450 blue gear, that is purchasable with JP at honored. It’s possible that you may run across honored without even trying, so these may be an early, good way to boost your ilvl getting ready for heroics as well. I will mention each faction, and what they offer to both DKs and bears, much in a similar way that my other lists were formatted, except they will be by faction instead of by gear slot.

Golden Lotus - In addition to some nice gear, the Golden Lotus also have mounts purchasable at exalted. Win!

Guardian Druids – Bears *really* clean up with the Golden Lotus. The 489 shoulders and chestpiece are about as nice as you can find outside of raiding (and would probably only be replaced by tier pieces. I haven’t honestly looked at tier itemization yet). Also, feel free to pick up the ring. Haste may be garbage, but jewelry has always been one of those hard to find, harder to replace pieces.

Surehand Grips – 450 gloves. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Amulet of Swirling Mists - 450 neck. Haste/Mastery, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis – 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Imperion Spaulders – 489 shoulders. Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi)

Softfoot Silentwrap – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 agi)

Anji’s Keepsake – 489 ring. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – The weird itemization we saw in heroic blues continues on here for DKs. Why they have strength as a socket bonus on a clearly-tank item is beyond me. Perhaps they changed the Str-to-Parry conversion rate to make it far more attractive… I dunno. Anyway, Either 489 chest will work out for you, just depending on which you prefer to have more of. It probably would be worthwhile to pick up both and swap them out according to what feels better to you.

Serrated Forearm Guards – 450 wrist. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Gorget of Usurped Kings – 450 neck. Dodge/Hit, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis - 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Cuirass of the Twin Monoliths – 489 chest. Dodge/Expetise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Dawnblade’s Chestguard – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Shoulders of Autumnlight – 489 shoulders. Dodge/Expertise, yellow socket (90 stam)

Alani’s Inflexible Ring – 489 ring. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Shado-Pan – The Shado-Pan also have some mounts purchasable at exalted. The cloaks alone make these guys worth working on until revered, at the very least… besides, their mounts look effing SWEET.

Guardians – I know the “Hawkmaster’s Talon” has a kind of bunk on-use ability, but that much agi is hard for anybody to pass up, and it would be well worth a pick up on fights where you spend a lot of time DPS-bear’ing instead of actively tanking.

Tough Mushanhide Leggings – 450 legs. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Mark of the Dancing Crane – 450 ring. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Red Smoke Bandana – 489 head. Hit/Mastery, meta/blue socket (180 agi)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Hawkmaster’s Talon – 489 trinket. 1079 agi, 15s haste use.

Blackguard Cape – 489 cloak. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Blood DKs – Nothing special here really. I’m surprised to see such a big stam socket bonus on the helmet, but I expect that’ll be corrected sooner or later. Again, this is still beta.

Thunderstone Ring – 450 ring. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Yi’s Least Favorite Helmet – 489 head. Dodge/Mastery, mega/blue socket (270 stam)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage - 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Yi’s Cloak of Courage – 489 cloak. Parry/Mastery, no trinket.

The August Celestials - More awesome (flying!) mounts that kinda remind me of Mushu. These guys have your “stepping stone” blue cloaks before picking up the 489′s from the Shado-Pan.

Guardians – Nothing particularly noteworthy here. It would figure that somewhere along the line we would have a VP purchase with haste on it… Arginfriggin boots.

Bladesong Cloak – 450 cloak. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Refurbished Zandalari Vestment – 450 chest. Haste/Expertise, no socket.

Fingers of the Lonliest Monk – 489 gloves. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Quilpaw Family Bracers – 489 gloves. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Tukka-Tuk’s Hairy Boots – 489 boots. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – Standard valor point gear here. Nothing spectacular to see.

Cloak of the Silent Mountain – 450 cloak. Parry/Expertise, no socket.

Leggings of Ponderous Advance – 450 legs. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Battle Shadow Bracers – 489 wrist. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Gloves of Overwhelming Swarm – 489 gloves. Parry/Mastery, no socket.

Yu’lon Guardian Boots – 489 boots. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

The Klaxxi - This appears to be one of the few factions that has level 90 weapons for sale with rep, and the only place that the Alliance can get a scorpion mount. They do have the 489 necklaces for sale as well, so they’re definitely worth sinking time into.

Guardians – The belt is weird, with a crit rating socket bonus, but whatever. Drop whatever kinda gem you like in there.

Cruel Mercy Bracers – 450 wrist. Crit/Mastery

Choker of the Klaxxi’va – 489 neck. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Dreadsworn Slayer Legs – 489 legs. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 agi)

Klaxxi Lash of the Borrower – 489 belt. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 crit)

Blood DKs – The Klaxxi are weird, in the direction of tanks. They have mastery on two pieces of plate that are clearly meant for DPS. Take your pick, I suppose.

Chestplate of the Stone Lion – 450 chest. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Klaxxi Lash of the Consumer – 489 waist. Parry/Hit, blue socket (60 parry).

Kovok’s Riven Legguards – 489 legs. Dodge/Expertise, red socket (60 str).

Paragon’s Pale Pendant – 489 neck. Parry/Hit, no socket.

In general, this is your basic, JP/VP gear list, with the added oddity of needing rep to buy these items as well. In addition  to that, the JP pieces are lower ilvl than what you get from heroic dungeons… VERY weird if you ask me, but whatever I suppose. I’m not sure how it’ll work out, by and large, but I assume either people will buy these items or they won’t. I suppose it doesn’t much matter anyway, because when the second full content patch of MoP comes out, we’ll be largely ignoring these items anyway.

Mists of Pandaria – Pre-raid gear for Blood DKs

21 Aug

I debated with myself for a while whether or not I was going to write one of these, but I figured, “why the hell not?” I’ve seen several gear lists floating around, but they’re mostly for healers and such. I honestly hadn’t seen a single pre-raid gear list for bears OR blood DKs, so… why not me, right? Anyway, gearing up a blood DK will, by and large, not be any different come MoP than it is today. There may be a little more call for hit/expertise, but generally it’s going to be Mastery > All else. Avoidance (dodge/parry) are still going to come out on top of hit/expertise, but by a lesser margin than before… although, admittedly, it will still probably be a larger margin than it is for bears.

Anyway, same deal goes here as it did for the bear list. This is all PRE-raid gear. Heroics, craftables, and BoEs. You *shouldn’t* have to step into any raid to get any of the gear on this list. That said, this is still beta info, and is subject to change at any time really. Here’s hoping that with just over a month till Mists, that this won’t change much. Any crafted epics (with the exception of trinkets) are pretty much ALWAYS going to be better than heroic blues simply because of stat scale. More stam and more str (which means more parry), and generally, better sockets as well.

Chestpieces -

Durable Plate of the Golden Lotus – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from a dungeon quest maybe?

Hateshatter Chestplate – Expertise/Mastery, red socket (60 str). Drops from Taren Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Canine Commander’s Breastplate – Dodge/Parry, blue socket (60 str.) Drops from Houndmaster Braun, in H-Scarlet Halls.

Breastplate of Wracking Souls – Parry/Expertise, blue socket (60 parry). Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

Breastplate of Ancient Steel – 476 epic. Dodge/Mastery, 2 yellow sockets (180 stam). Blacksmithing.

Unyiedlding Bloodplate – 496 epic. Dodge/Mastery. 2 blue sockets (180 stam). Blacksmithing.

As far as the blue items go, the winner of this slot is the Breastplate of Wracking Souls. 60 parry is a… weird socket bonus, but with a blue socket, you could drop a Mastery/Stam (green) gem in, or simply ignore it and go for pure mastery. The Canine Commander’s Breastplate is an oddity, at best, because it gives you a strength socket bonus, but has dodge and parry. It’s not terrible, really, but it would probably be one to avoid. Of course, if you can afford it, the Unyielding Bloodplate is unquestionably the way to go, just for pure stat numbers alone.

Boots -

Stonestep Boots – Dodge/Hit, yellow socket (60 str). Drops from Lorewalker Stonestep in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Wraithplate Treads – Parry/Mastery, yellow socket (60 str). Drops from Jandice Barov in H-Scholomance.

More odd socket bonuses found, in two pieces that have CLEAR tank stats, but give strength for their socket bonus. I guess it doesn’t matter much, as they’re both yellow gem slots, so go to town. Technically, the Wraithplate Treads are better (because mastery), but you could pretty safely pick up either one and be okay.

Gloves -

Hive Protector’s Gauntlets – Hit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Raigonn in H-Gate of the Setting Sun

Gauntlets of Resolute Fury – Dodge/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Mastery Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Axebreaker Gauntlets – Parry/Hit, no socket. Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Gauntlets of Ancient Steel – 476 epic. Parry/Mastery, red socket (60 dodge). Blacksmithing.

Gauntlets of Battle Command – 496 epic. Parry/Mastery, red socket (60 parry). Blacksmithing.

To be perfectly honest, either of the first two would be the ones I pick up. Dodge/Mastery wins out, but i’m sure you’ll want SOME amount of hit rating at the start of things. Make your own choice to fit your own gear. At first, I almost scanned right by the crafted gloves, but either one of those will do you better than any of the blues. Again, use your own judgement and based on what you can afford.

Helmets -

Sightfinder Helm – Crit/Mastery, meta, red socket (180 str). Drops from Commander Vo’jak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Helm of Rising Flame – Parry/Hit, meta, blue socket (180 str). Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Reinforced Retinal Armor – 476 epic. Variable stats through cogwheels, meta & 2 cogwheel sockets (180 str). Engineering ONLY.

The crafted helm is probably better left to DPS, but you could put an obscene amount of mastery on this helm through cogwheels if you like. The Str/Stam is, of course, a solid amount higher than the heroic blues. Speaking of, at first sight, Sightfinder Helm appears to be better suited to plate DPS (and it probably is), but I included it for 2 reasons… First – it still has mastery on it, and second, there’s really only one other plate tanky helm if you’re NOT an engineer. Feel free to grab whichever one you prefer.

Leggings -

Sap-Encrusted Legplates - Dodge/Parry, blue socket (60 parry). Drops from Vizier Jin’bak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Legplates of Durable Dreams - 476 epic. Hit/Haste, no sockets. BoE.

Those legplates may be labelled epic, but they kind of fall short of really convincing me of it. No socket, whereas the blue pants DO have them? Also, hit and haste… You’d probably be better off going with the heroic blues instead… I know what I said at the beginning of this blogpost, but this time, honestly, you’re not getting anything BUT more str/stam. It hardly seems worth it. Don’t waste your money on the BoE’s unless you’re looking to fill out an offset (and even then, you could probably do better).

Shoulders -

Spaulders of Immovable Stone – Dodge/Parry, red socket (60 parry). Drops from Wing Leader Ner’onok in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Vigorsteel Spaulders – Parry/Hit, red socket (60 hit). Drops from Darkmaster Gandling in H-Scholomance.

Spaulders of the Scorned – 476 epic. Parry/Mastery, no socket. BoE.

I’m a little thrown off by some of the weird itemization shown here. 2 out of 3 pieces with no mastery, red sockets on tank plate, one piece with a “Hit” socket bonus, and the highest ilvl piece with NO socket. /headshake. In spite of the lack of socket, the 476 shoulders are most likely your best bet, if you can find them. I don’t know where they drop, so prices will most likely be high for some time. Of course, the Vigorsteel Spaulders are still a fair alternative, because of hit rating as it’s side stat, and socket bonus. If you’re looking for blues, feel free to go whichever direction you prefer.

Belts -

Sparkbreath Girdle – Dodge/Parry, no socket. BoP zone drop from H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Waistplate of Imminent Resurrection – Dodge/Expertise, no socket. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

This would be another flip of the coin, depending on if you prefer pure avoidance, or having some threat stats to help your self healing along. Sparkbreath will probably be easier to find, as it technically can drop off *any* mob in Shado-Pan.

Bracers -

Bubble-Breaker Bracers – Dodge/Parry, no socket. Drops from Hoptallus in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Ri’Mok’s Shattered Scale – Dodge/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Commander Ri’mok in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

A lot of the same itemization. No mastery in this slot, again, has me a bit confused, but sure… why not. Pick up whichever fits your preference better.

Cloaks -

Soulrender Greatcloak – Dodge/Parry, no sockets. Drops from Thalnos the Soulrender in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Phantasmal Drape - Dodge/Hit, no sockets. Drops from Jandice Barov in H-Scholomance.

Zom’s Rain-Staned Cloak – 476 epic. Dodge/Expertise, no sockets. BoE.

Finally some pieces that favor dodge over parry… From what i’ve seen, you’ll probably be sitting on more parry than dodge, so any of these would be good to pick up (but of course, I could be completely wrong. Base it off of your own gear requirements, of course). The winner is, of course, the 476 purple.

Necks -

Necklace of the Dark Blaze – Dodge/Expertise, no sockets. BoP zone drop from H-Scholomance.

Armsmaster’s Sealed Locket – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Armsmaster Harlan in H-Scarlet Halls.

Durable Necklace of the Golden Lotus – 489 epic. Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Quest Reward in Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

The 489 necklace as a quest reward is a curiosity (but it’s by far the best)… it makes me wonder if I bypassed one for bears when doing my other gear list (i’ll have to make another list because it turns out there ARE several things I did miss… I’ll make a secondary post to hopefully encompass both bears and DKs before this weekend, I think.) I’m assuming that quest reward is going to be your big thing for finishing the entire zone up, but it seems worthwhile, even bypassing the Raid Finder necklaces.

Rings -

Crystallized Droplet – Dodge/Hit, no sockets. Drops from Wise Mari in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Lime-Rimmed Signet – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Always go for the mastery, folks.

Trinkets – As per usual, folks, these are going to vary a lot depending on your personal preference, and your guild/raid group’s setup, as to which trinkets you prefer. I’ll do my best to list the viable ones, of course.

Iron Protector Talisman - 1270 Stamina, 15s dodge proc. Drops from Gekkan in H-Mogu’Shan Palace.

Heart of Fire - 847 Mastery, 20s dodge use. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Bitterest Balebrew / Bubbliest Brightbrew Charms – 470 epics. 1356 stam, pointless use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (during Brewfest ONLY).

Brawler’s Statue – 470 epic. 904 Dodge, 20s dodge use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (during Brewfest ONLY)

Relic of Niuzao - 476 epic. 12s dodge use. Darkmoon Ox Deck.

As I mentioned in the Bear gear lists, the darkmoon trinket is exceedingly disappointing for it’s item level. Yes, the on-use ability is a LOT of dodge (about 10% if these numbers I have are correct), but with no base stats to back it up, and nothing to reforge into/out of, then that’s ALL it is… and that leaves it just being pretty mediocre, especially given what it’s liable to cost for at least the first few months of MoP. If it were me personally, i’d shoot for the Talisman and the Heart of Fire, and try to pick up the Brawler’s Statue as well to hold on to as back up (extra mastery, since you can reforge that base 904 dodge). Feel free to pick up whichever you like though.

Weapons – Weapons are funny things for DKs… they always have been. I’m not going to list every single 2h strength weapon, but if they have a stat we can make GOOD use of (mastery/hit/expertise/dodge/parry), then it’ll go in the list.

Warmace of Taran Zhu – Crit/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Taran Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Lightbreaker Greatsword – Expertise/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Mograine’s Immaculate Might – Haste/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Flameweaver Koegler in H-Scarlet Halls.

Gravetouch Greatsword – Hit/Crit, no sockets. Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

Goresoaked Headreaper – Crit/Expertise, no sockets. Drops from Rattlegore in H-Scholomance.

Masterwork Spiritblade Decimator - Crit/Mastery, no sockets. Blacksmithing.

Mogu’Dar, Blade of the Thousand Slaves – 476 Epic. Hit/Crit, no sockets. BoE.

Aside from the 476 pulling away based on Str/Stam alone, your best choice here would be the Lightbreaker Greastword. Haste and Crit are useless stats for Blood DKs as a whole, and all of these items has at least *one* of them, except that sword. Expertise/Mastery is hardly the ideal combination, but given the cirucmstances, it would be the one to shoot for until the price on Mogu’Dar goes down, or you happen to have BOATLOADS to drop on a BoE… or you get painfully lucky.

Now then, I mentioned earlier that I would have to make a follow-up post to this, and I will… I discovered only a few hours ago that there will be items from rep vendors that will be purchasable at Revered with valor points. When I started making these gear lists last week, I *completely* omitted VP gear, because I wasn’t entirely sure where it was… it wasn’t showing up as it normally does in Wowhead’s gear listings, so I just completely overlooked it. Now that I know exactly what i’m looking for (rep gear, not vendor gear) I will make a follow-up before this weekend, probably encompassing both bears and blood DKs, covering the rep items I passed up.

Mists of Pandaria – Pre-raid gear for bears.

18 Aug

In keeping with tradition (I did it pre Cata, and when Firelands came out), I am setting up a shopping list for you Guardian types out there. This will consist of Heroic 5-man gear, and crafted epics only. I’m not including Raid Finder gear because well… it’s still raiding, isn’t it? ;D  Blue heroic gear is 463, raid finder non-tier gear appears to be 476, where as LFR tier sits at 483, and normal tier sits at 496. This list is as inclusive as I can make it, but there’s a good chance I will miss something, or get something wrong, because I have very little information on some items.

In case you’re wondering why i’m doing it in such an odd order, it’s the order wowhead has their filters set up. This way I don’t get myself mixed up (cause it’ll happen). When possible, I will also include where the item can be acquired.

Chestpieces -

Nimbletoe Chestguard – Crit/Haste, blue socket (60 agi). Drops from Ook-Ook in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Korloff’s Raiment – Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Delicate Chestguard of the Golden Lotus - Crit/Mastery, no socket. Unknown drop location at this time. (A dungeon quest maybe?)

Greyshadow Chestguard – 476 Epic. Crit/Mastery, 2 yellow sockets (120 agi). Leatherworking.

Chestguard of Nemeses – 496 Epic. Crit/Mastery, Red & Blue socket (120 mast). Leatherworking.

The obvious winner is going to be the Chestguard of Nemeses just for sheer ilvl/stats, but it will probably be scary expensive to craft for some time. The Greyshadow Chestguard is a much more reasonable (and STILL quite good) alternative, even if you’re losing out on quite a bit of stats. As far as the 463s go, I would pick “Korloff’s Raiment” above the others for the time being. Crit is turning out to be one of our most desired stats for rage generation, to keep Savage Defense uptime high, and Hit is… well… Hit. I can’t imagine we’ll be drowning in it through our first tier of raiding (we NEVER are), so that’s the option I would go with, dropping an agi/crit or agi/dodge gem into the socket. If you DO pick up the 496, then go with one straight agi red gem, and one agi/stam, agi/hit, or agi/exp for the blue socket.

Boots -

Boots of Plummeting Death - Haste/Expertise, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Dashing Strike Treads – Crit/Mastery, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Haste is still a stat we don’t have much need for, although the expertise is nice. I would still shoot for the boots from Whitemane.

Gloves -

Hound Trainer’s Gloves – Expertise/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Houndmaster Braun in H-Scarlet Halls.

Tombstone Gauntlets – Hit/Haste, no sockets. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling(?) in H-Scholomance.

Greyshadow Gloves – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 crit). Leatherworking.

Murderer’s Gloves – 496 epic. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 agi). Leatherworking.

Mastery > Haste, so go for the gloves in Scarlet Monastary if you’re shopping for blues. Otherwise, naturally, the 496 > 476 > blues.

Helm -

Windblast Helm – Haste/Mastery, meta/red socket (180 agi). Drops from Wing Leader Ner’onok in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Soulburner Crown – Hit/Crit, meta/yellow socket (180 agi). Drops from Lillian Voss in H-Scholomance.

Agile Retinal Armor – 476 epic. Meta/2 cogwheels (180 agi). Engineering *only*.

If you’re an engineer, the choice is clear (hey that rhymes). If you’re NOT an engineer… well the choice is still pretty clear. Soulburner Crown wins out this battle of the blues.

Legs -

Wall-Breaker Legguards – Expertise/Mastery, red socket (60 mastery). Drops from Raigonn in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Ghostwoven Legguards – Crit/Haste, yellow socket (60 haste). Drops from Jandice Barov(?) in H-Scholomance.

As usual, leave all that haste to the rogues, kitties, and maybe monks. Go for the Wall-breakers.

Shoulders -

Fizzy Spaulders – Crit/Haste, red socket (60 haste). Drops from Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Doubtridden Shoulderguards – Hit/Expertise, red socket (60 expertise). Drops from Sha of Doubt in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Seeing an item with expertise as a socket bonus is… weird to me. Nevertheless, those are the ones you want to pick up. Pure threat stats, with a threat socket bonus… weird.

Belt -

Belt of Brazen Inebriation – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Hoptallus in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Icewrath Belt – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

There’s really no wrong answer with these belts. If you want the pure threat stats, or if you want the mitigation stats… just flip a coin.

Bracers -

Saboteur’s Stabilizing Bracers – Haste/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’talak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Lightblade Bracer – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Armsmaster Harlan in H-Scarlet Halls.

I think by now you can probably figure it out. Haste is bad, mmkay? ;D

Cloaks -

Wind-Soaked Drape – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Wise Mari in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Aerial Bombardment Cloak – Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from General Pa’valak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

This is pretty well a tossup, depending more on how comfortable you are with your hit rating than anything else.

Necklace -

Engraved Amber Pendant – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Vizier Jin’bak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Scorched Scarlet Key – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Flameweaver Koegler in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Another winning piece with only hit/expertise on it. No complaints here, because the lower tiers always seemed to be lacking hit and expertise in general anyway.

Rings -

Signet of Dancing Jade – Crit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Liu Flameheart in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Seal of Hateful Meditation – Hit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Taran Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Pulled Grenade Pin – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’tilak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Seal of Ghoulish Glee – 470 epic. Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from the Headless Horseman (Halloween event ONLY)

Perculia’s Peculiar Signet – 476 epic. Hit/Haste, no socket. World drop, i’m assuming? BoE so you’ll see it on the AH at some point.

Even though haste is “bad”, the extra agi/stam outweighs it, so if you can pick up the two epics without too much trouble (financial or otherwise) then by all means, use them. Otherwise, Dancing Jade, or Grenade Pin are the blue rings of choice here.

Trinkets – (It’s worth noting that these may be a little harder to quantify, and will most likely rely more on your personal tastes as a tank as to which ones you want)

Windswept Pages – 847 Agi. 20 second haste proc.

Searing Words – 847 Crit rating. 25 second agi proc. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling in H-Scholomance.

Flashing Steel Talisman – 847 Hit rating. 15 second agi use. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Heart of Fire – 847 Mastery rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Iron Protector Talisman – 1270 Stamina. Dodge proc. Drops from Gekkan in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Brawler’s Statue – 470 epic. 904 Dodge rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (Brewfest event ONLY)

Bubbliest Brightbrew / Bitterest Balebrew Charms – 1356 Stamina. Pointless use abilities. Drops from Coren Direbrew (Brewfest event ONLY)

Relic of Xuen – 476 epic. 956 Agi. 15 second agility proc. Darkmoon Tiger deck.

Relic of Nuzao - 476 epic. 12 second dodge use. Darkmoon Ox deck.

As I mentioned, a lot of these are going to vary based on personal preference, experience, or your group’s needs. That having been said, I would stay away from Relic of Nuzao unless you can get it EXCEEDINGLY cheap. For the 2nd expansion in a row, the tank-specific DMC is flat out disappointing (WotLK didn’t even *have* one)… and THIS one doesn’t even have anything to reforge out of that you could find useful. Save your money. Xuen, on the other hand, could be VERY good for agility-heavy bears. I tend to favor one stam, one avoidance/mitigation trinket. So for me, something like Iron-Protector Talisman and Heart of Fire would be the perfect combination. Mix and match to your tastes.

Weapons -

Ghostheart – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Amber Spear of Klaxxi’vess – Hit/Haste, no socket. Requires The Klaxxi – Exalted.

Spear of Xuen – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Archaeology.

Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff – Expertise/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Firestorm Greatstaff – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Inscribed Tiger Staff – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, no socket. Inscription (bind to bnet account)

If you have a scribe, for sure, go for the Inscribed Tiger Staff. If you don’t, then the Spear of Xuen or Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff are probably your best bet. As it is, you have plenty of options between staves and polearms, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a solid weapon… just those are the BEST ones for bears.

As a side note, this entire list could, more than likely, be applied to Brewmaster Monks just as easily, but I didn’t specify them because I’m not anywhere near as familiar with their stat priorities. Do they like haste? Do they prefer more mastery and less crit? I honestly don’t know…  I haven’t much kept up.

One other thing to note is that NONE of these items are bought by JP. When I first wrote this gear list, I didn’t see any JP items for sale in the list, and only recently did I discover why. JP items are actually lower level than heroic 5-man drops. They are ilvl 450, and they ALSO all require rep. I won’t include the list here (because this post is long enough), but you can find the complete listing of JP/Rep 450 gear here. Also, as of the last beta build (it may have changed, but I don’t know for sure) the requirement for level 90 heroics was ilvl 440, and LFR requires 463.

Max Level PvP

8 Jul

I’ve written several posts in the past about lowbie pvp and twinking and things like that. There’s been a big discussion on twitter this morning about max-level pvp, and I mentioned that none of my max-level toons have any pvp gear. This seemed a bit strange to me, considering my recent spazzmoid of lowbie pvp posts lately, so I sat for a bit and thought about *why* i didn’t get into capped pvp.

I actually tried to get into pvp on my druid back in Wrath. It was the end of the expansion, and while we were still actively raiding, we had ICC on farm and were mostly going back for achievements like Ulduar drakes and things of that nature. So, in my downtime between raids, I decided to go into BGs to see what that was like. Sure, I didn’t have any pvp gear, but i was a damn good geared tank, and I felt like I could be pretty survivable like that, meanwhile going into kitty and doing some pretty good damage (because agility conversions for ferals are win). And I did okay. I wasn’t spectacular, and I *definitely* wasn’t topping charts for KBs/HKs/Damage or anything of that nature, but I did… modestly well. I also found out that I absolutely LOVE Strand of the Ancients… but that’s beside the point.

To me, the problem with getting into max level pvp has always been the gating system. You need pvp gear to perform well in pvp. You *could* argue that the same is true for pve (whether it be heroics or raiding or whatever), and you would be right, but the gating system is a lot more severe into pvp than it is to pve. Let me put this another way. When you first ding 85 on your toon, if you want to go the PvE path, you’ve already got a bit of JP saved up (most likely) from doing 5 man randoms, and probably some halfway-decent dungeon gear. You may or may not be able to get into level 85 heroics as soon as you ding, but if you CAN’T, then it’s a pretty easy fix. Run a couple more regulars hoping for good drops, or go buy some BoEs off of the auction house. You then run heroics for Valor points and heroic drops, working your way into LFR level, which you run for LFR-raid drops, and take THOSE into normal raids (some people can bypass the LFR altogether, if their raid team isn’t overly picky. It just depends I suppose).

So that progression looks something like: Ding 85 > Normal 5-mans > Heroics 5-mans > LFR (optional) > Raiding

Now, let’s take this SAME fresh 85, and decide we want to pvp with him instead. Naturally, your first instinct is to just queue into BGs and run them until your head falls off. Or you get enough Honor/Conquest for some good gear, whichever comes first (to me, they’re almost parallel). You may be able to buy some BoEs off of the AH for some blue 372 (i think?) ilvl crafted pvp gear, and you may convert some of your saved up JP from running dungeons to honor (AT A LOSS mind you) to buy a piece or two of gear. Hell, you may even have some honor saved up from just doing BGs at the lower level queues, so you might be able to get yourself a good 3-4 pieces between honor, jp converted to honor, and boe crafted shit on the AH. So you step into your first BG with your horridly mismatched gear.

Now here’s where the roads start to pull apart, pretty heavily. See, the pve person knows what he’s getting into. He’s facing a normal/heroic 5-man boss, which is attuned to right around his gear level. The pvp person, on the other hand, has NO CLUE what he would be getting into when he steps into that bg. He may run across a couple other people who are similarly geared, but at the same time he may run into a raid-boss equivalent DK with full Cataclysmic Gladiator gear, and the top weapon from Dragon Soul raid, who will basically laugh at your attempts to stab/shoot/cast him, and blow you up like an old M-80. So your pvp toon needs to deal with all difficulties, gear levels, and all kinds of shit running the gamut from other fresh 85s to arena masters, and in doing so, scraping up enough honor for himself in between massive amounts of dying to buy himself some pvp gear and eventually stepping into arenas or rated BGs.

So the pvp progression looks something like: Ding 85 > Run BGs > Run moar BGs > Arenas = Rated BGs.

Are you starting to see the discrepancy here? Your pve 85 can’t step into Dragon Soul and expect to meaningfully contribute, but you also won’t be seeing Ultraxion when you queue up for Heroic SFK either. Conversely, your pvp 85 can’t step into any BGs and expect to meaningfully contribute, but there’s a VERY real chance that you WILL see an arena-geared individual… or several. Hell, if you’re really unlucky, you’ll step in and face a full on premade and at this point you might as well just expect to get blown up a lot and hope you can take a few of them down for some honor until they decide to win.

Blizzard has tried, and probably will continue to try, to make gating into PvP less and less painful, and to a point i’m sure they WILL succeed, but it’s always going to be the same way, because there is no logical “pre-heroic” step. The best way to get pvp gear is to just jump in and pvp, and get kicked around a lot until you can scrape together enough points to buy stuff that make you effective. It’s kind of a flawed system, and honestly I don’t have any legitimate way to fix it. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that just any shmuck should be able to dive right into BGs at level cap and be able to own face the minute they hit 85, but I do feel like there should be another step *somewhere* in there, that doesn’t require saving up 4k honor, and 4k jp (to convert to MORE honor) before you ding 85. It’s a punishing system, and that’s mainly why I don’t get into pvp at max level.

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