Wednesday, July 15, 2009

[Druid] Gearing in 3.2 - Epic gems and you

I was toying around with the old Ulduar loot weighing for bears when I realized that the old link actually pointed to the PTR data. Which was fine...until I checked the chest, and I realized we were comparing the new data from the PTR with the old.

Which...isn't that helpful. So I fixed that.

However, it brought up an interesting point - how do the tier pieces compare to the current tier pieces and hard modes? But more importantly - with epic gems, does that change anything right now? In other words, does anything get better or worse, and should you be on the lookout for anything really specific right this second?

With that all in mind, here's the current PTR comparison ranking for wowhead (for armor). Note that I haven't changed any of the specific rankings, though for 3.2 as it stands defense will slightly increase, agility and dodge will slightly decrease, and everything else should be about the same, give or take. Note also that this is in no way meant as a comprehensive list of gear and gear choices.

The most common question I've had so far is which tier piece to upgrade first - and this has been true for all gear lists ever. Well, it really depends a lot on what you have currently. Assuming you're decked out in all T8.25 gear, here's the ranking as well as the difference between T9.25 scores and T8.25 scores.

Head: 16.17
Chest: 9.4
Shoulders: 8.28
Legs: 8.25
Hands: 6.58

But that doesn't take into account how many emblems each costs. If you look at it as the difference divided by the emblem cost, you get a slightly different view:

Head: .2156
Shoulders: .184
Hands: .1462
Chest: .1253
Legs: .11

The head is still the best overall piece to upgrade (and this is going to almost certainly be true regardless of whatever hard mode gear you have) but the shoulders come in nicely in second place. The legs and chest really aren't great upgrades. Though keep the Clutch of Fortification in mind - at only 35 emblems of triumph it's likely a bigger upgrade than almost anything else you could get, unless you've been very lucky and doing very hard things in Ulduar (like Algalon questlines)

The TL:DR part of this post points out that for the most part, epic gems don't drastically change rankings - but with a couple notable exceptions. The long and short of it is that heroic drops in Ulduar hard modes are very, very competitive with what we've seen from the Coliseum - so prioritize getting these if you at all can, especially the shoulderpads of the Intruder.

  1. Titanskin Cloak - 45.33. Heroic Freya (hard)
  2. Drape of Icy Intent - 44.74. Heroic Hodir (hard)
  3. Drape of the Faceless General - 43.47 Normal Vezax (hard)
About the only change here is that all three of these get even closer to each other than they did before. Otherwise nothing special happens. And currently, Wowhead doesn't have any of the new backs.

  1. Runetotem's Rainments of Triumph (Heroic) - 100.09. Heroic Coliseum 25-man token drop.
  2. Knightbane Carapace - 95.00. Leatherworking.
  3. Embrace of the Gladiator - 92.04 Heroic Thorim (hard).
  4. Runetotem's Rainments of Triumph (normal) - 90.62. 75 Emblems of Triumph + 1 Token of the crusade.
  5. Furious Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes - 84.89. 1750 arena rating, 2150 arena points.
  6. Vest of Shifting Shadows - 81.98. Unknown location (likely 10-man normal)
  7. Runetotem's Rainments of Conquest - 81.77. 50 Emblems of Triumph.
  8. Conqueror's Nightsong Rainments - 81.22. Heroic Hodir(easy), 58 emblems of Conquest.
  9. Valorous Nightsong Rainments -76.93. Normal Yogg-Saron?(easy)
Yes, that's right. Currently the hard mode Thorim drop is better than the next tier of content's 25-man gear, and it's almost entirely because of the extra socket. Knightbane carapace is also a surprisingly strong piece for the same reason. One thing to note, above all else - unless you really, truly want that set bonus, the T8.25 chest isn't that much worse than the T9.10 chest, and if you've got it you shouldn't upgrade.

I was really surprised by how weak the new chest pieces actually are. So work on Thorim hard mode!

  1. Treads of the Icewalker (heroic) - 76.07. Heroic 25-man Coliseum.
  2. Relentless Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 66.85. Arena rating, honor.
  3. Icewalker Treads - 64.72. 25-man coliseum (likely)
  4. Runed Ironhide Boots -59.13. Heroic Iron Council(easy)
  5. Acidmaw Treads - 58.96. 10-man coliseum (likely)
  6. Footpads of Silence -57.54. Leatherworking BoE (from Heroic Ulduar pattern)
  7. Furious Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 57.48. Emalon, 62000 honor and 1500 arena rating
The main change here is that the Footpads of silence become slightly better than the PvP selection. And as before, the next best normal mode gear is PvP. Runed Ironhide boots are surprisingly durable.

  1. Clutch of Fortification - 50.53. 35 emblems of triumph.
  2. Ring of Callous Aggression - 50.15. Heroic 25-man Coliseum (likely)
  3. Fate's Clutch - 45.93. Heroic Thorim (hard)
  4. Band of the Twin Valkyr - 44.26. 10-man Valkyr twins.
  5. Mark of the Relentless - 41.68. 5-man heroic Coliseum.
  6. The Leviathan's Coil -41.49. Heroic Flame Leviathan (easy)
  7. band of the Traitor King - 41.30. 25-man Anub'arak.
  8. Brann's Signet Ring - 40.71. Quest from Heroic Algalon.
  9. Ring of Callous Aggression - 40.10. 25-man Coliseum.
  10. Dextrous Brightstone Ring - 39.24. 35 emblems of triumph.
  11. Platinum Band of the Aesir -37.76. Heroic Auriaya
  12. Loop of the Agile -37.40. Normal Iron Council (hard)
  13. Signet of Winter -37.19. Normal Hodir (easy)
  14. Gatekeeper -35.76. Heroic Sapphiron.
Another awesome item from Heroic Thorim. And yes, how Leviathan's Coil has fallen makes me sad too. Mark of the Relentless is a pretty decent drop from the new 5-man as well. But really, the thing that shocked me is how good that Clutch of Fortification is, and how cheap it is. At 35 emblems that might be one of the highest bangs for your buck you can get for your emblems - it's 15 points higher than Gatekeeper, for instance.

  1. Runetotem's Handgrips of Triumph (Heroic) - 72.30. Heroic 25-man.
  2. Runetotem's Handgrips of Triumph - 65.01. 45 emblems of triumph + 1 token of the crusade.
  3. Furious Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 59.63 Emalon, 1600 arena ranking and 1300 arena points
  4. Conqueror's Nightsong Handgrips -58.43. Heroic Mimiron(easy)
  5. Runetotem's Handgrips of Conquest - 58.32. 30 emblems of triumph.
  6. Gloves of the Endless Dark - 56.45. Normal Algalon
  7. Gloves of the Stonereaper -55.26. Heroic Auriaya
  8. Valorous Nightsong Handgrips -55.03 Normal Freya(easy)
Note that when the Relentless PvP gear pops up on wowhead, I'm sure it'll show up higher here. It's interesting that so far, there's no real reason to go from T8.25 to T9.10. Here on the glove side, it's actually a downgrade. The 25-man might be worth it as your first tier piece.

  1. Runetotem's Headguard of Triumph (heroic) - 101.85. Heroic 25-man coliseum.
  2. Runetotem's Headguard of Triumph - 92.02. 75 emblems of Triumph + Token of the crusade.
  3. Hood of Lethal Intent - 89.30. emblems of triumph.
  4. Furious Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 83.50. 1900 arena rating and 2150 arena points
  5. Runetotem's Headguard of Conquest - 82.88. 50 emblems of triumph.
  6. Garona's Guise - 77.21. Heroic Yogg-Saron
  7. Conqueror's Nightsong Headguard -75.85. Heroic Thorim(easy), emblems of conquest
Finally, a T9.10 item that's worth upgrading from T8.25! And from a pure standpoint of points, the T9.25 is much better of an upgrade over anything in Ulduar compared to the chest or gloves - 15 points. Though part of that is simply a function of there being no hardmode heads.

  1. Runetotem's Legguards of Triumph (Heroic) - 100.88. Heroic 25-man Coliseum.
  2. Runetotem's Legguards of Triumph - 91.28. 75 emblems of Triumph + 1 token of the crusade.
  3. Legguards of Cunning Deception - 90.62. Heroic Yogg-Saron (hard)
  4. Furious Gladiator's Dragonhide Legguards - 84.77. Emalon, 1700 arena rating and 2150 arena points
  5. Titan-forged leather legguards of Triumph - 84.65. Koralon, 40 WG marks.
  6. Conqueror's Nightsong Legguards -83.03. Heroic Freya (easy)
  7. Runetotem's Legguards of Conquest - 82.33. 50 emblems of triumph.
  8. Valorous Nightsong Legguards -78.76. Normal Hodir (easy)
And the trend yet again continues in the T8.25 > T9.10 gear. The T9.25 gear isn't that much of an upgrade over T8.25 either - only 8 points. The heroic hard mode legs from yogg are very competitive again thanks to having more gem slots.

  1. Legionaire's Gorget - 50.30. 25-man Valkyr.
  2. Pendulum of Infinity - 42.86. Heroic Vezax (hard)
  3. Bronze Pendant of the Vanir -41.39. Heroic Freya(hard)
  4. Mark of the Unyielding -40.17. Normal Kologarn (easy)
  5. Titanstone Pendant -38.22. Heroic Trash
  6. Shard of the Crystal Forest -37.43. Emblems of Conquest
So far, no vendor necks, so no great deals to report...yet. It's interesting to see how meh most of the necks are for bears - especially compared to the differentials in the rings.

  1. Shoulderpads of the Intruder - 71.77. Heroic Iron Council (hard)
  2. Runetotem's Shoulderpads of Triumph (Heroic) - 71.32. 25-man heroic Coliseum.
  3. Duskstalker Shoulderpads - 65.00. emblems of triumph.
  4. Runetotem's Shoulderpads of Triumph - 64.26. 45 emblems of triumph + Token of the crusade.
  5. Furious Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 60.98. 2050 arena rating and 1750 arena points
  6. Runetotem's Shoulderpads of Conquest - 57.74. 30 emblems of triumph.
  7. Conqueror's Nightsong Shoulderpads -55.98. Heroic Yogg-Saron(easy)
  8. Valorous Nightsong Shoulderpads -52.23. Normal Ulduar (easy)
Yes, that's right. The hardmode Iron Council item is better than the highest-ranked shoulders that can only drop from the hard mode of the next tier. And the reason? Entirely because of the gem sockets. Well, that, and the fact that the T9 shoulders have haste, AP and armor pen. Not exactly the most exciting stats for a bear; by comparison the Intruder have hit and expertise. Now, if you're not lucky enough to own those, upgrading the shoulder slot from T8.25 is a good thing (8.28 difference) - but you should beg your raid leader to do hard mode Iron Council until you die or until you get those.

  1. Relentless Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 66.66. Arena rating, honor.
  2. Belt of the Merciless Killer - 63.63. 25-man coliseum (likely)
  3. Soul-Devouring Cinch - 61.21. Normal Yogg-Saron (hard).
  4. Death-warmed belt -58.12. Leatherworking BoE from Heroic Ulduar
  5. Furious Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 57.38. Emalon, 1450 rating and 62000 honor
  6. Waistguard of the Creator -55.38. Heroic Mimiron(easy)
Not a lot of belt info from the PTR so far - I expect this to change soon, and I know of a couple items that aren't on here. As expected, the hard mode belt from Yogg makes out somewhat well because of the 2 gem slots, as does the crafted Death-warmed belt. Note that the Death Warmed belt will become reasonably cheap to make given that runed orbs will be like frozen orbs to buy (15 conquest badges is basically three heroics), so consider this if you're not getting lucky. But do so after 3.2 hits.

  1. Bracers of Swift Death - 49.22. Leatherworking
  2. Relentless Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 46.15.
  3. Armbands of Dark Determination - 45.38. 25-man Coliseum Valkyr.
  4. Fluxing Energy Coils - 42.04. Normal XT-002 (hard)
  5. Furious Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 39.18. Heroic Emalon, 1400 arena rating and 39400 honor
  6. Mechanist's Bindings -37.46. Heroic Leviathan (easy)
Also not a lot of revealed items so far here. While the bracers of swift death look neat, they're a bit expensive to make and likely won't be available to you for a while. Plus they're just not that big of an upgrade. Wait a bit on them.


Anonymous said...

uggg i feel like i just started ulduar.......... The t9 shoulders are great for cat deeps :)

Kalon said...

Yeah, Anon - I want to do this for cats next. My suspicion is that all the slots that look awesome for bears will be meh for cats, and vice versa. Those shoulders are stellar for cats (though again - what's with the stupid yellow socket?) but for bears, not so much.

This is something of a core problem; gear that is good for cats isn't for bears, and vice versa. Which isn't usually an issue..except when it comes to tier gear.

Anonymous said...

first thing to go after or purchase?

probably the new idol, no?

Anonymous said...

I believe it depends on your actual gear and what is the biggest upgrade, but that tanking ring for 35 emblems sure looks good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this!

Xarnen said...

Here's an interesting question regarding how some of the gear stats are weighted: In your general opinion how do you feel bears fare with damage output vs other tanks? I've found that comparably geared tanks in other classes simply do not come close to my damage output. Maybe this is part of the decision process? It gives druids that flexibility of doing solid damage as tanks and having really solid dps stats for those hybrid fights. Right now I tank XT and switch to cat on the heart phase, and also cat dps on Kologarn until the arm is broken to OT the adds. I believe Ghostcrawler recently stated that they want druids shifting more, so perhaps this is why gear is weighted as such? Not saying I like it either when it comes to overall survival with more stam/agi blue/red socketed gear..:)

Anonymous said...

Thx for the update. I must admit I'm starting not to care to some degree. Patches coming think & fast, gear upon gear upon gear, accessible through all sorts of complex ways... I'm starting to loose touch, haha.

Re the previous comment, I have the same experience too - doing a lot more damage than the other tanks. I dont care if gear is good for bear or cat anymore. Its an old discussion and I'm bored of people asking for specially itemized bear gear. Feral is too specs in one - isnt it obvious to people?! As long as its gemmed & enchanted for the right purpose, we make simply excellent tanks in the pve gear provided.

Anonymous said...

Kalon, a bit of advice if you can. I noticed that the 10man T8 Shoulders appear #6 on this list whereas the 25manT7 were higher on the old list. As many noted in the previous post T7.25 seems "better" than T8.10. Is this still the case? My T8.10 shoulder token sitting in my bank and I don't know if it is worth it to burn it on the T8.10 shoulders or use it for my moonkin off-spec (if/when I get a second moonkin T8 piece for the 2pT8 bonus to replace the 4pT7). Any thoughts?

(BTW... I was the only person in our raid who could have rolled the token... go figure it wasn't even an upgrade)

Kalon said...

Anon2 - if you have the Idol of the Corrupter, that's going to be better than the new idol thanks to the way they've changed avoidance in 3.2. I'll do an analysis of it in a bit, but the armor and crit outweigh the extra small amount of avoidance. Of course if you don't have that - well, awesome.

Xarnen - my personal experience is that my actual DPS output is similar or greater than other tanks in my guild, and significantly so compared to warriors. If I can go cat, I can go much higher - but even when I'm not it's still pretty decent. Paladins can give me a run for my money if they want to, though. But I don't think that this is blizzard's goal; I think if anything their goal is to allow all tanks to do similar things to druids.

Anon5 - I hear you there. The new loot system is going to be a huge headache. There are items that are exactly named the same...but they have different stats. Then there are two sets of items for horde and alliance that are exactly the same EXCEPT for the name. The item level change between Ulduar and this is the same as the item level change from heroics to Ulduar-25 normal modes. It's a huge gear reset and it's starting to really frustrate me.

Anon6 - this wasn't a comprehensive list, and yes - the T7.25 shoulders would be above the T8.10 ones. If I were you, I'd use the token for moonkin if you're at all inclined that way.

Anonymous said...

I thought i saw on mmo-champ that on one of the newest versions of the ptr that the tier 9 idol only had the cat function on it, and none of the tanking goodness. Due to only running 10 mans, i'm still rocking the 70 epic. Really hoping that change doesn't live through the patch.

Jheusse said...

Time for another antitank article! :)

Seriously though another good article and your timing is often superb, just as I start wondering what the future gear looks like you give me a priority list.

Since so many of the druid bloggers have quit or shifted focus, you are required to keep it up :)

Should stick the word Bear in the title for clarity, especially since you're (as I hoped) working on a cat article too. Once both are done I can cut down on how many windows I have open while raiding to determine which items to go after.

WTB updated Pawn scales for cats and bears that are mostly Ulduar geared.

Anonymous said...

nice entry,
but you forgot the algalon25 bracers, they should be quite high, probably higher than the 3.2 bracers, due to having expertise.

(solar bindings)

Gescom said...

Would love to hear your thoughts on the new trinkets! There are a lot of interesting new ones.