Tuesday, September 1, 2009

[Druid] What pieces of T8 to keep for cats?

This was a post I made at EJ; I figured it might be of value to a more general audience.

On a side note, I do apologize for not posting more. The honest thing is that I simply don't have a lot to say. I don't like to post about encounters I've not done, and I haven't raided in weeks (and will likely not be doing so for the foreseeable future). I will have the loot lists ready fairly soon, but they're not so compelling for me to get them done as they don't really affect me. If you have questions or would like me to research something or check something out, let me know.

But it's more likely that this blog is going to be done.

Anyway, on to the post. The preface is simple: what are the best T8 items to keep for the 2pT8 bonus for cats? This assumes you're aiming for (eventually) getting hard-capped on armor pen and going for as much as possible. If you're not, your priorities will change.

The best items to keep in general are the shoulders and the gloves simply because of itemization costs; they have the least itemization value, so you lose less when staying down. But let's go through each one, comparing T8.25 to T9.25:

T8 gloves vs T9 gloves: lose 8 agility, stamina, 5 AP 57 hit and 66 crit. Gain 43 armor pen, 33 haste. The big gain here is in hit rating, which I've found to be everywhere. This is a good place to start on T8. (note that while the ilvl differs, the itemization between the T9, T9.25, and T9.5 gear is the same, so you'll be losing the same kinds of things).
(note that while the ilvl differs, the itemization between the T9, T9.25, and T9.5 gear is the same, so you'll be losing the same kinds of things).

T8 shoulders vs T9 shoulders: lose 16 agi, 27 stam, 23 AP, 59 armor pen, 67 haste. Gain 48 expertise, 62 crit. This is one of the better slots for T9 with the armor pen, especially if you can afford to lose the expertise or don't care about it as much.

T8 head vs T9 head: lose 38 agi, 14 stam, 15 crit, 74 expertise. Gain 50 armor pen. This is one of the few pieces of T9 gear with expertise, but the T8 head does have that armor pen. The agility loss is big, though also note that the socket is red in the T8 helm, making it even better in terms of bonuses gained (either another 8 agility or more overall armor pen, depending).

T8 legs vs T9 legs: lose 6 agi, 14 stam, 35 AP, 20 crit and 74 hit. Gain 50 haste. Neither are particularly well-itemized for ferals, but the hit rating may be problematic for the T9; if you're close to the hit rating cap these are probably another good choice for T8 given the small differences in overall itemization. Note that the non-tier piece from Coliseum only swaps crit for haste, so it's not any better.

T8 chest vs T9 chest: lose 23 agi, 17 stam, 19 AP, 18 crit, 80 haste. Gain 49 hit. This is basically a clear upgrade from T8, but doesn't have the wow factor of pieces elsewhere. This is also a situation where the off-tier piece is clearly superior in general to both; [Vest of Shifting Shadows] is much better than either tier piece due to the armor pen and the extra socket, as is [Knightbane Carapace].

Based on the above, I would keep the T8 gloves and oddly the head, and go for the T9 shoulders first, then the legs.


Copey said...

Another wow blog falls to the “real life boss” I imagine. Having a new baby in the house to take care of can certainly rearrange a person’s priorities. Hopefully all is well, and what is taking you away from the silly game of WoW is all good.

I eagerly look forward to any list you want to publish, and thank you very much for all the research you have done in the past. Best wishes to you sir. If this is soon to be the end, thanks for everything.

Willowbear said...

Am I sensing burnout? Or are the demands/joy of family life superseding game time? Either way I'll miss having you as my go-to druid blog. Their ilk are dwindling rapidly. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

In regard to your post, your conclusion is almost exactly the direction I'm taking. I'm keeping the helm, but I opted to replace the gloves with the Assassin's gloves and keep the T8.25 legs. The Assassin's gloves have a red socket and bonus AGI. And the heroic version gets an extra socket as well.

Anonymous said...

This sucks, i probably come here everyday just seeing if you post anything new about bears. This blog has been unbelievably helpful from the day i found out. I'm gonna miss the armor ranking lists the most. You made it super easy to just come here and see what's good and what's not.

Also the post's on the changes and the new encounters, I'm gonna miss it all man, don't do this to me, not now!!!!!!! =)

dtc said...


This means I am going to have to go back to hours of exploring EJ for posts that are not what I need and listening to people argue over their grammar.


Come to Gurubashi and raid in the late night guild a couple friends and I just started. (M-Th 12am-4am pacific time). We have been a guild for less than 3 weeks and have cleared all non hard mode 25 man content! You can swoop in and raid when you want...and loot and scoot your heart out.

But please don't stop this blog! It really has influenced my play a lot over the last several months and has made wow a much more enjoyable experience.

Thanks so much man.

dfvanden said...

Thanks a ton for this post. I've been scouring blogs for something similar, and haven't found a thing. In my case I decided to go 2 x 9.25 with the head and chest, and keep Legs and Shoulders as 8.25. I found keeping expertise high enough was hard, so I've decided on this combo.

Manuel said...

First time commenter and long time reader. This is my favorite wow blog because I play a feral tank/cat and because it hits my perfect spot on "theorycraftiness".

I'm sad to hear you may be stopping.

Good luck and cheers! You've done a good job.

wayrachaki said...

I agree with all the posters above--this is my primary source of "what to do as a bear," and sometimes my last line of defense against the other plate wearing tanks in my raids.

Still, I can understand the pressures, so I wish you the best. Like the other commenter trying to give you options, if you're ever interested in a family-friendly guild and raiding schedule check out:


We're all mostly in the same boat: too old and busy to be really playing wow, but too much in love with the game to leave.

Either way, thanks for all the posts and work--you have been appreciated.

Hampi the Bear

Christopher said...

This has become my favorite wow blog, and I come here first for help with my alt druid. I'm sad to hear you might be closing up shop but as the father of a 20 month old I can totally understand.

Thank you for your contributions to the WoW community, your blog was always a pleasant place to visit and will be sorely missed.