Thursday, November 12, 2009

[Druid] Icecrown loots for bears

Finally, we're getting to see a bit of the gear in Icecrown. I'm really shocked how long it's taken; usually we have most of the loot tables by this point in the PTR. This might mean that the PTR is going to take extra long...or that the gear is just going to have some issues.

There isn't enough to give a BiS list like normal, so I'll just be doing some analysis of it for bears (and later, for cats).

The TLDR part: T10 is great, save for that glaring lack of expertise.

First off, the links to the list of gear are at MMO champion here (for random drops, T1o pieces), here (for 5man and QD rewards) and here (for Emblem of Frost purchases).

On getting the tier gear: (thanks, Copey) - they're going to do something similar to how they did ToC tier gear. What happens is that you spend emblems of frost to buy the lowest level T10 gear. Then, you use that gear AND a token gained from 25-man to purchase the next level of T10 gear. It's not clear whether the tokens are slot-specific, class specific or what - but that's the basic system.

The first thing to note is the huge jump in T10 vs T9 and agility. For instance, the T9 hard mode chest piece has 136 agi and 153 stam; the T10 chest piece has 162 agi and 162 stam. The stam is going up as we'd expect, but a jump of 26 agi from an ilvl increase of only 6? That's pretty amazing. It may be that the tier pieces are overbudget or they're not done tweaking. It's odd that there exist so much agi on all the pieces, honestly.

The second thing to notice is that none of the T10 pieces have any expertise on them. None have any blue sockets either. None have hit.

Again, this may change. But I am very skeptical. For starters, we didn't see drastic changes on gear when it hit the PTRs prior to this. We saw changes in things like the set bonuses, but the actual gear stats tend to be fairly easily finalized. Same with sockets. We might see a random change here and there (like correcting that +5 spellpower socket bonus on the T10 gloves) but my gut feeling is that this is what it's going to be like, going forward.

The other observation is that the tier pieces have steadily been more and more itemized for cats. This is never been more the case than T10. Every single T10 piece has huge amounts of agility and armor pen - every single piece! The 5 pieces of T10 by themselves give 444 armor pen and 726 agility. They have zero hit and zero expertise on them - which is awesome for cats, who tend to not care that much about those things anyway and are swimming in hit. Every socket is red or yellow, and all the socket bonuses (save the aforementioned hands) are agi.

They're almost perfect for cats.

But as mentioned before, this makes them less than ideal for bears.

There are options for bears - but because the T10 set bonus is so strong for bears, those options come down to essentially one thing: what one non-tier piece will you take? And so far, the answer looks to be the Emblem of Frost offtier chest piece, which provides 92 expertise and is otherwise itemized the same as the tier piece. I don't honestly expect this to change either; I suspect that there won't be any legs or head pieces with that high of expertise, and hands/shoulders won't have that much expertise due to their lower itemization point total.

There are other good choices for bears, such as the crafted leather boots.

But honestly? It may come down to whether or not you can deal with socketing expertise in your gem slots. And my suspicion is that it will be down to that - if you can afford the EH hit, socketing expertise may be a very good choice to make up for this lack in other gear.

The purchaseable gear via emblems appears to be consistently full of win. The tanking cloak provides a ridiculous 849 armor. The chest is great and looks to compete with the best of things out there. The waist is also very decent. I fully expect that I'll be racing to buy the chest and the cloak first and second - likely the cloak, given that they tend to be cheaper. There's also a set of gloves, but again - you don't want these since you do want the T10 set.

On the weapon side, there are three new ones so far. There's a fairly decent weapon that's comparable to hard mode Twin's Pact. The reward from the Quel'Delar chain is lower level and isn't socketable, but does have expertise; it's definitely worth doing the chain if you don't have a hard mode weapon yet. And then there's a drop from heroic Icecrown 5-man that's...kinda meh, actually. But is at least an upgrade from Marrowstrike and better than Twisted Visage due to the blue socket.

Jewelry wise, there's nothing that grabs me. Most jewelry has either hit or parry on it. No sockets, no armor. Nothing that makes me ooh and ah like Clutch of Fortification did.

And no jewelry that provides any expertise. Only one non-leather piece that does other than that weapon - and that's a cloak from the 10-man which you'd be insane to grab compared to the buyable one.

Finally, there is a purchaseable trinket that provides 228 stamina base and has a decent on-use ability. Wow. I did mention earlier that I wouldn't put it past Bliz to do this sort of thing for tanks. There ya go.

Anyway, if you're a bear you should be hoping for rings and necks to have tons of expertise. And hope for at least one belt/bracer to have it too. Or...hope for them to reitemize the gear, which i suspect they won't be doing. Or hope for some random tanking trinket with a ton of expertise and stamina...somehow.


Copey said...

Wow. After going so long with the idea of “meh set bonuses” I’m almost very worried now about T10. I have been loving the fact that I could just run toc 10 and buy iLvL 245 gear with the badges I was getting. LOVING it. I was able to do that because I didn’t need to buy tier. With that 4 piece bonus you gotta have tier now. I think this will end up with me being lesser geared at the end of 3.3 then I am now comparatively at the end of 3.2.

Of course it also depends on how the loot works out, and if it works the way T9 does, or if it works like it did previously in T7 and T8. Any word yet on how tier pieces are going to be acquired yet on the ptr?

Kalon said...

Ah, I should've brought that up, Copey. I think I'll amend the post.

The way T10 is going to work, apparently, is that you need to buy the lowest tier via Emblems (just like you do now), and then you can buy the next piece via a token that drops + the old piece.

So if you want the ilvl 264 piece you need to have both a token from the 25-man AND the 251 piece.

I like it more...marginally. I still hate that you are forced to run as much 10 and 25 man and as many heroics as you can to get gear faster. But there it is.

Copey said...

Huh, I actually really like that idea. Say I run 10 mans most of the time. You and the uber guilds can do 25s and 10s every week. I’m happy with just the 10s, and an occasional 25 once a month or so. Now, I upgrade to T10 and keep on running. Some time down the road, or even worse, the week after I get a shiney new 251 piece, (and get it enchanted and gemmed) I’m in a 25 man that I got asked to come in for and I get lucky and win a token. Now, I can upgrade, and though I’ll lose the enchant and gem, it won’t feel like the badges I spent on the 251 piece was a waste. Pretty cool system Blizz.

Oh, and how about that trinket? I’ve been lurking on your site to see what you think about that. I think it’s crazy good.

J said...

Disappointing so far. How is the Tier 10 chest, for instance, even a clear upgrade from the chest that drops off of Heroic Jaraxxus?

ToGC chest gets you 652 AC, 153 stam, 137 agi, and 3 sockets. T10 (ilevel 264) chest gets you 665 AC, 162 stam, 162 agi, and 2 sockets. That's pretty close.

I don't necessarily want to endorse the "stam > all" argument, but when moving into new content, the *last* thing I want to do is make my HP lower.

And you're telling me we may have to socket for threat? Worrisome.

Michael said...

IMHO they simply should put up a cap on how many badges you can collect each week. On "progression" you are currently forced todo all 4 raids AND daily to get gear asd fast a possible. If I can only get 30 emblems per week it would make my wow life less stressfull

Rauxis, chosen of CAR

Copey said...

But will there be 4 different raids like there was with TOC? It has been mentioned that the bosses will literally have toggles that the raid lead can switch DURING the raid. That being the case there probably won't be 4 different versions to run anyway. Just two with the option of doing bosses on either normal or hard mode.

Not that it matters, I have a very hard time believing very many people were actually running (and clearing) 4 versions of TOC when it came out. Maybe after people geared up a bit they were, but after they geared up, the question is did they really need the extra badges at that point?

If you were running and clearing them after TOC was fully out, I guess grats to you, you are in the top 2% of all wow players.

Anonymous said...

Anyway to get the Feral Attack Power on those new Weapons?

Liz said...

Anon: Weapon DPS * 14 = feral attack power

Patejl said...

Concerning the higher agility - could it be because of the general Blizzard philosophy? Like they want the tanks to take more damage without spikes in it and so perhaps they are also increasing armor for bears through agility? And also to make up for the lost dodge? Dunno rly, just my 2 cents

Don't like the lack of exp and hit though, just meh

Rewts said...

There will be a 10man raid and a 25man raid, with 'hard modes' activated by RL changing settings in the raid interface. Basically Uludar without fight triggers, rather a click of the mouse.

The extra agility->armor would be barely noticeable, and Icecrown Radiance addresses the spiky damage.

Likely I'll be getting the tier but not using it until I upgrade a couple of pieces

Acornbrain said...


I am not too concerned about the lack of expertise. I came to the same conclusion as you in that I would chase 4xT10+chest. This is very similar to my 4xT9+chest and would result in a +18 exp rating increase for me.

I am not too concerned about the red vs blue sockets since I rarely chase socket bonuses (T10 is the same as T9 excluding the gloves spell power) other than to fill out meta requirements.

I am concerned about the lack of hit. When I was 2xT9 I choose the wrong pieces and ended up with 126 hit rating ... this seemed to cause me no end of trouble with our #1 hunter. Going 4xT9 solved that problem but had to wait for me to get my 3rd trophy.

So it looks like I will be looking for hit pieces in T10 while keep all the current gear I have with expertise (eredar, thunderstrike, and a neck).

Ben Finger said...

Just wanted to say you guys are doing a great job at this site. Keep it up :)

fb said...

I've been told that the current rogue T10 doesn't have any hit either, I do expect stat changes for the sets still.

Atu said...

Great job guys i love your posts and greatly help with gear points of view.

I am sad for the shared tier cat/bear and with stats mostly for cats no /love for bear players :(.

Looks like down the roads expertize is lost in process so i may have to gem for it that taken my hp pool will remain valid still i am having gread fun playing a bear.

What else can i say 5 stacks impale is quite imba in my book ofc with BoP after but still done Dreadscale while having 30+s of 4 stack impale imba heals incoming :D.

I sure hope bears wont be pushed aside by blizz by trowing cat intemization on feral tier more and more.

Thanks again for your work guys.

par said...

Only one thing in ICC matters, unless there's an unlockable boss a la Algalon ...Deathbringer's Will!

Anonymous said...

The T10 pants now got +80 (251) and +92 (264)expertise.
I expect more changes from armor penetration on T10 gear to expertise/hit/crit/haste.

Anonymous said...

Kalon said...

Copey - which trinket is that?

Michael - I kinda like that idea of having a cap on badges per week. But the hardcore would hate it. What I'd rather have is less reason to get badges. Let the people go nuts getting as many badges as they can; just make what you can get from badges neat but narrow or cheap. Of course you can't make it too cheap, lest those dirty heroics-only people might get some. Curse them!

Anon - as mentioned, feral attack power is equal to DPS*14 - 55. It doesn't matter, practically; basically, higher ilvl means better DPS and more AP. So you really want 'em.

Unidentifiable organ is okay...but honestly, most of the time I'd still want glyph. The on-use is more important than random extra health that goes away whenever there's a break and takes forever to build up, since you dodge so much less. At least the base ability is good, but I'm unimpressed with situationally stacking health.

There may be more expertise changes, but I doubt it; my suspicion is that for the most part, the tier gear is pretty solid.

Anonymous said...

Kalon, I'm a bit surprised that you don't find the Organ very worthwhile. I figured that I could finally justify replacing my Black Heart with it, given that the Stam should have a solid uptime on non-taunt swap bosses, and I'm generally in love with (non-proc, non-use) armor, even if it doesn't receive the Bear multiplier. And since I'm not liking the on-use of the Key, it seems to be my only hope of upgrading Black Heart pre-cata.

On a related note, I'm still surprised that virtually every Bear tank has agi on cloak rather than considering armor.

That said, I'm open to the idea that I am terribly wrong. ;)

Kalon said...

Anon - on non-taunt bosses you're right. And they did change the proc from 'on dodge' to 'on hit' which makes it significantly better than it was. Still, of the fights I know about there's quite a few that suck balls for this; you'll drop stacks on Marrowgar all the time, you'll lose them on Deathwhisper (not that armor is all that on her anyway), you'll lose stacks on Gunship, and you'll lose stacks on Saurfang. There might be a single tank & spank fight in Icecrown, but so far they've not revealed themselves.

I'm guilty of not having armor on my cloak either. You're absolutely right that it's better than agi for mitigation purposes. I like agi for the generic effect it provides.