Friday, December 11, 2009

[Druid]Bear gear quickie update, icecrown impression

For the first time I can remember in a while, Darksend scooped me on something (I love you, Darksend!) and did an analysis of the best non-tier item to use for your 4p T10 set. What's awesome about this is that it also lists some unknown pieces (or at least prior to this, unknown), including a great tribute piece to Astrylian of Rawr fame. Go check it out and say hi - it's a great piece of work.

And as expected, the Sack of Awesome wins out as being the best non-set piece to use. Though interestingly enough, the off-spec pieces are better for bears for the most part, in terms of itemization. Not surprising given all that arpen, but there.

I will be doing a cat gear guide first, in case you're curious. Now that the armory has all the gear, this shouldn't be too hard. In the meantime I've updated my weights for cats for wowhead, which you can look at here. The main change is an increased valuation on armor pen and swapping haste and crit's importance due to the cap analysis from earlier. An actual detailed guide should be coming soon. The bear weights will take a bit longer, but honestly I don't foresee them changing much aside from perhaps the weapon weights.

On a personal note - as of last night we were able to down Yogg0, giving everyone snazzy Death's Demise titles and our main warrior tank the shiny Mimiron's head. Congrats to everyone at Casually Serious - gear in this case only made things slightly easier, but it was still by far the biggest challenge we've faced since I've been here. If you've not tried it, I recommend doing so if you're bored, though don't do it if you despair easily. Yogg0 makes you feel very, very stupid. It's a good fight though not nearly as much fun as Firefighter or Anub hard, and boy is it picky about DCs wiping the raid. Ugh.

Icecrown itself? Ehh. We one shot everything save Lady Deathwhisper (we didn't realize some adds came from the back), and nothing was all that challenging. We got the silly achievements for Saurfang without trying, really. Probably because we prepped the most for it; we saw videos of how 'hard' it was, so everyone knew the fight. In reality it's pretty well a tank&spank with an odd enrage timer. I was hoping for something significantly harder than this. In reality it feels pretty much like the same difficulty as ToC normal, and that's a bummer. I guess I miss Ulduar-levels of difficulty, especially given that we're going to have this for 28 days.

The rest of the patch is really keen. Okay, I'm not thrilled with having to go back to Naxx to get current badges, but the LFG system is incredibly great. The DE option in looting is also incredibly great. It feels polished and useful, and works well. I'm very impressed. It makes heroic grinding downright addictive. I might feel differently if I couldn't tank, but I can - so I'm all good. :)


Mittnacht said...

Most of the time I dps 25s and tank 10s. Up until now I have just kept non-tier armor, or at most, 2-piece tier, gemmed and enchanted for my tank set. This allowed me to gem and chant my dps set how I wished (arpen).

But it looks like the 4 piece bonus will be essential to make any real progress, such as tanking 10 man heroics. I was prepared to plan to gem agility instead of arpen on my tier gear. But now with the crit cap coming into play, is gemming tier gear with agility going to be a viable option? Sounds like it may be a big hit to my dps gear. Thoughts on the viability of sharing tier pieces in light of the crit cap?Mitty

Kalon said...

Mittnacht, I think it'll be fine. Past a certain point you'll not be doing that much for your DPS via getting more crit - but by 'that much' I mean you'll only be adding to the chance of crits for all your yellow attacks, or 70% of your damage. That's still substantial, and extra CP generation isn't going to hurt either. The biggest hit, if you will, is that you're not going to have as much armor pen.

Which will make it not optimal, but will hardly make it bad.

My personal plan is to get the 4 pieces for cat, make the gloves shared, and consider getting the chest and sharing that for bear as well. It really depends on how much I'll be tanking. My gut feeling is that if you're doing 25s you're going to so outgear the instance that even on heroic 10-man you won't need to worry about being optimal, especially for tanking.

Dave said...

Man, I originally misread the part about going back to Naxx, figured you meant for badge runs and I had a whole diatribe of 'lul, just do heroics!' lined up, but then I realized...

While I don't ADORE the weekly raid quest (and I don't like that they nerfed its reward. What the hell am I gonna do with triumph badges after this week?), going back to Naxx doesn't bother me. Most of those bosses don't have a ton of trash in front of them, and I honestly can't imagine it'll take more than 20 minutes to get to even Patchwerk or Raz.

I am loving the dungeon system. As a tank it's basically free badges. Yet to have a wipe yet, even when I drew Pit of Saron. I considered bailing, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Worked out splendidly!

Anonymous said...

Well tbh, go in without pre studying the fights. Stop crying about stuff being to easy, the reward for doing it is alot higher.

I remember one shotting a server first on onyxia back in vanilla wow and that was actually a let down, so I know your feeling.

You have the skill to come up with your own tactics, so do it, that is actually they way the game is designed, and so much more fun coming up with your own solutions.

tbh, figuring out a fight shows way more skill as just following instructions in a youtube video...

Kalon said...

Dave - no, it doesn't take that long to do Naxx (though Razuvious is the most annoying choice there). I just would prefer to not ever see Naxx again if I could help it. Even alts don't care about Naxx gear.

Anon, I can't imagine a guild more opposed to what you're suggesting. This guild is built on people doing research, figuring out plans and planning ahead all before the fight so we don't waste time. That being said, the information that was out there for the fights wasn't so cut and dried that we just followed strats blindly. We've never done that, and we're not doing it now.

But no, we're not going to go in blind. That's not our culture, and I don't think anyone wants to handicap themselves to make it artificially hard. We'd just like the fights to not be so easy.

Copey said...

Well sir Kalon, here’s to hoping the heroic version of the 25 man IC will be to your liking. Granted, I do tend to agree that ToC regular is too easy. But, to me, and a vast majority of people, ToGC was hard as hell. I’ve never cleared it, never got past Faction Champs on it. To an uber guild like yours that has been working on ToGC for a long time I’m sure Ice Crown is too easy and disappointing. You already out gear it. But have heart man, I’m sure the heroic version will be more up to your liking.

The aspect that I feel bad for you about is that you have to wait so long to actually run it.

Darksend said...

<3 you too!!!!

Wait till Tuesday I have another article coming out.

Kalon said...

Copey - I don't know whether or not we outgear it. I mean, every single piece of gear we got from there went to main spec and had multiple rolls on it, so I don't think it's outgeared exactly.

I think that for the most part the mechanics aren't super hard, the fights aren't tuned hugely tightly, and if you're good you'll breeze through most of it. If you're okay, you'll probably struggle a bit with Deathwhisper and possibly Saurfang, but the point is that all four bosses will certainly be downed this week. I guess I was hoping for something other than one-shots.

But hey, at least it's not ToC.

As to ToC - we didn't do ToGC ridiculously. We only recently got Anub hard mode down, and still haven't gotten mad skill or insanity. Part of that was that we chose to focus on Yogg0, and part of it is that we had turnover, but really - we haven't been doing it that much, and didn't even bother doing it last week.

Copey said...


Ok, I see your point. Perhaps you are right, I don't know. I never even sniffed Black Temple, so I have zero end game experience. I guess I'm just banking on the Heroic version being the raid for the really really good people, and the regular raid as being for the rest of us.

I can see how that might be disappointing if you have to wait a couple months to even be challenged. Turnover KILLED my guild, mostly DPS. Now we have all these people coming back and flooding us as we are now running 2 10 mans when before we struggled to put together a consistent single 10 man.

In the end most will get bored, or those that jumped ship after they got thier gear will move to different guilds since I won't let them run with our main group. guys use rolls for loot? Figured you would have some DKP set up or something. Or perhaps you just said rolls meaning many people needed the upgrades.

Kalon said...

Copey - we totally use rolls for loot. We roll for main spec, then off, and we have two rules - don't be a douche, and the officers reserve the right to distribute loot as it would best benefit the raid as a whole. A lot of this is also mitigated heavily by the 2-hour trade window; if you roll on something, get it, then get something later you can always give the previous item to someone else you beat. And people when they get gear tend to pass to others instead of rolling, though we've had a couple situations where someone got 5 pieces of gear and didn't have an issue.

But mostly it's been very smooth, it's very fast, and it doesn't seem to cause any issue with progression.

I take that one slightly back; we did for a while require that people who got trophies of the crusader also have the emblems to use them. But that quickly fell by the wayside as we conquered Anub 10 hard and everyone got all the tier pieces they could ever want.

This system doesn't work for everyone; you have to trust in the leadership and have a lot of people who aren't interested in raiding to get gear. But it works great for us, and the huge lack of drama around loot is a tremendous relief.

Kate said...


I have the highest respect for your blog, but I sincerely believe that you left out the absolute best part of Icecrown. I am submitting some photos as evidence. (I apologize for the large size on the first couple -- I don't have a jpg editor currently.)

(I was uh...totally tanking the whole time during the gunship battle.)

* Where Blizzard feels a jet pack logically belongs on my bear.
* Wendy, I can fly!
* Whee!
* Zooom!

At any rate, I mostly wanted to thank you for all the wonderful, informative tanking posts you have made. I always find them to be tremendously incisive and helpful, jet packs or no jet packs.

Darksend said...

That is so beyond needing to be said it is just that amazing.

o right, I agree

James said...


I know you are probably hard at work preparing your next major article, but I was wondering if you could post a quick blurb on whats single piece of T10 gear cats would skip (if there are any) in favor of an offset item. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@ James

I think it has been covered if i remember corectly was the chest piece even with the arpen trade off but at the end of the day its up to the rest of your gear as what stats r u missing and what you can afford to trade off.
I belive its nearly impossible to make a nailed in piece of gear to fit us all the only way i see it as a statement as this is the piece that you sud be skipping from your tier is for a Bis setup and we r quite far from that.

Tyra said...

Hey, Felhoof-

A couple of "OMG I CANT BEAR TANK ANYMORE IN ICC" threads are popping up. Do you mind if i copy/paste your Icewell radiance posts into the tank forums? :)

Ps: love the blog so far.

Redhawk said...

Kalon, I don't know if you noticed, but have you seen any issues with threat generation? My tank gear is hit capped and almost expertised capped and it seems like that DPS is having to hold off slightly in order to build aggro. Have you seen anything along these lines?

Kalon said...

Kate - a thousand apologies, you're absolutely right. I had my guild dying from watching me jump around.

James - quick blurb is that the hands are the piece to skip. I'll be publishing that today.

Tyra - you're more than welcome to. Please do. I'll see if I can pop in and shut people up too.

Redhawk - I've noticed it occasionally on 5-mans, but I always did. I think you're just finding people do a lot of aoe. On 25-man it doesn't appear any worse or better than before.

Wetumka said...


Thanks for all the hard work you put in with this site. It was a huge blessing when I cracked 80 a while back.

Can you look me over and tell me which pieces I should be prioritizing before trying to set foot in ICC? Or if I'm geared enough to walk in there and rip some faces? I currently only have access to normal TotC 10 and 25 mans as far as acquiring new gear goes.

-Wetumka on Borean Tundra US

Kalon said...

Honestly, Wetumka - I'd recommend just using Rawr and seeing which gives you the highest bang for your buck. It's very difficult to do this off the top of my head by looking at your armory.

From just doing that (loading your toon into Rawr) the biggest win would be getting the T9.245 head. Next would be replacing your chestpiece. But I'd strongly recommend doing this yourself and seeing what's up.

Kalon said...

Oh right - whether you're okay for Icecrown. Most likely you should be okay, though having that better headpiece would be helpful. Up to you.

Gestalt said...

I just got Ickfirus's Sack of Wonder, and I was wondering what the optimal gemming would be for it for all-around tanking purposes.

Do I go all out stamina, or is the socket bonus worth getting? How much benefit does defense even give feral tanks?

Kalon said...

Gestalt - it depends on what all around means. If you're talking bear and cat, go with pure agi in all the sockets. If you're talking bear, you can do stamina (blue), stam/agi (purple) and +10 all (yellow) or stam/hit or stam/def. But I'd probably just go pure stam.

As to what defense gives you - it gives you about 66% of what a dodge rating of the same value gives you. So...not a lot, but something.

Darksend said...

hey buddie!!

Part two of the post is up and it includes a emblem of frost pick order/explanations as to why