Posts tagged “gear

Mog Concentration

treemog

I’ve been sharing my transmogs on Twitter lately. (For example, here’s my healy druid one that’s pictured to the left.) Unfortunately, 140 chars isn’t much room to show off what I like about them.

I wanted to post some more transmogs to Go Mog Yourself, but I felt guilty about posting just MogIt sketches rather than finished sets. I also felt bad because I designed my mog sets around my particular character, and I know some armors just don’t transfer very well to other races. But I wanted some place to save and share my transmogs without cluttering up my main blog here. (Not that I post much here ever since I started writing Blood Pact.)

So I made another blog with a photoblogging theme so I can show off my mogs.  For each set, I have:

  • a gallery as I around to screenshotting mogs,
  • some words about what I like about the mog / why I made the mog,
  • restrictions, such as class or profession or faction,
  • the gear itself (duh),
  • & how to gather said gear

Some of the posts up aren’t finished. I mean to keep it looking unfinished like that, as I put pieces in part by part, because it’s a place for me to put my stuff. It’s not meant to be a polished trophy case in the main hallway where everyone can notice what’s missing, but maybe my little closet in my room where dust likes to collect sometimes or maybe I put things out of order every once in a while.

If you want to grab a set, that’s fine. One of my warlock sets, in fact, isn’t my design at all. If you want to take parts of a set, that’s fine too. This is my space merely to show off what I think is cool.


Tier 13 for Affliction

As the wave of valor point gear hit the PTR, and now I have choices for slots, I’ve started getting together my BiS / DO WANT list.  For Firelands, my guild did a thread where we listed the drops we wanted from each boss, and I feel like it’d be a good thing if we did it again.  I make a list for myself regardless, but it’s fun sharing it anyway.

I’ve also been gearing up alts, and it’s a relief to find a gear list, just to make sure I’m on track with how the secondary stats work for my character.  I’m especially a fan of the Vexryn’s paladin tank lists from Maintankadin, so I may copy that format a bit.  Though, warlock stat priority isn’t as dynamic as tank or healer gear, so it ought’nt be too hard for people to guess.

But first, I want to talk about the tier gear: the set bonuses, the overall feeling of the stat allocation, combination & completion of set bonuses, and the looks.

The Look

Nanoprecise Cape - 1250 VP

Since I care about looks of gear, I looked at it first before I looked at the stats.

I realize there is going to be transmogrification in 4.3, and I even have my outfit picked out for it.  I’m dressed in it on the PTR, and even just running around for a little bit on the PTR, I’ve grown a bit used to my “current gear” look, and while being Putress is awesome, it’s just not the same anymore.  I might use transmogrification to be Putress for a while, but I will probably end up going back to the current tiers if I like them.

So, the cape first, because the cape is what I stare at most as I play my character.  I’m not fond of the rounded / pointed capes (squarish ones wave in the air better), which is what the tier 13 valor one is, but the design at least uses the pointed edge to look cool.  The Avengers cloaks of this tier are not my favorite, and I think the design looked better on the squarish quest Mantle cloaks.

I think when I took this I tried to put all the non-tier VP gear on myself (+tier shoulders), so I know that’s the VP wand in my right hand and the VP gloves.  That might be the VP helm and VP chest; both look like warlock tier again.  Unfortunately, there were no VP shoulders or legs, but there are substitutes for tier; there’s a drop for shoulders & crafted for legs.

Tier 13 -- Click for bigger image.

As for the tier 13 itself, we get three recolors from the three sources: raid finder for ilvl 384, normal raids for ilvl 397, and heroic raids for ilvl 410.  (In my hands are Incineratus (w/ Power Torrent) & the Talisman of Kalecgos, which are my chosen items for my Putress mogging set.)

I like the Raid Finder recolor, though the color scheme reminds me heavily of shaman tier 10. Maybe ours is a bit more fel with the green, but I do like that scheme best of the three.  The 397-ilvl color isn’t as bad as the heroic recolor; the heroic recolor looks like they just played with the color sliders, rather than actually looking like a put-together set of colors.  While the helm on the other two seems to float on top, the heroic helm just feels…heavy and almost obtrusive.

Considering my guild is considering doing the Raid Finder as learning runs, I might grab some pieces, at least for the plain looks if not for the stats.

Tier 13 — Set Bonuses

Both set bonuses are a bit meh in terms of damage boost for affliction.  Of course, tier bonuses aren’t supposed to provide a huge jump in DPS, but something more like 5%.

2pc | The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by 30* sec and the cooldown of those spells is reduced by 4 min.

* 20 sec for demonology, but I’m only discussing affliction.

The Doomguard being out longer and possibly every wipe-attempt or twice a kill-attempt is definitely an up.  It’s not a spectacular increase for affliction, but it’s an increase I’ll take anyway.

4pc | Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.

This bonus would be more interesting if affliction actually had things to do with Soulburn.  Technically, if you want to be sim-perfect in your DPS, you’re already adding in three Soulburned Soul Fires, despite SF hitting like a wet noodle even when you’re Destro.  Blizzard keeps wanting warlocks to use Soul Fire — who knows why — but so far they’ve been pretty terrible at actually fixing the spell to make it useful.

If a spell doesn’t hit for a good use of its resources, nobody will use it.  Throwing in a spell power buff just makes using the spell necessary.  It’s still a pain in the ass to use.  The pain in the ass that is Soul Fire is its cast time and it hits for crap, especially if you’re not specced into fire.

Blizzard has attempted to fix Soul Fire and make it appetizing for players to cast.  They’ve buffed the spellpower coefficient for Soul Fire (so it hits a bit harder), and they’ve added a refund of shards to the Soulburn mechanic into the 4pc bonus.  With a refund of shards, I can cast this on cooldown (45s for Soulburn) and get a decent spellpower boost out of it.

I still feel like I’m being forced into using a spell that’s neither useful for me nor flavored for me.  Affliction flavor (RP, whatever you call it) is important to me.

Tier 13 — Drops and Stats

This tier they’re going back to, I think, the Burning Crusade model of tier piece acquisition.  This time, all of the tier gear is acquired from tokens that drop from the bosses; nothing comes from Valor Points.  To turn in the token, however, you still visit the Valor Point vendor in your faction capital.  Our token is “____ of the Corrupted Conqueror,” which we share with paladins and priests.

  • Hood = Warmaster Blackhorn
  • Mantle = Hagara the Stormbinder
  • Robes  = Ultraxion
  • Gloves = Warlord Zon’ozz
  • Leggings = Yor’sahj the Unsleeping

Here’s the secondary stat pairings on each piece.  The math symbols are for which stat is bigger on the item.  I’m not putting specific numbers on the pieces since I figure we’ll all mix and match between the three source sets.  It also helps in my head to figure out reforging; if the trashier stat is higher, then I’ll get more out of it.

(t12) Balespider’s Slot (t13) Faceless Shroud
mastery > haste Head haste > crit
haste > hit Shoulders mastery > crit
haste > hit Chest haste > hit
haste > hit Hands mastery > hit
crit > mastery Legs haste > mastery

The general affliction stat priority is hit (to cap) > haste > crit > mastery.  Of course, your own specific priority will vary with each piece of gear you gain, so you can run your SimC yourself if you wish to have those very specific numbers.  

Affliction likes hit like snickerdoodle cookies: you either eat until you’re full (1742/17%) or you eat until maybe one cookie short of full (~16.90-16.99%) before you give yourself a tummy ache (>17%).

Affliction loves haste like it’s hot, homemade apple pie (moar! MOAR!), and then crit is like not-in-your-top-ten-favorite-cookies-but-still-mmmm-cookies (it’s okay), and mastery is like the raisins in raisin-oatmeal cookies when you hate raisins (ewwwww raisins).

Alright, which ones should I replace / mix first?

I think I was spoiled by the hit/haste combos from Balespider’s tier 12, honestly.  That, and I must be crazy, because I appear to be the only warlock I know of (though I don’t know many) who actually likes the aesthetic look of the Balespider set.  It’s a great set all around for me, and it’ll be hard to part with.  (Definitely a mogging keeper!)

For Faceless Shroud, the pieces by themselves are less appealing, but they aren’t horrible.  The mastery should appeal to the Demo locks, and as they’re simming as highest warlock DPS on the PTR now (!!), they’ll be plenty happy.

I love the chest piece; it’s a straight upgrade of Balespider.  The Faceless legs are better than Balespider, so I’ll trade those quickly.  The helm has thankfully flipped the higher stat to haste, and switched out mastery for crit, so I like that piece too.  The hands are usually the token Piece of Suck for affliction in the warlock tiers I’ve worn, so I’ll hold onto my Balespider’s Handwraps as long as I can, but the hands are also often the set bonus completer for me.

The shoulders, oh dear.  I think something is wrong with the itemization; else, mastery really IS that bad.

Currently, on my spreadsheet with my own SimC values and a list of all the gear since I began it at the start of Cataclysm, the Mantle of the Faceless Shroud scores oddly.  I thought the chunk of intellect from an item tier’s upgrade would offset the switch from the favored haste/hit to the unpleasant mastery/crit combo, but it’s not doing it.  Even filling all the gem slots (red & red with 20 Intellect for the bonus) with rare gems just barely gets the normal raid (397) above my current t12 (378).

And when I gem the raid drop substitute (Mosswrought Shoulderguards, 397 off Morchok), which has the same gem sockets & gem bonus but a crit/haste combo of secondary stats, it’s within 12 points of the heroic tier 13 shoulders, which are half a tier higher in item level!

o_O WTF Shoulder Slot.

My Choice

Needless to say, for now my target 4pc is head/chest/hands/legs.  My 2pc will probably be chest/legs.  I’ve re-evalutate if the shoulders get re-itemized or if SimC tells me I smell funny.

The shoulders and hands from Balespider are still delicious with their haste/hit combos, Faceless chest is haste/hit also, and Faceless legs, while less awesome than Faceless helm, will probably be easier to get as Yor’sahj is hopefully one of the earlier / easier bosses in Dragon Soul (he’s been tested first with Morchok, and he’s also listed earlier in the Dungeon Journal).

As for the other gear pieces…I’m still sorting through to do decide my priority for VP spending and EPGP rolling.  That post will be later. :)


My Gearsheet

Inspired by the Blueberry Totem post about how much BS is in “BiS lists.”  I agree, so I’m going to show you my own Excel spreadsheet of items for my own PvE gearset.  It’s not really a BiS list; in my view, it’s more of a source list than anything.  I encourage you to make your own; I’m just showing you mine (& possibly how I make mine).

I double-checked with people (via Twitter) whether uploading my own Excel sheet would be useful or not.  General consensus was people will use it just to tweak their own sets, so it’s meh if not useful.  I then commented the crap out of my Excel sheet, so putting a minimal FAQ (by worksheet) here.

If you have questions or comments, just comment on this post. More-tag time.


[gear] 85 But Not Yet Raiding

My guild has tasked myself and my guildmates to plan out gear in order to get ready to raid.  Of course, we have a week or two on our raid calendar already for Five-Man-Festivals, and it’d be great to know what blues I ought to look out for.

Normally, I’d just go by my usual stat priority.

This is a gear list which means it’s super long, so I’m going to try to break up this post with a more! tag.  As far as I can figure out, my settings should still keep a full post in the feed reader, but let me know if it doesn’t. Go on, go on!


[fic] Boots

This snatch of story has been stuck in my head, but only pelting me with pieces at a time.  Never the same piece twice, too.  Yeah, it’s small, but it’s been warped a bit from its original slices.

Xeny poked her head around the stone pillar.  The Temple Gardens were one of her sister’s favorite places to go.  Sometimes the elder druid would walk in the Temple of the Moon, since it was so quiet and peaceful, but many a feline nap was spent in the small grassy room off the Temple grounds.

Four stepping stones in knelt a night elf with pale blue skin and a long mane of dark blue hair.  Beside her was a massive polearm wedged into the ground by its blade.  The gold-trimmed weapon was easily as tall as the elf herself.

“Ama?”  Xeny asked in a timid tone, unsure that it was her sister and not a meditating priestess.

The elf turned to look behind her and flashed the young druid a smile.

“AMA!”  Xeny bounded in, soon covered in downy purple feathers.  The blue night elf stood up, gripping the polearm around its shaft for support, to meet the moonchick.  The familiar red shadow markings soon disappeared into her feathery girth.  She soon heard a purring noise followed by a tickle directly on her tummy.

“PbbbbbbbbHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA STOP IT AMAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

The moonkin fell backwards and rolled around, trying in vain to get the black cat to stop tickling her.  The cat continued to press her nose in and blow the feathers playfully back.

“HAHAHAHAHAAAAMMMMMMAAAAAAAA stop it! HEEHEEEHHEEEEEHEEEEEE!”  The moonkin continued to curl up and giggle after the cat jumped off.  The cat rolled over, belly-up and curled around backwards as she shifted out to face the moonkin.  The long dark blue mane of elf hair splayed out over the soft garden grass.

“So, enjoying the winds?” The elder druid smiled and picked a flower off the ground.  She brought it to her nose on top of her chest and breathed in the fragrance.

The moonkin’s laughter subsided and she too rolled onto her side.

“Flying?  It’s…better now.  I still prefer the ground, though.”

“I’d hoped I’d caught my verdant sister before she came back oaken strong.”  The elder druid laughed, though came out more like a bark.

Xeny folded her feathery arms and tried hard to glare at her sister.  A giggle escaped her beak and she clamped her hands to it, muffling the second and third chuckles.

“Come on, Moonchick!  Let me see your boots.”

“Oh, these?  They’re old and worn.”

“Good thing I brought you new ones, then.”

“New wo–” Xeny shifted out startled and jumped to her knees.  She turned to see armor laid out on the grass where the elder druid had previously been kneeling. “Wait, no, Ama, I can’t!  I don’t know how to heal yet!”

“Relax, moonchick.  Don’t get your feathers in a spitswad just yet.  Spells can come later.  I’m just giving you new leather for it.”

Xeny spotted the boots lying in the middle of the armor set.  Below the ankle they were black like tar, with an extra layer of dark gold leather over the toes for protection.  Bulbous around the calves, the golden tops met her kneecaps.  The golden design swirled around her shins on the black leather.

“They’re…pretty.”

“Mmmm so was the friend who gave them to me.  The old tabard matched better, though.”

“Old tabard?”

Ama stood up and yanked the polearm out of the ground.

“Never mind.  I just live in a different part of the forest now that I used to.  That’s all.”

Xeny pulled out her set of frostweave bandages and tore off a scrap.  She hocked up a swig of saliva from her throat and spat into the torn bandage.  She then took the bandage in hand with the intent to clean the boots a bit better.

“Wait.”

Xeny held the wet cloth back and looked up at her sister.

Ama bent and grabbed the gold and black boots with a hand.  She peered at the dirtied gold design and smiled.  Shaking her head she patted the boots and hoisted them up on a hip under her arm.

“Nah.  You can use these ones instead.”  She kicked at some newer knee-highs that were a tarnished color of gold.  Xeny pulled one over with her four fingers and the heavy leather weight fell onto the grass.  It looked quite brand new to her.

“But, Ama, you’ve barely worn these!” Xeny protested.  She pulled up the boot by the shin and wiped off the soft soil.

“Yeah,” the feral druid replied.  “They just don’t have the same kick t’ ‘m as the old boots did.”


Mastery Stats in Cataclysm

The full post is here.  Here’s the parts I care about:

Here’s how the system works: As you spend points in a given talent tree, you’ll receive three different passive bonuses specific to that tree. The first bonus will increase your damage, healing, or survivability, depending on the intended role of the tree. The second bonus will be related to a stat commonly found on gear desirable to you, such as Haste or Crit. The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree — meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.

There will still be talents that boost damage, of course, but those talents will also affect the way you play. For example, you can still expect to see talents like Improved Frostbolt, which reduces the cast time of the Frostbolt spell; it increases DPS, but it also affects the mage’s rotation. Piercing Ice, however, is just “6% more damage” and is the kind of talent we’re trying to eliminate by implementing the Mastery system.

So in summary, mastery is a set of 3 passive bonuses specific to your tree.

  1. a +dmg/heal/surv bonus: obviously depending on whether you are dps/heals/tank.
  2. a bonus related to a stat found on your desired gear: haste, crit, stamina, intellect, & hit are our favorable stats come Cataclysm.  I’m thinking haste for the affliction tree, since we love it anyhow.
  3. an unique buff to your tree: Judging from the examples they gave holy priests (HoT to direct heals), disc priests (better bubbles), & frost dks (more rune power???), I think Corruption will be the buffed spell.  After all, it is a staple of warlockery spells, especially affliction, and Corruption gets buffed a ton through those plain +X% damage talents we have at the moment.

There will be a mastery stat on Cataclysm gear that increases the effectiveness of the third bonus.  This convinces me further that Corruption would get buffed, because it would be essentially taking Empowered Corruption out of the talent tree but still being used.

The mastery system also intends to get rid of plain X% more damage talents and implement them into these bonuses, leaving the quirky or interesting talents left in the trees. What flat X% damage talents do affliction locks have?

  • Improved Curse of Agony
  • Improved Corruption
  • Soul Siphon –> but I think this is an interesting talent because it depends on your target debuffs
  • Empowered Corruption, in a manner
  • Shadow Mastery
  • Contagion
  • Malediction
  • Death’s Embrace, but it’s like Soul Siphon, it’s an execution-phase talent
  • the first half of Everlasting Affliction
  • (destro tree) the first half of Improved Shadow Bolt

These are a core part of the affliction build.  Not all of the talents, certainly, but you see all of these on cookie-cutter builds.  So what talents will we get instead? Will these change tooltips but still be there?  I’d like to see more curses (not that you ever use CoW or CoE in PvE, but we could for encounters requiring some slowing CC).  Or maybe more felpuppy talents.  Or maybe there will be talents that change or buff what your new soul shards do.

Any warlocks reading have any opinions on what we might see in our trees come Cataclysm?

Or other classes, what do you hypothesize about your new talents?


Cata’ stats a’changing

Eyonix has posted information about the stat changes in Cataclysm on the forums.  I’m excited because it means totally revamping most or all of the theorycrafting formulae, so I finally get to see first-hand how these numbers and stat weights come about as we all try to do it again.  I plan to spend somemore lurkage on Elitist Jerks to figure out how exactly the pros will figure this out.

However, I’m pretty sure most players don’t care about the math and really wish it would go away.  That’s why they’re changing the stats, right?  Math or no math, it’s going to affect how you play in Cataclysm versus how you play now in Wrath.  So let’s go through these notes as fellow affliction warlocks.  I’ve also included some of the blue posts further down the thread that I think are relevant points.

What you’ll see on gear

Stamina – Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.

More stamina means less dying to stupid mechanics like fall damage.  Does anyone else remember having a health minimum (with Fortitude included) in order to do Malygos as a cloth-wearer because of the Vortex and its subsequent fall damage?  Or, as everyone was just beginning to hit 80 and do the heroics, being the only clothy in an all-plate group (pally healers!) and being told to stay in on Loken’s Nova?  More importantly, more stamina means more mana via life tap, and less chance to life tap yourself to death.

Spirit – Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.

Any warlock worth their salt isn’t going to care really about the mp5 you get from Spirit.  Why?  Because we life tap.  And what about life tap? Oh, it has a glyph.  That scales with…spirit.  Like Fel Armor.

Yes, but what about warlocks, who get a bonus to SP based on Spirit when they have the armor buff up? Will that spell and buff be reworked as well?

Eyonix: It seems so. I would remind players who are focusing on individual talents and abilities to remember that we’re going to be doing a major redesign on all talent trees. So fear not, these changes are meant to work in conjunction with the design of each class come Cataclysm.

But Blizz has us warlocks covered. I figured they would change the spirit scaling to something like intellect scaling, since intellect will be reigning over spellpower.  But Eyonix goes further and reminds us that the talents will be majorly redone, so Life Tap and Fel Armor may not be what we currently know them as. Currently for affliction warlocks, Fel Armor is not affected through talents, and Life Tap’s only effect is whether you get 0/10/20% more mana return.

Will reforging become available when the stat changes come into effect?  Or will my gear with spirit on it become trash until it does?

Eyonix: Your gear won’t have spirit on it as a mage when Cataclysm hits.

So they *better* redo Fel Armor and Glyph of Life Tap.  Otherwise those will be worthless.

Intellect – Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.

So we want lots of +int. Unfortunately, this means we will have to love mages for their buff.  Ewwwww, mages.  :)  Even though we have Fel Intelligence via the felhound, Arcane Intellect is more powerful.  I suspect that a lot of the enchants will be converted into the equivalent intellect, since there are a lot of spellpower enchants and few intellect ones.

Haste is changing its meaning for melee classes, but it will stay the same for us.

Mastery – This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.

What makes affliction cool and unique? DoTs.  Curses.  Drains.  Self-buffing debuffs like Haunt, Shadow Embrace.  Fluid double conversion of health and mana.  I feel like the concept is still too nebulous to ponder about, so I’ll talk about it more when Blizz talks about it more.

Armor – The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.

Have I mentioned that I hated an all-plate group telling me to stay in on Loken’s Nova?  But, as most healing blogs have already pointed out, this just means not having to prioritize raid-healing cloth-wearers over plate-wearers.

I don’t care about resilience because I don’t PvP as a warlock.

Hit will stay the same in meaning.
Crit will stay the same in meaning.

Stats being removed from items

Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

I’m a little confused.  Why not just put a crapton of intellect on the weapon?  How does a stat you’re removing from gear make it easier to scale it better than the one you’re going to be using?

Stats you’ll never see again…ever

We never really cared about mp5 anyway.

Spell Ranks – Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.

So, finally, all those jackasses who won’t turn off their Rankwatch, citing you should just leave the dungeon/battleground now to go train one flipping rank…Rankwatch will be dead.  However, using lower ranks is useful sometimes. I’m talking about Life Tap Rank 1 (~600 health to mana).  I don’t Life Tap Rank 8 (3.3k health to mana) when the fight starts, because I just want the glyph buff.  I also use it sometimes when I just need the glyph buff to reset but the raid is/I am taking a lot of damage, because I like to not piss off my healers by making the damage worse.

So uh, sorry healers, whenever spell ranks go away.  You might hate warlocks.  Again.  Also, it was pointed out later on about things like mage food utilize different ranks.

How will this work with summon food and water? These items have level limits. How will a mage be able to create the lower level items with ranks gone?

Ghostcrawler: There won’t be a way or need to cast the lower level spells. If you’re just worried about losing the flavor of croissants vs. strudel, we’re keeping that. At some point you’ll just start making the better breads.

Ghostcrawler, I think you’re missing the point of the question.  Like say you’re in SM:Armory, you’re level 35, so you can use Healthstone (lvl 34 min), no big deal.  But the healer is level 33.  Oops.  But with this new system, you can’t create a Lesser Healthstone (lvl 22 min).  Is it just going to scale depending on who is eating it, à la heirloom gear?  Or will level 34s get the same food as level 85s?

Weapon Skill – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.

So Master or Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich? will become Feats of Strength?  Future warlocks won’t have excuses to go banish an elemental into a punching bag?  Awwww, come on… Way to go, Blizz, taking the cap-level toon’s only legit reason to run Stockades in the nude.  Now we’ll just have to be silly. :P

What else you should know, stats-wise

Combat ratings – All ratings will be much harder to “cap out” at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.

Ratings will be steeper?  So I won’t still be hit-capped in my tier-10-esque gear when I raid at 85?  I’ll need MORE? Good GAWD, Blizz, how much more could I possibly need?  On the serious side of things, this means you need more crit rating and haste rating to cap those respective combat traits.  I figure healers will be freaking out more about the haste conversion rate.  But, I for one will be having fun seeing what popping my haste trinket and/or a haste potion during Heroism will reduce me to.

Reforging – While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.

So…that umpteen +hit you have?  Convert it to haste. Or crit. Of course, the question isn’t really how much your Pawn scale is going to freak out every time you replace a slot, it’s whether you can only convert all or none of a stat to 50% of another.  This will come up when you need X +hit to be capped, but your only gear choices are X – 13 +hit or X + 17 +hit.  So you’re still going to be either gemming/enchanting for hit or being overcapped with a useless stat. Bwuh.  But the Haste to Crit or Crit to Haste will be nice.  I think they’ll limit it to the “green” stats, though. Otherwise we’d have casters with very little health but ungodly amounts of intellect/spellpower.

Gems – We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We’ll have more details on this in the future.

Currently, warlocks favor reddish sockets, because spellpower is a red gem stat.  If they convert spellpower into the equivalent intellect, well…you have red gems with intellect and…yellow gems with intellect.   BWUH?  So yeah, the colors are going to change. If intellect stays yellow, then warlocks will favor yellow, green, and orange gems.  If intellect switches to red, in order to replace spellpower, then our gem choice will hardly change, with the exception of spirited gems like Purified Dreadstone, since spirit will be gone and useless.

Changes to existing gear

If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:

    • A lot more Stamina.
    • All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
    • No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.

No surprise, given the rundown of stat changes.  Though, it mentions stamina, not only intellect, as being a spellpower holder. Given this information, stamina might be the new spirit for warlocks (spellpower modifier for things like Fel Armor).  You know, kind of like for cats, strength gives +2 attack power and agility gives you +1 attack power.  So there might be a similar intellect/stamina conversion for spellpower. Which means all that food and all those gems that have +stam at the end?  Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh.  Om nom spellpower.

If you are a healer, expect to see:

    • …Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.

If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:

    • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit.
    • We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
    • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.

So, the leather-wearing boomkin or mail-wearing elly won’t be snitching any cloth caster gear from you, because they will want totally different stats, which won’t be on your armor type. However, class-indifferent items like rings and neck pieces will still have stats they want, so we will still be competing will all casters on those slots.

Is there any way that we poor poor clothy dps casters can get some kind of assurance that we won’t have to compete with boomkins/ele shamans for our cloth gear once they hit their spirit/hit gear cap?

Ghostcrawler: There is a small Mastery bonus for wearing “your” gear. So a Balance druid who takes cloth will be essentially giving up free stats. Sometimes that may be worth it to them (just as sometimes it’s worth it for a Resto druid to take that piece of +hit gear), but often times it won’t be worth it especially if it’s an upgrade for you.

Healers won’t want +hit, and we won’t want their important spirit, but there may be some crossover anyway, especially with reforging coming into play. So we will both want the same piece of gear, but likely for different reforging reasons.

In summary

No more spellpower; instead, tons of intellect will be wanted.  We will have a lot more stamina, and possibly spellpower from said stamina.  The hit cap will go up again.  We will still love haste, probably, and crit too.  Spirit and mp5 will be gone, and mana regen will be implemented in talents.  But warlocks life tap anyway.  But our talents are being majorly redone, so Life Tap may change completely.

Mastery is focused on playing with your class and spec’s unique coolness, so I expect something along the lines of conversion of stats into damage or interesting curses or buffs to DoTs or more things that happen when we drain.  We also can’t forget the revamp of soul shards, and how they will play into buffing our spells during combat.

There are a few concerns regarding the disappearance of spell ranks, but this is more for convenience than an actual issue.

We get to celebrate sharing only cloth gear with other clothies, though with reforging stats, we might still have crossover items.  So same old, same old.

In summary, not much change on the clear horizon, lots of change on the fuzz horizon.  But I don’t yet see any major QQ points.

Fellow warlocks, your thoughts on the stats changes in Cataclysm?


Nibuca pwns & other link love

Forget whatever I was about to do with my Affliction Lock Endgame Basics thing.  Nibuca at Mystic Chicanery just completely owns affliction warlocking and said everything better in just one post.

Though I might post a “raiding etiquette” or something, concerning warlocks.  I’ve been told I’m a good warlock by guild healers as opposed to other warlocks who life tap at odd times or whatever “not so cool” things they do.  Unless Nibuca just completely pwns that category too.

There’s been a string of awesome WoW blogposts I’m read recently.  Before I spam the trackbacks field, here’s my favorite of late:

  • Brajana’s perfect post about GS.  Honestly, THIS is how GS should be used.  Don’t blame the addon for idiots, please.
  • Miss Medicina’s right again: standing up when you did bad.
  • Ironically, I think Miss Medicina and some others got trolled by a goblin when the Spitfire post came out on World of Matticus.  But she posted this just before the fire sparked.
  • A friendly reminder from Lissana about account security after a guild hacking.  My guild got hacked several times in a row, all with officer who had access to a fair chunk of the guild bank.  We’ve even watched hacks-in-progress online.  Fortunately, it was before the care package requirement and people managed to get their stuff and the guild’s stuff back.  But go get a keyfob or app if you can.
  • Tam explains against WoW “addiction.” This really struck me since I had to essentially do the same thing and completely give up on a friendship because she degraded my WoW friends/guildies over my “real” friends.  Friends are friends, to me.
  • The Guildwatch column, now called “The Classifieds,” at WoW.com is now dramaless! Honestly, with all the group hate and distrust that 3.3 suddenly brought out of the shadows, I’m ecstatic about this.  Yeah, the drama column was kind of cathartic in a way, but I’m glad it’s gone.  Especially loving the shout-outs for awesome pugs at the end!
  • Raiding is band class all over again!  Angelya plays the cello, I play the clarinet, but we both agree.  I particularly learned from band class that you may not hear the clarinet’s particular voice, but without it, the trumpets sound all brassy and rough (and half of them didn’t know the part without us, anyway).  You don’t need to stand out to help the group succeed or fail, raiding or orchestra.
  • If Cass ever finishes all the not-in-game instance maps this way, I might just ditch Atlas once and for all.

Some of the comments on these posts are also excellent in advice or pure opinion.  I try to read all the comments on posts, especially since other WoW bloggers I like read each others’ blogs.  Yeah, sometimes, like on the WoM Spitfire post, it takes about 2 hrs to read them all, but it’s worth it most of the time.  Happy reading! :)


Gear Jerks, Part 2

Need, Greed, and DE

As an enchanter myself, I was originally annoyed that enchanters would be outted in a group by the DE button. On my warlock enchanter I used to not say anything, take the items I luckily greeded and DE’d them later.  Once I was outted as a DE’r in the previous LFG system, it was like I got to have these mats waved in my face as I DE’d them and then watch them be given away, even if it was a fair roll that won it.  Enchanting is a profession that requires other people to help me get my raw materials, and it felt both right and wrong that I’d give away these raw materials to those people who helped me.  But I’ve tried it, and frankly, it’s a lot easier. Especially since most people aren’t needing things from UK or VH or HoL, unless they’re new, and then it goes to good use.  And Abyssal Shatter?  Holy crap, the amount of dust and essence I get from that is amazing.  When I run out of mats I…go LFG some more. To get more abyss crystals.  Which helps out people who want emblems, people who want abyss crystals for Berserking, and newly dinged 80s who want gear.  Win-win, I think.  I love the DE system now.

The Need & Greed/DE are apparently the problems.  People who can wear more than one armor class are annoyed they can’t roll on clear upgrades because it’s not the highest armor class.  They propose switching to a Main Spec / Off Spec / DE system OR letting Greed not share the same level as disenchanting.

That’s dumb.  Don’t be a lazy tard, but look up what upgrades for you drop in a dungeon and ask if people will pass before the party gets started killing things.  Really, is it so hard to do?  If it’s a regular instance and somebody is vying for a piece you also are, offer to run it again so you both can get it.  It happened all the time in ToC5 pugs because of the Black Heart or Mercy’s HoldAnd people were nice about it! People would talk it out while rolling.  Yes, the others who had no interest would pass if there was a DE’r present or roll greed if there wasn’t.  Which becomes a problem now if you are stuck not being able to Need something.  But…dude…you waited through all this trash and after the first boss before saying something?  I might feel bad for DE’ing something you could have used, but I don’t feel horrible since you didn’t give any heads up that you wanted something.

When you ask for people to pass on a lower armor class for you, ask for a specific item.  A resto shammy saying, “Hey, pass all leather/cloth pieces so I can look at them” is just begging for a ninja label. What, you want me to pass so at the last minute you can roll need/greed?  PFFFFFFFFFFT.

My Comments on Comments

Also, some of my thoughts on some comments from BBB’s thread:

Myrx:  * Make it impossible to vote-kick between the time that a boss fight starts, and the time that all loot from that boss is distributed.

This is a good idea. I personally haven’t been kicked or part of a kicking effort during a boss fight.  I think I was in a group that kicked a guy because he zoned in afk and continued to be afk for five minutes.  But there are nasty stories going on about being kicked like this.  I can’t yet find a flaw within this.  Readers, can you?

Myrx: * Allow toons with higher armor grades (Plate or Mail) to roll need on items of lower armor grades – but ONLY if a) it fits their current main spec, b) there are no toons present and rolling need who can only wear cloth (or leather, etc.).

He’s using his resto shammy as an example.  Point A has one major flaw: out of combat, you can change your spec.  So say an enhancement shammy contributes to killing a boss and notices a nice cloth healing piece drops.  He switches his spec to his resto healing set, and thus can roll need, because it’s now his MAIN SPEC.  And then he can beat out the priest or warlock or mage or whichever clothy actually wanted and could have used it in the spec they were performing.

You can’t make it so that you’re in combat while looting or just before looting, because then how will you resurrect people who die?  A delay in changing your spec, maybe?  Doesn’t sound really plausible to implement.  The game takes notice of your “main spec” as that which you enter the fight as?  I could see people starting the spec-switching cast just before entering combat as somebody else pulls.  Unless entering combat could break the cast.

Point B has its problem too. What if you have an Enh shammy with a resto off-spec rolling against a Resto shammy who healed the fight?  No toons of the cloth or leather restricted are present, so they both roll if the Enh switched into Resto for the loot roll?  So the Main Spec Resto shammy can lose a healing piece to an Off Spec Resto shammy.

I think this could be solved better and more permanently by walking in saying, “Hey, I could use Tattered Glacial-Woven Hood for my resto set.  If it drops, will you guys please pass if you don’t need it?” than lazily relying on game mechanics to fix people’s manners for you.

Ninja looting is not a disease of the game.  It’s a disease of every game.  Why?  Because it’s a disease festered and spread by people, not by programming.  Treating the game but not the people doesn’t solve anything.  It’s like needing on Frozen Orbs.  I greed.  Even as I watch you needing it like a jerk, I’m pressing greed.  Blizzard can’t “fix” it by defaulting Frozen Orbs to Greed, because then you WOULD see people being kicked just before the Orb gets looted.  And then what, Orbs just won’t drop at all.  Because the children won’t play nicely with each other.

Play nicely, people.  That’s all the game really needs to be “fixed.”


Gear Jerks, Part 1

Green isn’t working very well. How about orange? Or purple? Druid & warlock, heh, heh.

I’m having issues with some of the topics cropping up in blogs now.  Particularly the “Worst PuG Ever” or the “LFG sucks because” posts.  Because they generally deal with problems between people, but it gets blamed on some addon or the game mechanics of Blizzard’s new Dungeon Finder.  I swear, it’s a people problem, guys.

GearScore

I use GearScoreLite. It puts the GearScore in the tooltip when I mouseover your toon’s unit, and I’ve chosen to put in the average ilvl as well.  Honestly, I wish I could turn off the GS and just use the average ilvl.  But there’s no option for that.

Originally I started using it in raid as a warlock.  I would see other warlocks or dps specs beating me in the Repeencount and I wanted to know if I was sucking or if I was merely outgeared. Unfortunately, people like to move in raids.  I’d try to catch a moment to inspect somebody, but really only the tier pieces are recognizable by icon.  Often someone would move before I could catch what the name was or the tooltip that said where it dropped.  I had a vague idea of how ilvl corresponded to where it dropped.  200 for Naxx10/OS/EoE/t7 10 & purples in heroics.  213 for Naxx25/OS/EoE/t7.5.  226 for Ulduar10/t8.  Etc.  I had heard of GS, looked it up, and lo and behold, it had a Lite version that just put the ilvl in the tooltip.  Perfect.

I use the average ilvl in the opening 30 seconds of every pug. Y’know, before anyone says hello or before a mob pack gets pulled.  I use it to gauge how much I can goof off during a heroic.  Like answering IMs.  Really, chances are I’m talking enthusiatically in guild chat or with my friend on Pidgin while I’m healing your heroic.  Or tanking.  Or dpsing.

I don’t use it to judge your gear or your skill or your chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  I just use it to gauge if I need to take a chill pill since the heroic isn’t going to be superfast because people are in heroics/Naxx10 gear (ilvl 200) or if that DK is in fact being a slob because there’s no way his ilvl 226 gear would be putting out under 2k dps.  The only times I recall negative thoughts in my head relating to GS is when somebody underperforms in their current gear. I really do not mind people in 187 ilvl gear in heroics with me.  That’s why heroics drop ilvl 200 gear.  DUH.  However, I do believe the 187 people should not be in ToC5+* or new ICC 5mans.  Why?  ToC5+ drops 219 gear.  Theoretically, 219 ilvl drops means you should be in mostly 200-213s, not fresh off the questing street.  232s from the new ICC 5mans were meant for the people like me who didn’t terribly raid ToC in patch 3.2 but who ground enough heroics to be decked out in the gear you can get from Conquest Emblem vendors (226 ilvl).  So what I do have a problem with are fresh 80s in blues & greens in an instance that drops 232 gear, because that’s a 2 tier gear difference.  Would you take someone in Uld10 normal mode gear to ICC raiding? No, you’d probably say go to ToCr for a few drops and then come back.  Maybe you wouldn’t majorly suck in that gear in that raid, but you wouldn’t be what most guilds are looking for in a member for that raid.

Yes, I realize you can get emblems to buy 232/245 gear just by doing heroics.  But you can’t just do one heroic and poof 232/245 emblem gear.  The lowest cost is 30 emblems for a non ranged-slot (idol, librarm, totem) piece.  30 emblems is about 6-8 heroics, depending on the heroic you get.  Per piece.  That’s enough time in between to learn how to play your class and role in endgame.  I believe gear doesn’t make you a better player. It just makes your output numbers bigger, is all.

Bottom line for me in letting a jerk intimidate you in group for a lacking gearscore is the same as letting them intimidate you for a low Recount spam rank.  It’s your problem if they bother you.  If you think you rock, then you rock. It’s also a problem when people don’t stand up for newbies being shamed for this.  I don’t tolerate people who chew other people out when they’re there to gear up and are honestly trying.  If someone is trying to be just carried along and play loot monkey, well…I don’t tolerate that either.  I’m there to get emblems, so more than likely I’ll continue to the group until it’s done, but you’re on my ignore list after that.

I use GearScoreLite, but lightly. It’s not a major factor in my opinion of a player; it’s lighter than fluff, actually.

* In my shorthand I use 5/10/25 for the size of the raid and + for heroic or hardmode.  So Uld10+ is hardmode Ulduar 10, OS+3 is 3 drakes, ToC5+ is Trial of the Champion heroic.


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