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Posts Tagged ‘Gear’

Mind the Gap

Ok, back to discussing gear gaps and PvP.

To my eyes, PvP and PvE are vastly different game modes. You need completely different gear, completely different specs, completely different skill sets and mind sets to succeed in each. There is little to no crossover between raiding and battlegrounds/arenas, in terms of tactics and strategy. Basic skills like being aware of your surroundings translate nicely, but things like using Death Grip as an interrupt don’t translate nearly as well.

And that’s the way it should be. I support splitting PvE and PvP as far apart as possible, and keeping them as far apart as possible. If the developers need to go so far that they have to flat-out ban PvE gear in PvP and vice versa or have spells and various abilities do completely different things in each part of the game, so be it. They’re already leaning hard in this direction, why not just go all the way?

I support such a split, and I think the PvP/PvE divide in WoW needs to be much bigger than it currently is. Not should be, needs to be.

A perfect PvP game would have everyone on exactly the same level, with the only deciding factor being skill. I am more than mature enough to realize this isn’t possible within the confines of an MMO, and indeed shouldn’t be.

The major issue around gear is in its implementation. As it stands now, you are at a massive disadvantage if you don’t raid. It doesn’t matter if you just hit 80 or rock a 5s team at 2200 rating. No matter what category you fall into, you are automatically at a gear disadvantage to your raiding brethren.

This, to me, is wrong.

What I’d like to see is gearing up for PvP by actually doing PvP, and gearing up for PvE by actually doing PvE, with absolutely no crossover or compatibility between the two. We’ve been slowly moving in this direction for several years now, I think the process needs to be sped up.

If that means totally separate gear grinds? Fine by me. If that means you go from 264 epics in raid gear to 200 blues in PvP gear? Sounds perfectly fine to me. If you can’t use Shadowmourne in BGs? Sounds fair.

I don’t expect people to agree with that.

Cataclysm comes around…….. your in full wrathful arena gear for lvling to 85, cant do any 5mans though cause when you zone in your naked!

That’d just be silly.

~ Shunyata, Suramar.

I don’t see it that way. By allowing the gear to translate effectively from one area to another, there are all sorts of issues created.

Last expansion, it forced raiders to do PvP in order to get reasonable gear. This was unacceptable to many people, rightfully so. This expansion, hardcore PvPers are forced to raid seriously in order to get reasonable gear. This should be unacceptable to many people.

Obviously the gear doesn’t translate perfectly. Using PvP gear for raiding is an unattractive proposition, as PvP gear is, you know, designed for PvP. Resilience offers nothing for raiders, and all PvP gear lacks the offensive stats of their equal iLevel PvE brethren.

Likewise, PvE gear is unattractive for PvP, or rather is supposed to be.

The reality is far different.

PvP gear isn’t that great for PvE, to the point where, say, a 226 PvE epic can replace a 245 PvP epic. This part is a success.

However, PvE gear is still extremely attractive for PvPers of any caliber, mostly DPS classes. Consider the human mages that used dual Reign of the Dead (yes, the heroic and non-heroic versions stack). Consider the warriors who simply stacked PvE gear with armor pen on them.

I never said I was against gear grinds. I never said I wanted top end arena gear to be handed out like skittles at a parade.

What I advocate is creating a fairer environment. I want a world where gearing for PvP by doing PvP is a viable option, for every slot. I want a world where raiders don’t have an advantage over their fellow players by sheer merit that they raid.

Imagine it like this, if you will.

As a fresh 80, you come equipped with 200 blues in every single slot. You have a 2 minute PvP trinket with some resilience, a full set of resilience gear head to toe, and even a blue quality weapon with resilience. This is all gained by any method really, though my personal favorite are quests. There are a ton of “PvP” quests in Northrend, why don’t they award PvP gear?

Picture that polearm Onyxia drops. You know how you can click it to get a second polearm with completely different stats? Imagine if you could do the same to the blue quality gear you get from quests. Sure, the quest awards blue bracers designed to get you started on the road of PvE, but with a simple click it becomes a starter PvP piece instead.

Then, you have a series of quests you can do to score 213 PvP epics. Picture a quest like this:

  • Take a flag in Arath Basin, then be victorious in that Arathi Basin. Awards Deadly Gladiator’s Thing of Something

A quest you can complete in ten to twenty minutes. Figuring in queue time, it’s very near to the same amount of time running a heroic would take to get the same level of reward. The quest not completing if you lose, then, would reflect wipes and bad PuGs, and even, to a lesser extent, RNG.

The whole time you’re doing that, you’re collecting honor that you can then spend on your 232 main pieces and 245/264 offpieces. This is what we currently have. It could take you hours to get a single piece, but if you’re willing to wait, simply doing WG and its quests can get you a lot of honor quite easily.

Once you’re kitted there, you move into the arenas. At low end arena ratings, you earn points, you pick up 251 main pieces and some 264 offpieces. You get some gear as early as 700 rating, then gear up and progress through the ranks. Once you start hovering around in roughly the 1400-1600 area, you can start getting the 264 main pieces and finish collecting the 264 offpieces.

This would be for every slot, however, not just some slots. It should be entirely possible to gear for PvP without having to do any PvE just to be on equal footing.

To recap, the gearing process would look something like this:

  • 200 blues – ridiculously easy quests in Icecrown/Stormpeaks, etc.
  • 213 epics – easy battleground quests, for example “capture a graveyard in AV!”
  • 232 epics – large amounts of honor.
  • 251 epics – low end arena.
  • 264 epics – high end arena.

The last post on this subject garnered a lot of harsh criticism in addition to support.

The primary criticism was “it’s already easy enough to gear up! Suck it up princess.”

Let me be very, very clear here.

I am not suffering from poor gear, nor am I advocating that current PvP gear be any easier to obtain.

Before season 8 even started, I had two characters decked in furious and relentless gear. Both of these characters sported raid gear where PvP gear was not an option, both characters were wielding iLevel 251 weapons.

Accusing me of simply wanting easy epics is pointless, as I had either best in slot or second best in slot for nearly every piece of gear across two characters.

Now, of course, I can almost guarantee that I’m going to be accused of supporting welfare epics, despite my protestations to the contrary.

Arena season 8 has introduced a strange new paradigm for Blizzard, this expansion at least. Have you noticed how many items are locked behind arena rating? Nearly nothing is. Wrathful Gladiator main pieces are, as is the wrathful belt and boots.

But everything else is rating free, simply requiring honor and arena points to get. That’s it. Even relentless gladiator main pieces don’t come with an arena requirement attached, and there are finally Battlemaster trinkets available for honor.

It isn’t the system I’d like to see. Current gear should require some participation in high end PvP, putting at least some barriers on it. Then again, have you seen the honor prices for this so called welfare gear? I don’t think we’ve ever had to work so hard to get welfare gear.

Godspeed if you have more than one character to gear up.

I see the reasoning behind such a change, though. More gear available to more people means more people are going to be participating in PvP, and it levels the playing field pretty significantly. I concede that it’s a good move, but I still disagree with it.

Curiously, there are some gaping flaws in Blizzard’s new gearing ideas. Weapons below the level of the new Wrathful stuff are still missing, meaning players are going to have to run the new heroics as often as they can and pray for a Quel’Delar drop, or go raid.

There’s also the ever present problem that raiders can bring their stupid powerful raiding trinkets and weapons with them into arenas and battlegrounds. Faced an armor pen capped warrior with Bryntroll and Deathbringer’s Will yet? No? Well, just wait a few weeks, you’ll get to fight an armor pen capped warrior with the heroic version of both of those things soon enough.

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My level 74 marksman hunter averages 1300 DPS on a target dummy in quest greens and with aspect of the viper active easily 60% of the time.

I have a guildie who’s warrior alt in absolute shit gear (and even the Bind to Account sword from WG) pulls 2200 DPS on heroic dungeon bosses.

I healed a HHoS once, starring a rogue in iLevel 200 epics (his offhand was a 187 blue) and he was drunkenly stumbling about with around 900 DPS. After killing the rock guy, there was a comment made about being stoned, and this fail rogue said “i’m stoned irl”.

So I said “That explains a lot”. He said “lol…”

Then his DPS immediately spiked to 2300 and stayed there for the rest of the instance.

-=-

The closest we’ve come to downing Anub’arak hard mode is 10%. We’ve wiped at that number repeatedly. It hurts so much, to come so close and yet still be so far. Oh well, soon we will have our T10 gear and steamroll over the poor guy. Probably for the best, to be perfectly honest. After a night of heroic Anub’arak, our poor healers are rendered catatonic on the floor, blood seeping from their ears as the infinite abyss of sub 30% health bars claw at their fragile hearts.

I can almost hear them weeping over the sound of my keyboard. A thousand lamentations of a thousand inadequate renews.

-=-

I got my 2piece for T10 finally. Took me long enough.

The effect from the 2piece bonus is called “Pushing the Limit”. An appropriate name, for I get to cast 1.5 second ABlasts with its effect up. Needless to say, it is an extremely good set piece. Shall I compare it to a woman?

She is a long lost lover, a lover I had been rudely separated from many many centuries ago. As fate would decree it, I was lost. Abandoned. An infinite sadness settled upon me, never had I felt such devastating loss. But I would not tire. I could not tire.

For her love, it burned brighter than four hundred billion suns, a beacon reaching out to me across the murky depths of the world, across the sea of black that calls itself the universe. For eons, I searched the world, searching endlessly for my lost love, in the desperate hope that one day… one day we would be reunited.

That day has come, and oh what a glorious dawn it is. See how the sun rises, its gentle light sweetly caressing her face. Tears stream down our faces, as we embrace for the first time in thousands of millenia. Part of me cannot believe that my search is over, that she is real.

This tiny, niggling seed of doubt is swiftly quashed by the warmth of her arms, the silkiness of her skin, the faint scent of cinnamon in her hair. Never have I felt such all encompassing joy. I am home, at last, after so long.

She softly whispers in my ear, her voice the most beautiful music I have heard since the dawn of time itself. She says…

“I have a sister, you know. And she’s open to the idea of a threesome.”

The siren call of 4piece T10 calls to me.

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Dear Mr. Gnomeaggedon, Sir

I’ve had several pleas from the various far flung corners of the internet for help, regarding fire PvP. So without further ado, I will try my best to answer those questions.

First, gearing questions.

  • Ignore haste, crit and spellpower all the way

Haste is the best friend of frost and arcane PvP specs. Not so for fire! As a fire mage, the only spells with a cast time you will ever be casting are Polymorph and Scorch. Literally every other spell you ever use will be instant cast; you simply do not need to use haste for anything.

Instead, gear for crit. Your base PvP set has all crit, aim to get crit on every single piece you use. Buy the crit necklace, the crit cape, the crit rings, and so forth. If you end up with some haste from, say, your raiding weapons, that’s fine, just make sure your actual PvP gear is haste free.

Gem for spellpower and spell penetration. It might be tempting to gem for, say, crit, but don’t give in! Primarily you’ll want to gem Mysterious Dreadstones, and you’ll want to end up with around 120 spell penetration. This should nullify most of the resistances you meet in general PvP. Naturally, once you have enough spell penetration, fill everything else up with raw spellpower. (more…)

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Amagah! Amagah! Amagah!

RAIDING!

Arcane brings the Ferocious Inspiration buff! 3% more damage for you and the entire raid for 10 seconds whenever you crit with any arcane spell! (Effect attached to our current Arcane Empowerment talent.)

A nice buff for arcane, it spreads out yet another raid buff to allow for even more raid flexibility if somehow your raid doesn’t include a BM hunter or ret paladin.

For my 10 man guild, this is nice, as both our hunters go the survival/marksman style route, and our ret paladin is going to be a full time tank from here on out. He hated ret anyways, so this works out well for everyone. I don’t change anything, paladin gets to tank (something he actually likes doing), and me DK friend changes from full time tank to unholy DPS.

You hear that? Yeah, that’s the sound of me destroying the damage meters. It sounds like hunters and rogues crying. (more…)

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Gear Gap Bullshit

Story time. Both from a ret pally perspective and mage perspective.

Mister rogue wearing PvP blues wielding daggers he managed to dredge up from some heroic opens with cheap shot. Being a pally, I just sit there and wait for kidney. Pow, there it is, blow freedom on myself, and now the cooldown blowing competition begins. The rogue has dropped me to 95%.

Mister rogue wearing furious and relentless gear wielding 1800 rating daggers opens with cheap shot. Again, I wait for kidney. Pow, there it is, blow freedom, and the rogue has me at 60%.

The blue wearing rogue in crap gear opens on me with cheap shot. Being a mage, I just sit there and wait for kidney. There it is, I blink, at 90% health, and the rogue tries his damndest, but the poor guy just can’t touch me.

The elite gear wearing rogue opens on me with… not cheap shot, but Garrote. I can’t blink, being silenced, and he uses Eviscerate as a finisher and I’m dead literally 4 seconds after the fight started.

This isn’t QQ, not yet anyway. Rogues tear clothies apart pretty easy, I don’t wear a lot of resilience, arcane shatter mages aren’t very good against melee classes anyways, and it’s my fault I didn’t use a cooldown of some sort to survive the opener.

Point is, the geared-out-the-ass rogue could tear me apart like I was made of tissue. The one who, more than likely, is a fresh 80 could blow every cooldown he has and still not kill me, even if I didn’t use any. (more…)

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Combustion and Black Magic

Combustion

The Bottom Line – Combustion is worth the talent point for both FB and FFB mages.

If that’s all you needed to know, there you go. Sorry it was so long in coming.

On to the deeper stuff.

Combustion, for anyone who missed it, now improves the strength of your crits when it is active, and finally doesn’t interact with LB ticks. The charges are meaningful now, and with the buff, it actually is a worthwhile cooldown to use.

By itself, combustion is still rather weak, providing an absolutely minuscule DPS increase of around 0.5% if considered by itself. As all of you no doubt know, using any cooldown by itself is generally a silly thing to do. While combustion may be weak by itself, it scales extremely well when used in conjunction with other mechanics. (more…)

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Crutch Versus Enhancement

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with shamans.

By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of a certain Greedy Goblin and his hilarious exploits. Well, I suppose not everyone finds him hilarious, but I sure do.

Anyway, his most recent posts focus on gear. Or rather, the relative meaningless of gear. Long story short, his guild cleared 10-man Ulduar in blues.

This reveals the strange little issue with how players decide to treat gear. To be blunt, a very large chunk of players view gear as a crutch for their character, rather than something that enhances their character.

Look at it this way. Say you’re a professional driver. You can purchase more responsive brakes, higher quality tires, invest in better fuel and superior engineering, but none of that makes you a better driver. All it does is make driving easier and smoother.

Give an excellent driver a crappy car, and he will produce incredible performance from it. Give a piss poor driver the pinnacle of German automotive engineering, and you will have a finely crafted fireball careening into a ditch.

To put it in WoW terms, getting better gear is not going to suddenly teach you how to play. The quality of your gear can make the difference between, say, 3100 DPS and 3200 DPS, but if you expect gear to make the difference between 1500 and 3000 DPS, you’re either wrong or naked for some reason. (more…)

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