WARNING: Since this guide was first written, additional items have been added to the game, and S1 Gladiator gear has been rolled down to honor point attainable, so this info is a little dated. Also, Expertise Rating and Haste Rating are showing up on more and more attainable gear now, and neither was mentioned (or widely available) at the time this was originally written.
The Burning Crusade has not been kind to DPS warriors, especially Dual Wield Fury Warriors. Your best bets for Warrior DPS gear are really Arena gear and Heroic drops, and perhaps some crafted epics. Out of those options, only crafted gear will be immediately available upon reaching level 70.
This guide is going to focus more on gear for Arms/Fury and 2H Fury spec Warriors. The reason for this is that there is a pretty severe lack of plate gear for dual wielding warriors leveling up and just hitting 70. This is because in addition to Attack Power/STR, Critical Strike Rating/AGI, and Stamina, dual wielders also need to consider Hit Rating. Hit Rating on plate is hard to come by without slotting a lot of +hit rating gems and sacrificing other important stats. If your only concern is doing DPS in a group, and never being able to offtank on the fly to pull loose mobs off of casters and healers, then a good suit can be built up using some Leather pieces for +Hit. Also, the Ragesteel set gives good DPS stats at the cost of STA.
I don't like to sacrifice Armor or STA for DPS stats, and the gear in this guide will reflect that bias. The items presented will be good starter gear for warriors stepping into PVP and who wish to DPS in instances while maintaining the ability to take a hit from an elite. Now on to a basic discussion of stats.
For damage output you will need to balance Attack Power, Critical Strike Rating, and have about 5.6% Hit. Some target numbers to look at with this level of gear would be around 1400-1500 Attack Power (not impressive compared to epic gear, but doable with blues), 25% or more Crit, and the aforementioned 5.6% Hit. (Note: For your specials not to miss on raid bosses, you need +9% Hit)
Attack Power comes from STR and Attack Power equip bonus on items. For a Warrior, 1 STR = 2 AP. 14 Attack Power = 1 DPS. If you regularly run with a Paladin with Blessing of Kings, you should try to get most of your AP from STR.
Critical Strike % comes from Critical Strike Rating at a rate of 22.1 Crit Rating per 1% Crit, and from AGI at a rate of 33 AGI per 1% Crit. So, 1 AGI = .66 Crit Rating and 1 Crit Rating = 1.5 AGI. Keep that in mind when comparing AGI items and Crit Rating items.
Hit % comes from Hit Rating and talents. 15.8 Hit Rating = +1% chance to hit. So, for 2H warriors having 79 Hit Rating (+5%) is good, but you probably won't see it on this level of gear.
Weapon Skill really isn't relevant to this level of gear, and as none of this gear adds Weapon Skill, it's not germane to the discussion, however WoWiki has info for the curious.
The DPS for blue level weapons at level 70 is pretty uniform. It is the additional stats and equip bonuses that set them apart. For level 70 blue 2H weapons, the norm is 93.x DPS, and for level 70 blue 1H weapons, the norm is 71.x DPS.
Your basic white damage comes from weapon dps + attack power + any talents that increase weapon damage, such as two handed spec or one handed spec. This is why your damage range on your character sheet is always much higher than your weapon's actual damage range.
Your attack power always increases your white DPS.
As a result, your attack power increases the AVERAGE damage PER SWING of your weapon.
ALL of your instant attack skills are based on the damage you do per swing, plus a normalized weapon speed coefficient.
Therefore, given the same weapon DPS, A SLOWER WEAPON ALWAYS YIELDS MORE BURST DAMAGE, AND WEAPON SPEED NORMALIZATION FOR SPECIAL ATTACKS DOES NOT AFFECT THIS.
Slow weapons of the same dps HIT HARDER.
Since all of the level 70 blue weapons are the same basic DPS, you will want a weapon with a slow speed, from 3.5 up. Keep in mind, a slightly faster weapon with a lot more AP on the weapon may actually hit harder, or a slightly faster weapon with a lot of Crit on it may add more damage from crits, but you want the attack speed to be on the slow end of things for both a MS build and a 2H fury build. In the Burning Crusade, this means 3.5-3.6, with the occasional 3.7 weapon tossed in.
For a 2H wielding Warrior, slow is best due to our damage from special attacks, and especially considering the need for burst damage in PVP.
For a Dual Wield Fury Warrior, the weapon speed is less of a consideration, so long as both weapons have a high DPS and contribute Attack Power, Hit, and/or Crit. The general consensus is that a slow mainhand weapon is good, due to Whirlwind and Overpower damage, while there is a split between those who favor a faster offhand versus a slower offhand. On the side of a faster offhand, rage generation is cited as the benefit, while on the side of a slower offhand, the weaker offhand swings consuming less of your flurry charges is the reason cited. In my opinion, both are valid concerns, but rage generation is rarely an issue with a fury build and with a high enough crit rate, along with macroing to overpower with improved overpower keeps flurry up quite well. My advice here: get the highest DPS offhand you can find, but given a choice go for a slower weapon if the DPS is equal. NOTE: Since the change to Whirlwind hitting with both weapons, two SLOW weapons of the SAME SPEED (yields an extra hit from flurry) are preferred. (Slow/Fast still isn't much behind though in overall damage output.)
Now on to a gear list. Again, this is stuff you can pick up on your way to 70 or right after turning 70, and is in no way the best gear you can get. That stuff will take considerable time and effort, this stuff is what can you use while expending that time and effort.
I am not including craftable epics (save one, since Warriors are highly unlikely to be tailors) on this list. If you have engineering or blacksmithing, you have some nice epics available and you should be taking advantage of that.
Overlord's Helmet of Second Sight (Quest Reward) Great choice for 2H Warriors. The questline for this starts in Shadowmoon Valley, and you'll need a flying mount or a friendly warlock with a flying mount to complete the chain. This is available to both factions.
Hope Bearer Helm (Auchinai Crypts drop) This is a great DPS helm you can get at level 65. It doesn't make it on to a lot of Warrior DPS gear lists because the name, the gem socket bonus and the graphics all scream "Paladin," but if you take a close look you'll see that the only stats on the helm are generous amounts of STR, AGI and STA, plus it has 3 sockets. You do NOT have to use gems of the matching color for your Red/Yellow/Blue slots, you just don't get the bonus (no loss here). With three yellow +Hit gems, this becomes one of the best options for a DW Warrior for a very long time, and, of course it can be slotted for 2H use as well. Worth farming for DWing.
Exorcist's Plate Helm (Costs 18 Spirit Shards) You can use this at level 66, and it is obtained from a vendor in either Stonebreaker Hold (Horde) or Allerian Stronghold (Ally) for 18 Spirit Shards. While the Meta slot and the small amount of Resilience make the helm look attractive as an early PVP option, I'd advise you to save your Spirit Shards for a Band of the Exorcist, and use the next option until you get Hope Bearer to drop (or until you get your Overlord's).
Clefthoof Helm (Quest in Nagrand) From the Clefthoof Mastery quest in Nagrand. Nice stats with some Hit Rating. A really solid helm for a green. Obtainable at level 64with a group.
Natasha's Choker (Quest in Blade's Edge Mountains) As a warrior, you'll want a partner for this quest chain, but it's worth the effort. This is one of the few pieces of gear on the list with no STA, because the DPS stats are the best you'll see pre-raid or pre-heroic. In fact, it's so good, it's the only DPS neck on the list. It's obtainable at 65, and even if you don't luck out on a Garrote String Necklace or Pendant of Battle Lust from Hellfire Citadel runs in your early 60s, you can easily make do for five levels and get this.
Talon Lord's Collar (Quest in Sethekk Halls) This one is a tough call. You have to give up your Mark of the Ravenguard for it, which is a very good tanking neck. However, the 21 Hit Rating is nice for DW Warriors trying to maximize +hit. Natasha's choker loses 11 hit to it, but gains 12 AP and 15 Crit Rating, so is still superior for DPS IMO, even for DW.
Vengeance Wrap (Crafted - Tailoring) This is simply an incredible DPS cape, better than other pre-raid epics for pure damage output. It's a tailoring item, and it requires a Primal Nether to make, so it will cost you, but it's worth the price.
Cloak of the Inciter (Shadow Labyrinth Drop) Great choice, especially for DW Warriors due to the +hit. Worth farming.
Delicate Green Poncho (Easy quest in Nagrand) Great DPS cloak for the effort involved, obtainable at level 64. Hide Cloak option may be best whith this thing, though, as the graphic is...lacking.
Cloak of Impulsiveness (Durnholde, CoT Drop) Decent AP cloak for the level. Not worth farming.
Sylvanaar Champion's Shoulders (Quest in Blade's Edge, Alliance Only) These are green but they have the best DPS stats of any shoulders before you hit heroics. Unfortunately, the quest line is Alliance-only.
Pauldrons of the Crimson Flight (Black Morass Drop) Nice high-STR shoulders.
Overmaster's Shoulders (Quest in Netherstorm) Decent green shoulders, not as good as Sylvanaar shoulders but available to both factions. Only drawback is low STA.
Jade Warrior Pauldrons (Quest in Hellfire Citadel) While these lack the DPS stats of the Overmaster's Shoulders above, Horde Warriors may chose to use them for the STA until they get an upgrade.
Doomplate Chestguard (Arcatraz Drop) A pretty solid DPS chest, this is part of the Doomplate Battlegear Dungeon 3 DPS plate set. The nice thing about this set is that the two piece bonus is +35 Hit Rating (+2.21% Hit). The drawback is that the other four pieces of the set are all heroic drops.
Chestplate of A'dal (Questline in Netherstorm) Obtainable at 67 from a questline in Netherstorm. This is the same line that leads to the Arcatraz Key quest that gives Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard from the Tanking Gear Guide. You may as well get both. Excellent choice for DW warriors, probably the best on this list.
Blackened Chestplate (Quest in Blade's Edge) A very nice DPS chest you can get as low as level 65. The +25 Hit Rating makes it a clear winner for DW warriors.
Adamantite Breastplate (Crafted) Useable at level 67, the Stamina on this and the sockets make it a solid choice for starter PVP gear.
Durotan's Battle Harness (Durnholde, CoT Drop) Obtainable at level 66. This is a very decent crit chest for Arms Warriors. Will do quite well until you get something higher up the list.
Deathforge Girdle (Sethekk Halls Drop) Worth farming, especially for Fury warriors, who can use the slots for +hit gems. Fortunately, Sethekk Halls is a very fast run and probably your best choice to farm for Spirit Shards, so that eases the pain of getting one of these.
Rubium War Girdle (Arcatraz Drop) Kind of sad that the runner up to a belt from an easy non-70 instance is from the hardest 70 five man, but there you have it.
Borak's Belt of Bravery (Questline in SMV) Decent belt that you can get from the questline to get your Grom'tor's Charge for your tank set. It will do the job until you can get better.
Bands of Syth (Sethekk Halls Drop) Another good reason to farm Sethekk Halls a bit. Best DPS bracers you'll see for a while.
Adamantite Plate Bracers (Crafted) Another piece of the set. Again, nice starter PVP bracers if you want AP and STA.
Nexus Bracers of Vigor (Mana Tombs Drop) Your earliest blue DPS plate bracers. Usable at level 64.
Legguards of the Shattered Hand (BoE World Drop, usually available on AH) On most servers, these can be had for a reasonable price. They are the second item on this list with no STA, which is a big loss for the leg slot, but this can be made up for with a Clefthide Leg Armor for PVP, or for PVE you can boost the DPS stats even further with a Cobrahide Leg Armor. Simply the best blue DPS legs available at this time, especially for DW Warriors.
Greaves of the Iron Guardian (Underbog Drop) These are the runner up for DW warriors, even though they are usable at level 63, mainly due to the sockets. They are good enough to use from 63 to 70, though some green quest legs at higher levels offer more DPS.
Midrealm Leggings (Netherstorm Quest) Very nice green quest reward legs. Obtainable at level 68.
Runed Sketh'lon Legplates (Questline in SMV) Awesome legs if you're looking to boost your crit. Obtainable at level 69.
Inkling's Leggings (Questline in Blade's Edge) Nice AP/Crit legs obtainable at level 65.
Gauntlets of Cruel Intention (Botanica Drop) Very nice DPS gloves, and a fairly common drop from the easiest of the Tempest Keep instances.
Gauntlets of the Vanquisher (Scryer-Only Quest in Netherstorm) Nice DW gloves, though Scryer only.
Adamantite Plate Gloves (Crafted) Last piece of the set, makes the list again due to AP/STA.
Ironblade Gauntlets (Ramparts Drop) These are here simply for their two sockets. DW warriors may want to keep these to socket for +hit if they are looking to maximize +hit. Worth using until you get Gauntlets of the Vanquisher or Gauntlets of Cruel Intention, if you're DWing.
Obsidian Clodstompers (Botanica Drop) Another reason for a trip to Botanica. Very nice DPS boots that you can socket with either Crit or Hit and retain a small STR socket bonus.
Sha'tari Wrought Greaves (Quest Reward) Also featured on the Tanking Gear Guide, these can just as easily be slotted for DPS use.
Lightwarden's Band (Aldor - Revered)
Conquerer's Band / Naliko's Revenge (Horde/Alliance Quest in Shattered Halls)
Ravenclaw Band (Sethekk Halls Drop) +Hit on this one
Ring of Umbral Doom (Botanica Drop)
Longstrider's Loop (Mana Tomb Drop) Not unique, has +hit
Ring of the Exarchs (Auchinai Crypts Drop)
Band of Triumph (Blue PVP DPS Ring)
Ogre Slayer's Band (Quest Reward, Nagrand)
Band of the Exorcist (50 Spirit Shards) Only epic on the list, because it's easy to obtain. Can use at 67.
Blackhand's Breadth (Quest Reward UBRS) Why is this here? Because it's still good and it's not a drop.
Bladefist's Breadth (Quest Reward, Hellfire)
Abacus of Violent Odds (Mechanar Drop) Worth farming.
Hourglass of the Unraveller (Black Morass Drop) Worth farming.
Figurine-Felsteel Boar (Jewlecrafting, Bind on Pickup) Nice AP trinket if you happen to be a Jewel Crafter, and the little piggy can put out some damage as long as it isn't getting hit.
As previously stated, crafted BoP epics are the best here, followed by other crafted epics if you can afford them. Below are some standard DPS blues suitable for Arms or 2H Fury.
Apexis Cleaver (BoE) This can be had from AH or you can farm a Depleted Two-Handed Axe and some Apexis Crystals and make one yourself. This is from the new content in 2.1.
Hellscream's Will (Ma'har Exalted - Horde) OR
Arechron's Gift (Kurenai Exalted - Ally) These are the Talbuk mount factions in Nagrand, really easy to raise faction with.
Plasma Rat's Hyper Scythe (Mechanar Drop) Pretty common drop from first boss in Mechanar.
Sonic Spear (Shadow Labyrinth Drop) While it's a decent Warrior weapon, I'd advise you to not run with a Hunter if you want this. You'll make him a very sad Hunter if you outroll him on the Sonic Spear as it is about the best hunter weapon available for a long time, while you have a lot more options available.
Greatsword of Forlorn Visions (Botanica Drop)
Illidari Bane Claymore (Questline in SMV) Super slow, with nice high end damage range.
Firemaul of Destruction (Shattered Halls Drop) Only 90.3 DPS but has a huge top end damage due to the slow speed, tons of STA and Resilience. A nice mace spec pvp weapon.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
WARNING: Since this guide was first written, additional items have been added to the game, and S1 Gladiator gear has been rolled down to honor point attainable, so this info is a little dated. Also, Expertise Rating and Haste Rating are showing up on more and more attainable gear now, and neither was mentioned (or widely available) at the time this was originally written.
Posted by Marama at 3:39 PM
In this installment, Sango gets hopelessly lost in Stonetalon, but Joana's guide still delivers the promised levels.
I'm beginning to think that my play habits aren't doing justice to Joana's Guide. As before, I wasted a TON of time on this section of the guide. Sango, apparently, has inherited my sense of direction and short attention span.
Things started off well. I headed up to Stonetalon, picked up some quests, and worked my way up towards Sunrock Retreat. Then the first distraction got me, a level 30-40ish Dwarf Hunter with a stupid name bushwhacked me while I was killing three spiders. That's fine. That's part of life on a PVP server, keeps you on your toes and all that. Of course, the other part of life on a PVP server is sweet, sweet revenge, and failing that, reprisal against the other faction in general.
Long story short, I got on my 70 Druid, and two other level 20 alts that were ambushed hopped on their high levels, and we beat the bushes in Stonetalon looking for this guy. He must've logged, because as our dragnet expanded, we didn't manage to capture him. Well. No problem. We headed over to Ashenvale and razed Astranaar a few times, taking out any lowbies we spotted along the way. Although it got old after about the fourth or fifth sweep of NPC murder and mayhem, I did end up wasting a good part of the night just goofing off. So, when I got back to Sango, I was starting to get sleepy.
Apparently, the allies in the zone were all in bed when I logged back to Sango, so I had no more PVP issues, but I did manage to get into a cave and get killed by mobs in a spot where I couldn't res safely. Since I had to get to the back of the cave for a quest, I ressed and death ran in further, then did it again. Then spirit ressed and ran back to where I was supposed to head to after doing the cave quest. Then waited for res sickness to wear off before hitting the final few quests of the night. So, there you have it, the model of modern leveling efficiency!
I also headed over to do some of my Succubus quest chain, and my next session will begin with that rather than Joana's guide, so this will take a chunk of time off as well.
Total time played to 21: 1 day 1 hour 15 mins
Time played 20-21: 2 hrs 33 mins
ZAM Network has acquired Wowhead. This isn't exactly breaking news, as it has been a couple of days since I heard about it, however, it's noteworthy.
Apparently, ZAM is the current owner of Thottbot and Allakhazam, and the former owner of IDE, the RTM company. John Maffei, president of ZAM Network assures us in an interview that there will be no advertisements for gold sellers or power levelers on Wowhead, and pretty much attempts to put much distance between his company and the likes of IDE. I believe this, as the gold ads have disappeared from the other two sites. My one concern is that the quality of the site doesn't take a nosedive like Thottbot did, though the press release attempts to lay those fears to rest.
Gamasutra Q&A With John Maffei
Posted by Marama at 3:10 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The biggest section of Joana's Guide so far, from level 15-20 in 78 easy steps.
Thanks to the wonders of modern phone spamming and caller ID spoofing technology, I didn't get any sleep Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday mornings, so I had to do this section of the guide in little chunks of playtime. The third section of the guide was only 6 steps, so I'm combining it with the next, much longer section, for this entry.
Joana first has us dip into the Stonetalon Mountains for a couple of quests to get from 15-16. Nothing too big to report here, the last quests were up north, so it made sense to hit these as well. It was the first time I've taken my little warlock into contested territory, so my paranoia level was high, but the trip was uneventful. This section got me from 15 to 16 as promised.
The next section of the guide takes us on a grand tour of the Barrens, heading a bit further South. All of the quests were reasonably easy to do for a warlock at my level, though I did incur a few corpse runs through inattentiveness. At one point, the guide sends you to Thunder Bluff to turn in a quest and train. Unfortunately, Taurens don't tolerate our kind, so Warlocks need to go to Ratchet to train. The guide will take you there soon after, but I went ahead and flew over to train because I wanted new skills.
The /played time numbers are kind of average compared to other characters I've leveled in the zone. Then again, the Barrens is huge and I did an unusual number of corpse runs from stupidity. I expect the guide to kick into higher gear once I get a few levels. Now that I have some talent points spent, Sango is a much more efficient Warlock, and will only improve with levels.
Warlock note: It looks like the guide is going to send me near my next stage of Succubus quest anyway, so I'm holding off on doing it for now.
Total time played to 20: 22 hrs 42 mins
Time played 15-20: 9 hrs 7 mins
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Since the Burning Crusade hit, the World of Warcraft has been a little short on tanks. As a contributor to that problem by retiring my Warrior from the tanking life, I'd like to share some info for the new breed of bright-eyed Warrior rerollers who are taking up the reins from us jaded release day tanks.
Fortunately, Blizzard has made it pretty easy to get a decent set of tanking gear to start Karazhan and Heroics in Burning Crusade.
Gearing up your tank is an ongoing process. When you start researching tanking gear, you realize that there are a LOT of tanking stats to keep track of, and you'll realize that you can't set your target numbers too high on all of them without hitting up heroics and raids. Progression is the name of the game. What this guide will do is show you how to hit some pretty simple target numbers that will let you succeed in the early encounters in Karazhan (and the first few bosses drop some nice tanking upgrades) and in Heroics.
Just to simplify things, I'm going to toss out some target numbers. You will be making these numbers up with gear, and where needed, with talents. Just getting there to start out is the important part.
Defense: 490. This level of defense gives you crit immunity to most raid bosses. Some bosses will have a higher chance to crit, but that's the exception rather than the rule. More defense isn't necessarily bad, as you gain some mitigation talents other than resistance to crits, but in general it's better to steer towards other stats once you've reached 490 Def.
Armor: 12,000. This is pretty much a no-brainer. Higher armor means more survivability against melee attacks. There is NO diminishing returns on armor. Even though you don't gain as much mitigation per cent with higher levels of armor, each chunk of armor increases your survival time in melee by a static amount. So, the more the merrier here.
Health: 12,000. You'll want at least this much health to start tanking encounters where plate can be hit for upwards of 4,000 to 5,000 damage, and aside from resistance, health is the only stat keeping a tank alive against incoming magic damage.
Dodge and Parry: Ideally, you'll want these numbers to be around 40% or so combined. You'll likely be seeing 30% or so when you're starting out. Dodge is much cheaper on the item budget than Parry. While a dodged attack and a parried attack are both essentially misses (0 incoming damage), a parried attack also gives you a counter-attack, increasing the speed of your next attack. While this makes Parry kind of cool, it makes it a sucker bet for things like gems.
Speaking of Gems: Stack Solid Star of Elune. You shouldn't need any other gem to hit your target numbers.
The above was a very brief, although hopefully accurate enough for our purpose, discussion on tanking stats. You'll notice I ignored stuff like Block Rating (chance to block) and Block Value (amount to block, and increases Shield Slam damage). That's because in evaluating our starter gear set, they don't really matter. Higher end gear will add in all of the cool tanking stats you need as you progress. If you'd like a great in depth guide to tanking raids, Ciderhelm's guide on the WoW Forums is very good reading.
OK, on to the gear list. The emphasis here is on gear that you can get without too much reliance on chance. Most of this will be crafted, rep reward, or quested gear, with the occasional dungeon drop thrown in. Not every possibility is listed per slot, usually two to three max.
Felsteel Helm (Crafted)*
Myrmidon's Headdress (Quest Reward)
Mark of the Ravenguard (Quest Reward) *
Strength of the Untamed (Cenarion Expedition Revered)
Devilshark Cape (Steamvault Drop)
Cloak of Eternity (Crafted)*
Shoulderguards of the Bold (Shadow Labyrinth Drop)*
Warchief's Mantle (Quest Reward)
Jade-Skull Breastplate (Mechanar Drop)
Breastplate of the Warbringer (Quest Reward)*
Vindicator's Hauberk (Aldor Revered)
Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard (Quest Reward)
There's no excuse not to get this belt, as it's a quest reward and the only blue tanking belt in the game pre-raid or pre-heroic. If you want a filler belt while trying to get a group together to quest for this, then grab a green "Of the Champion" belt off the AH* or use one of the following quest belts:
Fearless Girdle (Quest in Zangarmarsh, has two sockets so you can add 18 STA with green gems)
Girdle of the Lost Vindicator (Aldor Quest in Netherstorm)
Sha'tari Wrought Armguards (Quest Reward)*
Bracers of the Green Fortress (Crafted Epic)
Felsteel Leggings (Crafted)*
Timewarden's Leggings (Keepers of Time Revered)
Felsteel Gloves (Crafted)*
Thatia's Self-Correcting Gauntlets (World Drop, BoE, can get on Auction House)
Sha'tari Wrought Greaves (Quest Reward)
Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves (Quest Reward)
Protector's Mark of the Redemption (Quest Reward)*
Andormu's Tear (No STA but a ton of tank stats, good if you have enough health elsewhere)
Elementium Band of the Sentry (Arcatraz Drop)
Wind Trader's Band (Quest Reward. Green, but very good stats, fast quest)*
Iron Band of the Unbreakable (Old Hillsbrad Drop)
Adamantine Figurine (Shadow Labyrinth Drop)*
Dabiri's Enigma (Quest Reward)
Figurine of the Colossus (Shattered Halls Drop)
(I'm still using my Zandalarian Hero Badge with my Adamantine Figurine. )
Grom'tor's Charge (Quest Reward)*
Honor's Call (Honor Hold Exalted)
Netherwing Protector's Shield (Quest Reward)
Aegis of the Sunbird (Botanica Drop)
Platinum Shield of the Valorius (Shadow Labyrinth Drop)*
AH Green "of the Monkey" level 70 -- Seriously, your best option for this slot.
Zerid's Vintage Musket (Quest Reward)*
Scout's Throwing Knives (Quest Reward)
*The items marked with an asterisk are my current gear, including the green belt off the AH. Since I haven't gotten my warrior's flying mount yet, I can't get a couple of the quest rewards, like the Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard or Netherwing Protector's Shield. Still, that gear only took me about three days to gather after hitting 70 and hit all of the above target numbers with a few points put into Anticipation and full Toughness. So, even if I spec partially into Protection, to offtank a raid or to tank an instance, I'm already at the target numbers, and it didn't take too much work at all.
Good luck gearing your tank!
Posted by Marama at 6:28 AM
As I was looking over retribution Paladin gear for newer level 70s to go for, I realized that the retribution sets from PVP are actually very good for PVE Ret pallies as well. I suppose nothing much has changed for Paladins in that regard in the Burning Crusade, as aside from AQ40 gear, some of the best Ret gear was also from PVP.
Kalgan made it clear in a post a while back that he and the dev team regard Retribution spec as a solo PVP and solo grinding spec. In other words, the bastard red-headed stepchild spec of what was billed as the "melee hybrid" class at release. Like many, I signed on for a melee fighter with mediocre heals and nice buffs to help out when soloing and add utility to a group. Over the last two and a half years, my paladin has evolved from a capable fifth man in a group, both able to offtank and dps, to a raid healbot, to a main instance healer. As I have a warrior, I never bothered to spec for the tanking role Blizzard wants to shove down our throats as part of the new "tanking/healing" hybrid paradigm, though I've tanked a bit of stuff as Holy.
So, it's no wonder Ret itemization is a little weird, and no wonder some of the best Retribution items are to be had from PVP. Unlike the spell damage and healing sets, the retribution gear is very light on Resilience. The stat points lost in resilience are spread around among spell damage and strength. This has caused a bit of debate. In my opinion, for PVP purposes, the spell damage should have been left as resilience rating for ret gear, and for PVE purposes strength would have provided better gains for damage output.
However, the stuff does have enough damage and healing to boost your heals by a bit, and that's somewhat useful. It becomes more useful when you realize you can toss on a healing shield like the Crystal Pulse Shield and the new +423 healing Gladiator hammer with a +81 healing enchant, and get a fast +778 Healing boost if you're in full Gladiator's/PVP gear. That's not too bad of a quick role switch if you find yourself tossing emergency heals.
My current build is 5/8/48
Sources for my numbers (subject to change when realms come back up with live data):
Arena Paladin DPS Plate
Honor Rewards from Here and Here
Here's the setup I'm looking at. It requires nothing other than getting into an arena team and accumulating points. I plan on waiting until a friend of mine finishes leveling his Hunter and just doing ten 2v2 matches a week for the Gladiator stuff. This has got to be the least optimal way to go about it, but eventually those six (seven counting healing mace) Gladiator slots will fill up!
This isn't the best gear build for pure PVE DPS. The honor cape should be replaced with a Vengeance Wrap and eventually I plan on getting Furious Gizmatic Goggles for the head slot, since I'm an Engineer. Likewise, you can probably find higher-DPS rings in instances, and from reputation rewards like Adal's Command from exalted Sha'tar rep. There are also better trinkets for DPS purposes, such as Hourglass of the Unraveller, but I chose quest rewards everyone can get easily and without loot drama.
Likewise, for pure PVP, you may want to mix in two pieces of the Season 1 Gladiator gear and get resilience gems and trinkets to boost your resilience.
The main point of this gear list is that it is obtainable on a casual basis, if you invest some time in PVP, and it's a very well-rounded setup.
Head: Merciless Gladiator's Scaled Helm
Neck: Veteran's Pendant of Triumph
Back: Sergeant's Heavy Cloak (I could not find an upgraded version of this item.)
Shoulders: Merciless Gladiator's Scaled Shoulders
Chest: Merciless Gladiator's Scaled Chestpiece
Waist: Veteran's Scaled Belt
Wrist: Veteran's Scaled Bracers
Legs: Merciless Gladiator's Scaled Legguards
Hands: Merciless Gladiator's Scaled Gauntlets
Feet: Veteran's Scaled Greaves
Ring 1: Veteran's Band of Triumph
Ring 2: Band of the Exorcist (PVP Ring you grind Auchindoun instances for. Sort of illogical, but not too tough to get with time.)
Trinket 1: Blackhand's Breadth
Trinket 2: Uniting Charm or Bladefist's Breadth (I chose the spell crit quest reward so no BFB for me. Stats below use Charm)
Weapon: Merciless Gladiator's Greatsword (The stats are the same on all the slow weapons, I happen to like the sword graphic best.)
Libram: Libram of Zeal (There is a new Arena Libram, but I don't have stats for it yet)
Now, if we add all of the above up, before customizing the gear with enchants and gems, we get:
STR: +278 / +305 with Holy STR
INT: +185 / +203 with Holy INT
Attack Power: +204
CRIT Rating: +368 (+16.65% chance to Crit)
Spell Damage and Healing: +239
Resilience: +145 (-3.68% chance to be Crit, and -7.36% damage from Crits)
HIT Rating: +28 (+1.77% Chance to Hit, +4.77% with Precision)
1x META Gem Slot
4x RED Gem Slots
4x YELLOW Gem Slots
Needless to say, this is a VERY good baseline set of stats for a Retribution Paladin. My ultimate goal in obtaining this gear will simply be to go bash in the skulls of monsters and NPCs while grinding out unfinished (or new) quests, rep, and crafting supplies, while stepping into the occasional battleground and bashing in the heads of my fellow players. (Well, their characters, let's not get too carried away.)
With that in mind, here's how I plan to slot gems and enchants on the above gear:
Head: Glyph of Ferocity (Cenarion Expedition Revered rep; +34 AP, +16 Hit Rating)
Back: Greater Agility (+12 AGI)
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Blade (Scryers Exalted rep; +15 Crit Rating, +20 AP)
Chest: Exceptional Stats (+6 All Stats)
Legs: Nethercobra Leg Armor (+50 AP, +12 Crit Rating)
Wrist: Brawn (+12 STR)
Hands: Superior Agility (+15 AGI)
Feet: Dexterity (+12 AGI)
Weapon: Mongoose (Proc: +120 AGI and Haste)
Meta: Swift Windfire Diamond (+20 AP and Minor Run Speed Increase)
Red: 4x Bold Living Ruby (+32 STR total)
Yellow: 4x Brilliant Dawnstone (+32 INT total. Plenty of Crit elsewhere, and I like a decent mana pool)
This would give me:
STR: +360 (Including Holy STR)
AGI: +45 (+1.8% Crit)
INT: +223 (No Holy INT)
Attack Power: +328
CRIT Rating: +395 (+17.87% Crit)
Spell Damage and Healing: +239
Resilience: +145 (-3.68% chance to be Crit, and -7.36% damage from Crits)
HIT Rating: +44 (+2.78% Chance to Hit, +5.77% with Precision)
This would give me a 29.67% crit chance, +5.77% hit chance, and over 1500 unbuffed attack power, while still maintaining a decent 9.5k Health and 7k Mana (roughly). Not a bad mix of damage output (30% or so crit should keep Vengeance stacked nicely) and survivability.
Of course, if you're not up for Arena, the blue PVP gear is still very nice in its own right, and the rest of the gear listed can also be had from normal battlegrounds PVP. A nice crafted epic weapon like Thunder with the blue PVP set and honor reward epics will still perform VERY nicely.
Posted by Marama at 3:31 AM
Joana's Guide forgot the important first step: /leave 1.
After leaving general chat in the Barrens, I set about following the next stage of the guide, from level 12 to 15. While Durotar really doesn't take much to optimize, I figured the Barrens would prove a nice test for the guide. After all, the Barrens is huge, and packed with quests.
Reading forward in the guide, I see that there's a quick divergence to the lower level Stone Talon quests, then it gets back to the Barrens. So, my next session will also be covering the Barrens.
The order of things was laid out very smartly, and made sense. I tend to get easily distracted, by doing things like tabbing out to surf while eating and drinking, and on the longest walk of the guide to get to a quest area, I actually walked the same distance in the opposite direction by mistake! I blame the telemarketers that kept interrupting my beauty sleep for the errors. I also got myself into several stupid spots and had more corpse runs than normal today.
All that said, the guide worked well. There was nothing in this section that was beyond a Warlock's abilities to accomplish (an alert one anyway). I didn't do the quests at the tail end section of the guide, having gotten myself into a spot where I couldn't res safely and spirit ressing. So, I wasted some precious travel time. I had already hit 15 before starting those, however.
My hunter guildmate reports good success with the guide as well. He's not questing exclusively, taking time to do crafting as well, but he's hit 20 since he picked up the guide, which was after I did. After the servers come up tomorrow, I hope to get a nice long session and clear a big chunk of the Barrens out.
Time played to 15: 13 hrs 35 mins
Played time 12-15: 4 hrs 49 mins
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Sango the Orc Warlock decides to level up using Joana's Horde Leveling Guide.
I've got a very small (five active members) guild on a PVP server. We're just big enough to create a 5v5 Arena team. This is the server where I already have a level 70 feral Druid. I like the druid for PVP in general, and he's strong in most 1 v. 1 match ups, but I don't see him as all that viable in 5v5 Arena.
Since we have a Paladin, Warrior, Priest and Rogue in the works, I decided to build a Warlock. I've already been to 60 five times, and to 70 four times, and our plan is to hit BGs at 70 and get the blue sets and BG epics then transition to Arena, so gear isn't an issue. Quest gear will do fine to start out. That left speed as my concern. My compatriots are already 55 and 60 now, so I have some catching up to do.
I decided to drop the $37 on Joanna's guide to see how fast it could speed things up. Sango's Journey entries will record my experiences with the guide, including tips for use with a Warlock. Since the guide is focused on my goal, speed leveling, if it's good, it has far more value than any Prima guide, and will be well worth the cost. Especially since I can use it again on other alts.
I bought the guide when my Warlock was level 8, and I spent a lot of time goofing off in guild chat discussing plans for the arena team, so my initial leg of the journey will not be an accurate gauge of leveling speed.
Part One of the guide takes you from level 1-12. There is both a Blood Elf starting area guide and an Orc starting area guide. One of our 60s got the guide and started a new Blood Elf hunter to check it out, and he's had nice results in the Blood Elf area. Considering Orc racials for a PVP lock, I went the Orc route.
Since I've already done the vast majority of the quests in the guide and don't need the links or the maps on the HTML version (and because WoW crashes a LOT lately when you alt-tab out), I just printed the pages for the first section off the PDF file, and used them as a checklist.
The first thing you notice about the guide is that it is written from a hunter's perspective. The hunter class quests, including details such as the best pets to tame along the way are highlighted in red, so they're easy to skip.
Durotar is pretty much Durotar now matter how you slice it. The suggested order of quest stacking was very good though, and more optimal than my usual approach. There was one glitch, and that is with a timed quest.
At one point, the guide directs you to pick up "Need for a Cure" and then tells you to go do four more quests, then run down to turn in some in Razor Hill, then run up and do all the cave quests, and THEN turn in "Need for a Cure."
"Need for a Cure" requires you to complete "Finding the Antidote" which gets you the antidote for the poor troll hiding out in the rocks. (I have to wonder why the NPC doesn't just take a few steps to the East and shout for a guard.) "Need for a Cure" has a 45 minute timer. There is NO WAY I could get the quests in the guide done in that time frame with my Warlock at level 10. I have some reservations about a Hunter doing it, but it may be possible. I failed the quest by about 30-45 seconds. When you drop "Need for a Cure" the game also deletes your antidote, meaning you have to go pick that quest up again and do it.
My advice: After you pick up "Finding the Antidote", DROP "Need for a Cure" and at the point the guide tells you to go turn in "Need for a Cure" pick it back up and give the antidote to the troll. This lets you get the antidote and not worry about the timer.
Warlock Tip: You can wait until you do the cave quests to get the first leg of the voidwalker quest done, and when you go back to Org for other quests, the last part is right next to one of those.
Time Played to Level 12: 8hrs 46mins
Check back daily to see Sango's progress!
I've decided to place my Warrior, Paladin, and Druid into semi-retirement, and to make my Mage my new main. That's two less tanks on two servers and one less healer. In fact, I've respecced the Warrior and Paladin to Arms/Fury and pure Retribution, because I'll likely only break them out to do quests for cash or some PVP.
What prompted me to do this? The primary reason isn't really any great dissatisfaction with tanking or healing, as I enjoy both those roles, but simply a matter of time. Focusing on one character will allow me to advance further in the game and get great gear all that much faster. And a certain weariness of tanking and healing.
OK, so why the Mage? I could've gone with my Warrior, Paladin, Druid or Hunter as main. The first three are already level 70, and geared for the roles they're most in demand for, and the Hunter is 61 and easy enough to level. In terms of gearing, mages have some nice things going for them with epic tailoring items, and reputation items in the Burning Crusade, and I spend a lot of time soloing at weird hours, so that's a huge benefit. The other reason is that I'm frankly sick of tanking and healing for PUGs, and I tend to do more PUGs than guild runs.
Let's face it, good PUGs are the exception. As a tank, you constantly have to fight your own group for control of the mobs, because your DPS is incapable of focus firing, causing mobs to run amok bouncing between the DPS and the healer trying to keep them alive. DPSers constantly shoot incoming mobs before you can even land a single sunder on them, or stun them before they get to you. And let's not forget jumpy DPSers pulling while you're still marking or setting up a pull, or worse yet, waiting for a pat to clear. It's even better when two of your DPS pull before you're ready, and pull different mobs. Heck, sometimes I'm waiting for the cooldown on my Bloodrage when my hyperactive PUG DPSers pull. Guess what? If that taunt gets resisted, I've got no rage to use anything else to get aggro on the mob. Enjoy your corpse run.
Healing in PUGs is only a slightly better proposition. All of the above problems from DPSers usually culminate in a dead healer due to spreading heals over the whole group and getting excessive healing aggro. Then you have the truly bad tanks who can't tank more than a single mob, as if it's hard to locate the Demoralizing Shout button or Thunderclap. I've lost count of the times I've been slammed by three or more mobs after tossing a single Flash of Light. That's just sad. Sometimes, even under the best of circumstances, you're going to get aggro as a healer. Fortunately, most if not all DPS classes have some form of crowd control or snare they can use to get those mobs off you. But do they? Nope, too busy watching their damage meters.
Anyway, next time you're in a group with three DPSers (and I may be one of them!) looking for that elusive tank and healer, think about how much a little awareness that a dungeon is a group effort can go towards solving the mysterious tanking and healing shortage.
Posted by Marama at 2:38 AM
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Looks pretty nice, especially the new weapons. World of Raids has links up.
Warlock set wins in the graphics department, in my opinion.
Posted by Marama at 11:52 PM
The Burning Crusade introduces a lot of new factions, and these have some great rewards, including items, recipes, heroic instance keys, or head and shoulder enchants. The good news is, that it's a lot easier to gain faction in The Burning Crusade than ever before in World of Warcraft.
That said, there are a few things you can do to maximize your rep gains. There are three main sources of faction: Killing mobs that give reputation, doing quests, and doing repeatable turn in quests. There are lower level repeatable quests that stop at Honored rep, and higher-level repeatable quests that will take you to Exalted, depending on the faction. Reputation for kills stops at Honored, until you get to level 70 instances. Normal quests give reputation no matter what level your reputation is at.
Let me repeat that: Normal quests give reputation no matter what level your reputation is at.
This is key to maximizing your Burning Crusade reputation gains. As you enter each new zone in Outlands, you should avoid doing faction-granting quests of the non-repeatable kind until you have run that zone's instances enough times to get your reputation to Honored. Doing this will put your reputation up to Revered, and should get you some good gear in the process. Once you hit level 70 you can run the higher-level wing of each instance to get to Revered (or Exalted if you wish.)
Some of the major factions are listed below, to get you started. Note, the Reputation Rewards links go to the main faction page for WoWHead, which has more advice on gaining reputation:
Instance: Hellfire Citadel (All wings)
Instance: Hellfire Citadel (All wings)
Instance: Coilfang Resevoir (All wings)
EDIT: My guildies have followed this advice, and by doing Coilfang instances to honored, then all of the CE quests, including Blade's Edge were able to quest all the way to Revered. I think this is the only faction where the quests make this possible in BC. Sure saves a lot of rep grinding at 70!
Keepers of Time:
Instance: Caverns of Time (All wings)
Instance: Tempest Keep (All wings, up to Exalted)
Instances: None for kill rep, but Shadow Labyrinth and other instances with demon mobs provide drops that can be turned in for reputation. (Fel Armaments and Marks of Kil'jaeden)
Instances: None for kill rep, but the Tempest Keep instances' Blood Elves drop repeatable turn in items. (Arcane Tomes and Sunfury Signets)
Instances: Auchindoun (All wings, except Mana Tombs)
Instances: Mana Tombs
Posted by Marama at 11:00 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Yes, I used that dirty word "grinding" -- sometimes there's no way around it. MMORPGs are time sinks, and WoW is no exception. Well, in the case of tailoring, the Burning Crusade makes a bit of a grind worth the effort with the introduction of several epic cloth sets. In addition, there are three complimentary sets for each, the patterns for which are drops. There are also several non-set cloth epic patterns. If you aren't already familiar with them, get on over to wowhead and check them out.
My mage was a miner/skinner before Burning Crusade came out, so I've had to power level tailoring. I'm currently approaching 300 tailoring. The best grinding spots I've found so far are:
Deadmines: Linen. A no-brainer. Just pull the whole instance and hit them with downranked AOE spells to conserve mana.
Stockades: Wool. Another obvious choice. Many of the mobs here can knock you down or interrupt your casts, but that shouldn't be a huge issue.
Scarlet Monastery Armory: Silk. As a mage, I found the Armory to be much more productive for silk than the Library, due to most of the mobs being melee only, making them easier to gather up for AOE. I believe Armory also has a better drop rate for silk, though I'm not running any stat gathering mods to be certain. At 70 it's possible to pull a couple sections at at time.
Dunemaul Compound, Tanaris: Mageweave. This is simply the easiest area to run laps and rake in mageweave. The drop rate is good and usually nets 2-3 pieces of cloth. Sometimes run into farmers, but they usually leave with a 70 player cleaning the place out quickly. Just be polite and don't kill the named quest NPC in the cave, and if you see your own faction there, ask if they're questing. If it's the other faction. . .well, they're on the wrong side, aren't they? Tanaris is also the closest flight path to your trainer at this level, over in Theramore, so it's easy to go pick up new recipes as you skill up.
Blackrock Stronghold, Burning Steppes: Runecloth. This is a great area for runecloth. It's one of the areas I used to gank farmers on my pvp server once upon a time. With Burning Crusade out, it seems mostly empty on my two servers lately. Not only do you get a nice respawn rate on the mobs inside and outside of the building, but there are three chest spawn points as well: One by each fire outside, and one (really two) inside the inner ring where the elite guy is. Oh, don't bother with the elite, it seems you can't actually kill him, as he's a quest NPC set to "submit" after you beat him down a little.
Any Manaforge, Netherstorm: Netherweave. The lower level guys at Manaforge B'naar provide easy kills and a short trip to town to sell vendor trash. I'm Scryer rep, so I farm these for Sunfury Signets and Arcane Tomes for a nice double dip. The ghosts at the Ruins of Enkaat also have a good drop rate and are somewhat easier kills.
For Felcloth, the satyrs in Azshara are great, but I am certain I can go from runecloth to netherweave without needing to hit Azshara.
I'm sure you've seen them by now: Hunter with a pig named "Boar," running in a pre-set pattern and merrily killing mobs even after you've tapped them. I've run into them in Azshara and last night came across a several in Tanaris. These seem to be the latest flavor of gold farmer, the bot farmers. I don't like them.
I remember the good old days when my servers' farmers had real people behind them! Whether you loved them or hated them, you could at least interact with them. The farmbots are another symptom of the new breed of in your face gold farming business model characterized by spamming tells that take up your entire chat window, and I hope Blizzard is successful in shutting both the bot software writers and the gold spammers down. (You know who I mean on both accounts probably, and I won't mention them by name, they don't deserve the free publicity. I will delete any replies mentioning any of these companies by name as well.) I yern for the days of the kinder, gentler, HUMAN farmers.
The human-controlled farmers could sometimes be annoying, but they weren't usually all that bad to deal with, and they weren't engaging in any in-game activity that everyone else hasn't -- we're all farmers at some point. Although they were working for gold-selling companies, which is an activity I can't condone, at least they were real players who you could interact with, and sometimes to your mutual benefit.
I remember when I was leveling my paladin from 58-60, pre 1.8 days. I decided to check out Tyr's Hand to see if I could grind on the elites there, as I'd heard they were good farming. Of course, the area was swarming with professional farmers! Well, instead of leaving or trying to compete with a dozen or so level 60 rogues and hunters for kills, I healed one of the more efficient-looking rogues. I got an instant group invite, and a ton of /love and /hug emotes. I had adopted my first farmer! I heal-botted the rouge for a few hours and we flew through the kills. My adoptee fed me a steady supply of water and mana pots from the drops, and I got an entire level of experience from one session as well as half the cash drops and my share of loot from group loot. I had just made some person's day on the other side of the world by increasing their productivity by a huge chunk and got myself a nice level out of it. Usually on my PVE server, the farmers were willing to lay off of quest mobs if you sent them a tell (well, usually several) and were nice enough to say, trade mana pots for mage water. On my PVP server, it was always fun to gank the farmers. Usually I'd get a free HK out of the deal, but some of those guys were actually pretty fun to fight. Ah, those were the good old days.
But, what can we do with these farmbots? Or to them. On PVP servers, we can kill those of the opposite faction of course, and on PVE servers or same faction on PVP servers, we can tag their mobs if we have instant ranged attacks and let them do the killing for us, which is nice, but not nearly as fun as I'd like.
What do you do with your farmbots? More importantly, what do you do to your farmbots?
There are many great (and not so great) sites out there devoted to World of Warcraft. So why do we need another one? Well, we don't, but I wanted to enter Blog-space and WoW is a topic I like to write about.
While I would love to have one of those resource-packed, informative sites that everyone flocks to -- it's been done. I plan to share as many of those resources with you as I can. I'm sort of a hardcore casual player by nature, meaning I'm the type of person who spends a good deal of time logged in to the World of Warcraft, and have played since release, having had five level 60s and a small army of alts when Burning Crusade came out. I've done some raiding, and much dinking around with this or that, and try to keep up to date on matters of interest to WoW gamers. I currently have four level 70s, and am raiding on one of those. I spend my online WoW time split between doing things with my raiding guilds and my family guilds.
So, this blog is aimed at folks like me, and at helping those players who invest a little less time in the game. Hopefully I can share a few tips and some humorous observations with my fellow WoW addicts, and perhaps pick up tips from my fellow gamers.
Please, feel free to comment! Just keep it clean, civil, and spam-free.
Posted by Marama at 7:18 AM