Yesterday I suggested you re-examine gear upgrades based on the availability of Primal Nethers and Nether Vortexes.

I had been planning on buying a Belt of Blasting for my Shadow Priest off the AH. I had budgeted 2400g for that purchase before 2.4 went live.

The first thing I did yesterday was go to the Badge Vendor (who has moved from the floor of Shatt to a second floor balcony in Shatt overlooking A’dal, btw. He’s still around, don’t panic.)

And there I bought two Nether Vortexes for 30 of my cherished Badges.

Yay! Now I gather up 15 Primal Fires and a few negligible Imbued cloth and boom! I’ll have a Belt of Blasting.

And only then did I see someone advertise on the trade channel… “WTS many Nether Vortexes, PST”.

Hmmm…. which are more valuable to me… gold, or Badges of Justice. Well, I spend 2 hours in an instance getting 4 or 5 Badges. I can spend that same two hours getting 200 gold or more, easily.

So… say on a time to money ratio of 200g = 5 Badges, just for the sake of argument, then 1 Nether Vortex = 600 gold.

I went and scoped out the AH… sure enough, Nether Vortexes, 400g each. So I bought two more, wishing I could get my damn 30 Badges back from the vendor.

Oh, why did I buy two more Nether Vortex?

Because while I was thinking of Vortex, I asked a friend in a major raiding guild on our server, Meowmix the kickass feral druid in Vendetta, if she knew someone that could craft Belt of Natural Power.

And the answer was, yes, but they were going to raid Hyjal. Could I wait until about 11:00 PM for the crafting?

Lol. Naw, 3 hours is too damn long to wait. Really. I’ll go freaking sulk about it.

Pfft.

So I checked the bank… as a jewelcrafter, engineer and tailor, with Cassie as an alchemist, doing tons of herbalism and farming primals from clouds using engineering… I end up with tons of Primal Life and Primal Air, that none of our recipes actually USE.

So I already had the 10 Primal Air, 10 Primal Life sitting in the bank. Grab the Vortexes and some leather, and I was all set.

Yep, that’s right… I be sporting the Belt of Natural Power now!

Thanks Meowmix, and thank you to Frostdragon of Vendetta for doing the crafting… it may have been just a little of your time, but it was a massive upgrade for me. glee!

What I did, my first thought was to dump 2 Stamina gems into it, but then I decided that it would make a nice upgrade for both kitty and tank sets, if I compromised a little bit. I put two Shifting Nightseyes into it, getting the gem color bonus of +4 Stamina. The way I look at it, I could have put two +12 Stamina gems in and had +24 Stam from sockets. I could put two +8 Agility gems and get +16 Agi and + 4 Stam… but I already have 40% dodge. It’s health that I’m feeling damn low in. But with two Shifting Nightseyes, I get +8 Agi and +16 Stam, counting the socket bonus.

So it’s a compromise, but +4 Stam seemed too nice to just dump.

I am very, very worried about what to do next though. I’m having a hard time seeing what to do next for Badge rewards, and still keep my uncrittable. The new 100 Badge leggings seem like the absolute best Badge upgrade for me next, but the loss of the DR makes me shudder.

At times, I really hate druid itemization for tanking… WTB a lot more freaking DR.

Ok, now as a little aside… one new thing from the Shattered Sun Offensive Quartermaster is a new Glyph to head gear… the Glyph of the Gladiator available at revered rep. I’m already friendly, so I don’t see that taking all that long if you do your dailies.

Currently, the standard feral tank Glyph is the Glyph of the Defender from Keepers of Time rep.

Now, in some cases we could gladly give up the 17 Dodge Rating (just a little less than 1% Dodge at level 70, 18.9 Dodge Rating equals 1% Dodge) in exchange for 18 Stamina. I personally find it a lot easier to stack Agi than Stamina on my gear, so that 18 Stamina already makes the Gladiator pretty attractive.

But we got the choice of either 20 Resilience from Gladiator or 16 Defense Rating from Defender.

Baseline, assuming level 70 tank vs 73 raid boss;

  • 39.4 Resilience = 1% reduced chance to be crit.
  • 59 Defense Rating = 1% reduced chance to be crit.

20 Resilience is worth ~.5% reduced chance to be crit.

16 Defense Rating is worth ~.37% reduced chance to be crit.

So as you can see, disregarding all of the many other benefits of Defense skill, if you’re main worry is scrimping the points to eke out your uncrittable, then it looks like Glyph of the Gladiator gets you closer to your goal, and gives you a boost in raw health over increased dodge.

And having said all that… go ahead and tell me that Rawr does the math for you already without your having to buy the Glyph of the Gladiator and equip it and running your uncrittable macro. Go ahead. Since I can’t run Rawr at work, I can’t check it. Bet it does already, though.

Sigh. Am I the only one that wishes that something designed specifically for feral druids to use as tanks should actually have defense rating or resilience on it, in an assumption that we already know we are going to need it? Seriously. Does Blizzard really think that most players WANT to have to crunch these numbers to remain uncrittable, and not use items from highly difficult encounters supposedly designed for us to use as tanks because it has no DR? What a pain in the ass.

If they give you items costing 100 badges, designed for bear tanking, geez! Don’t be so blatantly obvious about screwing us on the DR, huh?

Let’s be honest… if your argument is that only end game raiders are going to worry about being uncrittable so it doesn’t matter if they make it hard to figure out… then by the same token Blizzard knows that end game raiders ARE GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT.

Sure, don’t get me wriong. I’m not saying Blizzard is unrealistic. They gave us Survival of the Fittest, and I appreciate that. But at the very highest end game, it really looks like they decided they did enough to get us most of the way there, now let’s starve them to death on a stat they know they MUST have to survive.

It’s a snake eating it’s own tail. Blizzard cannot itemize for end game complexity, and then pretend to be surprised when end game raiders figure the shit out, and try to reduce how much DR we have available to us to punish us for figuring it out. The final result is, end game raiders will simply do what they have to do to remain viable as tanks.

The only people who truly get screwed are the casual players that got themselves a feral druid, heard about druids being good at tanking these days, get themselves to 70, and collect their gear thinking “Well, high armor must be good because the tooltip says I get a multiplier in bear form. High agility must ge pretty good for dodging lots. And high Stamina must be good for lots of health.” 

And then they take that gear, and go play with their other casual friends who are under the mistaken assumption that they are playing a game for amusement rather than serious business, and as the crits come rolling in pounding the hell out of the healers’ ability to keep the tank alive, everyone just gets pissed. And the forums get flooded with tales of the horrible run they just had with the bear tank that sucked, warriors must be the only true tanks, yadda yadda yadda.

I’m not saying make the gear so that it’s all care bear simple for folks that don’t make an effort to find out stuff… I’m saying itemize the stats that everyone that raids KNOWS are critical to achieve, that are going to be gotten anyway, and stop making it so impossible for a casual player to get the right mix without tons of math and research. We all know being uncrittable is vastly important for a bear tank. But if I were simply going by the stats on gear, I sure as hell would see little sign that Blizzard thinks so.

For myself, I can see I’m going to be going through the fun of compiling a new list of every resilience and defense rating enchant, potion, elixir, glyph, gem and armor kit and working out percetage equivalencies so I can stay on top of it. Oh, whee. Just so much fun, I can hardly stand myself.

If someone else already made such a nice, complete list, let me know.

Yep, today is an oriental buffet for lunch day. Gonna drown my annoyance in some General Tso’s chicken.

10 Responses to “Taking my own advice on gear”
  1. Messyah says:

    I have the Belt of Natural Power and I LOVE it! In fact, two Shifting Nightseyes is exactly how I socketed it as well. LOL

    Did you see the Shattered Sun cloak you can get that has High Armor, High Stamina and Resilience? Perhaps they are realising what theorycrafters knew all along. I guess that’s a start.

    I’m kinda stuck in a similar position. I mean, it looks like no thought was given to our Tanking needs since the Heavy Clefthoof set, which included defense on each piece of gear. Now, I have T4 Helm and Legs and T5 Shoulders and Gloves and I am hanging on to my required Defensive Rating number by a thread and once I replace the Heavy Clefthoof boots, I’ll have to completly re-evalutate my gems and resocket accordingly. It’s actually quite frustrating.

    I may go the route of Resilience since it is becoming more easily obtainable, thanks to some new enchants, gem cuts and gear items.

    I did get these two items the other night off of Hydross:

    Scarab of Displacement
    Binds when picked up
    Unique
    Trinket
    Requires Level 70
    Equip: Increases defense rating by 42.
    Use: Increases your defense rating by 165, but decreases your melee and ranged attack power by 330. Effect lasts for 15 sec.

    Living Root of the Wildheart
    Binds when picked up
    Unique
    Trinket
    Classes: Druid
    Requires Level 70
    Equip: Your spells and attacks in each form have a chance to grant you a blessing for 15 sec.

    (Proc Values)
    Cat form: 64 strength
    Bear form: 4070 armor
    Moonkin form: 209 dmg
    Tree form: 326 healing
    Caster form: 175 dmg/healing

    The scarab is a nice tanking trinket, but probably a bit better for Warriors and Paladins since it would give them a nice bonus to shield block and parry as well as avoidance. It still doesn’t fill the void that us feral tanks face when looking to remain uncrittable.

  2. Kal says:

    Rawr does the math already. :p

    Make sure that you get your guild enchanters up so that they can get the enchant chest: defense enchant. (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=46594) Given how bad the all stats is, the defense enchant should be an easy deal. It requires honored with SSO, but that shouldn’t be hard to do if you’re doing your dailies.

    The chest is probably better than the legs, badge wise, depending on what you have and what you can raid. I thought of it this way: is it more likely that I’m going to down KT or…uh…anyone else? If you’re not doing KT/T6 stuff, it’s an easy choice.

    Another option for badges that I’m going for is the new ring. That’s the best ring in the game for druids, and it should help a lot.

  3. Kal says:

    Also, I thought about it some more and bought the nether vortexes as soon as I relogged. I ended up spending 250g each, but I figure that’s actually cheaper than what they’ll end up being. With the amount of dailies increasing both in what you can do and how many there are, I expect to see some inflation. And as you pointed out, it’s a lot easier to make 250g than it is to get 15 badges.

    Just need to farm/get the rest of the mats, and the Natural Power will be all mine! MWAHAHAHAHA

  4. Mannyac says:

    Sorry I can’t meet you for lunch…miss that place

  5. bigbearbutt says:

    I miss you too buddy… I miss you too.

    I’ll have to get some Smithwicks and hoist one in your honor.

  6. scotth says:

    WoW is a cool game and all, but I could really do with less math. Seriously.

  7. dfv says:

    The Scarab exactly fills a defense void in these tight situations where you’re mixing and matching set bonuses to get a good combination of Armor / Sta and Hit for your tanking gear. Using Rawr, the Scarab gives me a higher overall total than if I lose +6 stats to Chest with a Def enchant or Cloak Resilience enchant or add extra def gems in other pieces (usually at the expense of STA). The problem is that you only pickup about 2% dodge with the “on use proc” as opposed to the Moroes Pocket Watch’s superior avoidance – so I sadly (for now) have had to de-equip the watch.

  8. Stobnor says:

    Started to write a long comment about something that happened last night, and then decided that B^3’s comments isn’t the right place for it – it’ll become the second post on my WoW Blog, I think – right there after the Intro post that’s not yet written…

    The end point of the story, though, was “Are Druids more likely to be influenced by Theorycrafting and understanding Game Mechanics?”

    Last night I ended up explaining uncritability to a Tankadin and why it was a bad idea for him to be tanking Heroic BF if he wasn’t… And trying to explain chain trapping to a Hunter…

    Maybe it’s just my “type” that I’m interested in “being better” and “where the numbers come from”, but I was amazed that the Tankadin didn’t already know that…

  9. Messyah says:

    DFV – Believe it or not, as many times as I have run Kara, the pocketwatch has yet to drop for me. Up until getting the scarab, I had been tanking with the Adamantine Figurine and the Badge of Tenacity, so as of now, the Scarab is an upgrade from the Adamantine Figurine.

    And did you “de-equip” or “re-equip” the watch? I’m confused. LOL

  10. dfv says:

    Hehe. I had to de-equip my Watch and put the Scarab on to be crit-immune in 4xT4 and 1XT5. Sure I have 34500 Armour and 45% dodge, but I needed other slots and enchants to focus on getting some Stam/AGI, so my compromise was to keep a DEF trinket. I did leave the DEF bracer enchant on though and will be seeking the Gladiator Glyph in the near future though.

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