Archive for Gear

The Main Change

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Question:  At what point do I officially call it a main change?

Almost from the moment I started playing WoW my main has been Randul the Dwarf, Protection Warrior extraordinaire.  I’ve tanked my way through the game since about level 45, as Arms until 60 and then making the switch to Prot.

I literally tanked my way through Burning Crusade, leveling by instancing.  I took a small break for Wrath leveling to play Arms, but as soon as I hit 80 Protection became my main spec once again.  Up until now, there has been no doubt that Randul was my “main character.”

I’ve taken a moment to step back and reflect upon the last couple months of my WOW playtime.  Randul has been getting a little dusty.  Oh sure, I bust him out for the weekly each week, and I’ve tanked our secondary ICC run once, but for the most part he’s sitting around drinking.

Last month, Kered was front and center.  I was running in our progression raids as dps.  I was running randoms on Kered to get MOAR GEARZ.  For a few weeks, I had made the transition from primarily tank to primarily dps.

Then this month hit.  If your main is measured in time-played, my main for the past month has been Daenaran.  Anything I’m allowed to take him to, I do so.  I’ll still run the progression raid tonight on Kered, but any randoms or lower level raids will be done on Dae.

Has my main changed?  If someone came up and asked me what my main character was, I would answer Warrior without thinking.  If my guild runs an old school raid that Randul doesn’t have, he will be the first in line to go.  Should that go into consideration?

Bottom line:  If I had my choice of who to play tonight, it would be Daenaran, the Restoration Shaman.

Speaking of Dae, WOW did I have a stellar night last night!  I and four guildmates ran four Heroics last night.  Old Kingdom, Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection.  The HoR run was hilarious.  Three of us got the achievement for the instance, the achievement for the heroic version of the instance and the achievement for beating the gauntlet within the time limit all at the same time.  Not bad for a bunch of alts.

I managed to snag four upgrades (including an emblem item) to iLevel 200 stuff I was packing.

Blackened Ghoul Skin Leggings from Pit of Saron

Oath of Empress Zoe from Halls of Reflection

Surgeon’s Needle from Pit of Saron

Talisman of Resurgence from Emblems of Triumph

Definitely a good night.  Pushed the ol’ Gearscore to over 4700.


I miss that wonder

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on March 29, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Do you remember when you first started playing the game?  Did you have that sense of wonder, newness and excitement?  I think that wonder comes with the start of any new game.  It’s basically the excitement of being a newb.  I miss that.

Unfortunately, there are only a handful of ways to get that wonder back.

  • Start a new character.  This is tricky because if you’ve made enough alts, (I have 9 who are level 20 or higher.) you aren’t really going to see much in the way of new content, especially if you stay within your faction.  Which brings us to the second way;
  • Start a new character on the opposite faction.  This would actually be a viable option for me, as I have only leveled one Horde character.  I would have to level in the Eastern Kingdoms to get new content, but that’s doable.  The problem with this is I would be separated from my friends and only the content is new…not the mechanics.
  • Start a new game.  Not really an option for me, but this is the most surefire way to get that sense of wonder I’m looking for.  Start out as a true newb in a new game.  I’ve played four games in my online gaming life.  Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online and World of Warcraft.  Each of these games had that sense of wonder and exploration that I love as a newb.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford to do this, nor do I want to abandon my current online friends.

So where does that leave me?  I have no idea.  Any thoughts on how I can recapture some of that wonder?

On a side note, the Shaman

Daenaran is coming along nicely for an alt of a player with limited time to play.  I believe his current gearscore is around 3300.  His wow-heroes score is 1499, which places him right in the “do Naxx10 and OS10” territory.  I’ve managed to get my hands on two pieces of T9 Resto gear and some iLevel 200 gear from Heroics & Normal ToC.

The next thing I’m going to shoot for with Emblems is a new totem, apparently a totem that decreases the mana cost of lightning bolt isn’t doing much for my healing.  I think I’m ready to dive into Heroic ToC and maybe the normal ICC 5-mans.

I’m really enjoying playing on him, although I tend to queue as dps when doing pug randoms more often than not.  Maybe now that I’ve got some t9 pieces I’ll feel more confident about healing.  Other than normal gearing, my biggest challenge with him now is going to be getting a UI that suits my needs and desires.  Something about the default UI is lacking to me, but I have trouble getting a custom UI to work.  I’m very picky.


Tank Gearing 102: Gearing for Raids

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

In yesterday’s Tank Gearing 101 post, I talked about how to gear for Heroics.   If you look at the gear from that post, you’ll see that the Stamina and Avoidance are still rather lacking.  Today, I will talk about how to use Heroics to get those stats up and prepare for raids.

The general strategy is run run run run run Heroics until your eyes bleed.  Each boss in a Heroic will drop an Emblem of Conquest, which can be used to buy pieces of gear.  In this day of Conquest Emblems, you will be expected to have much better gear just to go into Naxxramas than we had to have when it first came out.

As an aside, you should do the Daily Heroic quest every day you can find the time.  This will reward you with two Emblems of Triumph, which can be used to buy even better gear than Emblems of Conquest.

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Tank Gearing 101: Gearing for Heroics

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve helped two up and coming guild tanks get their gear in order in the past couple weeks, so I thought this might be a suitable time to do a post about gearing your tank.

Disclaimer:  While there are some slight differences between the plate-wearing tank classes, the primary rules remain mostly the same.  While some classes may put more stock in Block (Paladins) than others, the general guidelines I present here today will give any plate-wearing tank a good idea of how they should gear.  I’m not even touching Druids, they are a mystery to me.  Who tanks without plate?

The Rules

There are (currently) some rules to gearing your tank.

  • Rule #1 – To tank a raid, you must have 540 Defense (Heroics require 535)
  • Rule #2 – When Defense is no longer required, gem and enchant for Stamina.

Those are the rules, not overly complicated right?  Of course, there are exceptions, but these two rules will get you far.

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The Upgrade that Wasn’t

Posted in Gear with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

When is an upgrade not an upgrade?  When everyone you are competing against gets the exact same upgrade as you.

Imagine if you will, you try and try and try and TRY AND TRY to get an upgrade over your pvp weapon, the Titansteel Destroyer.  The vast majority of people you are pvping against seem to either have the Titansteel Destroyer or the Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver.  You run Ulduar every week hoping Ironsoul or Stormedge will drop.  All of the 2-handed dps in your runs have gotten their upgrades, the only thing standing between you and a massive weapon upgrade is the stupid thing dropping.

Then, the unthinkable happens.  3.2 comes out.  Weapons of the exact same quality (in fact they are better) are dropping in a 5-man Heroic!  Why slam your face against Ulduar droprates when you can just run Heroic Trial of the Champions every day and hope it drops there!

Finally, you get that upgrade you’ve been looking for!  You are ready to go out there and face the world with your awesome new weapon.  You go into Arena and what happens?  Everyone and their stinking brother has done the exact same thing as you.

This is my story.  I’ve tried for months to get my hands on an upgrade to the Titansteel Destroyer so I could go out there and rock the competition.  I’ve run Ulduar, Naxx25 and even a few Naxx10’s in hopes of Death’s Bite dropping.  My luck has been, abysmal.

Finally a shortcut.  Heroic TotC.  So I run it for a week and finally Marrowstrike drops.  I’m happy!  I’m thrilled!  I’m deceived.

Make no mistake about it, Marrowstrike & Edge of Ruin are Titansteel Destroyer 2.0.  These weapons aren’t upgrades if everyone else is using the same weapon!  Sure, if I still had Titansteel Destroyer it would be even worse, but upgrading to Marrowstrike has taken me to the exact same level I was before!  Right next to everyone else!

Now what?  Now I have to find the next upgrade.  Unfortunately the next upgrade is just not very accessible to me.  Taking a look at Rawr, I can see the following weapons would be upgrades for me.

(Listed in reverse order from smallest upgrade to largest)

  • Hoperender – This is attainable for me, but it’s not really an upgrade.  It’s a sidegrade or a downgrade if anything.  Drops off of 10-man General Vezax.
  • Betrayer of Humanity – 25-Man Kel’Thuzad.  Easy enough to get KT down, but there are always 409817984174098 2-handed DPSers gunning for this weapon.  Plus it’s not a huge upgrade, as it only has 19 more top-end damage.  If it falls into my lap, sure, but I’m not sure about actively seeking it out.
  • Lotrafen, Spear of the Damned – Drops off of 25-man General Vezax.  Probably not going to see this weapon anytime soon.
  • Fordragon Blades – Drops off of 10-man Anub’Arak in Trial of the Crusader.  I believe this will be attainable by my guild, but we have to wait for Anub’Arak to be available for killing.  That means a month at least, probably longer.
  • Any 1850 Furious Gladiator Weapon – This MIGHT actually be one of my best bets, as I’ll be doing arena and hopefully gaining rating anyway.  A long uphill climb, but if I ever hit 1850 I will pick up one of these fine weapons.  This is also a huge 114 top-end damage increase oveor Marrowstrike.
  • Voldrethar, Dark Blade of Oblivion – 25-man Ulduar Hard Mode General Vezax.  Um, not likely.
  • Archon Glaive – 25-man Anub’Arak.  Probably not going to see this.

So there you have it.  The only true upgrades I see for myself are Betrayer of Humanity, Fordragon Blades & Furious Gladiator weapons.  Ugh.

Marrowstrike Explanation

Posted in Gear with tags , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Reposted (with some revision) from my comment on Marrowstrike versus Edge of Ruin

I realize that my post declaring Marrowstrike superior to Edge of Ruin was a little crazy.  However, when you look at the big picture, along with an additional stat on Marrowstrike, things start to make sense.

The whole thing took me by surprise as well. I can tell you how I tweaked the spreadsheet which hasn’t updated for 3.2 yet to get the numbers.

I took my current gear, which I pulled from the Armory.

I plugged in Stormedge to get the 5% additional crit & crit damage from Poleaxe spec.

After that, I just edited the stats to fit Edge and Marrowstrike respectively.  My numbers for Marrowstrike were 4,195 dps and my numbers for Edge were 4,167 dps.

If you look at my SEP numbers, STR is worth 1, Agil is worth .7168, ArP is worth .9248, Crit Rating is worth .8674 and 2 AP is worth .8741 for me at my gear level.

If you add up the numbers for each weapon.

Edge of Ruin

  • STR = 121 (121 * 1)
  • ArP = 70 (76 * .9248 rounded)
  • Crit = 54 (62 * .8674 rounded)
  • Total = 245


  • AP = 67 (154/2 * .8741 rounded)
  • Agility = 76 (106 * .7168 rounded)
  • ArP = 55 (60 * .9248 rounded)
  • Crit = 49 (57 * .8674 rounded)
  • Total = 247

As you can see, Marrowstrike narrowly edges, Edge of Ruin.  Yes, STR is that good, but when you throw on another dps stat altogether (Agility) it makes things murkier.

As my crit goes up with gear, Edge could turn out to be a better choice due to Crit having being less useful the more you have.   I’ll just have to wait and see.  For now, however, I’m very glad I managed to snag either of these great weapons.

The fact of the matter is, you should take whichever drops first.  If you want to put forth the effort to get Marrowstrike after Edge drops, go for it.  It’s worth about 30 dps (at least for me).  If you want to put in the effort to go after Edge after Marrowstrike drops, go for it.  It’s good for Fury and may be better after my crit gets up a little higher as I gear.

Bottom line, either of these would be a great upgrade over Titansteel Destroyer, Heroics, Naxx10 and non-KT Naxx25 weapons.  For Arms, they are an upgrade over Ironsoul as well, just because Poleaxe spec owns Mace spec.  If you are hit capped, they rock Stormedge too.

So there you have it.  Once Landsoul gets his spreadsheet updated for 3.2, this will be a lot easier to figure out.  I had to go in and custom gear all my 3.2 gear, including the weapons.  Hopefully he’ll get that updated soon and take a lot of the work out of this process.

Quick Post

Posted in Gear, Warrior, World of Warcraft with tags , , , on August 14, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Being that I’m very busy today, I don’t have time for a real meaty post, but I did want to put an update out there.

I am now the proud owner of Marrowstrike.  Funny how that works out isn’t it?  Yesterday I discovered that Marrowstrike was actually better for me than Edge of Ruin, after I had passed on Marrowstrike the previous day!  Then last night Marrowstrike drops and I get it.

I have been so single-minded in my pursuit of a 2-handed upgrade that I don’t even know what to do with myself now.  I suppose I should bust it out in some pvp.  My arena partner is gone to GenCon, but I can definitely hit up some BGs.

Now to work on Kered’s weapons.