I'm impressed with myself. And I'm going to try that whole wowhead thing. We'll see how that goes.
So, I've been thinking about how my posts are usually fluff... semi-amusing fluff, but fluff. Nothing solid behind what I say.
So I thought to myself... I'd like to do something informative. Something useful. Something neat.
I started to write a list of all the gear you can get in regular dungeons that can get you into heroics and Karazhan... and realized if I tried that, I'd be here until the world ended.
So I narrowed it down a little bit. Chest pieces.
Chest pieces are what most people see the most of, especially with a robe. How cool it looks, how uncool it looks, omg that guy is wearing a dress, how is this in any way protective, etc. It's an important piece, and given its relative importance in the whole covering the body thing, it isn't surprising that the chestpiece usually is a piece that tends to have higher armor, bigger stats and more fun things associated with it than say... your belt.
So. My solid stats. (All information obtained through WoWWiki.com)
1 Stamina = 10 health
1 Intellect = 15 mana
Crit Rating = Intellect/82 + crit rating/22.08 + 1.701 (warlock specific, sorry other classes.)
1 Crit % = 22.1 Crit Rating
1 Hit % = 12.6 Hit Rating
1% Hit = 1% Dmg
1% Crit = 0.5% Dmg
%Dmg = %Hit + %Crit/5
(I also looked at base damage of the item with the %dmg it gives.. but meh. Too much theorycraft and I'll explode. Be happy with what I give you.)
(Int also plays a role in spirit-based mana regen. But as a warlock, we don't have to worry about mana regen. That's what Dark Pact and Life Tap are for.)
(I actually MADE a spreadsheet. But again with the computer illiterate, I have no idea how to post it. Besides, it's an ugly bare-bones spreadsheet.)
There are FIVE robes that fall between the usable levels of 68-70 from a NON-HEROIC dungeon.
As I don't know how to insert a table or anything nifty like that... you'll just have to bear with me.
Summary: Warp Infused Drape and the Vermillion Robes of the Dominant are the two top contenders (ignoring the Oblivion Rainment set bonus).
Warp Infused Drape, obtained through Botanica off of Warp-Splinter provides the following:
3 Sockets (Red/Blue/Yellow)
The socket availability makes the Warp Infused Drape the better of the two robes, since you can stack additional +hit. If you put in 3 Great Dawnstone it changes the stats to the following:
Vermillion Robes of the Dominant, obtained through Steamvaults off of Warlord Kalithresh provides the following:
Our other contenders are the BoP trash-drop robe Bloodfyre Robe of Annihilation and the two BoP boss-drop robes Robe of Oblivion and Incanter's Robe. The latter two BoP robes are part of the dungeon sets for warlocks and mages, respectively.
Bloodfyre Robes of Annihilation is a Bind on Pickup robe ... that depending on where you look up the information, changes where it's from. Wowhead lists it as dropping from Sunfire Astromage's in the Mechanar. Allakhazam lists it both as dropping from Mechano-Lord Capacitus and the Cache of the Legion (which is impossible!). My memory tells me it's an item that you can find in chests in the Steamvaults.
Wherever it's from ... it provides the following:
Robe of Oblivion drops off of Murmur in the Shadow Labyrinth and provides the following:
3 Sockets (Red/Blue/Yellow)
Again, adding in 3 Great Dawnstone will increase the stats on this item! Which is nice.
Of note is that the Robe of Oblivion does provide some nice set bonuses with the Oblivion Rainment.
2 pieces provide your pet with 45 Mp5. This is not a bad thing to have if you use Dark Pact a lot as your warlock, though it's of lesser importance if you tend to sacrifice your pet.
4 pieces provides your Seed of Corruption to do an addition 180 damage upon explosion. Which is damn nice. But honestly, most of us aren't running around in 4/5 of our Dungeon set.
Incanter's Robe drops off of Warp Splinter in Botanica and provides the following:
0% Spell Hit
3 Sockets (Yellow/Yellow/Red)
With 3 Great Dawnstone
Of note is that this is considered the Mage dungeon set, so if there is a mage in your party, please be polite and let them have their dungeon set.
The other options are obviously the crafted pieces.
Imbued Netherweave Robe gives 420 Health and Mana, 0.9% Crit and 0.4% Dmg
Frozen Shadoweave Robe is obviously not for Fire locks, but usually considered the gear to use for all other shadow-based warlocks. And with all things, talking about Great Dawnstones for the sockets. This would give 300 Health and Mana, 1.26% Hit, 0.88% Crit, 1.31% Damage.
Spellfire Robe is obviously ONLY for Fire locks. This would give (with Great Dawnstones) 255 Mana, 1.26% Hit, 0.14% Crit and 1.34% Damage.
Now... you must MUST keep in mind that these are isolated stats for individual items. You have a ton of gear that all contributes to what you're doing and wearing and your stats. On paper, like this, the Frozen Shadoweave Robe comes off looking worse than the Robe of Oblivion, but we all know that OVERALL... the FSW set kicks ass, especially when combined with the Spellstrike set.
Take this information as you will. But if you're looking for a single item upgrade that's from a normal dungeon, I'd recommend hitting Botanica and trying for the Warp Infused Drape. Any of these robes are nice and will serve you well. (And for 'wow, that's evil looking!' factor, the Vermillion Robes of the Dominant win, hands down.)