Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Merits of Gear

It has been the frustration of many a tanking druid that we seem to be s.o.l. for leather tanking gear, outside of 25 mans. Karazhan only has two T4 pieces for us.

Heavy Clefthoof only gets you so far.

Heroic drops only get you so far.

You'd have to run badge run after badge run in Karazhan and heroics to get the super-awesome-omg-I-love-you badge reward gear. Which is well worth doing and should be done.

But until then, I decided to plug my holes with PvP gear.

The nice thing about druid tanks is that we're the only tanking class where resilience works as well as defense... especially since not a lot of leather pieces have defense on it. :P We can't block or parry, so we dodge like Neo. And we can reach uncrittableness either through 415 defense(with 3/3 Survival of the Fittest) or 100 resilience... or some combination thereof.

But some of the pieces we need... like our T4 pieces, can only be found in 25 mans. Which makes your average, ordinary druid s.o.l.

Now, don't get me wrong, you can get very nice drops in Karazhan, without any badge pieces or other heroic gear. Helmet, gloves, neck piece, cloak, rings, trinket and boots.

Heroic pieces of note: Tree-Mender's Belt from H.Ramps
Barkchip Boots from H.UB
Feral Staff of Lashing from H.Bot -- if you're still struggling with defense and armor however, Earthwarden is still the weapon of choice.
Forestwalker Kilt from H.MT
Forestheart Bracers from H.Shattered Halls
Cloak of Blade Turning from H.MrT
Commendation of Kael'Thas from H.Dead Mines (what... shut up. He could be there. They brunch on Tuesdays.)
Yor's Revenge and Nexus Prince's Ring of Balance from a quest to summon Yor in H.MT

Crafted pieces of note:
Boots of Natural Grace is a BoP LW recipe.
Belt of Natural Power is a BoE LW recipe.
Resolute Cape is a BoE Tailoring recipe.
Hard Khorium Band and Hard Khorium Choker are BoE JC recipes.
Figurine - Empyrean Tortoise is a BoP JC recipe.

Everything else... is 25 man or PvP gear.

So, in my quest to finally get out of the Heavy Clefthoof Leather I've been wearing 4eva! I've been badge running Kara and heroics and PvPing until my eyes have bled and my admittedly limited patience for PvP has completely disappeared.

But, I was shocked and horrified to discover that my "upgrades" from PvPing ... were almost downgrades! Actually, in one case, it was!

The Merciless Gladiator's Dragonhide Leggings have a lot less armor and a lot less stamina than Heavy Clefthoof Leggings. A lot less stamina because if you figure that you're gemming Solid Star of Elune's in two of the three spaces, that's .. a lot less stamina. Or even in all three. Or if you were crazy enough to socket Solid Empyean Sapphire or Eye of the Sea.

However, the Tameless Breeches, given that they're 100 badge piece rewards, are a much bigger upgrade than both.

So what's the problem, I hear you say. Just get the breeches. The problem is that I was PvPing to get the PvP pants, figuring they were better without actually checking. Because I can sometimes be an idiot.

So I go looking.. I have all this honor to buy something, and only 92 badges (so close to 100 piece.. must... instance... arrrgh!). So I can't get both the breeches and the Embrace of Everlasting Prowess that I was wanting to get.

However, the Merciless Gladiator's Dragonhide Tunic, while not as good in terms of armor as the Heavy Clefthoof Vest is clearly an upgrade in all other attributes.

So I bought that, and have changed from planning on buying the 100 badge chest piece to planning on buying the 100 badge leg piece. Once I get 8 more badges.

And then I get to start badge-collecting.. all.. over.. again.

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