Thursday, January 8, 2009

Expertise: The real 411

In a recent excursion into Naxx-10, my under hit cap by 0.3% retribution paladin was 'missing' quite a lot! (according to WWS. According to recount, I wasn't missing, I was being dodged.)

My guild leader gave me a whisper and said, "I thought you said you were hit-capped?!"

And I said, "I'm at 8.72%. That's close enough to hit cap to say, 'I'm hit capped'."

Hilarity ensued, and the consensus was that my whopping 0 in expertise was to blame for the 'misses'.

Bleh. The yucky 'new kid' that I never paid attention to before suddenly becomes important.

So what do we need?

At level 80, against a level 83 mob, we need to beat a 6.5% dodge. After all the number crunching, with all the whositwhazat of expertise rating versus expertise... we need, two-handers, one-handers, dual-wielders, to hit an expertise of 214. It's about 32.8 expertise to get a 1% dodge beatdown.

Most of us normal people have to work with expertise rating (the expertise you get from items/enchants, etc.). A few lucky SOBs get expertise (talents in their respective trees).

(And some of the information listed in the expertise page on WoWWiki is out of date on which classes/specs get expertise versus those that don't. So do your research. To my knowledge, only prot pallies and combat rogues have talents that give expertise.)

Now, I need more expertise. Great! Where do I go to get that new yummy thing so I don't get dodged nearly so much! (Why don't I worry about being parried? ... Yes Timmy? ... Good answer! Because DPS stab people in the ass. And you can't parry something coming at your ass. All you tanks out there have to worry about it, up to 10%-12% (accounts vary). (Sorry Kathe... ))
(Leave my parenthesis'ing alone.)

I love for things like this. I say, 'okay dokay!', and I go ahead and put in filters for strength, critical strike rating and expertise, wanting it to find 'at least one', on plate pieces that are Rare and Epic.

And what do I find? ... yeah, +defense crap. Stupid tanks. And everything dropping out of things like Heroic Naxx and OS...

Which I have a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting into.


So, where can someone who is just starting out, whom wants to be the best they can be... go to get expertise rating!

I'm glad you asked. (I'm focusing on plate here people. Wait until I get a different armor-type up to this level and I'll probably post on that type of armor. Until then, wait or play with wowhead yourself.)

There are a few pieces of gear that I found (please correct me if you know of others) for plate DPS expertise that are theorhetically obtainable by newbies. (excluding items that are tanking items with +defense)
(I include Naxx-10 and OS-10 in this list)
(I exclude anything lower than plate, even though I know a lot of plate DPS will wear lesser armor types if the stats are otherwise acceptable. Deal with it.)
(No items below level 78 were looked at, though I know they are out there.)

Obsidian Greathelm drops out of regular OS (Obsidian Sanctum).
Bracers of Lost Sentiments drops out of regular Naxx (Grand Widow Faerlina and Gluth)
Circle of Death out of regular Naxx (Sapphiron)
Collar of Dissolution out of regular Naxx (Anub'Rekhan and Gluth)
Hemorrhaging Circle out of heroic Gundrak (Gal'darah)
Ring of the Kirin Tor (not available yet)
Iceforged Battle Ring out of a quest line in Storm Peaks (The Brother's Bronzebeard)
Durable Nerubhide Cape is craftable by leatherworkers. 2 Arctic Hide, 40 Nerubian Chitin, Frozen Orb
Shroud of Reverberation out of heroic Halls of Lightning (Volkhan)

and finally...

Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress are an Emblem of Valor x 60 purchase in Dalaran.

The problem with that? I've never seen an Emblem of Valor. Emblem of Heroism, yes. Valor? No. Why is this? Because Emblems of Valor drop in heroic OS and heroic Naxx. See above reference about snowballs.

Okay, next!

Technically 'gear', but meh, they're so special they deserve their own category.
Again, a lot of the weapons drop in 25-mans. So, what can we do?

Titansteel Bonecrusher is a craftable weapon. 6 Saronite Bars, 6 Titansteel Bars, 2 Frozen Orbs. Cha-ching.
Staff of the Plaguehound technically is within our 'reachable' areas, as it's in regular Naxx. Of course, it's in regular Naxx as a drop off of Kel'Thuzad and if you aren't a druid and roll against one for it, you may be dropkicked off the planet... but hey! Beggars can't be choosers, right?

These are one-handers. All craftable.
Corroded Saronite Edge (16 Saronite bars, 1 crystallized fire) and Corroded Saronite Woundbringer (14 Saronite bars, 1 crystallized fire)

We can do gems, right?! Yes! We can do gems!

If you're a jewelcrafter, you can make Precise Dragon's Eye.

Otherwise, your options are Orange, Purple and Red.
Accurate Monarch Topaz (BOP World Drop) and it's baby cousin Accurate Huge Citrine
Guardian's Twilight Opal (Argent Crusade Rep) and Guardian's Shadow Crystal
Precise Scarlet Ruby (BOP Herald Volazj in Old Kingdom) and Precise Bloodstone

Sometime soon (one hopes), they will be releasing the Accurate Flawless Ametrine, Guardian's Dreadstone and Precise Cardinal Ruby.

What about enchants? Lucky for us, there are 2, count them TWO, enchants for expertise.

Enchant Bracers - Expertise
Enchant Gloves - Expertise.

Rhinolicious Wormsteak provides 40 Expertise and 40 Stamina. It requires Worm Meat, Rhino Meat and Northern Spices. Not too shabby right? Keep in mind that 10 Northern Spices requires a cook to spend 1 Dalaran Cooking Award to get.

Last, but not least... Consumables
The only one I could find was a battle elixir called, accurately enough, Elixir of Expertise and it provides 45 Expertise. It requires gold clover, adder's tongue and an imbued vial to make.

Somehow, with all of this, we need to get to 214. Ignoring gems for now, because who knows how many sockets you'll have, with just enchants, food and elixir, you can get to 115. That's 3.5% decrease in a boss dodging your attack.

Good luck in your expertise hunt!

(Seriously though, don't roll against a feral druid for the Staff if it drops. That's very 'not cool'. Who wants a yucky staff anyway?)


  1. Nice write up K! I kinda screwed the pooch on a nice piece of plate. The Battleplate of Unheard ovation is a nice piece that has a bucket of strength, a bucket of stam, and a bucket of expertise. I DEd it thinking "WTH! I don't need expertise! I need hit! This thing is crap!" Had I known then what I know now. /cry

    I am still not sure which would be batter for a DPSer. Obviously both would be great, however as DPS, we need to only concern ourselves with misses or dodges, so that makes both hit and expertise just as important. And the hit cap is 8% (or 7% for teh space goat), while the expertise cap is 6.5%. So I would think capping out hit would still be more important since you have more of it to gear for. Obviously, a tank would look at that differently, but I have nary a shield in my bag so.....

    Oh yeah. Pallies can't use staffs, so rolling on one would be bad bad juju. The loot gods would curse you for days and days!

  2. Like I know what a pally can use or can't use? Geez, what am I? A walking WoW-Guru?!

    I have not yet done the quest that would give you the Battleplate of Unheard Ovation. It is something I will have to look into! And I wonder why it didn't show up in my 'search'. Hrm. Maybe the 'required level 78-80', I'll have to fiddle. :)

  3. ..."DPS stab people in the ass. And you can't parry something coming at your ass. "

    I rofled. And rofled some more. I almost poked my eye out.

    Hit and Expertise has been a big question mark in my book. Thanks for the enlightenment... and a good laugh.