After around 550 emails from work and 75 blog entries to read, not to mention guild and MainTankadin forums, I am no where near caught up from my trip. It seems as though the Icecrown Citadel has fueled most blogs in the past few weeks, and I am ready to jump into the fray so to speak. As I began to peruse the MainTankadin forums, I already felt out of place. When you have a forum community that is that massive, if you do not keep up on a daily basis, you fall behind and have to start all over again. I was always thankful that MT was better than EJ in the sense that there was more than one 100 page long thread to find your information, but it is still a vast amount of information and once you are more than a few pages behind, its a daunting task to catch back up.
Theck strikes again…
Theck has a very interesting and insightful post up on MT which mathematically outlines the effectiveness of armor in fights where magical damage is a percentage of your total damage taken. As we all know there are very few fights where you are sure that you will only take physical damage. The encounters now a days are throwing both boss melee swings in with aoe magic damage, and special physical or magic damage. The real game application of armor’s contribution to effective health is less than what we see on the tooltip. Theck sums it up…
So for a purely physical fight, armor seems like a pretty good deal. But for even a fight with 20% magical damage, Armor becomes devalued by 20%. This will generally be enough to make a Stamina trinket provide more EH than an armor trinket.
For an example, let’s look at the Glyph of Indomitability, since that’s what started this thread. It gives 1792 armor, which is equivalent to 153 stamina. However, for a fight with Y=20%, we get only (1-Y)=80% of that, or 123 stamina. For a fight with 30% magical damage, it’s only worth 107 stamina, and so forth. – Theck
Icecrown Gear and You…
Icecrown gear has a lot of bonus armor on it, and while it is never something you should pass up on, the question remains: With theck’s analysis under our belts, do we want to use off set pieces over four piece T10?
I had every intention when I was on vacation to start writing about icecrown gear and encounters, as I have beaten Anub’arak and ToTGC to death on this blog. The data mining has provided us with more juicy pixilated morsels on MMO-champion, and we can start to gain a better understanding of our gearing options going forward. Now while we are being subjected to Chill of the Throne as well as our red headed step child of a four piece bonus, Theck’s work has thrown us a curveball when it comes to deciding what type of gear we should select going forward in ICC. It is important to remember that all of Theck’s conclusions were comparing stamina to armor, so that is the only thing that matters when comparing gear based on his assessments, I will weigh in on the other stats myself.
While we will all walk into ICC with the same general ratio of statistics with respect to Stamina, Armor, and Avoidance, where your guild is in progression will dictate what exact pieces you are wearing. For some of us, that will be full 258. For most of the people it will be a mix of gear. Either way, every piece that drops from ICC is an item level upgrade. So, how do you chose what you should be gearing towards and when you should equip it.
An initial look at our Tier Gear versus Off Set Gear
This is going to be a long journey for us when it comes to gear selection. We have three chests to choose from in the iLevel 264 category, our T10 chest, the Blightborne Warplate, and the Cataclysmic Chestguard. All three of these have unique strengths and weaknesses which make them powerful pieces for compiling full sets, but as individual pieces, we can compare the relative gains and losses of wearing each piece. Each off set piece has a net gain of 23 defense from the tier piece, while there is some room for debate on whether or not stacking defense is still of benefit to us, it is still raw avoidance that you are gaining. Let’s take a look at each of these pieces and analyze their strengths and weaknesses…
This beauty looks great from a holistic point of view. all of the chest pieces have over 200 stamina on them, this one has three sockets, defense, dodge and hit! While I am currently very excited about this hit rating, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Part of the reason that hit seems so attractive to me is the fact that I have less than 50 hit rating currently. What this piece offers us are sound defensive stats and hit rating for threat. To me, this is the perfect chest for our threat set.
This chest SCREAMS effective health, but then again I did just read Thecks post about armor and it’s reality in boss encounters that offer up more than 20% of their total damage as magical damage. This chest has the same base stamina, same number of sockets for 30 stam gems, and it has a 1176 bonus armor. With the expertise trade off for hit rating and the same amount of defense, you are trading 108 dodge rating for A LOT of armor. On the surface that seems like a pretty good trade off if you are not a hit junkie.
Finally, Tier 10…. While the base stamina is 12 more than the off set pieces, you lose a socket bonus in the process, netting you a negative 18 in stamina. You are also losing 23 defense rating. While this is not a huge loss, as we will be well above the defense minimum of 540, defense is still pure avoidance, which I have always liked. This chest is the pure balance that I dreamed of until the day that Ghostcrawler came along and crushed my dreams with a zone wide debuf called Chill of the Throne. With out Chill, this is my favorite piece, because you can get more overall avoidance out of it, however with the advent of a 20% reduction in dodge, this piece has earned the bottom of the list. The only way I will wear this chest is if the Helm, Legs, Shoulders, or Gloves are worse.
I will be picking up all three chest pieces for the sake of my gear sets, however as long as I am not threat capping my dps, I will be wearing the Cataclysmic Chestguard for progression. While I do not know where these things drop, my best bet is that they are off some of the latter bosses. If I have to pick up the Tier gear to get my stats up, I will, however if not, I will be spending my badges on other gear prior to picking up the T10 chest. Over the next few days, I will be looking at some more of the pieces, namely gloves, legs, shoulders, and helm, to compare what they have to offer us. From the pattern I am seeing, Icecrown will offer us three pieces for each slot, and each of those pieces is specifically tooled for a job. The itemization is a soggy wet dream come true for a gear set lover like myself. There is something for each of my gear sets, EH, Threat, and Balance.