Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stuck in Gear

To put it bluntly, I've had very little luck in getting the gear I want. For those of you who don't know, I'm a rather new(bish) player who joined in around patch 2.2 in the middle of Burning Crusade. I wasn't 70 when Wrath hit, so I spent the first few weeks or so leveling Thargnik through Outlands while everyone else was racing to 80.

Well, here I am and at level 80 and continuing in pursuit for the benchmark of 1500 DPS to start running Heroics. As it stands, it seems that I'm pulling about 1250 DPS with my current gear. Now, there are still some more upgrades I can get, including a nice off-hand weapon which is a reward from Ebon Blade rep, the Unholy Persuader. This should up my DPS significantly over my currently equipped weapon, the Drakonid Arm Blade. (I was carrying around a tanking axe because of the DPS and the expertise, but switched back to this one for the time being for the stats.)

One of the things I have yet to test is the effectiveness of Magma Totem. I have been dropping Flametongue Totem in all of my instances to increase the effectiveness of everyone's stats, not just my own... but it may be that the Magma Totem is all I need to push myself over that "magic number" and convince me that I can hold my own in a Heroic dungeon.

Yeah, I know, it seems noobish to think that all this time it all came down to a simple totem switch that was holding me back. Who knows how much DPS this will actually add to my stats, as I have yet to test it.

Edit: I'm a noob.

There is also the possiblity that my measly 57 hit rating is not providing much in the way of consistency, as enhancement shamans are very dependant on their elemental damage from procs and special abilities to be a consistent factor of their overal DPS. I'm also going to be crafting myself some Dragonstompers, as the Husk Shard Sabatons just aren't doing it for me. Then there's the socket I'll be crafting on to my belt, as well as the various enchants I'm planning on placing on all of this gear (have mats!)

So what do you think? Is it just my gear? My totems? Hit rating?

Edit: So, after making some modifications, I was able to up my hit rating to about 120, and made some changes to the way I drop my totems. I ran my first heroic last night and pulled a little over 1500 DPS. (3/23)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Enhancement Shaman Gear, Part 1: Last of the Regular 5-Mans

So, I'm a big fan of Excel. So much that I even bothered to create a spreadsheet with drop lists for each of the bosses inside normal 5-man, heroics and even into the larger raids. So, I figured, why not post what I have so far on my blog? I've run into a sort of a standstill trying to sort through all of the gear that drops in Naxxramas, but I've been able to compile my list up to and including all Heroics.

This will be part 1 of a series outlining the gear for Enhancement Shamans. Part 2 and 3 will cover Heroics, and I'm not sure how many more segments will be necessary. I am not including any quest drops here, just straight up boss gear. Kill the boss, and you may be lucky enough to receive the following loot.

(Please note: I have not included any leather armor on this list. If you are the type of shaman who likes to wear leather or cloth instead of mail, I have otherwise ignored you. "Why hast thou forsaken me?" you ask? Because as a melee class, you should want to mitigate as much damage as possible, that's why. Besides, the options below provide a significant stat boost without sacrificing the armor rating that comes with mail. If you can find me an outstanding exception, please let me know.)

So here it is, my list of useful Enhancement gear from Gun'Drak to Caverns of Time: Stratholme:

Gun'Drak (level 76-78)
  • Amulet of the Stampede (Neck) A nice little amulet with some Haste, Expertise and a moderate amount of AP. Might be an upgrade if you're lacking in these areas. Source: Gal'darah
  • Cannibal's Legguards (Legs) AP and hit rating in addition to the STA/AGI/INT attributes you'll see on most enhancement gear. A better option is the Leather Braced Chain Leggings that drop in HoL (see below), but for most lower-levelled characters, these should be a significant upgrade. Source: Slad'ran
Ulduar: Halls of Stone (77-79)
  • Embrace of Sorrow (Back) Stam and Agility here, nothing special. Definately roll need on this if it's an upgrade. This should be replaced by the Centrifuge Core Cloak from the Oculus if it drops. Source: Maiden of Grief
  • Linked Armor of the Sphere (Chest) I wanted this to drop pretty badly until I ran Utgarde Pinnacle, which had a quest chain inside the instance that granted me a quest reward alternative in the form of the Gilded Ringmail Hauberk. Still, a good mix of stats, hit rating, and AP doesn't mean that you should hold out if it's an upgrade. Source: Tribunal of Ages
Utgarde Keep: Utgarde Pinnacle
  • Tear-Linked Gauntlets (Hands) Best gloves outside of questing and/or crafted items at this point. Nice stats, hit rating and AP. Source: Svala Sorrowgrave
  • Vestige of Haldor (Trinket) Now this isn't necessarily an Enhancement Shaman trinket, nor is it necessarily something you might actually need. It's a random damage proccing trinket that may or not give you another source of damage. It provides you with no stat boost (which is why I passed on it) but you might actually be interested in it. Source: King Yrimon
Ulduar: Halls of Lightning
  • Leather-Braced Chain Leggings (Legs) Here's the upgrade I mentioned earlier, and the legs I am currently wearing at the moment. It even has socketses! Standard stats, crit and AP makes these sexy legs a winner. Source: Loken
  • Tornado Cuffs (Wrist) You know how a tornado basically rips through a city, leaving a path of destruction... and you always see those houses next door that don't have a scratch? I'm the guy living in the unscathed house. I can't get these wrists to drop for the life of me, but they're the best instance loot for this slot pre-Heroics. Stats, crit and AP. Yummy. Source: Ionar
  • Bjarngrim Family Signet (Ring) A very nice ring that drops from Mr. Bjarngrim. Best non-heirloom heirloom ring in the game. Stamina + Agility + haste + AP = good times. Source: General Bjarngrim (Duh)
The Nexus: The Occulus
  • Centrifuge Core Cloak (Back) This upgrade was mentioned earlier, and has some nice stats to boot. Get it if you can. Source: Varos Cloudstrider
  • Headguard of Westrift (Head) All the stats you'll need, another red socket, and some hit rating and AP. Very nice pre-Heroic upgrade. Source: Ley-Guardian Eregos
  • Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers (Shoulders) Very nice shoulders with haste and AP added in there for good measure. All the cool kids are wearing them. Well, until they find something cooler. Source: Mage-Lord Urom
Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme
  • Necklace of the Chrono-Lord (Neck) I'm not a big fan of jewelry. So if I had to wear some, I'd probably choose this one just because of the name. Agility, Stamina, Haste and AP means fun and bling for you and me! Source: Chrono-Lord Epoch
  • Waistband of the Thuzadin (Waist) This just sounds like something a dwarf would wear. Yech. Lots of good stats, some crit and AP. Despite the name, something you should nab should it drop. Source: Salramm the Fleshcrafter
"But wait!" you cry. "That's not even a full set!" Well, fill in the pieces yourself. There are plenty of nice trinkets and rings and all sorts of goodies you can find by questing, crafting or even turning in emblems. But, if you happen to be dungeon-diving, this should serve as a pretty good guide to all the best loot available to before you decide to hit Heroics. Hope it was useful!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Quick Note

My stories are always in a state of flux. I proofread and re-read and edit and edit again just to make sure it looks the way I want it in the end. What you read today might not be there tomorrow. When the final product is done, there will be a post with links to all of the bits of the story to keep it in an orderly fashion. Just thought I had to explain that little bit. :)

Patch 3.1 Updates

Decided to post some of my most reliable links for 3.1 content. They're presented here in no particular order. If you're looking for information, these are probably your best bet.
Things I'm looking forward to? More end-game raids, dual specs (maybe I'll be doing more with Resto... something tells me I'll just need too much gear and give up,) the new Argent Tournament stuff, and some pretty nice buffs for Enhancement shamans.

Stuff I'm not excited about? Mounts going away, lame underwater mounts (which are nothing new, just regular mounts that "walk" underwater,) and more things to waste my money on.

Meh, there's much more to be excited about here than anything else, so overall I can't wait for the new patch.

Casual "Hardcore"

I tend to categorize myself in with the Casual type of player, with a "wanna-be" Hardcore tendency...What kind of player are you?

I'm mostly a casual player by necessity. I just don't have the time to be logged on to WoW the entire time.

One of the issues I run into with WoW is the fact that I currently share my computer time with my girlfriend. This limits my time to 2 or 3 nights a week alternatively, and we split the time during the weekends. (We also have a kid, so WoW definately takes the back seat most of the time.) Sometimes, by the time I get on it's 11 or 12 at night and I'm way too tired to run an instance or even do much more than log onto my bank alt for a couple minutes.

In my spare time, if I don't have access to WoW, I satisfy my urges by scouring the net for articles or information. I've even gone so far as to make a "shopping list" of sorts for gearing up for Heroics. With my Excel spreadsheet open, I can at least get a head start on the night and what remaining gear I can nab.

As a casual player, I've only recently hit 80 and I'm just starting to hit the end of the regular 5-man content. I'd like to raid one day, but my current schedule limits means I'm forever relegated to the confines of the "pickup" list for any group heading in to Naxx. So, I'm grinding rep and nabbing gear and instance runs when I can, and doing dailies when they're available.

The thing is, I'd love to have all the time in the world to do what I want in the game but I am constantly faced with the realities that life has placed on me. There are just certain things I will never be able to acheive. (Curse you, Blizzard!) I'll never be running 25 man Naxx 3 times a week, 4 hours a night. I will probably never complete a Tier 8 set. I'll never be able to own 50 mounts... (unless I come into a mass amount of money, which I'm told stacks pretty quickly once you get your epic mount.)

All is not lost, however. As is, there are more spots for DPS than any other slot so the odds are pretty good that I'll be able to jump in on a few raids here and there. I can always find a PUG to satisfy my raiding urges, if need be. There are always acheivements, vanty pets, and all sorts of trouble I can get into. And of course, I have my blog.

Such is the life of this casual "hardcore" wannabe. How about you?