I've wanted to discuss gearing in Wrath since we were interrupted a couple of weeks ago. Granted, we've been interrupted by awesome news like the above, but still it seems like a decent time to get back into looking at what gear we'll be picking up as we level through Northrend. And frankly, if we don't start talking about that again, this entire column will probably be me typing "Titan's Grip aarrgh 5% ahmina kill everything gaaaaa" and nobody wants that. Well, maybe you do, I don't know what you're into. But I'm pretty sure that I should try and move past "You will know I am the warrior when I lay my vengeance upon thee" ranting aside and get on with the column.
Oh, come on, you know I had to!
We've covered gear through factions and gear through crafting already. So this week we'll look at instance drops. Keep in mind that the previous two columns were written from the perspective of a 15% miss penalty on TG, and thus are more dire than they would be if written today: the new miss penalty is much less difficult to gear for. Expect there to be at least one more such column after this one.
First off, let's look at some helmets. The difficulty in doing a complete guide to gear in the expansion is that it's impossible: gear is added, changed and removed even at this date. But while it won't be possible to give you an exact list of all the stuff you'll be trying to get there's at least a few good examples to highlight. For instance, take the Planetary Helm. It's pretty obviously a drop from a heroic (Halls of Stone or Lightning, I'd guess, although I haven't seen it drop) and it's a solid DPS helm for either spec (probably better for fury, finally some hit gear) and could even serve as a tanking hat if you were desperate for hit. Then again, I'd say the Ground Temor Helm here would be your better tanking option, with a hefty dose of defense. The Arcane-Shielded Helm, another heroic drop, would also serve and I'm interested to see two similarly purposed items with a different spread of stats like this, makes me consider how you'll assemble your tanking toolkit as you prepare for raiding. For DPS, and socketed so it can be customized for Arms or Fury (I'd give the nod to arms over fury, but just barely) we have the Chitin Shell Greathelm.
It's good to see that not all itemization requires repeated heroics. Quests help fill the gap.Granted, it's Utgarde Pinnacle, and you'll be at least level 79 when you get this hat, And it's hardly the only such quest to be found as you level through the game. Some of these rewards are comparable to heroic instance drops. while others are still pretty decent for mid-range content. I still wear this hat on my tauren just for that really solid dose of crit rating on it
I wouldn't mind a little more diversity in gear models, however.
You will find armor on the AH which will serve you well stepping into Northrend (probably not a concern for most warriors currently at 70, but for the future) and instance drops as you level. There are quest drops and more quest drops as well. (I really like those Tundra Pauldrons.) As you level, you'll find a variety of shoulder pieces with hit rating which was very hard to find on reputation and crafted pieces. You'll be able to get tanking shoulders via quests, alleviating that horrible period we all knew in TBC where we were running around with these horrible looking things on because we were waiting for that sadistic fiend Murmur to give up our set.
Shoulder armor models in Wrath are pretty sweet on the whole but again, could we have more than two of them? (This is a minor nitpick at best.)
What will the fashion conscious warrior be wearing on his or her chest? I have no idea. I look at stats. It could be lime green with a happy face in blazing purple and trail glitter behind me for all I care, what stats does it have? Can I tank in it? Can I DPS in it? Good, give me The Earth Pony's Precocious Carapace Of Annihilation and get out of my sparkling trail of death.
That being said, most armor models in Wrath look pretty sweet. There's a good selection of gear from quests, whether you're looking for DPS or tanking options, especially if you're willing to rip out a guy's tongue. Hey, I just said I'd take armor from a talking magical pony if it had good stats, I'm sure not going to balk at some good natured tongue ripping. Fear not, there's also instance drops if for some odd reason you're adverse to prying tongues out of people's heads for gear. Plenty of choices, really. And heroic drops only seem to continue this pattern with good options for DPS or tanking. That Breastplate of Undeath? Wow. That's a lot of agility and a very solid dose of hit rating.
In general we're looking at a good pattern here. Quests, crafted items and reputaion rewards all seem to be aimed at getting you into a solid set of gear which will enable you to run instances be you DPS or a tank, and the rewards will enable you to run heroics, which should prepare you for raiding. Next week we'll try and look at weapons as well as gear for your remaining slots. There's a lot to cover so we'll see how far we get.