On an unrelated note for bears
's damage is unusually low even for the recent damage nerfs, and leveling a bear is a ridiculous hell right now due to the number of levels needed to get the talents and skills necessary to make the spec comparable to its brother tanks. I don't know when, how, or even if Blizzard plans to address either issue, but I'll take a look at it soon.
I've been leveling a new protection warrior alt alongside a new feral to get a better sense of what's going on. The former is like a Swiss watch with thousands of tiny gears all working together in well-oiled precision. The latter is like smashing your head into a nearby wall trying to knock yourself unconscious and losing the ability to make nonsensical comparison to Swiss watches.
First things first
Read 'em. Know 'em. Love 'em:
Restoration gear from levels 80 to 85
Resto is in a position not entirely unlike the Wrath of the Lich King
-era bear; higher ilevel pieces will almost always trump lower ilevel pieces simply because they've got more native intellect, and intellect is far and away our best stat. That said, Blizzard has actually made picking gear a lot easier. The same ilevel pieces are generally identical to each other with respect to primary stats (e.g., intellect, stamina) and differ only in their secondary stats. If you're upgrading from normal 5-man loot (ilevel 333) to heroic 5-man loot (ilevel 346), you will never have to worry about losing a primary stat; you'll get the intellect you need no matter what. The concern after that is which secondary stat you want to emphasize with your gear, and even if you don't get an ideal drop, you can always compensate somewhat by reforging for the stat you'd rather have.
What stats do I need to look for?
Look for intellect, haste, spirit, mastery, and crit in pretty much that order if you're the average resto druid, though spirit, mastery, and crit don't really have a fixed value.
- Intellect's importance should be fairly obvious.
- Haste is good regardless of the role you're doing. It makes your HoTs tick faster, gives additional ticks at certain thresholds (e.g., an additional tick of Rejuvenation at 915 haste), and speeds up direct healing spells like Nourish.
- Spirit's importance varies on a case-by-case basis. If you're comfortable with your longevity and you're not running out of mana early on the content you're doing, you've got enough. If you find yourself running OOM faster than you'd like, prioritize spirit more (or yell at the group to stop standing in fire, whichever is at the root of your problems).
- If you're primarily a tank healer, mastery's a pretty good stat. If you're primarily a raid healer, mastery will rarely have much impact on your throughput. If you're a 5-man healer, you're somewhere in between.
- Crit is ... not that great. It's not that it's a bad stat, but it doesn't play a significant role in how our spells interact with each other, and the only talent in any way affected by it is Living Seed. In general, crit should be your lowest priority.
What should I reforge?
You should reforge either crit or mastery off your gear and into haste or spirit (assuming neither is native; you can't reforge to anything that's already on your gear). If you're comfortable with your mana regen, reforge haste. If you're not, reforge spirit. As your gear improves, you can probably afford to reforge more haste and less spirit, although different fights will tax your mana pool more than others.
How do I gem?
Should I go for socket bonuses? If you get a meaty intellect bonus from it (I think the threshold is 17 or more intellect), sure. If it's anything else, you're better off ignoring the bonus and gemming straight intellect.
Is there anything that won't be on this gear list?
I'm sure I've made some accidental omissions, but this is as comprehensive a list as I can manage given that the expansion's only three weeks old. However, I've omitted some otherwise usable pieces:
- Cloth You shouldn't be using it. Wearing all leather will give you 5% additional intellect, assuming you had the sense to train Leather Specialization.
- Most PvP pieces Spirit is not itemized on a number of resto druid PvP pieces, for what reason I can't fathom. On top of that, resilience is completely wasted in PvE content. If you find a PvP piece that has spirit and it's an upgrade to what you're wearing, go for it, but try to replace it with a PvE piece as soon as you can.
- Anything with hit Ignore it unless it's a major upgrade and no caster DPS in the group/raid wants it. Hit, like resilience, is wasted on us, barring the infrequent times when you and only you are in position to crowd control or Soothe a mob.
- I have included a number of DPS-oriented pieces (i.e., anything with intellect/spellpower but lacking spirit). The sad truth is that you're more likely to find haste on them than you are on their healing counterparts. However, you don't want a set loaded with haste at the expense of spirit; healing efficiency's bad enough without making it deliberately worse.
Should I go for tier bonuses?
Sure. The two-piece bonus
isn't that great (extra crit for Lifebloom
), but the four-piece
is pretty good (540 free spirit with a full Lifebloom stack).
Righty-o. We'll get to the beginning of the list via the link below.