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WoW, Casually: The best gear for the least play-time


Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

As the title says, we're going to talk about gear today, but first, let's talk about the events for the week. Starting Friday, it's Warsong Gulch for the Call to Arms weekend. This means shorter queues for those of you (like me) who need WSG marks for purchasing gear. It also means bonus honor, but I get more honor out of Alterac Valley than I do out of WSG bonus honor weekends.

So get out there and earn some WSG marks, but please, don't waste everyone's time by fighting in the middle. You should be doing one of the following:
  1. Getting the flag: It's amazing how often the stubborn "run past everyone, get the flag and run out" tactic works. And if you die and drop the flag? Someone else has a chance to pick it up in a less defended place.
  2. Protecting the flag carrier: Heal, stun, root, sheep, kill -- do whatever you can to keep the flag carrier healthy and unmolested.
  3. Stop the other team's flag carrier: Even if you aren't a mighty DPS class, you can still do a lot to get back the flag. Root, stun, slow, etc. It's a team effort and often the best thing you can do is keep the flag carrier in place while everyone else finishes him off.

Don't get discouraged even if you die a lot. I die a lot. As long as your teammates aren't purposely trying to lose and as long as you are doing one of the above three things, you are still helping your team win. I've been in plenty of games where we've come back from an 0-2 deficit. And last night, I was in a rag tag crew up against a pre-made and we totally kicked butt. (Cerwin, you rock.)

The Darkmoon Faire is in Elwynn Forest starting Monday, so if you've been saving up your crafted goodies and drops, go forth and get your tickets.

The Winter Veil holiday starts next month, so start hoarding small eggs now. Whether you will use them to bake cookies, or sell them for exorbitant prices, you will want to have a nice stockpile of small eggs. Of course, they are in higher demand these days what with the Delicious Chocolate Cake recipe, so farming them yourself instead of buying them off the AH is probably your best bet.

Now, let's talk about gear. There is some really great equipment you can get from quests or crafting. But the best gear available to everyone from raiders to those of us who play an hour or two a night is by far the Arena Season 1 gear. With Arena Season 3 starting this past Tuesday, we can now purchase the Season 1 purples with honor and marks. If you're smart, you've been saving up your honor and marks and now are well on your way to a full Gladiator set. But, if you're like me and only have a stockpile of AV marks and enough honor for a piece or two, then I highly recommend doing the battlegrounds and earning your "welfare epics".

Why is Season 1 gear the best? These are high end epics with stats that are good for PvE and even better for PvP. And you get choices for your spec. I've gone resto again on my Drood, so I got myself a funky new healing-heavy hat. But there were feral and balance options available for me, as well. If you don't like the Battleground grind, then I'm sorry, but you are missing out on the best gear available for the casual player.

Now, David Bowers talked a bit about the gear inflation going on now in PvP. That is certainly a problem in Arena play as well as world PvP, but I really believe that there are other factors that are more important than gear in Battleground play. Communication, teamwork and strategy will win a BG every time over a bunch of uber geared twinks who just want to score HKs. This is why I stress Battlegrounds so often for those of us who are play-time challenged. Even if we have nothing but our Outlands quest gear on our backs and we've taken a month off to deal with real life, we can jump right back in to our favorite Battleground and contribute to a win. My gear is embarrassingly low-end (except for my new hat) and my PvP skillz suxxor, but I can heal or root or even just stubbornly stay alive while 3 people beat on me, so that my teammates can get their objectives accomplished.

Most importantly, though, I think BGs are fun. And I think that is the most important thing we can do with our limited play-time is have fun. There is no point in having good gear if aren't enjoying it. If you are only lukewarm on Battlegrounds, but really want the Season 1 gear, then mix it up with your favorite PvE play. It will take longer, but you don't want to spend your valuable leisure time doing something that feels like a chore.

It's all about fun.

Robin Torres plays World of Warcraft for fun and hopes you do, too.

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