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Shifting Perspectives: two.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style
Shifting Perspectives: two.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style

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Every week, Shifting Perspectives is written by somebody that is not me. Except for that one particular time. Rather an addictive experience, stealing this column. Does any one even read through the italicized portion at the top rated? Hello? No one? I am just gonna sing. "My baloney includes a initially identify, it truly is O-S-C-A-R, my baloney includes a [censored in excess of copyright infringement] (ed. just do the column, please).Although I sincerely hope the rumors with regards to the patch hitting soon are not real since I am sitting on all of 43 badges of justice right this moment (g@^#(*% mother-expletive piece of $%^@ fire resistance set), I'm forced to admit the occasions might possibly have caught up with me. I confess that for any long time I hadn't even looked at the new badge loot that may develop into readily available ingame, partly since items have gotten markedly busier with my guild of late and partly since I would planned my two.three badge acquisitions pretty thoroughly and wondered if I could get away with preserving myself somewhat unspoiled for two.4. That lasted until I found out just how costly the two.4 gear is actually likely to be ("150 badges for any new weapon, Zach? Are you @*(#&#% kidding me?"). Noble effort while it lasted, though. Well, no more. If two.4 does hit next week, I am likely to be ready to stand in front of the badge vendor and know exactly what I can't afford to buy for all three specs.This treatment looks exclusively at the new leather gear offerings readily available in two.4 and assumes that you won't have access, or at least immediate access, to the brand new 25-man raid Sunwell Plateau. For my part I'm still using six -- count 'em, six -- pieces of badge gear for various tanking purposes in Tier 6 content, which either says a great deal with regards to the general quality of badge gear or says a great deal about how bad feral itemization is in endgame content. I'll be magnanimous today and say it truly is both.BALANCE By far the worst-itemized of all three Druid specs, balance looks to get three badge upgrades in patch two.4, but don't count on new badge gear to get you kitted out completely. You're likely to wind up using a mixture of two.three and PvP gear in order to supplement slots that are not given new upgrades, which means it truly is pretty much business as usual for the pewpewlazerchikin spec. One particular of the following is at least a /cheer-worthy upgrade to existing gear. Barbed Gloves of the Sage: +15 spell hit, +43 damage, plus one particular yellow socket. Pretty solid piece given how difficult it can be to get yourself +hit capped outside of tier gear even with 2/2 Balance of Power. Slightly inferior stats-wise to their Tier 6 counterpart, Thunderheart Handguards, but what you'll really miss most is the lack of +crit. You can slap a Blasting enchant on them to make up some of the difference, but still. Ouch, baby. Incredibly ouch. For reference, the two.three badge equivalent is Grasp of the Moonkin, which has neither +hit nor +crit but a rather odd +spell haste, +40 damage, and no sockets. I'm extremely dubious with regards to the merits of spell haste for the balance spec, mostly since the talent Nature's Grace already procs a haste effect following a crit on what's already a crit-dependent spec. If you're looking for discussions on the balance spec and spell haste, there was both a good look at this back on the forums and also on the Elitist Jerks board. Badge cost: 75 Worth it?: If for no other reason than they're better itemized than the current ones, I suppose -- and +spell hit on leather is notoriously tough to come by outside of tier. CrystalI know that there are possibly some players who can afford to buy the heroic gear, but i think of it more as a guild gold sink, where guilds compete to obtain the item for way throughout raiders could afford from then on distribute it via the normal raids loot system. Even if individuals one thing buy it, gear wont help the general public avoid fire. and on rogues, im a pretty fresh rogue, i did not level it with the legendary(i do ask them to but that's just happens when you raid alot) i loved them enough to improve mains and im in no hurry for a drastic class redesign.wind Leggings: Eerily enough this time it truly is the +spell hit that goes missing while the +crit shows up, as compared to Thunderheart Pants. +61 dmg and +28 spell crit (which is actually an improvement of 7 +crit in excess of tier), which is nothing to sneeze at, and two sockets (red/yellow) as compared to Thunderheart's sole blue socket. Not a bad piece by any means but it looks like Blizzard is using a pattern whereby the "Tier 6 equivalent" badge gear mimics Tier 6 general stats but omits one particular or two components. Overall, however, pretty pretty nice piece and the firmest real upgrade in the bunch. Legs seem to get a major problem slot for moonkin. Outside of raiding or PvP, I don't believe there are leather leggings with spell damage past the Tempest Leggings/Kurenai Kilt, and as T4 leggings drop from Gruul, even the earliest version of tier is out of your reach unless your guild can handle 25-man content. Badge cost: 100 Worth it?: Hell yes. Embrace of Starlight: Hmm. 36 +spell crit and +60 damage. Once again it truly is a crit improvement in excess of Thunderheart Vest but lacks +spell hit, and has one particular red socket to Thunderheart's three (B/B/Y). If you're using the "badge set" WOW GOLD in excess of (or before obtaining) its tier counterpart, in all likelihood you will wind up having to socket for +spell hit or else use cloth. However, the two.three equivalent for the above is the Blessed Elunite Coverings, currently readily available for 75 badges. Embrace has more raw damage and +14 spell crit rating, but with three sockets (Y/R/B) on the Blessed piece in addition to 7 mp/5, I am not so sure that Embrace constitutes a significant upgrade to anything but spirit, which is really only useful to a moonkin insofar as it returns more mana with Innervate. Badge cost: 100 Worth it?: If you've socketed Blessed Elunite Coverings correctly, then odds are pretty good that Embrace is a sidegrade barring what's likely to remain a small improvement to crit and the addition of spirit. So the gloves look like a solid upgrade from the oddly-itemized gloves already readily available, the leggings look fantastic, and the chest is kind of meh. The two.three badge chest might really be preferable for any raiding moonkin without ready access to a tier chest CHEAP WOW GOLD if for no other reason than the mp/5. YMMV, but the small difference between the two chestpieces doesn't, in my opinion, merit shelling out another 100 badges if you've got the two.three one particular. You can get it eventually if you want, but save your badges for the legs initially.FERALFeral has famously bizarre itemization at 70. In your tier gear you're simultaneously a tank without +defense and a cat nearly devoid of +hit, so mixing and matching gear is part of the feral lifestyle. If you're somebody that enjoys having absolutely no bank space, you've come to the correct spec (to say nothing of the correct class). As always, Emmerald's gear list is a good starting point for purposes of quick comparison for more in-depth examination of how pieces function in relation to each other, use Toskk's and/or Rawr.Belt of the Silent Path: Obviously a cat/rogue piece so I am not likely to bother comparing it to the brand new Thunderheart Waistguard (although the amount of +agility and +hit on the brand new Druid tier piece really makes it competitive in a DPS role). Currently the best cat belt in the game in Don Alejandro's Money Belt off Anetheron in Hyjal (who resolutely refuses to drop my Pillar of WTF). Silent Path is, for most people, probably still inferior DPS all around -- the critical strike bonus to Alejandro's is what distinguishes it as a superior cat piece, to, say Shadow-walker's Cord off Shade of Akama -- but this is a thoroughly decent substitute.Badge cost: 75Worth it?: +Hit can be few and far between on leather with proper kitty stats, although admittedly it truly is not our most important stat. Worth picking up if you're not likely to see Don Alejandro's or Tier 6 anytime soon - and that's a healthy amount of agility for any belt, especially once socketed.Embrace of Everlasting Prowess: Bear tanking chestpiece with, of all items, +haste on it. I had to stop and stare at that one particular for any little while to get sure of what I was seeing, but glory be, folks, it truly is really haste on what purports to get tanking gear. This really has the potential to get a decent bear stat for aggro generation, although I really question whether you can (or should) stack enough of it on a tanking set to result in a huge difference. For comparison, here's the Thunderheart Chestguard. The really interesting thing about these two pieces is that Embrace is, pre-socket, the superior piece for agility, stamina, and intellect. Although the differences for the former two stats are not likely to remain once Thunderheart's been socketed, and Thunderheart retains the edge in mitigation simply due to superior AC, that's still an impressive amount of agility on Embrace, especially once you slap in an Agi or Agi/Stam gem. Re: AC, Embrace is better than the Tier 4 Malorne chest and comparable to t Originally Posted by Tsukiko he Tier 5 Nordrassil chest.Raw-stats-wise Embrace is also decently close to the Nether Shadow Tunic off Supremus (minus the +hit, of course), currently best in-game for cat dps. Wowhead commenters make the case that Embrace is ultimately better as a cat piece compared to a bear piece, but there's no getting around the fact that a lot of the item budget did go to armor, and haste isn't that awesome for kitties. If you're curious as to why, this page in the Elitist Jerks "Feral Druid Megathread" should cover it.Badge cost: 100Worth it?: If we're being realistic, it truly is pretty tough to get either the Tier 4 chest (even with the nerfs, I don't see a ton of people wanting to run Magtheridon for lolz) or the Tier 5 chest (hi, Kael). Even if your guild is or is planning to run this content, chestpieces tend to get pretty competitive drops. Embrace is a pretty good hybrid piece and I admit to a certain amount of curiosity in excess of haste's ultimate effect on overall TPS. Faster Mauling is always good if you've got the rage for it, although for most 5-mans you probably won't.Handwraps of the Aggressor: More high-AC gear withWell, in Runes of Magic, there is a somewhat legal way to buy ingame gold. +haste on it. Huh. Like Embrace, it truly is inferior in AC to Thunderheart Gauntlets, and initially superior for agility, stamina, and intellect. The other salient difference is that Thunderheart's sporting a blue socket to Handwrap's yellow one particular, which mimics the earlier tanking-versus-dps difference in the tier-versus-Embrace chest. The AC is good but inferior to the initially piece of tier you're likely to see ingame, Gauntlets of Malorne off Curator in other respecs Handwraps outclasses Tier 4 and again approaches Tier 5. My general sense of the feral badge gear so far is that Blizzard intends it to get a more hybrid, all-purpose feral set than even tier, which is clearly designed with more raid-tanking in mind.That being said, if you've saved up arena points, Vengeful Gladiator's Dragonhide gloves have a smattering of hit rating and also a spell-school lockout effect on Maim. For cat dps they're probably the better choice if for no other reason than the latter bonus, although you can socket pure +hit in Handwraps' yellow socket.Badge cost: 75Worth it?: If you're already getting Embrace, then the Handwraps might be worth it for the opportunity to stack more +haste, but in general this is the weakest of the newly readily available feral pieces. If your AC from other items is decent and/or you're sitting on a Badge of Tenacity, then it truly is a good investment. Sorry to get an armor supremacist, folks, but let's face it as a bear your initially, best, and last line of defense is your armor in the absence of the ability to block/parry. The difference between healing a bear with a lot of PvP gear (lackluster AC) and a bear with proper PvE gear (high AC) is night and day.Tameless Breeches: Rounding out our third "bear piece" among two.4 badge lewtz is another good AC piece with +haste (I am shocked, shocked). Thunderheart continues to have the edge for tanking purposes and also has +27 hit, which is pretty tough to get on tanking gear, but Tameless sports R/Y sockets and excellent agility/stamina/intellect once again. I can't say much here I haven't already said about its two badge cousins.Badge cost: 100Worth it?: In general you should probably think of the badge pieces as a more offensively-oriented version of Tier 6. The cumulative effect of wearing all three pieces is an AC that falls between Tier 4 and Tier 5, with bear TPS positively affected by a total of 50 haste rating (three.17% faster white hits this will not, of course, affect your Mangle or Lacerate but will affect both white hits and Maul) and bear mitigation negatively affected by the relative inferiority of the armor contribution. They are certainly better than Tier 4 with some stats initially exceeding Tier 6, and since T5/T6 tokens for legs, hands, and chests drop off bosses that you'd have to get in a fairly serious raiding guild in order to kill, these are not by any stretch of the imagination a bad compromise. I still don't think haste is anywhere near a fair trade for armor, however.+15 agility to gloves. +6 all stats or the brand new two.4 enchant +15 defense to chest. Nethercleft Leg Armor on the legs. You know the drill. Now go smack that big, ugly boss and tell him that your grandmother hits harder than he does.Trousers of the Scryers' Retainer: If you know nothing else about cat dps, know this stack agility until your eyes bleed. These compare pretty favorably to the current best in-game Shady Dealer's Pantaloons off Azgalor, although the armor ignore on Shady Dealer's is situationally more attractive to a cat than +hit is (most of our damage comes from yellow attacks, particularly Shred, that have a better chance to hit than regular white damage -- although I'll grant that armor ignore doesn't affect our bleed damage from Rip, our finishing move for high-DPS cycles on bleedable mobs and bosses, which is affected by +hit). As always, how good these are depend to a certain extent on how much +hit you're already packing. The two.three badge version is Shallow-Grave Trousers, which has +30 haste rating in place of Scryers' +hit and are currently the fourth best cat legs in the game (in spite, and not since of, the haste rating, I am afraid).Badge cost: 100Worth it?: These are pretty damn good and certainly an upgrade to Shallow-Grave. Early tier pieces are pretty bad for cat DPS relative to rogue leather, so do yourself a favor and pick these up.Tunic of the Dark Hour: You've seen me mention the Nether Shadow Tunic earlier, and this is the two.4 version of the same. Once both socketed, the two pieces are pretty similar to each other, with the edge likely to Nether Shadow due to its R/Y/B sockets in excess of Dark Hour's sole R. Nether Shadow is currently the best cat chest in the game, although it truly is followed pretty closely by the Vengeful Gladiator's Dragonhide tunic. Not much more I can say here apart from concluding you'll be ripping face quite happily in any of these three pieces.Badge cost: 100Worth it?: If you have the arena points for it, get the Vengeful chest and spend your badges on the Scryers' legs, but either/both of the two.4 DPS leather pieces are badges pretty well spent. Enjoy those Shred crits!RESTORATIONIn early Tier 6 we've been seeing a number of non-set +healing leather drops -- Guise of the Tidal Lurker and Kilt of Immortal Nature most notably -- that just don't seem to get itemized for Druids at all. In fact, it truly is our guild's resto Shaman who are after them most. The debate in excess of the merits of mp/5 versus spirit aside, it truly is hard to argue the primary engine of Tree of Life mana efficiency, spirit, can or should be ignored completely.Grovewalker's Leggings: These are a nice upgrade from Tier 5 in most respects barring the loss of an additional 11 mp/5 -- but, let's face it, the set bonuses on Nordrassil Raiment for any raiding resto Druid are nothing to write home about. Extending the duration of a horribly mana-inefficient spell isn't all that awesome, and a bonus to the final "bloom" of Lifebloom -- which ideally you don't let bloom at all -- is equally meh. The Thunderheart leggings, interestingly enough, are really only an upgrade by +3 healing and 11 mp/5, a difference that's likely to get shaved pretty close to the bone by Grovewalker's R/B sockets to Thunderheart's B. Badge cost: 100Worth it?: For an upgrade that's only marginally inferior to Tier 6? Start saving.Oakleaf-Spun Handguards: Another clear upgrade to the Nordrassil Gloves barring the mp/5, and it comes with a blue socket to boot. Thunderheart is more of an upgrade here with slightly better stats all around and the same blue socket, with a bonus of +4 healing to Oakleaf's +2 spirit. Not a bad piece by any means, but if you're really min-maxing your effectiveness as a resto and you have access to Thunderheart, which is by far the earliest and easiest of the Tier 6 tokens to get, then I wouldn't bother dropping the badges on this one particular.Badge cost: 75Worth it?: If your guild is anywhere near Tier 6 or is likely to be taking a crack at it after two.4 hits and you don't need to get keyed for Black Temple/Mount Hyjal anymore, don't bother. I hate to say it, but killing Azgalor is a lot easier than saving 75 badges.Shroud of Nature's Harmony: At initially glance this looks like another winner of an upgrade in excess of the Tier 5 resto chest, but Nordrassil has three B/B/B sockets going for it to Shroud's sole R. Thunderheart is pretty close stats-wise before sockets as well -- Shroud has better spirit and intellect, plu1. You had 300k gold and a girlfriend? Yeah Right.s +1 heal -- but again is likely to outclass its badge counterpart once your trip to the AH for some gems is complete. But this piece is pretty much in the same boat as its feral counterpart the Embrace of Everlasting Prowess the issue isn't really whether the Tier pieces are better (since they are), it truly is your ease of getting them in the initially place. Badge cost: 100Worth it?: Tier 5 or Tier 6 would require killing Kael or Illidan respectively, and competition for those tokens is pretty cutthroat. If you've got Tier 4/equivalent or Gnarled Chestpiece of the Ancients (a pretty solid non-set piece off Morogrim) with a decent shot at the Kael or Illidan chest, you might want to wait. Otherwise, make Grovewalker's your priority and then save toward Shroud.AND WHAT THE HELL, I KNOW It is NOT LEATHER, BUT ANYWAYStaff of the Forest Lord: Otherwise known as OMFG THEY PUT A DRUID DPS STAFF IN THE GAME. And it kind of looks cool! It is a huge upgrade to the much-beloved if aging Terestian's Stranglestaff and the lesser seen Staff of Primal Fury from Zul'Aman, and it truly is a wonderful option if you're among the legions of Druids trying to heal your way through arenas to an wow gold 1850 rating and the Vengeful Gladiator's Staff (currently the best feral DPS staff in the game and now approximately equal to Forest Lord, and inferior to the Sunwell drop Stanchion of Primal Instinct). There's no +hit on it but you can't have everything in life. My God, it has strength AND agility on it! AND feral AP! Wowhead commenter Plasmasnakemg: "This is the kind of staff Jesus would use if he could turn into a bear."Badge cost: 150 Worth it?: Why are you currently here instead of beating the crap out of a heroic boss and hoping they barf out a badge?
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