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Identify your Tank Level for Gear/Gems/Enchants

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Identify your Tank Level for Gear/Gems/Enchants

Postby Digren » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:19 pm

Tank Levels

For a more refined look at gearing strategy, consider the concept of player levels. As of this writing, level 80 tankadins can be roughly divided into four levels based on their gear and content.

    Image

    Image New 80. A new level 80 tank is wearing or buys a new set of crafted Tempered Saronite armor or equivalent. He or she has lots of defense, but lacks in health (at least according to most PuG leaders) and is 15-25% away from the block cap. Total avoidance is relatively low. Whether this person is being geared up by a guild or working solo, he or she wants to run heroic instances for emblems and run dailies for cash, using that cash to buy iLvl 226 BoE epics (and a few iLvl 200 epics for slots like shield). Yappo's Failsafe Gearing Guide details the steps a level one tank should take to reach level two. For the most part, these tanks should gem for stamina, dodge, and defense. Block gear and block enchants are useful for the available content.

    Image Average iLvl 227. The availability of higher-iLvl gear from instance-acquired emblems means that iLvl-213 / Naxx / T7 gear just isn't necessary when gearing up. With the exception of perhaps a shield or weapon, equivalent or better gear can be found via emblems or the auction house. Thus, a level two player with gear around average iLvl 227 actually has pieces that range from iLvl 200 (for shield and weapon) for 245 (for shoulders). A player at this level can replace a few defense enchants (such as cloak, for agility) and gems (where the socket is non-blue and the bonus is a small amount of non-stamina), and should swap all dodge gems for agility. Most other socket bonuses are still useful. The tank may drop below the block cap (even when raid buffed), but this is not a concern.

    Image Progressing ICC Normal 25 / Normal 10 / Hard 10. A level three paladin starts with Ulduar-or-better gear (average iLvl 220-230) and is raiding with a guild that wants to progress through T9 and T10 normal mode content. He or she should continue to shift gems and enchants from avoidance to stamina as gear improves, following the steps later in this guide to maximize the conversion. The tank will probably stay at the block cap but will never again care except for trick encounters.

    Image ICC Hard / End Game. The end-game progression raider is trying to maximize health. All gems and enchants are pure stamina except those required to activate a meta or perhaps where the socket bonus is +12 stamina. For some, threat may seem to be an issue, but this can usually be solved with Tricks of the Trade or Misdirect rather than a change to tank gearing. These tanks maintains multiple gear sets (effective health, maximum health, threat, block) drawn from all their best pieces, tailoring the set worn to each encounter as required. The alternate sets may use different gems and enchants, such as strength/stamina gems and hit rating enchants for threat gear.

    Image By knowing your tank level, you know how to read and use the recommendations in the guides that reference them.
Last edited by Digren on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:50 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Meloree » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:52 pm

In before Wrathy argues about your characterization of level 5.

More seriously, I'd say that's probably a pretty good set of characterizations. There might be some debate about the value of avoidance for pure-endgame raid tanks, vs. EH, but that's never going to get settled. I'm firmly in agreement with stamina stacking camp right now, but we'll see what Icecrown brings us.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Wrathy » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:13 pm

DAMN! Too Slow...

I actually agree with all of this minus the last set (Meloree is a mind reader, but not for the correct reason). Until we truly understand the mechanics that we will be facing in Icecrown we cannot be sure but, I don't think hit will be something that I value in my 3.3 progression set. For now, my progression set will be chock full of stamina and defense, at the expense of threat, because I have yet to have threat issues, and unless we get a nice little nerf bat, wont have them (Barring any encounter gimmicks like Hodir or General).
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby lythac » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:06 am

Level one: Add in ToC(N)

Level two: Its not really about Naxx anymore, its EoC Heroic farming, ToC(H), VoA, Heroic dungeon daily for EoT, pugging FL for weapon, buying BoE tanking gear (runed orb i226 belt and i226 boots etc). Sure EoC and the odd piece of gear will come from Naxx but the majority of gear will be coming from EoC.

Level three and four: I'm not sure that Level 3 and 4 are separate of each other now. TotC10 is not particularly gear dependent on tank, is easier to pug than the later parts of Ulduar10 and can completed in a couple of hours. TotC25, first 2 bosses are again easily puggable FC can cause problems and lead to group break downs.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Digren » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:04 am

Lythac wrote:Level two: Its not really about Naxx anymore, its EoC Heroic farming, ToC(H), VoA, Heroic dungeon daily for EoT, pugging FL for weapon, buying BoE tanking gear (runed orb i226 belt and i226 boots etc). Sure EoC and the odd piece of gear will come from Naxx but the majority of gear will be coming from EoC.

So what does this mean in terms of gearing, then? Does the Great Defense Drop not happen anymore, since the availability of iLvl 226 items means players don't have to wear a full set of low-def 213 gear?
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Lindreth » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:50 am

I would argue that for levels 1 and 2, a tank's focus should also look toward working on faction grinding to the get the head/shoulder enchants from Argent Crusade and Sons of Hodir that are very important for tanking at a higher level. These will help bridge the gap between the first three levels that you mention so the tank can join the VoA, OS or even the EoE PuGs that might be available to them in addition to running heroics and Naxx.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby yappo » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Digren wrote:
Lythac wrote:Level two: Its not really about Naxx anymore, its EoC Heroic farming, ToC(H), VoA, Heroic dungeon daily for EoT, pugging FL for weapon, buying BoE tanking gear (runed orb i226 belt and i226 boots etc). Sure EoC and the odd piece of gear will come from Naxx but the majority of gear will be coming from EoC.

So what does this mean in terms of gearing, then? Does the Great Defense Drop not happen anymore, since the availability of iLvl 226 items means players don't have to wear a full set of low-def 213 gear?


There really only is a Level 1 and a level 1.5 prior to TotC (or Ulduar as well).

Be allowed inside hc:s, start grinding emblems.
Head: 226
Neck: 226
Shoulder: 245 (Triumph emblems)
Back: 213 (downgrade to valor emblems)
Chest: 226
Wrist: 213 (downgrade to valor emblems)
Weapon: 200 or 219 (AT emblems or Peacemaker which is a drop, so not guaranteed)
Shield: 200 (cheap crafted or downgrade to heroic emblems)
Libram: 226
Trinkets: 2 X 200 (including ToC 5 normal drop, as this is infinitely farmable)
Ring: 245 (Triumph)
Ring: 213, 219 or 226 (downgrade to valor emblems for the first and gold for the last two, yes shopping for Signet or Earthshaker is likely easiest)
Feet: 213 (downgrade to valor emblems)
Legs: 226
Waist: 226
Hands: 226

And you've never been inside ANYTHING harder than a five man hc. This is gear good enough for farming FL 25 night before weekly reset, VoA and Ony 10. (debatable if you're welcome to the 25-man counterparts, even though the gear is good enough). You have very, very little reason to hit Naxx with this gear. Wall of Terror being the possible one.
Gearwise you're ready for Ulduar. Don't know if this is too squishy for TotC 10.

So we're talking about a "failsafe" (was that Petrus who made that guide?), pre-raid setup that is pretty much ilevel 226 all over. The reason I included two triumph-emblem slots is that when you've farmed your way to get all the above you're more likely than not the happy owner of enough triumph emblems to go shopping.

Also note that the above doesn't include full drops from ToC 5 hc. Neither have I included (exception being Peacemaker to show that there ARE viable drops) any drops from heroics which would pad out a slot while you grind your way to full "failsafe".
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Digren » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:37 pm

yappo wrote:There really only is a Level 1 and a level 1.5 prior to TotC (or Ulduar as well).

Thanks. This is why I initially asked, as I thought that the continued changes to make older gear obsolete (via new crafted gear and the upgraded emblem drops in older instances). If there's no reason for players to go through the iLvl 213 defense gap, then there's no need to include a gem and enchant guide section to address that gap.

But, that said, what people can do and what people do aren't always the same. Someone unable to do a Naxx PuG could grind out a gear list as you describe, but how many people actually shun Naxx so much to do that? It's not like a wing or two of Naxx takes any longer than an instance, so time commitment can't keep people restricted to the smaller groups.

So, for those of you that recently geared up from iLvl 200 to iLvl 226 gear, or have friends that did, let me ask: did you (or they) bother with intermediate iLvl 213 gear, or just skip most of it? Obviously you didn't let upgrades rot if they dropped, but did you go back time and again to get the gear you wanted, or just run the place a few times for emblems and then move on?
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Oaken » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:42 pm

Lindreth wrote:I would argue that for levels 1 and 2, a tank's focus should also look toward working on faction grinding to the get the head/shoulder enchants from Argent Crusade and Sons of Hodir that are very important for tanking at a higher level. These will help bridge the gap between the first three levels that you mention so the tank can join the VoA, OS or even the EoE PuGs that might be available to them in addition to running heroics and Naxx.


Well, I'm personally not sure that grinding the Hodir rep is even worth it anymore. EH requirements have proven the PvP enchant to be superior. I wouldnt recommend anyone seriously work that rep these days.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Meloree » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:39 pm

Oaken wrote:Well, I'm personally not sure that grinding the Hodir rep is even worth it anymore. EH requirements have proven the PvP enchant to be superior. I wouldnt recommend anyone seriously work that rep these days.


Hodir enchant is strictly superior for Anub'arak add tanking.

Who knows what Icecrown will bring for fights. Even as one of the biggest EH advocates here, I wouldn't ever suggest that you should limit your options.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Oaken » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:49 pm

Meloree wrote:
Oaken wrote:Well, I'm personally not sure that grinding the Hodir rep is even worth it anymore. EH requirements have proven the PvP enchant to be superior. I wouldnt recommend anyone seriously work that rep these days.


Hodir enchant is strictly superior for Anub'arak add tanking.

Who knows what Icecrown will bring for fights. Even as one of the biggest EH advocates here, I wouldn't ever suggest that you should limit your options.


Ah, I stand corrected. You are right that having this enchant for your avoidance set would be very useful. I'm still building mine and forget to think that way. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Barathorn » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:17 am

Digren wrote:So, for those of you that recently geared up from iLvl 200 to iLvl 226 gear, or have friends that did, let me ask: did you (or they) bother with intermediate iLvl 213 gear, or just skip most of it? Obviously you didn't let upgrades rot if they dropped, but did you go back time and again to get the gear you wanted, or just run the place a few times for emblems and then move on?


We have just geared up a Pally Tank, took us roughly 2-3 weeks to do. His gear across the board is as good as, if not better [because of EoT purchases] than mine. He is a JC/BS so he has more health, more sockets and better options than I do. We just ran heroic after heroic after heroic to farm badges, 3-4 a night most nights really. We supplemented this with BoE T8 drops like the IC cloak and a couple of crafted ilevel200 pieces. To be fair the player definately worked VERY hard to get to where he is so quickly but we didn't touch T7 content at all. The ilevel 200 and 213 stuff simply wasn't worth considering given the alternative options.

I did exactly the same with my Elemental Shaman, there is no need to run T7 content at all now unless you want the achievements.

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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Barathorn » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:21 am

I am going to sticky this as a WIP as I feel it is of definate value to the community.

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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby Petrus » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:32 am

If you're going to mention the block cap, which is important and I'm glad you do, it's probably worth mentioning that tanks gain on average about 3.5-5% avoidance from a "standard" set of raid buffs (HoW/SoE Totem, Mark of the Wild, Kings, and Libram of Defiance once obtained). Obviously that is something to say in a more detailed guide but it may be worth explaining that line of reasoning for ignoring the block cap. For example, I do not gear for the block cap at all, but in a raid with full buffs in Ulduar and ToC now I have been over cap (Ulduar I was only barely over, about .2-.3%, whereas I am now 1-2% above with my libram buff up).

Once the libram is obtained and gear reaches the 219-232 level (essentially all Heroic Trial of the Champion to base T9 gear) the block cap doesn't have to be worried about not because we don't have to reach it (which we don't) but because for the most part it takes care of itself.
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Re: Stat requirements at stages of progress

Postby yappo » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:38 am

I think maybe an "Ebay gearing guide" might be in order again.

Basically you, theoretically, gear up a naked, professionless and moneyless lvl 80 tankadin who has done all the levelling quests and deliberately chosen the "wrong reward" if at all possible.

It's not a matter of being realistic, but one of defining what gear you are guaranteed to have no matter your background, given of course you're allowed inside heroics to begin with.

I don't think an infinite state of being a pauper is a need, but for simplicity's sake we could assume the paladin EITHER runs the Hodir quests OR the AT counterparts (or whatever generates around 100 gold a day).

This way gemming, enchants and bought craftables can be weighed against the effort needed. For example, the craftable ilevel 245 chest would be out of the question as the first slot geared, but Titansteel Shieldwall should be considered an early buy.

The realistic approach, however, is probably to have your naked tank run the first 20 - 30 heroics as dps if you want to argue that a naked tank tanks nothing. This way we ensure that the perceived inability to get tanking gear without tanking remains a myth.

I don't know if the Ebay approach is interesting, and if so, if it should go into a separate thread. I'll supply my subjective list, and if asked move to a new thread.


Ebay gearing list:

Assumptions:
Tank generates a surplus of 100 gold per day played by means of dailies done and vendor-trash.
Tank generates 16 emblems of conquest per day played (four instances).
Tank generates 2 emblems of triumph per day played (less in the beginning, more later on)

Week: 1
ilevel 200 Titansteel Shieldwall
ilevel 226 helmet
ilevel 226 chest (lacking 4 emblems for this)

Week 2:
ilevel 200 Titansteel boots (yes, yes, piece of crap, but we were naked)
ilevel 226 neck
ilevel 226 legs
ilevel 226 hands
ilevel 226 belt (lacking 6 emblems for this)

Week 3:
ilevel 213 Bracers of Dalaran's Parapet (700 gold should be enough for these)
ilevel 200 AT tanking weapon (three weeks is more than I needed to buy it)
ilevel 245 shoulders (lacking 3 emblems for this)
ilevel 213 cloak (downgrade to valor emblems)
ilevel 213 ring (downgrade to valor emblems)
ilevel 226 libram

So, after three weeks we lack one ring, two trinkets (possibly one as we could arguably downgrade to heroics emblems and buy the trinket) and a small fortune's worth of enchants and gems.

I would argue that after a maximum of four weeks, given the tempo above, we have a tank almost geared for post-naxx content without ever setting foot in Naxx. Money enough to buy Signet of Winter, enchant and gem correctly, coupled with the inability to convince ToC 5 normal to drop one trinket are the only obstacles remaining. This despite our running 96 heroics without receiving a single useful tank-drop.
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