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ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

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ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby econ21 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:02 pm

I'm levelling a warrior tank alt and was making gear lists - for on dinging level 80, for being 5-man heroics ready, for being ICC10 ready and for being "maxxed out" on ICC normal drops and frost purchases. Putting the "heroics ready" gear into RAWR, I was shocked to see it looks easily good enough for ICC10. I had thought I would have to go through a month long emblem grind - along the lines of Yappo's guide - like I did on my pally main. Now I think I could jump in (at least with my guild, who know me).

Here's the gear list (it no doubt could be improved):

Helm: Tempered Titansteel Helm (crafted)
Neck: Wrathful Gladiator's Pendant of Victory (honour)
Shoulders: Titan-forged Shoulderplates of Triump (WG marks)
Cloak: Wrathful Gladiator's Cloak of Triumph (honour)
Chest: Chestplate of the White knight (crafted)
Bracers: Saronite Sword Breakers (crafted)
Hands: Daunting Handguards (crafted)
Waist: Indestructible Plate Girdle (crafted)
Legs: Special Issue Legplates (AC rep)
Feet: Boots of Kingly upheaval (crafted)
Shield: Titansteel Shield Wall (crafted)
Weapon: Teldrassil Protector (Argent Tournament)
Gun: Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets (AH)
Trinkets: Figurine - Monarch Crab; Figurine - Ruby Hare (JC only)
Rings: Titanium Earthguard Ring; Ring of Earthen Might (JC crafted)

Gemmed and enchanted it comes to around 39k HP unbuffed (that means 50k+ in ICC) and is easily uncrittable despite gemming & enchanting almost entirely for stamina (PVP resilience helps). As it happens, it's also hit capped (just don't ask me about the expertise, it's awful).

This is probably old news, but it came as something of a surprise to me. It won't be cheap, but with my two char's professions (BS, JC, miner x2) I suspect it is attainable. I will even be shooting for Pillars of Might rather than the rep legs.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby yappo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:45 pm

This late in the expansion, unless your realm is a whimpering corpse, you should be able to shop BoE gear from the AH apart from the gun. I don't know all of them, but the ilevel 264 Harbinger Bone Band, or something like it, comes to mind. I believe there's a 245 BoE ring from ToC-25 as well, in as much as anyone can be bothered to enter that instance apart from the weekly raid.

I don't recall if the 264 PvP bracers are emblems or honour, but it's worth looking up, because they are simply put superior to the crafted 245 for ICC duty.

Urk, it pains me to advice PvP-gear, but you know me well enough from these forums to know it only hurts when I laugh :D
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Barathorn » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:11 am

The only comment I would make is that spending huge amounts of cash at this stage is completely pointless unless you are desperate to see ICC on that toon.

The drops from the dungeons in the expansion are better than ICC10 gear. Some of the quest rewards are better as well. Save your cash.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby econ21 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:34 am

I'll look into the PVP bracers, Yappo - they are just for honour and my main uses them for Wintergrasp. But I thought the Saronite ones have the edge for PvE (they come surprisingly high up BiS lists, although those lists invariably omit PvP items).

I bought the gun last night for 3000 gold. It seemed worth it for what is pretty much a best in slot item. By contrast, the ICC BoE tanking ring is around 15k on my server and did not seem worth it even for my main.

Maybe I should save my money, Barathorn, but Cataclysm doesn't "feel" that close to me. I wonder when it is coming out? I suspect December, which still leaves me three months of gaming time and my main has precious little to do (except try to get a decent shield, grrr)*. The alt seems to be earning her way through questing (ok, the epic mount was funded by the main). In real life, I would save but in a game, I am tempted to buy my shinies. When the expansion comes out, I will earn new gold and buy new shinies.

But you raise an interesting point: how much of a war chest are people accumulating for Cataclysm? Thinking about it, I guess I should save all my stone shards and WG marks to convert to honour for Cataclysm to get the next lot of PVP gear, if that is still possible via WG commendations (or will they reset that? You could not carry much honour through the last expansion). Gold I will accumulate naturally, but honour would require diversion from my usual PvE playtime.


*EDIT: MMO Champion is now saying 2 November. So, um, Cata is now starting to feel a LOT closer to me now. :oops:
Last edited by econ21 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby yappo » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:54 am

econ21 wrote:I'll look into the PVP bracers, Yappo - they are just for honour and my main uses them for Wintergrasp. But I thought the Saronite ones have the edge for PvE (they come surprisingly high up BiS lists, although those lists invariably omit PvP items).


During Naxx, or possibvly Ulduar, yes, the Saronites would have been superior. Then Blizzard removed defence (apart from uncrittability), dodge and parry from the list of viable tanking stats.

Have a look at the PvP bracers.
Helps you getting uncrittable? Yes, better than Saronite.
Builds your hitpoints? Yes, better than Saronite.
Gives you threat? Yes, better than Saronite.

Wonderful design, Blizz...
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Feanorion » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:54 am

econ21 wrote:I'm levelling a warrior tank alt and was making gear lists - for on dinging level 80, for being 5-man heroics ready, for being ICC10 ready and for being "maxxed out" on ICC normal drops and frost purchases. Putting the "heroics ready" gear into RAWR, I was shocked to see it looks easily good enough for ICC10. I had thought I would have to go through a month long emblem grind - along the lines of Yappo's guide - like I did on my pally main. Now I think I could jump in (at least with my guild, who know me).

Here's the gear list (it no doubt could be improved):

Helm: Tempered Titansteel Helm (crafted)
Neck: Wrathful Gladiator's Pendant of Victory (honour)
Shoulders: Titan-forged Shoulderplates of Triump (WG marks)
Cloak: Wrathful Gladiator's Cloak of Triumph (honour)
Chest: Chestplate of the White knight (crafted)
Bracers: Saronite Sword Breakers (crafted)
Hands: Daunting Handguards (crafted)
Waist: Indestructible Plate Girdle (crafted)
Legs: Special Issue Legplates (AC rep)
Feet: Boots of Kingly upheaval (crafted)
Shield: Titansteel Shield Wall (crafted)
Weapon: Teldrassil Protector (Argent Tournament)
Gun: Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets (AH)
Trinkets: Figurine - Monarch Crab; Figurine - Ruby Hare (JC only)
Rings: Titanium Earthguard Ring; Ring of Earthen Might (JC crafted)

Gemmed and enchanted it comes to around 39k HP unbuffed (that means 50k+ in ICC) and is easily uncrittable despite gemming & enchanting almost entirely for stamina (PVP resilience helps). As it happens, it's also hit capped (just don't ask me about the expertise, it's awful).

This is probably old news, but it came as something of a surprise to me. It won't be cheap, but with my two char's professions (BS, JC, miner x2) I suspect it is attainable. I will even be shooting for Pillars of Might rather than the rep legs.


With all due respect, while an interesting thought, I believe that a tank thusly geared would be destroyed by Lord Marrowgar's trash, let alone Lord Marrowgar himself. The lack of avoidance on this gear set would mean strings of hits will be much more common, and the lack of armor would mean that each hit would hurt a lot more than an appropriately geared tank would take.

I eschew gemming or enchanting for avoidance; I have the luxury to do so because there is so much avoidance extant on our gear. The gear set above has very little, and the reliance upon Resilience to reach uncrittability exacerbates this, because Defense provides Miss%, Dodge, Parry, and (when appropriate) Block rating; Resilience provides none of this.

I would love to see a tank attempt to tank ICC 10 in this gear. I am not at all averse to being proven wrong. But I think that the attempt would highlight the need for tanks to pay attention to all aspects of tank gearing, not just HP.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby econ21 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:02 am

The armour and avoidance are rather low, but I am not sure they are insufficient for ICC10. If we compare them to my main, who is maxxed out in frost emblem gear plus normal ICC drops, the alt warrior has 27% avoidance (dodge+parry+miss) compared to 36% on my main (both already minus the 20% chill of the throne debuff). The armour is 24k compared to 33k, meaning 60% reduction of damage compared to 67%. But it is silly to compare an ICC entry tank with an ICC exit one. I suspect my warrior would perform similarly to a Yappo "failsafe" tank geared with maxxed out EoT gear but no crafted or PVP items. Yes, the healers will have to work hard but with a 50k HP safety margin and the mana pools available, I think it would be doable.

Reading a little about how Cata will convert emblems into justice points, I do wonder if the whole premise of this thread is flawed though. From the beta servers, I understand 1 emblem (frost or triumph) will be converted to 2.75 justice points and that a T10 piece costing 95 EoF will cost 1100 JP. That seems to mean that our emblems will be devalued to be a quarter of what they are currently worth. By contrast, while gold may see some inflation, I doubt it will be 400% (Azeroth flying seems rather cheap). So, it may best to save cash and spend emblems rather than vice versa.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby lythac » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:09 am

econ21 wrote:The armour is 24k compared to 33k, meaning 60% reduction of damage compared to 67%. But it is silly to compare an ICC entry tank with an ICC exit one.


Napkin math would say you're taking an extra 21% (40/33) more damage for hits that connect compared to an ICC exit tank. Taking your 53K raid buffed and reducing it by 21% gives 43.8k which would be a decent way to view your HP.

The healers having 30% plus heal counters the 21% extra damage (and then some more) and your HP would be higher than those originally starting ICC25 at 0% buff. Avoidance shouldn't matter with guild healers who know to spam.

I would be concerned with threat.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Feanorion » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:17 am

econ21 wrote:1) The armour and avoidance are rather low, but I am not sure they are insufficient for ICC10. If we compare them to my main, who is maxxed out in frost emblem gear plus normal ICC drops, the alt warrior has 27% avoidance (dodge+parry+miss) compared to 36% on my main (both already minus the 20% chill of the throne debuff).

2) The armour is 24k compared to 33k, meaning 60% reduction of damage compared to 67%.

3) But it is silly to compare an ICC entry tank with an ICC exit one. I suspect my warrior would perform similarly to a Yappo "failsafe" tank geared with maxxed out EoT gear but no crafted or PVP items.

4) Yes, the healers will have to work hard but with a 50k HP safety margin and the mana pools available, I think it would be doable.

5) Reading a little about how Cata will convert emblems into justice points, I do wonder if the whole premise of this thread is flawed though. From the beta servers, I understand 1 emblem (frost or triumph) will be converted to 2.75 justice points and that a T10 piece costing 95 EoF will cost 1100 JP. That seems to mean that our emblems will be devalued to be a quarter of what they are currently worth. By contrast, while gold may see some inflation, I doubt it will be 400% (Azeroth flying seems rather cheap). So, it may best to save cash and spend emblems rather than vice versa.


1) Would you link your warrior's armory? 56% total avoidance seems awfully low. Did you count 5% base miss? Fean's lowest avoidance among my multitude of gear sets is about 65%. What would account for such a disparity in avoidance, especially when I put zero effort into adding avoidance?

Even so, the lower avoidance is, the more devalued it becomes. If I understand the math correctly, the difference in damage intake between 27% and 36% avoidance is more than 9%. Even worse than the total damage intake is the increased frequency of incoming damage. More on that in a moment.

2) 9k armor is a HUGE variance. In and of itself it might very well be overcome-able, but coupled with the increased frequency of hits? I very much doubt it. In my threat set of gear, with 33k armor instead of 37k, I (and my healers) see a significant and noticeable increase in damage, and that set still has over 60% avoidance (pre-Chill). Your variance is more than double the variance you cited, and your 33k max was already significantly lower than mine.

3) The mobs that require tanking care not one bit about comparisons. The no-badge tank would have to tank the same mobs and bosses as any other tank would. If you want to change the premise to the no-badge tank could OT and taunt off one mob at a time from a fully-geared MT, then yes, a no-badge tank could do that; that does not make the no-badge tank a real, viable ICC tank, however. The no-badge tank might be a suitable saber-lash soaker, but would be much less likely to be able to tank the trash, LDW's adds, Muradin/Saurfang, DBS, and Festergut is completely out of the question.

4) Back to the increased frequency of hits and the increased damage from those hits: with several mobs hitting him, the healers would most likely be unable to do more healing in the span of 1 heal's cast time than the mobs can do damage. Do not overlook the fact that the no-badge warrior will also be blocking a lot less frequently due to the lack of Shield Block Rating from Defense.

5) Excellent observation.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Feanorion » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:19 am

lythac wrote:
econ21 wrote:The armour is 24k compared to 33k, meaning 60% reduction of damage compared to 67%. But it is silly to compare an ICC entry tank with an ICC exit one.


Napkin math would say you're taking an extra 21% (40/33) more damage for hits that connect compared to an ICC exit tank. Taking your 53K raid buffed and reducing it by 21% gives 43.8k which would be a decent way to view your HP.

The healers having 30% plus heal counters the 21% extra damage (and then some more) and your HP would be higher than those originally starting ICC25 at 0% buff. Avoidance shouldn't matter with guild healers who know to spam.

I would be concerned with threat.


As I stated above, it is not the total damage over a fight that I would be concerned with: it is the burst-damage taken caused by multiple unavoided/unblocked hits in the span of one heal's cast time.

Threat can be gotten around initially with MD/TotT, but would still be troublesome during the cd period of those abilities. I agree that this is a concern I missed.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby theckhd » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:24 am

Feanorion wrote:As I stated above, it is not the total damage over a fight that I would be concerned with: it is the burst-damage taken caused by multiple unavoided/unblocked hits in the span of one heal's cast time.


Lythac's point contributes to burst damage. 40/33 is the relative increase in the size of unavoided hits due to having lower armor (60% damage reduction instead of 67% translates into 40% of base damage taken instead of 33%). The tank with lower armor is effectively getting hit 21% harder each time he's hit.

So not only is he avoiding less of those attacks due to lower avoidance, each one of those attacks is hitting him for more because of his lower armor. Both of those are important. Lower avoidance increases the likelihood of an n-attack burst, and lower armor increases the "deadliness" of those bursts.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Feanorion » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:48 am

theckhd wrote:
Feanorion wrote:As I stated above, it is not the total damage over a fight that I would be concerned with: it is the burst-damage taken caused by multiple unavoided/unblocked hits in the span of one heal's cast time.


Lythac's point contributes to burst damage. 40/33 is the relative increase in the size of unavoided hits due to having lower armor (60% damage reduction instead of 67% translates into 40% of base damage taken instead of 33%). The tank with lower armor is effectively getting hit 21% harder each time he's hit.

So not only is he avoiding less of those attacks due to lower avoidance, each one of those attacks is hitting him for more because of his lower armor. Both of those are important. Lower avoidance increases the likelihood of an n-attack burst, and lower armor increases the "deadliness" of those bursts.


Honest question: were you agreeing with me: no-badge would be likely to implode in a matter of a few seconds?

--- or with Lythac, and that a healer would just have to work harder to keep him alive but threat is a bigger concern?

Anecdote: I love to tank heroics in a mostly T-6 gear set, with the Millennium Blade and a Sunward Crest (because they match). I had finished a run, was spamming Trade for fill-ins for the second half of a pug ICC 25 that I run every Sunday and Monday. Got the last spots filled, we were about 30 minutes late getting started, so I hit the Fish Feast and pulled one of the Val'Kyr on the way to the Badge Fairy.

My damage seemed spiky, and everyone started lol'ing in chat and laughing in vent. The healers asked me if I intended to pull in my vanity set. Oops.

Tanking one Val'kyr (the other tank got all the mirror images), it took 3 healers spamming me to keep me upright. Not a pack of mobs--- just 1 Val'kyr. My vanity set has 24k unbuffed health, 20k armor sans Devo aura, 49.43 unbuffed pre-Chill avoidance; the armor is comparable, and the t-6 actually has more avoidance, and significantly higher block rating. No-badge has a lot more health, but enough more to allow 1 healer to keep him alive in ICC 10 with multiple mobs or a boss hitting him? I honestly don't think so.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby theckhd » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Neither. I was just clarifying that Lythac's figure of 21% extra damage taken was a contributor to the burst-death concerns you were expressing.

If you really want my opinion, I think that it depends on the type of run you're doing. For a normal-mode ICC10 clear with a competent healer that knows ahead of time what to expect, I think that a warrior geared like this could at least kill trash and a few bosses. It might not be pretty, as you'd be in constant danger of death from a bad avoidance streak during healer movement, but it could be done. I wouldn't count on getting a competent enough healer in a random PuG though.

I also think threat would be a concern if you have geared DPS, but that's a separate issue. Again, this gear set is unlikely to succeed in a PuG, but a group with a competent hunter and rogue and DPS that know how to use threat reduction abilities would be doable.

Your ICC pug anecdote may not be the best comparison. For starters, the 4k armor difference is still pretty significant, and having nearly double the health of your vanity set will make the intake feel much less spiky. It's also hard to say whether it took all 3 healers to keep you up or not. With such a low health pool, it wouldn't take much more than one Holy Light to top you off after an attack, meaning that a lot of their healing was probably overheal. My guess is that it took 3 healers to make sure that a heal landed to top you off between incoming attacks, since back-to-back hits would be lethal at such a low health pool.

In other words, it might have taken 3 healers to increase the frequency of heals enough to keep you topped off between attacks, but not to reach the throughput necessary to offset the incoming damage. If you increase the health pool to remove the danger of getting 2-shot, the frequency of heals becomes less of a concern and you only need enough healers to keep up with throughput.

It's also worth noting that the Valks hit a lot harder in 25-man than in 10-man, since one is balanced around having several tank healers available for trash and the other is balanced around having one. Trying to draw parallels between 25- and 10-man can be tricky that way, because the balancing is done differently both in terms of available healers and available gear.


Either way, I don't think it would be wise to try this gearset outside of a "stunt" run, where you were sure that the healers and DPS were good players that were aware of the goal. Trying this in a PuG would likely be suicide.
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby Feanorion » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:52 pm

theckhd wrote:1) --- My guess is that it took 3 healers to make sure that a heal landed to top you off between incoming attacks, since back-to-back hits would be lethal at such a low health pool.

In other words, it might have taken 3 healers to increase the frequency of heals enough to keep you topped off between attacks, but not to reach the throughput necessary to offset the incoming damage. If you increase the health pool to remove the danger of getting 2-shot, the frequency of heals becomes less of a concern and you only need enough healers to keep up with throughput.

2) Either way, I don't think it would be wise to try this gearset outside of a "stunt" run, where you were sure that the healers and DPS were good players that were aware of the goal. Trying this in a PuG would likely be suicide.


1) Exactly. 100% my point. It wasn't the amount of healing needed--- it was the frequency of healing needed. That was my point: how much damage would no-badge take from the Marrowgar trash packs during the cast time of one heal? Yes, my health pool was much lower, and the mob hits much harder, but the no-badge tank would be taking a lot more hits in a span of a second or two from 4-6 mobs (assuming he held aggro at all).

2) If it is a gimmick run, where the MT pulls all the trash then no-badge picks up stragglers or taunts off single mobs, the raid knows the deal ahead of time, then yes: the no-badge tank could do just fine. My concerns were based on the premise of an "honest" run, where he would be expected to shoulder an even load of the tanking chores.

I think we're pretty much in agreement?
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Re: ICC ready without a single emblem or drop

Postby theckhd » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:19 pm

I think that multi-mob pulls would definitely be harder, as you suggest. Solo-tanking the trash would be pretty dangerous, for sure. But there aren't that many multi-mob pulls in the lower citadel that couldn't be handled with each tank taking approximately half the mobs. The mobs in the Marrowgar trash pulls tend to hit for less than the single-mob trash (valks, aboms, cleaving skeleton statue thingies).

Really, the dangerous multi-mob pulls are in the upper citadel - Frost Wing gauntlet, Blood trash. You would likely need to use some form of CC (or let Crok tank some of the gauntlet trash) to get past those.

The "gimmick" run I had in mind didn't need to be so obviously "gimmicky." I don't think the under-geared tank would have to resort to picking off single mobs of the trash. As long as the tank healer knows ahead of time that the off-tank is under-geared and will require more attention and healing time, he should be able to tank a reasonable share of the mobs. I don't see any reason that tank couldn't handle half of any of the Marrowgar trash pulls.

But again, that's all dependent on the tank healer being prepared for that situation and talented enough to manage it. If you lose that condition (e.g. pug healer), then the off-tank is going to have more trouble taking on an even share of mobs.
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