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4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

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4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Digren » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:55 pm

Introduction to 4.0 Item Enhancement

We've tamed nature, hunted the hunters, defeated kings, and vanquished gods. And though we dare call ourselves "heroes", we overlooked and neglected the deep, dark threat that has torn our world apart. The great Cataclysm has not only disrupted the land, it has changed our capabilities as tankadins, and with that changed what we need to thrive. Read on for an introduction to and philosophy for gem, enchant, and reforge planning, or skip down for the list of recommendations.

Remember, only you, the experienced tankadin, knows what's best for you given your gear and raid role.

The 3.3 Gem and Enchant Guide remains for those seeking knowledge of a simpler time.

Gearing Strategy

No discussion of item enhancement can be complete without a discussion of overall gear, as the two are intrinsically linked. Unlike gear - where many tanks are forced to take what they can get - players with all ranges of skill, time, and luck can acquire their choice of enhancements. Gems, enchants, and reforging can be used to complete gear in two possible ways:
  1. to overcome a deficit in stats, creating a "rounded" gear item, or
  2. to maximize and specialize gear, to be the best it can be at one role.
It is better to maximize and specialize each item to be the best it can be at one role. Then, maximize and specialize an alternate piece for a second role, and so forth. This way, by swapping gear, a tank can be best suited for the needs of the encounter.

    Image Keep all your old gear until they raise the level cap. You don't have anything else to put in your bank, right?

It's way too early to predict gearing strategy. Numbers haven't been finalized on anything yet, and until they are it's hard to say just how much of any given stat we'll actually need. Hit cap? Maybe. Dodge rating? Perhaps. Stack mastery? Possibly. Once the numbers are finalized and the number crunchers do their work, I'll post a summary strategy guide.

This is a work in process to capture item enhancement data for Cataclysm. At some point the expansion will release, this forum will be closed, and this guide will be reposted in the regular gear advice forum.

Stat Considerations

Strength

Strength was one of the best threat stats in WotLK, and this isn't likely to change in Cataclysm, as this a paladin tank's primary source for attack power. It's secondary survival benefit - a minor increase in block value - was removed however due to the reworked block mechanics. In its place, each point of strength now provides the equivalent of 0.25 parry rating. Consider this a perk.

Agility

Agility no longer provides any armor, eliminating its effective health benefit. With its conversion to dodge hovering around 75% that of dodge rating, Agility as a survivability stat is unlikely. Its use as a threat stat is yet to be determined, though it's likely to be less useful than other stats for this purpose.

Hit Rating

The need for hit rating in survivability or threat gear is yet to be determined. However, the change to hit rating gems (to blue) leads to a new conflict. Tanks often pick gems in threat gear to be threat/stamina; in other words, they often use a combo gem (to pick up the socket) while still getting some amount of health. Because hit rating now conflicts directly with stamina, it may be harder to acquire without an increased impact on health. This might increase the relative value of hit rating enchants, meaning that threat sets would need to include the specific pieces where hit rating enhancements are available.

All content for this guide, including the following three posts, by Digren licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0, except the following:
  1. Best for EH, Best for Block, and Best for Threat icons, as well as names of enhancements may be the property of Blizzard. I make no claims on them and use them in good faith as a third-party fan site.
  2. Tip icon by YasmineMrabet licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0. Thanks!
  3. Quotes and comments from others used in good faith. Let me know if you want them removed.
Last edited by Digren on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:15 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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4.0 Gem Guide

Postby Digren » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:56 pm

4.0 Gem Guide

Until the relative benefit of various stats has been determined, all possible gems are included here.

Image Survival Gems

Meta Gems

  1. [Austere Shadowspirit Diamond]
  2. [Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond]
  3. [Effulgent Shadowspirit Diamond]
  4. [Powerful Shadowspirit Diamond]
  5. [Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond]

    Digren says, "With no defense gem, this list pretty much boils down to stamina and something, where something is 2% armor, 5% shield block value, or 2% reduced spell damage. Until the mathematicians calculate the best, be satisfied with the armor boost."

Red Gems

  1. [Flashing Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  2. [Delicate Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  3. [Flashing Inferno Ruby]
  4. [Delicate Inferno Ruby]
  5. [Perfect Flashing Carnelian]
  6. [Perfect Delicate Carnelian]
  7. [Flashing Carnelian]
  8. [Delicate Carnelian]

    Digren says, "Agility's days as a survival stat are over, because it no longer provides armor and provides just 75% as much dodge benefit as dodge rating. Unless your dodge/parry ratio is way out of whack (at a ratio to be determined later), a Flashing gem for parry rating is the best pure-red gem."

Blue Gems

  1. [Solid Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  2. [Solid Ocean Sapphire]
  3. [Perfect Solid Zephyrite]
  4. [Solid Zephyrite]

    Digren says, "Well, yeah, put stamina gems in your blue gem slots. They haven't changed things that much."

Yellow Gems

  1. [Subtle Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  2. [Fractured Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  3. [Subtle Amberjewel]
  4. [Fractured Amberjewel]
  5. [Perfect Subtle Alicite]
  6. [Perfect Fractured Alicite]
  7. [Subtle Alicite]
  8. [Fractured Alicite]

    Digren says, "When matching yellow sockets, the choice between dodge rating and mastery may be difficult. Wait and see."

Purple Gems

  1. [Defender's Demonseye]
  2. [Shifting Demonseye]
  3. [Perfect Defender's Nightstone]
  4. [Perfect Shifting Nightstone]
  5. [Defender's Nightstone]
  6. [Shifting Nightstone]

    Digren says, "Agility's days as a survival stat are over, because it no longer provides armor and provides just 75% as much dodge benefit as dodge rating. Unless your dodge/parry ratio is way out of whack (at a ratio to be determined later), a Defender's gem is likely the best choice for red gem slots."

Green Gems

  1. [Regal Dream Emerald]
  2. [Puissant Dream Emerald]
  3. [Perfect Regal Jasper]
  4. [Perfect Puissant Jasper]
  5. [Regal Jasper]
  6. [Puissant Jasper]

    Digren says, "It's not clear, yet, if dodge rating or mastery rating are the best option for yellow. Either way, one of the dream emeralds is likely the best choice for gem when matching a yellow gem socket."

Orange Gems

  1. [Fine Ember Topaz]
  2. [Perfect Fine Hessonite]
  3. [Fine Hessonite]

    Digren says, "Long-neglected orange gems get no love here. It not very likely these will see use when a purple or green gem would provide avoidance/block and stamina."

Prismatic Gems

    Digren says, "No cut prismatic gems have yet been introduced for Cataclysm."

Image Threat Gems

Meta Gems

  1. [Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond]
  2. [Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond]
  3. [Impassive Shadowspirit Diamond]

Red Gems

  1. [Precise Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  2. [Bold Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  3. [Precise Inferno Ruby]
  4. [Bold Inferno Ruby]
  5. [Perfect Precise Carnelian]
  6. [Perfect Bold Carnelian]
  7. [Precise Carnelian]
  8. [Bold Carnelian]

Blue Gems

  1. [Rigid Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting
  2. [Rigid Ocean Sapphire]
  3. [Perfect Rigid Zephyrite]
  4. [Rigid Zephyrite]

Yellow Gems

  1. [Smooth Chimera's Eye] BoP Jewelcrafting

Purple Gems

  1. [Sovereign Demonseye]
  2. [Etched Demonseye]
  3. [Accurate Demonseye]

Green Gems

  1. [Nimble Dream Emerald]
  2. [Sensei's Dream Emerald]
  3. [Piercing Dream Emerald]

Orange Gems

  1. [Keen Ember Topaz]
  2. [Skillful Ember Topaz]
  3. [Inscribed Ember Topaz]

Prismatic Gems

-
Last edited by Digren on Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 17 times in total.
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4.0 Reforging Guide

Postby Digren » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:57 pm

4.0 Reforging Guide

What is Reforging?

Reforging offers a new avenue for item enhancement. It allows you to adjust one stat on each of your character's items, reducing it to add a new stat of your choice. There are several limitations:
  1. You can't reforge (remove or add) Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intellect, Armor, or Resilience.
  2. You can't add more of a stat already present on the piece.
  3. Reforging can only reduce an existing stat by 40% (rounded down). That means 60% of the less desirable stat remains.
  4. Only one stat can be reforged on a given piece of gear.
  5. Items must be iLvl 200 or higher to be eligible.
That said, you do gain in your chosen stat at a 1-for-1 ratio. And you can reforge gear for every slot, even trinkets and librams.

    Image Can I reforge a piece multiple times to change or remove the modifications?
    Image Each piece can only have one stat reforged at any given time, but yes, you can change which stat is reforged and what it's reforged to, or you can remove the modification and restore the piece to its original form. See the "Restore" button in the image below.
    Image
How Can Reforging Help Me?

With these limitations, it's unlikely that you could convert a piece of DPS or healing gear into quality tank gear, or vice versa. 60% of the unwanted stat is a poor use of item budget, so any "real" tank piece of equivalent level would be an improvement.

    Image Can't I convert a piece of DPS/threat gear into a half-threat-half-tank piece?
    Image Sure, but this goes against best gearing practices to maximize and specialize. You've converted a good piece of threat gear into a piece of marginal threat gear. Rather than wear a set of gear like this, why don't you just wear 50% pure tank items and 50% threat items? It's the same net effect and you only have to carry around half an extra set.
So what use is reforging? With small adjustments you can make a good piece of gear into a great piece. Maximizing and specializing is the key. If you don't think you need expertise in your survivability set, reduce it in favor of avoidance or block (mastery). If you're over the hit cap in your threat set, adjust to increase your critical strike rating.

    Image So should I reforge every piece?
    Image No. Remember, you can only reforge one stat on each piece. If you touch everything chasing a personal goal, you might find yourself unable to compensate for a new change.
So, in summary:
  1. Turn good gear into great gear.
  2. Fine tune your overall gear set(s).
Last edited by Digren on Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:27 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Change List

Postby Digren » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:57 pm

Change List

Overall Strategy Guide
2010-09-27 9:47 AM: Started basic strategy guide.
2010-09-29 11:15 PM: Added strength considerations.

Gem Guide
2010-09-21 10:15 AM: Expanded gem selection.
2010-09-23 1:30 PM: Expanded gem selection. Started adding guide commentary.
2010-09-27 11:15 PM: Completed the selection of survival gems, with initial recommendations.

Enchant Guide
2010-09-21 10:48 AM: Initial list of survivability enchants complete.
2010-09-27 11:32 PM: Expanded selection of survival enchants, including shoulder reputation rewards.
2010-10-05 1:07 PM: Added Draconic Embossment - Stamina (thanks TonabShin).

Reforging Guide
2010-09-15 10:45 PM: Initial guide complete.
2010-09-21 12:59 PM: Added FAQ to cover re-reforging (thanks dmok).
2010-09-27 9:28 AM: Added resilience to the list of un-reforgeable stats (thanks lythac).
Last edited by Digren on Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:07 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Chunes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:45 am

I <3 you Digren. I very much look forward to the filling of these posts with delicious information.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Sabindeus » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:10 pm

delicious near instantly obsolete information! :D
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Chunes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:56 pm

As ephemeral is it will be, I'll take delicious but quickly obsolete over bland, pre-xpac speculation any day of the week.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Digren » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:09 am

Note that I haven't bothered to copy a bunch of stuff from WoWHead yet. I'll at least wait until the first patch where professions work.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:52 am

Bits are starting to appear in MMO-Champ's database. Theck hasn't run his math yet (nor can he until tuning is complete) so I'm still throwing anything I find into the pile. I know there's more to add on the gem list; all the green gems appear to be in place now.

I haven't included any pre-Cata items on this list, though I may shortly. For some slots (wrist enchant, for example), the existing stamina enchant may be better than the new dodge rating offering.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby dmok » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:07 am

quick question about reforging.


Can you un-reforge a piece of gear later? Say for example you reforge a chest to meet the hit cap, but later pick up a neck that puts you WAY over the cap. Can you unconvert the hit on your chest to the stat it was before?
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Chicken » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:08 am

dmok wrote:quick question about reforging.


Can you un-reforge a piece of gear later? Say for example you reforge a chest to meet the hit cap, but later pick up a neck that puts you WAY over the cap. Can you unconvert the hit on your chest to the stat it was before?
Yes you can.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Digren » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:59 am

dmok wrote:quick question about reforging.


Can you un-reforge a piece of gear later? Say for example you reforge a chest to meet the hit cap, but later pick up a neck that puts you WAY over the cap. Can you unconvert the hit on your chest to the stat it was before?

Added a new FAQ to the guide to cover this.
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Wrathy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:13 pm

looking great good sir!
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Re: 4.0 Item Enhancement Guide

Postby Chasey » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:11 pm

Excellent, its great to see it laid out like this.

*side note (I'll remove later) the treat str gems are saying link not found.
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