Patch 3.3 Hunter Changes

Patch 3.3 has officially arrived, but what does this mean for you and your hunter? Here are the changes that will affect you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gearing up for Raiding in Patch 3.3 Update

Bitches Leave.
Patch 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel are going to be out soon, so it’s time to update my Gearing Up article up-to-date. A few things have changed, so I needed to make some modifications to the original article. The article has a permanent place in under the Articles section here:

http://www.megasmack.com/gearing-up-for-progression-raiding/

Happy Raiding!

Megasmack.com Updates

I’ve been doing some cleansing and organizing here at Megasmack.com. Got tired of the graphical glut the old site had. This one is a lot more clean and consistent. Articles on the right hand side of the pages will be guides that are kept up to date. Makes more sense that they have their own page versus just a blog post that gets buried after awhile.

Enjoy.

Gearing Up For Progression Raiding

UPDATE: This article has been updated for patch 3.3. You can find the updated article here:
http://www.megasmack.com/gearing-up-for-progression-raiding/

Blizzard has done a lot lately to make getting gear much easier. So I thought I’d write a post that would help folks gear up quickly so that they can start working toward progression level raiding. This may be common knowledge for a lot of you, but things change a lot in the game and some of you may not be aware of all of it. So I’m writing this with the idea that if you have a toon at 80 (or nearing 80) and you’d like give raiding a try, this might be a helpful read that will get you ready for it… at least from a gear point of view.

Item Level
All gear has item levels (you can actually see it if you turn it on in your interface options). Level 80 Epics start at Item Level 200 (some blues are 200 as well), but not all epics are created equal. Currently Item Level goes all the way 258. Different levels of items drop from different instances.

Item Levels for Dungeons and Raids:

5 Heroics: 200
5 Heroic Trial of Champion: 219
10 Man Naxx: 200 (KT drops 213)
25 Man Naxx: 213 (KT drops 226)
10 Malygos: 213
25 Malygos: 226
10 Sartharion: 200 (2 Drakes Up drops additional 213)
25 Sartharion: 213 (2 Drakes Up drops additional 226)
10 Ulduar: 219 (hard mode goes up to 226)
25 Ulduar: 226 (some weapons are 232, hard mode goes up to 239)
10 Trial of Crusader: 232
10 Heroic Trial of Crusader: 245
25 Trial of Crusader: 245
25 Heroic Trial of Crusader: 258


If you’re a fresh 80 and you have limited play time and are looking for a “good loot to time spent” ratio here’s the path I’d recommend.

Step 1
Start running Heroics.  This step hasn’t changed really.  Except now heroics drop Emblems of Conquest. You can buy two pieces of T8.5 Gear (Item Level 226) with those emblems.  With two-piece bonuses, those are likely to be your strongest pieces out of the gate. There are many other 226 level pieces you can buy with emblems as well.  Plus you can grab what ever 200 level gear you can get and replace those blues and greens.  Try to run Heroic 5 ToC whenever you can.  It drops Ulduar 10 equivalent gear. Also, try and hit the daily heroic when you run 5 mans.  The Emblems of Triumph will help your raiding career later.

Step 2
Run VoA whenever you can. Aside from dropping decent PvP gear, the bosses drop a random piece of Tier gear.  You may get lucky and these raids are generally fast and fairly easy. So if you see one of these forming up, jump in.

Running Naxx, Malygos, and Sarth doesn’t hurt, but there are potentially better ways to spend your time. Even Ulduar 10 man isn’t as important as you can get a lot of high level stuff elsewhere. So if your time is limited, I’d at least avoid Naxx.  It can be a lot of work that you could be spending getting badges more readily from 5 mans. Which should be far less frustrating to run.

Malygos is pretty quick and drops decent gear, so it wouldn’t hurt. Sarth can seem quick, but he has a fair bit of trash.  These are still great instances to run for raid experience and achievements. You’ll cut you’re raiding chops in places like Naxx, OS, and Malygos. Same thing with Ulduar 10.  The Item Level may be lower, but the experience there will help you in Ulduar 25. Which is where you really want to be.

Step 3
Once you’ve replace a lot of you’re early gear with 213 or higher, hit up Ulduar 25. This is where you’re likely to start finding serious progression raiding gear.  If you’ve grabbed a lot of Heroic 5 ToC gear and got your two pieces of T8.5 gear, you should be in a good position to start working this place and maybe pick up some more T8.5. You may also want to start thinking about Normal 10 ToC toward the end of this step.

Step 4
If you’re wearing a bunch of 226 level gear, it’s time to start looking seriously at Trial of Crusader. This is where progression raiding is at right now. And the place is no joke. This is where gear and skill really come into play.  Be prepared to learn, adjust, and wipe a lot.  If you’re not into spending a night wiping and no loot to show for it at the end of day, then progression raiding is not for you. However, if you love to keeping trying and get off on the rush you get when you finally down a new boss for the first time, then this is it!

While given enough Ulduar level gear and enough skill, it’s probably reasonable to assume you can do well in Normal 10 ToC, Heroic 10 ToC, and Normal 25 ToC. But chances are, you’ll want to grab gear out of Normal 10 ToC in order to do well in Heroic 10 ToC and Normal 25 ToC. Skill is most important, but gear can make things easier. More health means you’re easier to heal. More healing power makes healing easier. More DPS makes encounters quicker and shortens the time the raid is in danger (plus there are those pesky enrage timers).

Given that you need to beat the normal modes of ToC before you can attempt the Heroic versions, that’s a good measure of where you should be.  My guess is you’ll want some of the 245 level gear to be able to hit Heroic 25 ToC.  Again, progression.

Step 5
The goal of this is not only to see this content, but prepare for content to come. Is there anyone here that DOESN’T want to fight Arthas in Icecrown? I’m guessing he’s going to require some serious skill and gear to get down. So start workin’ it!

Battle on heroes!