Thursday, January 7, 2010

My intro to emblems (for boomkins)

I've been doing enough PUGging recently to be exposed to emblems. At my last post, about a week ago, I had a gear score of around 2970. A day later, it was about a hundred points more (actually, I can piece stuff from my panzer set with my boomkin and get to about 3300, but the hybrid set really isn't good for anything else; it's neither highest melee/dmg mit or highest dps). I haven't done much for my gear since then, but I have been banging out Emblems of Frost and, surprisingly to me, Emblems of Triumph with regularity. I thought once a new emblem came out, everything else was deprecated. Not true. Two emblems (Frost and Triumph, duh) are still active, giving you ins for T9 and T10 gear.

WowWiki has a pretty good graphic describing what's going on. Click the image below to see the original version, contributed by WowWiki user ShandrisForever.

The bottom line is that you can get two Emblems of Frost per day just by running a random heroic. I'm a little torn on ethics here, as I'm often the least geared schmoe in my xserver PUGs. Still, I'm putting out 1st or 2nd place dps per run, with just a little trouble from oom drinking between trash at times. That 1st or 2nd place is with the time outs for drinks, however, so I still don't feel horrible. If you're new to Heroics, don't feel bad. At a GS of 3000, I'm still contributing as a boomkin.

I'm up from 15 to 25 Emblems of Triumph somehow. You get them for running Onyxia, Ulduar bosses, Malygos, and LK heroic bosses, according to the guide linked above. It looks like I've run Drak'Tharon, Culling of Strath, Violet Hold, and Azjol-Nerub on Heroic now and a few more on standard. /shrug Running extra random heroics also bag Triumphs. (We kid because we love, Hasselhoff.)

So now that I know that my Emblems of Triumph aren't deprecated, and now that I know that I'm racking up Emblems of Triumph pretty danged quickly without really trying, I've tried to take into account what I'm currently wearing and figure out how to best upgrade to T9 and T10 pieces. There are two T10 pieces for 60 Emblems of Frost. If we want to pretend I'll eventually spend mine on anything, I have to target one of those, so I'm looking at shoulder or hands.

Let's also dismiss the mid and heroic levels of tiered gear. These mid and heroic levels of gear, btw, are where the Trophy of the Crusade (etc), a raid reward, comes into play. There seem to be three levels of each tier of gear -- base, mid, and heroic. That is, there are T9 low, T9 mid, and T9 heroic gear sets. Likewise, there are T10 low, T10 mid, and T10 heroic gear sets too. You might also see these called T9, T9.25, and T9.50 (or T10, T25.10, etc) because of their raid requirements. T10 means the lowest level, that require only emblems. T10.25 means you needed the Trophy From a 25 man raid. T10.50 means a heroic trophy is needed.

From WoW Wiki:

No matter which level of tier 9 is worn, all pieces count towards the same set bonuses, much like in earlier tiers of gear. Each faction has their own flavor of the items, they are functionally identical, but have different artwork and names.

Item level 232 pieces are bought with [Emblems of Triumph]. [that's T9 low -Panzer]

Item level 245 pieces require 1.5 time as much Emblems of Triumph as the Item level 232 pieces require and they also require, in addition to the emblems, a [Trophy of the Crusade]. [that's T9 mid -Panzer].

Item level 258 pieces are, however, "purchased" with the normal loot tokens. [that's T9 heroic. Emblems are no good there. Enjoy. -Panzer]

I'm going to have a hard enough time collecting emblems for the lowest level of tiered gear. At least if we go pro soon, the WoW Wiki quote, above, says that our lowest level tiered gear will still contribute to set bonuses. I also think that you can upgrade your pieces with trophies (etc) later on, meaning that you're not wasting any time buying them now, though I'm not absolutely sure I have that right. But come on, the next expansion will be out before we get too far into piecing together a set, and then quest rewards will overpower the tiers if they pull another BC (which most say they aren't, but allow me the vent here anyway)!

Bottom line is that if you're a part-timer, I'll pretend you're not planning for raid rewards yet either. So let's go back to looking at T9 and T10 (lowest level of each) shoulder and hand gear, and compare to my current gear.

Current gear:
Shoulders: [Mantle of Gnarled Overgrowth]
Hands: [Gloves of the Serpent]

My Emblem of Triumph Choices (50 emblems each):
Shoulders: [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders]
Hands: [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves]

My Emblem of Frost Choices (60 emblems (ha!) each):
Shoulders: [Lasherweave Mantle]
Hands: [Lasherweave Gloves]

So here's the comparison. (The danged table scrolls under my blogger template here, even when I use obnoxiously small fonts. Click the previous link to see the whole thing. I'm sure the html issue is some z-value deal in CSS or some such, but I'm not tracking it down now.)

Comparing [Mantle of Gnarled Overgrowth] with [Gloves of the Servant] with [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders] with [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves] with [Lasherweave Mantle] with [Lasherweave Gloves]


Level 200 174 232 232 251 251
Required level 80
80 80 80 80

Intellect 47 44 45 45 81 81
Stamina 58 58 102 102 81 81

51 39

Armor 423 166 447 373 477 398
Resilience rating

60 47

Critical strike rating 44

71 71
Haste rating

Hit rating 44

Spell Power 78 62 96 96 116 116


Number of sockets

1 1 1 1

Gains 3 Int
257 Armor
44 Crit (0.96%)
44 Hit (1.34%)
16 Spell Power
35 Haste (1.07%) 1 Int
44 Sta
51 Spi
281 Armor
60 Resilience (0.73%)
34 Spell Power
1 Sockets
1 Int
44 Sta
39 Spi
207 Armor
47 Resilience (0.57%)
34 Spell Power
1 Sockets
37 Int
23 Sta
311 Armor
71 Crit (1.55%)
63 Haste (1.92%)
54 Spell Power
1 Sockets
37 Int
23 Sta
232 Armor
71 Crit (1.55%)
63 Hit (1.92%)
54 Spell Power
1 Sockets


Let's not kid ourselves. I just wasted a ton of time. But let's try to gain from the time I wasted and share it amongst ourselves, right? If we're running cross-server pick up groups (xserver PUGs), we're going to get a ton of emblems. If we don't play WoW all that much, we're only going to be able to target a few pieces with those emblems we do collect. What I've somewhat randomly tried to do is select the lowest hanging fruit with respect to armor. For now, I'm ignoring idols, though this same work helps us decide what to do there, too.

The first lesson is that a single piece of T10 isn't that much better than T9. Bizarre. So throw out T10 for now, though don't spend the Emblems of Frost as Emblems of Triumph (but if you're so inclined, you can find out how to downgrade your Frost emblems for Emblems of Triumph here). Also, the shoulders and hands for T9 (and the two for T10) are about the same within the tiers. That is, it's not like the T9 shoulder stats have it all over the T9 gloves, or vice versa. This means I should check out what's worse with my current gear, the shoulders or hands, and replace situationally.

For me, my gloves should stink -- though, honestly, comparing like this there's isn't nearly the separation between my current blue gloves and current purple shoulders that I expected. Other than armor (and the gloves are cloth, after all), their stats are very close. The shoulders give hit and crit and give up only haste, though, so I'll pretend I know what I'm doing and keep those. So we'll start saving up 25 more Emblems of Triumph (50 total) for the [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves].

By the time I have 50 Emblems of Triumph, I suppose I'll have a few more Frosts. I'm not sure the [Idol of the Lunar Eclipse] at 30 Frosts is all that much better than 25 Triumphs for [Idol of the Lunar Fury], however. It might be worth planning to hang onto the Frosts indefinitely, with the possibility of getting more definite after I grab my first T9 set piece. Perhaps I'll start shooting for the Triumph Idol and add some T10 shoulders?


Anybody else get the feeling that this game is too difficult to figure out? Seriously, and this is going to be the topic of a future post, I could have easily made about $100 contracting (I do database admin and design) in the time it took to research this, much less the time it takes to gather the emblems, etc. It's amazing how much like programming WoW research and gear pursuit is at times.

Oh yeah. Happy New Year. ;^) As Gene says, our favorite holiday remains "Another Day Above Ground Day."


Bill said...

I'm casual, don't raid (except the little raids, VoA, etc.).

2t10 is weak.

EoF belts and cloaks are a bigger upgrade for me (easy to get 4t9, not easy to get a good belt with EoT). I'll get those first (got a belt). Then I'll be considering the Lasherweave and Idol.

Maybe figuring out gear will be easier in Cataclysm, with fewer stats. On the other hand they'll probably have crazy procs that are even harder to figure out.

ruffin said...

That's a good point -- I hadn't really considered the tiered bonuses at all, as I can't imagine putting together four pieces. I suppose my biggest weakness here is that I tend to cancel my account for a month or two in between one to two month runs, which makes it difficult to "accidentally" pile up emblems just by, say, running normal LK dungeons every day.

Still, going to 4t9 vs. 2t10 for those "bottom bonuses" is the next step from where I'm sitting. I can't imagine pulling in more than two Triumph items and one Frost, but it's not that far to 4t9.

Good point on the belt from Frost emblems; that's worth a look.