Well, I've joined a new raiding guild. Strange how that changes your approach to play. When I don't get every Mark of the World Tree I can each day, I feel I'm falling behind. When I don't get every VP I can each week, I feel like I'm not quite measuring up. This outlook is bonkers, of course, especially as I joined saying that though I was decently geared, I was responding more to the guild leader's call for "social players" than raiders, but I'd raid as much as they'd let me.
We ran through BWD. I watched a few Tankspot and ZAM video guides and glanced at Icy Veins beforehand, which was useful, but probably not absolutely required. Knowing how to jump up on the Nefarian pedestals was probably the most useful result of the preparation. The Aliena guide on ZAM talked about staying away from either end of Oxynia, but I ended up being told to stay firmly behind her. Lots of tail whips there, but very few wipes.
I really was the n00b occasionally. A few times the raid (and guild) leader had to say, "Boomkin, DPS Nefarian now," or something similar. We did wipe four or five times, but there were a few players that were fairly overgeared for BWD, so we didn't have too difficult a time once folks learned strategy.
It was fun, though long. The move away from waves of trash to boss after boss was an interesting change. We turned up Security Measure Alpha at one point, and even though it was my first run, the guild let me have it, which was great. We also have one restokin guildy that took an interest in Jal pre-raid, got my gear and talent tree spec'd "correctly" (I do miss Solar Beam while PvEing, though). He also brezzed me at least three times, and *very* quickly when I went down, which was appreciated. A few well timed whispers also kept me in the right places.
And it's that help that's probably the biggest change for me, other than the sheer number of instance and raid runs the guild does, when moving from small social to medium-sized raiding guild. This guy knew how to play balance, and balance was his off-spec. And he was patient as get-out, minus one communication when I said, "Can you show me your talents for resto?" and he interpreted that as, "Prove to me you're a talented resto player." The guild leader had asked if I could heal initially, and I said I could try, but hadn't off-spec'd yet and didn't strictly have healing gear, so I was asking how to set up the resto tree. That was a quick lol from anything nasty, though.
So raiding is fun. Putting a raid on your schedule is nice. Not really caring if I get any loot -- and getting some anyway -- helps. Having people patiently help you like mad is great. Finding replacements in seconds if someone has to drop is awesome. And the anxiety level during the mostly guild staffed raid run was a heck of a lot cooler than your typical PUG.
In other news, I'm still slowly adding VPs and quickly adding JPs. Bagged the Relic of Norgannon after a PUG Heroic yestehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifrday. Better than Eonar , I think, because Eonar only adds Spirit, which I think essentially reduces to hit for us, and I'm finally hit capped (note to self: don't reforge SPI to HIT; there's no change). Before that, I went Haunt of Flies, as my cloak stunk. That took me from 333 to 359 on the back. Though I added Stormrider's Leggings, the difference looking back isn't enough over Blazewing's Klt for me to have bit. The thinking was that I'd get the chest and gloves from VPs, so all that was left from JP T11 was legs. /shrug I think next on the JP list is a ring and trinket and then I'm nearly "done".
Jal's first VP item will probably be either Obsidian Arborweave Gloves or the Obsidian Arborweave Vestment. Tyler at Shifting Perspectives argues pretty strongly that I should ignore the gloves, but I'm not as sure. See below for a quick exchange we had over on WoW Insider, edited a bit for stoopid grammar and clarity issues on my end.
Okay, admittedly, I only read Blood Pact because I *can* find an RSS for Tyler, but not one just for Balance dr00d Shifting Perspectives articles.
That said, how do you quantitatively factor in tier set bonuses? Contra T12, [Tyler] says...
"The most common thing that I see people do in situation such as this is that they always, always rush off for their tier gear first. The simple matter is this: Everything is an upgrade. ... Get the upgrades that you can get now first, and get the ones that come later, later."
Though locks apparently have hands alternatives, they're from Rag. You can PUG Heroics and get T12 gloves after a little over a week. It's tougher to raid in a social guild.
But okay, let's even say you *can* bag raid gear easily. How do you factor in T12 2P bonuses? You know, for laser chicken, how do you measure the worth burning treants? For locks, um, how do you factor in whatever you guys get? Don't Tier bonuses make T12 items disproportionally powerful compared to other Valor Point gear? Or, rather, why *don't* tier bonsues make T12 disproportionally powerful? JP gear is nearly free with 70 points per Heroic boss -- and that bonus doesn't max out; you can run Heroics indefinitely and keep bagging 70 JP a boss. But if I'm spending 2200+1650 = 3850 VP = a pretty solid month of PUGging, what are the numbers on getting 3850 VPs of non-tiered gear [which is essentially what Tyler suggested] before two tiered?
Being a part timer, Valor Points are something I can still earn without raiding. I think I go 2xT12 first, and gloves being only 1650, I think I start there. ?? If I can find 20k, I get valor bracers too. /shrug
@Tyler -- The what amounts to a "price of entry" logic is interesting. There's a sort of T12 price of entry per piece -- 1650 VPs -- and then a price to get that more efficient piece -- 2200 minus 1650 = 550 VPs. 550 VPs gives me a pretty good jump start on VP bracers if I don't have 20-30k gold sitting around, and gives me the T12 2P.
That's why I'm still thinking that I want a set with the most pieces possible with my VP that still includes a 2P bonus, though. I'm assuming you can keep the T11 2P bonus on top of the T12 2P. Now you're one drop in BoT away from having ((Chest or Legs)+Shoulders) * T11 + (Hands+(Legs or Chest)) * T12, and you can find a good BoT PURaid relatively easily, all things considered.
That's the way I was leaning, anyhow, and with your "T12 set bonus isn't >>> T11 set bonus" suggestion, gloves for VP seems even more like the cheapest way to get "2P+2P ~ 4P" and your valor bracers more quickly.
I mean, sure, if you could have any two T12 pieces and points isn't an object, you go legs and chest. But here, I think it comes down to if having valor bracers more quickly offsets having fewer good stats on the T12 gloves. Is (again, on Boomkin; sorry to hijack the thread)...
266 Mastery (1.48)
30 Haste (0.23%)
-177 SPI (so hit, like you say)
... (the diff of T12 chest over T12 hands) worth 550 VPs? I guess you could argue yes. But 44% of 227 INT = 99.88, and 44% is how close you are to valor bracers and their 227 INT with 550 VPs.
Perhaps it largely matters what T11 pieces you already have.
Thanks for the reply. It's really too much for a casual guy to think through and feel confident about. Bring back BC and point-blank wrath-spam! ;^)
This exchange really shows the disconnect between WoW Insider posts and your typical casual player. Even after I've stressed casual gaming and PUG reward VPs as the only means to getting T12 gear, Tyler continuously seems to be assuming things that casual gamers just don't have access to get -- unlimited valor points and raid drops.
There's a huge disconnect between the "Here are the three best items in each slot" guides we sometimes get and the way most gamers, even max-level gamers, are almost certainly playing. As soon as I get two Tier 12 items, I'm done with the PUG grind. If the guild tells me I need more, no problems, but hopefully we can raid for them. The chest is the only points-only tiered piece, right? I mean everything else in the Tier 12 set potentially drops from somewhere, right? If I was still in casual/social land, if it weren't for what have to be kewl buring treants, I'm probably done chasing VPs after a single item, and the second can show up whenever it wants.