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Sep 15

Gearing for Challenge Modes, and why I’m worried

So I set about creating my gearlist today for Challenge Modes, and I came to a realisation – I will want to hold every piece of gear over iLvl 463 that I get throughout the entiner expansion. The reason being that within the context of Challenge Modes, there are no upgrades with each tier, only sidegrades. Gear may be better combined with other gear, but swapping out a single piece might mean you need to swap out several more. Therefore, if you want to min-max your stats for challenge modes (for example, maintain an exact value of haste for a breakpoint, or optimising spirit on a per dungeon basis), that means that every time you get a new item, it might mean tweaking four or five other pieces to rebalance your stats.

The easiest example is the trinkets attainable through raiding. Prior to raiding, chances are you are running with the valor point trinket, in addition to one made obtained from heroics. Note that you can’t equip both Shado-Pan trinkets at the same time. So here are the likely options:

Scroll of Revered Ancestors
+1079 intelect
Use: +2,822 spirit for 15 sec

Mogu Rune of Paralysis
+751 mastery
Use: creates a stun area on the ground

Empty Fruit Barrel
+847 Spirit
Chance for +3386 int for 10 sec

Vial of Ichorous Blood
+847 Intellect
Use: spirit +4241 for 20 sec

Price of Progress
+847 intellect
Chance on heal to restore 5082 + (100% of SP) mana

Let’s say you gain the iLvl 496 trinket Spirits of the Sun from Tsulong.

Spirits of the Sun
+1152 int
Chance to gain +5079 spirit for 20 sec

This will normalise down to +847 int inside a Challenge Mode dungeon but you gain a greater aount of spirit with (presumably, since I don’t know the ICD) a greater uptime (since it is Chance on heal rather than Use) – for argument’s sake, let’s say that this is particularly good for an encounter (consistent healing from start to finish, rather than spikey damage in which case the on-use trinket would be better anyway).

So effectively, with this trinket you’ll gain a bunch of spirit. Good news? Well, maybe you had enough spirit already. So you want to swap out your gloves with spirit with another pair that give mastery/haste.

I find this part of getting loot quite enjoyable – I love it when upgrades havea¬† flow on effect, especially when it means I can go out of mana conservation and in to throughput, because I feel as though I’m getting stronger.

The thing is, even if I get everything right this tier, next tier it’s highly likely that a new trinket or two get added that put the old ones to shame with huge throughput, but suddenly I am lacking on spirit. I need to restructure my gear entirely.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not the restructuring of gear that has me concerned. As I said, I really love that side of the game. It’s the fact that I will have to hold on to every piece of loot I get in the entire expansion because it is theoretically possible that it is the best in slot item in combination with everything else I have at any point in time. The only items exempt from this are different versions of the same loot from raids (LFR, normal and heroic versions). They will scale to be precisely the same, and therefore you won’t need 3 of the same thing. That’s not enough to make me jump for joy though. I hope everyone who is excited by Challenge Modes has the bank space for this.

Permanent link to this article: http://sometimesatree.com/gearing-for-challenge-modes-and-why-im-worried/

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