26 June 2010

Gearing Up

For the past four or five weeks I guess, I've been working on my gear. I entered this phase with all blue items, which had taken me quite some time since I never did dungeons, raids or battle grounds. Now, with working the randoms, some Wintergrasp action and rep quests, I'm about half purple.

I do the random LK norms as I can, the going is slow for me. Up to about 41 Triumphs now, and 4 Frost from dungeon quest rewards. The minimum Triumphs I need for a helm is 50. So as when I was working on going from greens to blues, I also looked at other options for obtaining the gear upgrades desired. This meant watching the AH daily, checking quartermasters for rep pieces, and going into Wintergrasp.

Battlegrounds are not my favorite choice, I had stopped doing then around level 35 or so as they had become really impossible with all the twinks at the time. WG was a big "jump in with both feet" for me, and what an experience it has been so far. I die . . . a lot. Ten or twelve times each battle. The strange part though, that with what I have learned about my abilities, dps and rotation, I tend to do an awful lot of damage to the enemy. So much so that now my recount shows me in the top three consistantly with damage done. I think the Horde have noticed this also. Whenever I show up and start letting loose, it don't take but a minute or so for 5-8 of them to jump on me. Being a ranged dps, I'm usually back out away from the crowds, but a sizeable group always comes for me. Never fails.

All this damage has earned me quite a large amount of honor points though. And with these hp's, I've been able to get some better gear rather quickly. PvP gear, but none-the-less, much better than what I had on. Now, any experienced player looking at my armory will easily see that I've mixed and matched PvP and PvE gear. I know the purists would frown upon this, but to me it is a viable option on the road towards my gear goal. Even my gear score is climbing steadily now, as with my stam and mana pool. I like this. So much better each week. Just today, I was able to add an 264 ilevel neck piece with hp's. And a good one I think, even PvE compatable.

Even though my focus overall is for PvE, exploring all the options have made this late end-game challenge easier to accomplish. So if you're somewhat like me and either just starting to gear up or getting a late start, perhaps an open-minded approach will work well for you also. I am saving my emblems to get at least a 2-pc set bonus even though it will be T9, and will keep using the PvP gear untill I come into things I prefer to have.
"Off with ya now!"

13 June 2010

Gear Score vs. Skill?

On my server, trade chat seems constantly full of people putting together groups for various dungeons and raids. PuG's...or pugging as they say. One of the more common issues in their requests is that of gear score. The requirements of 5.4k gs or better are stated right off for everyone to see. To such a point that not much else seems to matter, the gear score will get your request to join heard.

I often wonder about the skill of all these high gear score players. Do they really play that well? If I were to make some sort of an assessment according to my world pvp experience, I would have to say that a high gs does not always equate to a higher skill level. Now then, I am most likely an average everyday player. My gear, although I always kept it up to character level while leveling, wasn't the best in slot stuff. Mostly just quest rewards and whatever I could get from the AH. Took a long time to get from greens to blues, :) Even though, I would say that most of my honorable world faction kills were players much better geared than myself. This is where learning your characters abilities and how to use them comes under skill. (a bit of luck tossed in also helps!)

Obviously, a good mixture of both gs and skill would be optimum. So why is everyone pugging for groups so concerned about just the gs? I never see anyone asking about skill or experience.

Now, I am not immune to the awareness factor over gear score. Obviously, the better the gear the better your chances of survival. So during the past couple of months I've been applying myself to better my gear through randoms and battlegrounds, things I perhaps should have been doing from the beginning instead of just solo questing to 80. (some players have said to me that they leveled completely through dungeons since they didn't like all the questing) Here again, it perhaps should have been some sort of balanced mix, for now I find myself trying at lvl 80 to get from blues to purples. It is a daunting task though, not being experience enough with the math and such over gear. So I found a few websites to help kind of judge my own progress. This is another matter though, as with three sites I check myself on, I get three different evaluations of gear score. To explain better:

Site 1: puts my gear score at 1545.
Site 2: has me at 1899.
(now for the monkey wrench)
Site 3: a whopping 10751 gear score!
(there is a fourth site, but it uses character score as a guide, not gear score)

All three sites are fairly well known. Which one is the closest to correct? I haven't a clue. For now, I simply figure and use an average between site 1 and 2 as a guideline of sorts. As for the skill part, both the random dungeon norms and WG are giving me plenty of new experiences. (one of these days I'll get brave and try the herioc modes!)

I would conclude that gear score is simply a matter of better gearing your character for your particular focus of play. Getting the best gear you can earn, work for. (yes, it is said that many do buy their way) Even at 80 though, I am still questing a lot, I enjoy the challenges there. I am of the mind that the more experience gained, the better I will be. (skill)

For those interested, here are some sites which will help you monitor your own gear scores:


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