Monday, July 7, 2008

The right outfit for the occasion

So, here's a question to all y'all playing hybrid classes: how do you manage all the different armor sets? (Good thing it's a rhetorical question, seeing as I don't have any readers...)

So first, a couple of "assumptions":
  • We're only talking about leveling. While I haven't actually made it to 70, once you do you have to start specifically hunting for good gear for whatever it is you're doing. While you're leveling, it's kind of rare to grind for an item, since you're likely to outgrow in a week.
  • Leveling consists mainly of soloing and instancing. While I often do BGs to have some fnu, if you're not a twink getting gear specific for PvPing is pretty much a waste.
  • Specifically, I'm talking about the 30-60 level range. Earlier than that, gear and spec don't play such a big role. After that, it's still a problem, but I think it starts to show for other classes as well, with all them newfangled specialized stats (+shadow dmg vs. +spell dmg and healing vs. +healing, for example).
I mean, let's first consider the "pure" classes. They have it easy:
  • A warrior basically needs to stack +sta and +str, whether he's tanking or soloing. Only difference is weapons/shield.
  • A priest needs +int and +spi (and +sta never hurts) whether he's healing or melting faces. Or shining pretty lights at mobs, hoping they'll get blinded to death, I don't know.
  • A rogue needs... What does he need, actually? I'm guessing +agi, +str, and some +sta. Doesn't really matter if you're stabbing things all by your lonesome or with 4 other people.
Now let's look at feral druids (because it's easiest to level, and pretty common). Ferals will stack mostly +str and +agi for soloing. Going into instances, they'll be asked to tank 90% of the time ("you're feral, that's a tanking spec, you tank" being the general resoning), but in order to do that properly you'll need stamina too. Dodging a lot due to the high agility is nice, but if one or two crits from a boss kill you you're not much of a tank. So you need a tanking set. You want to give healing a try? I salute you for the initiative, but now you need an entirely different set, and I'm not even getting into the whole there's-no-decent-caster-leather-gear-before-outlands discussion (Good luck fighting over that dress with the warlock/mage/spriest. Just because you healed them doesn't mean they'll give up the loot for you).
Shamen would have a similar problem, I assume. I can't imagine much use for all that +str when they're healing.
Pallys, well... I guess for tanking they shouldn't have much problem, gear-wise (in the sense that they can probably tank with their soloing gear). But again, if you want to heal instances, you'll have to start looking for dresses.

I suppose the "obvious" solution is to hit the AH, but when you're running on a budget (either because you're just starting out on a new server or, like me, have to spread your gold between a lot of lower level alts) you can't really afford that. And forget about using what you come across. I mean, even when you just need 1 set you'll rarely have good gear for your level. I can't imagine maintaining 2 sets would be feasible.

But is there a solution to this? Not really... That's just the price you have to pay for being able to do "everything", especially since the game depends on gear so much. If it bothers you, reroll another class...

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