Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Unholy DK DPS Stats, Gems and Enchants

Edit - Jan 2013 - This post dates back to Feb 2010 - That's almost 3 YEARS OLD. I'll do an up to date version soon but in the mean time go to Icy Veins

A few weeks back I wrote a DK DPS blog for the best unholy spec in 3.3. It seems logical to compliment this with a blog about which stats to stack, the best gems to drop in those pretty slots and the enchants to charm your gear into eeking out the best results for you. Now bare in mind this is just a guide, but it's serving me well in ICC 10 (occassionally in 25) so there's no reason it can't do the same for you. If you're lucky enough to be in the hard modes though this won't be for you. I'm not that great. Yet.

Let's start with the stats. As damage dealers, your key role is to hit stuff, if you ain't hitting it, it's not going down. For. A. Very. Long. Time. Hence, hit rating is one of the highest priorities. For DPS specced DKs, you want to look for 8% to reach your hit cap. That's about 262 rating. Right now, Deme is well over the hit cap and this is something I'll be looking to sort with some dungeon grinding to buy some gems with emblems.

I say that hit rating is one of the highest priorities because it's pretty much on a par with strength. Like warriors our attack power increases 2:1 per strength point and attack power comes in very handy on a fistful of our attacks. You can't over stack strength and we'll come on to how get more of it in the gemming section.

Now, recently, the next stat you decide to stack has slightly switched depending on the content you are running. Enjoying ICC? Stack ArP (that's Armour Penetration - I always forget what it stands for), if you're running older content, go for crit rating here. Then, which ever one you didn't stack first, you can stack next. Let's make that a little clearer.

Running TotC (or older) = Hit > Strength > Crit > ArP
Running ICC = Hit > Strength > ArP > Crit

Following those first 4 stats, it's equal placing for haste and expertise with agility last. Agility isn't a fabulous stat for DKs as a rule so don't worry about it, if you happen to have some, good for you.

GemsOk, confession time. At the time of writing, Deme's gems are pretty sucky. I'm saying this upfront because I've learnt whilst writing this post that I'd been playing around with stuff and I'd made a mess. I'm sorry mum, I promise to head off immediately and spend all those EoTs on new gems. Instead of that new tank set. Essentially I have the wrong meta, and a couple of Ametrine's of the wrong sort.

Basically, for DK DPS, go for Bold Cardinal Ruby or Inscribed Ametrine. These are both strength based gems and the only time you'd think of using another one is if you're not at hit cap. Check out the gems page on WoWWiki for a full listing of all the gems available by colour and stats. Very handy.

Now onto that shameful Meta gem. Now I've read the bits at Elitist Jerks and they recommend the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond or Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. Neither of which Deme is using. More to do with me not reading things on time than anything else. But! Ah ha! She does have the Nightmare Tear in place so that's one thing to tick off, but boy have I messed her up. Now EJ do a great job with all the maths and kudos to you if you can understand it all, but I'm too tired to take it all in so the above is the plan I'll be following with Deme. I'll let you know how I get on.

EnchantsWhat little pieces of magic are going to help you eek out a for more killer points on that vanity dial Recount? You remember grinding all that rep don't you? So you could get all the best enchants?? Well this was why.
Head - Arcanum of Torment - you'll need exalted with Knights of Ebon Hold in Icecrown. These are your brothers and sisters, you should know them! Go see Duchess Mynx in the Shadow Vault.Shoulders - Master's Inscription of the Axe - what's that? Not a Scribe? Oh well sorry you'll have to take Greater Inscription of the Axe then from those Sons of Hodir. Deme has yet to get exalted with them simply because she's never had to.Chest - Powerful Stats - find a friendly enchanter and get him/her to "buff" your chest. Accept no substitutes.Cloak - Greater Speed - remember your stats? Agility was last so grab some haste and make it snappy.Bracers - Greater Assault - 50 AP, simples.Gloves - I can haz more hit cap? Sure you can, whack yourself a Precision enchant if your still looking to hit that magic level. If not, get some Major Strength, another one Deme needs to sort out.Legs - flash those sexy legs at a leatherworker for some Icescale Leg Armour. It's your only option.Boots - Again you add some hit cap here with Icewalker or go for Greater Assault if you've already got your hit sorted.

Remember, every time you upgrade, you need to enchant and gem again. It helps to have a list of all the mats you need for your enchants handy.

Next time, I'll attempt a gear guide, not a BiS, but a "get from dinging 80 to raiding fast" kind of gear guide. Or maybe I won't. We'll see what WoW throws up as ideas.

Suffer Well!

Deme the Doofus.

Further Reading
Elitist Jerks - should be your go to spot, even if you can't understand 1/2 of it, if you get 1 new thing there each time you read, you'll grow as a player. For Unholy DPS, this page is especially great.

Monday, 8 February 2010

How the Noobs Got on.

Last week I posted about noobs and how we all need to remember that we were noobs once too. I even said I was putting my money where my mouth is and leading a nooby noob raid through 1 qtr in Naxx, not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening.

I planned the group to include a few experienced players too, one per role ideally and this seemed to work well. The group composition looked like this:

1 nooby warrior tank and one experienced warrior tank
1 nooby rogue and 2 experienced DKs
1 nooby Boomkin, 1 experienced Warlock,
1 nooby disco priest, 1 experienced resto shammie and 1 uber geared tree who switched between dps and healing as needed (but we didn’t tell the tanks that, till now).

So all in all, there were more experienced players along, but what can you do, the purpose of the event was still there.

As it was an “introduction” to raiding, we stuck to doing just one quarter and choose Arachnid. I believe as a starting point for raiding you can’t go far wrong with Arachnid, I mean who doesn’t love squashing spiders?! With 3 bosses, trash between the bosses and some interesting mechanics, it’s a great learning ground.

Anub Rekhan in these days of ilevel 245 emblem gear, is pretty simple, no one bothers kiting him and as long as you have a sound Off-Tank to pick up the adds and can all run from Locust Swarm, you should be in a position to drop him. Which we did. 1st time. Hoorah.

Now on my first run (and every one since) on Grand Widow Faerlina we’ve beaten her up good and proper by dropping all the adds first. I had no idea until this weekend that this tactic was the “achievement” strategy. We did talk through the strat and even as the fight was taking place, pointed out when we would have dragged a mob over to sacrifice on Faerlina’s soft enrages. Again though, this fight was smooth and she went down with no issues. The cherry on top was the nooby raiders all getting [Momma Said Knock You Out].

The merry bunch made our way towards Maexxna with a little over 40 minutes gone. Not at all bad considering we were talking through all the strats, pointing out roles and making sure everyone knew about buffs, gish* and the like. The big spider dropped first time although we did loose one player to the webs. It's not a raid without one death though right? Oh. Well there is The Undying. Maybe we'll go for that this weekend.

*Gish = Fish,

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Help a Noob Day

I'm going back to the beginning this week. Well, if you believe the game begins at 80 that is. It's easy to become complacent when you've been 80 for a while, even if you're not at the cutting edge of end-game stuff, if you can run a HC in 15 minutes, your patience can on ocassion be a bit short with those who can't. Imagine bumping into a complete noob then. In your class and fannying around with a mix of gear including some very odd choices. How do you react? Are you tolerant? Do you offer some sage advice, do you say some derogatory comments about 'noobs' or do you just ignore it?

I was forced to ask this question myself this week when a newly dinged 80 whispered me at the Argent Tournament asking how he could get the aspirants seals. I was in a good mood, so I offered to help him. I talked him through how to get the seals and then what he would need to do next. He said he was after some gear for his DK and he knew about the T9 set. I asked if he'd been running heroics and he said he'd levelled entirely through questing. This knocked me back a bit. I'm not a huge dungeon runner myself, but I was shocked that he'd done none. Not. One. Nada. A closer inspection of his gear revealed this to be more apparent. I made a few recommendations of websites to read up on and suggested he ran some dungeons for experience before heading on my way. He thanked me and asked to add me to his friends list.

It took me all of 10 minutes to pass on some help and advice. Now I'm known for being a bit patronising so I do have to be careful when I dispense the 'advice', even so, most people I've encountered seem grateful as opposed to annoyed.

So I've decided to do this a little more often and try to remember those people who helped me out when I was just starting out. This saturday I'm hoping to take a bunch of guild noobs through Arachnid in Naxx, just to give them some experience and I'm wondering how the world of Azeroth would change if more people dropped the complacent attitude and helped a noob every once in a while.