Friday, November 16, 2012

The Journey of One Thousand Miles Pt. 2 - Classes

The last installment of "The Journey of One Thousand Miles" talked about evaluating gear based upon quality, and talked about some of the issues you may run into in the starting area (limited bag space, what to sell, what to keep, what is Soulbound/BOE, etc).

In this portion, we'll be discussing classes and gear. Most experienced players have encountered the frustration of the new player Needing every piece of gear that he can... A Retribution Paladin needing those leather +Spirit gloves that your Druid Healer would just LOVE to have, for example.

Some players say "who cares? It's random dungeon gear, and you'll replace it in an hour or two anyway."

I think the underlying issue here is that the player Needing on all that gear may not know what he SHOULD be needing on, and this kind of behavior may continue into the heroic and raiding tiers, where upgrades are random and rare, and getting that perfect drop may take a substantial amount of time to farm.

Let's talk Classes, Specs and what gear you need after the jump.



NOTE: DPS is an acronym for Damage Per Second. This is a metric to determine what a player's damage output is over time.

All Specializations (Specs) for all Classes can be broken down into four basic categories:

Tank: Melee fighters who generate aggro, and can take a lot of damage. They protect the party.

Melee DPS (MDPS): Melee damage dealers. It's their job to dish out as much damage as possible from close range (without generating so much threat that they take aggro from the Tank).

Ranged DPS (RDPS): Ranged damage dealers. Just like Melee DPS, their job is to deal as much damage as possible, except that they do this from a distance

Healer: Casters who heal the party. They use spells or abilities to keep the party alive by healing or preventing damage and getting rid of debuffs.

These specs classifications are important because they help determine what Statistics (Stats) you should be looking for in gear. Generally this stat priority is as follows (italicized stats are unique to the spec)

Tank: Strength, Stamina, Dodge, Parry, Block
MDPS: Strength/Agility (depending on class), Hit, Critical, Haste
RDPS: Agility/Intelligence (depending on class), Hit, Spirit (some casters convert Spirit to Hit), Critical, Haste
Healer: Intelligence, Spirit

Basically this means, for example, if you're the Tank, you shouldn't be rolling NEED for a piece of Spirit gear (unless no one else needs it, and you have a Healer/RDPS Off-spec).

 Now about specific Class Specifications:

Each class chooses a spec at 10th level that defines their abilities and role in a group. It also determines what stats you're looking for in gear. Here is a general list of desired stats by spec.

NOTE: In the case of secondary stats (Haste, Crit, Dodge, Parry, Block) the weight (or relative value) of the stat changes as the game evolves. A list of sites where you can find up to date information will be at the end of the article.

Warrior
- Protection [Tank] 1-handed weapon, Shield: Strength, Stamina, Dodge, Parry, Block
- Fury [MDPS] 2x 1-handed weapons, or 2x 2-handed weapons: Strength, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Arms [MDPS] 1x 2-handed weapon: Strength, Hit, Crit, Haste

Paladin
- Protection [Tank] 1-handed weapon, Shield: Strength, Stamina, Dodge, Parry, Block
- Retribution [MDPS] 2-handed weapon: Strength, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Holy [Healer] 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item/Shield: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste

Druid
- Guardian [Tank] 2-handed weapon: Agility, Stamina, Dodge, Parry
- Feral [MDPS] 2-handed weapon: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Balance [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Spirit, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Restoration [Healer] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste

Monk
- Brewmaster [Tank] 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons: Agility, Stamina, Dodge, Parry, Block
- Windwalker [MDPS] 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Mistweaver [Healer] 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons, Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Spirit, Hit, Crit, Haste

Shaman
- Enhancement [MDPS] 2x 1-handed weapons: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Elemental [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item/Shield: Intelligence, Spirit, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Restoration [Healer] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon +Off-hand Item/Shield: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste

Priest
- Shadow [MDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item, Wand: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste
- Discipline -[Healer] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item, Wand: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste
- Holy [Healer] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Spirit, Crit, Haste

Hunter
- Beast Mastery [RDPS] Ranged Weapon, 2-handed weapon: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Survival [RDPS] Ranged Weapon, 2-handed weapon: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Marskman [RDPS] Ranged Weapon, 2-handed weapon: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste

Rogue
- Subtlety [MDPS] 2x 1-handed weapons: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Assassination [MDPS] 2x 1-handed weapons (Daggers): Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Combat [MDPS] 2x 1-handed weapons: Agility, Hit, Crit, Haste

Mage
- Frost [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Fire [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Arcane [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste

Warlock
- Demonology [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Affliction [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Destruction [RDPS] 2-handed weapon, 1-handed weapon + Off-hand Item: Intelligence, Hit, Crit, Haste

Death Knight
- Blood [Tank] 2-handed weapon: Strength, Stamina, Dodge, Parry
- Frost [MDPS] 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons: Strength, Hit, Crit, Haste
- Unholy [MDPS] 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons: Strength, Hit, Crit, Haste

These are not recommendations as to what weapons to use (last I checked dual-wield Unholy DKs are still not favorable, for example), merely an overview of what each spec uses. Maybe by helping to inform our fellow players, that new Retribution Paladin in Wailing Caverns won't be needing on Shields.

Remember, be excellent to each other, and help make Azeroth a better place to play.

WoW Character Optimization Resources:
For further research into stat weights, optimal rotations, gemming/enchanting, etc; check out these sites...

Noxxic
Icy Veins
Elitist Jerks

No comments:

Post a Comment