Home > World of Warcraft > World of Warcraft ~ Understanding Endgame

World of Warcraft ~ Understanding Endgame

This post is fueled by a rant I have held back more than just once for players who simply don’t get what they’re doing; DKs in spell-power gear, Discipline Priest without Power Word:Shield on their action bars, Hunters speccing all their points in one talent tree (occasionally having half a dozen of unspent points), gemming expertise on a warlock, leaving half your rogue’s gear unenchanted…

Yes, these are all mistakes that will happen when you’re misinformed or simply new to the game.  It doesn’t take much effort, nor is it too complicated to understand what’s what to each class, but indeed it can be horrendous for a new player grasping all of these basics.  And rather than being yet another one who complains openly and successfully achieving an “Elitist Jerk” title (which surely beats a clueless failure – and what the thread starter says is pretty true).

Yes, you need to stop being blind about what you’re doing in a game like WoW which solely relies on your choices that will directly have to be followed up with your performance in action to give a solid result.

  • Gearing up
  • Specifying your talent choices
  • Enchanting and Gemming your gear
  • Consuming flasks/food buffs/weapon buffs
  • Correctly utilizing your arsenal of abilities in the right order at the right time for the correct situation.

Sounds like much?  It actually is not.  And that’s the good thing about it, you had 80 levels to learn about gearing up and using the right abilities, as well as test out with your talents and possibly try out the potions + buff food awarded from quests or friends/AH and maybe a couple of enchants here and there, backed up with some weak gems.  At level 80 endgame on the other hand, all of those things you tried have to be utilized fully, as well as done correctly.  Yes, using all 5 but messing up somewhere will definitely hurt your damage, tanking performance or healing capacity depending on what your role is.


Oh joy!  WoW = Gear.  That’s true enough.  Gear specifies which bracket you fall in.  It gives you a max and min level of effectiveness.  No matter how impecabble you do everything else, Gear will be the main judge of how high you can fly, until your wings are shot down.   No matter how much you fail, there’s always a ground level (maybe the seabed) that will be of support, where as long as you’re casting *something*, something will happen.  What’s the right gear for me?  Gear is made up of 3 sections:

  1. Base stats (such as Stamina, Intellect, Strength and Agility amongst others).
  2. Sockets and Enchant options [Enchants generally are tied to which slot the particular item belongs to aka wrist, foot, back etc].
  3. Equip Effects [Most notably would be Spell Power, Attack Power and Defense Rating, amongst others]

Chest Tooltip

This is a tooltip obtained from http://www.wowhead.com (a website which should be in the back, front, sides, top and bottom of your head at all times as the main reference for whatever WoW database information you might need).  As you can see it gives you armor (You should generally neglect this, even as a tank, there are other far more important things to look at), with Strength and Stamina as Base Stats, along with 2 socket spaces (which when both are satisfied by socketing them with the correct gems will grant you the socket bonus), note there’s no indication for an enchant, but you automatically should notice this is a chest, which will generally get a +10 to all stats enchant on it. Durability isn’t something you should consider at all, fix it just before it breaks, and enjoy the 200g fees that come along with it!  And as for what is probably the most important, in my opinion, the Equip Effects.  In this case it involves critical strike and Armor Penetration (ArP for short) ratings increase.  Note I’m using a DK chest since it seems to be the most widely played class.  Another thing to note is the item level (iLvl in short) of the piece, in this case 277 – effectively best you can get! which gives a solid indication of where this piece weighs compared to other gear.  The higher the iLvl, the harder it is to acquire, as well as the more rewarding it tends to be, compared to its lower iLvl counterparts.

Now that was quite a wall of text, but understanding what’s what will definitely be worth it in the long run.  The Set tracking as well as set bonuses are fairly straight forward.  Get two pieces and you gain the (2) Set: bonus.  Get 4 pieces and you get the (4) Set: bonus…

To get an idea of what you should be looking for, I suggest you start off by googling your class followed up by the role you’re attempting to play.  E.g. “Death Knight Tank Gear”, “Priest Healing”, “Arcane Mage”.  This is generally gonna assume you’re aiming for PVE content not PVP, and as such you might get an EJ option showing up, which I strongly recommend.  A more direct link would be the following: http://elitistjerks.com/f31/.  Just follow that link and choose the right category followed with the post introduction which fits you the most.  It’s a great way to gain solid knowledge about your class in general, but a certain amount of knowledge is expected, and newbies are not too welcome there.  My suggestion is to read and not comment.  Ask elsewhere for help, such as http://www.mmo-champion.com – ALWAYS READ STICKIES, and search before posting.  That’s a basic rule for all forums you’ve visited, are visiting or will be visiting.

Talent Choices

If you read what’s in the last paragraph of the Gearing section above, both sources I provided you with should also give you a fitting description and several choices for your talents.  What I MUST add on the other hand is that copy-pasting the talents and having no clue what they do is, simply put, fail.  When going over my own discipline priest to the talent choices I used theirs as a base, and simply ripped all they gave and tried it out to get a good idea of where I’m at, and then opened a new Wowhead Talent Calculator and starting reading all the way through my abilities and put them in as I thought best, trying to always keep in mind the core mechanics of the class I’m playing which focuses around proactive healing and minimizing damage, rather than reactive brute healing whenever someone’s hurt.  I went fairly close, and since I wasn’t satisfied with some awkward choices, I decided to post on mmo-champion with my decisions and my doubts, getting the aid of others.  Rechecking what EJ provided, I noticed theirs was truly perfect, and stuck to it.

That’s idiotic, you ended up back to step one, didn’t you?

I did indeed end up back to what I was given in the first place, but the difference is that I recognize what’s up with my class.  What it’s core mechanics revolve around and what I should be doing to maximize my utilities as a discipline priest healer.  Having done that, and I’m not lying here, I noticed a solid twofold increase of both healing effectiveness and about a 30% to 200% in mana efficiency, depending on the instance and group setup.  This is a must-do and must-know for endgame raiding guys – Don’t skip this essential step!  Rebuild your talents and understand what you have chosen. (Applies for PVPing moreso than PVEing in my opinion).

Enchanting and Gemming

Not much to say here, as long as you know what stats benefit your class and role you’re playing, EJ posts will provide you with a good idea for both.  Research on wowhead and get on with it, you simple fools!

Silent also mentioned regarding how to get your gems cut and such – some people seek the Auction House for their gemming needs – while fairly fast, this is also very expensive.  There are 2 alternative ways of acquiring your gems which definitely will take some time, but they’re both cheaper and more efficient.  It’s through the use of Emblems of Heroism (You can downgrade Emblems of Triumph to acquire them) and through honor.  Pure Gem Uncuts cost 10k honor or 20 Emblems of Heroism, while Hybrid Gem Uncuts cost 10 Emblems of Heroism or 10k Honor.

I suggest for hybrid uncuts such as Eye of Zul or Dreadstone to be acquired through emblems, while the pure ones are acquired through Honor (Unless you need it for PvP gear). http://www.wowhead.com/?items&filter=minle=80;maxle=80;cr=129;crs=0;crv=32172  That’s the list of uncuts.  Once you get the uncut you simply seek a jewelcrafter which can cut the gem you require (Make sure you provide him with both the correct uncut as well as a 10 to 20 gold tip, if they ask for it).

It’s definitely the cheaper option.  If you’re in a serious hurry or so loaded on gold it makes your pockets scream, simply acquire them from the auction house.

Flasks/Food Buffs/Weapon Buffs

As above, just follow the basic idea of what you want.  The following are the 4 best flasks consumed during raids => Raiding Flasks <=.  They’re costly, and should only be used in raids, as a group (if you’re the only one using it, it’s a waste really, since the increase will be nearly unnoticeable on a raid wide effect.  On the other hand, if all use them it’s a strong raid-wide boost in general.)  They’re flasks with Battle and Guardian elixir effects meaning you can’t take any other elixirs or flasks when you have them, nor should you, seeing they’re the best ones out there!

As for food buffs the general idea involved is going with whatever strikes your fancy.  Some suggestions I’d give would be the following:

Make your pick, and enjoy.  The generally requires cooking dailies to get the recipes.  Very easy to get, in my opinion.  In a week you can acquire not only whatever your class might need, but other recipes for off spec situations or helping mates/guildies.

Use of Abilities

That bloody Mind Sear on one opponent, spamming Arcane Blast in a group of 3 or more mobs, Facerolling your laughs out on a DK – and then blaming the healer for running out of mana during a 10 minute long fight on what was meant to be “trash”.  You get trashed.  Something wrong?  Hmm.  Blame the tank, blame the healer, blame the gear or the developers, but never doubt your skill is it?  Change your motherlovin’ ways or I’m coming for ya mate, and you’ll soon be entering your exit hole, if you get what I mean.  Correctly utilizing your skills makes all of the above useful – on the other hand, failing makes all of the above a waste of energy.  Elitist Jerks provide you with a good idea of what you need to cast, Youtube has videos indicating basic concepts of tanking and healing for each class and each spec.  The Dummy is available in each city for you to beat on till you giggle, when fighting it using recount you can track your most powerful spells from a rotation you have previously found on the internet and make good use of it.

Fine-tune the spells that are the most effective, that involves seeing what they scale with, researching main stats for your class generally automatically gives you this, but understanding the backstage idea behind it will always be a useful cushion of information you’ll never find useless.  Pinpoint your dps halts using Recount’s Raid DPS Meter and don’t give up just because your dps won’t go any higher, or your healing is ineffective, or maybe you get broken half a dozen of seconds after you pull even when the healer is blast healing you.

Go over your talents, ability “rotations” – which should never be pulled off blindly, but rather situationally.  And compensate for any lack of healing or tanking by using small tricks such as potions, or spam healing (overheals a lot and burns your mana, but at least you got a better shot at keeping your tank alive).

Final Thoughts

If you did most/all of the above correctly or as best as you can manage it, you should find no problems in holding your own during both random heroics as well as ICC boss raids (and any new content that might unlock).  Good luck, play smart and have fun.  Don’t act like a jerk against players who don’t get it.  Try giving them a helping hand, and if they just don’t want to listen shrug them off and /ignore them.  Spreading elitist behavior rarely solves anything, and it’s not worth burning up over someone you’ll never meet in real life who holds an IQ on par (if not worse than/) with a monkey.  Go break those DPS meters, tank rush all those mobs, and overheal all those sadistic bastards in your team, and enjoy it hardcore style – oyeh.

Categories: World of Warcraft Tags:
  1. Silent
    February 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

    You tell em Wolf that’s how its meant to be done, HC style :p

    • February 15, 2010 at 6:58 am

      Break you too bitch! :p Tnx for the JCing suggestion.

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