Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ICC10 Offspec Kitty Gear

So, as I've been working through ICC and the dps have picked up their gear, naturally some of the feral leathers have found their way into my bags for my dualspec kitty time. There is a lot of off-set feral leather in ICC10, enough to more or less skip the entire T10 kit... of course, that would be loosing out on set bonuses, but when it's your offspec and your frost badges are being sucked up into resto, there's not much you can do.

One major thing I've noticed with the ICC10 leathers is that it lacks expertise.

This is a pretty big problem. I have the T9 232 hat with its little chunk of expertise keeping me just a bit below the expertise cap (which is 26 total, including talents; I have about 22), and now I've also picked up the funky little Discarded Bag of Entrails that looks like it came off the digital set of the movie "9." The ICC hat is, of course, a huge upgrade... in everything but expertise. And, as if to mock me, the gem socket is yellow: not something I can easily slip a pure expertise gem in to attempt to make up for the huge loss, not without loosing out on the socket bonus.

The alternative is, of course, to socket expertise in other parts of my gear. Using those wonderfully expensive cardinal rubies and overwriting the agility rubies I put in not two weeks ago. All for an offkit.

See where this is annoying? Balancing all the melee caps is THE MOST irritating part of trying to keep up a kitty offspec, because I know that as soon as I put in those expertise gems, I'm gonna probably pick up some new pair of legs or bracers or neck and end up just socketing agility into those anyway.

Grrr. The feral gearing fury and wrath, it burns.

For now, I've not socketed out the new hat. I've been healing in all the raids lately so I haven't needed to equip my feral kit, but the hat has sat in my backpack, staring up at me with its little glowing wisp of green smoke curling up around my flasks and potions and lucky rock. I'm worried it's going to eat my T9 hat before I get a chance to swap them... but I will take that risk, and bide my time until I either break down and get the expertise rubies for my other pieces, or get a new piece of gear that I can socket fresh with that missing expertise.

"Current stats:" 731 Arp (w/NEScorp), 221 hit, 22 expertise
New hat stats: 819 Arp (over cap), 221 hit, 14 expertise

A neck upgrade dropped my expertise another -2 points and overinflated my hit by some phenomenal amount. Gahhhhh. Why do upgrades mess with my head like this?


Scythe said...

You can actually do pretty well on the expertise front in the T10 range, but not from ICC10 drops. You can craft the Impending Death boots and pick up the T10 legs and (with talents) be just fine on the expertise front.

The real problem for 10-man T10 equivalent gear is hit. There's just not enough of it to go around. There's precisely zero on our tier gear, none on the crafted boots/legs and very few non-set drops where you can make it up.

Hersir's Greatspear can give you a chunk (although ironically the heroic version has *less* hit than the regular version), the trash drop neck (Wodin's Lucky Necklace) and the Lady Deathwhisper belt (Soulthief's Braided Belt), but that's about it.

Given that we're jutting up against the crit cap in T10-ish gear, it's a tough jumble to handle...but on the plus side, you can take advantage of those yellow slots now =)

Kae said...

Seeing as those boots take primordial saronite, I'm less likely to see them than I am the t10 :)

I am hoping for leg/hand upgrades from VoA, but I haven't seen any druid drops from there yet.

Neil said...

I would recommend taking a look at Rawr and seeing if hit and expertise are even worth capping. Depending on your gear level, it might actually be better to just gem for Agility. Misses and dodges are not that bad for cats.

Unknown said...

I just love seeing another tree/kitty hybrid. I am mainspec resto, but only because I'm needed more as a tree, cause I love both specs equally.

My favorite raids are the ones when I can mix up roles and dps some fights and heal others. Particularly kitty on gunship.

"So do you want me to scratch or patch today?"

rudedrood said...

Expertise and hit are not priorities of feral cats. Agility is still the go to stat once you get soft-capped for armor pen. Still, against all logic, I know it eats at me to be missing attacks. The tier legs have expertise (and drop in VoA). Alternatively, look at 10 exp / 10 hit orange gem, which will satisfy yellow sockets and with the yellow socket bonus are sometimes superior to 20 agi or 20 armor pen gems without a socket bonus.

Kae said...

Yeah, I was looking at the 10exp / 10hit gem last night, considering it for the hat. As an orange, it is cheaper, gives me a bit of that expertise back, and nets me a socket bonus... most of my sockets are all red anyway, and filled with either agil or armor pen.

Fortunately, am I nearing the end of my main-spec frost emblem purchases, and will be able to look at T10 for kitty.

Re: Scratch or Patch... awesome :D

Vallen said...


Quite a few of the commenters have touched on bits and pieces of it but I'll try and summarize for you.

Expertise is actually not a problem nor is it an overly important stat for feral (kitty) druids based on ICC (3.3) gear choices for two reasons.

1)First Primal Precision covers 10 (out of your required 25). On top of that all kitty should aim for obtaining 4pc10 which should include the T10 pants which at 251 includes another 9.76 exp. This will leave you at 19.76 out of 25 expertise req.

2) Even though you are not capped, Primal Precision refunds 80% of your spent energy which can be reused to apply the ability that just missed.

I understand that frost badges may be a rare commodity but even so you should never (ever) gem for expertise as that will probably give you the least return.

Always gem for Arp/Agility (depending on which viewpoint you believe in) and gem close (but not necessarily hit) the hit cap.

Kae said...

That is the difficulty with a secondary spec: the likelihood of getting tier gear for it is slim (especially 4-pc), or will take far too long to just "wait out." While I can hope for a pair of pants to drop out of VoA, we all know that what we want will never drop unless we aren't there to get it ;) (or, in a pug, the moonkin who never plays feral will roll and win it and the RL will decide to give it to them anyway cuz you were resto at the time.... )

It's like ferals with an offspec tree form: their kit will likely consist heavily of offset leather spellpower that no one else in the raid wanted.

Basically, what I'm trying to argue is not whether I should be using tier gear or not, but rather how difficult it is to plan for future upgrades that will force a number of regems of a gear set, particularly when it's not a primary spec. This does include the shifting arp-agil focus for 10-man raiders.

Regardless, I think I can safely say I'm looking forward to the simplification of the melee stat system with Cataclysm.

Vallen said...

Whether you get lucky with T10 or you go with offset gear, the point I was trying to make was that expertise is one of the lowest valued stats and really should not be factored into gear consideration.

It is nice to get T10 pants and fill that gap but you really do not need to worry about it at all. Focus more on arp/agil/hit. :)

Anonymous said...

As kitties attack from behind on most mobs expertise is wasted on us compared to hit. Remember if you have a Dranie in your grp then you get +1% which will help allot.

A couple of pieces with +Hit on include the neck from Ony's Head and the Pyrite Infuse trink from FL.

If you can get the T10 4 Piece then Agi is the way to go due to the new critting ability given by the set bonus.

RAWR recommends gemming Agi over Arp in 10 man situations and with 25 man buffs Arp trumps it so go for those 2 over anything.

If you do have a blue socket, use the +10 all stats gem in there as it is the least useful socket of all.


Kae said...

Even if we attack from behind, there is still a chance for our attacks being dodged. Our expertise "hardcap" assumes that you are attacking from behind, so expertise is only wasted past 26 (assuming you are attacking from behind). ...and I think I've also mentioned several times already that I am horde, no space goats, and that it's an offspec, no tier gear ;)

Hit is not my issue right now... I have plenty of it. Having 12 expertise and missing on yellow attacks due to dodges (not parries and not misses) is the problem.

We don't need much expertise, not much at all, but having *no* gear with it on does cause problems.