It’s not Vile Sorcery…It’s the Badge Gear!

Since 3.2 dropped, I've noticed something afoot in my raids and 5-mans. And on WoW-Heroes for that matter. Our tanks are staying alive easier. Our healers yawn into their palms in heroic ToC. Suddenly our gear level is on par with being ready to step into 25-man ToC…but it's not vile sorcery — it's the badge gear!

Don't get me wrong — our guild has a number of skilled players who have been making serious efforts in raids all year long. But this past week was the first night that we ever cleared every boss up to Vezax in 3 hours and 15 minutes. We didn't all suddenly have more skill, or more experience. But we did have significant gear upgrades all around.

I personally upgraded my Naxx 10 OH in Ulduar, then used badges to upgrade my Naxx  25 chest to T8.5 and my T8 helm to 8.5. That may not sound like much upgrade-wise, but I can tell you my WoW Heroes suggested instances jumped to the highest available tier (as did a solid 30 of my guildies.) Previously, we had closer to 10 at that level, and I was not one of them.

Yes, I saw Gevlon's experiment with his raid of blue-clad (tho as he admitted class/buff optimized group). And they did great DPS. But I have also been raiding for well over 3 years now, through AQ in vanilla, to BT in BC, and now through Yogg Saron in Ulduar, and I can tell you for sure that a big dose of gear upgrades does make a visible impact on your raid. No, it can't take a mediocre group of layabouts and hand them success. But it can give you the extra bit of avoidance and dps and healing you need to push you into success.

As my raid leader Garkas said to me last week: "The line between success and failure can be a thin one." I'm glad Blizzard gave us all that extra edge — and the lockout period extensions — to help casual guilds like ours achieve our dreams.

Once I have time to catch my breath, I'll be posting a guide to upgrades to shoot for with your Conquest and Triumph badges.

Happy  Adventuring!

6 thoughts on “It’s not Vile Sorcery…It’s the Badge Gear!”

  1. It’s much easier to have lower gear once specific fights are on farm, or at least learned. When you’re learning a new boss and the mechanics are unfamiliar, that’s when every last bit of gear upgrade can make the difference between a wipe and a new killshot.
    Everyone has seen that agonizing 1% wipe, where if the tank had dodged one more hit, if the dps had come in tiny bit stronger, or if the healers could have stayed ahead of one death, it’d have been a kill. Remember our first Scrubraid/SHP night against Kologarn? Yeah. What is balcony? Oh my AOE damage! Halp I’m in a fist! Can I killing spre…no. LASERZ IN THE RAID. Could a raiding guild throw back on naxx gear and do it now? OF COURSE.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, so funny to come into work to a blogosphere discussion on the matter. To me, few upgrades have really made a visible difference in how well I can do my job. The 4th piece of T8 made a huge difference, and the new T9 idol is NOTABLE. It’s pushed me to around 3k spellpower in combat with buffs, and that’s nothing to sneer at. (Meanwhile, it’s destroyed my effective mp5, so I’m having to play a lot smarter.) Those types of changes, times 10 or 25? Is massive.

  2. As a specific example, our MT has an incredibly high avoidance set. We were slow on XT one week because people were failing sparks, and hit the enrage. Our tank managed to dodge or parry or block 11 straight enraged hits, giving the ranged enough time to scatter and keep plugging along, while XT ran around oneshotting everyone. We lasted 24 seconds after we *should* have wiped, and killed the boss (with one druid up and 24 corpses) mostly because of our tank’s gear. Can you *count* on that kind of luck? No. Not without player skill, absolutely not! But does it pull through at clutch progression moments? Yup.

  3. GUhhgh at the risk of being pendantic, I’m just looking into things for my own records, and here’s another good example.
    I took a look at logs from a month ago, before I had my T8 bonus and my current gear. My rejuvenation hit for 1995 times five ticks. Now, with the T8, it hits for 2333 times five ticks, plus a burst of 1793. Last night, I cast rejuvenation 1126 times, which is LOW, since we were fighting the lag boss badly. That works out to 3,921,858 more potential healing than doing the SAME THING would have done a month ago.
    4 million healing on the wrong targets at a bad time is not as good as 1 million healing at critical moments. 4 million healing doesn’t make me a better healer than our more skillful tree because his TIMING is better. But 4 million healing gives you a cushion to make life easier, to learn, to grow, to see the fights you might not have seen before, to let you survive long enough to make the skill adjustments necessary. And that’s a GOOD thing.

  4. I agree the emblems have been extremely helpful. I haven’t touched Holiterra since December 2008. I dusted off the healing cobwebs a few weeks ago, and I’ve been able to gear her up quickly. WOW Heroes states she’s ready for Ulduar but I’m going to play around with her a bit more, get a few more pieces before getting back into raiding. 🙂
    I, for one, am happy with the changes. I enjoy raiding but really don’t have a lot of time to do as much as I would like. Also, I usually suck at loot rolls. Yes, I’m the one usually rolling a six or seven on items I could use. The times I do get a high roll it’s usually on a green item, heh. 😉

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