Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fresh Frozen Shadoweave Gemming

I wanted to expand a bit on my last Frozen Shadoweave post, particularly on the gemming. I had said:
You've probably been reading quite a bit on about how your #1 stat is Spell Damage, right? And how if you are putting anything other than red gems in your gear then you are nerfing yourself? Ignore that advice for now. Come back to it later. The first thing you need to work on before you start worrying about Spell Damage is Spell Hit.

I stand by this 100%. Yes, long term you are going to put in a bunch of red gems and go for max damage. But you must hit-cap yourself first.

I'm not speaking from theorycraft — I'm coming at this from experience. There's nothing more frustrating then seeing a bunch RESIST messages flash by and watching your mana bar drain down. (No damage == useless VT.)

Think about the point at which you are putting together your FSW set. If you've been on the ball, you should already have your shoulders and boots by the time you hit 70. I did it, without a raiding guild to fund me, and it wasn't that much farming. (I am certainly not going to say it was fun — but the first few minutes of running around in my FSW completely made up for the hours of farming.)

But let's say you don't. Let's say that you ground your way to 70 without giving your FSW a thought. Where does that put you?

You've only run Hellfire, Coilfang, and Auchindoun, as Tempest Keep only just now became available to you. The gear in those first three sets of instances is okay, but it's nothing stellar. Certainly not when compared to FSW. As a fresh 70, you can't even look at Kara without keeling over and having to corpse run.

Odds are, you don't have any purples. Okay, maybe one or two, but almost certainly nothing with sockets. If you've been grinding your level instead of your FSW mats, you probably haven't been worried about your rep yet, either. That means no purples from rep rewards. (Who grinds rep before 70? Why?)

With that kind of history, there's only a slim chance that you are hit-capped. You might be, but it would be really odd. It's not like you're going to get hit-capping blues or greens while grinding the mats or gold.

Thus, your first gems in your FSW will probably be yellow, not red. Sure, the reds will come along soon enough. But for now, play by the rules and put the right gems in your FSW. When you do your first Kara run and only get a few resists instead of one after another, you'll know you did the right thing.

But, again, this comes with a disclaimer. Everyone is different. I'm speaking in wide generalities here. Maybe you have gotten some really lucky drops or have been consciously working on hit-capping yourself before getting your FSW. It's certainly possible. I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the guy behind you that got to 70 and said "now what?".

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