HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

But I Can’t Use a Sword?

Staff, Dagger and Mace. None of them are Swords.

Staff, Dagger and Mace. In case you missed it: none of them are swords.

In Naxxramas I fought a political war to gain the right to bid DKP for the Shadow Priest best-in-slot weapon. In Ulduar, I lugged around a Guiding Star, a mace which other Shadow Priests at the time were forbidden to roll on. For Trial of the Crusader I had the opportunity to get my hands on a dagger for a change and not just any dagger, my first weapon in Wrath of the Lich King intended for damage dealers.

What do the Torch of Holy Fire and Guiding Star have in common? Mp5. Mp5 has no damage-increasing value to a Shadow Priest. We have scads of mana regenerating abilities, passive and active, at our disposal. Trust me, we don’t need Mp5.

When I passed on the Battered Hilt it wasn’t really a difficult decision. I can’t use Quel’Delar, Lens of the Mind. It’s a Sword. And Priests can’t equip Swords. And the Mace equivalent (at the time) had no Haste. It had Mp5. Making it significantly inferior to other weapons at that item level. Blizzard eventually changed the mace:

we have made a change that removes the mp5 from the main hand mace and changed that to haste to match the sword to make it more dps-worthy

I don’t understand it. Healers and casters alike love Haste. We all love Critical Strike rating. We all Most of us love Spirit (to differing degrees, yes). The only stat that you can put on a caster weapon that will turn the healers away is Hit Rating. The only stat you can put on a caster weapon that will turn us damage dealers away is Mp5.

So why put either? There’s nothing to stop Blizzard from filling our Tier items with the necessary Hit or Mp5. I’d much prefer to have to juggle having enough Hit on the rest of my gear – Tier, Bind on Pickup or crafted gear – than getting a chunk of it on my weapon. I heal with the same item, so I’d happily ditch the +hit component on Blade of the Tarasque. A healer stuck with an Mp5 weapon will be using that same weapon to DPS too I’ll bet.

The only reason I can think of for putting Mp5 or Hit on a weapon is to reduce demand for that item. Tanks and physical DPS don’t roll on the same weapons. And it would suck if half your raid considered the +1000 Spellpower/+100 Haste/+100 Crit weapon to be their Best-in-slot. Assume a raid made up of 4 tanks, 6 healers, 8 physical DPS and 7 caster DPS:

  • If an item is clearly for tanks only you’re looking at about 25% chance of winning
  • If an item is clearly for healers you’re looking at about 17% of winning
  • If an item is for physical DPS you’ve only got about 13% chance of winning
  • If an item is for caster DPS you’ve got about 14% chance of winning

That seems pretty fair to me. But if there was nothing to differentiate the healers and caster DPS items then those 11 players have only a 9% chance of winning an item. Or think of it like this, you might need to see the weapon you want drop 10 times before you win it. A tank needs only see it drop (at the most) 4 times before they have it.

In Monday night’s raid an argument started up when the Blood Prince Council dropped a sweet offhand: Shadow Silk Spindle. All the caster DPS, myself included, and most of the healers jumped in to bid. I left the bidding at about 4000 DKP (what I’d paid for my current, +hit offhand from ToC) and I think it sold to a Resto Druid for almost double that amount.

Party 3 wasn’t happy (that would be the party the caster DPS are slotted into by raid leaders everywhere). One of our Mages argued that it was a DPS item because another offhand existed elsewhere “for healers”. And that a healer bidding on the Shadow Silk Spindle was just revealing that they hadn’t done their homework or planned their gear upgrades.

Apparently because there is no Spirit on the Shadow Silk Spindle it isn’t intended for healers. (By the way, is anyone else having flashbacks to the Mage-post-3.1 mentality “its got Spirit on it, so it’s for Mages, duh”? Oh the irony) I was perplexed. I don’t think I’ve ever made a gear upgrade decision based on the presence of Spirit on an item for Shadow or for Discipline. I said as much in Party chat and pointed out that I thought that the offhand was ideal for Discipline, so who was I to say that it wasn’t also ideal for other healing classes?

If this is the amount of debate caused by an ambiguous offhand item, would I be witness to the same debate if a dagger with the same distribution of Spellpower, Intellect, Haste and Crit dropped? You’re right. It would probably be even worse.

So they may still be some ambiguity about Spirit and whether it is or isn’t a healer stat. But there’s no ambiguity about Mp5. Mp5 only benefits healers. There is no talent, armor or glyph that says “Your mana regained per 5 seconds is converted into spellpower”. There is with Spirit, but not Mp5.

So guess what the new Shadow Priest best-in-slot weapon is from Icecrown Citadel?

Royal Scepter of Terenas II
Binds when picked up
Main Hand [Mace]
+71 Stamina
+71 Intellect
Item Level 271
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 63
Equip: Restores 31 mana per 5 sec
Equip: Increases spell power by 792

And here’s the Sword that we won’t ever be able to get our hands on:

Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony
Binds when picked up
Main Hand [Sword]
+71 Stamina
+71 Intellect
Item Level 271
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 63
Equip: Improves haste rating by 63
Equip: Increases spell power by 792

63 Haste rating, that’s what we’re short changed. Haste Rating is currently valued to be as important as Spell power for Shadow Priests (that is, until you reach about 800 Haste). So to make the Mace as good as the Sword for Shadow Priests they would either have to:

  • add 63 Haste or
  • add about 90 Critical Strike Rating or
  • boost the total spell power up to 855.

Not likely. So instead we’re also going to be forced to endure a ton of healer hate (well if the Torch of Holy Fire incident taught me anything). Competition for the sword will be limited to Mages, Warlocks and Holy Paladins. Competition for the mace will include Restoration and Elemental Shaman, Shadow Priests, Moonkin, Restoration Druids, Holy and Discipline Priests.

I wonder if this is some new type of Hybrid Tax. 5-10% less DPS and crappy weapons you need to squabble with your healers over.

21 Responses to “But I Can’t Use a Sword?”

  1. ChaousNo Gravatar says

    Ran into similar issues with my druid. As seeing resto druid don’t really need mp5 (druid oom lol). One of my best in slot OH for the ToC level was the chalice, which dropped, but the raid leader wouldnt let me roll on it “because it has hit and is better for dps” Never-mind I had and iLevel 200 OH and our mages both at least has 213, it has hit, which neither of them needed, so they automaticly got to roll on it.

    TBH: i’m looking forward to the stats simplification in Cataclysm to iron out SOME of these issues.
    .-= Chaous’s last blog … Thank You Maraudon! =-.

  2. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    DKP solves everything, and imo the below should be used to resolve any arguments like the one you mentioned

    i.e. An item has a stat which isn’t “officially” designated as a healing / dps stat, but some people think it favours one class more than another due to the itemization (So Armor pen for a ret pally vs warrior, or spirit/no spirit for a mage vs a holy priest etc)

    If you are eligible to bid on an item, then you’ll bid what it’s worth to you.

    So if it’s an upgrade, but there is a better alternative easily available, then they won’t pay a high amount for it.

    If it’s best in slot, you’ll be willing to pay a higher amount of dkp, and thus will win the item for what it’s worth to you (Or rather for what it’s worth to someone else +1)

    If you don’t have enough dkp to win the item, but it’s your best in slot, then you need to contribute more to the guild first (e.g. raid more), or you need to not waste your dkp on other items soo readily and be more sensible in your bidding elsewhere.

    And always remember, that it’s just loot, so will drop again. And when it does, it may go for significantly cheaper than what it did this time around.

  3. lissannaNo Gravatar says

    Ya. I’m having a really hard time finding “moonkin weapons”. I don’t really need hit rating. I don’t like the idea of Nibelung’s proc… So, I’m still using a pretty crappy weapon.
    .-= lissanna’s last blog … Patch 3.3.2 – Moonkin fixes =-.

  4. PsynisterNo Gravatar says

    An upgrade is an upgrade, that’s all there is to it.
    .-= Psynister’s last blog … Final Edition: Prot Paladin AoE Grinding (Part 1 of 2) =-.

  5. BeruthielNo Gravatar says

    All I could think when I got to your part about the OH was OMG armory me!

    It is what finally put me at the haste cap now that druids need a gajillion haste.

  6. AaidaNo Gravatar says

    I share my loot with a holy palladin and I don’t mind.
    Didn’t roll on Frozen Bonespike and gave my Soulcleave Pendant to him.
    Why? 1) He’s a good friend ofcourse 2) He’s crazy enough to keep healing me, even when I overaggro.

    Next time, I’d like to see the Soulcleave Pendant in my bag once more (I’d prefer Abracadaver above MH/OH atm), but healers get first dips imo.

  7. OleanderNo Gravatar says

    If the Lich King loot stays unchanged, I suspect I’m gunning for a staff rather than take mp5.

  8. JurikNo Gravatar says

    The sad thing is that due to T10 sets having hit on a couple of pieces plus the ICC DPS caster ring having hit, most spellcasters will be at or near the hit cap. I’ve seen many instances of some spellcaster +hit gear dropping and all the casters passing on it, because picking up any more hit is functionally useless. They’re actually better off going with mp5 because hey at least that stat does *something*.

    Resto Druids are in a similar bind. Since we need so much haste and 3 of our 5 t10 pieces have crit, many trees are gemming haste, meaning each point of not-haste on gear can be converted directly to lost spellpower because it necessitates more reckless or quick gems rather than runed.

    We only have substandard weapons to look forward to from Arthas, 10 or 25. Our ideal itemization is SP/SPI/haste, with SP/mp5/haste a step behind, and SP/crit/haste another step behind that. There’s only one druid-usable weapon on Arthas’ loot tables that fits any of those, and it’s the weakest of the 3 “usable” itemizations and only ilvl 258 (271 in heroic) to boot.

    In fact, there’s only one weapon in all of icecrown 25-man that fits the optimal itemization for druids, Dying Light. In order to get a competitive one-hander, you need to clear 10-man hardmodes for Midnight Sun or Lockjaw, or nab a Trauma and hope Blizz eventually tweaks the proc because right now it’s not great.

    All in all, I think the weapon itemization in Icecrown has been pretty bad. Especially for the final tier of loot for an expansion, Blizzard ought to have someone on their dev team to ensure that each major spec has at least one perfectly itemized weapon to yearn for.

  9. I think the Post-Cata stat tweaks are going to make things worse. We now have multiple stats that help ‘Identify” an item for a given class/spec. Removing/combining stats is NOT going to help; it would seem ot me that it will actually make things worse, since multiple classes & specs will need them :(
    .-= SlikRX/Balthazario’s last blog … Spamalot! and Lance-a-lot =-.

  10. Oh, sorry for the second post, but I forgot to mention: if your guild is iffy about things like this, the time to bring up needing/bidding is on your forums/guild chat, before you get into the raid.

    If your guild is being unreasonable about it, remind them that g/quit is there for a reason… (if you are willing to take it to that level)
    .-= SlikRX/Balthazario’s last blog … Spamalot! and Lance-a-lot =-.

  11. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Oleander Even though the staff has crit/sp instead of mp5/sp it’s loaded with spirit and overall is still worse for Shadow Priests than a main hand + offhand combination (which always nets you a greater amount of spellpower).

    @Jurik You’re completely right. Mp5 might be only beneficial for healers, but it’s not even a stat that most healers really want. All Lath ever talks about it haste, haste, haste!

    @SlikRX Fortunately the guild I’m in believes in the free-for-all type approach and there is very little loot restrictions. But previous guilds I’ve been in have really had some major “No, that’s a Hunter weapon, not a Feral Druid weapon” type arguments. Usually caused when one of the officers is of X class and doesn’t understand the point of view of Y class.

    But because I’ve been in guilds like that, even though the rules aren’t stopping me in my current guild, I know that rolling on a “healer” weapon DOES cause animosity. Even if it’s unspoken.
    .-= Cassandri’s last blog … But I Can’t Use a Sword? =-.

  12. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    And at the end of the day:

    I don’t want a healer weapon. If I can’t have the same weapon that Mages and Warlocks get, I want one that’s just as good!
    .-= Cassandri’s last blog … But I Can’t Use a Sword? =-.

  13. NazanielNo Gravatar says

    *cough* Just for the record:
    “I don’t understand it. Healers and casters alike love Haste. We all love Critical Strike rating. We all love Spirit (to differing degrees, yes). The only stat that you can put on a caster weapon that will turn the healers away is Hit Rating.”

    That’s true for healers of the druid and priestly persuasions, but not for pallies and shamans. Spirit is just as much of a turn-off as hit is for us!
    .-= Nazaniel’s last blog … Spotlight on : Hitmeagain =-.

  14. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Nazaniel Actually I wasn’t really thinking just about the healing class when I said “casters” there, I was thinking: Mages, Warlocks, Priest, Druids. But you’re quite right both Elemental, Restoration Shamans and Holy Paladins have no use for Spirit whatsoever.

    Have amended to read “Most of us”. :)

  15. VokNo Gravatar says

    Aye, I actually wouldn’t mind having a little hit on my healing items. I tend to throw out a Flame Shock pretty regularly in fights and a Lava Burst when nothing is happening. For the first half of Deathbringer I’m pretty much a DPSer until the first debuff appears.

    It’s also a pretty close race between MP5 and Intell as far as Mana Regen goes for Resto Shaman. I do like having MP5 on my gear. And Intell. And Haste, Crit, SP, Stam, a touch of hit would be nice and some gems slots…..

    Guess it’ll all change some Cataclysm though
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Spotlight on : Hitmeagain =-.

  16. MichaelNo Gravatar says

    If the stat changes from Cata stop giving a hodgepodge of stats on items that lead to all this confusion, then there might be hope. Otherwise…

    Dagger drops with Sta/Int/Spr … every caster is going to roll on that since 2 of 3 stats convert to SP/Hit/Mp5/Crit/Haste based on talents from all that I’ve read.

    That’s before you get into the whole reallocation of stats through some of the crafting professions. I can just see a rogue arguing that he can convert that Spr into Agi and it would be an upgrade, so now he gets into the mix along with all the casters.

    I’d prefer if Blizz would just label weapons as tank/melee dps/range dps/healer/spell dps and hang the stats as the deciding factor. At least then we could argue with Blizz that their definition of X is wrong because the stats don’t make sense. I can argue with Blizzard easier than I can with every armchair statistician in the raid.

  17. WhosmymainNo Gravatar says

    I was actually thinking about this with necklaces in ICC10. Deathbringer Saurfang drops a great caster necklace with haste, spell power and crit—All great throughput stats for my resto shaman. On the other hand, it’s a great necklace for just about every caster.

    When I was looking at further loot to plan out what I want, I noticed that Rotface drops an mp5 necklace, and decided I’d go for that instead. Why? Because I’ll get more use out of mp5 than our DPS, who will get no use out of it.

    Though, looking closer at both later, I noticed that the mp5 necklace has the same SP and more haste than the necklace from Saurfang, at the loss of crit. Yet, because it has mp5, none of our dps casters would consider it. I’m not really sure the value of haste to our boomkin or warlock (as opposed to it being awesome for me), but it’s interesting to me that regardless of whether it’s better for them with the haste, they wouldn’t take it because of the mp5.

    Now of course, my guild needs to actually kill Rotface so I can loot that… :D
    .-= Whosmymain’s last blog … Meet Myrtrix =-.

  18. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    Looks like some blues must read your blog Cass


  19. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Oh my. I must complain more often!

    “Royal Scepter of Terenas II: MP5 replaced with Haste Rating”

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