Archive for the ‘Armour Sets’ Category

Let me wipe your tiers… Some considerations on armour sets


You know, it’s amazing how many times my guild mates and I get involved in discussions about gear; particularly class sets and how good, bad or indifferent they are. I would imagine most guilds with a few chatty people have discussed the same issue at length, but perhaps my guild is also fairly common when lampooning the sets as poorly itemized and not very compelling. Either they don’t like the bonuses, they don’t like the stats or they just don’t like the look of the armour (placed in order of importance). Overall, however, I get the feeling there is a general misunderstanding of what Blizzard are trying to do with armour sets and why they itemize them the way that they do.

Personally, I really like the class armour sets and have been very happy with what Wrath of the Lich King has served up so far. Therefore, I’m starting from a position of positivity on them. Those who tend not to like them, however, seem to be forgetting one major point:

It’s a set and, therefore, should be treated as such.

The set is designed to compliment itself, not just for the actual bonuses, but also for the range of stats that you’ll find on the set as a whole. What that means is, that the set should not be compared statistically piece-by-piece, but as a group of pieces with a range of stats that you should want. Let’s look at the protection warrior tier 9 (iLevel 232) as an example:

Head: Defence rating, dodge, block value.
Shoulders: Defence rating, dodge, expertise.
Chest: Defence rating, dodge, parry.
Gloves: Defence rating, dodge, parry.
Legs: Defence rating, hit rating, block value.

So, what we actually have is defence rating (obviously), dodge and parry for avoidance, expertise and hit rating for threat, and block value for both. In short, every stat a balanced protection warrior could possibly want is present on the set. Ignoring the argument based around encounter mechanics and current values of certain stats for the moment, everything you would expect to see on a tank’s gear is there, with the exception of block rating. So, why not block rating? Well, you have to look at the 4-piece bonus to figure that out.

Decreases the cooldown on your Shield Block ability by 10 sec.

In short, you have a higher uptime of Shield Block from the set, meaning you’ll mitigate a lot more damage if you’re wearing it and actually using the talent consistently.

Ultimately, this is how we should be viewing the armour sets; as grouped baselines of gear that the rest of your slots should be built around, and not in lieu of. This is so that you can use the set regardless of whether you’re actually gearing for threat or for endurance and, of course, depending on what you’re going to be tanking.

Now, obviously, I’ve concentrated on the Protection warrior; but the same is true of all classes and specs. People are looking to upgrade a particular slot, looking at the set option and saying, “I can’t use that, I’ll lose to much [desired stat]”. They are not appreciating that if the set was worn as a whole, said stat would certainly be present and free up other options elsewhere in your gear.

Lastly, I can pretty much guarantee that set bonuses on all sets will see use. Whether it’s something you’ll get a lot out of is potentially up to how you choose to play, but I’d be very shocked if a set bonus popped up that was of absolutely no use to anyone, whatsoever. Therefore, on top of your balanced set of gear, you’re getting two (generally) passive bonuses to abilities that your spec uses, free of charge.

In short, like everything, picking up gear sets is a choice; just don’t be fooled into thinking the sets are bad on account of that one piece not having the exact stat you want.

Grab the full picture before making your judgement.