Sunday, 28 September 2008

The wind of change: part 1

The expansion is almost upon us. And it will bring some welcome, some not so welcome and some baffling changes. The PTRs are live, with the new talents incorporated; the news spells embodied; it's going to be a pretty big adjustment, especially for the paladin community. For a class that was average at best, we suddenly have a lot to deal with. Of course first, we have to get to level 80.

Of course most people will be speccing retribution for leveling through Northrend. Some will be going protection, for the aoe grinding, and some will be holy for no reason that I can see. And this brings up an interesting thought: Although gear has been promised to be more paladin-esque, what's going to happen when we first get there? Will you slowly replace bits of gear whilst trying to level in your healing gear? Are you going to stomp through in your Tier 6 retribution gear? Or are you going to try and collect some base line epics before launch?

I have opted for the third. I am of course going to be retribution, and it's surprisingly easy to get gear. Heroics provide some blues and the occasional epic. Karazhan no only supplies epics quickly and frequently but also gives 22 badges per full run, and those shattered sun badge rewards are oh so nice. There's season 2 gear available for honour, some people will even have season 3 and 4 from their arena teams. All raids provide good gear as long as no-one minds you taking it. And then theres blacksmithing plans, engineering schematics, the auction house, boe items, quests; all these will easily get you blues and epics. Some ways are cheaper than others, but some are quicker and some are just plain easier. It really is, an open book/libram.

Of course getting gear in the expansion could work too. I haven't seen much of the gear from early quests and drops, but I'm willing to guess that it will fill some holes. Of course, if you're wearing holy gear as retribution, it could be a bit slower to level at first, but your getting there pretty well. I can also see the problem of being a bit...underpowered. It's not a nice experience to be in greens whilst everyone else's TBC gear lasts them till the late 70's. A 70 epic can still be better than a 73 blue. But it is the cheapest option, and requires the least work.

Personally I prefer to collect some gear now. It will last well into the 70's, maybe even to 80 if you're in tier 6, and then all those greens and blues from quests can be vendored or put up for auction. That way there's money for when you reach 80, and for getting skills. I can also recommend the shattered sun offensive badge rewards, and the pvp rewards as a good way for some quick epics. I bought a breastplate from SSO today because I had 1o5 badges left in my inventory. Even if you haven't been hording them like me, they're easy to get.

So, let's get moving, let's get geared, and lets get ready. Because the wind of change is starting to blow, and this is only the beginning...

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