So you’ve started heroics, maybe even hit Naxx up already. If so I’m jealous. My favorite healer has been but we only have 6 80’s so I’m still waiting. In the meantime I’ve collected a few emblems of heroism and need to decide how to spend them.
Right now, when you check out the badge vendor you won’t see much. I suspect Blizz will patch some more goodies in sometime in the future. The question becomes, what order to get your upgrades. I’ve said it before, I’m pragmatic. Best in class gear for each slot is nice but if I can get 95% of the benefit with 50% of the effort I’m ahead of the game.
So how should you decide to get your badge gear? Some people will say, get the cheapest upgrades first, others will say, save up for the T7 chest. Me, I’m all about the biggest incremental gain per badge. WTF scourge, you gonna explain that?
Damn straight I will, and let me tell you upfront, you’ll need a calculator. I used a spreadsheet.
First things first. Incremental gain per badge is simply the extra benefit a new item gets me over my current item divided by the badge cost. (New-Old)/Badges. That’s the easy part.
The harder part is weighing all the items. All items can be reduces to their Attack Power equivalency which gives a DPS rating. I used the stat conversions over at the EJ DPS Compendium. Since I’m unholy I used their Unholy conversions. This is actually pretty easy, just multiply the items strength by its factor, the hit by its factor, ect and add them all up. Now you can compare every item from a DPS prospective. Bigger the number the better the item. You can also do the same thing with tank points. You can use the tank points addon to get some quality ratings for each item. I devised my own since I will be adding the tank value to the dps value of each item and I want to put additional weight on the tanking benefit an item gets me.
Now that you’ve created a DPS value and Tank value for all the badge gear you might want, and your current items you can start your comparison. Remember, to compare DPS specific rewards to your DPS set, tanking to tanking, or items you think will work for both to both. Simply take the difference (New(DPS+Tank))-(Old(DPS+Tank)) This is the incremental gain calculation.
So when I ran the numbers my biggest gain per badge is Chained Military Gorget Neck piece. It’s a sweet epic with 33 defense, 41 strength, 75 stamina, 32 dodge, and 21 hit. This is obviously a nice piece, so are the epic belts and T7 tokens. So why does this rate so high for me? One it’s relatively inexpensive at 25 emblems. In fact I can buy it next time I log in. Second, and more important, my current neck piece blows. I’m wearing the quest blue from the Icecrown argent crusade chain. I know I have that on my easy to get gear, but I’m moving past that. Not only is this a nice tanking upgrade, all the plus hit and the 17 additional strength will really help with the DPS as well.
There is still another thing you need to consider in using your list you built. Always save enough badges for the top item on your list. You will not need to review your list until you either purchase the top item on it or you upgrade your target slot through other means.
For example, after I get my neck, I will focus on the T7 gloves. But let’s say I pick up a new set of gloves along the way before I get enough badges. I will need to update my current gear points, which will lower the incremental gain the T7 gloves will give me, which will then reduce their value per badge. This may mean the T7 gloves will not be my top priority anymore and I will have to move on to the next item on my list.
The whole point of this, is to get the most value out of your badges and to keep you from wasting them on gear that doesn’t do anything for you.
Just a couple of last thoughts. If all you plan to do is DPS, ignore the tank points on any gear and just calculate the incremental using the attack power equivalency. PvP’ers may want to replace tank points with some weighting for the stam and resilience that many items have.
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