Posted by: innerfire | May 30, 2006

Gearing up

Now, while I don’t care about loot (ie; I won’t die if I don’t get some piece of Prophecy or if another priest gets Benediction/Anathema) I do understand that gear can make a huge difference wherever you go. Skill is more important than gear, but gear can easily make up for being new, not knowing your particular role, making mistakes… look at PvP, when you’re facing the BWL-geared raiding guild teams, and you know what I mean. They may suck fudgebunnies, but that gear makes them pretty hard to kill.

So, what do you do? What kind of gear should you have, and what do you need to know for wherever you go? I’ve been semi-tutoring a young shadow priestess as she’s getting closer and closer to 60, and I want to go over a few basic rules first. Then I’ll cut this into a Read More, and you can view the specifics.

Basic Rules for Instancing

  1. If you don’t know what to do, ask someone. Ask a friend who has played longer than you, ask your teammates, ask your guildmates. They can give you a good idea of what your role in a group is, and what you need to watch out for. We were all new at some point; don’t be afraid to ask.
  2. You’re going to have multiple sets of gear. Period. Find yourself some 16-slot bags and just accept it. Why?
    1. Gear breaks. Especially in Molten Core, etc, and if you’re new. Your gear will break,and it’ll be your bracers/belt/shoes first. Keep spare sets, and if you can manage it, get extra pieces of Devout (or whatever your class stuff is) when no one else needs it. Don’t ninja it from someone who hasn’t got it, but if it’s between backup gear and sharding, go ahead and take it.
    2. You need different gear for different things –
      1. As a priest, I sacrifice all my beloved +int and +mana/5 sec for stamina in PvP, because otherwise I will not survive. You’ve got 3k hp on average at 60 (with decent gear) and that mage with all his MC trinkets can fireball you on a regular basis for 1700. Add that to 2-3k crits, and you’re going down. Stamina is your friend, young jedi.
      2. Big mana pool or regen power? Are you going into a long fight, where you’ll be healing in shifts with the other healers? You need to set up your +spirit and +mana regen gear beforehand, or you won’t be ready when your turn comes up again.
      3. As a shadow priest, I have to switch between +shadow and my +healing/+int gear, depending on if I’m DPSing or healing. You don’t always know in advance what you’ll be doing, so it’s easier to just carry it around.
      4. RP gear. Do you really want to wear your mismatched crap (because you haven’t finished a set yet) when you’re trying to sound like a respectable member of society? I think not. Enough said.
  3. Start instancing as soon as people will let you. This was easier when you could raid Scholomance, Stratholme, etc, and a level 51 surrounded by 60s wasn’t a big deal. The way I see it, once you hit 60, you’re going to want to do Molten Core, etc, since that’s what all your level 60 friends are doing. Who wants to be left behind? If you’re already geared up, leveling up by instancing in the process (much more fun than grinding) then you’ll be in a better situation when you want into that Molten Core group. All blue (rare) equipment looks a lot better compared to Random Joe in his greens and blues, speaking frankly. It shows (or implies) that you have the time to devote, are experienced, and won’t be a hinderance to that MC farming raid.

The Specifics:

The mana regen debate has been going on since the first priest went “OOOOOHHH” at a +5 mana / 5 sec piece. Which is better, Spirit or +/5 sec? Let’s look at the math first. This goes over the Five Second Rule of mana regeneration. I’ll summarize my view:

If you are going into a long battle where you’re working in shifts, spirit is better. Spirit benefits you only with Meditation and after the five second rule (you cannot regen mana for five seconds after casting). +mana/time is better if you’re a shadow priest with limited mana (our mana pool is around 6k well geared, compared to 8-10k disc priests) because you’re constantly casting. +mana/time works regardless of the five second rule, but usually doesn’t give you as much.

Most priests I know of follow the int/stam/spirit model, in that order. I’m an int/stam/mana over time model. I’ll be respeccing to Disc soon to make up for the lack of really experienced healers in the New Moon Raids, but I still intend to go with mana over time, simply because I continually cast until I’m out, then pull out trinkets and potions to keep going past empty.



  1. Great post.

    Right on target, too.

    My bags are always full of various sets of gear. I sort them by their primary attributes. In other words, I have a “set” for Stamina (pvp), a set for attack power (pve), a balanced set, a fire resist set, an RP set, a dodge set, a crit % set, etc. Sure, most of these sets use some common gear (else no way I could hold it all), but I carry around nearly two full sets of gear constantly. Never know where you’ll end up or what you’ll need. At the end of an instance run, when I’m on a boss, I often switch to Stamina gear (that I mostly use for pvp), so that the healer doesn’t have to worry about me as much, and so I live longer.

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