Since this will be cross posted to be my first post on Big Hit Box, perhaps a bit of introduction is in order.
My name is Honorshammer and I’ve been tanking on my Paladin since Patch 2.0. This was the Burning Crusade preview patch where we got the talents and new spells but were still stuck at level 60. I'm a Tank through and through, more Juggernaut than Wolverine. The big numbers I get excited about are my health and stamina, not my latest crit.
So what in the world is a Paladin Tank doing writing an article for Big Hit Box. You guys lay the wood, not me.
But Patch 3.1 is now up on the PTR and with it the ability to Dual Spec. For many Tanking Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors for that new second spec they will choose a DPS spec. Likewise for DPS, many will choose a Tanking spec. But a spec is only half the battle, the other half is gear. While you can’t start your dual spec until the patch is live, you can start today with building your new gearset.
Now with all that established, what I want to talk about today is how to build your offset, and some ‘failsafe’ options for building a starter set. The sets covered here should be adequate for most Heroics and even Naxx10. They are built from the mindset of a Paladin, however; these items will be useful for Warriors and possibly even Death Knights as well, although by my own admission I’m not overly familiar with Death Knight mechanics.
Okay, so you’ve basically got 7 resources to obtain gear with: Gold, Quests, Reputation, Emblems, PVP, Drops, and Raiding.
The first 5 are what I call the ‘failsafe’ options. You know as soon as you collect enough of the resource, you can obtain whatever it is you are going after.
Quest Rewards can be a little tricky because often you will be offered a Tanking piece and a DPS piece from the same quest, and you have to decide which one you will choose. I’m sure many have completed their questing days, but perhaps I can highlight a quest or two you missed leveling up that might provide a good starter item.
The last two require some help from lady luck and the Random Number Generator. First you need the item you want to drop, and then you need to win the item.
Drops are defined as items that drop from bosses in 5 mans and Heroics. Generally these are Need/Greed rolled and the Random Number Generator decides who wins the item.
If you’ve joined a pure PuG, I recommend you ask about offspec loot prior to first boss. If the run is in progress (and they’ve already downed a boss), ask about it BEFORE you zone in and get saved. Most groups run a Need if you Need it, Greed else wise. This implies you can roll on offspec gear as you ‘need’ it, but I like to go a step further.
When you join the group as a DPS, it would be considerate to ask to the Tank if he’s okay with you rolling on Tanking drops. Remember that for Rings, Cloaks, Necks, and Trinkets, you may be rolling against Druids, as well as other Plate Wearers. Likewise, if you are the Tank, it would be considerate to ask the physical DPSers if they are okay with you rolling on DPS gear.
If you do want to roll on offspec gear, you should likewise be okay with other people doing that as well. If you are the Tank and express a desire to roll on DPS gear, you better not get upset if the DPS wants to roll on Tanking stuff.
If they say that they aren’t cool with you rolling on ‘their’ stuff, you have two options. Stay in the group, and know you won’t get any help for your ‘offset’, or leave and find another group.
Perhaps they are running the Heroic hoping for one specific drop. We all have stories about running Dungeon X time after time trying to get that one upgrade we needed. For example, many Tanks run Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle again and again for the Red Sword. In that case, they might be cool with you rolling on anything else, but not their one ‘precious’. Maybe for you it was the Meteorite Whetstone, which I almost lost to a mage who thought we were going to disenchant it.
But the important thing is you’ve discussed this before the loot is on the floor, and before anyone is saved or has spent any time on the instance.
Now, if you were running with your guild, you should consider passing to people who are upgrading their main ‘Raid’ spec. This makes your Raid Team stronger, and ultimately helps you out.
When you get to actual Raiding, each guild will have to decide how it handles ‘offspec’ loot and how it will handle the new options that Dual spec opens up. Usually you can get ‘offspec’ loot after the ‘main’ specs don’t need it anymore. But each guild will handle it slightly differently.
The next two posts will cover the actual ‘failsafe’ gear list. On Tuesday, I’ll cover the Tanking list and on Wednesday, I’ll go over the DPS list.