Home > General > Greens Replacing HM Gear? Not quite!

Greens Replacing HM Gear? Not quite!

Recently, while questing in Mount Hyjal people were complaining about replacing their heroic mode Icecrown Citadel gear with Uncommon quality “green” items from the quests in Mount Hyjal (and in Vashj’ir as I have been told), but from my experience questing through the zone, I was not finding the same “upgrades” that they were seeing.  So, I decided to do a little investigating on the items.

Now, having played in a semi-hardcore (9/12 Heroic ICC) guild during Wrath, and having been decked out in some relatively high-end gear (average ilevel of 267 at the end of Wrath), I decided to investigate the claims of these people, specifically regarding my priest.  So, I decided to do some gear-checking using Wowhead.com’s wonderful database.

As far as my search goes, I was specifically interested in gear related to the PvE aspect of the game, and decided to use the normalized stat-weightings from the latest SimulationCraft results for Shadow Priests (currently Tier 11).  The stat weights are as follows (NOTE: if you are looking for an upgrade, and are over the hit-cap, simply remove Hit Rating from the stat weights):

Intellect 1.0000
Spell power 0.7935
Haste Rating 0.5031
Critical Strike Rating 0.4040
Mastery Rating 0.3857
Hit Rating 0.3741
Spirit 0.3732

There are a few select pieces of gear, even now, that will be “junk” gear, simply because they don’t have the actual stats I am looking for, so I normally add the following stat-weights to force them to be excluded:

Strength -1000
Agility -1000
Resilience -1000

Now, because I also only want to view upgrades, and in this case a very small subset of upgrades, I like to add a few more options.  First of all, I know that Blizzard made it so that Epic quality (purple) items are not available from the 5-man dungeons (including heroic modes), so I limited my item quality to Uncommon (green) and Rare (blue) items, and because I am looking for upgrades over my current gear, I added a minimum ilevel of 264 to the search.  Also, because I may be using these items for a while, I figured that I may as well configure the search to automatically adjust for Reforging.  Lastly, I only really want items from Cataclysm (because I am no longer active in Wrath of the Lich King level content), so I added a filter for items added in the current expansion.  The results were actually not surprising to me (and can be viewed on here).

After looking through all of the results in my search, I have concluded that the people complaining about replacing all of their heroic mode items from Icecrown Citadel in either Hyjal or Vashj’ir really need to learn how to compare their gear.  My reasoning for this statement: only a total of 11 items from the previous search would be considered “upgrades” with only one of those items coming from a quest (Bottled Neurons is available from the quest “All that Rises” in the Abyssal Depths), and the remainder being world drops that can drop in any of the Cataclysm zones (namely the Mereldar, Thondroril, Blackwolf, and Sorrowmurk Scepter/Spellblade) or having an extremely low drop rate, like the Sealing Heartstaff which has a rate of  about 0% (rounded of course) as of this writing.

Keep in mind that this is not to say that someone doesn’t go dungeon running and pick up items, because then they could very well be replacing items, and they probably should be with these items because that is how gear progression is intended to work, but to the people that are complaining that they are replacing all of their heroic mode Icecrown Citadel gear with level 81-82 green items, all I can say to you is “Yeah, Right!” learn how to compare your items.

Is it possible that people could replace a high level WotLK item with a Cataclysm green item, sure, but assuming that other classes have similar results to mine, I question anyone that says they are replacing all of their gear.

See you in the Shadows,


Categories: General
  1. Mitchell
    December 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    When I follow your link, the search shows zero results so I’m not entirely sure what’s the story there. A bit of experimentation shows that putting anything in the stat weights table removes all the results. Grr.

    Fact-free theorizing follows: you should expect to replace every item you currently have with quest rewards unless Blizzard somehow forgot how to itemize between making LK gear and making CT gear.

    Hyjal and Vash’jr drop ilevel 272-288 gear, while ICC-25 HM gear is 277. So unless the quest gear is incorrectly itemized, it should be normally be an upgrade. If it isn’t and in fact isn’t almost always, then there was a design decision made about gear itemization that leads to moving upwards in gear tiers to be a downgrade. Alternately, the epic gear may be perfectly itemized and uncommon gear is intentionally disoptimized (which would be plausible and perhaps reasonable).

    Without the tool, stat weighting is a pain so I’m going to just take one example and, being a lazy slacker, will be the first item on the page.

    “Ancient Beth’moran cloak” (item 59692) is a quest reward in Vash’jr. It has 98 intellect, 67 haste, and 64 mastery, so (98)(1)+(67)(0.5031)+(64)(0.3857)=156.3925. According to your profile, your current cloak has 83 intellect, 60 spirit, 20 haste, and 52 crit, so (83)(1)+(60)(0.3732)+(20)(0.5031)+(52)(0.4040)=136.462 so it would be an upgrade.

    Unfortunately for this discussion, I have no way of knowing if this was one of the 11 items your search didn’t cull.

    • December 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM

      It appears that Wowhead has had some issues with their database, with the profiles not appearing properly, and some of the searching not working at all when you set certain options, both of which are possibly related to large amounts of traffic, etc.

      Regardless, I was using the Volde’s Cloak of the Night Sky for my cloak, which would have the following Pseudopower calculated, using the stat-weights above:

      Volde’s Cloak of the Night Sky
      Intellect: 83 + 40 (gem) = 123
      Spirit: 60 – 24 (Reforging) = 36
      Crit: 52
      Haste: 24 (Reforging)

      (123 * 1.0000) + (36 * 0.3732) + (52 * 0.4040) + (24 * 0.5031) =
      123 + 13.4352 + 21.008 + 12.0744 = 169.5176

      Ancient Beth’moran cloak
      Intellect: 98
      Haste: 67
      Mastery: 64 – 25 (Reforging) = 39
      Crit: 25 (Reforging)

      (98 * 1.0000) + (67 * 0.5031) + (39 * 0.3857) + (25 * 0.4040) =
      98 + 33.7077 + 15.0423 + 10.1 = 156.85

      I noticed that you did not include the gem socket in your calculations, so I added it to Volde’s Cloak, and as you can see, the Ancient Beth’moran Cloak, is not an upgrade over Volde’s Cloak (assuming you were to re-gem it with one of the new +40 Intellect gems).

      As it turns out, there are a total of 9 significant pre-heroic upgrades to back items that are better than Volde’s Cloak (by significant, I refer to higher valued using Wowhead’s auto-normalized values), with 3 of those being quest rewards (none within the Hyjal/Vashj’ir areas), 2 of them being zone drops in instances, and the remaining 4 coming from bosses.

      This sort of thing is actually very typical of almost every slot, and given, you may find a few items in Hyjal/Vashj’ir quests, but if you are a heroic geared Wrath player, you definitely should not be replacing entire sets of gear in the first two zones.

      Basically, the rate (level) at which you replace your gear should be roughly determined as follows:
      Heroic 25m ICC: 83
      Normal 25m/Heroic 10m ICC: 82
      Normal 10m ICC: 81
      Below ICC: 80

  2. Mitchell
    December 10, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Gah … read it twice without noticing I failed to include my actual response. Sometimes I am a dork.

    So anway, a priori we would expect you to replace your gear fairly quickly as everything that drops should be an upgrade assuming it’s of the correct type (cloth caster gear). If your search only finds eleven items in two full zones of higher-ilevel-dropping-and-rewarding content, perhaps something is awry with the search terms.

  3. December 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    I have updated the link to the upgrade items, so that it should include results closer to what I would expect to be comparing when it comes to gear.


    Remember, though, that you can click the “View More Results” link for each slot on that search.

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