5.2 Gear List – a Work in Progress

Blame it on end of tier burnout or being busy with moving – either way, I’ve been slacking. In my time away from the blog, Something Wicked finished up Tier 14, bagging a Realm First! Sha of Fear achievement. I was promoted to a full member. I even finally managed to not die on Heroic Imperial Vizier. I’ve tried to stay up with most of the upcoming changes in 5.2, and I’ll be writing a post to summarize some of the changes, but most of my summary will actually be of discussions that have happened on MMO-Champion. I know it’s a bit late – by all accounts, 5.2 is coming out Tuesday, March 5th, but damn it I’m going to try and catch up.

Something that I haven’t seen is a comprehensive gear list for 5.2 – so I’m making one similar to one I used for last tier. The way I used this last tier was to Ctrl+F the boss name or the item slot before or after doing each boss to see if the coin was worth it, to see if there was another boss later in the instance/raid night that was likely to give me what I wanted, and to see quickly how each item was itemized. The lists are more or less sorted from worst to best from a T15H BiS Affliction/Demonology point of view – that is, crit sucks. At the moment, the list is only ilvl 522 – but you can safely assume that Thunderforged, Heroic, Heroic Thunderforged items all follow the same order, as do Raid Finder items (but the Valor and World Boss items are better than the Raid Finder ones, whereas the Valor and World Boss items are worse than the Thunderforged, Heroic and Heroic Thunderforged items).

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The Value of a Soul Shard

The Warlock community has always had an excellent group of theorycrafters, partly because the community could always count on SimulationCraft to do a lot of heavy lifting, and Zakalwe, a Warlock, is a very active SimCraft developer. Since MoP, however, the changes to Warlock mechanics made it so that SimCraft has struggled to provide comprehensive answers about optimal Warlock play. A large part of this is the introduction of Pandemic, making DoT refreshing more of an art than a science; the other part of this is because Warlocks are an ‘actual’ resource based class for the first time – Affliction has Soul Shards, Demonology has Demonic Fury, and Destruction has Burning Embers.

To compound the problem, these resources aren’t like the other resources in MoP – the build up for them is fairly long and slow, and the proper use of these resources dictates that they should be pooled. So while Hunters can calculate the marginal value of a point of focus just by looking at the DPS of a rotational ability like Arcane Shot, figuring the marginal value of a Soul Shard is not quite as simple.

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5.2! Early Impressions

Blizzard posted a 5.2 PTR patch note preview just a few days ago – an early Christmas present and a little something to whet our appetite for Azeroth in the new year. By now, a variety of outlets have covered the ins and outs of the patch, and some of the new things. Out of all the things, I’m excited about the new raid size (12 bosses, and 1 on Heroic only!), about tap to faction World Bosses, about some of the farming improvements, and about the pet changes.

But what about for Warlocks?

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