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style="font-weight: bold;"> style="color: rgb(204, 51, 204);">The Undeath Carrier

style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 11px;">Binds
when picked up

Two-Hand Staff

232 - 429 Damage, Speed 2.40

(137.6 DPS)

+77 Strength

+100 Agility

+151 Stamina

style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Requires
Level 80

critical strike rating by 51

Increases attack power by 2084 in Cat, Bear, Dire Bear, and Moonkin
forms only.
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Gear is the proverbial carrot that most players chase and the driving
force behind most end game raiding. One of the more interesting things
that World of Warcraft
has done in its approach to the genre was to make the player feel
powerful from day one. An original slogan of the games advertisements
at launch was that you wouldn’t be killing snakes and rats
anymore - a jab at older games that forced lower level characters into
mindlessly repetitive creature grinds to gain levels in the
anticipation of having a good time. Blizzard’s use of
instancing for group content allowed them to add many dungeons into the
game and they did an excellent job of spreading them out throughout the
levels. (In this writers opinion some of the most fun and compelling
instances are in the lower level ranges). As you level up your
character and move into areas of increasing difficulty it is highly
advisable to explore these dungeons as they provide some of the best
gear at each level range, helping to increase your survivability and
viability as you progress. 

How you choose to spec your druid will make a direct impact what items
you will want to use and what instances you will want to run to obtain

Current game itemization lends to most druids using staves as their
primary weapons of choice. Restoration druids and caster druids alike
may find some very nice one handed maces or daggers along with off hand
items to maximize their abilities. Weapon attributes will mimic those
of your gear selections but will often contain your single largest
increase to your most desirable stats. 

Gearing your druid will be done mostly via quest rewards early on. At
level 15 you can start doing instances to obtain better items. As a
druid there are several sets that fit us nicely in the lower ranges
depending on the spec you choose. Most druids are leveling as feral due
to better itemization and ease of soloing with this spec. WoW uses style="font-style: italic;">armor sets
throughout the game. Armor
are several pieces of armor that work together in
form and function, most giving progressive bonuses based on the number
of pieces you acquire. While the earlier sets are rarely completed by a
player due to the speed of leveling, later stage sets are
often one of the main focuses of raid instances. Set pieces, or tier
sets, are very popular with the "played with Barbies" crowd as well as
they look nice together. 

Let’s look at the items and item types you will want to pick
up by spec and level range.

Feral DPS

Priorities: Strength,
Agility, Stamina

Secondary Priorities: Haste, Expertise, Armor Penetration

Players who choose this spec will be gearing themselves much in the
same way as href="">rogues
and will compete with them for most of all their gear. The preferred
stats of the feral druid are strength, agility and stamina. The
secondary bonuses you will look for are attack power, critical strike
and hit rating. Remember when evaluating different items that base
stats will multiply with buffs while ratings will not, this can make
the difference between two items many times. There are a couple of
other stats you will see on items that feral druids may desire and they
are haste, expertise and armor penetration. Each of these stats are
beneficial, however, they get a lower priority based on benefit and I
listed them in order of priority. One thing of which to be
considerate is assessing your own needs based on what you have
to wear at the time. I would recommend using one of the many
calculators available to achieve that balance. 

Feral DPS weapons will primarily be staves until patch 3.08 goes live
and after that polearms will be added into the equation. Always
remember that with any weapon used in a shapeshifted form, the DPS of
the weapon is irrelevant and the stats are what to evaluate. 

Feral Tanks

Priorities: Agility,

Secondary Priorities: Dodge, Defense Rating, Hit, Expertise

Druid tanks will want to focus on agility and stamina. Agility is the
top base stat for feral tanks as it gives three separate benefits in
the forms of armor class, critical attack percentage and
dodge.  Tank druids’ number one non base stat
concern should be armor. The armor multipliers have changed in href="" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Wrath of the Lich King, but
the need for high armor has not. Point for point, AC is the top concern
of the tanking druid.

Next on the list of needed stats is dodge. Avoidance is huge for all
tanks and the druid is no exception. The only downside to dodge is that
once you have achieved a 50% dodge rating you will begin to see
diminished returns.

Defense rating is next up for the tank (so many stats, so little item
slots). While this used to be one of the premier stats for feral tanks,
changes to the ‘ href=""
target="_blank">survival of the fittest’
talent have moved it down a few notches. Pre-WotLK you needed 415
defense with the talent or 475 without it to render yourself immune to
critical strikes. Post-expansion, the talent when maxed at 3 points
does this for you, however defense rating is still needed and can be
most beneficial to stack once you achieve 50% in dodge as it does not
have diminished returns. Hit and expertise ratings will also help, as
will crit, as they all contribute to your DPS which in turn helps you
keep your threat generation high. Haste is nearly meaningless to a bear
as it doesn’t affect your main tanking abilities. Feral tank
weapons will also continue to be staves; no other weapon in the game is
as well itemized to help the feral druid. 

Balance Druids

Priorities: style="font-style: italic;"> Intellect, Hit, Spell Haste,
Spell Crit

The boomkin druid will look towards intellect gear like all other
casters, and will find both leather and cloth very beneficial. Some
snobs will tell you that cloth is terrible but pay them no mind; wear
what is best. You also get a nice armor multiplier in moonkin form that
increases that cloth to proper AC levels….but if your
tanking in moonkin form you have much bigger problems than your gear.
The main stats in order of importance to you will be hit, spell damage,
spell haste, spell crit. These stats are wildly contested by the druid
community but updates to talents from WotLK have radically changed the
way balance druids will want to gear themselves. Boomchickens will find
both staves and one handed daggers, maces and off hand combos
throughout the game that will be beneficial. 

Restoration Druids

Priorities: Spirit

Secondary Priorities: Spell Power, Spell Haste

The restoration druid is perhaps the easiest of the specs to gear, as
your needs are fairly straight forward and resto gear is easily and
clearly identified. Resto druids can wear both cloth and leather
however once you progress into the Outlands and beyond you will find
much less need for cloth as the good leather drops have been increased.
The most important primary stat for a resto druid is spirit, more so
that almost any other class in the game.

The most important secondary stat and the one that you should stack
above all other, even the aforementioned spirit, is spell power. Spell
power directly influences how well you will heal. Haste is next on the
list but it can be a bit tricky. Haste directly effects how fast your
spells cast and it can also, with a high enough value, reduce the
global cooldown to 1 second. The tricky part of haste for the druid is
in mana consumption. Follow this rule and you will know if your haste
is appropriate:

  • Finishing a fight with 40% or greater mana = you can stack
    more haste
  • Finishing with 20-40% = your haste is perfect
  • Finish with under 20% and you may have too much (or you
    forgot about spirit….)

The last two stats most commonly seen on caster gear are spell crit and
spell hit, crit can be an ok stat but not at the expense of the others
ahead of it, three of our top healing spells, Lifebloom, Rejuvenation
and Wild Growth are unable to crit. Spell hit should really never be a
factor as its impossible for your healing spells to miss. The Detroit
Lions will win a super bowl, hockey will be popular in the USA and
Brittany will be a good mom before one your spells ever misses, pass
hit gear to the boomkin and smile. 

However you choose to gear your character ultimately comes down to how
and where you play your character, but rest assured this game is loaded
with easy to acquire gear that will help you each step of the way. I
hope to explore with you, in detail, level 80 gearing choices in a
future article. Until then, happy leveling! 

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016


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