You have carved your legend
across four continents, slit a thousand
throats, looted a veritable fortune in gold, and completed a million
(at least it feels like you have) quests on your march to glory and
level 80, so what do you do now? The answer, of course, is raiding.
This handy-dandy guide is here to provide some guidelines for what
you’ll need to begin raiding. We’ll cover
everything from gear to grub to stats, so there’ll be a lot
to digest, but we’ll try to keep it simple.
I hate to do it, but we have to
start on a down note. If you just hit
level 80, the chances are that you’re not really ready to
begin to raid. Your gear is not up to snuff and you may have neglected
certain skills which give you a boost whilst raiding. I just want to
tell you that it’s ok; most people fall under this category.
The fact is, you’ll have to grind quite a bit (actually,
quite a lot, to be more precise) to be really ready to begin raiding.
So, the quicker you mentally steel yourself to this fact of life, the
better it’ll be for your mental health.
The first, and most important,
item for raiding is your
character’s stats. I’m not going to throw a bunch
of formulas or quantum physics at you, because if you’re like
me, you start getting a headache thinking about any math harder than
figuring out what to tip the waitress. I’ll give you a few
numbers and leave it at that. Anyway, the two most important stats for
you when you begin raiding are hit rating and expertise rating.
Your hit rating decreases your
chances to miss in combat.
You’ll need a minimum of 99 hit rating to begin raiding. This
is the threshold at which your special attacks (sinister strike,
mutilate, etc.) will hit. This 99 hit rating assumes that you have all
five ranks of Precision. If you do not have enough points, then augment
your gear with some +hit rating gems (such as a href="http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31861" target="_blank">
Great Dawnstone or
Smooth King’s Amber; both yellow gems) along with an
enchantment. Some +hit enchantments are Enchant Gloves: Precision,
Enchant Boots: Icewalker, and href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tth_wow_db/entry?entry_id=21378&entry_type=Items"
target="_blank">Enchant Weapon: Accuracy.
Your expertise decreases the
enemy’s chances to dodge your attacks. This is
vital in that every missed shot greatly reduces your DPS (damage per
second), which is your function in a raid. The magic number for you is
a 26 expertise (214 expertise rating). You can increase your expertise
through enchantments (such as Guardian’s Twilight Opal or
Guardian’s Dreadstone, both purple gems), talents (if
you’re combat specced), or general gear bonuses. Just
remember that all this expertise talk assumes that you’re
attacking a boss from behind. If you attack him from the front, he can
still parry you. Besides, you’re a rogue. Let the knucklehead
warriors fight from the front. A rogue’s blades are meant to
be stuck in a foe’s back.
style="width: 200px; height: 225px;">
Talking to your new best friend, Braeg Stoutbeard.
To begin raiding, you will want
all your gear to be blues, and by
blues, I mean high level blues. A level 60 blue item doesn’t
count! The sad fact is that you need good gear to raid, but that you
get the best gear in raids. A nasty catch-22, so what to do? There are
several ways to get decent enough gear to begin raiding. One method is
to buy the items you need from the auction house (if you got the dough
to do so). A second method is href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/reputation/northrend/rogue"
The four main factions
in Northrend have decent gear at honored or revered, and a great piece
of gear at exalted. It might take awhile to grind out that reputation
you’ll need, but the end result is worth it. A third method
is crafting. Most rogues take leatherworking as a craft as that it
allows you to make better armor as you level (and allows you make some
coin in the process by selling the pieces you make). With
leatherworking, you can make some really good gear to get you to
raiding goodness. For really good patterns, you’ll want to
talk to href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tth_wow_db/entry?entry_id=26884&entry_type=NPCs"
He’s a dwarf trader that can be
found in Dalaran outside the leatherworking shop. You will come to love
and almost worship him. In fact, you’ll be willing to go out
on a date with him and then go home and meet his mother. He provides
some nice blue patterns that require a leatherworking of 420 and some
sweet purple patterns that require a 440 leatherworking skill. For
blues, his Eviscerator’s style of armor is damn good. The
most notable is the shoulderpads, as that good shoulderpads are as rare
as an honest politician. For purples, his href="http://www.wowarmory.com/item-info.xml?i=43484"
are must-haves. The downside for this is that
you’ll have to kill and skin the equivalent of a large
continent’s worth of animals.
Once you start raiding, keep
an eye out for any upgrades to what
you’re wearing. Normal rogue guidelines still apply. Look for
bonuses to agility, stamina, attack power, hit rating, expertise, and
critical chances. Once you get a better piece of gear, use it!
To begin with, you’ll
need gems and enchantments that affect
your hit rating and expertise. Once you hit the numbers you need for
those stats, you’ll want to look for gems that increase your
attack power, agility, hit rating, expertise, and stamina. Red gems to
look for include the Bright Cardinal Ruby or Delicate Cardinal Ruby.
Yellow gems that are useful are Glinting Monarch Topaz, Glinting
Flawless Ametrine, or Pristine Monarch Topaz. Finally, blue gems to
keep an eye out for are Balanced Twilight Opal, Balanced Dreadstone,
Shifting Twilight Opal, and Shifting Dreadstone.
For enchantments, you’re looking for the mostly agility
bonuses and increases to attack power. A great enchantment is href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tth_wow_db/entry?entry_id=21372&entry_type=Items"
Chest: Powerful Stats, which
increases all your stats by 10. For
cloaks, look for Enchant Cloak: Major Agility, which adds 22 agility.
If you’re unable to afford them, then go for a lesser
enchant. These enchants listed are the top-of-the-line enchants, and,
therefore, very expensive. You’re better off going for a
lesser enchant (such as Exceptional Stats or Superior Agility) in the
short term as that you’ll be upgrading your gear.
For leatherworkers, you can add Fur Lining: Attack Power to your
bracers, which adds 114 attack power! See, skinning dead animals pays
Bandages and Healing
By this level, you should be
able to make Heavy Frostweave bandages.
There is no excuse if you can’t. While you’ll have
healers on raids, their primary focus will be on the tanks. Keep a good
supply of bandages and healing potions on you. You’ll get
healing (unless the healer hates you), but you’ll be expected
to help them out by not dying.
If you haven’t
learned cooking before now (I didn’t
learn it either, so there’s no shame), then do so now. At
higher levels, you’ll be able to make food, such as Blackened
Dragonfin or Dalaran Clam Chowder, which gives you a bonus to certain
stats if you eat for more than 10 seconds. These bonuses usually last
for an hour.
Flasks, Elixirs, and
For scrolls, you’ll
want to carry some scrolls of Agility,
preferably Agility VIII. Scrolls do stack with flasks and elixirs.
You’ll want to carry a few as that scrolls usually last for
30 minutes and raids go for much longer than that.
Elixirs are broken down into 2 types, battle and guardian. Elixirs
last, on the average, for an hour. You can only have one of each type
of elixir up at one time. If you have a battle elixir up, and you drink
a different battle elixir, the second elixir will replace the first
one. Battle elixirs are the useful ones for us rogues. The only useful
guardian elixirs are one that add health or resistance. Useful battle
elixirs are Guru’s Elixir (+20 to all stats), Elixir of
Mighty Agility (+45 to agility), Wrath Elixir (+90 attack power), and
Elixir of Accuracy (+45 hit rating). The main downfall of elixirs is
that if you die, then the effects of the elixir goes away as well.
Since you’ll be new to raiding, you’ll be
dying….a lot. You’ll die so many times,
you’ll think a dungeon floor is the most relaxing bed
you’ve ever slept on.
Flasks are a different story. Flasks count as both a guardian and
battle elixir, so you can have the effect of one flask at a time, but
no elixirs at all. The upside is that the benefits of a flask do not
disappear upon your eventual demise, but continue to last as long as
the original duration, which is normally 2 hours. The best flask is the
Flask of Endless Rage, which adds 180 attack power. A lesser flask is
the Flask of Relentless Assault, which adds 120 attack power.
All in all, it takes a lot of time, effort, and gold to properly get
begin raiding. If the grind gets too monotonous, then make sure you do
something fun to break it up. Hopefully, the suggestions above will
help steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
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