Gearing past Kara

Matticus has a recent post asking what you think minimum stats for post-kara — specifically for ZA — might be.  Unfortunately his example hit two of my major peeves and I sidetracked.  To answer his question, then, without the taint of my annoyances… this post.

The answer is: a lot less than people think.  Remember, minimums.   And unlike going INTO Kara, we’ve actually got an honest-to-god VALUE from Blizzard about ZA.  If, of course, we’re willing to do a bit of work.

Blizzard believes that ZA is challenging for people who are geared mostly from Kara.  We know from past announcements that when they say this they believe players may be less than 100% geared from that source, but it still gives us a solid baseline.

“All” you need to do is walk through the gear that drops that’s for that class/spec.  (I recommend Kaliban for this, it saves a great deal of effort.)  When there are two or more items for a slot, take the lesser of the two.  (For example, Headdress of the High Potentate instead of T4.)  Add second tier gems (ie, Nightseyes instead of either Shadow Draenites OR shadowsong amethysts).  Hold off a minute on enchants, and add it up.

As a priest, you’ll add the healing bonuses and the MP5 bonuses.  If your priest is spirit oriented, add 10% of spirit to the healbonus — and another 15 for the innate character’s spirit.  For MP5, take the gear bonus, and add 18.75% of the gear’s spirit (plus 28 for innate spirit).

I’m actually not going to add the numbers for you.   Quite frankly, it’s because you won’t believe how low it is (relatively).  Nonetheless – in the eyes of Blizzard, that’s the baseline.  Really good players COULD go in with a bit less, and it’s quite possible to go there with more.

ZA is specifically intended as the place to go after Kara if you’re not guilded for 25-man raids.  If you’re geared for SSC, you’re overgeared for Zul.


~ by Kirk on December 21, 2007.

4 Responses to “Gearing past Kara”

  1. I don’t know about that last bit, Kirk. Even us T5 wearers are still struggling through it. It’s definitely no walk in the park unless you’re completely T6’d. Remember some of the stuff that drops from ZA is either on par with or slightly better than SSC.

  2. Matticus, that last line is exactly what BLIZZARD says about it, not me.

    OTOH, the other day we did the bear (time prevented anything else, but we wanted that first quest bit) with a group that was with two exceptions ZA-virgins with Kara/T4.

    To that point, I’m “only” Kara/T4, and do my share right through it all.

    I suspect that as people figure it out, it’ll turn out to be on par with the places that drop T5. It looks that way on paper, and feels that way so far.

  3. I think claiming that ZA is on par with places that drop T5 is consistent with Blizzard’s statement. If you’re killing Prince, and you can field a 25-man raid, you can be in SSC and TK (getting T5). Gruul and Mag aren’t gear checks so much as they are raid competency/makeup checks.

    It should be a challenge, no doubt, but once you’re through Kara, each instance after will be a challenge as there’s very little crafted/5-man gear (aside from a few of the new badge rewards) to help you push past the perceived gear gap… other than downing bosses in those instances. (and farming the ones you’ve cleared)

    ZA helps by adding an alternative to SSC and TK to gearing up… As well as offering an alternative to farming Kara for months and months to gear up your guild.

    It’s probably similar to the release of ZG. When ZG first came out, my guild in blues and some greens rapidly (~2-3 weeks of resets or so) cleared all the bosses in it (as well as AQ20). Some of the most progressed guilds on the server (in T2 level epics) wiped just as much as we did on certain bosses (Ex: Jin’do – many assumed he was too difficult as a result). ZG was a great instance in that the fights were difficult, but the gear requirement level was set low enough for a fresh 60 to walk in and start making progress.

    I make no claims about ZA difficulty as my guild dissolved and I’ve never gone there… But gear is rarely the impediment to guild progression provided you’re not ‘jumping’ instances. 🙂 I argued for slower progress for my guild in the past making claims that the gear was what was stopping us. Thinking back, I’ll bet I was wrong on every occasion.

    In a 5-man, a geared healer can replace a good healer (or tank or dps or CC). In raiding, a smart player able to make snap decisions on their own in the interest of the raid as a whole, cannot be replaced by any amount of gear.

  4. ZA is definatly not after kara party.
    The animal bosses should be doable with a skilled kara geared or even less group tho.

    However, Malacress and Zuljin require more gear and skill then kara has to offer. And with that, you will never ever make the timers with a kara geared group.

    Think its more of a challenge for the t6 content people in the end, then for the people who got bored raiding after Karazhan.

    *light t5 geared holy priest, who cleared zulaman several times with 2 timers*

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