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.