Gear Deadzone

Never thought I’d be in this place again, but I spent the weekend chain-running dungeons in WoW.

My for-now main is a Demon Hunter, and I had been relatively satisfied with the ilevel ~290ish gear she had. Mobs scale up with ilevel now, and I’m not doing regular raids, so who cares? The thing is… character progression is nice. Also, I found that there must be breakpoints at which World Quests just refuse to grant higher-level gear. My understanding is that if you are at 290, you should see some 295 gear, presumably until you reach 295, at which point you’ll see 300, and so on. After 3-4 days of WQs, that did not appear to be the case.

Plus, the Alliance Warfront was active this past week, and that apparently hands out 340 gear every 20 minutes you chain-run it, with an extra 370 piece once a cycle. The catch is that you need to have 320 to queue for it. Also, you need 320 to queue for Raid Finder. So, how the hell are you supposed to hit 320?

Chain-run dungeons like a chump, apparently.

The experience has not actually been that bad, at the moment. I queued for some normal dungeons at the beginning, so I could hit the 305 breakpoint to queue for heroic dungeons. That took around two dungeons’ worth of drops. Then I ran about four heroics in a row, with about ~15 minutes of queue times inbetween them. Heroic dungeons drop 325 gear, which is nice, if a little weird considering how that’s 20 ilevels above the minimum.

During this process, I was very tempted to solve my situation with gold. First, by buying BoE epics from the AH. The DPS Darkmoon deck is 355, for example, and there were some BoE wrists that drop from Uldir too. Before committing, I decided to do the ilevel math myself to see how much of a bump that might give me. Going from a 295 trinket to 355 should be a big boost right? Well…

5016 (total ilevel) + 60 = 5076 / 16 = 317.25. Or +3.75 average ilevel.

While that ain’t nothin’, it also isn’t 320. Plus, the Fathoms deck is 70,000g at the moment. While I was poking around the AH, there were a couple of advertisements in Trade chat from people doing Mythic dungeon carries. I was very, very tempted to check up on the prices of that, out of curiosity if nothing else. Then I saw one being advertised for… 350k. Even that started to sound a bit reasonable as the Warfront window is rapidly to drawing to a close. Gold it meant to be used, right?

What brought me back to reality was Blizzard’s own intrusion into the real world. Specifically, WoW tokens. Current prices are 107k gold for $15, which meant I was about to pay $49 to get to 320 ilevel. That doesn’t seem all that good. There is often an argument to be made regarding how much time I am going to spend running heroics (etc) instead, and how I could just “work another hour of overtime” instead of spending 3+ hours doing something I don’t expressly enjoy.

First, I don’t have a job where I can just magically get overtime – that shit has to be approved on two different management levels. Second, there is a wide gulf between a distasteful or boring task in a videogame, played at home, in a comfortable chair, with a refreshing beverage, than there is with another hour spent at work. My job is relatively easy and stress-free, but I’d still rather be doing damn near anything else, including nothing, if given the chance.

Anyway, the decision is likely already made for me, as the Warfront window closes soon. I’ll continue to casually run heroic dungeons until I hit 320, so I can unlock LFR, which will give me a steady stream of gear for the rest of the expansion. This initial hump is extremely awkward though, as it’s likely to be pole-vaulted beyond for anyone playing in 8.1 given the next tier of crafted gear coming out.

I’m fine with Blizzard wanting there to be some sort of hazing phase where they want everyone doing 5-man content before “graduating” into raiding. I just think it’s weird to have Warfronts dropping 340 gear like candy for something that, by all accounts, is significantly easier than even 5-man normal dungeons. Finally getting over that 320 gear deadzone will apparently set you up for easy gear the rest of the expansion, and that’s just a strange sort of design decision.

Posted on September 25, 2018, in WoW and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. While we control the Warfronts you cannot queue for the zone unless you have 320, but there is nothing gating you from going over there while people farm rares. I did for an hour the first week and got a mount, a few pets, and several 340 pieces.

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  2. At this time, and till 6/10, you can chain brewfest dungeon boss for 335 trinkets.

    This is what I did, Brewfest boss for 2 trinkets, the rares in arathi for 2 340 drops, 2 mythic 0 with guildies for 2 items, and then do the missing slots once on WQ, and after the gear up from all that kicked in do the WQ again, and that whole chain got me from 287 to 321 in a day and a half.

    Also, on my serrver (Sylvanas EU) normal uldir gear sells for 30-50k, and non fathoms deck sell for 15-20k. I didn’t do either of those, but it is just that not all servers have such prices as yours.

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    • I have been running Brewfest once a day since it started, with zero drops of any kind. Are you saying the trinkets drop independently of the once-daily “keg”? That would certainly have helped.

      Also, I technically have a toon in a guild from when I was playing in Legion, but I don’t really talk or communicate with them in any way. I have zero particular desire to run any sort of Mythic dungeon, regardless.

      There’ll be another post tomorrow over what ended up happening on Monday evening. Spoiler alert: I hit 320 and loot started raining from the sky.

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      • You can keep running em, the trinkets are a boss drop, not part of the keg. But yea, it is a loot bonanza. I get why you run into a gear deadzone if you skip on of the big ways of gearing though.

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  3. Don’t forget the weekly world boss, which you can do without ilevel requirement. It’s a ptero in Zuldazar at the moment, and it might even be worth using your seals of fate to fish for the gloves and helm if you’ve no better options.

    Could also yolo some bgs and arenas to fill up the bar for a conquest piece (and possibly score the occasional decent piece from the crates) though the time efficiency of that is questionable.

    Also, and I realise how stupid this sounds, remember to check the individual cards if you’re shopping for a deck. Maybe the market’s become more efficient now, but that’s actually how I made about a million at the beginning of the expansion during the DMC gold rush. Not crafting the decks, just buying cards, assembling them and reselling for profit.

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