Tuesday, May 20, 2008

These Boots are Made for Healing

I use Treads of the Life Path on Salanthe. These are truly wonderful healing boots and are very hard to replace, particularly if you gem and enchant them properly. While they may be looked down upon in some circles for being badge vendor boots (not even 2.4 badge vendor boots), I stand by them (hehe) as one of my most solid pieces of gear.
Normally, most shaman will replace them with Stillwater Boots from Hyjal. As one of our druid healers said one night while evaluating upgrades, they have a higher item level so that makes them better! Sorry, but no. Crunch some numbers on those boots and you'll see that the sockets make the badge vendor boots infinitely superior to the boots from Hyjal.

With rare gems and the Vitality enchant, the badge vendor boots have 619 armor, 21 stamina, 37 intellect, 12 mp5, and 100 +healing. With the same enchant, the Hyjal boots have 679 armor, 39 stamina, 36 intellect, 14 mp5, and 84 healing. The badge vendor boots are superior, as the slight gain in survivability (armor and stamina) does not outweigh the loss to +healing.

When the Hyjal boots first dropped and I had an opportunity to bid on them, I did some frantic number crunching and whispered my feral druid friend for confirmation. At a quick glance of both pairs of boots, he agreed with my hurried calculations: the badge reward boots were better. Thus, I passed on Hyjal boots. When they dropped again recently, I blithely passed on them again and decided that it might be time to give my faithful treads some love.

After chatting with my guild leader, I got the okay to switch my rare gems to epic gems. * I sent a note to the guild jewelcrafter and I hope to get my new and improved gems soon. I also decided to re-enchant them after our attempts on the Illidari Council yesterday evening.

From the very beginning of my shaman healing experience, I have been a stalwart proponent of mana per 5 seconds. It was the one gearing rule I lived by. I would not replace a piece of gear unless it improved my mp5 and every last piece of gear I used had mp5 on it. I gemmed for mp5 and enchanted for it. I took pride in watching my total raid buffed mp5 reach new heights each week and it honestly pained me to lose a couple mp5 if I had to upgrade something.

While this is a very good rule for shaman just beginning to heal, it falls apart when you reach about 1800 +healing. It is about that time that you should consider dropping some of that mp5 for more +healing. Here's the reasoning, and believe me, it has taken me a long time to come to terms with this. With more +healing, you can use downranked heals, thus conserving mana. With mp5, you are merely trying to make up what mana you've already used, much like trying to fill up a bathtub with the drain unblocked.

My beloved treads had the Vitality enchant on them for a long time. This enchant gives you 4 health and mana every 5 seconds. It's the mp5 to boots enchant. Well, I decided today that having Boar's Speed, which gives you +9 stamina and a minor increase to speed, was preferable to 4 mp5. To those of you that have done Illidari Council, this makes a great deal of sense. Being able to move quickly out of the myriad of things that you shouldn't be standing in is the key to the fight, and a little extra stamina doesn't hurt either.

With upgraded gems and the new enchant, the badge vendor boots have 619 armor, 30 stamina, 38 intellect, 8 mp5, and 104 +healing. Were I to get the Hyjal boots and enchant them the same way, they would have 679 armor, 48 stamina, 36 intellect, 10 mp5, and 84 +healing. Again, the slight gain in survivability does not outweigh the loss to healing.

Hence, I am very happy to spend some money on those wonderful boots of mine, badge vendor gear or not. Those 60 badges have earned their keep and will continue earning it until the day I get Tier 6 boots.

* All gems from Hyjal and Black Temple are master looted to the guild bank and we have to ask the guild jewelcrafter to cut epic gems for us. We are only allowed to put epic gems in Hyjal and Black Temple gear that will be used for raiding. In other words, no epic gems in pvp gear. While this may be argued against and grate against some of our raiders, we do not have a huge surplus of gems and the vast majority of us are getting upgrades still. It is fair. And we are allowed to upgrade gems in "lower quality" items, but we have to get the guild leader's approval.

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