August 6, 2010

Raid Rx: Is that DPS gear or healing gear?

Got an email this week from a reader. We'll call him G. I'm sure it's a question that many raid leaders or loot masters had to struggle with over the years.

[...] When cloth item A drops, our caster DPS and healers always /roll on it; the caster DPS doesn't seem to mind if it's MP5 or spirit. Let's take an example of the Cord of the Patronizing Practitioner. Our warlock says spirit is good for him and he /rolls; our priest says it's healer gear [because] of the spirit [as] regeneration for him; and our mage of course wants this also.

The healer complains the caster DPS gets to roll not only on items like this but also on cloth stuff with +hit, effectually rolling on everything cloth in ICC. I can kinda see what he means. My question is what's an easy way to differentiate "healer" gear from caster "DPS" gear, or is it all rolled into one big pot now?

Thanks for any help you can give me, I am not the guild leader but I am the full time loot master, the guild leader has given it to me to decide, as he's never played any caster at all.
Well, G, I don't have a lot of DPS toons myself, but I'll do my best to explain it. The loot system I use is loot council for my raiding guild, and this is a situation we deal with in an ongoing basis as loot drops from bosses.

  • Paladin loot is self-explanatory.

  • MP5 is generally a healing stat.

  • Crit and haste are beneficial for both roles.

As always, whom you ultimately decide to hand loot over to is going to depend on a number of factors such as:

  • attendance

  • performance

  • gear needs

  • level of content

  • seniority in guild or raid group

  • spec

And there are probably more things to consider than that. If we omit the above factors, though, there are a few guidelines we can use if we base our decisions purely on stats. So here we go!

If you're deciding gear on the fly, then use the following purely as a rule of thumb.
  • Hit If it has hit rating, it's generally used for DPS players. They need that hit rating to hit mobs. Contrary to whatever you may hear in trade chat, you don't need hit gear to heal people. If a healer says to you he needs the hit in order to heal, get yourself a new healer right now.

  • Spirit Usually, the healers will want to claim priority on it first. But I believe mages and warlocks have abilities that convert spirit into a desirable stat, such as Molten Armor and Fel Armor.

  • MP5 If you see this on gear, option it to your healers first. I can see situations where extremely undergeared DPS would want it since it could possibly be an upgrade no matter what.

  • Crit It's universal for both roles. It's not necessarily wrong for a healer to take a crack at it. It's an item that will benefit either.

  • Haste Like crit, haste is also beneficial. Having more haste means you can do stuff way faster, the more haste rating you have. Who doesn't want to do things faster? DPS players want haste so they can fire off more spells. Healers want more haste so they unload heals more quickly.

WOW: Gear for paladins

This is fairly straightforward. Protection- and retribution-specced paladins want nothing to do with spell power. Holy paladins can't seem to get enough of it. Your gear will have varying amounts of MP5, haste and crit depending on the level of content you're doing. Since you don't have any competition, feel free to go nuts.

For stuff like trinkets and weapons, if mana isn't a problem for you, then you'll typically want to lean toward something with haste and crit over MP5. A perfect example would be Belt of the Lonely Noble.

Don't let me catch you going after spirit weapons (until Cataclysm, at least).

Gear for shaman

Unlike paladins, there are two shaman specs that both utilize spellpower. Elemental and restoration shamans want spellpower, but the wishes of the preferred secondary specs are going to vary. Follow the same outline as above. At higher levels when mana isn't an issue, it's not uncommon for a resto shaman to want mail gear with haste and crit rating. If you're the loot master, keep in mind that both will benefit from an item like a Split Shape Belt. There's no hit rating on it, so it doesn't scream "DPS," but there is a ton of haste and crit.

An item like the Mail of Crimson Coins is going to garner more interest from a resto shaman than anyone else.

WOW: Gear for druids

While spirit isn't entirely useless for balance druids, you may wish to pass it off to a resto druid first in case they need extra regeneration. While I admit I'm not as well versed with healing druids as I should be, from what I understand, they value haste more than crit. Get that global cooldown all the way down, right?

WoW: Gear for priests

Last but not least, this is the trickiest, as there is an abundance of cloth-wearing classes. There always seems to be some type of feud going on, especially when it comes to gear drops. Follow the same rules as outlined above.

Let's use the item that was mentioned in the original question. A belt like the Cord of the Patronizing Practitioner will benefit a mage, a warlock or a priest. It does have spirit on it, and normally that would go straight to a healer. But don't forget that those DPS classes have talents which convert spirit into an offensive friendly stat.

Hope that helps with the gear resolution!

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