On the procurement of epic weaponsPosted: December 9, 2012
When hunters who are gearing up for raiding take a look at any comprehensive list of / source for gear information, they can see many available upgrade options – even for epic items – for most slots.
For instance, if I look at a list of available rings, even with the Valor and Klaxxi-exalted rings (ilvl 489) equipped I have six possible non-heroic/non-elite upgrades. And when my second ring was still the Headless Horseman’s seal, there were more than twice as many options. This is true for most of the other slots: there are choices from Valor gear, reputation quest rewards, drops from Raid Finder and raids, BoE drops, crafted pieces (and better crafted pieces!), and as of patch 5.1 there are even possible drops from scenarios. Players have a wide variety of ways to put together a gear set.
However, when looking at the most difficult slot to fill in order to become Mystically Epic (or, more importantly, to improve your performance), getting a weapon can prove to be the toughest task, relatively. It has, hands down, the fewest epic options for hunters when compared with all of the other slots.
For those who don’t / won’t / can’t raid or run LFR, the only epic drop is Klatith, Fangs of the Swarm. This ilvl 476 bow, which is itemized very well for hunters, unfortunately has but a minuscule chance to drop from Raigonn, the final boss in the Gate of the Setting Sun heroic dungeon. Before I got an epic weapon, I had begun to run this dungeon at least once per day in hopes of seeing this one drop, although I knew my chance was very low – back then (October), Wowhead put the drop chance at 0.02%, although when checking for the purposes of this article, that number has changed to 0.04%. Either way, with a drop rate under 1%, it can be extremely elusive, as you can imagine.
The only other non-raid epic available is Flintlocke’s Blasthammer, a sweet ilvl
476 483 gun with a killer name and stats to match. This item periodically shows up on the Black Market Auction House, which means that it can be difficult to attain due to RNG (is it there today?) and cost (potentially many tens of thousands of gold) and competition (how many people are bidding, how high will the bidding go, will I have the high bid) etc.
Other than those two relative rarities, if you’re looking to improve upon that Tempestuous Longbow or Firebelcher Hand Cannon or Amber Sprayer of Klaxxi’vess or Houndmaster’s Compound Crossbow you’re clutching, you have to jump into some type of raid – and you have to kill bosses that drop weapons, obviously.
Raid Finder drops
In Raid Finder, this means you have two options:
The Will of the Emperor loot table includes Fang Kung, Spark of Titans; also known as Generator of Songs that Stick in Your Head and Dealer of Badass Damage. This ilvl 476 bow, which has great secondary stats for hunters, doesn’t have a drop rate listed on Wowhead, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the drop rate of Klatith.
In Terrace of Endless Spring, Lei’Shi drops Taoren the Soul Burner. This ilvl 483 gun contains a “Sha-Touched socket” in which you can place a Crystalized Dread, adding +500 Agility to the weapon, once you’ve completed the first phase of the Wrathion legendary questline. This gun is a sizeable upgrade over all other Raid Finder-quality and lower weapons in the game right now.
Of course, these two items are the Raid Finder equivalents of normal-mode weapons of the same names, which are even better!
Bonus loot rolls
One factor that makes these two weapons interesting is the new bonus loot roll system in MoP. With up to three new roll chances available every week, prioritizing bosses which drop weapons over other bosses improves your chances to see one of these appear in your bag,
When I hit 90, I immediately got the 450 weapon from Arena of Annihilation. I soon replaced that with the heroic Houndmaster’s, and ran with that while I was attempting to get Klatith. However, I prioritized my bonus rolls for Elegon (trinket) and Will (Fang Kung) around that time, and soon won both.
Since Terrace became available in Raid Finder, I’ve prioritized Lei’Shi for bonus rolls, because I wanted Taoren. The week before last, I used all three rolls on her, to no avail. This past Friday, however, I was overjoyed to see Taoren float into my bag on my second kill/bonus roll of the week! I am now in possession of a weapon that will, once I get my final Sigil of Wisdom next week, provide me with some very satisfying damage for a while to come.
All of that to say this: If you want an epic weapon*, your best bet is to be both persistent in your running of Raid Finder and smart with your use of bonus rolls.
*Obviously, if you’re already killing these bosses on normal mode or better, you may already have a better weapon, in which case this may not apply to you. :D
Blizzard wanted to make epics feel more epic. In order to do this, they made epic weapons much more difficult to obtain than they have been in previous patches. This was a smart move, because, while the rest of the WoW world is just swimming in purple gear, the dearth of purple ranged weapons really whets your thirst if you can use one. As such, when you finally win one of these weapons, it feels awesome! And yes, RNG may make it a long, frustrating grind. But in general, I’ve found this to be the best way to get one of these – it’s worked for me twice now.
Good luck as you hunt for that next killer weapon!
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