The time for alts is ripening

Gearing my DK on my terms… casually.

I’ve written before about how I’m sick of LFR. As such, I try to avoid it wherever possible.

I’ve certainly used it enough. I’ve raised four of my toons’ item levels drastically through the Raid Finder in MoP. It’s certainly an effective way to do so, in the long run (and barring any consistent bad luck). And, of course, some of the best gear is there, provided you’re not on a normal raid team. But I’ve gotten to a point where the mere idea of entering causes my mind to roil. At this point, I’ll only occasionally take my resto druid into an LFR, and usually only if I’m helping a guildie get some gear.

We’re in the dog pre-patch days of summer, and with the recent announcement that 5.4 will arrive on September 10th, it’s possible that some players have a lot to do, while others have very little – as per their respective interests. I am personally in a spot with my hunter where all he needs to do is attend his raids. He’s been Valor-capped for weeks in anticipation of new gear from Throne of Thunder (none), or, alternatively, the patch. And so, with the official patch-release announcement, he has more than two weeks left of general idleness with respect to Valor-grinding.

Thus, Death Knight Week has been happening at an opportune time for me, because this week, I’ve spent most of my time outside of raids on my burgeoning Blood DK, Saldrahn.

Since Saldrahn is relatively new, he’s not only green, but he also “needs” gear. A very important question (for the sanity) is this: how much gear does he need?

Well, as my seventh toon to reach 90, he’s not going to be a raider. He doesn’t need the legendary cloak. He doesn’t need tier gear. This doesn’t mean that he’s not important – right now, my resto druid is my favorite alt, with the warrior second, and the DK is a very close third. I don’t yet have the close connection with him that I have with the druid and warrior to varying degrees. But he’s a lot of fun to play!

While the warrior is a serviceable tank, and the druid is a serviceable healer, the DK is strong for both tanking and soloing. In fact, I’ve found him to be both more enjoyable and better to solo with in a tank spec than those other two classes, which has led me to a point right now where I spend most of my time on him. Dailies are the meat of that time, although they seem less of a chore because I’m doing them at my own pace on a fun character. Isle of Thunder, the Klaxxi, Shado-pan, and Barrens see me regularly. I’m steadily building up some VP, at my own pace. I can drop him for something important at any time, but he’s a lot of fun to go back to when I have the opportunity.

Anyway, since I know he’s not going to be a raider, I can cut out many activities that I know will not be fun – like spending tons of gold on spirits for crafted gear (because I’m a miser) or… yes, taking him into LFR.

I stated in my previous Death Knight Week post that I plan on tanking some dungeons with him at some point in MoP. I’m not in a rush to do that. When I do get around to that, it will be because I am looking to have fun, and I don’t expect that they will be difficult at his gear level. In the meantime, I’m casually gearing him. Here’s what he has so far…

– The boots from the quest where you help Seer Hao Pham Roo up the mountain: ilvl 502.

– The engineering helm: ilvl 476.

– The belt that can be purchased very cheaply from the Kirin Tor Offensive for gold: ilvl 476.

– BoE world drop Hit/Haste legs that, while not optimal, aren’t bad, either. ilvl 476.

– The crafted Mastery/Parry gloves (about 1k gold for the Blood Spirits): ilvl 496.

– Seal of the Unscathed, the ring from finishing the Klaxxi story: ilvl 489.

– The crafted two-handed sword (cost negligible for someone like me who just has extra Lightning Steel): ilvl 502.

– Relic of Niuzao (8k gold from the AH during Darkmoon Faire): ilvl 476.

– A Mastery/Exp chest that I got last weekend after doing my first weekly Barrens quest: ilvl 489.

– Various crafted blue gear to fill in the blanks: ilvls 450/458.

Overall, he’s sitting at a 473 item level. I have yet to step into a dungeon. I have not done any LFR. I have done no scenarios, beyond those in the the Barrens questline. I have no Valor gear. But I’m still more than geared enough to handle just about anything in Pandaria-world without much trouble.

And my prospects are good: before the next reset, I will have another Barrens piece; likely the shoulders. With 16 days left until 5.4, I have 1500 VP, and I should reach 2k+ before the next reset. In three days, I’ll be revered with the Shado-pan, which means I will be able to replace my Ghost Iron Dragonling with the sweet trinket they sell to tanks who are Revered, and still have plenty of room to be Valor-capped when the patch drops and the Shado-pan Assault necks have their prices discounted by 34%. At that point, I will start running dungeons, which will be great, because all of the non-Shado-pan Assault Valor gear is going to be purchasable with Justice points and won’t have reputation requirements. We’ll finally have a use for JP! And I should be able to purchase other SPA gear as I go, without stepping into LFR once, after 5.4.

The time for alts is finally arriving. If you’re like me and are tired of LFR, we’ll be at a point where gearing an alt has the most options ever without raiding: Valor and Justice “rep gear,” heroics being meaningful again JP-wise, scenarios if you desire, converting JP to HP if necessary, spending a little gold to fill holes in your gear set, the Timeless Isle… I’m really looking forward to this.

This week, I’ve had a lot of fun with my death knight, doing things at my own pace and taking all comers (NPC-wise). While I am itching to do something meaningful on my main hunter, it’s been nice to do a casual grind on a fun toon. I’ve found it relaxing, like a nice vacation from the frustration that randomness in WoW can be.

If you’re looking to gear up an alt, and you don’t need to raid with that alt, and you either hate LFR or are feeling shafted by the RNG gods, consider the alternatives to LFR. The recipe for casual gear progression is in the game now, and it will be ripening soon – coming into its own again at the end of the expansion in an almost perfect* manner. And you’ll be strong enough to do almost anything in the open world.

*”Perfect” would be if there were new dungeons in 5.4. I’m going to miss not having those. But I’ll survive.

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


5 Comments on “The time for alts is ripening”

  1. Laeleiweyn says:

    Very good advice indeed!

    This is kind of what I’ve done so far with my Death Knight; before this week she was at 488 without ever having done LFR or LFD, only world bosses and scenarios. This week I’ve been taking her to LFR though, but it made me think “do I really need all my characters to follow the same route?”, and ofc the answer is no, I don’t. So I might not take her back to LFR after this week, but simply view her as a not so social character, that thrives best on her own, pulling thousands of mobs at the same time and spread diseases to them. xD

  2. True story: I was actually in a Pinnacle LFR the other day that was so good, Lu’lin died BEFORE the day phase.

  3. Coming from someone who also has 7 90’s, I commend you for finding other ways to occupy your time and progress your gear. LFR is draining, especially doing it numerous times per week.

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