Ort’s number crunching corner
Hiya guys. This post is brought to you by my stubby Hunter, Ort, with a rant about how item level is a useless way of revealing an upgrades worth, when it comes to tier pieces. Ort pugs ICC occasionally, and indeed cautiously. I mostly keep him on the side incase I need to bring a high dps somewhere that my Paladin needs to remain unsaved to. On Saturday evening, I took him to a friend’s ICC guild run, to help with their lack of ranged dps. Upon downing Rotface, I acquired a [Taldron’s Short-Sighted Helm], much to my protests. I seemed to be the only one that could use it, so I took it. I had a nasty sinking feeling that it might not be an upgrade. My current piece was a [Windrunner’s Headpiece of Conquest], the 232 T9 Hunter helm. In conjunction with my T9 232 Legs I also possess on Ort, this grants me a rather nifty bonus: The damage done by your Serpent Sting ability can now be critical strikes.
A long time ago, when I transferred Ort over from Tauren to Dwarf, he was still in full levelling Blues whilst Zal was in best in slot ToC (mostly). It was a sad state of affairs. After much bugging/assistance from the lovely Jaedia she wrote me (and mark’s hunters in general) a post on how to gear up a Hunter when grinding heroics and the occasional raid was your only option. You can find that bucket of awesome post here. She also told me at the time why and how the T9 Helm and Legs were the best T9 to bother with, and why the critical striking Serpent Sting was an excellent bonus to get. That stuck in my mind somewhat.
So now, I get this helm, and I TEG it. It’s now fully up to scratch. I compare the stats. I scratch my head. I’ve included a screenshot of the WoWhead comparison tool, just to give a clearer show on the stat differences. The 232 item is on the left, the 251 is on the right. I gain everything from the new helm except for 17 agility and 4 crit. If that were that, the [Taldron’s Should-have-gone-to-Spec-savers Helm] would be a massive upgrade, and I’d be dancing in the streets of Dalaran. Alas, running my numbers through a useful online Hunter DPS Analyser, I found that despite all the stat gains, the fact that I’d be upgrading from 232 to 251, the fact that my Gearscore shot up by 200 odd, etcetera, despite ALL THAT my average DPS would go down by a couple of hundred. Because of the loss of the bonus. That’s not only impressive, that’s scary. I’ve run on a policy of ‘When in doubt, check the ilevel’ for a long time. Anyone who asks for a Gearscore linked rather than a VH Bridge inspection would get a false impression of my performance (moreso than they would have done by using GS to judge someone, the fools.) Poor little Ort would perform WORSE with this massive upgrade. The test dummy dps and a couple of heroics proved this to be true. I wouldn’t have imagined the 2pT9 could count for that much. Maybe if I got 251 legs as well to replace the 232 counterpart to my old helm, my dps would rise above what it was if I dipped the two together. I hope so.
As is, I will still use the new helm. My personal opinion on the beetle helm of T10 is that it’s mind-bogglingly funky, an opinion that doesn’t seem to be widely shared. Whatever, it’s my helm. If Ort was my main, I’d stick with my old headpiece until new legs came along (I actually still have the old headpiece in my bag and will use that if I ever I do something where every last point of damage matters.) As is, it exists as an alarming testament to how useless grading things on ilevel can be.
I’m tempted to do more of these posts and link them together on a ‘Why Gearscore is wrong’ page, but there’s been enough of that from the community in general. I’m more telling you this because it startled me, and saddens me that the [Beetle Helm of Awesome] isn’t as awesome for Ort as it could have been.