11 March 2008

Belt up

The break from grinding primals was nice while it lasted but the holiday is most definitely over. I need a new belt, and the cost is a fat load of primal fire. Quite how many depends on which belt I eventually plump for. It's between the girdle of ruination and the belt of blasting, both beauties of the tailoring profession and juicy-looking for any shadow priest. To be honest, I'm in a bit of a quandry. Let's take a look at them one at a time:

Girdle of ruination (Look! We have Wowhead links!)
This is a very well-balanced caster belt — stamina, intellect, two sockets and a good helping of spell crit and damage. Obviously, I'm not drooling over the crit but it doesn't hurt. The mats hurt though. 10 shadowcloth and 16 primal fire will not come cheap. Even if, like me, you're a shadowcloth specialist tailor, you will still need to grind 21 primal fire and that is equivalent to a life sentence in solitary. The recipe itself is a world drop, so you may be lucky enough to find it yourself or pick it up on the AH, but expect to pay about 1000 gold for it. The cheaper option is to find someone with the pattern and a spare primal. You can expect to pay about 100g to get it crafted with your mats. If you were to try and buy the belt ready made, it could cost you somewhere around 1200g.

Belt of blasting
What, no stats at all!? Are you as outraged as I am? I admit to being a little disturbed by the total lack of stamina and intellect on this belt. But oh, sweet sunstrider, look at what you get in return. Two sockets, a whopping 23 spell hit, 30 crit (that's 1.4%) and an obscene 50 spell damage. I'm spellcapped already, but the spell hit would enable me to switch a trinket, replace a few gems, or even move a talent point or two out of shadow focus and of course, the damage is amazing. This is the second highest damage belt in the game, which automatically puts it pretty close to the top of any raiding shadow priest's shopping list. And what a cheap baby this would be — one less primal fire than the girdle and only four bolts of imbued netherweave. The mats, were you to buy them in their entirety, would cost about half as much as the girdle. If there's a catch, it's this: the belt requires two nether vortexes, which are BoP drops from 25-man raids, as is the pattern itself. So there will be far fewer people on your server ready and willing to craft it. How that affects the cost when you come to trade with them I can't say, but I doubt it will add up to more than the cost of the shadowcloth required for the girdle. If you are planning on buying this beauty ready-made, expect to fork out upwards of 2000g.

So which way should I jump? The belt of blasting, clearly, is the better item for a raiding shadow priest. But I really am worried about the lack of stats. I'm already very squishy and quick to loose mana. And as good as this belt is, I'm just starting Kara so do I really need the extra kick it will provide? I think I'll try a while to find a crafter for the belt, but if one fails to turn up or the price proves too rich for my budget, I won't be too upset to plump for the girdle. for now, at least.

Edit: Since patch 2.4, nether vortexes have been free to trade. On my server, they started in the auction house at about 200g a piece. That makes the mats required for the belt of blasting considerably cheaper than those for the girdle and may help make up your mind which way to go; it certainly did me.

No comments: