Pay to Win (sort of)


For the better part of a year I’ve mainly focused on leveling toons and experiencing the various class stories. I have six level 50’s with only the Jedi Counselor and Smuggler stories left to complete. I’ve been “flying casually” so to speak.

Lately I’ve been jumping into the elder game and running Operations in a newly formed progression group in my guild. Go Team MXC! We’ll be jumping into Terror From Beyond next week.

My guild is an Imperial guild, and with four level 50’s I had to choose one that I was going to progress with. I chose my Arsenal Spec’d Mercenary (A main toon with the word “Hunter” in the class. Shocking I know.)

So as I begin researching how stats and gear worked in this game I was surprised to learn that with enough credits, and perhaps and army of alts, one could buy their way into a full set of gear that was practically BiS. That’s right, the best stats without ever setting foot in the Ops that drop that quality of gear. I know a couple of Auction House barons in WoW that would love to buy their way into hard mode raid gear.

The way that this work is, crafters can make level 63 (27) armoring, mods and enhancements and sell them on the GTN (If you’re looking for a good introduction into how the gear levels are structured in SWTOR take a look at this article at Force Junkies.) This is the same level stats that come with the Dreadguard gear, only with you in control of optimizing the numbers beyond what comes with the armor. It’s min/max nirvana. The only pieces that you can’t buy with the best stats are the Dreadguard armoring with set bonuses. To get set bonuses without running Ops you would need to purchase the Campaign armoring with Black Hole comms.

Now granted this is an expensive proposition with mods costing 500K credits on the low end and upwards of a million on the high end. That said, if you’re willing to sell items on the GTN and, say, run half a doze alts through dailies, it’s entirely doable. Whether or not it’s worth doing with Rise of the Hutt Cartel coming is another matter.

If you factor in the Cartel Market and the ability to buy coins with real money, and then buy items with coins, and then sell said items on the GTN, you now have way of turning real money into credits and using those credits to buy the best gear. Is it practical? No. Is it possible? Yes.

I haven’t decided yet if I want to pursue getting all the level 63 mods from the GTN. I may grind to get a few here and there, and then just get what I can from Ops. I suspect that come the expansion a pile of credits will be much more valuable then a near BiS set of gear that I’ll replace at level 55.

As someone who is just exploring the elder game I find this to be an interesting concept. How do you feel about high-end mods being available on the GTN? A good thing, a bad thing or a non-issue? Just curious.

May the Force Be With You!

Hit, ArP, Square Peg Meets Round Hole

We’re working towards an Armor Pen. build. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. When we get new gear we usually have a couple of options, we can put it in the bank and wait until we have all the supporting pieces (where’s the fun in that?), or we can equip them and try to make them work with our current setup.

Last night we were fortunate to get both Distant Land and the Nerub’ar Stalker’s Cord. They are replacing Quel’delar, Ferocity of the Scorned and Linked Scourge Vertebrae respectively.

The staff has no hit and no ArP. Quel’delar has no hit but does have +91 ArP. The belt we’re replacing has no ArP, but does have +40 hit. Our new belt has no hit but does have +63 ArP. Great googly moogly!

The net affect of equipping these items is a loss of +28 ArP and a loss of +40 hit. The lovely female dwarf told us that despite these losses, she really liked our staff 😉 (She dug the belt too).

At this point we’re not gemming for ArP, so reaching the ArP cap isn’t a priority. We always want to be hit capped though. With the old items we were five points above the cap and that’s with three points in Focused Aim, and +32 hit from enchants.

As much as we love our space goat allies, we really don’t feel like following them around ICC all night for their hit buff. That leaves gems as our next option. Now as long as we see our dps going up, gemming for hit is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. When we get the rest of our gear and decide to gem ArP, then gemming for hit won’t be a good option. This is mainly because there are no ArP enchants, so gems and gear remain our best sources for that stat.

Eventually we’ll dig ourselves out this mess, but until we get our four pieces of 264 T10 we may be forced to use more hit gems, or just bank items until we have our set. Salvation will come in the form of our T10 gloves. So if you’ll excuse us, we need to go have a chat with Toravon the Ice Watcher.

P.S. – When we started our gear planning we were curious to see if there were any items with both hit and ArP.  Here’s a link to what we found on

We found this list to be pretty underwhelming, and none of the items were things that we’d want for our pseudo “BiS” set. Oh and before you ask, we’re not including ICC heroic items in any of our plans until we’ve actually killed the Lich King.

We Want a Tier Token

It’s raid night tonight. Not only is it raid night, but it’s Tuesday which means a fresh ICC (25) run. Tonight we will clear through Festergut, and possibly Rotface if everyone is on their game.

The number of items we need off the first four bosses is exactly two; a tier token and another tier token.

We use a DKP system and by my count there are five individuals (Warrior, Hunter, Shaman) ahead of us in points. Some are a little ahead, and some could buy two tokens and still be nipping at our heels in points.

If one drops we’re not getting it. If two drop we’re not getting it. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one.

We want a tier token.

Three Enchants to Consider

Today I wanted to cover three enchants that you may want to consider as part of your raiding set.  These are Cat’s Swiftness, Tuskarr’s Vitality and the Biznicks 247×128 Accurascope.

The first two come at the expense of some DPS enchants, and the last one is so old school it may be hard to get, but they’re all worth a look.

Speed Kills

Ever since we interviewed Munken from Ensidia on the Hunting Party Podcast, I’ve been running with Tuskarr’s Vitality on my boots. Ensidia requires all of their raiders to have some type of speed boost whether it comes from talents, gems or enchants.

The concept here is simple.  Almost all raid encounters require you to move around, and the faster you can get from point A to point B, the more time you’ll spend doing DPS.

Cat’s Swiftness – +6 agility and minor speed increase (8%).
  • Large Prismatic Shard x8
  • Primal Air x8

This is a Burning Crusade enchant.  The advantage it has over Tuskarr’s is the small dps gained from the +6 agility.  That and it’s name just make it more Huntery anyway.

I haven’t checked the AH to see what it’s going for, but the mats shouldn’t be that difficult to acquire.  There recipe comes in two versions, a BoE Outland drop and a BoP drop from Kael’thas Sunstrider in Magister’s Terrace.  As time goes by this one may be harder to find.

Tuskarr’s Vitality – +15 Stamina and minor speed increase (8%).
  • Infinite Dust x10
  • Greater Cosmic Essence x2
  • Dream Shard x2

This is the WotLK version of the speed enchant.  Scrolls, mats, and enchanters who can make this should be readily available.  If you’re looking for a speed enchant this should be easy to get.

Old School Challenge

Biznicks 247×128 Accurascope – +30 hit rating (almost 1%)
  • Lava Core x2
  • Essence of Earth x2
  • Delicate Arcanite Converter x4
    • Arcanite Bar x5
    • Ironweb Spider Silk x4
  • Dark Iron Bar x6
  • Thorium Tube
    • Thorium Bar x6
If you really like to min/max and want a challenge you can try scrounging one of these up.  Depending on your gear and how you’re doing on hit this scope could allow you to replace an item such as the Icecrown Ramparts Bracers with say Scourge Hunter’s Vambraces (thanks to Rilgon for this tip).

My advice is check the AH first to see if there’s a scope for sale.  Then check to see what mats are available to buy.  I was able to get the Lava Cores, Arcanite Bars, Essence of Earth, and Thorium Tube for around 100g.

The Dark Iron Bars can only be made in Blackrock Depths and there’s a bit of an attunement required in order to smelt the ore.

The tough part is going to be finding someone who can make it.  The schematic is a drop from Molten Core, so there may not be too many Engineers around who are able to craft one.  If you’re an Engineer you could try and farm the schematic, but that could take a while.

Good Hunting!

Waltzing Matilda

Okay, I recently discovered that you don’t have to form a raid group and enter the Icecrown Citadel raid instance to purchase your T10 gear.  There’s a cute little dwarf in Dalaran who will be happy to take your emblems and tokens and hand you your T10.

Matilda Brightlink is a mail armor merchant and she can be found in the armor shop between the fishing fountain and the South Bank in Dalaran.  This is the same shop where we purchased our other tier gear.  Why the same dwarf, who we’ve been going to this whole expansion, couldn’t sell the T10 is beyond me, but there you go.

Have a great weekend folks!

Zod’s Fixed

Blizzard released a list of in-game fixes, which included Zod’s.  You may once again kneel before Zod.  You can read the official link here.

“The proc on Zod’s Repeating Longbow should no longer reset auto shots.”

Zod’s Bugged

“Zod’s should not reset your autoshot. This is a bug.”

This is what Ghostcrawer posted in response to reports that the proc on Zod’s Repeating Longbow is resetting our auto-shot timer.

Essentially what this means is you’ll be losing out on the number of auto-shots that you should be getting during the course of a fight.  Enough in fact, to negate the benefit you get from the proc.

Given the lack of stats on this weapon the heroic TotC ranged weapons will probably get you more dps until this is fixed.  I’m not sure how the dps compares to other ranged weapons.

If you have this fine weapon, just know you aren’t getting all of the dps out of it that you should.

I wouldn’t kneel just yet.

Caveat Emptor

Euripides over at has a nice post about some shady dealings with epic ammo happening on auction houses across Azeroth.  Just make sure you look before you buy.

Solo Farming Quel’delar

I had a nice post planned today on how to go about solo farming the battered hilt needed to start the Quel’delar quest.  I even had a link to a great video made by Vek’Nilash (EU) on how to do it as a Survival Hunter.

But alas, Blizzard has changed the rules again.  The good news is that they increased the drop rate for the hilt (by how much, I’m not sure). The bad news is they no longer drop off of the non-elite skeletal slaves in the Pit of Saron, which was the best source to solo farm the hilt.

Hopefully the increased drop-rate means I’ll actually get one to drop, or the prices on the AH will drop making it affordable.

Anyway, if you were planning to try getting the hilt off of the skeletal slaves (/points self) don’t bother.

Good Hunting!

Patch 3.3 – Ammo

The speculation appears to over.  The latest PTR build has brought hunters new epic ammo.  It will be made by engineers, but available to all.
  • You need to be honored with the Ashen Verdict to purchase the plans.
  • Bullets require Goblin engineering and Arrows require Gnomish engineering.  This means that a single engineer will only be able to make one type of ammo.  I will probably be Goblin engineering, so please don’t ask me to make arrows.
  • They appear to be cheap to make (and hopefully cheap to buy).  One stack of bullets required two crystallized earth and one stack of arrows requires two crystallized shadow.
  • The ammo does 91.5 dps.

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