Now that I've decided to use the Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl or the Collar of the Aldor depending on the circumstances, I need to find 22 hit rating in my sockets.

The first piece to resocket are my pauldrons. They currently can trade 4 spell crit for 4 spell hit via a Veiled Noble Topaz. 18 to go.

Unfortunately, the only place to make up the rest of the hit rating is by replacing Runed Living Rubies with Veiled Noble Topazes. So 9 damage becomes 4 hit and 5 damage. So it's a trade of damage for hit at a 1:1 ratio. And unfortunately, 4 at a time, so that's 5 rubies that need to be replaced.

The other option is to replace a ring with Ashyen's Gift. It provides 21 hit rating and would leave me one short of the cap which is no big deal. However, it is of course a trade off.

Replacing the Violet Signet of the Archmage costs me 23 intellect, 17 crit and 6 damage. Replacing the Signet of Ancient Magics costs me 17 intellect, 8 damage and 10 mp5. Now, I haven't really noticed a significant increase in mana regen with the 10 mp5, so that would be the ring I swap out, but losing the mp5 during a boss fight isn't the best option.

However, if the 21 hit is equal to crit or damage when it comes to sockets, you have:

Ashyen's Gift: 44 "points"

Violet Signet: 46 "points" + 23 intellect

Ancient Magic: 31 "points" + 17 intellect + 10 mp5

A tough call. I can also just keep my rings the same and lose 20 damage from sockets in exchange for 20 hit.

## Jan 11, 2008

I've been doing some more research into my helm dilemma. Apparently the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond theorycrafts to about 40 damage.

So my choices remain:

Spellstrike Hood / Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl / Collar of the Aldor

Stats Spell Cowl Collar

Armor 145 409 164

Stam 28 59 30

Intel 12 23 35

Spirit 0 0 17

Crit 24 36 39

Hit 24 0 0

Resil 0 33 0

Haste 0 0 0

Damage 60 56 52

So the dilemma lies in the sockets. With the Diamond giving me roughly 40 damage from the 3% increased crit damage and the 12 crit rating equaling roughly 9 damage, the numbers get a little closer.

For argument's sake, I'll run the numbers just taking the hood switch into account.

Going from Spellstrike to Collar is:

+19 armor, 2 stamina, 23 intellect, 17 spirit, 15 crit, 0 resilience, 32 damage. -24 hit.

Going from Spellstrike to Vengeful Cowl is:

+264 armor, 31 stamina, 11 intellect, 0 spirit, 12 crit, 33 resilience, 36 damage. -24 hit.

Wow, put in those terms, one of these should be my new helm. Since both lose the same hit rating, we can ignore that stat. With 12 crit = 9 damage, 3 crit = 2.25 damage, we can wipe out the crit difference and pretty much the damage difference. That leaves it up to the other three stats which are going to be pretty situation dependent.

Cowl has 29 more stam and 33 resilience (PvP only) while the collar has 12 more intellect and 17 spirit. Since spirit no longer factors into evocations, it's a tough call. I use mage armor on most boss fights, so the spirit will come in handy there to keep my mana pool high and the 12 intellect also equals 180 more mana while the cowl offers 290 more health.

Now I just need to figure out how to make up the 22 hit that I'm below the cap. It'll probably just be some resocketing of my Spellfire set. As I'm reticent to sacrifice 20 damage on my gloves for 15 spell hit. Back to the drawing board.

So my choices remain:

Spellstrike Hood / Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl / Collar of the Aldor

Stats Spell Cowl Collar

Armor 145 409 164

Stam 28 59 30

Intel 12 23 35

Spirit 0 0 17

Crit 24 36 39

Hit 24 0 0

Resil 0 33 0

Haste 0 0 0

Damage 60 56 52

So the dilemma lies in the sockets. With the Diamond giving me roughly 40 damage from the 3% increased crit damage and the 12 crit rating equaling roughly 9 damage, the numbers get a little closer.

For argument's sake, I'll run the numbers just taking the hood switch into account.

Going from Spellstrike to Collar is:

+19 armor, 2 stamina, 23 intellect, 17 spirit, 15 crit, 0 resilience, 32 damage. -24 hit.

Going from Spellstrike to Vengeful Cowl is:

+264 armor, 31 stamina, 11 intellect, 0 spirit, 12 crit, 33 resilience, 36 damage. -24 hit.

Wow, put in those terms, one of these should be my new helm. Since both lose the same hit rating, we can ignore that stat. With 12 crit = 9 damage, 3 crit = 2.25 damage, we can wipe out the crit difference and pretty much the damage difference. That leaves it up to the other three stats which are going to be pretty situation dependent.

Cowl has 29 more stam and 33 resilience (PvP only) while the collar has 12 more intellect and 17 spirit. Since spirit no longer factors into evocations, it's a tough call. I use mage armor on most boss fights, so the spirit will come in handy there to keep my mana pool high and the 12 intellect also equals 180 more mana while the cowl offers 290 more health.

Now I just need to figure out how to make up the 22 hit that I'm below the cap. It'll probably just be some resocketing of my Spellfire set. As I'm reticent to sacrifice 20 damage on my gloves for 15 spell hit. Back to the drawing board.

Every Thursday night, our fantastic guild, DarkLight Resolution has guild night. It's a night where we put aside Karazhan, Zul'Aman, heroics, and whatever else and offer our services to anyone in the guild. Need a run through the Underbog? A trip to the Scarlet Monastery? Help with a particularly troubling quest? We're here to help.

Occasionally on guild night we also have outings that bring the guild together as a whole. A few weeks ago, I led an assault on Zul'Gurub and there were quite a few players in their high-50's, low-60's that came with us 70's as we tore through the place. They all got some good gear and we all had a bunch of fun.

Last night, King Elros and Queen Eirama led us into the Molten Core! It's my first time in there as a 70 and it's been well over a year since I've stepped foot inside the core. In my previous life as a rogue on the Emerald Dream server, we would have weekly excursions into the core when we could round up 40! guild members. The farthest I had ever seen was through the first four bosses.

Last night, in under two hours, we plowed through not just the first four bosses, but the first 7. We then lost a few people as the scheduled outing was for just two hours and we had 23 people show up. With just 15 or so people left, we continued on to Golemagg and quickly took him down. Without any more Aqual Qintessences, we were unable to continue to Majordomo or Rag. Hopefully I will have a chance to see them this weekend as I have never had the opportunity to partake in either of those battles.

While I of course didn't need any gear or any other drops from the Core (I am already exalted with the Dark Iron Thieves), I did get a nice amount of Hydraxian Waterlords reputation, putting me at just over friendly. Unfortunately, I figure I'd need 10-12 full clears of Molten Core to get to exalted. And since this is the first time DarkLight has ventured into the core in over a year, a lot of people had fun and I'm hoping it can become a more regular outing.

Now, to finally finish my Hydraxian quest to find that damn Eye of the Emberseer...

Occasionally on guild night we also have outings that bring the guild together as a whole. A few weeks ago, I led an assault on Zul'Gurub and there were quite a few players in their high-50's, low-60's that came with us 70's as we tore through the place. They all got some good gear and we all had a bunch of fun.

Last night, King Elros and Queen Eirama led us into the Molten Core! It's my first time in there as a 70 and it's been well over a year since I've stepped foot inside the core. In my previous life as a rogue on the Emerald Dream server, we would have weekly excursions into the core when we could round up 40! guild members. The farthest I had ever seen was through the first four bosses.

Last night, in under two hours, we plowed through not just the first four bosses, but the first 7. We then lost a few people as the scheduled outing was for just two hours and we had 23 people show up. With just 15 or so people left, we continued on to Golemagg and quickly took him down. Without any more Aqual Qintessences, we were unable to continue to Majordomo or Rag. Hopefully I will have a chance to see them this weekend as I have never had the opportunity to partake in either of those battles.

While I of course didn't need any gear or any other drops from the Core (I am already exalted with the Dark Iron Thieves), I did get a nice amount of Hydraxian Waterlords reputation, putting me at just over friendly. Unfortunately, I figure I'd need 10-12 full clears of Molten Core to get to exalted. And since this is the first time DarkLight has ventured into the core in over a year, a lot of people had fun and I'm hoping it can become a more regular outing.

Now, to finally finish my Hydraxian quest to find that damn Eye of the Emberseer...

## Jan 9, 2008

So we pretty much blew through all of Karazhan with just one wipe on Nightbane. This time we had a couple different people accompanying us and they seemed to bring the good luck with them. It all started on Maiden when she dropped the Shard of the Virtuous - an item we had not yet seen after countless kills. Congrats to Harkor on his new mace. We continued on and every boss seemed to drop something that could be used in our raid - though I did make it out of there with 6 void crystals (which were immediately used to enchant Mongoose for Lunatic's Kings Defender). When we got to the Prince, I hoped for the Fallen Hero helm as I've been waiting way too long to complete my Karazhan Tier 4 set and after we one shot him, it dropped! I was lucky enough to outroll the hunter who will be joining us in coming weeks (she unfortunately rolled a 1), so I now finally have my Collar of the Aldor! But not only that, he dropped Light's Justice - another item we had not yet seen which would have gone to Harkor if he had not just acquired the Shard. Instead it went to the wonderful Jorix. It was her first time accompanying us to and she seemed to bring the good luck with her.

So now that I have the Collar of the Aldor, Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl, and Spellstrike Hood available to me, I have to make tough decisions on what to wear. The Pauldrons of the Aldor are my every day shoulders, so the Collar gives me the two piece bonus where both my fireballs and frostbolts cannot be interrupted, but going from Spellstrike to the Collar nets me 19 armor, 2 stamina, 23 intellect, 17 spirit, and 15 crit at the cost of 24 hit and 8 damage. When compared to the Collar+Pantaloons, I gain 51 armor, 12 stamina, 50 intellect, 17 spirit and 45 haste at the cost of 11 crit, 50 hit and 19 damage. Once again, the 50 spell hit loss is the biggest problem. I can resocket my Spellfire set to gain 39 hit, 30 stamina, but I lose 54 damage and I'm pretty sure 45 haste and 50 intellect won't make up that amount of damage. I guess the Collar will just come out where I can't afford interruptions (Akil'zon), the Vengeful Silk Cowl will come out in PvP and for now, Spellstrike remains for raiding.

## Jan 8, 2008

Some of the theorycraft I've been hearing say that the Pantaloons of Arcane Annihilation are better than the Spellstrike Pants. Of course, with a replacement of the pants, I'd swap out the Spellstrike Hood with the Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl.

But it's hard to justify the change after running the numbers. The change from Spellstrike to Pantaloons+Vengeful results in a gain of 296 armor, 41 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste. These gains come at the cost of 14 crit, 50 hit, and 15 damage. Since I am currently 2 points over the hit cap, I'll need to find 48 hit rating points through socketing. I definitely need to resocket my Pauldrons which will find me 4 hit, leaving me 44 short.

The logical thing to do is resocket my Spellfire Set and go for the socket bonuses. Right now they are all filled with Runed Living Rubies for +54 damage. Resocketing them will give me 39 hit and 30 stamina, at the cost of the 54 damage.

Throwing those numbers into the change, switching from spellstrike gives me an additional 296 armor, 71 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste at the cost of 14 crit, 7 hit and 69 damage.

So the question is, does 38 int, and 45 haste make up for the loss of 14 crit and 69 damage?

A loss of 14 crit means I lose 0.64% chance to crit. A gain of 38 intellect means I gain 0.475% chance to crit, so I really only lose 0.16% chance to crit - not a huge deal. 45 haste means I cast my spells 2.85% faster. Assuming I put out 900 DPS (just guessing, haven't run any numbers), 45 haste is equal to 25.65 more damage. However, with a crit rate of 33% and crits hitting for 4,000, a loss of 0.16% crit equates to really only 2 damage lost (though I'm pretty sure I'm not doing the math right).

However, the intangibles here are I gain 710 life which is a big boost for me, I gain 570 mana which is another fireball, however, with the mana gem buff and potions, I should not run out of mana during any encounter. The 296 armor is negligible and the 33 resilience is worthless in PvE.

I figure if I'm going to go for haste rating though, I'd need to get the Runed Spell-cuffs to replace my Veteran's Silk Cuffs which would net me 1 armor, 25 haste and 5 damage at the cost of 5 stamina, 14 crit, 8 hit and 13 resilience. With the 7 hit I lost switching away from Spellstrike, that would leave me 15 under the hit cap which would be remedied by losing the 20 damage enchant on my gloves in favor of the 15 spell hit enchant.

So, when all is said and done, I gain 297 armor, 66 stamina, 38 intellect, 20 resilience, and 70 haste at the cost of 28 crit and 84 damage.

I lose about 90 damage, but cast 4.5% faster. I gain 660 stamina and 570 mana. But now that I think about it, the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond also puts out 3% increased critical strike damage. Assuming crits 1/3rd of the time at 4,000 damage, that's a boost of 40 damage. 70 haste is 4.44% faster casting and assuming 900 DPS, that's another 40 damage. In the end I lose 0.8% crit strike chance which is a lot, but not sure of the damage cost there. GRRR. Stupid haste rating going and screwing everything up.

I just can't figure out if the losses outweigh the gains or vice versa. Oh well. /sigh

But it's hard to justify the change after running the numbers. The change from Spellstrike to Pantaloons+Vengeful results in a gain of 296 armor, 41 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste. These gains come at the cost of 14 crit, 50 hit, and 15 damage. Since I am currently 2 points over the hit cap, I'll need to find 48 hit rating points through socketing. I definitely need to resocket my Pauldrons which will find me 4 hit, leaving me 44 short.

The logical thing to do is resocket my Spellfire Set and go for the socket bonuses. Right now they are all filled with Runed Living Rubies for +54 damage. Resocketing them will give me 39 hit and 30 stamina, at the cost of the 54 damage.

Throwing those numbers into the change, switching from spellstrike gives me an additional 296 armor, 71 stamina, 38 intellect, 33 resilience, and 45 haste at the cost of 14 crit, 7 hit and 69 damage.

So the question is, does 38 int, and 45 haste make up for the loss of 14 crit and 69 damage?

A loss of 14 crit means I lose 0.64% chance to crit. A gain of 38 intellect means I gain 0.475% chance to crit, so I really only lose 0.16% chance to crit - not a huge deal. 45 haste means I cast my spells 2.85% faster. Assuming I put out 900 DPS (just guessing, haven't run any numbers), 45 haste is equal to 25.65 more damage. However, with a crit rate of 33% and crits hitting for 4,000, a loss of 0.16% crit equates to really only 2 damage lost (though I'm pretty sure I'm not doing the math right).

However, the intangibles here are I gain 710 life which is a big boost for me, I gain 570 mana which is another fireball, however, with the mana gem buff and potions, I should not run out of mana during any encounter. The 296 armor is negligible and the 33 resilience is worthless in PvE.

I figure if I'm going to go for haste rating though, I'd need to get the Runed Spell-cuffs to replace my Veteran's Silk Cuffs which would net me 1 armor, 25 haste and 5 damage at the cost of 5 stamina, 14 crit, 8 hit and 13 resilience. With the 7 hit I lost switching away from Spellstrike, that would leave me 15 under the hit cap which would be remedied by losing the 20 damage enchant on my gloves in favor of the 15 spell hit enchant.

So, when all is said and done, I gain 297 armor, 66 stamina, 38 intellect, 20 resilience, and 70 haste at the cost of 28 crit and 84 damage.

I lose about 90 damage, but cast 4.5% faster. I gain 660 stamina and 570 mana. But now that I think about it, the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond also puts out 3% increased critical strike damage. Assuming crits 1/3rd of the time at 4,000 damage, that's a boost of 40 damage. 70 haste is 4.44% faster casting and assuming 900 DPS, that's another 40 damage. In the end I lose 0.8% crit strike chance which is a lot, but not sure of the damage cost there. GRRR. Stupid haste rating going and screwing everything up.

I just can't figure out if the losses outweigh the gains or vice versa. Oh well. /sigh

So the rumors are that later today, my mage trainer in Stormwind should have a brand new talent for me to learn called Icy Veins. Also, even though I am a fire mage, he has promised to teach me how to Ice Block like those crazy ice mages with their water elementals. And not only that, he also has told me that he will be able to teach me how to create mana emeralds that I can use THREE times before they disappear! What fantastic news. Hopefully he has everything ready for me when I am ready to venture back into Azeroth later today.

Also last night I was thinking about my new Boots of Blasting. The pattern cost 700g. I then had to buy 4 Shadowcloth for 200g since no one wanted to trade for my Spellcloth. I had one Primal Nether saved up, but had to use 10 badges to buy another Nether. Assuming a cost of 100g for a nether, I spent 1000g for my new boots. That doesn't even include the 8 Large Prismatic Shards I had to use or the new Runed Living Ruby I had to use to resocket my Spellstrike Pants. When all was said and done, I probably spent around 1500-1700g for a new pair of boots (including all the mats I already had for myself from tailoring or enchanting). All for a gain of 6 hit, 6 crit and 12 damage. Worth it? I guess so since I spent it.

With that extra 12 damage though, I am sitting at plus 999 fire damage completely unbuffed - no Arcane Intellect or anything else. Tonight we should be raiding Karazhan so I'll see how high I can get with raid buffs (no consumables).

Also last night I was thinking about my new Boots of Blasting. The pattern cost 700g. I then had to buy 4 Shadowcloth for 200g since no one wanted to trade for my Spellcloth. I had one Primal Nether saved up, but had to use 10 badges to buy another Nether. Assuming a cost of 100g for a nether, I spent 1000g for my new boots. That doesn't even include the 8 Large Prismatic Shards I had to use or the new Runed Living Ruby I had to use to resocket my Spellstrike Pants. When all was said and done, I probably spent around 1500-1700g for a new pair of boots (including all the mats I already had for myself from tailoring or enchanting). All for a gain of 6 hit, 6 crit and 12 damage. Worth it? I guess so since I spent it.

With that extra 12 damage though, I am sitting at plus 999 fire damage completely unbuffed - no Arcane Intellect or anything else. Tonight we should be raiding Karazhan so I'll see how high I can get with raid buffs (no consumables).

## Jan 7, 2008

After a meeting with Illidan, I was escorted away on the back of a dragon to Shattrath and rewarded with a Netherdrake. The Onyx Netherdrake is now mine! It looks absolutely amazing.

After getting my Netherdrake, I returned to Ironforge for my daily check of the auction house and I saw the Pattern for the Boots of Blasting for just 500g with a 700g buyout. Without hesitation I bought the pattern. ((According to Wowhead it sells for 1800g))

I then needed to buy 4 Shadowcloth as no one in the trade channel wanted to trade Spellcloth for Shadowcloth, used 10 of my 101 Badges to buy a Primal Nether and whipped up my very own pair of Boots of Blasting. I immediately looked to buy 8 Primal Earths off of the Auction House, but they were cheap so I offered up gold to the guild rather than buying them from a stranger. No one would take my gold though! 5 separate people (out of just 9 online at the time) offered me 8 free primal earths. What a great guild. I found a great enchanter to do Boar's Speed and I now have a new pair of boots (subject to testing of course).

Old Boots:

134 Armor, 36 STA, 26 INT, 19 CRIT, 12 HIT, 31 Damage

New Boots:

145 Armor, 34 STA, 25 INT, 25 CRIT, 18 HIT, 39 Damage

So yes, I have a new pair of boots. By dropping just 2 Stamina and 1 Intellect, I gain 6 hit, 6 crit and 8 damage. But because I gain 6 hit and I was at the spell hit cap before, I am able to replace a Veiled Noble Topaz with a Runed Living Ruby resulting in another 4 damage gained. So very nice.

Just a shame I had to spend so much time trying to obtain the Boots of Foretelling off that damn Maiden of Virtue.

## Jan 6, 2008

Also hit revered with Booty Bay today after doing a bunch of quests in Arathi Highlands in Faldir's Cove. So much to do, so little time.

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