So here's the deal.
I started to compile a list of the top 4 pieces of gear for Bears to look for as they level through Cataclysm. I pulled up Wowhead, put in some filters, and got a decent start at a stare-and-compare analysis.
Then I jumped over to The Fluid Druid to check out Alaron's post about gear for Cats and see how he put it together. It was a pretty good guide and I figured modeling mine after it couldn't hurt. Then after staring at it for about 30 seconds, I realized something...
It's the same list.
Follow me for a moment here.
At the beginning of an expansion, there's not a lot of variance in gear. Yeah, there's a ton of of new gear. But a lot of it is random drops and quest rewards. As you go through dungeons, you'll be looking for a piece or maybe two for each slot. Same with Heroics. Then you'll get to the raids.
At the end of BC I had two almost completely distinct pairs of gear. One for Bear, one for Cat. The first time I set foot into Naxx in Wrath, I had about 4 unique pieces for the two sets. The rest was shared.
Now that we're at the end of Wrath, I'm back to having two distinct sets. I expect I'm going see that pared down significantly before I step foot into the Bastion for the first time.
Now most of my distinct pieces of gear are my trinkets, rings, and amulet. And my cloak. Why? These are pieces that have more armor and defense on them. Plus more stam than the comparable DPS pieces. The rest of my gear is mostly the same pieces with different gems and enchants.
Things have changed now. Defense as a stat on gear is gone. Strength has gone down in value as a stat for bears (not that it was that great to start with). And Stam has been more normalized between Tanks and non-Tanks. Blizz has stated they didn't really want Bears going after those Plate-tank pieces anymore and they've backed up that desire with item and class design. So the line between Bear gear and Cat gear has gotten a lot thinner.
That makes Alaron's gear list almost spot on for Bears too. If I were better with numbers and assigning weights to stats, I think I might find that a piece or two here and there might be flipped with the one above it. But, honestly, I'm more of the eyeball-it type.
So if you want to peruse my extensive list of Cataclysm Bear gear, head on over to Alaron's blog and check out his extensive list of Cataclysm Cat gear.
Thanks for making my job easier, Alaron. :-)
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