Thursday, December 18, 2008

Librams for the Purpose of DeePeeEss.

With the start of the new PvP Season, number 5 for those counting in the back, we've finally got to the stage where making gear suggestions isn't likely to have me labelled with fair accusations of 'but it's not out yet'. Indeed it's a good idea I didn't post this last week, as I would have been wrong in a couple of small but crucial ways.

Librams

Okay, to Retribution Librams. There really isn't a lot to choose from in this slot, in keeping with the tradition of weakness in the Relic slot for all Hybrids. There are 5 you will have to choose between in PvE/P:

1) Venture Co. Libram of Retribution


73 Crit rating is ~1.6% Crit at 80, and the Libram optimally has an uptime of 80%. On the flip side Divine Storm is fairly low down in priority within the Ret DPS rotation. It's a fairly strong minimum for Heroic and Raid Librams. You can get one for 30 Venture Coins from Venture Bay, but if you're reading this you probably already have one ;).

Update: This Libram is due to change in 3.1. It will instead increase Divine Storm damage by 81, a substancial nerf. Keep a hold of those Furious Blow Libram's ladies and gents!

2) Libram of Reciprocation [Goes Live in new form with 3.0.8]


Currently this Libram has been significantly buffed on the PTR, providing Crit Rating rather than (*nnnrrrr*) Haste Rating. This Libram will provide a boat-load of Crit rating (~3.8%) from Judgement, your highest priority attack. Unfortunately the buff is predicated upon using Seal of Command, your second best DPS Seal for PvE. Furthermore, did you notice the 'chance to proc' clause? Well, WoWhead lists that chance as 15%, which is certainly less than stellar. The math indicates that this Libram, even if you are using SoC exclusively, is inferior to Venture Co.

As things stand, even with the change from Haste to Crit, without an improvement in proc rate this Libram is the least useful of those available from 70+. If you want one, perhaps for PvP, you can buy them for 15 Emblem of Heroism from the Relic Vendor's in Dalaran.

3) Libram of Radiance


Libram of Radiance adds 115.5 damage, before modifiers, to your Crusader Strike ability. This is 19.25 DPS before modifiers, a not inconsiderable amount. The Math is somewhat complicated, but it's generally accepted that this Libram is better for PvE than the Venture Co. Libram of Retribution, though this of course will depend upon your overall gear level. As far as PvP goes it's an interesting proposition, with no buff to dispel and a significant boost to your second (IIRC) most damaging attack it may see a place in the Arena at moderate Rating brackets.

The Libram of Radiance is available as a zone drop from Naxx-25.

Update: In 3.1 this Libram will be available for 25 Emblems of Valor.

4) [Assumed to be active with 3.0.8] Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.


Now we're getting somewhere. This Libram's proc has a 100% chance so long as Crusader Strike connects, and affects all your attacks. Though 94 AP may not seem like much it certainly adds up, especially given that CS is your second highest priority attack. It's nip and tuck, but this Libram is probably better than the Libram of Radiance for PvE, which is kinda sad when you think about it.

The Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude is available from the Lake Wintersgrasp Vendor for the price of ~6K Honour and 175 Arena Points, so you will need to participate in the Arena to get this item. Note that this item isn't currently Live, but for now it is assumed that it will become active with the release of 3.0.8 some time in the New Year.

UPDATE [3.0.8]: This Libram was not included in the latest Live build, and hence is not in the game at this time.

5) Hateful Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude. There is no Hateful Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.

5a) Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude.


If you can get to 2030 Arena Rating, this Libram is by far the best Libram for PvE. A 120 AP Proc beats the heck out of any of the Libram's from other sources. As usual, the down-side is definitely the rating requirements - the vast majority of Ret Paladin will come nowhere near being able to buy it.

The Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude is available from the Veteran Arena Vendor for the low, low price of 1200 Arena Points.

Update: In Season 6 this Libram will require 1350 Arena Rating. Depending on how Arena Rating calculations change this may be a very achievable way to get the best PvE option.

--

So there you have it. Unfortunately it's yet more evidence that Relics in general need some real love from the itemisation team while the ranged weapon slot continues to out-strip them in stats, relative value and range available at the top end. I still like my idea of allowing Librams to imprint a Glyph, but with the current state of affairs in Glyphs it would be of diminishing value to have a major glyph slot beyond the third.

Order of Value for PvE:

1st) Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude - Requires 1200 Arena Points and 2030 Rating.
2nd) Savage Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude - not implemented in 3.0.8.
3rd) Libram of Radiance - Zone Drop from Heroic Naxx (25-man Raid).
4th) Venture Co. Libram of Retribution - Get one at lvl74 for 30 Venture Coins. Well worth the investment.
5th) Libram of Reciprocation - 15 Emblem of Heroism. Even buffed to Crit Rating in 3.0.8, this is by far the lowest value Libram. Of more potential value in PvP, YMMV.

10 comments:

Klepsacovic 18/12/2008, 18:20  

The best DPS libram is from arenas. That makes sense.

Anonymous 18/12/2008, 21:18  

I honestly do not understand the dev team and relics. The best prot libram for basically all the content in BC was a situational 42 block rating. How does that compare to something like the Gyro Balanced Khorium Destroyer? Just a poorly executed slot on the part of Bliz

Dradis 19/12/2008, 00:16  

I am less then impressed with the Librams. An Anne Rice novel in that slot would be nearly as useful.

Suicidal Zebra 19/12/2008, 01:07  

@Klep.

Indeed. Still, at least this time around we won't be seeing 95% of all Ret Paladins PvPing till their eyeballs bleed for gear to take into Heroics and entry-level Raiding.

@Anonymous and Dradis:

I've always been puzzled by the perverse methodology behind Blizzard's Relic itemisation. They seem to be worth a whole lot less than a Trinket or Ranged Weapon slot from a budgetary perspective and very often are of no value due to proc effects from skills not in a sensible rotation. For example, I'm not sure anyone can say with a straight face that the Libram of Reciprocation is better than the Nesingwary 4000. This same dearth of understanding is exemplified in Glyphs, where the power of each Glyph varies wildly between spells, specs and Classes and appears to follow neither rhyme nor reason (e.g. Glyph of SoB and Spiritual Attunement).

Unfortunately it exemplifies an ignorance, wilful or otherwise, of the class mechanics of hybrid classes (haste on Ret Tier 7 gear is another example). To be honest I think that Blizzard begrudges the need to implement the Relic slot and feel that we should be happy that they give us anything at all, and hence they really don't spend a lot of time in development over Librams unless they are shown to be overpowered later on.

Still, as always we work with the tools we have rather than the ones we wish we have. But once, just once, I wish that Blizzard would go into some depth on their rationale for Relics and explain how some of their decisions were secretly genius rather than dumb as us lesser mortals believe.

But I'm just venting here ;). Frankly all I really want is the Ret PvE Librams to be carbon copies of the Ret PvP ones, anything more is just gravy.

Klepsacovic 19/12/2008, 06:12  

GC clams that ranged slots are balanced over the entire class (he says it the other way around, the classes are made with weaker stats in mind). This would imply that paladins, druids, and shamans are slightly overpowered and are balanced by their weaker ranged slots. This also means that overall class balancing is being done around relatively small sets of items, which is pretty stupid. Or more likely, the ranged slots just aren't balanced.

GC quote:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=13723443027&pageNo=2&sid=1#33

Tom 19/12/2008, 07:07  

How does this compare to the old standard for PvP... Libram of Dvine Judgment?

Judgment gives chance to increase your AP by 200

Alex - aka Firelight 19/12/2008, 10:55  

@Tom: It only works off Judgement of Command.

Suicidal Zebra 19/12/2008, 13:25  

The Libram of Divine Judgement has a 40% chance for a 200AP proc.

The Libram of Reciprocation has a 15% chance for a 173 Crit Rating Proc.

From a raw DPS point of view Divine Judgement is better than Reciprocation. Due to the higher chance of a Crit being more useful in PvP however Reciprocation is probably better in PvP, but I'm not convinced I have the experience to make that call. Of course, as both only proc from JoCommand neither will be used in the vast majority of PvE encounters.

Increase Reciprocations' proc rate to 40%, or reduce Divine Judgements' to 15%, and Reciprocation would be flat out better. It's pretty sad that a Libram 72 ilvl's higher than another doesn't beat it hands down.

Rexkicker 21/12/2008, 08:13  

Where does the Libram of Furious Blows sit in the order of things?

Suicidal Zebra 21/12/2008, 14:38  

In a PvE Raid setting, with a tight rotation, Furious Blows is not as good as the Venture Company Ret Libram. It will however be better for overall DPS than Reciprocation.

When levelling, I know Paladins who have levelled with Furious Blows even if they have the Venture Company Libram. This is because during Solo play they are loath to use Divine Storm because of the steep mana cost, increasing downtime. A similar principle may apply to lvl80 Solo play, i.e. questing and Dailies.

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