An Open Letter Regarding Armor Class

Dear Citizens of Azeroth,

If you can wear leather, mail or plate, you may have noticed that you could train something called Leather Specialization (or Leather Specialization), Mail Specialization (or Mail Specialization) or Plate Specialization (or Plate Specialization or Plate Specialization) at your trainer. The point of this is to strongly encourage people to wear their maximum armor class, so that warriors no longer desire leather or mail, paladins no longer want mail, druids no longer want cloth and other such things.

Similarly, cloth-wearers may have noticed they have something like Wizardry, which exists solely to allow cloth-wearers to not be penalized for only being able to wear cloth.

Obviously, they never had problems with tanks wanting lower armor class gear. But hunters would use rogue leather, moonkins and resto druids would use priest cloth, holy paladins would constantly use resto shammy mail and such like.

So they fixed it. Add the specializations, bam, problem fixed, because there is NO WAY that any amount of lower armor class gear would ever trump 5% bonus strength, stamina, agility or intellect.

Seriously, think about that. 5% bonus to whatever your most-desired stat is.

So why am I, and others, still seeing holy paladins running around wearing CLOTH and LEATHER and MAIL?!

Stop it.

Right now.

I mean it.

You would be better off wearing three pieces of ret or prot gear, so long as they’re plate, than three well-itemized healing pieces that are cloth, leather or mail. That’s how good the bonus is. 5% intellect not only gets buffed by Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild, but also adds to your spellpower and crit. It’s not just adding to your mana pool. Intellect is what we’re made of, people. Take anything you can to add to your intellect. It is your primary stat. And being dressed all in plate? Well, that’s part of what a paladin should be doing.

The same goes for anyone else who isn’t wearing their max armor class in all their slots. Why are you purposely gimping yourself? Why are you losing out on 5% of your best stat?

Sadly, it seems rampant among uneducated holy paladins, though. We can equip all armor classes, so it’s not horribly unusual to see one sporting mail AND plate AND cloth. Which is sad. And tragic.

Like I said before, STOP IT.

Thank you. That is all.

13 Replies to “An Open Letter Regarding Armor Class”

  1. Not to be “that guy”, but looking at various HPal armories, you all seem to have about 4300 Intellect – that means the Plate Spec bonus is about 250 or so Intellect. A single piece of gear can have upwards of that much of your core stat – three pieces, as you claim, would probably make a shift in Int so heavy that it WOULD be better to use +Int non-plate than +Str plate.

  2. Agreed, so much. I accidentally bought cloth shoulders from the Justice vendor and when I noticed, I was sad because the stats were super for Elemental, but I returned them and got the mail ones. I know the 5% int is a much better thing to have.

  3. True story. I had a random with a Paladin tank wearing Intellect mail.

    My head asploded when I tried to count the ways that it was bad.

  4. It annoys me even more when I think about that it seems like all that drops is holydin plate. That is a gear suited for one class in one spec only and they still need on other gear? Makes me go Hulk.

  5. Sometimes while leveling you take what you can damn well get, particularly when playing roulette with Blizzard’s RDF.

    Is all [max armor possibility] best? Absolutely, and people should be strongly encouraged to go for it, so long as they aren’t using absolutely ridiculous gear for their spec or role. (I’m looking at you, “prot paladins” in int/sp and “moonkins” in agi gear.)

    Encouraging someone to wear something completely sub-optimal for the role that person is performing is incredibly poor practice and not something you should be pushing others to do. As Rilgon said, with the chunks of +int on gear now, 3 pieces of ret or prot gear would probably seriously impact your performance… 5% int isn’t worth it if you’re losing the bonus’ worth and then some chasing the bonus instead of the best pieces you can wear at the moment, even if they happen to be lower armor class.

    You can be “that” holy paladin wearing prot or ret gear while you heal if that’s your bag, but THIS holy paladin is going to be carefully evaluating her gear before upgrading, and using lower armor class pieces if the sum total of its seams make that 5% bonus unattractive.

  6. Rilgon, you are right – actually, wearing a single lower armor class piece can yield more int than wearing an int-less plate gear. 5% is 1 out of 20, we have 17 pieces of gear – although the gear is not created equal (chest has higher budget than bracers, for example), there are some slots where replacing a single mail item with ret/prot plate decreases your int. (Head, chest, legs and a couple of others.) And that’s just int – the resto mail sure has better secondary stats that prot plate.
    But what you all seem to miss – the choice is never ilvl 359 ret plate vs. 359 resto mail. What about some ilvl 320 (not sure what the quest rewards are) quest green? (Note: It seems there is no difference between greens, blues and purples anymore.) Beats both of them – and if you want to inflate your average ilvl for PuGs, just wear something in your bags.

  7. Since you’re sitting at around 4000-4500 intellect that equates to 200-225 intellect you get from just this bonus. Wearing your questing greens will be better than putting on 5-6 “lower armor” blues you find before the stats finally balance. The only reason anyone could claim for dipping low is their ilevel, which pains me. The ilevel is meant to represent your actual gear and in turn what you can legitimately handle. If you’re boosting your ilevel while taking a 5% hit to your primary stat that’s as bad as someone stuffing their inventory with things just to bring that score up.

    There is no way someone can legitimize taking lower armor gear, sorry Ndiayne.


    Your resident holy priest that is so glad the druids are leaving his stuff alone… now get off my trinkets. :D

  8. It kills me to hear players I know to be very good at their jobs considering off-class armor choices. I share your feelings about the subject. IT’S NOT AN UPGRADE IF IT’S NOT YOUR ARMOR TYPE! lol

  9. @Serrath: The ilvl argument doesn’t work either, as you do not need to equip an item for it to count towards your ilvl. If you had ilvl 300 gloves equipped and an ilvl 333 glove in your bag, it would count the 333 for average ilvl calculating purposes. The calculator takes the best gear that you have available regardless of spec and includes that in the calculation. So you can raise your ilvl by having an offspec plate item in your bags, there is no excuse to EVER wear a RET piece as a healer.

  10. o.o

    people are still wearing gear not part of their specialization?

    Oh wait…people are people….shouldn’t expect too much from them! :P

    But it is true now…at least druids are staying away from meh clothing! bad bears, kitties, moonkins, and trees errr caster.

  11. Wearing your questing greens will be better than putting on 5-6 “lower armor” blues you find before the stats finally balance.

    Assuming you still have any, or the itemization (plate + right slot + not DPS/tank plate) exists during questing.

  12. @Fannon – Yes, I agree with you 100%. I worded my comment a bit odd. I meant to say that is the only reason I’ve seen people utilize that would go outside the “I think it’s better for me gear wise” line of logic. I agree with you, though. Don’t cheat the ilevel.

    @Rilgon – You don’t have to stop questing when you hit 85. A matter of fact I recommend against it since questing is a fantastic way to gear yourself for heroics and obtain a lot of that faction reputation (which leads to even more gear). You shouldn’t have difficulty locating appropriate gear for (almost) every slot in your character sheet. I think the only piece I didn’t replace by 85 was my pants, and that was because I was being stubborn and didn’t want to let go…

Comments are closed.