Monday, March 2, 2009

Mailbag: Should Moonkin Loot Cloth?

I am writing as a raid leader in a fairly casual guild. In the days of Karazhan, we limited most loot to armor class - but given the lack of leather that was appropriate for moonkin, I opened up moonkin to roll on other loot. (I was considering doing this for plate DPS too, since there was very little gear out there, but we didn't really have any plate DPS and it didn't come up.)

In Wrath, I'm noticing a lot more leather gear that seems appropriately budgeted for Balance. I am also feeling bad that our cloth DPS have so much contention for gear, and there have been loot issues from time to time that weren't prominent in WotLK. Would I be asking our Balance druids to sacrifice a lot of best in slot gear if I were to restrict them to Leather again (where they could get cloth if no clothies needed it, but otherwise priority would go to cloth)?

I don't want to prevent them from getting cloth all the time, but at this point there have been loot issues and it is driving me crazy - and boomkins are the only class/spec causing this, since everyone else sticks within their armor class. (I don't know what it is like for elemental shammies, but we don't have any.) It is
definitely frustrating for our clothies because they have to compete vs all other cloth and balance druids - whereas our balance druids only have to fight with resto druids over gear (and if it has crit on it, our resto druids don't seem to care). I do realize though that there is absolutely zero +hit leather in Naxx 10 or 25, and that is one thing among others that is holding me back from making any sort of decision.

Thanks for any insight you can
give me :)


Wow. Loaded question. There is some debate on this with in the moonkin community, but I will try and give my take on it.

First, lets get one thing out of the way. There are some moonkin out there that will say that Moonkin can wear leather therefore they should never wear cloth at all. The basic premise is that Leather is always better then cloth and that is just stupid. Assuming similar stats the only difference between cloth and leather is Armor. Armor is almost useless for moonkin in a raid environment since almost all raid damage is Magical. Therefore, if a cloth item has better DPS stats then your current leather item, use the cloth.

That said, determining whether Moonkin should be allowed to roll/bid on cloth items is an entirely different question. In the Burning Crusade it was easy. I could count the number of Leather Caster DPS items before Sunwell on one hand even if one finger was amputated. With the merger of spell damage and healing into Spell Power there are a lot more options for moonkin. However that doesn't mean that the options are good.

In general I think that cloth is better itemized for caster DPS then the leather currently available. In my opinion a majority of the non-Tier caster leather favors resto druids over moonkin. Almost all of it has 3 base stats (Stam, Int, Spirit) and 2 DPS stats. This is a very resto friendly design, and Moonkin have different needs then Trees. On top of that about half of the pieces with just two base stats have 2 DPS stats and Mp5. Mp5 is a useless stat for moonkin currently. That doesn't even mention the complete lack of non-Tier leather pieces with Hit rating.

In my opinion the ideal itemization for a moonkin is 2 base stats (Stam, Int) and 3 DPS stats. Spirit does help moonkin but it is far from the ideal stat. Those itemization points would be much better spent on Crit, Haste or Hit. You don't see it much in leather but you see a lot more often in cloth. If you think about it that makes sense.

There is only one or two classes that wants caster leather. On top of that most guilds will have only one moonkin and/or one ele shaman in raid. On the flip side those same guilds are much more likely to have multiple resto druids or resto shaman. So, it is understandable that the gear favors healing more then DPS.

From the cloth perspective, there is only one class that heals using cloth, but 3 classes that DPS using cloth. It is not unusual for guilds to run with multiple mages and warlocks and have a Shadow Priest or two, but only have two or three healing priests. Therefore the cloth has to be much more balanced and you see a lot of pieces with three DPS stats.

Finally, there is an imbalance in item level. There are only 3 bosses that currently drop items with a 226 item level. (KT, Maly, & Sarth2D). Obviously any piece of gear with a higher ilevel will likely be better then the options at a lower level. Currently there are only three leather caster items at ilevel 226 and all of them favor resto in my opinion. For cloth there are 8 items at ilevel 226 and some of them are clearly DPS items.

What this all boils down to is that there is more cloth out there and it is generally better then the equivalent leather.

While I don't think Moonkin should be barred from cloth, I do think they should be responsible about their looting.

In my opinion, all raiders should know what gear is available and what are the good upgrades for them. If you look back at my posts from December, you will see a post I called my Christmas Wish list where I listed all the piece I considered to be Best in Slot. That list has changed a little bit since then, but you cans see that I knew very early on where my key upgrades were. I new that I should fight for cloth legs, but let cloth boots pass.

It is also important to remember that the 4T7 moonkin set bonus is awesome. Therefore, it would be irrational to put up a big fight for [Heigan's Putrid Vestments] when you're just going to replace them with [Valorous Dreamwalker Vestments] a little bit down the line. We don't know what the T8 set bonuses look like yet but they have always been pretty good since T4 and moonkin need to keep set pieces in mind before they go to the mattresses over a piece of loot.

I am also a big proponent of doing what is best for the raid. Just because an item is an upgrade for you or even best in slot for you doesn't mean you should get it right away. Here is an example.

Currently there is only one caster weapon usable by Druids at ilevel 226. It is the [Torch of Holy Fire]. It is the current Best in Slot weapon for a moonkin, but that is because it is really the only option at its item level. If you take a look at it you will see that it is really better itemized for a healer. Moonkin don't want Mp5 but the 520 Spell Power is a huge upgrade over the caster weapons at ilevel 213 with 461 Spell Power. So, my guild has had a few of these drop. I want it but I realize that a healer would use it better then I would. So, when bid for it I always bit one under the max bid, to allow the healers to pick it up before me if they want it.

Ultimately moonkin need to learn to pick and choose their battles. If you go all out on every cloth piece that drops then the clothies will resent you and you will likely lose the key battles you want to win.

Finally, responsibility is a two way street. If you look at my Armory you will see that I have the [Torch of Holy Fire], but it's not because every healer in raid already had it. The healers who I outbid for it haven't said a word to me about it, but I've had a couple of other people tell me I shouldn't have gotten the mace. I will also admit that I was very surprised that I got it, but I don't feel bad that I got it before a couple of healers. It is best in slot for me and if they wanted it then they should have bid the max amount. No one should expect such a good item to just be handed to them

I also find that the most vocal people against Moonkin wearing cloth tend to be clothies that don't want competition for gear. It's not about whats best for the raid. Its about what is best for them. When an item is a clear upgrade for a moonkin and there isn't any equivalent leather then clothies should have a big problem competing for the item.

A Note to Raid Leaders:
Ayashi, you say that your the raid leader of a "fairly casual guild." That is a fairly ambiguous statement since casual seems to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. However, I want to say that your guilds structure should also have a pretty big impact on how you award loot.

My guild has a very stable raiding membership, and a majority of the regular raiders have an attendance over 90%. This makes loot a lot simpler because if I don't get an item this week that means there is less competition for it the next time it drops. Its hard to get to bummed about not getting an item because chances are I will get everything I want eventually.

A guild with a less stable structure is going to have more issues. One of my former guilds raiding set up was much less stable. It wasn't unusually to have people that only made 50% of the raids and recruitment was a bit of a revolving door. I was one of the more active members and I had been with the guild for a long time. In my opinion it wouldn't have been fair for the guild to prevent me for getting an item because a new clothie with low attendance could use it more.

You have to think about who your policies hurt and who they reward. If you reward wrong people then your just going to make the situation worse.


In short, I think moonkin should be allowed to roll/bid on cloth since in general it is better itemized then the caster leather that is available. However, all raid members need to think critically about their choices. Is the guild better served by someone else getting this item? Is there a leather item that is equivalent or better then this item?

Asking yourselves questions like these will help your guild to run more smoothly and with less drama. It will also cause your guildies to be more considerate of your needs when there is an item that you really want.


ddm said...

Well said, Graylo. I was PUG'ing Heroic UP looking for the Girdle of Bane. It dropped and I hit need. The mage in the group was surprised, as were some of the others in the group. It didn't matter when I tried to explain that there is no leather +hit out there pre-Naxx and that pulling in that 48 +hit would otherwise gimp me on other items -- they just said, 'u a clothie??' Heck, arguably, the +spirit on the girdle would do me more good than the mage, but whatever.

It further didn't matter because I won the roll.

Averna said...

I think that Moonkin should be able to roll on cloth gear, because damn, there is some GOOD cloth stuff out there. But I think that clothies should have first dibs on it. Clothies are already competing with OTHER clothies for gear, and to throw someone in there who not only is rolling on their cloth, but is also able to roll on the next *leather* healy thing that drops, isn't fair imo.

In my guild, that's pretty much how we do it. If a druid wants to roll on a cloth item, it's implicit that they only will get it IF no other clothies want it. I think it's a good system.

Averna said...

Bah, sorry, I said "healy thing" because I was thinking of me as a resto druid. Obviously, I know that boomkin don't heal =P So change "healy" to "caster", and I think my comment above will make more sense =)

Boukev said...

Well my way seems to be close to Graylo's way. It is quite simple.
I made a wishlist for every slot, i Need on that item no matter if it is cloth or leather, if it is best for me then i have the right to need it. I do however pass on every cloth that isn't the best in slot (Like second in slot) because i am going for the best in slot and going to replace it anyway. I just need on Leather if I need it even when it is not best.

Anonymous said...

This has been a big topic of discussion in our guild. The lack of hit is the biggest issue. We decided to allow boomkins to roll main spec on cloth gear with +hit, but priority for non +hit items goes to other casters.

This gives balance access to most of the BiS items without causing the priests and mages to freak out too much. There are a couple of exceptions like the belt off Malygos and the bracers from OS2D, but for the most part this works very well.

Megami said...

Personally I only link for my best in slot item. I did link for cloth upgrades if no one else wanted it though. I've been with my current guild for all of TBC and WotLK so far so they are fine with it. :)

Diermaker said...

Leggings of the Wanton Spellcaster is a great example. You will not find a piece of leather close to this. The hit alone is so good it allows me to not use a spell hit trinket.

Pick your battles is really great advice. No reason to fight over a cloth helm or booths when you can find pretty equal gear. When it comes to the pants just link leather on wowhead and ask them to find you a drop that is close.

chicogrande said...

My raiding group has a high amount of cloth using DPS. On average we have 2 warlocks, 1 shadow priest, 3 mages, 1 elemental shaman, and 2 moonkin. I think the pick your battle approach is key. Since my options are 'somewhat' wider in that I can wear leather, I often defer to the clothies first, especially if it is a major upgrade for them. An example of this deferment is the Cincture of Polarity from Thaddius. However, if we are all equally competing for a cloth upgrade, say Unsullied Cuffs from Sarth, I will bid (and win).

Now that I am comfortably hit capped with gear/trinkets, I have opened up a bit exploring the more resto-centric leather items, lacking in +hit, but with a hefty amount of spellpower/haste/crit in some cases.

Boomdaddy said...

I am fortunate to be in a great "hardcore social" guild, who have always accepted wierd specs such as boomkins. Have been a raid member and officer for over a year and introduced the epgp loot system to the guild. The GM took the view that boomkins were allowed to take cloth kit and put on the main forum that he trusted his 2 resident boomkins to make wise choices for the best of the guild. We in turn try to live up to this and use our epgp points with a view for the whole raid and guild, not just ourselves. There was only one mage that has set his stall out as boomkin=no cloth and the GM quickly silenced his objections.

As others have said, make a list and go for the bits that really count.

Anonymous said...

Any moonkin who wears cloth should be shot between the antlers.

You should have rolled a freakin mage.

Hang your heads low for you surely are no kin of mine. I would not be proud to know you. And your pappa moonkin would have surely kicked you from the nest.

In a word - Disgusting

Arguing against this makes you an even bigger loser. Please go play another class.

Anonymous said...

We let our moonkin roll on cloth gear in our guild. :D But I also think he is very mature in how he thinks about upgrades; he isn't simply grabbing up all the cloth pieces despite the fact that we have an overpopulated segment of priests, locks, and mages.

- Graylo's GM, Sevrenwinter :D

Graylo said...


I'm much less civil about loot. In my opinion if your running an instance for a specific piece of loot they you should let everyone know ahead of time, ask if anyone else would roll on it. If some one says yes then you either deal with it or drop group.

Otherwise all loot is fair game in my opinion as long as it can be used by the player. I do usually defer tank gear to tanks or healing gear to healers but there have been times when I'm running an instance as moonkin to improve my bear set.


Forcing your moonkin to wait on cloth items is treating them like second class raiders in my opinion. Assuming they a raid just as much as your clothies your making them wait for the best gear for an arbitrary reason that has no impact on performance.


Don't discount the Dying Curse. It is an awesome trinket and combining it with the Legs of Mortal Arrogance can work very well.

However, I would like to try using the Leggings of the Wanton Spell caster and changing Trinkets. However, this as a definately a case where I'm going to wait for them to be sharded before I can pick them up.


Thank you for illustrating my point at how stupid some clothies can be.

P.S. My antlers are above my head so you missed.


Your Moonkin is a noob.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, loot drama like this is what contributed to me no longer raiding as a mage/priest way back in vanilla WoW. Yay for well itemized mail gear :)

Diermaker said...


Don't worry I am still hanging onto Dying curse. I am sure an Uldar upgrade is waiting that will kill my hit cap.

Anonymous said...

This issue is one that hits close to home for me. I'm the only moonkin in the guild and therefore the only one who contemplates the issue at hand. I generally let the clothies take the cloth gear before me, but only because they need the gear. I have enough gear to keep me in the top 4 dmg dealers during any raid. Do I want some of the cloth gear? Yes. Do I need it? No. There has been one or two times that I had asked to use my DKP on a cloth item, and the other Officers (I'm an officer myself) asked the other clothies that wanted the items. I got one item the one time and did not get another item the next. It sucks that Blizz failed making Leather caster gear, but what can you do. It's ultimately up to the guild and yourself to make the proper choices. I always see if someone else would benefit, and most of the time I just pass on gear. Now, if my dps starts getting lower than the same clothies that I let have gear over me, then things will change.

And unlike Graylo, I bid on the Torch and won it over healers who also wanted it. My little way of saying "enjoy the cloth gear...this beast is MINE!"

-Faeker of Kargath-

Anonymous said...

Well... I'm not the only Moonkin in my Guild and YES I GOT CLOTH EQUIP! I bit at all cloth that is best in slot for moonkin. Noone of my guildies ever said a word against it. They all know that it is the right way!

Anonymous said...

I essentially agree with what Graylo said.

An excellent point of reference for who needs what is Kaliban's site

Anonymous said...

Limiting gear rolls based on armor level is nearsighted and obviously not what Blizzard has in mind or they would provide all options at all gear levels... THEY DON'T.

Doing what is best for the raid is a balance. Are the cloth users who complain about extra loot competition doing so in the interest of the raid??? not a chance. It is purely selfish interest on their part.

Holy Paladins in my raid are welcome to roll on spell power leather if it is a good upgrade for them. Simple as that.

If your raid is so narrow-minded that they deny their players an opportunity at best-in-slot, leave that raid and find one run by people with some sense.

Anonymous said...

What we are doing in our guild currently is letting cloth dpsers have first priority on cloth gears. If all of them pass, then Moonkins will be considered for them. The opinion of the RL is that Moonkins basically have more choices than cloth dpsers for itemizations, and thus the rule.

I will not comment on whether this is right or wrong. I am personally fine with this as it allows me to accumulate more points to bid on weapons, tier gears, trinkets.

Anonymous said...

I am in a fairly small raiding guild. We have about 25-30 members who have level 80 characters that raid. I am normally the only moonkin in the raid and actually changed to moonkin from Cat spec to help our raid. There is very little drama over cloth pieces. Having said that, I only usually roll / bid on cloth items that are better than Leather items available to me. I would never take a cloth head slot for instance as there are plenty of good leather head pieces such as Fungal Bloom, and that T7 is BIS because of the set bonus.

Legs are a great example of when Moonkins should take cloth, as the two best best legs for Moonkins are cloth pieces. I currently have Leggings of Mortal Arrogance and had no issues from other casters when getting them as they replaced a 200 level epic crafted legs. If you do not believe me go look at how many leg pieces are level 226 in wowhead, and there are only 4. Two of those four are 1st and 2nd BIS for moonkin (cloth pieces btw), a rogue / kitty leather, and a plate tanking piece. I would not find it particularly fair to not be allowed to have my 1st or 2nd BIS simply because it is a cloth piece.

I do however think it is important for Moonkins to do use cloth for slots where it makes sense. Yes I do have Heigan's Putrid Vestments right now as I wait for my T7, but only because no other casters needed it. I even told my GM yes it is an upgrade for me, but my T7 is BIS so if our mage or lock needs it, I'll pass. As it turned out no other casters need it, so I am sporting it until my T7 drops.

And if any casters really have a problem with your Moonkin taking cloth, just remind them how much they enjoy Moonkin aura and IFF to give them 5% crit, 3% haste, and 3% hit. I don't know about your guild, but my casters love me for switching to Moonkin and I think they would gladly give me cloth legs to get their crit, haste, and hit.

Elthy-san said...

Boley has unfortunately told a tremendous lie.

Kaliban and similar sites are a blight of misinformation which continues to violently screw Boomkin (and presumably other classes which I am unable to identify) by misleading raid leaders who are either not willing or able to educate themselves about the game.

Look up Leggings of the Wanton Spellcaster. Eye of Eternity 25, go ahead, I'll wait.


Note the holy priests have priority on them over boomkin. 80 hit rating. To a holy priest.

Kaliban orders loot by armor class, regardless of itemization, and also makes other broad assertions (mp5 => healing gear, etc.) that are either out of date, or irrelevant.

I apologize for the nerd-rage, but Kaliban is one of my pet-peeves.

Anonymous said...

I am a GM for a 'seriously casual guild' and also have a moonkin.

Bottom line: if you want to treat your moonkin like a scrub and prevent cloth drops, they'll go somewhere else. A solid moonkin can push 5K dps and still have all the hybrid nicety's out there.

They should be treated as a DPS role and whatever they need to sastifiy their requirements to effectively perform their role, they have a right to it.