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Frazzle
05-19-2009, 12:15 PM
For those interested, MMO-Champion.com has the new stats for the The Boreal Guard, which got a bump from iLvL226 to 232.

http://static.mmo-champion.com/mmoc/images/news/2009/may/ptr_9901_24.jpg

ItZMuRdA
05-19-2009, 12:28 PM
I noticed this myself as well, and it has kept me puzzled all day long. I'm very pleased with the buff, don't get me wrong -- it's a really solid shield now, and it was already a good choice even prior to today's patch, however, here's the issue I have:

I'm concerned most with the decision-making behind the designation of Shields (and offhand frills for that matter) as either Weapons or Armor, and I'm wondering what Blizzard was thinking (or not thinking for that matter) in regard to specifically the Northern Barrier and The Boreal Guard. These are the only two highest-end tanking shields as of current that are available from Ulduar. Both drop from Hodir, the first on 25-man "easy" and the latter on 10-man "hard." This is all well and good, however, as I understand it today's patch was supposed to equate "weapons" from 10-man hard modes to that of 25-man easy modes, and it has, well, all except for our good ol' shields.

The problem is this. Somewhere along the line while itemizing Ulduar, a Blizzard itemizer decided that Shields were "armor," and thus should not be categorized with the other weapons. As such, the Northern Barrier and all other shields and offhand frills from 25-man easy modes were branded with itemlevel 226, while the actual "weapons" got 232. As such, the 10-man easy mode items received the same initial treatment, such as Shieldwall of the Breaker at itemlevel 219, and the hardmode Boreal Guard in its original form at 226. When they decided to buff the itemlevel of the "weapons" from 10-man hardmodes in todays patch, however, they seemed to include shields in that category all of a sudden, and instead of leaving the Boreal Guard @ ilvl 226 with the rest of the "armor" from 10-man hard mode, they increased it to 232 with the weapons.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased with the buff to the Boreal Guard, and I think it should be increased to 232 and considered as a weapon -- afterall dual wielders have two ilvl 232 items in both of their weapon slots in a similar case. My only issue is the consistency, or lackthereof that is present here. Blizzard's itemization team needs to stick to one designation for shields (be it as armor or weapons, personally I'd prefer to see them as weapons but either is fine), and as such adjust current and any future items accordingly. Should they stick to the weapon route, all they would have to do is buff Northern Barrier up to ilvl 232 to make it match the Boreal Guard as well, just like the other 25-man easy weapons match the 10-man hard weapons.

Hopefully this wasn't too confusing, but I wanted to put this out there, since it's been boggling my mind all day. Thanks for listening. :)

Ieatpugs
05-19-2009, 12:39 PM
Just because currently weapons and now shields are the only 232 ilvl items, doesn't mean blizzard has that ilvl "reserved" for these. It's just the ilvl that they decided they wanted to balance these items at. If they decided that the armor from 10man hard mode was too weak, I'd expect that 232 would probably be the ilvl they are buffed to.

This is a very nice buff to the shield, as the shield was very lacking beforehand. Now it fits nicely into the item quality of other 10man hardmode items. Now to just hope it stops avoiding me, like the previous few weeks.

Eetabeetay
05-19-2009, 01:11 PM
I think they should have updated the 25 man non-hard mode shields as well, Northern Barrier is only a side grade to the KT shield which kinda sucks.

ItZMuRdA
05-19-2009, 01:22 PM
Just because currently weapons and now shields are the only 232 ilvl items, doesn't mean blizzard has that ilvl "reserved" for these. It's just the ilvl that they decided they wanted to balance these items at. If they decided that the armor from 10man hard mode was too weak, I'd expect that 232 would probably be the ilvl they are buffed to.

This is a very nice buff to the shield, as the shield was very lacking beforehand. Now it fits nicely into the item quality of other 10man hardmode items. Now to just hope it stops avoiding me, like the previous few weeks.

That's not what I was saying, so much as very simply that the corresponding weapons and shields from 25-man easy mode and 10-man hard modes are all identical now, with the one exception of Northern Barrier still being ilvl 226, and the Boreal Guard being ilvl 232. This is the only discrepancy, and if you ask me it just seems like an oversight on one of the sides. Hopefully they bring Northern Barrier up to par with buffing it to ilvl 232 as well is all that I'm saying.

I too agree that it's a very nice buff to the Boreal Guard and I'm quite happy with it -- my post wasn't a complaint at all, I was just pointing out an inconsistency between the itemization of two specific items (possibly the spell power shields in the same scenarios as well) that doesn't add up to what they have in place for other items in the same regard. If you do a quick wowhead filtered search or two, you can easily see what they originally had in mind with the ilvl 226-232 items from 10-hard and 25-easy, and I was just pointing out that something seems to have been overlooked here. I'm all in favor for the change that 3.1.2 brought about though, I just think they didn't realize they should have buffed the shields from 25-man as well to bring them back up to par with the standards they've set already.

Topher714
05-19-2009, 01:56 PM
Well, I definitely agree, but one thing to note is that Northern Barrier is a BoE. Somehow I doubt they want an ilvl 232 BoE floating around. That seems horribly unfair. They'd have to make it BoP, or leave the stats as-is if they intend to have a tradeable shield available.

ItZMuRdA
05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Well, I definitely agree, but one thing to note is that Northern Barrier is a BoE. Somehow I doubt they want an ilvl 232 BoE floating around. That seems horribly unfair. They'd have to make it BoP, or leave the stats as-is if they intend to have a tradeable shield available.

That's a point that I didn't think of, even though I knew it was BoE, that didn't occur to me. Thanks for bringing it up. There still seems to be some sort of inconsistency with the shield designations in general though. Even the spell power shield from Hodir-10-hard didn't receive the same buff to ilvl 232 apparently. Guess we'll see if Blizz reacts to it at all.

Kerg
05-19-2009, 02:53 PM
Wow, Boreal Guard is now the unquestioned best shield in the game.

ItZMuRdA
05-19-2009, 03:53 PM
Wow, Boreal Guard is now the unquestioned best shield in the game.

Yeah, definitely. Pretty happy with it atm, not only did they buff the already-existing good stats, but they sacrificed a little bit of strength and tossed a brand new allocation of Parry on there. Very solid item indeed.

Jericho
05-19-2009, 05:41 PM
The reitemization of Hard Modes, has brought up this issue and they seriously need to think hard about it and get the 25man shield bumped to 232 asap. Blizzard has been about giving two seperate progression paths for people to complete in Wrath.

As if the use of the "under content" to prolong the life of the current tier was not enough, they added hard mode content to prolong the content yet again. Now, creating a false upgrade path is just yet another example of them trying to force their "extended" content on us all.

Do not get me wrong, I love raiding. I do multiple 25 Ulduars a week on separate characters and 1-2 10 man Ulduars. However, at this point, its "same old same old". Forcing us to run both for actual upgrades is beyond ridiculous.

I seriously hope we see upgraded version of Northern Barrier soon. Not to mention all the caster offhands that deserve to be upgraded as well. While they are at it, they could stand to drop a caster shield into a "normal" 25 man encounter. As it is now, the only paladin/shaman shields exist in hard mode only content.

fuddjupp
05-20-2009, 01:29 AM
If the don't buff Northern Barrier it would be epic fail. They "force" every Warrio/Paladin to do 10man Raid to get the by far very best shiled ingame.

I personally put all my effort in my 25man raid, which i lead since Woltk and i have absolute no time to raid "serious" 10man as well. I've been to 10man like 2 to 3 hours a week since 3.1 an that's all i can do.

Northern Barrier is BoE, but why would that be a problem for buffing it to ilvl 232? If this would be such a big issue, make it BoP, buff it and make 25man raiders happy!

Junkyard
05-20-2009, 02:11 PM
Why did they drop the strength on it in this "buff"? The KT shield has almost duoble the amount of strength, and this is ilvl 232? I give up trying to understand blizz logic around shield wearing tanks.

Kazeyonoma
05-20-2009, 03:46 PM
Because it got 2 sockets?!

Bullwerk
05-20-2009, 04:21 PM
I think there are constantly going to be arguements of they make me do 10 man for this and 25 man for that. Where 25 man raiders need 10 for a great shield 10 man raiders lose out on sigils, relics, librams a new ranged tanking weapon etc etc. I say just fully itemize each tier of raiding and let the players make a choice based upon which raid make up they want. Want 25 man because you like the bigger raids with all the people? Fine do 25 man but you are locked out of the 10 man version once you get saved to iit until the next reset. Like 10 man and the closer knit groups it provides? Fine do 10 man but remember that you are locked out of 25 man until the next reset.

If each tier is thusly itemized and tuned we can do away with many of these situations and recieve maximum benefit from the raiding we enjoy.

A bit off topic I know but a final answer in ways to this type of arguement I've been seeing more and more often.

Karlhungus
05-21-2009, 08:19 AM
If the don't buff Northern Barrier it would be epic fail. They "force" every Warrio/Paladin to do 10man Raid to get the by far very best shiled ingame.

I'd say there's still a yet to be discovered 239 level tanking shield.

Satrina
05-21-2009, 08:22 AM
Boreal if you need to get the absolute max EH, but other than that Northern Barrier is still the better overall shield for a warrior. By the time you get the Boreal guard, your EH will likely be fine without it. Good game.