Ok, so I have been saving badges for weeks now waiting to get [item]Girdle of the Fearless[/item] as my first badge pick. Last night however I picked up the karazhan belt, [item]Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable[/item] and now I think it's probably wiser to upgrade some of these blue pieces first before doing the belt. The question is, which piece? More importantly, what is the decision making process that I should be going through here?
Here are some candidates for badge replacement:
[item]Timewarden's Leggings[/item] -> [item]Sunguard Legplates[/item] ([item]regal nightseye[/item], 1x sse, purple clefthoof kit)
[item]Felsteel Gloves[/item] -> [item]Bonefist Gauntlets[/item] (w/ 2% threat, 1x sse, 1x [item]regal nightseye[/item])
[item]Amber Bands of the Aggressor[/item] -> [item]Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx[/item] (+12 sta)
[item]Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable[/item] -> [item]Girdle of the Fearless[/item] (1x [item]Regal Nightseye[/item])
[item]Devilshark Cape[/item] -> [item]Slikk's Cloak of Placation[/item] (12 def)
[item]Wind Trader's Band[/item]->[item]Ring of the Stalwart Protector[/item].
Note that all of these items will be replaced the question is which first. Also that I do have threat issues and I need to worry about that. Also note that I am closely riding the defense cap, and I would have to respec into anticipation to get the gloves first, for instance. The wonky spec is because I am offtank and I want to provide raid utility in the form of demo shout, coupled with the need to farm honor for the S2 stuff next week. It's an ugly spec but that is what I settled on for the moment for reasons particular to what I need to do with my time. So please don't harass me too much when you see my armory. The World of Warcraft Armory
I'm thinking that the chest will be replaced with S2 next week (honor is already saved), so that is not really a consideration.
I have 69 badges at the moment, so I think I should make a big badge purchase first, not one of the small ones. This leaves me with legs and gauntlets at the top of the list, because both of those will give me a huge threat increase, and both of those are deserving of expensive aftermarket upgrades that I currently don't have (eg. threat enchant, purple clefthoof armor).
I'd say the cloak is the biggest upgrade bang for the buck, at only 35 badges it's a steal. There are only a few better tank cloaks in the game. The legs are probably going to last you a long time as well, so i'd make those two your top priority.
i would get cape, pants, ring (if you dont get another first), gloves - then everything else. like creampuf said the cloak is best thing going for a long time and the enchants for it are cheap. that also gives you a bit of time to get mats together for a nethercleft and 2% threat enchant.
i'd do the cloak last, the devilshark is a miraculously well itemized cloak especially for being a blue, you can stick with that cloak until you have spare stuff to use. I think the belt is still a great upgrade for you, but the legs would probably be my next suggestion, then the bracers and just hold out on the gloves till you get either of the karazhan gloves. Eventually you'll want to grab the bonefist.
Thanks for advice guys. I picked up a [item]Band of Determination[/item] yesterday so the ring can wait (I expect I'll get the next Shermanaar ring, so that can serve as the survival ring along with the Violet Eye ring). The order will be Legs / Bracers / Belt / Cloak unless something changes in the meantime.
Oh yea you are definitely right Nicki Chestplate of Stoicism is way better...the thing is I have hundreds of badges worth of gear to buy and I need to be wearing a better chestpiece while I gather those badges...the legs, bracers, girdle, and cloak are bigger upgrades relative to the S2 gear than the chestpiece, so I pick the best badge pieces first and fill in the leftovers (shoulders, chest) with S2 gear. And I am sure I will one day get every piece of badge gear before I ever see a T6 drop so yes, it is inevitable. Thanks for the feedback though.