Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Item Spotlight: Shard of Contempt

Today we will be taking a closer look at one of the finer items in the game for melee DPS, the [Shard of Contempt], and consequently the Expertise skill's impact upon raid DPS. This is a trinket that most DPS'ers covet, and I feel it is my duty to explain why to the uninitiated.

The Shard of Contempt, hereafter referred to as SoC, can be acquired from Priestess Delrissa in Magister's Terrace when she is defeated on heroic mode. The Priestess drops several other potent trinkets when killed on heroic, namely [Vial of the Sunwell], [Commendation of Kael'thas], and [Timbal's Focusing Crystal]. Subsequently, it should not be hard to find a group looking to hunt down and kill this boss.

The Priestess encounter is fairly difficult, so come prepared. It is much like a PvP encounter - the Priestess is flanked by four other NPC's of varying abilities, creating a 5v5 match. The NPC's all are made to mirror a certain class, and have the strengths and weaknesses associated with their class. For example, one NPC is usually a warrior - snare effects are very effective in keeping him at bay, since a melee DPS which can't close to melee range won't be able to do much damage. For more information on the Priestess encounter and how to best her, check out her Wowwiki page.

The SoC may only be item level 115, but it is one of the few readily available items with expertise rating. Expertise is an excellent DPS stat, as it reduces the chance for opponents to dodge and parry the user's attacks. For a melee DPS'er, parry is not a concern since one should always attack from behind the target (you do stay behind your targets, right?), but enemies in World of Warcraft can and will dodge strikes no matter what direction they come from. With 44 expertise rating on it, SoC is the item with the single largest expertise total in the game. Enemies have a 6.5% base chance to dodge attacks - SoC's 44 expertise rating cuts that nearly in half. Add onto that the Disdain proc, which grants the user a chance with each melee strike to gain 230 attack power, and it is not hard to understand why SoC is such a sought after trinket. Reducing an opponent's dodge by a percentage will by proxy increase the user's number of landed attacks by a percentage, which means this trinket will increase damage in a scaling manner. No matter how laughable or scary one damaging attack is from the user, SoC will increase the number of attacks that land by ~2.75%, which is not bounded by anything. As one's gear improves, SoC's effect is magnified.

A must-have for all Retribution Paladins, the Shard of Contempt is easily one of the best trinkets available in-game. Run Heroic Magister's Terrace into the ground and get this bad boy.

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