Glendemming vs Waterworks?
When the Waterworks was released a bit over two years ago, the gear dropped from the dungeon was considered by far the best at its time. It was the first gear (for every school but Ice) that had both universal resist and respectable critical (a solid amount of Critical Rating for your school and even a bit of universal Critical Block). Even after the level cap went up three times from 60 to 90 and new gear possibilities abounded, many still considered the Waterworks gear to be the best overall gear in the game.
Last spring, though, Diego started selling a new set of gear named the Glendemming Set for Level 50+Warlords as part of a major revamping to PvP. This gear was the first gear that had both universal Resist statistics and respectable Critical statistics at such a low level. Therefore, the Glendemming gear is now generally considered by far the best gear for its level bracket; between Levels 50 and 59, no other gear comes close in the Arena. Once you reach Level 60, though, you start having to make tough decisions as you now have the options of using both Glendemming gear AND the Waterworks gear. Which is the best choice? It’s a trickier question than you think, depending both on your school and your play style.
Remember that Glendemming gear gives the following stats:
19% Power Pips, 16% Accuracy, 50 Critical, 65 Block, 33% Damage, 40% Resist, and 9% Stun Resist. All of these stats are UNIVERSAL,
Now, how does the Waterworks gear compare? I will list the schools in ascending order, based on how much of an improvement Waterworks Gear is:
9% Accuracy, 80 Ice Critical, 45 Block, 34% Damage, 34% Resist, 15% Incoming Heal Boost, and 1040 Health.
Okay, so you LOSE accuracy, Block, and Resist, and Pips, as well as all of your general Damage and Critical when you switch to Waterworks gear. Your Ice Damage goes up by only one percent, and while a 15% Heal Boost is nice, it’s barely enough to counteract the fact that your Heals will no longer Critical. Really, the only stats worth mentioning that actually improve are your Ice Critical (though 80 Critical will ALWAYS be stopped by 65 Block when both players have Staff of Flashing Blades) and your Health (though this statistic is not nearly as impressive as it looks).
Therefore, I would STRONGLY recommend Glendemming gear over Waterworks gear.
19% Accuracy, 114 Fire Critical, 40 Block, 48% Damage, 29% Resist, 15% Incoming Heal Boost, 700 Health
19% Accuracy, 99 Myth Critical, 40 Block, 47% Damage, 31% Resist, 16% Incoming Heal Boost, 699 Health
Fire and Myth have nearly identical stats on their Waterworks Gear: a small accuracy gain, 13-14% Damage, 15-16% Heal Boost, Critical, and around 700 Health. All this while losing all their general Critical, general Damage, a bit of Critical Block, and all of their Power Pips percentage.
Essentially, this gear is particularly good for offensive/aggressive play styles which involve raining down lots of in-school damage fast. However, the loss of resist and general critical make this gear worse for “control” style decks, especially if they use off school damage for minion killing or sucker punches.
Therefore, I would say that your choice of gear here depends on your play style. WW for aggressive Fire/Myth, Glendemming for the rest.
22% Power Pips, 96 Death Critical, 38 Block, 56% Damage, 28% Resist, 11% Incoming Heal Boost, 733 Health
24% Power Pips, 88 Balance Critical, 40 Block, 53% Damage, 28% Resist, 12% Incoming Heal Boost, 781 Health
25% Power Pips, 90 Life Critical, 40 Block, 53% Damage, 27% Resist, 13% Incoming Heal Boost, 776 Health
All three schools have similar statistics on their WW gear. Compared with Glendemming Gear, their pips improve slightly, along with a nice boost to their in-school Critical rating. An additional 20% or so Damage boost, an 11-13% Heal boost, and around 700 or 800 Health. At the same time, they lose all of their accuracy (though they still have 95-100% base accuracy with the Staff of Flashing Blades for school spells… and if that’s still a problem they can always use a pet with accuracy talents), 12 or 13 percent Resist, and their entire off school damage and critical.
The main reason this is a bit different than the case of Fire or Myth is that these three schools all have efficient IN-school ways to heal which is boosted by their Critical, so the loss of general Critical rating does not harm their healing effectiveness all that much. (It is true that Fire can technically heal with Link or Power Link, but those spells heal only 60-70 HP per pip and are therefore used more to get rid of Infections to prepare for the ACTUAL heal.) Therefore, despite the loss of Resist, Waterworks Gear is useful both offensively and defensively.
Therefore, I would RECOMMEND Waterworks Gear for all three schools, unless your build strongly relies on producing off-school damage (e.g. you’re a Theurgist who deals as much Myth damage as Life damage.)
22 Accuracy, 121 Storm Critical, 27 Block, 67% Damage, 26% Resist, 12% Incoming Heal Boost, and 498 Health
Accuracy improves, Critical nearly doubles, Damage boost more than doubles, and your Heal Boost and Health buffer are pretty nice too. You lose about half of your Block, a third of your resist, your Power Pip boost, and your off-school Damage boost and Critical Rating. However, these drawbacks are more than worth it for Storm! After all, you can get your block to 82, more than enough for Level 60, by equipping a Staff of Flashing Blades… and if Block is still a problem, you’re probably better off crafting your boots than going for Glendemming’s.
Storm does NOT need to rely on off school hits to deal damage without removing blades because… well… most Storms don’t need blades to hit hard! (When a Gargantuan Thunder Snake will kill a minion, why waste time on Sandstorms?) And yes, Resist and Pips might appear to be issues, but you can always use odd pip spells and heals/reshuffles to deal with the pips issue, and with a double resist pet you still have 41% General Resist.
Therefore, I would STRONGLY recommend Waterworks Gear over Glendemming Gear for Diviners. If anything else, it will make you feel like a true Storm wizard instead of someone trying to pretend to look like every other school.
Mixing and Matching
For certain types of PvP, you may be faced with gear restrictions that skew your choices. One specific example is a resist cap of 52% that is built into the standard rules on Central. If your favorite pet to use has two resist talents, then full Glendemming Gear plus that pet will bring your resist up to 53-55 percent, more than the 52% cap. In such circumstances, therefore, it might make sense to mix and match pieces of gear to bring your resist down to the 50-52 range; two pieces of Glendemming gear and one piece of Waterworks gear may work just fine.
For example, a particularly awesome “tournament” gear setup for Ice involves using the Glendemming hat and boots along with the Waterworks robe for Ice, the Frostbit Cape (which has 3% less Resist than the Glendemming robe). This gear provides the following stats: 11% Power Pips, 13% Accuracy, 50 Critical + additional 27 Ice Critical, 18% Damage (including 32% Ice Damage), 37% Resist, 5% Incoming Heal boost, and a nice +520 Health buffer. This is definitely a “best of both worlds” setup; more importantly, when paired with a double-resist pet, your Resist will be a Central-ready 50-52 percent.