During a Heroic Underbog run yesterday, the Mana-Etched Pantaloons dropped. I already had the Mana-Etched Crown. Now I've been suffering in the past couple weeks from a lack of (spell) hit rating. I'm not sure exactly what happened because up until then I wasn't paying attention to hit rating at all, but I must have had some gearchanges that mucked things up because suddenly the bosses in Kara were resisting left and right and my shackles broke free seemingly at will. For the first time ever I was also radically unhappy with my position on the DPS charts. It wasn't a huge problem, we still downed everything without much trouble, but I felt embarassed and n00bish.
After making a post on the guild boards with the title 'WTB moar hit rating', I was introduced to a lovely Shadow Priest thread on the European forums. Which for whatever reason has gone poof since then, so I can't link it. However, the same info is available at shadowpriest.com's fantastic boards:
76 hit is the cap with 5/5 Shadow Focus
101 hit before you can go to 4/5 Shadow Focus
126 hit before you can go to 3/5 Shadow Focus
152 hit before you can go to 2/5 Shadow Focus
177 hit before you can go to 1/5 Shadow Focus
202 hit before you can go to 0/5 Shadow Focus
All numbers rounded up to the next whole number.
At the time, I had 0/5 in Shadow Focus, which I singularly blame my fellow Mana Battery in the guild for, as he was the one who picked my talents for me. Come to think of it, that happened right around the time my DPS and shackle-reliability plummeted. He apologised profusely in caps lock though, and to be fair, he simply hadn't considered that my less-than-stellar gear would require a different build than his own. Which just goes to prove that spec is highly individual - not only does it have to match your playstyle for optimal use, but also your gear of the moment.
A quick respec later and I found myself boosted almost back up to where I was, DPS wise. I was still walking around with something like +12 spell hit total though, and thus still suffering. I discovered that the Sha'tar sell a lovely head enchant that gives +22 spell damage and +14 spell hit rating, and also switched some random gems. By the time the Pantaloons dropped, I was swimming with my head above water, but I wasn't satisfied.
Now enter exhibit A - my (then) current pants: Devil-Stitched Leggings (with gems)
And exhibit B - the pantaloons: Mana-Etched Pantaloons
(ignore the trinkets, those are my boost-guildies-in-SM-armory trinkets from last night - portable AoE for the win!)
As you can see, I'm taking a loss in both mana and spell damage in favor of a hefty hit boost. That might even be the highest hit boost any one item could give me with my current gear. Now you might ask yourself 'is it worth it?' and that's exactly what I did too. I'm not really into theorycrafting - I tend to read other peoples carefully calculated numbers and trust them blindly without trying to understand the finer details - but I'm sure I could sit down and research 3-4 pieces of upgrades that would not only give me as much +hit as those pants, but also keep my mana and spell damage the same, if not up them even moreso. I concluded that the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention time) that it would take to get all those 3-4 items to drop (and win the roll) didn't weigh as much as equipping those pantaloons here and now and keeping the leggings in the bank. I am, after all, in the same guild as the paladin who is exalted with Lower City and still haven't seen the Mask of Penance drop. I know how those things go.
Plus the word pantaloons is hilarious.
That doesn't mean I'm not on the hunt for alternate ways of getting more +spell hit, though. And more hit in general, since 56 isn't even enough to downspec Shadow Focus to 4/5. At least my shackles don't break anymore, so here's to hoping for a benevolent Karazhan in the weeks to come!