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Thread: Gear in DS and Cata - General Observation

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    Gear in DS and Cata - General Observation

    Just a discussion on loot variety in DS and in the expansion in general compared to WoLK.

    I've noticed that the variety of accessory loot in DS seems really toned down. For example - I wanted to upgrade my healing neck on my Pally and looking at what's available my choices are the drop from Morchok http://www.wowhead.com/item=77262 (my preferred neck) or the vendor http://www.wowhead.com/item=77089 (which I ended up buying). Shields seem to be the wands of the expansion (not many around) - Blackthorn drops both the tank shield and the healing shield. In FL Beth and Baleroc split on the shields.

    Trinket's seem to be a bit better, but they're almost forcing you into the meh vendor stuff (except the tank Mastery trinket which I like).

    I did liked being able to buy 2 tier pieces from the vendors, but it's not that big a deal.

    I seem to recall that in WoLK there was a lot more variety on gear. It's almost as if the gear is scaled down to keep you coming back to try to get that one drop or because they made the last 2 raids fewer bosses then in the past (Naxx, Ulduar, ICC). I'm wondering if this will be the paradigm in MoP - fewer raid bosses, less gear variety to keep people running the raids for that last piece to complete their upgrades.

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    One thing restricting the amount of items is the fact that 10 and 25 man drop the same stuff. In ICC there were ten man heroic items that rivalled (or simply plain beat) the 25 man option.

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    This is the problem with only 7-8 bosses...gear choices are very boring. Even look at T11 you pretty much had 2-3 choices for every slot, it was way more fun trying to make gear sets when you had choices. Firelands was bad but DS is even worse, there is pretty much only ONE choice for a slot, every class seems to have ONE slot with a second choice. For example plate tanks have one choice Morchok offset shoulders or T13, every other slot there is one choice.

    You could say there are the Valor gear but it's not available at 410 level which many raiders will want and even at the 397 level most Valor gear is clearly worse than raid drops. My personal feeling is Blizzard is putting less resources on WOW.

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    Well it's pretty simple math really. Less bosses = less dops = less loot. T11 had a decent amount of variety but indeed back before reforging iLvL was not in fact king. In ICC people my toons were wearing an amalgamation of 245/258 ToC 25 gear and 251/264 ICC 10 gear and 264/277 ICC 25 gear. There were a ton of options and since you couldn't reforge you actually had to weigh a ton of things. Now with reforging you generally (outside of weapon procs and trinkets) just get the highest iLvL you can and reforge into the stats that matter to you. It's relatively watered down ... which is probably better for the casual player (less likely to make an incorrect choice) but bad for the game overall imho. The lack of choice is one of the principle things people have been bitching about this entire expansion whether it be in regards to content or progression path or levelling path.
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    That's a good point about reforging. I was looking to upgrade my pally's os prot set since I'm done with VP gear on it's holy set and the only items I think are worth a damn for Warrior or Pally is the belt and maybe the neck (although I lose 4 mastery since I have the Firebound Goret) since those are the only tank VP pieces with mastery on them. The cloak is okay because of the socket, but I think the 378 cloak in HoT off the first boss is better. Everything else is all dodge/parry if you want a slug of mastery you need the tier pieces. "Upgrading" my Prot set on the pally, dropped me below ctc without an Elixir (397 BoE belt and the 397 Morchok shoulders), I get the sloppy tank seconds - our tanks gear up then me since I fill in when we need a tank.

    The dps stuff has better mastery on it than the tank stuff it seems.

    For my DK tank idc as much about mastery since there's no full CTC to get to - my absorb shield is at like 181% now.

    You're right about the mish/mosh of the 245/251/264/277 gear at the end of WoLK, it did provide a good amount of variety.

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    Don't forget, when you are a CTC capped paladin the last thing you want on gear is even more mastery. So VP stuff with parry/dodge is actually quite good (plus it has more stamina on it).

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    Yeah, now that the Holy set is basically filled out, I'll hopefully start seeing some pieces. I can see where filling out the 4 piece gives you some latitude for dodge/parry stuff; it's just annoying, it's like old times trying to Def Capped (yes, I know defense was not a cap, and uncrittable is the better term).

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    Honestly I am not sure of the solution. Sure, more bosses will yield more drops so we have more variety ... but with reforging it still winds up not mattering a whole lot. As with everything else I know they won't remove reforging but with it in place I'm afraid gear upgrades have lost a lot of their meaning. In the end I guess the lesson is: less choice is just bad for the game ... people have less to work for/care about and thus are less invested in it.
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    And less choice is just the opposite of what Ghostcrawler says is fun about games; he always talks about meaningful choices being fun - hence one of his reasons for the talent revamps to give players more choices. I liked the old gear variety, it was fun; it also meant that you weren't sitting there thinking "damn, Chimeron dead, no wand, I have to wait another week to see if I can get rid of this blue piece of crap"...fast forward 4 weeks.... "damn, Chimeron dead, no wand, I have to wait another week to see if I can get rid of this blue piece of crap"

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    Yeah it really makes me think that reforging is something they added in after they realized how much less loot was going to be available to the average player in cataclysm compared to previous expansions ... because it flies directly in the face of their stated design goals (more choices) and thus had to be some sort of compromise. As we explored earlier ... there was a staggering amount of gear choices to be had in previous tiers at any one time ... it wasn't until cataclysm that you had at most 2 pieces of gear for any one slot (if you were lucky).
    RIP Stormrage Horde ('05 - '11). Turaylon Horde since 11/11 where there's actually people
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    Yeah. I kind of wish we'd get parallel raids again. OS was fun with Naxx and VoA around. It's almost like vendor gear took the place of another raid running in tandem with the main raid of the tier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    You're right about the mish/mosh of the 245/251/264/277 gear at the end of WoLK, it did provide a good amount of variety.
    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    Honestly I am not sure of the solution. Sure, more bosses will yield more drops so we have more variety ... but with reforging it still winds up not mattering a whole lot. As with everything else I know they won't remove reforging but with it in place I'm afraid gear upgrades have lost a lot of their meaning. In the end I guess the lesson is: less choice is just bad for the game ... people have less to work for/care about and thus are less invested in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    And less choice is just the opposite of what Ghostcrawler says is fun about games; he always talks about meaningful choices being fun - hence one of his reasons for the talent revamps to give players more choices. I liked the old gear variety, it was fun; it also meant that you weren't sitting there thinking "damn, Chimeron dead, no wand, I have to wait another week to see if I can get rid of this blue piece of crap"...fast forward 4 weeks.... "damn, Chimeron dead, no wand, I have to wait another week to see if I can get rid of this blue piece of crap"
    Yet..... I'm amazed at the number of complaints I've seen over the past year or so regarding ICC and WotLK.

    Part of the problem, as I see it.... was again.... the miscommunication between the player and Blizzard. Many people complained about the 25 man only drops and 10 man only drops. Blizzard in turn, made the same drops for both 25 and 10 man.... but here's where they screwed up.....
    They dropped the loot tables down in size to match.

    Had Blizzard simply "merged" the 25 man and 10 man loot tables, and maybe cut off 1/3 (or less) of the loot total, I think it'd have worked out better. Instead... they shrunk down the possibilities too much. Instead of listening and going, "Ok... we'll just combine 25 and 10 man loot tables into one BIG loot table," they took what we wanted..... and went a little further with it in a direction that we didn't really want.

    Then again, this is part of the reason why I've drifted towards PvP. I can completely gear up in honor gear, and collect conquest to upgrade pieces as I see fit. 1) I'm not hoping and praying and dealing with rng. Well, not entirely anyway. I'm not COMPLETELY at its mercy. BG comp being rng still. 2) I'm able to see a steady progression and improvement. As I improve my gear, and I gain resilience .... for all its flaws.... I'm able to perceive a true difference in performance. Resilience FEELS MEANINGFUL as a stat. With PvE.... well, everyone is pretty much gemming on the dps end for primary stats and that's it. Why is that? Secondary stats just don't seem to be meaningful. When was the last time you went, "Ooooo! 100 more mastery. Sweet!". That's right. You didn't. Primary stats for DS just outweigh anything else by such a huge margin. I mean, honestly..... what sort of performance advantages are current tier gear stats providing over the previous? And you have so few choices.

    Figure, at the end of WotLK, you had t9 and t10 badge gear, which was viable for raiding in ICC, plus ICC normal and heroic drops, both 25 man and 10 man being different. You had a veritable FEAST of gear! Even if you didn't get a drop from a particular boss, it's likely that the t9 or t10 badge peice you had was still sufficient.

    Compare this to the final example given..... Waiting for wand to drop on Chimeron.... nope! Still stuck with sh!tty blue. THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. You had NO ALTERNATIVE (until troll dungeons finally released, but then we were already heading into Firelands). You couldn't get a better wand off of justice or valor points. You couldn't get a compromise upgrade in a dungeon. And the performance jump between 346 and 359 was pretty significant.

    So, here we are with Dragon Soul, and I really find myself not compelled to run dungeons or even run Dragon Soul. The dungeon drops are "inferior" to the DS normal drops. The LFR drops..... I've had such crappy luck with those that it's become unappealing. I don't want to run a 25 with a bunch of random whiny people and struggle to try to gear up ONE TOON while in some cases, these guys are gearing up their 2nd or 3rd alts in there because they've just been lucky.

    And normal mode.... well shit. No one wants someone who isn't geared up in at least LFR gear. Why would they? The performance gain is that significant compared to Firelands normal.

    So..... f**k it.


    No one tanks in a void.........

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    Sorry. At this point though, I really am beginning to wonder if Activision is somehow sticking its nose into Blizzard too much and trying to push for lower costs in game dev. There's been just too many things with Cata that repeatedly point back toward this, and with the discussion so far regarding MoP, I'm starting to see a pattern.

    I think Blizzard has really lost sight of where they want to truly take WoW. Or, maybe they do have an idea as to what they would like to do, but have really lost the vision necessary to take it there, possibly due to external influences.

    Either way, for the first time in years, I'm not looking forward to Blizzard's products.
    WoW is faltering.
    D3 is dragging and there are questions about the direction that is going.
    SC is being squeezed for everything and is just the RTS "MW3"

    I'm seriously looking towards Guild Wars 2, and possibly SWTOR at this point.
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    I personally liked the difference in 10 and 25 man gear; I also like that they did not share a raid lock out - raid 10 man with my guild, pug a 25 then pug my alts. I guess now we have LFR as that old time 10 man gear level and normal being the old 25 man gear level. But the rng gods rule lfr as you point out - I run it on 8 alts and there is no rhyme or reason to their gearing.

    I'd love to see 10 and 25 different again and no shared lock out. It's fun to hope for that piece of loot to drop, but it's nice to see that that other pretty good piece dropped in the interim.

    Freaking shoulders were a bitch this expansion too - hunter shoulders only off end bosses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    I personally liked the difference in 10 and 25 man gear; I also like that they did not share a raid lock out - raid 10 man with my guild, pug a 25 then pug my alts. I guess now we have LFR as that old time 10 man gear level and normal being the old 25 man gear level. But the rng gods rule lfr as you point out - I run it on 8 alts and there is no rhyme or reason to their gearing.

    I'd love to see 10 and 25 different again and no shared lock out. It's fun to hope for that piece of loot to drop, but it's nice to see that that other pretty good piece dropped in the interim.

    Freaking shoulders were a bitch this expansion too - hunter shoulders only off end bosses.
    See, I liked the variety available from 25 man and 10 man being separate. I didn't like the exclusion. Example... I would have loved Bryntroll as a DK. I was never going to see it though as I only ran 10 man, and it was pretty much BiS for DK tanks beyond the Legendary.... which I was not going to get to touch either.

    And the arguments on this ranged. "Yeah, well... there was no 10 man raiding in BC. You guys have it good. At least you have 10 man raiding now." On the opposite coin, you had the simple question of fairness. Why should 25 man get BETTER loot? More loot would make sense, but BETTER? Why?

    And that drags us back down the road of 25 v 10 man raiding. Which I frankly don't want to stick my toes in any deeper than I have right now.

    Agree on the issue of not sharing a raid lockout. I didn't like that from the get go as it "punishes" the 25 man raider from opportunities. I could see giving the 25 man raiders this as their nod towards being able to assemble more people for a raid. Better loot? No. Allowing it to be a separate lockout for another shot at loot? Sure. Sure they can gear up faster..... by running twice as many raids. Kudos on that. After all, getting 25 cats herded together is harder than herding 10. But inherently BETTER? Nah.

    And there I am dipping deeper into the 10 man vs 25 man well. :P

    These are just my thoughts on that though and what I perceive to be "fair".

    Edit: In the end though, Dragon Soul may have "done in" WoW for me.
    +1 for Transmog. This has really made 4.3 something other than a total loss in my eyes.
    Everything else though?...... Underwhelmed.
    No one tanks in a void.........

  16. #16
    As to me, gear choices proved a big headache atm. I'm always wondering to get my toons decent gears but it's really hard to make a decision.
    wow sidekick---safely getting decent gears

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    And the arguments on this ranged. "Yeah, well... there was no 10 man raiding in BC. You guys have it good. At least you have 10 man raiding now." On the opposite coin, you had the simple question of fairness. Why should 25 man get BETTER loot? More loot would make sense, but BETTER? Why?.
    I agree. Better loot for 25mans made no sense in wotlkl. An expanded loot table would've been far more sensible and would also address the concern I share that the loot options are someone lacking. I do think it is badly needed now for MoP.

    I really don't like the scenario as only having 1 boss dropping the item you want because, as TOO said, you basically spend each week hinging your hopes that a boss will drop an item and if it doesn't, you're stuffed. There is no other option. For a long time I had blue items (up until DS in fact) on my offspec, simply because the loot fairy wouldn't play ball.

    I would much rather have a choice of upgrades, with one boss dropping your much desired "B.I.S" item and another boss dropping an upgrade over the previous tier, but perhaps lacking the itemisation (even with reforging) that would still make the B.I.S desirable in the longer term. Or, for the sake of a bit of drama, make some of the non-BIS items the prettier ones. So people will want them if only for Transmog purposes.

    Hell, the loot tables for DS are so anaemic that we were already dissing items or discarding tokens within our first week of clearing the place on 10 man. Which is just sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libellus View Post
    I agree. Better loot for 25mans made no sense in wotlkl. An expanded loot table would've been far more sensible and would also address the concern I share that the loot options are someone lacking. I do think it is badly needed now for MoP.
    Better loot for more difficult content made a lot of sense in Wotlk. It's the current raiding system in Cataclysm that has been a disaster. 10's worked nicely as a niche, but for mainstream raiding it suffers to much from small numbers RNG syndrome.

    Offering the same iLevel loot in easier 10 man content has killed off most 25 man guilds. Blizzard don't seem to have any solutions for this, apart from reducing the numbers of buffs in MoP which may lead to a more level playing field.

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    Our raid group has one DK and one rogue, no mages and no druids (you know where this is going), the DK has 4 piece for tank (MS) and dps set, the rogue has his 4 piece and all we see are Vanquisher tokens it seems. Some are used to upgrade the LFR versions, but most of that is done, and they're just vendor trash now. We're only, what, 6 weeks into the patch.

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    I think a lot of people are dismissing what options are available. 4 set, capes and shields are pretty non-negotiable but almost every other piece has multiple options. Trinkets, rings, bracers and weapons have different upgradeable versions.

    Bracers alone have LFR<VP<normal<crafted<heroic.

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