Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What If: Stats Weren't Only From Gear.

We all know that the gear makes the player, at least in the past years that has become more and more true.  When you can hit 90 and do 18K and then just buy some 450 crafted pieces and make that 30K it goes to show you that without gear you are nothing, skill no longer matters as much as it should.  That of course is debatable and for another topic, for now all that matters is that stats are extremely important, the more you have the more potential you have.

What if stats did not come only from gear?

Lets say that your characters base stats get a boost when you do certain things.  Just like when you level up your stats go up a tiny bit, what if the same happened for other things in game, to offset the power being from gear only factor.

Of course the stat boost reward would have to fit the current expansion but for arguments sake we will call the stat bonus 100 main stats for mists.

So what if when you got a mists faction to exalted, you got 100 of a main stats?  Maybe even other things like 25 for the first kill of a raid boss or 50 for the first time you ever complete a dungeon.  Things like that.

Could there ever be another way to progress a character power wise besides gear only?

Do you think it is possible to ever create a system that had a personal power progression that was not completely based on gear, and thus luck of the drop, only?

For new players a system like this would mean they would need to get all factions to exalted, kill all raid bosses at least once and so all dungeons just for the stat boost even if it were minor in older expansions, just to play catch up because those numbers, even if they were only 5 per boss in BC, would add up with as many bosses as there are.  Could you imagine posts in trade asking for people to do SSC for a stat run so their new alt can catch up?

What if your personal power was not all about gear?


  1. It could work but there would need to be some limitations.

    Stats would need to be capped per lvl and when you reached the next level you automatically gained the cap from the previous level. In other words, you could only apply "experience" stats at max level for current content.

    The stat caps would need to be low enough that you wouldn't have to do "everything" in order to reach the cap.

    The fastest way to reach the cap should be raiding and rated pvp.

    Others could do it more slowly with other content: dungeons, rep, bgs, dailies, scenarios, lfr, etc.

    The cap would be increased with each new raid tier/pvp season, so that people couldn't cap out for the whole endgame during the first tier/season.

    I think there'd still be people who'd try to max out very quickly so you'd need weekly caps. But it would be like they are doing with PvP where if you didn't earn up to the cap last week, you can catch up this week, etc.

    This is essentially how the current system works for gear, especially how pvp gear will work in the next patch.

    I think it's a more logical system because it relies on making progress and gaining "experience" to strengthen your character instead of getting "lucky" with raid drops. It's a grind but it's guaranteed progress and as long as the progress isn't too slow, players wouldn't perceive it as a grind.

    I don't think you could mix the two systems very well though: gear vs experience. Blizz tried to do that a little bit with the upgrade system but it makes the game very complicated: "which is a better upgrade? upgrading this item or buying that item or using this dropped item?" I don't like that it's another thing where players have to go do a bunch of math or use a simulator or check a website to see what is a more "effective" upgrade.

    Gear should just be for aesthetics. Your stat "experience" could unlock different sets that you could use to show off your experience level. Gear access could be tied to achievements as well. Clear this raid tier on normal and you can wear the full tier set, get 2200 pvp rating and you can wear the full season set, get the Exalted achiev and you can wear this exalted gear set, etc. Kind of like we get tabards now for certain achievs, we'd get armor sets instead. Everything would go into a gear closet in your bank that you can change your "outfit" when you visit the bank. There wouldn't be any limits on the number of items you could have.

    There would be a bonus for being fully "equipped", like x% bonus for filling all your gear slots. In other words, an x% nerf for being naked so people actually wear gear.

    I could expand it further but need to get ready for work...

    1. Some excellent ideas there that really expanded on the stats not only being from gear idea.

      The way you say it I can see something like this being done. Not in wow mind you, but in some future game.

      It would definitely be something people like myself would try to cap as soon as possible, but it would also give me a way to feel my alts are progressing even if they are not raiding. If designed right it could very well be that perfect balance of choice that blizzard suggested they wanted. Perhaps they should read your post.

    2. Thanks Grumpy.

      I really enjoy reading and commenting on your blog. It is definitely the most thought provoking WoW blog that I've seen.

    3. I've often thought about an MMORPG that down plays gear progression for gear that improves the longer you have it equipped or the more you use it. The gear improvement would be minor and therefore character power would have to come form other sources. This would make gearing decision become more about aesthetics than power and would be more along the lines of a traditional fantasy hero. It would also make the RP more interesting and players more recognisable (There's Bill he's had that leather jerkin with the wolf on it for years. Bill you got a new hunting knife? Yeah I found one with a wolf pommel to go with my jerkin). I think the art style would need to be more subdued than wow style.

    4. @ Adrian

      That would be an added effect for an RP server I did not even think about. You would be you, but since transmog was added that is capable for the most part now.

      I think for character development it would be nice to see things other than just gear play a part.


      Glad you are enjoying my grumpiness. :)

  2. Isn't there a system that is supposed to eliminate the luck of drop, in valor point gear already?

    As for non-gear progression, I am sorry but I think your system encourages to grind all things too much and is a way to induce burnout in players. The problem is that if you have gear (let's say a helm) that gives you +100 to a stat and you can get a +150 helm from raiding and a +150 from dailies, you are encouraged to do one or another. If you have 100 of a stat and you can get +50 from raiding and +50 from dailies, you are encouraged to do both.

    Associating power with levels would hardly work in WoW because there are so many things done at level cap. Changing WoW so you would start endgame while leveling, e. g. at level 60 with many players enjoying it in their 70s-80s and only those who invest a lot of time actually getting to the cap, seems like a task too big for an 8-year old game. Maybe new games can take this path but I think for WoW it would cause a huge confusion in the playerbase.

    What about the stat-granting titles? Personally, I am not sure whether those are good enough to be the base of power system instead of an extra which they usually are. The problem is, for each new content, you need to come with new titles to enable the players to progress and sufficient variability to chose their builds from. I am afraid titles are simply not granular enough to be anything but an extra stat bonus.

    1. Nope, there is not.

      You can only get one valor ring and have 2 slots. You can only get one trinket and have 2 slots. You can not get weapons or shield or guns. You can not get some pieces of gear at all. You can not get set pieces.

      Valor gear is a nice place to fill slots if you are unlucky and need something for that slot. It is not an opt out for luck. An opt out for bad luck would be if you killed a boss 30 times and the piece you wanted never dropped you could get it. That is what the game needs.

      That is the problem with stats really. They need to keep adding them to make incentives to keep doing things.

      The biggest problem with stats is that they allowed them to explode for no reason. They let themselves get out of hand with numbers and instead of increasing things +2 from tier to tier as they should have they are something like +240 now and keep going up and up and up.

      Gear would never be an issues if they had not made it one. Someone in 3 tiers ago gear could still compete if they were only -6 stats because skill would matter more and the lack of luck would not kill you completely.

      That is how they fix the system. Stop making it stats dependent and feeling as if increasing numbers to insane increases tier to half tier is required.

      I upgraded my helm on a character the other day from a 442 quest one to a 489 valor one and got an increase of +687 of a stat. THAT is the problem with gear. Such a small spread for such a huge increase. It should have been something like +7 more, not +687 more.

  3. Bear with me because I have suggested this before and gotten flamed: Your stats are only based on your level. Gear is only for bonuses. Kill transmog and carry anything you want because every lvl 90 with a blue sword does the same damage. The bonus is based on quality of weapon/armor. That way you can carry a legendary forever- it grows with you. In a way all gear has heirloom growth. Goodbye power creep. That would truly bring the player. Also blacksmiths can actually increase gear level by one on anyones gear just like rogues unlock other peoples lockboxes.

    1. It actually isn't a bad idea and depending on how it was implemented it is something that I could get behind, but I think it would result in the same thing in the end if there were upgrades over time.

      There would be the need to have max updated and they would keep pushing them so they feel like more of an update.

      The only reason I think gear is such a problem is because the designers made it so.

      Instead of making each gear step up slowly, like +2 agility each tier, they went to +10, +20, +40, +60, +100, etc. Because they wanted people to feel they got a good upgrade. They did not seem to realize that +2 is still an upgrade and people would still want it.

      So it was not the gear that is the problem, it is the designers that were stupid enough to think that people needed huge numbers to make it worth upgrading.

      The same thing they would do with your blacksmith upgrading. They would corrupt it as well and in no time we would see people having to get that +100 upgrade because the designers think people wouldn't keep upgrading for +2.

      Good idea, but remember who runs the game. They don't play it and they do not understand the mentality of the gamer where an upgrade is an upgrade even if it is only +2 more.