Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Will Dynamic Armor Mean to You? Part 2

Part 2 - Every positive has a negitive

While over all most people seem excited about the coming changes to armor types there are a few that are complaining about it.  Mostly the people I see complaining the most are the ones that are losing the most because of this change.  Holy paladins.  The only class / spec in the game that had an entire set of armor all to itself.

Usually if you had a holy paladin in your raid, and it was the only one, it was most likely the best geared character on the raid team.  It always seemed that holy paladin gear drops at the same clip as all other gear in the grand scheme of things even if only one spec could use it, but being that only one class / spec can use it, it often seems like "is this the only thing that ever drops, intellect plate gear". 

Who out there has never said that?  If you have never said that you either 1) raid with a lot of holy paladins or 2) you have an extremely small amount of raid experience.

In my main 10 man the last time we had a regular holy paladin was firelands. In the 3 10 mans and 1 25 man we have running now we have 1 holy paladin and at that he is only a part time player usually only maiking 75% of the raids.  This mean a massive amount of intellect plate gear gets disenchanted.  Nice for making the current BoE items for our raiders, bad for getting actual gear upfront for them.

So the change is great for many, but hell for the holy paladin.  From their standpoint this is a huge negative.  They had the run of the roost.  Anything that was plate and had intellect was theirs, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  No one else could use it.  Now they need to roll against prot paladins, ret paladins, arms warriors, prot warriors, fury warriors, blood DKs, unholy DKs and forst DKs.  So going from all the gear belonging to them to having to compete with 8 other specs for it, this is a freaking nightmare for our plate dress wearing friends.

Sorry if I do not feel their pain.  Seeing our first two thunderforged pieces ever to drop in ToT being disenchanted because we had no holy paladins and seeing countless other pieces being disenchanted when so many others could have used something, I do not feel their pain.  Not at all.

But I regress, there are negatives for all classes when it comes to competition.  Every single class will have more of it.  Now my hunter loot needs to be shared with elemental shaman and restoration shaman.  I would say we always shared with enhancement shaman but outside of myself I have only ever seen 2 other people in my entire history of playing the game that played enhancement shaman.  So they where never competition anyway.

In the end, we all have extra competition for gear now thanks to all gear being used by everyone.  So the positive is no more wasted gear, at least until everyone is geared up, but the negative is more competition for said gear.

Do you really consider this a negative?

I personally don't mind really.  But then again, I am not a holy paladin used to getting all the intellect plate for myself.

That is not the only negative that comes with the new dynamically changing gear.  There is another one I have only seen touched on slightly by a few posters on the forums and a few bloggers, but only in passing.  I would like to spend a little extra time looking into it.

That negative is off spec.

Lets take my warrior and another two warriors from my guild for examples.

My warrior - Protection spec, almost no DPS gear and even less DPS experience.
Warrior 1 - DPS warrior since vanilla but tanked in cata, quite well I might add, and is now just DPS again.
Warrior 2 - Only ever DPSed.  Never even attempted tanking.

With all gear changing with your spec, assuming you had the weapons (and shield) for it, should all warriors be capable of tanking now?  Or in my case, be capable of DPSing.

My warrior first.  I am a sub-average arms warrior.  I do so in my tanking gear so my stats are never really right to do so but even with the correct stats I would never be above middle of the pack because I do not put enough effort into being an arms warrior.  If I did out some effort into it I am sure I could do well, I just have not.  I am a tank and that is what I do.

With the changes to gear I have little to no excuse for not being proficient as an arms warrior.  Outside of the weapons, neck, trinkets and rings, all my gear will be DPS gear as soon as I switch specs.  So no more dodge and parry on my tank stuff in either tank spec or DPSing with it.  Even if my rings and trinkets and neck are more tank oriented, I should be versed in dealing damage and do considerably better with it than I currently do.

As it stands now it would be fine for me to say I do not have an off spec.  This is an alt so I do not make the effort to gear him for both specs.  I am a tank and that is what I do.  In the future I have no excuse.  I should be able to deal damage with the best of them just as I can tank with the best of them.

Now warrior number 2.  He used to tank, when we really needed him, but he always preferred being a damage dealer.  He is glad to return to what he once was, a damage dealer, now that the guild has tanks, too many actually.  But what happens when the day comes when we need a tank.  Where he could say "I don't have any tank gear" now because he has not been worrying about gearing for it as we have so many, he can not say that next expansion.  As long as he has a sword and board he is good to go.  Change specs, pop into defensive, and you are a tank again.  Even if his off set gear is not tank oriented he knows how to tank and that is half the battle. As long as you are not pressing heroic (mythic) content a DPS tank in the new world should be just fine.

He would have no excuse, he knows how to tank, he has the skills for it, he has most of the gear for it, and as long as there is a shied somewhere in his bag, he should be able to do it.  Do you feel it is right to ask someone to do something he would rather not do just because the dynamic gear says he should be capable of doing it?

Warrior number 3 up now.  How about this guy, he has never tanked in his life, but now with the way gear is he really has no reason not to learn.  Just grab a sword and board and tank in your otherwise DPS gear.  Some dungeons here and there, for the instant queue or the help out your guild, shouldn't he do it?

Would you call mr 3 selfish if he still will not tank super easy content like a dungeon now?  I see a lot of that happening now.  "Just switch specs, your gear will be just fine.".  "No?  You selfish bastard."

I see a lot of people possibly feeling forced into playing roles they do not want to because of this change.  The guy who used to say, I don't heal because I don't have healing gear can no longer get way with that.  The person who was a shadow priest their entire life but never healed has little to no excuse why he won't now.  He has the gear for it.  Just has to switch specs.

It is now a case of just needing to learn and having to gear up for something you have never done is no longer an excuse for why you can not do it.

I can see, at least at the mid range hard core zone of players, that priest being forced into having an offspec of healing because he already has most of the gear for it.  He would either have to do it or they will replace him with someone that will.

It is as if this gear means that hybirds will have to be hybrid.  No more saying, but I do not have healing gear or I do not have tanking gear.  You have most of it, now get the rest and learn.  We need a tank or need a healer.

Do you believe that this dynamic gear change will make people feel like they have to fill a role they do not want to?

It is something I am sure we can delve into a lot deeper once we know the actual stats on gear and how they work, but looking at it from the outside in, at the moment, it seems like there will be no excuses for not having a viable off spec any longer.  No more will our priest need to switch to his warlock if we need him as DPS.  No longer will be be forced to sit a restoration shaman in favor of a damage dealer because they do not have enough gear for elemental or enhancement.  Yes, I believe, at least people that care about raiding, people will feel forced to have an off spec they can play as well as their main spec.

How about crafting?  It will surely change, a lot.  But is this a negative or a positive?  I am still not decided personally.  I can see a lot of positives in it, as a buyer, that is for sure.  We do not know how it will work of course, but we can guess.

Lets take a leather worker making a new set of bracers that came out now. They will have leather agility, leather intellect, leather spirit, mail agility, mail intellect and mail spirit ones.  That is 6 different types, 7 if they happen to have a version of the leather agility with dodge on it, which is not really out of the question.

With the new dynamic armor, as I am calling it, they would make two sets of bracers.  Leather and mail.  That is it.  Plain, simple, straight forward.  This is actually a good thing for the crafter in some cases, a very good thing. 

No longer will they make something that will not sell.  Crap, you made the leather intellect ones and your server is a little light on boomkins and being it has hit the mistweavers and restos want nothing to do with it.  So you list and list and list and eventually you sell it for a fraction of the price you originally wanted and after countless listing costs.  Now that piece is just a leather bracer, nothing more, and it will become whatever the class that buys it needs it for.  So all leather wearers are now your target audience, not just boomkins, which expands your market.

So if all that sounds good, where do I see the negative here?  Gold making.  With less risk in making crafted items thinking they might not sell, more people will make them which means prices go down.  To the buyer that is a good thing, to the crafter, that is not.  This is the money maker.

Also, if you ever looked at the bracers, again for example, some will go for more than others, but now they will all go together and that would be the lowest common denominator.  Decreased prices might be good for the community, unless you are the crafter making them.

I do not see much of a big deal with this.  I believe the economy of the new gear system will settle into its own around the community and what they are willing to charge and pay.  However, I can already see the grumblings from the gold goblins around the world as they are complaining about it as it is a negative.

What do you think, will this positively or negatively effect the crafted gear market?  As I said, I am still undecided on this one.

What other possible negatives can you see coming from this otherwise positive change to gear?


  1. As a raid leader, I don't like to force people to play a role they don't want to. Their ability at that role won't be as good as their main spec - simply because they don't like it.

    I'm a tank who was forced to raid as dps for a couple of months in a guild I used to be in - not because it was what was best for the raid, but because the people who wanted to tank were connected to the GM, despite being told the tank pool would swap off. My dps numbers took a dive as I honestly stopped trying. I hate dpsing on my dk... absolutely hate it and ultimately, we left the raid and the guild for better waters.

    Some people - and I've seen it happen before, will simply quit the game if forced to play a role they hate. Their other options being to suck it up, or leave - and they don't want to hurt feelings in their guild.

    As for the market, I think it'll drive the prices of crafted gear down - as the market will be flood with the generic gear - mail, leather, plate, cloth.

    Solving the INT plate "problem" was always easy to my mind - just make them share with INT mail and make it be dynamic based on class [a la heirlooms] but I suppose this is a similar solution.

    1. I agree. I always prefer to have someone in the role they enjoy because quite honestly they will perform better in it. That is just a simple fact.

      I've heard the let holy paladins wear int mail for a long time. I think they were just against having to have two different types of gear for one class. They are right I believe, it would have really confused people.

      Heck, remember all those DKs in wrath rolling on int plate because it "makes my diseases hit harder". Not kidding. I heard that many times.

  2. We've never had a holy pally healing for us other than occasionally pugging on in. When they do pug in, they get showered with int plate. So no, I don't feel one tiny bit bad for them.

    Here's another side of that coin. One, somewhat convenient "problem" we've had in 25m raiding is tank gear drops at what seems like the same rate as dps/healer gear. Since there are 2 tanks, and 23 of the rest of us, that means tanks get geared up much much faster than anyone else. This is in general a pretty good thing; having an over-geared tank is in general more valuable than having an over-geared damage dealer.

    So what do we do now that more guilds will be getting at least to the 2:18 ratio, but tanks have to compete with plate dps/healers for drops? We haven't brought it up in /o yet, but it'll be a potentially tough decision.

    1. I guess it depends on what kind of tanks you have. As a protection paladin I won't touch typical tanking gear. If it's got parry or dodge on it I really don't want it. This means I've been competing with dps all expansion.

      Gearing a tank really is not that important. So long as they stay alive then gearing the dps is much more important. I've got the worse gear in my raid group as I pass on all the gear if a dps needs it. It's a question of priorities. No-one asks me to do it, and I don't make the other tanks do it, but I think it's best for the group as a whole.

      We use epgp anyway so no-one can hog all the loot and I think that system will work really well with the new gear. I guess I'm sort of working to a loot priority list as well but only in regards to me, like I said I don't make anyone else pass on stuff though to be fair sometimes they do anyway. Though, that casualness will no doubt have to stop when we increase in size to field 20 for mythic. I really do not want to do that, I like 10 man for so many reasons. I don't care if people said it was the easy route, it was the route I liked best. I never, even given the choice, would have gone 25 man.

      So yeah I'd give dps priority over tanks, and healers priority over tanks, basically tanks come last. Unless of course they start dying in which case throw some loot at them.

    2. @Del irium

      Oh yeah, our tanks have better offspecs than our DPS or healers. Not kidding. Both plate tanks have 557 off specs, because we have no other plate wearers. Only 2 other people in the whole raid have over 557 main spec.

      Plate seems to just drop entirely too often if you ask me. Not only int plate. But I will say we do not get a night where at least 5 pieces of int plate is not disenchanted.

      As for what to do, it depends on the content you are doing at the time. Some tiers need tanks to be geared first, others healers. Lately it has been the DPS that need to be geared first. All depends on how the tier is designed. You could make a plan now, like we are doing, but it is just an "idea" until we see the content, then we will decide.


      Tanks last and DPS first has been the way all expansion it seems.

      I think next expansion I am going to change to a loot council of one. Meaning me. We use a roll system with some rules to make sure loot is spread out (in the 25, the 10s we work as a team and all decide on who gets it). But in the end whoever wins, if I think someone would be better served with it, I whisper them and they pass it along. I never tell them too, I ask them too. So I am basically deciding who gets the loot to begin with most of the time. Would really speed up the loot assignment after a boss was killed if I just handed it out myself. lol

      I actually am considering using the personal loot option when raiding. Seems to have a better drop rate and does not slow down the raid while people consider what to roll on, look at the loot, decide if it is an upgrade, and so forth. Personal loot could make us move from 8 or 9 bosses in one night to 10 or 11. It would just speed things up.

  3. I don't think there will be more off-spec pressure than before, it'll just be easier to make the change if it is necessary.

    I've always known pally tanks who refused to even be given holy pally gear... they'll still refuse to heal, it doesn't really change anything. If they don't have a holy spec and some skill at it, you still can't ask them to change.

    If your raid is already pressuring/forcing players to change specs, this will just make it easier for them to switch so it won't increase the pressure, it'll just decrease the hassle for them to do it.

    Plus, they'd still need rings, neck, trinkets, weapons and possibly shield in order to switch from tank to heals... it won't be a brainless change. It'll be easier going to/from tank/dps for plate or heal/dps for cloth if necessary, there'll be a lot more gear in common or at least of reasonable usefulness. Leather and mail will depend, Agi/Int secondary items will still be necessary depending on WHAT dps spec they want to run (easier to go from shammy healer to elemental than to enhancement).

    Regardless, I don't think pressure will be any more of an issue than it is now. Might even mean LESS pressure once all tanks can be mostly viable in a dps gear set (like monks and druids now), there'll be less pressure on the leather dps to be ready to step in and tank in a pinch.

    I expect a decent number of raids will stick with personal loot, especially those who don't have a very specific core group every week. In my perfect world I'd be able to choose personal loot for MYSELF even if they pick master looter and become ineligible for boss drops and have their loot odds drop appropriately (so if I'm the 11th person, they'd get loot drops as if there were 10 people). I've loved helping raids out and not feeling like I'm taking loot from them when I win something... I'd miss it a lot if I lost that.

    Also, zero sympathy for holy pallies, period. Any of them complaining just need a kick in the ass. Having the same odds at loot as the rest of us isn't a nerf, it's a LONG-NEEDED CORRECTION.

    1. I think that is the reason I like tanking on my monk and druid most, because it is viable in DPS gear for the most part with some minor changes.

      It will be even better come next expansion when there aren't as many gem slots, enchants and no reforging. Because going from tank to DPS as a druid or monk, that is what needed to be changed. Gems, enchants and reforging. It would be much less of a worry now.

      I think I will go with the personal loot option myself. Just makes more sense. And it is so much easier. I mean, unless we are trying to funnel gear to a single person, then group loot with loot master so they get it gives them more chances to get stuff.

      I too can't believe the amount of crying coming from holy paladins. I find it mildly humorous.

  4. Don't know about our holy paladin... He's sitting at 570 atm. I'm 570 as prot. Our dk is at 570 as well. These are our platers and we're pretty homogeneous, it seems.

    I don't think things will change much. Progression-wise, our raid leader knows well enough that OS is OS and will almost never perform as good as MS, no matter the gear.

    1. People always play better in the spec they enjoy.

      However, I did encounter an oddity this weekend when a friend needed a tank and I offered to fill in.

      A priest healer in his group, item level 501, yes low for SoO normal but doable with some skill and when using 3 healers.

      He was holy, loves holy, it is his favorite spec and he has been playing it for at least 7 years.

      I watched his numbers on the first three bosses and then the first three attempts at the forth boss, trying to see why we were wiping on an easy boss. I can see wiping on the 5th a lot more than the forth.

      He was doing around 30K HPS. Yes, I know his gear is only 500, but 30K HPS was insanely low. I checked the first three fights, same thing.

      I told him, use his offspec of disc and asked if he knows how to play it. He said yes, but he hates it. He did it anyway because I asked him to.

      We downed it next attempt and he was over 90K HPS from that point on.

      I know you can not judge healers on HPS, but his raw healing was just pitiful as holy but amazing as disc, whereas the other two healers picked up as well with him as disc.

      So, outside of that one recent thing, I can never think of someone doing better at a something they do not enjoy doing.

      After the raid I told him his numbers at a 500 item level as disc were insane, he is a great disc healer, why doesn't he stick with it. He said, he doesn't like it, and unless it is needed he is going back to holy.

      Odd huh?

      Sorry to ramble, it is just what I do. ;)