Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What WoD Needs: Gearing Options Outside of Raiding

This is the first in a series of posts I plan to make about what I believe we need to see in Warlords.

What WoD needs.  Part 1: Gearing Options

Some raiders believe if you do not raid you do not need raid level gear.  They are entitled to their opinions but I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that good gear should only be for raiders.  I believe everyone needs to feel as if they are progressing while playing the game and gear is the easiest way to make people feel that.  So with that said, even if you are not a raider and don't want to use the LFR there needs to be a way for people to advance at a reasonable rate gear wise.

Mists began with a great idea that didn't quite turn out as well as it could have.  The idea that you could get valor in additional ways was huge.  I know a few players that are decent players but they have what could only be referred to as "fear of random people".  If you ever did random content in warcraft it is quite reasonable why some people would feel that way.  Random content is not exactly friendly most of the time.

So being people could do quests to get valor and thus get their valor gear was a great addition to the game.  Gating said gear behind a double gate of reputation and valor however was a failure of epic proportions on blizzards part and whomever came up with that idea should be unemployed now.

So the idea that there would be a gearing option for people that were non raiders was in place.  You could do the "simpler" random content such as dungeons and scenarios for valor as well as questing.  With this valor you could buy yourself some decent gear.

That gear was 489 item level, raid gear was 496 item level, it was a perfect balance.  Almost.  For a non raiding gearing option there needs to be valor items available for all slots, not just most.  Two different trinkets, weapons, off hands and shield, two rings you can use.  There needs to be the whole nine yards.

They have since discontinued valor gear which I believe to be an oversight in design that can not be compared to anything else.  It is a horrible decision on a level of horrible that I can not put words to it or at least not put the words to it that would do it justice.

Mists has done a lot to try and give people other gearing options but some where misses, some were close and some where just way off base.

The second tier of raiding is a case of way off base.  Having people need raid reputation to buy valor gear makes sense and I agree with it actually.  However, if you want to give non raiders a gearing option having them need to get a raid reputation to gear the valor gear kind of defeats the purpose of a non raiders option.  So even if I like the idea of needing raid reputation for it I can understand why it should not be that way from a design perspective.

At least there was one weekly quest you could do that would give you the required reputation and in a matter of 10 weeks, if you did it every week, you could buy a few pieces of shado-pan assault gear.  Another 18 weeks and you could buy a few more pieces and then another 36 weeks and you could buy more.  The 10 weeks of doing the weekly works, the additional 18 and then further additional 36 weeks was out of line.  If they left it at friendly reputation needed only and all it took was 10 weeks to open all the valor gear without raiding if you did the weekly every week it would have been great.  Anything past that is not really a bright idea in my opinion. 

Let us not forget that the weekly needed a group to do it, so it was not exactly solo player friendly.  Sure, I understand it is an MMO but some people just like to play alone and those people like to feel as if they are advancing too and as I mentioned gear is a great advancement tool.

If the second tier had that weekly be something you can do solo and it only took 10 weeks to open everything, not just some things, then you might be able to call it a good design.  As it turns out it wasn't.

When landfall came we had a new faction to gain reputation with and we needed that reputation to buy the valor gear.  Same issue as the first tier, a double gate, but the reputation was gained faster and it told a story on a daily basis and if you went through the entire story by the time you were done you opened all the gear because you had all the reputation.

This is one of the "hits" in my opinion.  A reputation and valor based lockout that actually worked, that actually made sense.  The reputation gains were quick, the journey to doing them was a single story line with many side quests, and it almost kept you distracted from the fact you needed to gain reputation to get the gear because you were finishing a story line in the process and when you finished that story the gear was all there open and ready for you to use because the reputation gains were good.

The barrens quest line was sort of nice as well and in my opinion a fantastic idea.  One weekly quest that could get you an item that you could use to get yourself a piece of 489 gear.  Sure, it was outdated gear but it was a nice little catch up mechanic for people that needed the gear and a nice little transmog set for people that just wanted to get all the pieces for their look.

In my opinion that gear would have been better as 496 gear, but from 489 to 496 is minimal so I can live with that small of a misstep in design even if it was a telling one that showed they did not know what an upgrade would be for the non raider and for the non raider 496 might be an upgrade, 489 might not.

There was one other issue with the barrens weekly quest.  It was too hard for the people that needed the 489 gear.  The mobs were designed for people in 522 gear to give rewards of 489 gear.  If you went there with a mostly fresh 90 with a few pieces of dungeon gear and a crafted piece or two you might be as much as a 468-470 item level and you are going to get destroyed.  The difference between my main hunter who could pull 5 engines in the oil area at the same time and mow them down and my alt hunter who might, just might, be able to handle one with its goblin adds and it took forever to do that, was telling.  The character that did not need they gear could have fun grinding for it at a reasonable speed.  The character that needed the gear took all week to get it done one mob at a time.

Can't really blame blizzard too much here in one aspect but you can in another.  In one way it is extremely hard to design new content like the barrens as something that both a currently geared player and a fresh player can both get something enjoyable out of it.  On the other hand, the gap between player power is blizzard fault because they let stats get out of hand.

Over all the barrens worked out well.  Then came the new tier and the removal of valor gear.  Oops, bad design move there folks.  But to replace the lack of valor gear they added tons and tons of free gear all over the place, or free to the extent that if someone was willing to do the work they can get the gear on the timeless island.

The timeless island design in and off itself is a thing a beauty, but I will touch on that in another post about what WoD needs, this is about gearing options for the non raider and not zone design.

As I said with the 489 barrens gear being a little low for the content, as I believe it should have been 496, the timeless island gear of 496 was off base too, way the hell off base.  The timeless island gear should have been 510, at least.  Burden gear could have stayed at 535.

So instead of valor gear their idea for catch up gear was go around the island and find some things to make the gear for yourself.  A decent enough idea, but not so decently implemented because of the low item level and the fact the gear was horribly itemized.  How many of us used a burden on a piece only to end up with one stat instead of two and it be our worst stat or something we did not need like hit when we were already over the hit cap by 3%?

I am not so turned off by the bad luck of getting stats that are not great for you, but getting only one secondary stat was a joke and should have never happened.  Again, who at blizzard decides these things?  Do they think before they do stuff or do they just get drunk, think of a stupid idea and implement it?

Over all there were ways for the non raider to gear up this expansion, but they were always a day late and a dollar short.  Every step of the way had a good idea, every step of the way had it implemented in a bad way.

Blizzard needs to make sure that their entire player base is catered to, not just people that use the LFR or raid in organized groups.  There needs to be a reasonable way for everyone to gear up, even non raiders.

If only a few changes were made along the way this expansion would have worked perfect as an example of how it should have been but they always made mistakes.  The mistake of having gear gated behind valor and reputation, the mistake of having barrens gear need higher gear to be able to attain, the mistake of having 1 stat on item, the mistake of needing raid reputation to buy valor gear, etc.  Fix any of those things, and adjust the item levels, and for the non raiders there was a clear progression in the game through gear, the easiest mode see your progression in.

That is what warlords needs, a better way for the non raider to gear up and continue to gear up.  Mists tried but did not succeed.  It did however make some fantastic steps forward in what can be done to gear non raiders.  Now for warlords to stop treating non raiders as second class citizens and give them reasonable gear instead of one stat 496 gear with no gem slots in the last tier when appropriately itemized 496 gear with gem slots wasn't even great gear in the first tier.  That is an insult to everyone that plays the game, even to the people that have no need for that gear anyway.  Warlords can not afford to be insulting its dwindling player base like that.

I'd like to see valor gear for every slot available during every tier, even if only at the current LFR level.  I'd like to see dungeon gear get "promoted" with each new tier, so as a new tier comes out the dungeon gear goes up to keep dungeons relevant.  I'd like to see more barrens type stuff, more timeless island type stuff and more landfall type stuff as a means to get item progression as well.  The pieces are there to make the game more non raider friendly.  Now it is in blizzards hands to use those pieces effectively.  They need to stop trying to push everyone into raiding and let people play the game the way they enjoy playing it.


  1. Main agreement - double gating has to go, period. Rep + points is a lousy, ridiculous combination, especially when that's the ONLY option. Rep + gold is fine (Wrath starter factions and Firelands, for two examples); points are fine. Just not both together unless that's a SUPERIOR option to something else that's also available. Make LFR-calibre gear for rep + gold, make flex-calibre gear available for VP and normal-calibre gear for rep+VP? Maybe, although that's probably too many options and chances are nobody would buy the VP-only gear.

    I think the 496 TI gear is fine, even with the random (often single) stats... that isn't intended to be min-max gear, it's meant to be starter gear. It serves that purpose just fine, a full set of that and you're almost SoO LFR geared, they'd still need to fill a couple of other slots but you'd want someone to have a better weapon than if you handed them 502+ gear, allowing them to queue with a green weapon and trinket.

    I loved the Arena scenario for the 450 but they needed to actually advertise it. That should have been an auto-pop quest when you hit 90 like some of the others.

    Now that I've had some time to think about it I'm okay with no VP gear in the FINAL TIER of the expansion... VP can get you 522 gear (I'm ignoring the rep requirement) which is more than plenty to get you into SoO and is more than enough to do any non-raid content in the game that I can think of (sure, you won't be able to solo Warbringers in most cases but those are intended to be group fights). If not offering VP gear in the final tier carries over, I'd be okay with that.

    I'd also like to see crafted gear, if they continue with that going forward, be a lot more useful. Each time a new tier comes out the earlier-tier epic recipes should be upgraded and new slots added. By the end of the expansion you should be able to craft all slots that are typically available for VP. My tailor having the whopping choice of 2 possible belts or 2 possible pants at i553 is pathetic, not just for personal purposes (one is sold against a f'n TIER SLOT, which makes it nearly useless) but for selling... when all tailors are selling the same 2 belts because that's really all they can make that's worth making, it's a problem.

    Also, this is a bit of a tangent but is somewhat related to gear, I don't mind daily crafted mats being bound but motes should absolutely, 100% be either BoE (my preference) or BoA (if they don't want them sold on the AH). I've used 90% of the spirits I've collected this expansion for Golden Lotus from the trade-in vendor... that's the epitome of poor design. I'd love for others to farm spirits on their farms and sell them to me on the AH for my toons that can actually use them in a productive way, not as currency. And gating profession recipes behind spirits was stupid as well, I think they were trying to gate access to those so you couldn't have a fresh 85 get to max skill in a day but... other professions did allow that (alchemy for sure, I believe others did as well), so what was the point there exactly?

    1. 496 is not good if you look at what the gear is intended for. It was intended to be "catch up to SoO LFR" gear.

      Lets go over some facts and then consider if it does that job.

      In perfect 496 gear, meaning gemmed, enchanted, reforged, and with 2 stats on each the top realistic DPS spec in 496 gear was frost DK 2 handed at 124K and the bottom was shadow priest at 91K. That would average to 107.5K. Lets call it 110K for easier math.

      I often say, and stand by the fact, that doing 80% of the top is good, so minus 22K means we are now down to 88K. That means 88K with all "good" players in perfect gear.

      LFR will not have all "good" players and they will surely not have the BiS 496 gear, they will have one stat timeless island gear. It will most likely be ungemmed, unenchanted and unreforged because it is just "catch up" gear while they try to get something different. It will also not have gem slots like the real 496 gear will.

      Now, try to do SoO with the top DPS doing 88K, and that is what it would be with "good" players in perfectly itemized gear all done up, and it will be extremely difficult.

      If you can not do it with "good" players in perfect 496 gear all done up, what prayer in hell do you have of doing it with a while slew of "average" and "bad" players in timeless island 496 gear when they are putting out roughly 30K-40K do to the lesser gears potential.

      Now back to the beginning. Timeless island gear is intended to be catch up gear so you can get into SoO.

      Do you honestly think that gear that would allow the average player to do 40K DPS max is good catch up gear for SoO? I don't. Sorry. I must disagree.

      Timeless island gear was bad, very bad, as a catch up gearing mechanics. For one or two missing slots, sure, it was fine. But for gearing up, it was not an option, at least not unless you wanted to be bad.

      I too would like to see crafted gear play a much bigger part in the gearing up process. More than just a couple of pieces here that need raid materials to make them so they cost an arm and a leg. That basically puts them out of rang of the part time player unless the part time they play is working the AH whenever they are on.

      I agree, motes should have been BoA at least from the get go. Said that last expansion with chaos orbs when it first came out. They always screw up some stupid thing being soulbound that should not be soulbound. It is like they don't think sometimes.

    2. You're kind of sidetracking my point, though, SoO LFR requires i496 to queue... and that's what TI gives you. If you want to argue that's too low, and I know you have, that's fine... but I'm arguing that, with a 496 queue requirement, TI gear being 496 makes perfect sense. Also, I'm pretty confident saying that most of my (wing 1) SoO LFR runs don't have an average dps much over 80K... you get a few solid players, a handful of crappy ones and some around the 80K mark. I don't think you'd want the BEST players doing 80K but that's not how it ever actually works out, you'll have better geared folks in there as well, it's really, really unlikely you're going to have 25 players who have ONLY i496 gear... it might not always seem like it but gear does drop and gear levels do improve from week to week. Besides, someone doing 40K in 496 gear is going to be doing 50K in 522 gear... are you suggesting that's the difference between success and failure if TI gave 522 gear and completely negated the usefulness of VP for gear buying? Better gear really only means something in the hands of better players and chances are better players will have better gear, or will do better than 80% efficiency, or will at least not suicide and will be useful for most/all of the fights. I'd take someone with 80K who knows what he's doing over someone doing 120K who's an idiot.

      For a fresh 90 looking to get into SoO LFR, i496 is the right gear to hand out with minimal effort. After all, the cheap crafted PvP gear you can make at this point is also i496, isn't it? Go to TI for gear if you want or craft (or have crafted) the PvP equivalent gear and you're (almost) good to queue.

    3. ... occurs to me that the PvP gear may be 476, not 496, so that last point may not hold up. Been a while since I actually paid attention to the iLvl of crafted PvP gear.

    4. Yes, it makes sense on a item level to queue basis, it does not make sense in an item giving people the ability to do it without gem slots and without 2 stats.

      In only 496 gear the best players would only be doing 80K. That is the problem with 496 gear, and even bigger problem with timeless 496 gear that would not even get the best players to that "high" mark of 80K.

      Even at that, yes, I would absolutely argue that the item level requirement should be 510 minimum.

      Gear matters to everyone. It just means more in the hands of a good player. Lets say the difference between 496 gear and 522 gear is 50K. In the hands of the average player doing 50% of their potential it means they will do 25K more. In the hands of a good player doing 80% of their potential it means 40K.

      So gear matters to everyone and you could make an argument that it means more to a bad player than it does a good player because a bad player NEEDS it to meet the minimum requirements whereas a good player can meet the requirements with less gear. So if we say 90k is what is needed for LFR that means a bad player needs 560 gear to do it.

    5. in case it wasnt answer - yes crafted LW pvp gear is 476 now with a few pieces at (pre- patch crafted LW) 522 (helm and gloves, I believe) and a few more at 553 (belt and trousers). No kilt though, dang.

      And there are those patterns of a few 496 but they require blood spirits. The 522 require something else that is too expensive to buy in the AH or requires gear from dungeons to dis-enchant. :(

    6. Too many profession things require raid level materials. It is hard for the people that do not raid to get their hands on them. Those things should at least be available from a vendor for a small valor fee, in my opinion at least, so everyone has some sort of access to them.

  2. That last sentence is so telling "They need to stop trying to push everyone into raiding and let people play the game the way they enjoy playing it." because it's so true. Someone at blizz came up with the idea of LFR and decided that it was the best thing since sliced bread, the answer to everything and they just tried to funnel everyone through it. Raiders, non-raiders, alts etc. it was LFR or nothing. Some people do like LFR as it stands, I have seen people claim that. For the people that I know which includes raiders and non-raiders alike, they either dislike it completely or view it as a necessary evil, it's something they have to do even though they don't like it. I don't think that's right.

    So generalising people complained Cata was easy mode so blizz took a giant step back with Mists. They said they were bringing in choice and actually took choice away.

    We went to a daily system where you got a daily bonus each day. Great if you can login everyday, sucks to be someone who can just play weekends. You could choose to still do that but you would be at a disadvantage, it would be harder to get the valor, then you'd be a lot slower with the reputation gates etc. Plus if you have limited playtime, do you do dailies to get reputation, or do you run a dungeon and get some valor. If you do too many dungeons you'll have valor and nothing to spend it on. Especially if you could only play once or twice a week, dailies can only be done once a day obviously and it could be easy to wind up in that situation.

    Gating valor gear behind reputation is just a bad idea in my opinion. The people that need the gear will struggle to access it, whereas the people that don't will unlock it as a matter of course anyway.

    Then there was the gear available outside raids. It was mostly 489 which was lower first tier, until we got 5.4 which was upper first tier. Compare 496 to 553, especially given how much of a stat increase that is and it's ridiculous. Sure there was a smattering of 496 gear from landfall and rep rewards. There was the 522 neck that could be bought straight away, the 502 boots from the barrens quest chain. It was still not enough, nowhere near enough. I don't count the rest of the 522 valor because for someone who refuses to LFR and doesn't raid, then that gear might as well not exist for all they can access it. I had forgotten that the quest gave reputation but at that sort of unlock speed it would hardly feel worth doing, might as well just give up.

    I haven't played any alts this expansion. I levelled them so I can level my professions in Warlords, that's it. I won't do LFR. I miss dungeons and I miss how point gear used to be, I miss the 7x whenever in the week. Was it easy? Could people grind like crazy and gear super fast? Yes but people could also work at their own pace, play when they wanted and see slow and consistent progress.

    I liked Landfall well enough and if they have to gate with reputation, then that would be the way to do it. I want gear for non-raiders/alts to stay just behind normal raiders like it used to be. Make valor gear the same level as LFR or flex, then downgrade it to justice when the next tier comes out. Make new dungeons to accompany each tier which drop gear between the two. Keep valor being able to be got from everywhere, that's fine, but don't make it so little. They split it so much that it's everywhere but still hard to get because it's so little at a time. Use the valor as everywhere as a choice, people can do x or y or z, not make them do all of the above to cap.

    1. I dislike the LFR completely but I too see it is a necessary evil. However, not one I am willing to push myself through as much as I would like to if there were other ways to gear up.

      That is the problem, this raid or die attitude in the game. They need to realize that raiding is not for everyone. Let people play their game and do not funnel them all into the same place.

      Why do you think there are so many bad players in the LFR? Not just because they are bad but because they do not want to be there or they do not know what to do there because they are only doing it because they have to.

      If they leave raiding to the people that want to raid and give options to get equal gear to LFR elsewhere outside of raiding, it would make the LFR a better place over all. Fewer people there just for gear and not because they want to raid. They are bad because they do not want to raid or do not know how to raid. Let them get their gear elsewhere.

      "Was it easy? Could people grind like crazy and gear super fast?"

      Yes it was, and people liked it that way. You nailed it. The only people that complain are the people on the forums and they are a disproportional amount of players.

      Example. Look at MMO-C and the post they made a few days ago that said 0.23% of people have killed garrosh heroic. Now look at a post someone made asking who on the forums has downed him. Either people lying, or fairly representative, but a HUGE number had killed him, as in over 30%.

      Now if these people are complaining things are too easy it could look like over 30% of the population believes that when it fact these people are part of the 0.23%. Then there are the hangers on that want to look "big and bad" too that will back them up saying things are too easy. Suddenly it looks like half the population wants a change when in fact less than one quarter of one percent really do.

      Easy is good.

      They need to do something about gearing alts next expansion. Something that does not involve one option and one option only and that option being raiding.

    2. @ Grumpy - Totally sidetracking this for a sec but I'm not sure if you caught this, that same MMO-C chart showed that more players have killed NORMAL Garrosh than FLEX Garrosh. I'm BAFFLED by that.

      @Both - Back on track, it sounds like they recognize that LFR was aiming too broadly in MoP (progression for some, VP grinding for others, gearing for a few, "experiencing content" for the many) and since the flex participation has been as high as it is (and for many of us, functionally replaced LFR whenever possible), that helps free them up to make LFR a somewhat different, narrower focus... my guess is it will be easier, more flexible (maybe single tank, maybe with a flexible number of healers) and will drop a lower calibre of gear than it does today (I've said all along that it should drop the same as previous-tier normal raids to make it useless for normal raiders, I'd still be fine with that going forward but lower than that might be fine, too, previous flex might be a better goal to take those raiders out of the mix, too).

      @Taitrina - You mention not doing LFR and that the current tier gear is "553" (in comparison to 496)... are you running flex at all? To me, that's a fairer comparison than comparing starter gear to allow someone to run SoO LFR to normal raid gear. I don't think a toon dinging 90 and expecting to step into a normal final-tier raid that night is reasonable in an MMO, progression doesn't just imply content difficulty, it's also an important part of the gearing process. Zero to BiS isn't particularly interesting from a gameplay (or player retention) perspective. There needs to be some tension involved in rewards or the whole system breaks down. Consider a game like chess... knights moving in L shapes increases the complexity and that's necessary for the game as a whole. Games require that kind of complexity to be satisfying, if chess had nothing but pawns (full grind, little reward), or nothing but queens (go anywhere, do anything, little strategy, basically first move wins), nobody would play it. Blizzard is tasked with finding the sweet spot of "fast enough, yet complex enough" that's good ENOUGH for everyone in the game, those who play 2 hours a week as well as those who play 80... those who pet battle vs those who raid. It's impossible for them to make it perfect for even a significant minority of the player base so the middle ground is the best/safest spot for them to be.

      Regarding your daily comment, I'm with you, I'm somewhat annoyed that they went back to an almost entirely log-in-every-day reward structure... even if they don't want to go entirely to a weekly system, I could see them doing something like a charge system for content where if you don't do it for a day (or two) you generate a bonus charge. This could work for dailies, for daily profession cooldowns (I'd especially like to see it for these), for raids (if you skip LFR one week your loot drop odds the next week go up a bit), etc.

      "They split it [VP] so much that it's everywhere but still hard to get because it's so little at a time."

      That kind of comment speaks to the challenge that Blizzard has, though. What you said isn't even true... it may be based on how you play but it's entirely possible to cap VP in a couple of hours by chaining heroic scenarios or even heroic 5-mans. That you can also get VP from killing Isle of Thunder rares, or most dailies anywhere, or doing Timeless Island weekly/daily quests, or just doing a daily heroic 5-man with a bit of work while in the queue, or probably other sources as well, is a good thing. Those who want to grind them quickly can, those who would rather do it more gradually can as well and it's not so trivial a task that anyone should feel obligated to cap on all toons every week. It's not a huge challenge but it does require some effort.

    3. @r flex is raiding, I was talking about the non-raiding options for getting gear. Raids take time, they take a lot of time whatever difficulty mode you choose. LFR can be queued for whenever. However, when I did run LFR to finish my legendary I was often in the queue for 60-90 minutes as a tank/dps (I didn't mind what I got in as, I tank main spec). So that hardly fits the "I'd like to play but don't have a lot of time" either because that's how the person plays generally, or for alts.

      I raid 3-4x a week on my main. I would love not too if I'm honest. I would prefer to do 2 nights and no more. I feel a bit like it's taken over my week already. So if I was to run flex for alts when would I do it? Well my guild and another guild run flex friday and saturday evenings. I don't want to give up anymore evenings to this game, that would be basically every single night. There is OQueue but if I want to play alts I don't want to progression raid with them. I don't want to spend hours in a raid I've already seen that week, hoping for a gear drop I probably won't get, and maybe just wiping over and over instead. I can't do it, I don't have the time nor the willpower.

      What I want is a way that I can actually play my alts, get some meaningful progression and not set foot in a raid of any description. Mists doesn't offer that. I liked dungeons, I liked being able to catch up on previous tier easier with justice, and get some current tier at a glacial rate with valor. They could make it so it's LFR levels offered with justice and valor or flex levels, so it's below normal and raiding is still premiere. I don't mind so long as it's closer and an ongoing process. For the non raider who'd been playing since the start of the expansion, 5.4 didn't bring anything as they'd probably already have mostly 496 anyway.

      Right now I have 496 gear on a handful of alts, as I've got timeless gear while playing my main. I got the gear without playing them which kind of defeats the purpose. I've sent it them, I've equipped it and I haven't done anything else. Why? Because there's nothing to do if you don't raid at any of the levels.

      Yes there's heroic scenarios but I'm not running them with pugs, they weren't designed for that with good reason. No-one in my guild really does them now. What's the point? I pretty much only login to raid, just from raiding (which even a 13/14 clear doesn't get to half vp cap), even with just that I always have enough valor to upgrade drops. So why would I need to grind out anymore? It's the same with my friends. They have alts but they take them to LFR or flex because I guess they are willing to play every night, or give up their weekends. There' s no gear to buy with valor that's worth it as Siege LFR drops higher than the 522 stuff.

      As for splitting up vp so it's everywhere but hard to get. Soon after launch when I wasn't doing all the dailies everyday I had trouble getting valor. After 5.2 it got easier and capping in 5.3 with heroic scenarios was really easy and I could do that now if I wanted but as I said vp is kinda useless so no point.

      I'm not bothered by valor now on my main or on my alts as there's nothing worth doing with it. However, I'm talking about warlords and mostly it's more of a "weekly bonus not daily bonus" gripe. I can and will get my main capped, if it's worth doing so, whatever vp methods they launch with. If they have things like isle of thunder boxes, and heroic scenarios, straight away then that's cool. If they make it so your first 7 dungeons in a week (whenever you do them) gets 80 and thereafter it's 40, then that would be spot on. I guess I'm not arguing for more valor, just more flexibility in when I can collect it.

    4. @R

      I am not baffled by that really. There are a lot of raiders that just log in for raid night and do not want to raid more. So they log in for their normal run and they eventually kill garrosh and never touch flex.

      Now, for flex, I can tell you even from my own guild, when we kill garrosh I pick and choose people to bring. It is not an "easy" fight if you start bringing people that do not know how to move, target switch, or do their job well.

      With all that said, I too would have thought flex would have had more kills than normal but I am not entirely surprised that normal has more kills.

    5. @r @grumpy

      I haven't killed Garrosh on flex or on normal actually. My guild has killed him on normal. We have 3 tanks in my guild and for that kill night I lost the coin toss and had to sit out. Our first kill has been our only kill. I've had the opportunity to kill him on flex though. One flex run we got to Garrosh and I said "ok I'm out" and got a new tank to come in just for Garrosh.

      I've wiped over 150x on Garrosh and my guild can one shot him with ease on flex. We have trouble on normal because if we don't have all our top people we can't do it. If we just have to take who signs then we don't have the numbers, even just taking one subpar person means a night of wipes rather than a kill.

      After having wiped so many times I can't bear the idea of killing him on easy mode now. I refused point blank to run LFR and I didn't do flex and now I won't do flex. I need all those wipes to mean something, I need it not to fall flat when finally he goes down. So one day - I hope - I will kill Garrosh.

      So one day I will be contributing to the normal kill, not flex kill stats. In all honestly though if you can clear it on normal why would you run flex? My guild does it for alts and socials, and also for achievement runs. When we did take our mains for that achievement run it was so much easier that it was just sad.

      I just login for raid night but then I've said that :)

    6. @R

      I hope you are right, I hope they are going to make LFR much easier for the masses that use it so I do not need to go through hell on alts if I decide to run it.

      Why not hit 90 and step right in? In wrath I would hit 80 on an alt and run ICC that very night. There is a reason that wrath was so well love, that my friend is part of it.

      I can cap valor in less than 1 hour doing heroic scenarios. I love those things.


      You hit a key issue. LFR can be queued for and is supposed to be a nice fast way to do things for people that do not have much time. I've spent more time in 1 single LFR than I do in actual guild raids dozens if not more times. That is a huge problem with LFR. It is not a time saver.

    7. @Taitrina

      Without the top people we have zero chance on garrosh too. Don't feel bad. One of our main tanks might never get a kill until we can carry someone one day down the line because if he tanks the fight we don't kill him. We actually have our two main tanks not tank the fight. The paladin needs to sit and the DK goes frost. Our feral druid goes bear in his cat gear and does it just fine. Bears are awesome for the fight and we one tank it. Without a druid tank, at least now, I don't think we will ever kill him. Druids are just too OP for the fight.

      I still run flex. My hunter is down to only needing one piece from there, but he can still use one piece so I will still run it with him. And there is always the chance of an heirloom off garrosh and I will kill him every chance I get to see if I can get it.

      Funny story, last kill a hunter got the bow and he does not have any other hunters, yet me with my 5 hunters can't get the heirloom bow I am sure one of them can use.

    8. @Taitrina

      What type of progression are you looking for that requires gear but doesn't involve raiding? Unless you consider getting gear upgrades to BE progression in itself, at least (I don't but I think @Grumpy might be on your side if so). If that is your status then I'm not sure how to respond. Tangential but related example - I was a relatively avid pet collector back before account-wide and pet battles... but I haven't trained pet battles and likely never will, it isn't of interest to me. That excludes me from a majority, maybe a large one, of the pets out there. When I had equivalent access to pets to other people, I considered it a type of progression. Now that I don't, I don't, although I'll still grab pets that I can when possible. Personally, I treat gear the same way... when I raid, I care about gear and it's part of my progression model. When I don't, it isn't anymore. Ultimately, the current system seems set up along my lines... you have significantly less access to gear if you aren't running content that requires it. That makes sense to me. Besides, it's not like there's no access to gear. Celestials/Ordos have been FANTASTIC for even alts that I've basically ignored since they hit 90 (I have toons with i535 average iLvl who still have i450/i463 weapons). Burdens from the Island giving i535 gear to fill needed slots have been great. Heroic Scenarios and the i516 drops are useful, too, especially in the case of weapons, I have at least 2 toons running HS weapons. I'd be perfectly comfortable with at least 6 of my toons that haven't done any raiding above ToT LFR coming into a Flex run and performing at least adequately and I think that's fantastic.


      All the raids I have any affiliation with used flex to train for normal fights... that cut down significantly on the wipe count on normals once you'd mastered them on flex. For that reason ALONE I expected flex to be higher and if I hadn't seen that chart I'd have expected flex Garrosh to be TWICE the completion rate of normal, if not even higher. Still baffled. :) @Taitrina, I get that "I want it on normal first" thing, I used to play that way as well when LFR was the lower-calibre alternative but to me at least, flex is just too useful as a learning tool and with the upcoming WoD renaming of the raid difficulties, I don't think there's any shame getting a kill on flex before normal. But as always, that's just me. ;)

    9. Actually I would be on Taitrina's side there. Even for non raiders gear is progression. What else is there for them? Be honest. Once you do loremaster and get exalted what else is there for a non raider except to get gear upgrades so they can kill stuff faster when out herbing or mining or skinning or rare hunting or what have you. Gear is progression if you raid or if you do not raid. The only difference is for raiding you have a boss count as well as gear level.

  3. I'm sure this is no surprise, but I definitely agree with the comments on gearing.

    I also want to add that Timeless Isle is overtuned like Barrens was. The only option is to get 496 BoA tokens, send those to my alts, then qualify them for LFR and get some LFR gear so I can get up to 510 or so before venturing out on the Isle. Otherwise, everything on the Isle will destroy a player in 485-496 lvl gear.

    The 496 items should have been 502+ and they should have always had two stats. Gems wouldn't be absolutely necessary if they had proper ilvl and stats.

    There also was the consistent lack of weapons and trinkets... My mage has basically all the 496 items she can get (could use another ring), but she's stuck with a 437 trinket and a 450 weapon... I can get a 476 weapon for 20k coins, but that's stupid. It should be a 502 weapon. There isn't even a crafted mage weapon. At least my DK has the 502 BS weapon but that wasn't cheap. There should be a second trinket available as well; the only option is to buy the old crafted Darkmoon Card which is 476.

    1. I think the no weapon option is the worst part of it. A 485-496 geared player could do timeless island, at least the lower part where they can take 1 mob at a time if they had a weapon in that range but with a 429 or 450 or even 476 weapon it becomes that much harder. They needed to add reasonable weapon options.

      I do agree that the 496 was bad, it should have been 510 and with 2 stats, at least.

  4. Another voice of agreement - you said it all, really, I agree with pretty much everything.

    I was missing both the posts and the comments, they are a great read.

    Wrt 'What WoD Needs' and further posts on this topic, these two items stand out to me:

    * Professions. They should make professions relevant again. Ideally, at all profession levels, not only at level 700 or whatever WoD's cap is going to be. One way to do this would be to organize materials for all professions into a system with links, where professions would produce mats for each other (tailoring requiring patches of leather crafted by leatherworkers and metal something crafted by blacksmiths, etc), and lower-level mats would be used to produce higher-level mats (thorium bars being transmuted into fel iron bars, possibly requiring some gems / engineering gimmicks to do this, etc). It would also be interesting to have professions craft not only actual gear, but collectibles and transmog gear (engineers can do a fair number of pets, they should extend on this - craft more pets, and craft toys?? tabards? furniture / something else for garrisons? - etc).

    * Gold. I'd like them to make gold relevant once again as well. Gold plays next to no role right now, that feels like a huge missing opportunity to me. Gold could easily be an alternative progression path - get raid-level gear by buying it through gold, you know - WoW doesn't really have it right now, you can only get a couple of pieces that way and these pieces are going to be good, but not great (no warforged suffix, no tier bonuses, etc) at best. If professions are done right, that could be 90% of all that's needed.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. I plan to touch on professions in one of those posts, that is for sure, had not put much thought into gold, it is just one of those things that is "there" if you know what I mean. But I understand where you are going. There is one problem with it however. If they make it relevant again too much they would effectively lock up a large percentage of players. Believe it or not, many people still have trouble making gold.