Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It is Easier to Gear Up Than Ever, So Why Do I Hate it So Much?

I keep saying I miss valor gear because it was such a nice and easy way to gear up.  But basically I am wrong.  I could not be more wrong actually.  It is easier to gear up now than it has ever been in the history of the game.  So why do I hate it so?

I guess it comes down to what we enjoy doing.  We all have things we like doing and things we do not like doing, it is a matter of opinion here, nothing right or wrong about it.  I like doing dungeons, I like collecting valor, I like saving up and seeing myself working toward a goal, be it that chest piece for 2250 valor or that trinket for 1600 valor or what have you.

I enjoy the concept of gearing up with valor.  I believe it helps me feel connected with the game, invested in the game.  I feel it is me doing something to "earn" the gear.  It also always made raiding more enjoyable for me.  With valor if you went through a bad luck streak at least every boss you killed gave you some valor points as a consolation prize.  Something that maybe you could save up and in time get yourself a piece of valor gear.  Now when you hit a bad luck streak it just feels like you are wasting your time killing something over and over with no benefit from doing so.  Valor gave farm bosses meaning, a purpose.

One thing about valor gear that many did not like is it took time.  For my alts that I did not raid with gearing them in all valor gear was a huge under taking as they needed all the pieces.  But that kept me playing the game.  It kept me running dungeons, raids, whatever I could get valor from, all in an effort to work toward getting that next piece.  So even the characters I am not playing I felt like I was advancing on, slowly but surely.  It had that wonderful feeling of moving forward even if sometimes it was a really slow process on alts.

Nothing about valor was quick.  Nothing about valor was easy.  It took time and dedication to get your valor gear, it was a long term goal, not a case of instant gratification.  That is why I always hated people that called valor gear welfare gear.  It was nothing even close to that.  Gear handed to you, for example from killing a boss, is more welfare than valor.  Valor gear was a long term goal you worked for, it was not an instant gratification gearing up system, which is what we have now.

So why did I like it so much?

You would think if I wanted easy gear that I would love the current gearing system where you can hit 100 and be 680 item level extremely quickly.  Even get damn near close to it on the day you hit 100.  All without ever stepping foot into an instanced raid.  Not even one single time.

With someone like myself that is gold capped and never had any problems making gold, which is the one restricting factor to gearing up in todays game, I should be loving gearing up now shouldn't I?  But I am not.  I do not enjoy just hitting 100 and basically being handed gear for being 100.  I miss valor as strange as it might sound.  I would rather work for my gear over time with valor than hit 100 and buy it off the auction house.  While I can do it, there is no fun in that for me.

For those that do not believe me, that you can hit 680 without even stepping into a raid, I figured I would end this post with a small how to.

For gearing up in this method you would need a couple of things.  First being a fair deal of gold and the items available on your local auction house of course and the second being a hell of a lot of garrison resources.

The reason for the garrison resources are because one of the pieces can not be purchased with gold but all other slots can.  The one piece you can not buy with gold are legs.  You can also get legs from dungeons of course and even with 630 legs you would still get close to a 680 item level.  You can, if lucky, get legs from Rukhmar the world boss at a 665 item level as well.  But as that requires a raid group and luck, I will keep the list to things you can do easily on day one as soon as you hit 100.  With enough garrison resources you can get the apexis legs to 655 on day one and 675 shortly after.

The list you see as follows will get your brand spanking new survival hunter to a 681 item level the day you hit 100.  Let me remind you this is NOT an ideal gear set up.  My item level is lower than this item level you can get one day one of 100 because some lower item level pieces are better than the ones here.  But this will give you a good start on the gearing process from the day you hit 100 with the exception of the legs.

So, I can get to the item level I already am on my hunter the day I hit 100 with a new hunter, and for someone that is gold capped it is no problem at all.  But given the option I would still rather have valor back and have gearing take time.  Am I weird?  Don't answer that, I know I am.

Shreadirons Shredder of the Savage, Item level 675.
Source: crafting.

Plume Adorned Headdress, Item level 665.
Source: world drop.

Darklight Necklace, Item level 700.
Source: mythic BRF zone drop.

Dunestalker's Mantle, Item level 665.
Source: world drop.

Magic-Breaker Cape, Item level 685.
Source: mythic HM zone drop.

Wayfaring Tunic of the Savage, Item level 685.
Source: crafting.

Bracers of Callous Disregard, Item level 700
Source: mythic BFR zone drop.

Grips of Vicious Mauling, Item level 685.
Source: mythic HM 1st boss drop.

Belt of Inebriated Sorrows, Item level 685.
Source: mythic HM zone drop.

Ethereal Crystal-Leaf Legguards, Item level 675.
Source: apexis crystals.

Treads of the Veteran Smith, Item level 700.
Source: mythic BRF zone drop. 

Ring 1:
Timeless Solium Band of the Assassin, Item level 680.
Source: legendary quest line.

Ring 2:
Knobbly Ancient's Tendril, Item level 665.
Source: world drop.

Trinket 1:
Stone of Fire, Item level 685.
Source: crafting.

Trinket 2:
Lucky Double-Sided Coin, Item level 665.
Source: world drop.

Average Item Level: 681

Some notes:

Two items are best in slot for a survival hunter, the neck and the boots.
Six items can even be warforged and have a gem slot for even more stats.
Only three items are from crafting for maximum benefit.
Only one item you can not get one day one, the legs, but they can be substituted as you work toward them, as mentioned.

So, I wonder, if it really is so easy to gear up this expansion, why do I hate gearing this expansion so much and wish valor was back?  Maybe because I like the feel of working toward something and spending gold does not hold that feeling for me.  Not when I can get to a 681 item level on the day I hit 100 thanks to gold.  There is no fun in that, for me at least, and we play the game for fun don't we?


  1. You might be gold capped or near to it but the vast majority of players aren't. I'm certainly not, I have about 150k which is the most I've ever had at one time.

    I once bought a piece of gear. A sword for 21k, a massive upgrade at the time and I used it for most of an expansion. I have always regretted it as I considered it wasted gold.

    Gear is transitory, it will get vendored within months or relegated to transmog. It's useful sure but it doesn't last. The only thing I will spend gold in are mounts, pets and toys. Things I get to keep forever.

    Gold is not a gearing mechanism for me, even if I had the gold to spend. I would begrudge it. I can't play the AH and even if I did, that turns it into a completely different game.

    I'm with you, I want to earn my gear, have a chance to get it through playing. Right now the only upgrades I can get with my playstyle are garrison missions, that isn't exactly playing the game either.

    You aren't the only one that misses valor and dungeons.

    1. As I said, while I "could" buy the gear that doesn't hold much fun for me. I like the idea of slowly building up a character for me. More of alts than main of course.

      But for many, as you mention, buying all this is sort of out of the question. It would be very expensive. I would not be surprised if something like this would cost close to if not over 500K. Which of 99% of the player base is a number they will never see, even in this expansion that just hands out gold like candy.

      I "might" buy a piece for my main, but as you said being gear is transitory I would never spend that much gold on an alt I might not even play much. So I would really prefer a real gearing method instead of the gold gearing method.

  2. It's an interesting observation. On the one hand, gear (up to a certain level) is idiotically easy to get in this expansion as you explain, but on the other hand it is very hard to get. It is hard to get, because if you don't have a ton of gold, you have to have a ton of time because you absolutely must grind garrisons and professions every day. This is so you can work your way up to reasonable mission rewards and also to get the profession mats to craft and upgrade 3 pieces -- which among other things will require 180 Savage Bloods to max out. And SB requires either mucho gold or a significant time investment in trapping for multiple barns.

    In one of my guilds we have raiders who only recently broke the 650 gear level even after all this time. They have complained that gear is hard to get, which had me scratching my head, but I think they are used to being able to gear up under the old paradigm, where they could grind out lots of valor in a weekend session or after a raid on raid nights and be maxed out for the week.

    1. It is hard to get because

      1) most people as in 99% of the player base, what I said is out of the question and not a real option.

      2) you need to grind raids to get decent gear from the garrison missions which defeats the idea of gearing up for the raid if you need to raid to gear up for it.

      3) And crafted gear is both limited to three and insanely expensive if you do not farm your materials yourself.

      If I were a part timer with no gold to speak of I would be impressed with 650 item level this expansion. Sad really, because gear makes the world go round, not sure why blizzard is trying to desperately to keep people from getting it.

  3. Got to 671 IL. Without stepping foot in a raid higher than lfr. 3 pieces off AH for 23k each. Felt like a whore doing it. Bring back valor.

    1. I would rather buy with valor I worked for than gold I got basically just from being active.

      23K however is a very nice price.

      There has been a few 706 boots, best in slot for me, on the AH this week for under 30K. I would buy them, but I keep missing them. Two people in my guild got them already.

  4. Wow... I knew there were a lot of BoE trash/Salvage drops but I didn't realise it was that many!

    I think people are too quick to dismiss the Apexis Crystal gear.
    As a Valor replacement it is extremely poorly implemented, but it is still BiS gear for non-raiders if they don't want to, or can't, buy the BoE's (assuming they use the crafted items in other slots).

    You even have to (mostly) actually play the game to earn them. It's boring as hell but it's playing.

    Don't bring back Valor, just fix Apexis Crystals!

    1. There is a lot, a hell of a lot. It is easy to over look it because lets face it even people at gold cap would never pay what could easily be over half a million to gear up a character. Not even a main. A main will get raid gear soon enough. So unless it is BiS, like to boots and neck for a hunter, you forget about it. I know I do.

      Nah, bring back valor. Valor works for whatever expansion, world, zone, what have you. Apexis are draenor only.

      And Apexis would need to have a boatload of gear added, better gear implemented, prices adjusted, and acquisition methods greatly increased.

      Not worth the effort for something we will be leaving behind soon (I hope). Valor we can put back in and keep using even next expansion.

      People dismiss apexis crystal gear because it is not a viable option. Costs way to much, has a low item level even when maxed, takes forever to accumulate, I can go on. People dismiss apexis gear because it is very dismissible.

    2. Yeah, I suppose you are right about the Apexis.

      While, in theory, it does offer the gear progression building up over time that we want, the ridiculously high cost is prohibitive.

      I think I could get past all the other flaws if it wasn't so damn expensive. It would be viable for alts/non-raiders at maybe 1/3 of the cost, the ilvl is still way above lfr gear after all.

      For my alts it would then be the go-to activity while waiting for my lfr to pop.

    3. The cost is what kills it really. They did it to themselves by wanting to use big numbers to make it seem "epic". The big numbers are what make it bad.

      I think, as you said, for alts and non raiders it would be okay at a third of the price. Still only okay however. The upgrade thing on them is what really kills them in my opinion. Needing to hold on to it, to remember if it was an apexis piece so you know to hold on to it, that whole design is horrid.

      Better would have been buy the piece at some base price, then go to an apeix vendor and like the valor upgardes, there are apexis upgrades. Not buying another piece. That is a bad idea. Updating the piece you have would work better. And would also have the 0/4 upgrades on it to remind you, hey, I can upgrade this.