Thursday, May 14, 2015

Should Tier Sets Be Needed To "Make" Your Spec?

Have you ever had that feeling where you said, "As soon as I get the 2 piece tier set my numbers will shoot up."?  I am sure each and every one of us have said that.  Tier sets are supposed to be a boost to what we do, be it as a damage dealer, a healer or a tank.  They are supposed to make us better, make us feel stronger.

But have you ever had the feeling of "As soon as I get the tier set the rotation will be smooth."?

When I first saw the four piece set for the marksman hunter where it makes your aimed shot instant little images of wrath's MM ArP build started to come to mind.  Sure armor penetration is gone from the game but one of the other big things back then also happened to be that aimed shot was an instant cast spell.  It helped make for a very rapid fire always hitting buttons class and I loved the ever living crap out of it.  Spamming keys like the heart breaker and life taker that I am.  That is how a hunter should feel.

When they redesigned marksman for this expansion one of my complains, my main complaint actually, was the lack of an instant ability.  MM really needed one.  Now we are getting one, but only if you happen to get the four piece tier set which is not exactly as easy as it should be to get for those of us that apparently the random number generator hates.

Let me give a little side story as to what bought this post to mind before I continue with it.

I have a total of 35 kills on tier dropping bosses so for this tier and I have used a coin on each and every one of them at least 90% of the time.  Maybe it was even 100% but I do not want to say that as I am not completely certain.  I might have not used coins on all of them but I sure as hell used it on most of them and sure as hell used them on every one in recent weeks being I sit at or near 10 at all times anyway.

But the point of all that babble is this.  I have absolutely no heroic tier pieces.  Not a single one.  Never won a roll for one, never got one with personal loot, never got one on a coin.  As I said, not one single tier piece all expansion, which is only matched with not one single weapon all expansion and the fact I am still wearing a 655 trinket because I can't seem to get them either.

If you ever think RNG is bad to you, please reread that and understand what it is really like to have the random number generator hate you.  It hates me so much that I am sure when I die and am buried six feet under the random number generator will make routine trips to my grave site just to piss on it so it can rub it in.

Now that I have gotten past all that self pity and woe is me moaning that the random number generator doesn't love me I will get back to the point at hand.  I just told that story so it would explain the premise for this post as a whole.

I am looking forward to the four piece set for marksman, I am looking forward to maybe being able to use focusing shot with it instead of lone wolf depending on what the theory crafters come up with numbers wise. If it is close, as in less than 1% close, then I will once again be running around with my trusty companion fang at my side and using focusing shot.

The combination of focusing shot and an instant aimed shot is just so exciting, the most exciting thing I can think about for me come 6.2.  But the funny part, or the sad part if you look at it that way, is that none of this can happen for me until I get the four piece set.

That is the entire question of the post.  Should you need a tier set to make a spec feel smooth?  Should you need a tier set to make a spec feel fluid?  Should you need a tier set to make a spec feel complete?

All MM needed, as I mentioned early on, even during the beta, was an instant shot and now we get it.  Now the flow of the spec becomes so much nicer, less clunky, more fluid.  But only if you have the four piece set.

My personal opinion is that this is bad design.  Extremely bad design.  A tier set should make you stronger, but it should not be required to make your spec feel natural.  You should not need a tier set for aimed shot to be instant.  That is how it should have been since beta when I first said it.  It is how it should have been all expansion.  It is how it should be next tier before I even get the four piece, and looking at my history I should say, if I ever get the four piece.

I don't believe that tier sets should be required to "fix" a broken spec so it feels smooth.  Specs should be designed to be smooth from the get go and tier sets should make you feel stronger.

In a long series of bad design choices by blizzard this one has to be near the top of their list.  They purposely left MM broken, in terms of feeling as it was doing good numbers so we can not call that broken at all, all expansion long, just so they could fix it with a tier set bonus to make the bonus feel awesome.

Well, you are right blizzard, it will feel awesome.  For the people that get it.

I can't believe they are stooping so low as to using a tier set to fix a class instead of just fixing the class to begin with.  I don't like that design.  Maybe you do, but I do not believe that we should ever "need" a tier set for our class to play smooth.  It should play smooth to begin with.  That would be good design.


  1. Out of idol curiosity what sort of loot system is your guild using? I'm guessing just rolling need? You may wanna try something like EPGP it helped us we haven't had anyone want a teir piece in about a month and I've got 20 plus people :( Also I'm waiting for you to weigh in on the mass banning of botters since you've complained about that before.

    1. When we first get to a boss, or in the first few kills when everyone needs something we are using personal. Seems to get a lot more loot that way. After 2 or 3 kills we start doing standard master looter need before greed.

      I plan to make a post about the bot thing tomorrow. More of a tin foil hat one, but over all my main comment is as follows. It is a good start, now keep it up.

  2. I'm with you. I don't think tier sets should be a method to fixing any classes broken spec. Tier bonuses should always make an already functional and smooth class/spec more powerful... more fluid. Not having an instant cast ability is the main reason I hate playing MM. How is it that Blizzard can honestly justify NOT having an instant cast focus dump?? That's just wrong, lazy development IMO. But that's what WoD has really been all about isn't it? I loved this xpac for the first 8 weeks, then slowly started getting burned out and it wasn't until recently that I took a wide angle view of everything Blizzard has done (and is planning to do) this xpac and realized something.

    WoD is a mechanism/avenue for Blizzard and the Devs to test ALL the ideas they ever wanted to try in an attempt to see what will work and what will not. Basically, this expansion is one gigantic Beta test for all future expansions to be released. Now, you may say, "well, that's true of all past xpacs too"; and you would be partially correct. But NEVER have so many changes come in such a short period of time. Blizzard is all over the map with different things and it's become very apparent that they are not going to be swayed by dissenting players (whether or not they have valid points and/or proof/facts to back it up). This xpac is just one gigantic test bed and it's "full steam ahead" with their ideas right now - regardless of who or how many players voice concerns. (Yes, I did post this on the Blizzard forums)

    For me, WoD has been one gigantic let down - for all the reasons you have stated in your previous posts and then some. If it wasn't for the fact that I love (LOVE) raiding, I would have unsubscribed long ago and most definitely prior to 6.2 being released (because I don't see this train wreck of an xpac getting any better from 6.2 on). People in my guild are asking when 6.2 will be released... I answer them with "Screw 6.2... I just want to know when 7.0 will be released!"

    1. I said when 6.1 came out that the beta was officially over. The game as we saw it in 6.1, including both raids from 6.0, is how the game should have been released. They were way off on this expansion and they have done nothing, in my eyes, to try and catch up. Even 6.2 just looks like more of the same. All we are getting is another raid. Nothing else. We now will send ships on missions instead of people. We will do dungeons we didn't need any loot from in a harder mode we wont need any loot from.

      I actually have a theory for why that is. WoD was coming along just fine when GC left (or got fired if you believe that angle) and whomever it was that took over really disliked it and scrapped everything.

      This is why it took so long. Because they had to start from scratch basically. It is also why it is so light on content, they did not have enough time to develop it as they were so far behind after scraping everything that had been done in the previous year. So from where they are sitting now they just want this expansion over, just like we do, and that is why we are getting nothing new for 6.2, because it would be a waste of resources to try to add to an expansion they are going to attempt to end as soon as possible.

    2. Hadn't thought of it from that PoV. As sad as it makes me to say this, it makes sense. I just hope WoD has allowed them enough time to get their act together and pick a direction because if 7.0 is anything like WoD, I'm really done with this game. And... I DON'T want to be done with this game. :*(

    3. I feel exactly the same. I still like the game and enjoy spending my free time playing it but now it seems it is only for the people because there is nothing in the game itself keeping me playing right now. I hope they get their act in order soon and that next expansion they go back to a more robust offering instead of just raid or die. Even as a raider, that gets tired fast.

  3. The fact that class DPS is balanced around the 4-piece is a travesty. Tier sets should enhance aspects of your class, not define them.

    1. That is basically what I am getting at. It should not be balanced around the fact you "must' have certain gear. Gear should make things better, not be the means of balancing things.

    2. "The fact that class DPS is balanced around the 4-piece is a travesty. Tier sets should enhance aspects of your class, not define them."

      Exactly that!

    3. They should send that to blizzard on a bumper sticker. Put it on all their cars. A great line indeed.

  4. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    The tier piece bonus should never be needed to play the class properly. It should always be an enhancement of some particular skill or spell to a new level of ability and not bringing it in line with a regular rotation as the "finally I have a real rotation" type of ability.

    As Blizzard has long since chosen to use gear as the post level cap means of progression, you would think by now they would have figured out how to consistently make tier piece set bonuses actual bonuses and not a needed requirement to play the class properly. All class specs should be able to produce a proper rotation/sequence of skill/spells without any armor bonuses at all. That is called balancing the classes and yes, that is balancing for PvE, the predominant form of game play in WoW.

    I honestly have no idea how the developers see this. Obviously not as you or I or other commenters here see it. I just know that needing a tier set bonus to have a smooth, proper rotation is just wrong from any viewpoint that I can see it from.

    1. I have not problem with needing a tier set to have enough power to do certain thing but I am bugged that we need a tier set to make a rotation feel smoother. Just seems like a fault in design if you ask me.

  5. Tier Sets...
    Nice little bonus if your class is well designed to begin with.
    Band aid to cover any areas that are lacking for the rest of us.

    As an Ele Shaman, we see this 2 out of 3 tiers per expansion. The other tier they don't even bother.
    We get promised it will be fixed properly at a later date. Still waiting, apparently the fixes are coming soon...

    As always, it's never black and white and highly subjective.
    I still love playing my shaman and I'm sure you still love your hunter, it just feels like something is missing or not quite right, something they should actually fix instead of papering over the cracks with a tier bonus (that we may not even get to drop for us)

    1. You nailed it on your assessment of how they work tier sets. Nice bonus if your class is designed right and a band-aid fix if it is not.

      Yes, I still love my hunter but as you said, it feel like an instant is missing from MM, which this tier adds, and burst is missing from survival which the current tier gives somewhat. Wouldn't it be a wonderful work if the specs just had that to begin with and didn't need a tier set to make it happen?

  6. off topic:

    Thought you'd like this opinion fodder:

    World of Warcraft lead designer on 'Watcher' Hazzikostas on why 7M players stuck around — and why 3M left



    1. Most of the things he said there are things he was paid to say. Not one with at least a high school education would think most of the stuff he says has any basis in reality. It is company spin. It is also the post I plan to make today, to pick apart everything he said.

      All he was doing was playing to the share holder and doing his job, I do not fault him for that. But his statements are wrong in the eyes of the players for the most part and that needs to be called out.

    2. I see a lot of Q&A and lengthy discussion; but no answer(s) to the primary question, "why [did] 7M players stuck around — and why 3M left". I like Watcher (Ion Hazzikostas), but not pointing out what was done wrong and what you plan to do to fix it is a bit disingenuous IMO. On par with answering a direct question with another question - it's of no value.

    3. It is company man syndrome. He can't outright admit what went wrong unless he is explicitly allowed to do so. He is between the rock and the hard place right now.

      He did the best he can and I like him too, but I had to pick apart some of the comments myself, for fun and all. Just posted it.