Friday, November 22, 2013

A Case For Reforging

Reforging is being removed in Warlords, there are no ifs ands or buts about it.  Blizzard has said so much already and there is nothing I could write that could change their mind, but that has never stopped me from writing some hair brained ideas before and I am not going to step now.

Reforging was the best thing to impact game play that came out of cataclysm in my opinion and while I completely agree with the assessment that reforging just seemed like "work" for the majority of the players and most would just use a site like Mr. Robot to tell them what to do and follow it, I still liked it.

Sure it was only simple math but it allowed for some customization.  Maybe not for your average damage dealer which it basically was "get to the hit and expertise cap and then stack your best stat" most of the time but for a healer I liked it.

Mr. Robot keeps telling me, spirit, spirit, spirit on my disc priest but I do not follow its suggestions because for the content I am doing my mana is just fine.  I am going more critical and dumping spirit whenever I can now, within reason.

See, it wasn't always about numbers for all classes, it was about feel, for some even if that some were actually very few.  I found that to be a play style choice.  I found that fun.  Well, on my priest at least I did.  Finding that right balance as to how much spirit I could lose and still do my job effectively.

With no hit and expertise in the game any longer the idea of reforging really makes no sense.  Outside of hit and expertise the only reason for reforging besides "feel" like on my disc priest was trying to get is to hit a haste cap of some sort for an extra tick on an HoT or DoT.

So removing reforging to limit what we need to do with gear is not a bad thing at all.  However, I believe it can still have a place in the game.  It just needs to adapt.

What if reforging stayed in game but changed to reflect the new world?

No longer would it change 40% of a secondary stat into another secondary stat.  It would now change 100% of it.   Less of that "math" they were complaining about being no fun for the masses.  Just a simple "mastery sucks for me so I am making that into critical strike".

Healers could still use it to fiddle around with spirit if they felt they needed more or less of it.  Damage dealers could use it to stack their best secondary stat on to every piece of gear they have.  And there would still be a little math involved.  Switching things around until you get as close to that haste cap as you can.

If your best secondary stats are critical and haste and you get a new weapon with mastery and haste wouldn't it be fun to be able to convert all that mastery into critical?  It would not be a big deal being it is not some 40%, it is converting all of it.  It would be a straight out questions of which is better.  That would be fun, to have the better weapon, wouldn't it?

Most people love stacking stats, it is part of the game they enjoy, like the DK tank in one of my groups that is so excited every time his mastery goes up.  He is sitting at 270% now and says he wants more.  He enjoys getting more, he has fun whenever it goes up.  Or the lock in my group that does the same and stacks mastery and loves getting a piece with mastery but runs and changes anything that doesn't to mastery instantly.

People like being able to change to stats they feel are useful for them.  They like creating power items.  They are making some customizations that make them feel more powerful, make them feel like they are responsible for how well they do and not just relying on drops with the right stats, because anything can be a power item.

They are removing reforging because they feel it is not fun for more people.  I can agree to some extent because I hate getting a new piece and having to re-figure everything out to see what is the best way to get the closest to hit and expertise cap.  But now that they are being removed, the annoying part of reforging is being removed.  Now it is just change it to the best secondary stat for you, and that is fun game play.  Who doesn't like making their character feel stronger.

Make reforging a 100% change and it will be fun.  It doesn't need to be removed, it just needs to be redesigned to be fun again.  It is a great tool, I just hate seeing it be removed, I liked it and I will miss it.  I will miss it a lot more when all my gear has mastery on it and mastery sucks for me.  It would be fun for me to get rid of that mastery, it would not feel like "work" like getting as close to the hit cap does now.

I think there is still a place in the game for reforging, how about you?


  1. FOr most classes reforging 100% of a seconday stat will be reaaaaally dumb, cause we only use 3 secondaries (only healers use 4). That will make all the gear to be the same except for the few pieces that have only 1 secondary stat.

    FOr exemple for a hunter, a belt with

    -100 crit
    -100 haste

    would be the same as a belt with

    -100 mastery
    -100 haste

    just reforge mastery to crit and gg.

    So unless they go with lots of 1 stat gear or gear with 2 secondaries that are vastly different from one another (say more than an 50% delta) the difference between gears will be negligible.

    1. Even if there are only 3 secondary stats I would rather have the 2 best ones. Not really a decent argument against it in my opinion but I see what you are getting at. It would be more attractive with more options.

      If I like critical and haste, I want critical and haste on every item. Being able to do that is fun. A lot more fun than running around with that mastery haste piece for months hoping for a critical haste one to drop. That is never fun.

  2. Healers were the only ones that reforging was ever good for. Need more spirit let's move some stuff around. Want to try to hit a higher hast cap, lets dump everything into haste. I agree that was fun, but only for healers.

    1. I enjoyed it best on my healers, that is for sure. For damage dealers it was just a mater of what mathematically was best. Tanks could be a little either way, depending on which tank you are. They could be fun and being you could play to different styles it did give you options.

  3. The only realy value reforging had was to hit hard/soft caps as closely as possible and I'm pretty sure that was the main reason that reforging came into the game in the first place. It was really only a tool for the min/max crowd at whatever skill level. Without those caps, reforging is unnecessary, I'll be glad to get rid of it. Whether a piece of gear has optimal stats or not, an upgrade is an upgrade, reforging doesn't change that. Like with the old talent trees, they didn't add anything for good players, they were just a trap for bad players (in this example, those who didn't reforge).

    The other benefit for me was converting dps gear into tank gear for plate toons... but that'll be almost a nil issue in WoD, sounds like, so another reason not to care about it.

    Healers and spirit, sounds like spirit is going to be revamped somewhat going forward which also points toward reforging not being needed.

    To me, reforging wasn't any more enjoyable than repairing my gear before a run. It was a necessary part of the process, not part of the game itself. I'd do it, I generally tend toward min/max myself (I've been tweaking my monk's haste level all expansion), but I'll be happier not having to deal with it. Now gear is just gear and upgrades are just upgrades.

    Good riddance.

    1. I can see the argument that it would create a trap for the "bad" players like the old talent systems did. Makes sense from that point of view.

      I guess I am just happier having a piece of gear more suitable for me and I liked having the power to make it such.

    2. Here's how I'm looking at it, it's mostly a positive but, as with most changes, not entirely.

      Right now, say you're in a full set of i522 gear and 5.4 hits, releasing SoO, and you're running content dropping i553 gear. A sub-optimal piece drops, it's not great but you know you can reforge and gem to make it about 98% (would be 90% without those options) as good as a BiS drop of the same iLvl. It's also a nice upgrade on its own merit, i522 to i553 is pretty big. Eventually, months from now, the BiS piece drops and you win that... but it's only a 5% improvement, not even really worth the reforge/gems/enchants required to actually switch to it. Meh. You're happy, kinda, but also a bit annoyed that you're going to be obligated to run it for a piddly 2% increase on one slot (so, like, 0.2% overall).

      Same situation in WoD... you get an incremental upgrade. You may not have to enchant it, you may not have to gem it and you can't reforge it. It's an upgrade so you just equip it and go... you're thrilled about the upgrade and you're immediately doing slightly more dps. A few months from now you get the BiS upgrade... so you flip to that instead and this time, instead of a 2% boost, you get a 10% boost (so, like, 1% overall!)... and you're just as happy as with the first upgrade, it's not as big but there's minimal to no downside to getting it.

      Frankly, I like the idea of always being happy when I get an upgrade rather than my first instinct being "uh, it's a minor upgrade, does anyone need it for off so I can save myself a couple of grand in gems, enchants and reforging?". Who needs a downside to getting an upgrade, really?

    3. To put it to what you said, with reforging everything is an incremental upgrade because you can make it better with reforging. Without it, we are back to the luck system to get a piece that is best for you.

      I would rather get those bracers with crit and mastery and turn some of that mastery into haste then have to wait, for a year and a day most likely, for the bracers with crit and haste to drop because mastery is useless for me.

      That is why reforging is good. It was another way to get around the problem with luck based drops, in part at least.

      They removed valor gear, removed reforging, and more and more they are moving everything into the 100% luck based system.

      Sorry, but that is not a game design I like and I can not keep playing a game if they are not going to reward people for using skill and intelligence and leave everything to be based on luck. It is dreadful game design.

      With reforging everything is an upgrade, even if small, without reforging, it is all luck based on if you get what is better or not.

      But I must say Ilike the throwback to the old days. With the new design my bracers with haste / crit from last tier might be BiS for this tier because without being able to reforge off crappy stats, new gear might not always be the best gear.

    4. Alright, let me expand my example into a specific scenario, I think you missed the big picture point I was trying to make.

      So, you like crit>haste>mastery like any self-respecting hunter. You have an i553 piece with 1288 crit and 1012 mastery and you reforged the mastery into 404 haste, leaving 608 mastery. So, 1288 crit, 608 mastery and 404 haste.

      A piece drops, also i553, with your preferred crit/haste combo... yummy. 1012 crit and 1288 haste. Is that piece better than what you're running now? Impossible to tell with the info given, it has less crit and if haste and mastery are even somewhat similar in value the first one will probably be better overall.

      Even more annoyingly, even if it is better today, it might not be in a month or two once you've picked up other upgrades and your stat values have changed (crit may be more valuable as other stats increase, or less valuable in comparison, it's hard to predict without SimC or similar).

      Today, that's a pain in the ass scenario to evaluate unless you pre-plan every possible upgrade to the point of "yes, that drop will be a 0.1% dps upgrade if it drops" and are willing to re-evaluate every single time you change a piece of gear. It can be impossible to analyze real-time when a piece drops.

      Without reforging muddying things up, it'll be a lot easier to just know whether a piece is an upgrade or not that won't require advanced planning and spreadsheets/sims/both. Is it possible that you'll be running previous-tier gear with better itemization? I suppose, but I highly doubt it, especially for a hunter for whom agility is king.

    5. I actually do pre plan everything out on what would be an upgrade and how much of an upgrade it would be.

      I also show up to the raid knowing what bosses we will get down and knowing what I will roll on or use a coin on and I come with the gems, enchants and know what reforging I will do before it even drops so if I win it I can throw it on instantly and not hold up the raid.

      I am also aware that I am probably one in a million that does so.

      Fewer enchants, stats removed, fewer gem slots, they are all being done to remove the need for me to do all that "stupid shit" I do before raid time. I like it for simplifying my life, sure. But it being done so people, everyone, is basically like me. Whatever has better stats is better.

      With reforging it would be easier, not harder, to know what is an upgrade. Even more so if it reforged 100%.

      Does something have more stats? Then it is an upgrade. End of story. Reforging would turn whatever the "bad" stat is into the "good" stat and be done with it.

      No reforging means you need to make the decision between that mastery piece and that haste piece. With reforging there is no choice to be made, just take whichever has most over all.

      As for will be go back for older content. Absolutely. Without reforging that bracer from last tier with haste and critical will be better than the bracer from this tier with haste and mastery even if this one has 4 extra mastery because the lower stats mean that older gear can be better.

    6. Continued...

      Now it becomes harder.

      You not only need to look at the current tier for best gear, but the previous tier. Plus the LFR / flex(normal)/normal(heroic) versions and compare.

      No longer will be be like it is now. If it is a higher item level it is the better item thanks to reforging, except for trinkets of course.

      So now instead of me looking at what bracers I can get from this raid I need to look at which ones I can get from quests and rep and dungeons and LFR, and normal, and heroic, and last tiers stuff, and last tiers LFR, and last tiers etc... you get the idea.

      This way, with reforging, take the higher item level piece, reforge it to your best stat, easier. Much much easier.

      Personally. I LOVE the idea that my BiS item might come from a previous raid now. It makes everything current content.

  4. Reforging was lauded as a way to make more Drops/Gear have value for people, now the usual kill-joy crowd chimes in again with the Devs from the same crowd that their once-lauded feature actually is the spawn of the Devil or something.

    Reforging is useful for players that took and take it for what it is, a way to make more Gear drops be of value to you. That's all it is, now that 'of the Beast' piece actually has some uses beyond sharding, the sheer and unmittigated horror!

    It is the inherent flaw of the Raiding playstyle that sucked the fun out of it, for those Raiders only, yet now all have to suffer because of the WoW-raider obsession with squeezing every last drop of fu...optimalisation out of the game.

    I realize my tone is different than usual, but having YET AGAIN an expansion which throws around stats and cuts away content etc. just because 5% of the subscriber base is eternally unhappy with their (self-chosen) game(style) is getting real old, real fast.

    1. They keep making the game for the 1%, always has been and always will be the way. I would like them to think of the 99% once in a while. Like you, I think it would be better for the game over all.