Gear Isn’t Heroic – Dealing With Gear Resets Better

Yes, I know. It sounds pretty leetist right there, doesn’t it? But hear me out.

I previously wrote about how I disliked how heroics are currently implemented. As it is right now, heroics are FAR too easy, they pose no challenge. They also dump extremely experienced (noticed I didn’t use talented there 🙂 ) people into what is supposed to be challenging content, right along people who have never ever ran a single dungeon in their life. This obviously produces some friction from both sides.

But, without a better system implemented, Blizzard just simply dumped the emblems onto the players through these heroics. And Blizz keeps everyone in there with the daily random (awarding 2 emblems of current tier raiding), as well as resetting gear with each new tier of content. And, think about the daily random. I mean, its pretty much a pointless timesink isn’t it? For a team that is so dastardly set on not doing things for the sake of doing things, this is a big sore red mark across their scorecard. There is no risk that you are NOT going to get those emblems. So why have that, anyway? Emblem costs on frost gear is so high, that you pretty much HAVE to do this just to get your gear in a decent time frame. Why not just mail us those emblems, instead?

I am sure that you are all asking one key question right now – Why even have emblems, then? We could redo the loot lists for the entire heroic system. Yeah, but at the same time, that is a lot of bosses to reconfigure. A LOT. Too much time each patch, I would love them to work on new content, rather than new loot lists. Besides, we need to have a universal source of enchanting mats.

The big fundamental issue is whether we can remove badges from heroics or not. Think about it for a second. How could we get badges (in such a quantity) that would achieve the goal here – to make gear accessible to those who do not raid, as well as starting toons, AND a daily that provides the additional emblems? I suppose we could do dailies, but that would be even worse of a grind on players than heroics. There just aren’t enough dailies for us to do every day. At least with the heroics you aren’t (or at least you shouldn’t be) running the exact same dungeon several times each day, with would be the case of the dailies. 25 dailies that all awarded badges, all the same quests, every day. Yeah, doesn’t sound so fun to me.

Can we move them to raids? Well, maybe. Maybe the first raids, like Naxx, or OS. Remember this has to be accessible to those who do not have the ability (for whatever reason) to raid. So that means it would have to be limited to those who could reasonably pug it.

So no raids. However, there is one raid mechanic that would translate very well over to heroics… Hard modes. And I am not talking ICC type hard modes, or ToC hard modes (where you click a button, or switch it to heroic – in this case it would have to be legendary – mode). No, I am talking Ulduar hard modes. I always liked them the best. Kill this, break the heart, etc. It seemed so much more natural and tangible than just flipping a switch.

Let me clarify something. The tiered badges are here to stay. Yes, that makes it a grind. Yes, that means, even through Cataclysm, you are going to be grinding out heroics every single content cycle for more badges. The point of tiered badges is to prevent badge hoarding, and people just farming for emblems and duping them on patch day for a completely brand new set of shiny plate. No, they want some sort of progression, even if they don’t seem to know exactly what that progression is going to be, from day to day.

So, we are back to Heroics, and tiered badges. I understand that is not going to change anytime soon (or I would be very surprised if it did). Said hard modes would be a challenge for even geared players. This would be a test of skill, rather than gear. Even if that meant that the designers had to build in knobs to the bosses so they can easily tune up those heroic hard modes each patch. There has to be some risk of losing those emblems. They also are going to need to be a challenge to get. This is better than virtually mailing the 2 highest tiered emblems to each person every day. Each hardmode would award your emblems of UBER.  Every other boss can award an emblem of Awesomesauce, because no matter how cool Awesomesauce is, UBER is better.  Max of 2 Ubers per day in heroics, similar to the limits today.

Just doing this, though, nothing has really changed, other than how badges are awarded. That does not make things any less grindy. The whole point of this horrendously long blog post is to make things a little easier when it comes to the gear reset.

Well, lets change what the badges award.

Err….

Yes, I want them to award gear. We still have to progress. But, I want them to bring back something that has totally been nearly useless at high level besides the simple perks they offer… Professions. Yes, I make no secret of my distaste for professions in WoW at high levels. Unless you are a high end raider, you really don’t get any of the patterns. What if they decided to add, rather than gear, the related profession recipes?

Intriguing thought, right?

Lets take current content into context. All of T9 is currently available for purchase through Triumph, which are (in this article) comparable to BoA’s (Badge of Awesomesauce). T10 is currently available through Frost emblems, which are BoU (Badge of Uber).

In our fictional setup, the patterns for all of the T9 items would drop into patterns that could be bought from BoA’s. We do want some sort of progression, so we dont want them to be able to pick up and craft every single piece without some sort of grind… this is an MMO, after all. So each pattern would require a Crusader Orb (or whatever previous tier of orbs would be). Orbs no longer are purchasable through badges. They are replace whatever orb you get at the end of every heroic. So, instead of getting totally useless frost orbs, we would be getting crusader orbs. Orbs, could of course, be traded down. The only orbs that could be purchasable are current tier orbs (or primordial saronite, like Frost for T10). And they would only be purchaseable through BoU. There must be the tradeoff – you get BoU gear, or you get BoU quality orb.

This would ease the grind from the heroics so much – just grind out the orbs, and find a crafter. It would also ease the growing tension from newer players and more experienced players. You don’t have the group comp? Don’t do the hardmodes. Perhaps it will bring back a thread that has been slowly breaking since the random dungeon funder was introduced… that of guild lines. Go with your guild, if you need your BoU’s. Otherwise, don’t expect a pug to have the experience to take those down. The gear reset will be a bit smoother if its not just mindless croning, stuffing players into untold number of heroics. A few weeks of honest to goodness heroic running, and you no longer need to do anything other than your daily hardmode. And, since you will most likely need your guild to complete it, there would be much less friction than being forced into a group that is less experienced.

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Comments
One Response to “Gear Isn’t Heroic – Dealing With Gear Resets Better”
  1. imhoughtep says:

    Making everything pattern drops would just change it from grinding out emblems for gear into grinding out money to buy the gear, or pay the crafter to make your gear. You trade a time sink for a time and gold sink.

    I don’t see what was wrong with content progression to get your gear progression. Grind naxx to gear up / get badges to buy your loot. Using naxx badges would eliminate the useless token drop issues at the end. Once you have your naxx badged gear, move on to Obsidian Sanctum. Pound out your Sartharion scales to get that tier of gear. It could even be set up so that there are parallel routes. Don’t want to kill Sarth again? Go pound through Ulduar. Once you have that gear level, on to Onyxia. Then Icecrown, etc. The fact that all the heroics are equally non-challenging is the problem. You get better and better gear grinding through them, until you lose your skillz because the heroics can be run while you are sleeping off a hard drunk. All of a sudden, you want to raid, and you suck because you have gotten lazy with your playstyle.

    Gate the content. Less harshly than in vanilla and bc, but they swung too far over to EZMode.

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