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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

[WoW] Dreams of Diablofication?

Though it still may change going onward, at this point Blizzard appears to plan some sweeping itemization changes for Warlords of Draenor. Among them is the random chance for an item to have one of three qualities: warforged (high item level and presumably slightly better stats), gem slots, and "tertiary stats" (movement speed, extra durability). The response to this is mixed, but some of the more hyperbolic have begun claiming that Warlords is adopting the often loathed itemization of Diablo 3...and to a degree, rightfully so.
Though the sky is not falling, how this affects players will, in part, determine the justification of this reaction. If this carries through to raids, as the press release suggests it will, it means that when a boss drops an item, you're now hoping for "Warforged Gorehowl w/ Gem slot and Tertiary stats" instead of "Gorehowl." Imagine going to LFR, spending your Seals on rerolls, and instead of getting a duplicate or gold, you get the imperfect version of an item you already have. The disappointment would be even worse than getting gold is now. What this really does is lengthen the gear-chase substantially.

Now your gear runs a spectrum in which you have the poorest quality item being the entirely un-enhanced version. Then you have the item with one of the qualities; warforged, a gem slot, or tertiary stat. Then an item with two, which is even rarer. Finally there is the "perfect" item which is not only warforged with a gem slot, but it has the ideal tertiary stat for you. A Blizzard dev has confirmed that all the factors are random.

Look ma, I'm a journalist! Many thanks to Mr. Landgren for answering my questions
This is where a new problem arises; now, in theory, you might need to continuously farm a boss until it drops a warforged, gem slotted, tertiary stat-ed item, each of which has (at a wild guess) a 10% chance to occur making the final probability of a perfect item .1*.1*.1, or a .1% chance of dropping (read this as 1 out of 1000 kills).

Blizzard says they don't expect people to go after "movement speed" sets and the like, as if they don't know their player base which seems willfully ignorant. This is a community that will grind lockboxes for an achievement, or murder thousands of cow-men to please a dead emperor. Heroic raiders seek any advantage they can get and I guarantee that unless items with these stats are obscenely rare, they will become expected. I mean, this is a community that still has an issue of "wanting you to already have the gear from the instance you want to go to in order to get gear." If they are even reasonably attainable there will be pressure on players to attain them.

It could mean that for many players, getting an item in raid or LFR is no longer just a matter of getting the item to drop, but also for the stars to align and the boss decides to drop the right version. Some might see this as a blessing, since it means once you get an item you can still incrementally improve yourself by going after the "rarer" versions. On the other hand, it extends the gear chase. Perhaps we'll be able to use Vlor points or other means to "improve" the imperfect versions of items to lessen this reliance on random chance.


  1. Hmm, I don't know. I may be ignorant here, but I haven't heard anyone suggest that Warforged gear is expected. The drop rate is low enough that it feels like a bonus. Though, perhaps Thunderforged gear was required in all slots before the next tier of raiding dropped, but that's a different story.

  2. I'm with Talarian, all Blizzard has really done here is to ensure that no player will ever be fully kitted out in BiS. That has two effects, both generally positive... it gives a reason, even if a pretty silly one, to keep running content, and it absolutely 100% ensures that no player will ever be fully kitted out in a BiS gear set. Even just looking at TF and gems, assuming 10% for each, that's a 1% chance of a drop having both and you'd need that in all 13 (15? Whatever...) slots to be "done". Won't happen so it's no longer something to actually chase since it can't actually be accomplished. Getting one will be a neat perk when it happens, not a "Welp, 12 more to go!" list scratch.

  3. Warforged is absolutely expected in 25 man raids. In fact, they average 1.25 Warforged items per kill.

    Amusingly, though, it's assumed to be non-existent in 10 man raids (where you average 0.2 Warforged items per kill).

    "it absolutely 100% ensures that no player will ever be fully kitted out in a BiS gear set."

    Why is this a generally positive thing? I know a ton of people who are incredibly frustrated with it because they LIKED feeling like they collected their set of items. Remember this has nothing to do with reasons for running the content since you listed that as a separate reason.

    Feels like we're piling loot RNG on top of loot RNG on top of loot RNG.

  4. Wow, I didn't realize the drop rate for Warforged was so much higher in 25 mans. I knew it was higher because incentive for 25 mans, but that's a full 150% higher per person than the 10 man drop rate. It really is mostly non-existent in 10-man raiding. It's a pretty awesome night if we see one piece of Warforged-equivalent loot.

    Keep in mind next expansion the concept of 10 man versus 25 man will disappear, and that drop-rate disparity should normalize. I hope it normalizes to the 10-man drop rate, however, because then it really is just a bonus.