Itemization in The Burning Crusade

Am I the only one disappointed? OK, it was great that Blizz caught everyone up with good greens and quest blues from 60-70. But there’s almost no reward for raiding.

I tried the Public Test Realm goodies (tier 5 + other epics), and I was shocked at how little difference it made. I lost a bunch of +hit, my crit % barely moved, and while my AP and HP increased somewhat, it isn’t the kind of increase I’d expect after all the work that comes with getting this gear. I’ve got mostly quest blues with a couple of 5-man drops now and I can’t believe how paltry the rewards for raiding are.

Going from my quest blues to tier 5 armor (basically jumping ahead 2.5 tiers - dungeon 2 set, tier 4, and tier 5) is roughly comparable to going from dungeon 1 set to MC gear, or from MC to BWL, or BWL to Naxx. =/ Twice the work for half the reward.

As a tank going from 5-man blues to Karazhan items was a big upgrade. Not because the items themselves were better or my blue gear was shitty, but stacking +12 stamina gems on every socketed item I had made the collection of Karazhan gear I obtained much better than 5-man gear.

Going beyond Karazhan is a different story. As it is at the moment the gear from Gruul’s Lair and Serpentshrine just isn’t much of an upgrade to socketed Karazhan gear. Often you’ll actually find some Karazhan gear trumping tier 4/5 because of sockets, which is retarded. Most of the upgraded gear slots are often actually side-grades or very minor upgrades at best.

They said they would improve tier 4/5 items with the patch though so should be interesting how much they buff them. I stopped playing soon after my guild cleared Karazhan so I was never much affected by the shitty risk to reward ratio that my guildmates kept complaining about.

I’m disappointed because twice I’ve passed over epic items to continue using things from my Assassination set.

BTW, the upgraded tier 5 gear is what I was talking about, it’s available on the PTR. Go check it out, the vendor is right by the Shatar in Shat’trath. It’s undeniably better than what I have now - I’m not saying it’s no upgrade (though I’ll have to use 6 gem slots just to get my hit rating to where it is now). My argument is that I can’t see myself spending weeks raiding Kara/Gruul/Mag/Serpentshrine for it. No way, no how.

How does raid gear compare pvp/arena gear these days.

I’d take a lot of arena gear over many Kara/Gruul/Mag drops, especially weapons.

As a regular raider, let me tell you that itemization sucks ass, and has led to more than a few burnouts/quits/account sales in my guild. We lose about one person every week and a half to sheer burnout/dissatisfaction.

Crafted items are too powerful, Karazhan loot is just as good, if not better, than SSC loot, blue quest items are often on par with purple raid drops, etc etc etc. It’s all fucked up, and the new patch doesn’t look like it’ll do much to fix that.

I’m still surprised how goof the craftable items are in BC. I am about to make my Primal Mooncloth Robe and the comparable stuff that drops in Kara is a side-grade. I really have not looked at the gear post-kara though.

It’ll be interesting to see how much this itemization parity will affect subscriber numbers. I’m really curious what percentage of their player base are high-end raiders and how many are casual, and if it really is true that a loss of high-end players will result in trickle down losses.

Itemization will be fixed soon, when new dungeons start dropping oranges, and oranges become the new purples.

As it stands, blizzard just miscalculated how fast people would hit karazhan from launch. With the original game, UBRS was super hard and had questionable upgrades as well, only Blizzard had six months lead time before people were banging on it regularly.

The itemization seems crappy right now, but in six months when people eat kara for breakfast because it’s been nerfed to hell, and lots of newer/harder content is out, kara will be just the first easy step and your first easy purples on the progression road further down the chain.

It’s seems Blizzard has taken a more frequent but smaller increment in gear upgrades approach in the expansion. This is probably a side effect of smaller raid sizes. They probably want to preserve the upgrade rate but with just over half the number of people in a raid players could get their gear close to twice as fast. Blizzard could have made bosses drop fewer items (though not being guranteed a set piece would suck) or do what they did, make the upgrades smaller. People are getting geared out much faster and with only 5 pieces to a set (and only 4 necessary for the set bonuses) taking advantage of the set is much easier. Blizzard is already releasing T6 gear, which is a break neck speed compared to how long it took to get all the sets from the original in.

I don’t like this approach as much, I think getting a more significant upgrade but less frequently feels more rewarding. Constantly getting new gear trivializes that reward and is going to cost more in enchants and gems as you’ll replace gear more often.

The problem I’ve been having isn’t necessarily that raiding loot can be a sidegrade, but that the enhanced difficulty of the instances makes getting to that loot an ambiguous proposition. I don’t remember the 10-man version of UBRS ever being as punishing as Karazhan.

I haven’t been back to the spire for a while, but what I recall is perhaps a dozen mobs, near the end, who were over level 60. In Kara, 71s and 72s are all over the place – you see these levels on trash mobs. Furthermore, creature type is no longer an indicator of vulnerabilities. The ushers, for example, are immune to taunt, crowd control, spell interruption, silence effects, stuns and snares. You will be able to apply Shackle to them in the next patch, but there’s still a lot of trial-and-error.

They also apply an incapacitating effect on the highest person on the hate list, and it’s on too fast of a cast for a warrior to reliably reflect the spell, to say nothing of feral druids or protection paladins. And the only thing that can purge it appears to be Mass Dispel.

The damage output of the raid mobs is also a factor. It’s quite easy for a cloth wearer to be killed in one hit. And when the mob is two levels above you, it’s difficult for a tank to hold aggro. Your chance to hit decreases drastically when the target is even two levels above you, but tanking gear has virtually no +hit on it. The item budget is getting blown on stamina, defense, dodge, parry, shield block, block rating, and some stamina and agility. Because of the whopping hits, avoidance has become superior to absorption, which never scaled as strongly to begin with. Despite this, itemization still grants absorption at the cost of avoidance on about 50% of the gear I’ve seen.

I wonder how big the WoW subscriber base is now. Last I heard, it hit 8.5 million. Interestingly, I and a lot of my friends no longer really play the game, but I think pretty much all of us still keep our accounts active.

I was under the impression that the legendary drops are only for those specific instances, and you have to earn them each time (ie, like when you go after Kael’Thas, you get his buddies to get weapons to take him down?)

Who’s talking about a 5-piece set?

The goodies you get on PTR are the 5-piece set plus spares plus epics for all your other slots - trinkets, rings, necklace, non-set armor items, weapons. And all that resulted in a modest upgrade to my AP and HP, a minimal crit increase and a LOSS of hit.

Raiding isn’t worth it right now. Especially not with rumors of an annual expansion release rate. Why bother raiding Kara/Gruul/Mag/Serpentshrine just to build up to Hyjal and then finally Black Temple when 2 weeks after you finally get in BT you’ll see Expansion 2 with greens as good as raid items again.

I’m just guessing. The real upgrades won’t happen till new content hits and old hard content gets nerfed.

To my mind, raiding in wow has two problems, neither of which is itemization, and neither of which is new:

  1. I’ve got to farm or buy (which means farming) a bunch of consumables just to show up and be productive.
  2. Once I show up all ready to be productive-like, I’ve got to spend most of my time killing trash mobs instead of doing the fun boss encounters.

They could make the new sets +1 of a random stat better and I’d still go do the content if it didn’t involve the above. Way too much time wasted.

I think there are different reasons that people raid. I have only been getting minimal upgrade for my priest from Kara so far, but I like the feeling of accomplishment that I get when our guild downs an encounter. The drops are only peripheral to me, although I like to improve my gear to help everyone out.

The main downer for me recently has started to be consumables. As a priest, I’m expected to have mana potions and stuff on me to get the content done. Some of the other people in the raid haven’t really gotten the concept that they might need to invest in some of the same things themselves. It’s hard to farm money/materials as a holy priest :p and at this point I’m never gonna get epic flying mount money. Oh well. I know it’s set to improve somewhat soon, but I’m prolly going to level my hunter to 70 just so I have more money for my Priest.

I’d be really surprised if Blizzard pulls off an expantion per year.

Which is fine, but why would you ever do it again if the gear is going to be a minimal upgrade?

They nerfed buff consumables in 2.1, but without fixing any of the problems that really caused the need to stack them. As a Mage, even with 10k+ mana using Mage Armor with Arcane Meditation and a full array of buffs, I routinely run into mana issues on boss fights that can only be remedied by chain-chugging pots and mana gems, not to mention spirit stacking for evocate. The fights are semi original and some are quite fun, but it’s really not worth the hassle of every-hour trash clears and when the carrot at the end of the stick is either a boss that could be fun or could be bugged and a couple pieces of loot that end up giving your rogue +2 AP and +1 stam, and your priest +5 healing… why bother?