Monday, June 28, 2010

From purples to blues - will a bit of dye bring back the epic feeling?

Blizzard are planning to restore the epic feeling to epic items in Cataclysm, according to a blue blue answer from Ancilorn in a forum thread .

The original poster did a simple search at Wowhead and came up with some numbers that speak for themselves:

Epic: 7843 items found
Rare: 5307 items found
Uncommon: 7503 items found

Ahem. Epic items are more common than greens? The writer says that he doesn't understand how to translate the word "epic" anymore , and it's hard not to agree with him.

And to my surprise, that's exactly what the Blizzard (ex) community manager Ancilorn does:

"Well, hopefully this comes as good news. We're actually working on restoring the epic feeling to epic items in Cataclysm. Epic loot should be epic, and something to be very proud of. Our plan is to try and get the Heroic -> Blue Gear and Raid -> Purple Gear balance back."

Wryxian shares a little bit more of their current thoughts on this later in the thread:

"we have the data on who's getting epics from raids and who's getting them purely from heroics for instance and we're happy with our new plans for balancing the distribution of epic gear in Cataclysm and with the number of people that will be affected by this change.

Of course, plans are never set in stone and we're not at this time announcing details concerning other routes to procure epics -- if indeed there even are any other methods of obtaining them, but it is currently our intention that raids will be the main source of the purple gear that seemed so much more epic in the original iteration of the game especially."
Apparently it's not just the player base that thinks that the epic inflation has gone too far in Wrath. Blizzard agrees that they have a problem.

You see the more epics that are handed out to the players, the less enjoyment and thrill does each one give us. Any parent could have told them this. There comes a certain breaking point at Christmas Day when the child doesn't get excited and happy about additional gifts. It leaves them indifferent or even worse - cranky and nauseous since it's gotten out of their hands.

They don't want to give us any details yet, saying: " what comparisons can be made between the quality of emblem gear and that which is obtained in raids are details that we are not quite ready to reveal. "

If we should speculate a little bit on this though, it sounds very possible to me that they're about to do a philosophy change when it comes to the badge gear equivalence in Cataclysm so that you don't get purples any more, just shiny, rare and powerful blues. And maybe, just maybe, they will ration the epics in 5-man instances as well, handing them out more rarely - if at all.

Will it work?
So what should you make of this change? Do I think it's a good idea? Yes, I think it is!

I know this sounds a bit silly, but I actually believe that just a simple color change would be enough to achieve what they want to. It wouldn't take that much superior stats; as a matter of fact they probably could be the same. A different color and a lower prevalence of the items could be all that it would take to bring back a bit of the exclusiveness, the epic feeling of the epics.

If you got your tier piece by blood, sweat and tears, spending hours wiping and learning an encounter, as opposed to pugging hundreds of faceroll 5-man instances, you want it to show - even if just by cosmetics. It won't bother those raiders that much if someone grabs their tier gear a few months later - as long as you can spot some sort of difference - even if only cosmetic. You can call it childish as much as you want to, but a little bit of "bragging rights" is - if not the core of the game - at least a part of the fun for many players.

I don't think Blizzard has much of a choice to be honest. Getting major upgrades - after going through certain hardships and frustrations -is one of the things that makes your heart leap up and gives you a thrill in game. Without it, the game feels more and more blend - not only to the bleeding edge raiders, but to everyone. They need to bring back this excitement somehow. An alternative could have been to introduce yet another "out-of-space-magnificent-godlike" item level, labeled "argent", "golden" or whatever, degrading the legendaries to a new sort of purples. But I don't think they or anyone else really wanted that.

Increase the diversity
Will someone complain about the change? Probably - yes. You can't please everyone. There will be some players who feel "entitled" to purples who will be annoyed if they can't get them like they used to do in Wrath. I can already hear the complains that they'll be "forced" into raiding to get their epic set.

But mind you, just because they'll become more rare, it doesn't mean that non-raiders will be deprived of any possibility of character progression. And it won't lock out late-comers from the chance to catch up on gear by grinding instances and crafting. The color might change, but I'm certain Blizzard will stick to the philosophy that good gear should be obtainable in many different ways.

I think it's good because it will increase the diversity among the characters - especially if they'll bother about making more differently looking gear while they're at it. I think the game turns boring when everyone looks more or less exactly the same.

And hopefully it won't take too much long before we get used to it and start to see blue gear as what it's supposed to be - really good gear to strive for and be pride about, gear that is absolutely viable for most raiding purposes if you just bother to look at the stats and not just at the color.

Raiding in blues. Maybe that's what we'll all be doing in Cataclysm? I really hope so.


Grimmtooth said...

I imagine that part of that tally from WoWHead is overlap between the different 10/25-man drops of the same name - I wonder if those should count or not? Nevertheless, even if epics have parity with blues, that's just silly. You are absolutely right, epics should have that epic feeling to them.

I have not yet gotten a drop in Wrath that meant as much to me as when Legacy dropped from Opera (I think it was Opera, anyway). That was tasty pudding, and well worth the dozens of Kara runs just to get it.

So, this is welcome news, and I hope it works out!

Klepsacovic said...

I predict that I will be delighted about this change, expecting it to return some of my vanilla nostalgia for simpler, better times when we raided in blues and thought we were pretty snazzy for not being in greens. Then it won't be the ideal world I expected, at which point I will become disappointed and bitter, as I have with everything ever since I first saw someone avoid any hint of PvP, or PvE, simply by being on a flying mount.

Aurik said...

I wonder if this will work at all like they want it to or just end up in frustration. To use your metaphor about kids at Christmas - they might get grouchy but you can be sure as hell they're not going to like it if you take away their toys...

I'm pretty sure that it won't bring back the epic feeling, it'll only serve to make those who don't have the time to raid feel even more excluded from the top end of things. Who needs gear score when a mouse-over of your gear will tell someone the same thing?

Shintar said...

Wow, that's great news! I made a post about this only a month ago but didn't think Blizzard would actually do anything like that... this really gives me hope.

Redbeard said...

Unfortunately, it won't matter much if GearScore is used as the entry point for raids and general preening about in Dal.

Right now, the border in Wrath between Rare and Epic is the crossover from normal 5-man runs to Heroic 5-man runs. Even after my Pally made 80 and was running PUGs for three or more months, he still had a couple of greens equipped that he had to grind out the emblems for. Getting that "Epic" achievement was throwing off the last vestige of the normal Northrend gear and moving into the "raid ready" gear.

The colors don't matter as much as they used to, not just because of various Epic tiers but due to the switchovers from Vanilla -> BC -> Wrath. When your Vanilla Epic is eclipsed by a BC Uncommon, then the color scheme kind of goes out the window.

hound said...

I've been whining about the state of gear in WoW for a long time now.

I remember when I was still leveling my first toon and Nax was opened up. I had only been playing for a few weeks and had no concept of gear levels.

Then I began to notice some glowy stuff on shoulders and helms. A couple of cool shields and really awesome swords.

That is when I began to feel a "calling" to greater things beyond leveling.

And more gear models would certainly help also. There can never be enough ways to look different from other players.

Imoh said...

The biggest problem I can think of with this initiative is the sheer number of people raiding these days.

When Blizzard decided to make raiding accessible to everyone that wants to raid (which is a move that I love btw, as long as I have heroic modes to bash my head against) the prestige of Epic quality loot was destined to fall, "Heroic" is the new Epic as far as I'm concerned, which is fine with me.

Andy said...

I think Bliz have done a decent job with the Tier 10 gear at least - as an example close to me, the shaman i264 gear just looks so much cooler than the standard-issue 251 stuff.

But on the other hand I agree with what they're saying here - "epic" gear should really feel epic, rather than "standard" like it does now.

If they do go this route, I hope Gevlon sets up a project to do raids in greens :D

Kurnak said...

Like Aurik said, I don't think it will work, at least after the first months. The "problem" I see with epic nomenclature is that's trying to cover a big range of gear, from heroic 5mans/10man raids to 25man heroic ICC. That's Tier7-Tier10 plus all the improved (x.5) versions in both 10 and 25man...
Yes, some gear is really easy to get due to badge farming, but it's necessary too. How many people is running Naxx nowadays? You level a fresh toon, hit 80, get some blues from heroics, maybe some epic from crafting and rep... then what? If you're in a raiding guild you're unlikely to get some gear-up runs through Naxx and Ulduar, so you must rely on badge farming if you want to get selected for an ICC raid.
I was there in the old vanilla days. Of course people displaying Tier1 stood out of the rest (hey, a raider! and he's covered in Tf1 purples!), but that soon was replaced when T2 came out. Wearing t1 was no longer special even if the amount of people raiding didn't increase a lot. You weren't "cool" anymore since the people wearing T2 were the ones to inspect. And getting into raids wasn't easy: you needed a good guild with enough people to fill 40 spots (or get two guilds tgether like we did). Anyway the point is: if people is unable to "catch up" with current gear requeriments they will start leaving WoW since they have no chance of seein end-game content (anyone remember former Naxxramas?) That's what Blizz has been saying since the big nerf in TBC, they wanted everybody to experience end game content, but when "end game" changes you also need to be able to get there too (and without being forced to raid the old "end game content")

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what the color of the gear is. As long as gear is not a limiting factor is getting me into raids.

I must be able to get into the first entry level raid(after I hit 85) in about 1-2 days. I don't mind running chain heroics to get an entry level set of gear. I should not have to wait 3-4 weeks to gear up in order to raid.

Ritsuka said...

Personally i think this "count" is abit biased. its been what 4 Raiding intances and 4/5 new tiers of pvp epixs with new trinket/ect.

they haven't added new greens/blues because you get them in heroics/leveling gear and normal 5mans.

If they want to bring back the feeling i got when i got my very first epix in Moltern Core they have to make it;

a. harder
b. Larger
and finally
c. worth the effort.

But i'm under no illustion that i would ever get that "first" epix feel back where i would keep hovering over said epix to see if it was still thier.

No i don't agree with the blue its fine the way it is. and even if it changes..who cares? the item will just be a diffrent colour.

falc said...

So basically let me just drop some bullet-points that have to be said about the problems with gear in wrath

1. Emblem gear made some LVL80 raids obsolete before the end of the expansion. Who runs naxx nowadays to gear up lower level toons? On the other hand it did make jumping into the latest tier of content very easy by allowing you to grab the necessary gear from heroics.

A quite difficult dilemma probably for blizzard to balance i'm sure.

Which brings me to my 2nd point:
2. Keep tier gear out of emblem vendors.
In my opinnion i would've liked the tier gear to stay out of the emblem vendors as it was with TBC - where you could just buy equalivent gear not the same gear you got in raids.
Which would've also meant that people who wanted Full T7 of T8 for bragging rights or whatever would've at least had to run through the instances to get it not just grind a few heroics. So this kind of links to point nr 1.

3. Epic is not really epic? Did you get the "epic" achivement if you we're in full ilvl 200 "purple" gear? Hell no!

So blizzard developers couldn't even decide amongst themselves where to draw the line of making items purple.

I mean there we're ilvl200 blue and epic items. :S

So this of course devalued the epic color on gear even more.

In conclusion i also very much welcome a change to see less epic drops out of silly-easy places.

I don't care if you make ilvl232 blues (in cata terms) from vendors - just make them different from epic gear from raids.

Video Game Philosopher said...

I don't think everyone is going to be happy with this period.

There is an interesting analogy, though. Borderlands uses a very similar system to WoW for gear quality, based on item level and the like determining the overall stat points of a weapon. The problem in Borderlands is that because its random, a green gun might be inifnitely better than an orange one (indeed I've yet to find a worthwhile orange gun in the game, despite vendoring almost a dozen).

I remember when epic meant epic and legendary was unobtainable. Those were better times, and you could start raiding in blues and greens. Now it seems you have to be in full tier 10 with every other epic you can loot or buy outside of ICC in order to be "good enough" to be in the raid.

Did I miss something or weren't raids meant to be hard? Seems that WoW Easy mode really applies to raids with badge gear and the retarded need of raid leaders to have max geared players. I think there are other problems than gear quality in the game.

And to be honest, the reason old epics were epic is because they were a certain item level above max level. Problem is Blizz has gone overboard, making a lvl 80 piece of gear item level 232? Seems out of hand.


Dwism said...

I honestly think, that this is one of those small things that will change a great deal in the way we play the game.
I've been very nervous about Blizzard re-introducing crowd control into 5 man dungeons. To me that spelled disaster. This does sounds like 1 step to counter zerging.

Bare with me here, but when you are not decked in all purples, you see people stopping and taking their time with packs. ie level 80's dungeons versus level 1-79 dungeons.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Larisa. It's about time we put the epic back into epic.

My opinion will most likely come across as elitist and exclusionary, but nonetheless here it is: If you don't raid or PvP at the highest level, you don't get the best gear. Period. Just because gear is available doesn't mean everybody should be entitled to it. Why should we be able to badge farm and get some of the best "epic" gear available in the shortest time possible? Epic gear, in my opinion, is meant to be earned, not handed out like breath mints after garlic toast.

To me, and as most of us at this Inn appreciate, end game raiding and PvP is about the journey, not the spoils. The spoils are supposed to be like cherries on the dessert - an added bonus to a well made dessert. Unfortunately, in today's World of Warcraft, there are too many cherries and not enough well made desserts.

Ironically, do you all remember when Blizz was spouting "Bring the player, not the class?" I do, too. It spoke of being inclusive of all - a very noble position and one I support. However, much to the detriment of us all, we have now fully evolved into a "Bring the gear, not the player!" Unfortunately, somewhere along the journey I missed the point of evolution where the player was the key component of the equation.

As always, Larisa, thank you for the opportunity to contribute my two-cents to the issue.


Bronte said...

You know the concept of epics has gone too far when every PvP endeavor, every end-game instance (including 5-mans) and everything in between starts awarding you epic items.

Epic for me has lost all value and significance. I remember a time in vanilla WoW when every piece of epic gear accumulated through painful work in the Molten Core felt like an extraordinary achievement. Even when we replaced tier 1 with tier 2, that felt grand because the statistics were much better and the set pieces looked a whole lot sexier.

Now so many sets look the same. There have been so many tiers of gear, I have lost count. Every content patch the iLevel is raised by 7 points, and more and more epics are added.

I know it's a good step, but for me the damage has been done. Epic, put simply, ain't no 'mo.

2nd Nin said...

So basically... heroics will give blue items, and raids epic items.

So the difference in all of this will be that our heroic items will be a tier below our epic items, and we will be fully kitted out in epics after the first raid.

So no major change.

Bri said...

If the dungeon blues drops are static and will never get better for the life of the expansion, there will be no reason to log in and play at all for non-raiders.

If it's as 2nd Nin says, and the only difference from the way things are now is the colour of the name of the item, then yeah, whatever. As long as non-raiders can stay competitive-1, then it's really no change at all.

Gronthe said...

Well I'm all for it, darnit. Clearly it won't be the same as Vanilla, but it can't be as out of control as Wrath got either.

I don't think it'll create a system that excludes a great majority from raiding, becuase I think Blizz still likes it that a lot more people can see all the content. But a pull back from the current system would be a nice compromise.

Firespirit said...

I think a couple of commenters have already danced around the pole (HA! Midsummer tie in, LOL), about this in the comments here, but I don't think that anyone really hit the nail on the head, so to speak.

Basically, this is only going to prove significant in the first tier of raiding. Let me explain.

The technical way that blizz has been handling the emblems is this - each new tier that is added then "resets" the gear lvl. This is going to be the same in cata, as far as anyone knows. So the minute that T12 (assuming that T11 is going to be the opening, and only tier at cataclysm launch) is released, T11 now becomes purchasable by emblems. Which means the whole blue/heroic gear layer is lost. We're back to epic loot rain.

And that is the way it will remain unless blizz really makes heroics a step up in difficulty, compared to now. I remember doing heroic ramps for the first time in BC. It was much much harder then. And it was no walk in the park for people who were at gear lvl. That is what needs to happen - where you can't just walk into heroics with greens from questing, you have to have a few blues for the average pug to pass. Or, we are back to epic loot rain.

Andrei said...

Why have gear color to begin with? Or call some items epic? Unless getting an item requires an epic effort purple color will not make it epic. Most ICC encounters are not that different in terms of difficulty from heroics. So why pretend the gear you get is epic? Just call it raid gear vs dungeon gear. Epic gear should be reserved to truly epic encounters like heroic Lich King.

Anonymous said...

@ Andrei

I would disagree. ICC encounters are more difficult than heroics and thusly, should be rewarded with better gear.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot my name to the directly above reply to Andrei.


Void said...

I think the simple change of making purple items rare again would go a long way towards making epics seem epic. Those purple pixels aren't what they used to be. Hopefully, if most people are in blues, then no one will get left out because they are undergeared. I'm really interested to see how this turns out for Blizzard.

Larísa said...

@Grimmtooth: Yeah, they really need to work back the ”OOOOhhh”, I got THAT drop feeling into the game. I can only think of one item that gave that feeling to me, when I got the super-nice trinket at the fifth boss in ToC. (Lucky me!) That’s about the only single epic in wrath that I’ll actually remember. The rest was more like “well, just another purple”.

@Klepsacovic: Yeah. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But it sounds nice, doesn’t it?

@Aurik: I think we can expect a bit of grumbles to begin with, but children normally forget and adjust pretty quickly. We’ll see.

@Shintar: they read your blog? ;)

@Redbeard. The colors have definitely been borked for a while. I hope they can set it back a bit. I think Gearscore is just a part of it, from a psychological PoV. Even if a blue would give the same gear score, it would give a certain sense of accomplishment to have a similar item but purple, showing that you got this item not by grinding emblems, but by killing hard bosses.

@hound: Yeah, gief more glow! And the gear in Wrath has been soooo gloomy, hasn’t it? I long back for the blood red mage gear… hm… was it Tier 5? It was very pretty.

@Imoh: Yeah, actually you’re right about the “heroic” think. I forgot to mention this. I value that highly. If I see someone decked out in gear from heroic modes they definitely have my full admiration – it shows skill and dedication.

@Andy: Hehe… yeah, it’s not a bad idea about raiding in greens. Who knows what challenges he might take upon him.

@Kurnak: We’re talking about a psychological trick here. You would give out items that are as good as the badge gear of today. Perfect for catching up so you can jump into raids even while the expansion has been out for a while. The difference would be that it would be blue, not purple. You don’t kill bosses with a color, do you?

@Anonymous: I don't get that tbh. Are you kidding? I honestly wouldn't mind getting back a little bit of attunements myself. Like you had for Karazhan. A little wait would only increase the pleasure of starting raiding again.

@Ristsuka: well... biased or not, it still proves that you hardly could consider epics epic or even rare these days. I don't think they can - or rather want to - bring back the exclusiveness I've understood that you had back in vanilla. Won't happen. But as opposed to you I'd think that the color trick would help out a little, even though it feels sort of cheap.

@Video Game Philosopher: It remains to see if they can grab control again. I wouldn't rule it out. If the players with full-epic gear would once again become very very rare, maybe the pug-leaders would start using their brains again as they assemble a group?

@Dwism: well.. it's just hints so far. It could really be game changing. Or it could end up in disappointment. I think you're right tbh, that blue/geared players probably would be better at using CC. There's a certain zerg mentality connected to epics unfortunately.

Larísa said...

@SpiritusRex: thanks for contributing to the discussion SpiritusRex! And I don't think you're elitist at all. You're so right that it's about the journey. If you need the end too quickly and easily, with efforts so small and insignificant that it's just a blur that you don't remember anything from, I think it's quite hard to really enjoy the full-epic gear. It leaves you empty. Your observation about "bring the gear, not the player" is unfortunately very true as well. There are people who try to go the opposite way and prove that there are other ways to play the game, thinking of Gevlon's project. But unfortunately he's pretty much on his own.

@Bronte: The damage is done and I don't think you can bring it back to where it was. But I think the post indicates that they're at least prepared to take good steps and I'm fine with that.

@2ndNin: It depends. They COULD choose not to let every raid boss drop epics tbh. Maybe just end bosses in normal raids and all hardmode bosses.... Just a suggestion, in case anyone with a foot inside Blizzard accidently is reading this. ;)

@Bri: I think you're wrong in this. One of the epic items I worked hardest for and was most proud about was actually the Spellstrike set Two pieces of gear, but omg what effort I put into it and how much it meant to get it!

There could be non-raiding possibilities to competitive gear. Blue good gear, but also a few epic pieces. Just not the abundance there is now. I think Blizzard has put in a ton of work to provide possible things you can do to develop your character without raiding (including reps, achievements) and I definitely expect this to go on in cataclysm.

@Gronthe: yeah, I think that would be possible as well.

@Firespirit: Yeah balancing of heroics is important as well. It's silly when hardly any of the loot in the heroics actually comes to use.

I think though that a changed philosophy might suffice further than just to the first tier of raiding. It depends on HOW they decide to handle out the epics, eventually.

@Andrei: I hear what you say and intellectually you're right of course. But I still think that even such a superficial change as a switch of color would help in this situation. I didn't say it's rational!

@Void: Yeah; I'm hopeful as well, until proven wrong.

Bristal said...

Agree. I STILL remember my first purple drop from a mob in Un'goro Crater.

An epic piece of gear should only come directly from a raid boss.

And with the success of the battered hilt, I'm sure we'll be seeing more of the kind of epics that include a questline. I look forward to that.

Tesh said...

Idle question: What would it do if *all* drops were white? Vendor trash to the most epic of legendary artifacts?

Tangentially, is the color of the item description more important than the model or the stats? If so, why?

Also, what is the difference between perceived rarity and actual rarity, and is that more important than the *function* of the item in question?

...I'm not convinced that a color change in text will make much of a difference... but if it does, I'll admit to being even further away from the WoW mainstream than I thought. *shrug*

Larísa said...

@Bristal: oh, yeah, the battered hilt. I've never needed it for gear, but I'm tempted to try to get one just to experience the quests.

@Tesh: I'm not absolutely certain about this - I'm still putting up hypotheses, speculating, totally open for discussing it. But my impression - and I might be wrong - is that perceived rareness is very important indeed. The game is still so much about "showing off". I think many players care more about the trophy than keep track on exactly what changes in stats an upgrade will give.
But maybe I'm overly cynical about this.

Tesh said...


I'm not certain on any of it either, just noodling things out. Caring about purples or blues is so alien to the way I play that I really don't have much of a frame of reference. I can see the behavior and even anticipate it to a degree, especially in aggregate, but I simply don't think the same way about *stuff* in MMOs.

I just look at the utility of the stuff, and the color (and even blinginess) means nothing. Maybe if the game wasn't so gear centric, I would care more. As in, if your success didn't hinge so greatly on cutting edge gear, I'd care more about collecting stuff that I think looks cool. (Not what I think others think looks good... that's another mindset I just don't have a good handle on.)

Isn't that what new TBC or Wrath players did anyway? Accepted all the new quest rewards (greens and blues) in the early 60s or 70s, respectively, because they were simply flat out better bits of gear than the previous expansion's endgame gear? And why not? It was better stuff that let you play the game better.

Hue simply doesn't have much *game* utility... it's a social thing. I guess I'm just too Spockish and pragmatic about it... or cynical, whichever comes first. ;)

Andrei said...

@SpritusRex I agree that ICC encounters are harder but with exception of LK they are not "epic". There is nothing epic in killing Lord Marrowgar. For that matter hardly any boss fight in LoTK could be considered epic. They are just next step in difficulty compared to heroics. Yes, they should reward better gear but don't call it epic. It is a raid progression gear.

IMO only LK should drop epic gear. And The King Slayer title should give entire raid an epic item of their selection.

Grainger said...

I admit I feel a little "cheap" at times because I have all epics, but haven't been in many raids. I could care less if the badge and heroic gears were blue as long as I'm progressing.

I also agree that maybe the purples as a sign of pride that you earned something from a hard encounter, even if they are very similar to a blue would be nice.

But I also agree with what a couple of people have mentioned. If you take your time to level and enjoy the scenic route and you aren't in a raiding guild, there needs to be some system in place for people to get gear or they will never be able to raid end-game. The only time anyone does anything pre-ICC on my server is for the weekly raid badges. You can't make the game so only the "gogogo" people like the gentleman that wants to raid within 1-2 days after tearing to 85 are able to do so.

So, I guess what I said is, I'm in favor of limiting "epics", but am also in favor of getting good gear by other means. Though, 90% of the looking for group posts are "link GS and achievement" - so maybe colors don't matter anyways.

Utakata said...

I've never understood the lure of color coding gear in WoW of late since item level is a better and more accurate judge of epic'ness. I think this is a silly decision to go back to their old ways and pandering to hardcore nutter types. And if they implement with badge gear, may end with the very same problem as they did in TBC. That is, only a ver small percent will ever see end game content that Blizz spent months developing. All this because of color coded Napoleon complexes. /sigh

Imoh said...


Saying that only LK should award epic gear is stupid, especially when refering to the normal mode as you are, if you want to make only the truly difficult fights award gear than normal mode LK isn't even in the top 5, maybe not even the top 10 of WotLK. Alone in the Darkness, Heroic Anubarak 25 man, Firefighter 25 man, Knock3 25 man... ALL much harder than normal mode LK.


No one wants to see the return of a small population seeing the content. But there has to be something there for those that are willing to put in the time to work at harder encounters, IMHO Algalon was the pinnacle of that philosophy during WotLK, only the best players saw that fight while it was current, but the rest of the instance was perfectly accessible to the general population. I'm so excited to hear Ghostcrawler talking about more bosses along those lines.

Sorry if I come across as elitist or as having a sense of entitlement, but I remember 3.0, and if content had remained at that level of difficulty for the expansion there is no way I would have been bothered even logging on for the 1 day a week that it took to clear content for us, hardmodes saved the game for me.

Larísa said...

@Tesh: I’m pretty much the same, quite pragmatic about stuff, although I can get a little bit sentimental if an item is connected to a certain memory. I still keep illidan’s skull, a lovely trinket from BT, in my banks as one of my very, very few souvenirs from TBC. (Tier sets are trashed without any hesitation.)

I still think that there’s a lot of social/status thinking going on, influencing the behaviour of players a lot. Geeks as we are you could expect us to be more Spock-like, but apparently we’re more of Average Joes than you might believe, as pointed out many times by for instance Gevlon.

@Grainger: There are guilds that are progressing slower, taking their time, playing the game in a relaxed, un-go-go-go-ish manner. But I’m afraid they’re quite rare spawns.

@Utakata: I wouldn’t draw those conclusions from those brief lines by Blizzard. They say that they’ll be more restrictive to handling out epics. Yes. But they say nothing at all about increasing raid difficulty, making it less accessible. On the contrary – the shift towards being neutral between 10 mans and 25 mans speaks for the opposite – a continuing trend of easily available raiding for everyone.

@Imoh: I’m afraid that I have yet to see Algalon – I’m not sure I’ll ever see the guy. But even if I’m a bit envious and frustrated, I still think it’s a great feature and I too hope there will be something like this to strive for and dream about in Cataclysm.

Firespirit said...

@ bristal - Not neccesarily. Firespirit's first epic ever was Stormhearald (Epic Hammersmith only mace in BC - Best weapon in the game for a retadin back then). It was crafted. It was a big pain in the ASS to get it made, as I rarely raided or did heroics. When I equipped that mace, I felt like I was on the top of the world. It took over 3 months to create. THAT is epic.

2nd Nin said...

Larisa, why does there have to be something for "those willing to put in the effort". Surely in a game like this everyone should be able to eventually see the content either through gear upgrades or similar. Adding special toys and upgrades only for the limited few is not a cost effective route to go down for Blizzard.

Gear similarly, the colour purple is irrelevant, why does it matter that it has become too common. We started as people who killed a few rats, now we are Heroes to the vast majority of Azeroth and Draenor... would you expect Tirion Fordring to wander around in blues?

Bristal said...

I'd have to say that feels more LEGENDARY if it took 3 months of farming to craft.

And I've never had the opportunity to experience something like that, which now has me bugged...

Utakata said...

@ Imoh & Larísa:

Perhaps I overstated my psoition, then actually waiting the details of it to be released...then making an informed comment. But still, it does have me worried that this a sign that will return our game to the exclusive raid or die world of Vanilla and TBC. But if those changes are going to be as modest, inclusive and fair as you guys hope and expect...then that could be better to stomach.

Either way, thanks for sharing that with me - the Algalon point was a great example. :)