More on my current ‘project’, the proposed changes to gear tokens in 3.2. Previously, after first learning of the change I wrote my knee jerk reaction to them. My reaction was quite similar to a number of others if you read the comments in the wow.com link.
This change is pretty significant. The first thing I noticed when coming to WoW is how gear-centric it is. A large chunk of the game is all about getting better loot for whatever reason. So any significant change to gearing concepts is going to have ramifications and attract the interest of many players.
Now i’ve had a bit more thought about it, and read a large number of other peoples opinions on it I thought I might write about it.
Firsly let me say I have no issue with other people having good gear. I never see another player and have thoughts like, “that bastard doesn’t deserve that because…” Good gear for all I say! However where it does effect me is my incentive to play.
Why am I playing WoW? I enjoy the challenge of hard content, I like playing with friends and I like ‘advancing my toons’ along the journey towards the ultimate end point of WoW (whatever that may be). Part of the journey is accumulating good gear to allow me to … what? Get even better gear? Get achievements? Continue raiding with friends? So the question for is, is there still an incentive for me to raid for a some gear (less than before but still some (a lot?)) and achievements?
Some ideas/thoughts about this change:
- Reduces difficulty for anyone to raid at top tier as they can easily get some top tier gear.
- Reduces incentive to raid, even at the top tier, except for those interested in achievements. i.e. gear incentive partially removed.
- The mere rumour of this change is causing issues within some raiding guilds as players start to divide along “I mainly raid for gear” and “I mainly raid for achievements” lines (I know many also raid for “the fun of it”, no change there).
- This change will give more players the gear to raid in the higher tier content. It will not grant them the skill/experience to do so. Despite its nerfs, Ulduar is harder than Naxx (so far).
- Many play to have fun and one way they have fun is by excelling at something. Part of this excelling at something is having both the skill and the tools to do something well. What happens when you level the playing field for gear?
- Does this emblems change significantly level the playing field? There is only so much tier gear you can buy with emblems. (I can feel a, “How to gear your 80 with emblems” post coming on.)
- Is raiding with a reduced gear incentive like doing a RL job you enjoy but for little pay? Probably not.
- I’ve put significant time into other games (e.g. Guildwars) where gear has very little effect on you ability to fulfil your role. In that game I did high end content for personal satisfaction and to play with friends. So is the issue the change itself? Am I resisting this change because its natural to resist change?
- If gear becomes less important why would I bother running heroics for emblems? I’ve seen them all and ‘beaten’ them all. I suppose I could go for the achievements. Will this change become self defeating from the point-of-view of getting more people into heroics?
- Is there even a problem with getting enough players into heroics? The must be if Blizzard says so I guess. I’ve never really had an issue getting into them.
- Will epics you can purchase with tokens become socially less acceptable than epics won by good honest raiding?
Part of me is disappointed by the change. Probably because there is a part of my toons identity which will die with this change. Turkelife is a tier 8 geared toon. She’s not some fresh 80 who just got off the quest train (<insert elitist sneer here>). Her gear proclaims her as having done stuff, it has a kind of history or significance to it, to those that look at it. I guess this must be similar to how some of the tier 6 raiders must have felt just about the time the started raiding in Wrath. All the hundreds of hours of play time and skil l which was expressed in their tier 6 gear was about to be erased and forgotten by ‘the server’. Hmm, I guess I’ll survive, but it will take a bit for the pain to fade.
So, on rethink, i’m ok with this change. It is a significant change to the game, but experience tells me its not actually the end of the world. WoW where gear is less important, is still going to be worth playing.
Edit: Honor’ Code has a similar thought process going on.