This is just an idea that has been floating around in my head for ages. So I thought i’d throw it out there.
Gear in WoW has a level, generally called an item level or ilevel, associated with it. This varies depending on the source of the item and increases as new content is released. For example tier 9 (25 man raids) had an item level of 245. Tier 10, for 25 man raids, had an item level of 264.
Increased item level means increased stat budgets. The rate at which stat budgets increased was high in Wrath resulting in high gear inflation. Just think of how rapidly tank health pools or damage output increased between these two tiers of raiding and you’ll get a feel for the effect of gear inflation.
I suggest this difference be minimised. The homogenisation of 10 and 25 man raiding gear will assist this as there will be no requirement for the split between 10 and 25 man item levels.
I’d suggest an increase of item level of about 6 between tiers. So if, for example tier 11 raiding dropped item level 320 gear then tier 12 should drop 326 gear. The heroic tier 11 raids could drop 323 item level gear. It doesn’t have to be 6 item levels between tiers but it should be much less than about 20 levels difference in Wrath.
There are two main advantages of this idea.
Firstly is that older raid content remains valuable even when it it not the current progression tier. You could for example raid tier 11 when tier 12 was current and get items only slightly less valuable than the cutting edge tier. This would encourage guilds to raid in the older tiers for more than just gimmick raid weekly quests or similar. Helping to gear up new players should be more fun and less, “do we really have to go back and do content without challenge or and chance of benefit for us?”
Secondly there would be far less need to ratchet up the drops in older content, for the example heroic 5-mans, every major patch to attempt to retain players interest in them. Although this would somewhat decrease the number of players running heroics 5-mans, it would reduce the incidence of extreme over gearing of these instances, which happens in Wrath.
Both these advantages would allow the reformation of the concept of raid progression, all be it in a less extreme form than in Burning Crusade.
I’m sure there was more, but the rest of the idea has escaped me (curse you lack of sleep).