Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Proposal for Raid Loot in Cataclysm

When I look back at how loot dropped in Wrath, there are two major items that I disliked.

1. I never really understood why normal loot needed to be strictly better than the heroic loot of the previous tier. The same, or even slightly worse, seemed more logical to me. But loot being strictly better in the new instance meant that the previous instance was dropped instantly, and added to gear inflation concerns.

2. I really did not like having multiple recolors of the tier sets. It really devalued the uniqueness and recognizability of the tier sets. Of the 25-ish different tier sets released this expansion, I doubt that I can even name a handful on sight. Which is far different than the previous two tiers.

So here's my proposal for how loot should be handled in Cataclysm:

Normal C1 raids would drop C1 gear of all slots, including the tier set. Heroic C1 raids would drop the normal C1 gear plus one C2 ring/trinket/necklace/cloak (maybe relics and throwing weapons too). Basically, you only get access to one tier of cloth/leather/mail/plate at a time.

When the C2 raids come out, they drop C2 gear of all slots, including the tier sets. And the heroics give you one additional C3 piece of jewelry or cloak.

This has two important effects. First, there is only one tier of armor at any one time. There are no recolors or anything similar. Gear inflation is kept to a minimum, especially that of armor and weapon inflation.

Second, the heroic loot is usually available to the widest pool of players as possible. All healers can go for the heroic healer ring. You won't end up with the situation where a heroic paladin healer plate drops and everyone groans. As well, since rings and trinkets have two slots, the normal rings and trinkets of the next tier will still be valued.

A high-end edge raid would still see significant upgrades in heroics, just from upgrading all her jewelry. But she would also see good upgrades in normals, while not completely obsoleting the heroics of the previous tier.

I think that this would strike a good balance between reward and upgrades from tier to tier. Tier armor would be more unique, and hopefully more recognizable.


  1. I was pretty sure that Blizzard had already committed to making the heroic gear for the current raid equal in strength to the next tier's normal mode gear?

  2. I had assumed that the reason for making normal loot of one tier better than heroic of the tier before is to encourage normal mode raid groups to move straight into new raids when they get patched in, and make it easier for newer players to join them.

  3. In my opinion, Ulduar got everything exactly right. Heroic/hard mode should drop one additional piece of unique loot in addition to standard drops. I really hate the current model for normal versus heroic loot.

  4. @spinks:

    Normal mode raid groups will move to the next tier of normal raiding anyway, because it is easier than the prior tier heroic mode.

    I don't see how that would have any impact on making it easier for newer players to join normal mode raid groups. No one involved in this normal mode raid group has heroic gear, therefore, the relative ilvl of heroic gear is wholly irrelevant to that situation.

  5. Icecrown Citadel 10 loot was actually worse than Heroic 25 ToC. This would be a nice model to keep for 25 mans too, but it may cause problems with guilds who like to reset loot point systems at the beginning of each tier. As far as recolors go, some of them were successful in LK, such as shaman or mage, as you could instantly tell it was heroic gear. Ours was a little too subtle, though. Finally, with the bonus to int for wearing their respective heal types, there wont be any need for moaning when a piece of plate drops, as Priests will only wear cloth, Shamans mail, Druids leather, and Paladins plate. I haven't done the numbers yet, but it seems that the 5% bonus would be much better than downgrading to cloth/mail/leather. With the addition of spirit as our primary stat, all healing rings/trinkets/necks will be useful to all healers anyway.

  6. Blizz said that u need to do equipment progression this time:

    Normal dungeons lead to
    Heroic dungeons lead to
    Normal Raid lead to
    Heroic Raid

    Each level is locked with an average iLvl, so I guess you won't be able to skip C1 and go straight to C2, unless they have a sale on T11 gear (downgraded from VP to JP).