I've been playing RIFT again lately, mostly as a casual leveling game. But recently I stumbled across the raid armor vendor, and I thought that their system for handling raid sets was rather neat.
Basically, RIFT has 4-piece armor sets, but the set bonuses are actually on a different piece of gear, a "synergy crystal". There are 8 souls in each class and each soul uses a different set of abilities. So each soul has it's own synergy crystal. The armor sets themselves are more generic. For example, there's DPS armor and tanking armor. So you buy the armor for your role, and then get the synergy crystal for your main soul.
In WoW terms, it would be like having a single DPS plate armor set that could be used by any warrior, death knight or paladin. Then you pick up a Retribution crystal, Fury crystal, etc. to get set bonuses specific to your spec.
Obviously, it's not the best solution for WoW, if only because WoW classes prefer unique looks. But for RIFT, it's a rather elegant solution, as each class has its own armor type.
New Need Before Greed System
Blizzard posted that the new Raid Finder will use a modified Need Before Greed system. Items will be tagged with roles. If a player with the same role as the item rolls Need, she gets a +100 bonus to the roll.
Basically, it's Main Spec beats Off-spec, but you hit Need if you want it for either spec. Your role is defined as the current role you are playing in the raid.
It's an interesting solution. Tanks always get priority on tank gear. DPS gets priority on DPS gear. And healers get priority on healing gear.
The hard part here, as always, is classifying items. Is an Intellect cloth item without Spirit or Hit considered Healing or DPS or both? Are categories going to be restrictive or broad?
But still, this should be an improvement. Nothing burns a tank more than seeing a DPS--who has proven themselves unwilling to take the hard job of tanking--grab an upgrade that the tank needed.
Apparently, plate bikini bottoms are selling on the Auction House for 5000+ gold.
Hooray for transmogrification?