Friday, May 22, 2015

Itemization Changes in 6.2

Blizzard released a Dev Watercooler on itemization changes coming in Patch 6.2. Here are some thoughts on the changes.

1. More Consistent and Visible Personal Loot

Whenever a group gets items, a certain percentage is "wasted" and ends up disenchanted. Because group loot systems can funnel loot to the people who need it, their wasted percentage is a lot lower than the wasted percentage of Personal Loot.

Blizzard appears to be increasing the amount of Personal Loot given out in order to compensate for increased wastage.

They're also moving to a more consistent model where each boss will drop roughly the same amount of loot for the group, rather than it being truly independent. For example, right now each person might have a 24% chance to get loot, which depending on RNG, could lead to anywhere from 3 to 9 pieces dropping. In the new system, exactly 6 people in the group will get loot, and the item they get is then determined from the eligible loot for their specialization.

As well, there looks to be a new UI element which shows who won loot on this boss, making loot more of a group experience.

Overall, these changes to Personal Loot are good, and will improve its attractiveness. Ideally, Personal Loot becomes the system of choice for pickup groups.

2. Secondary Stats

I'm not sure I really understand what Blizzard is trying to get at here.  I think that they're saying that right now, secondary stats on gear looks like:

+100 Haste
+100 Mastery

My guess is that they want to do more things like:

+150 Haste
+50 Mastery

I don't think this will make a lot of difference. Players will just throw it into the stat weights at Wowhead and make a list of the best gear.

3. Item Level Ramp

As you go deeper into the raid, the level of items will rise. So reward continues to match difficulty.

Unless Blizzard is planning to greatly increase the size of the loot tables, I don't see the point of this. If your boots only drop from Boss A, does it matter if they're slightly higher or lower in ilvl than your gloves?

Plus, what this will probably means is that the Holy Paladin weapon (assuming Blizzard manages to remember it) will drop off an early boss, while the good healer weapon will drop off the last boss and have a higher ilvl. At least this means that Holy Paladins will get a better upgrade sooner if the raid continues into the next difficulty.

On the whole, I think the better solution to people skipping end bosses is to have specific bosses drop specific slots for all classes. Like one boss always drops boots, the next drops chests, and the last boss drops weapons. Kind of like Vanilla. That way no one wants to skip the last boss as they all want to get the items for that slot.


The Personal Loot changes are good changes. I don't think the other two changes are bad, but I doubt they will make any real difference.

Edit: There does seem to be a bit of a contradiction between Points 2 and 3. Point 2 wants to make the choice between Shoulder A and Shoulder B more interesting. But Point 3 wants the shoulder that drops later in the instance to be better. So unless the loot tables increase significantly, or maybe secondary stats become random (which is effectively the same thing), I think the two changes are working at cross-purposes to each other.


  1. To address your second point, by allowing secondaries to vary more significantly, it means that ilvl isn't as strong an indicator of good vs. bad.

    Basically, right now the absolute maximum ilvl difference before you'd just take the upgrade regardless of secondaries is about 15 ilvls. In practice, that's a lot smaller because those calculations were predicated on the worst case scenario (ie: ilvl 630 +100 Haste vs ilvl 645 +150 Versatility). Even going from best secondary to worst secondary, eventually ilvl is still king.

    Since that kind of scenario doesn't exist in raid loot today, in practice the ilvl difference is probably closer to 6 or 7 ilvls before you just take the upgrade regardless.

    By allowing for bigger secondary spreads, it allows for larger variance in what's good vs what's bad, which means loot becomes more interesting, even if you can still figure out what's better just by plugging it into Ask Mr. Robot. Side-grades might be relatively large upgrades in practice.

    See: and

  2. While that's true, there's usually not enough drops to make that strategy worthwhile.

    For example, there's usually only 2 or 3 shoulders in a tier. So the choice between the two is pretty simple. Taking the one with more of your best secondary stat will almost always be your best choice.

    As well, it sort of contradicts Point 3. If Shoulder A which drops early in the instance has more of your best secondary stat, it might be better than Shoulder B which drops later in the instance, even if Shoulder B has a higher ilvl.

    That right there contradicts the impetus behind Point 3, to have better loot drop deeper in the instance.

  3. Agreed that the loot table would need to be deeper, or make it even closer to DiabloLoot and randomize secondaries a bit to make it a better strategy.

    Not saying I want DiabloLoot entirely, but making it DiabloLoot would also solve the contradiction between 2 and 3, as higher ilvl just meant it'd be more likely an upgrade, rather than for sure.

  4. The idea of #2 isn't necessarily to change anything about how people choose loot. You'll still pick the item with your best secondary stat, either way.

    The purpose is to produce a bigger difference between the best gear and other choices. That way, when you get a best-in-slot piece the difference is a little more noticeable.

    It doesn't change the items you'll want. It just makes getting those items feel a little more exciting.

  5. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Polygon interview which basically said no flying in Warlords. Period.