Tuesday, May 03, 2022

The Creation Catalyst

This tier, Blizzard introduced a mechanic to help with Tier gear: the Creation Catalyst.

Previously, the problem with Tier sets was that you could be unlucky and never get Tier to drop for you. Or perhaps worse, you have Tier shoulders, and a higher item-level non-Tier shoulders drop, and you have to choose between the set bonus or discarding the higher level item.

The Creation Catalyst pretty much solves all the issues with Tier. Once a week, you can transform a non-Tier item into the Tier item of the same item level. It's pretty much the equivalent of allowing you to purchase a Tier item of any slot at the rate of one per week.

So the first couple of times you use the Creation Catalyst, it's to finish off your 4-piece set bonus. Then after that, you can start transforming upgrades, always keeping your set bonus.

It even allows solo-players or non-raiders to get their Tier set bonus. You can transform the Zerith Mortis rewards into Tier, so you should get your set bonus in 4 weeks.

All in all, the Creation Catalyst was an excellent mechanic that solves many of the issues with Tier set bonuses. I hope it is carried forward for future content.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

The Return of Master Loot?

In an interview, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas said that the Dev Team is interested in bringing back Master Loot. He specifically called out the problems around clarity which items are actually tradable. 

I'll be honest, I have zero idea how trading Tier tokens actually works in this tier. I just look for the blue text on the item if I don't want it.

In any case, I've long held that the current iteration of Personal Loot is a corrupted system. It was created to reduce drama in automatic group content, and then adapted for premade group content. I've posted my ideal loot system suite before, but it might be a little complex.

What I think Blizzard should work towards is the following:

  • Two systems: Personal Loot and Master Loot.
  • Personal Loot cannot be traded at all.
  • Master Loot has the standard "Tradable for 2 hours to people in the group"
  • Automatic Group Content uses Personal Loot and it cannot be changed.
  • Premade Groups can choose between Personal Loot and Master Loot.
  • Switching the Loot System requires everyone in the group to agree to the change. You can do a Ready Check style thing, where everyone has to click Yes for the switch to happen. (Maybe change the look/feel of the popup so people don't mistake it for a Ready Check.)
  • Master Loot is deactivated in new raids/dungeons for the first month. This is mostly to cut down the degeneracy of split runs in the World First race.

I think that would be good enough. Personal Loot is for no-drama Automatic Group Runs. Master Loot is for when you create the group from scratch and want control over how loot is handed out.