Something I’ve been kicking around myself, and I’m wondering what you think about gear resets.
No, really. I know what I think, but I only do a certain amount of content with friends. And I’d rather not assume I know what everyone else really thinks.
We have had what we call gear resets many times in WoW.
A gear reset is when the gear that can be acquired from means other than raid progression allows a character to skip pre-existing content and still be equipped for raiding.
Original WoW had a certain amount of top end gear available at release, and with each additional high end raid, there were new levels of gear. Often, these had been accompanied by different hoops you had to jump through to get the final gear piece.
Anyone remember with fondness the intricate contortions AQ put us through in order to get incremental upgrades?
Love it or hate it, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and AQ brought us incremental upgrades, building on previous raiding success, so that better gear was pretty tightly tuned and it was clear how the people who had it, got it.
With the Burning Crusade expansion, boom! Blue became the new Purple. People frequently tossed out their last top end raid epics for Blues at the level 65 to 67 mark. Sure, some of the most cutting players may have still been nailing Serpentshrine Cavern in some of their AQ gear, but I think I’m safe in saying it wasn’t that widespread.
The content releases weren’t gear resets. You had to have existing content done to advance to the new gear released in higher end raids.
Burning Crusade WAS a gear reset, because you could create a new character and level through questing to acquire the gear that was better than raid rewards previously seen.
The release of Badge of Justice awards, both levels, could constitute another gear reset, as people could acquire them from Heroics and gain gear that allowed them to progress faster and skip some existing content.
Wrath of the Lich King of course brought another, but this time, it wasn’t quite as drastic. There were still many top end raiding guilds using their level 70 epics to raid as soon as they hit 80. Cassie acquired the tier helm from The Battle for Mount Hyjal, and at the time it was an upgrade for her level 80 Rogue over other level 80 Rare quality heroic drops.
We also had the new Emblem rewards to hunt for, and there were content specific Emblems at multiple levels, so your Emblem rewards were conceivably tied to your progression.
I think there is little question that the recent change to cause all previous content to drop Emblems of Conquest, and the addition of Emblems of Triumph available from daily quests constituted an intentional gear reset.
Suddenly, by playing the game at a level open to new level 80s in quest reward greens and blues, you could obtain a complete set of Tier gear and other rewards consistent with Naxx 25/Ulduar 10 raiding. Coupling this with the epic weapons of the Argent Tournament, and the rewards from normal/Heroic ToC 5 person instance runs, and we had a solid gear reset. Nobody has to run Ulduar or Naxxramus to prepare for the ToC 10/25 raids or beyond unless they want to.
Yes, there will be drops that people want, but the bulk of the equipment raiders want can be acquired in places other than raids.
That’s where we are now. Everyone’s adjusted just fine.
Now, we’re being told that in the next content patch, patch 3.3, all existing content will drop Emblems of Triumph instead of Conquest and they’re adding a new Emblem level. Plus, there will be weekly raid quests from early bosses in existing raids that drop the new Emblems.
This means that a character that dings 80 can run heroic 5 person instances, and once a week hit some of the easier raid bosses, and over perhaps three weeks or less completely equip themselves in Tier 9 gear, coinciding with the opening of the new Icecrown Citadel raids.
What do you think of all this?
And if you disagree with me, I’m not going to get upset. Not at all. You pays your money to play the game same as everybody else, your point of view and how you feel about these changes is just as valid as anyone else’s.
I will share my feelings on it, for what they’re worth.
I’m quite happy about it. In fact, I’m very excited.
I see it as an opportunity to focus on gearing my Druid for both tank and healing specs so that I can help my casual guild see the existing raid content that, presumably, the gear reset is intended to let us skip over.
No, really. When everyone else will be looking upwards to Icecrown, I expect our guild will be heading into Ulduar and Eye of Eternity and Sarth +3, and the ToC 10 man runs at a more relaxed pace.
I also see it as an opportunity for my alts to run 5 person content, and not take up raid spots, but still be able to gain rewards that would make them reasonably helpful if we needed one on a guild run. My Hunter doesn’t really raid with the guild, but if called upon, it would be very nice to have a solid set of Tier 9 to bring in at need.
Finally… I’m very glad to be able to stop worrying about running enough to save up Emblems of Conquest to convert to Valor, to fill in the Tier spots for tank, healer, and hunter gear sets. That’s a LOT of running. I’m much happier just running as normal for one level of Triumph gear.
But please, what do you think?
If you raid, do you see this as helpful in offsetting spots in your team’s gear where you just haven’t been lucky in the drops? Do you see it as a good way to help bring your own alts up to speed without fighting over raid spots? Or do you maybe feel that it cheapens your accomlishments when you did the content the way it was intended, and won? Or something else entirely?
If you don’t raid, do you care that there are higher levels of gear you can get by doing the same content? How do you feel about it?