Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Please, take away our gear

I'm still doing a lot of random dungeon runs in World of Warcraft, with guild mates if possible, with pickup groups if not. This weekend my mage got grouped with a dps warrior, fury spec. As I'm still working to optimize my gear and my damage output, I'm running addons like Gearscore and the Recount damage meter. Not to judge people and tell them how their gear or dps sucks, but for comparison and self-improvement. And this dps warrior had a very high Gearscore, 6k, the kind of gear you can only get from running high-end raids a lot. And his damage output was 6k too.

Now a regular level 80 mob, not elite, just a normal mob running around in a level 80 zone in World of Warcraft has 12,600 health. With 6k dps you'll kill that mob in 2 seconds. A freshly minted level 80 character who hasn't run any heroics yet, and who is in a typical mix of green and blue gear from questing and normal dungeons will need around 10 seconds to kill that same mob. It appears likely that the mob was designed around such a 10-second fight, not around a 2-second fight.

A factor of around 5 or 6 in damage output between somebody just arrived at the level cap and somebody at the highest end of endgame content appears to me to be somewhat problematic the day the next expansion comes out. Blizzard needs to think of the future, the day where somebody reaching level 80 will NOT stop and run heroics and raids, but will continue directly in one of the new level 81+ zones. Thus a level 81 regular mob will have slightly more health than a level 80 mob, but not 5 times more. The fight will still be designed to last about 10 seconds. And our 6k dps warrior will be completely overpowered for that and consequently bored by much of the content in Cataclysm.

The basic idea behind a MMORPG based on levels and gear is that you improve your character, which opens up new content for him, which was previously unavailable because it was too hard. You can't solo Hogger at level 1, or quest in Westfall, you do the level 1 quests first, kill the level 1 mobs, get the gear they drop, level up to level 2, and so on, until you are finally strong enough to deal with Hogger and Westfall. If it was possible to twink up a level 1 character to already be strong enough to solo Hogger and kill mobs in Westfall, bad things would happen: The player would find that level restrictions on quests would actually prevent him from getting quests in Westfall, even if he can kill the mobs. And the player would find that even if already strong, he'd still want to level up to get even stronger. Only that the available content would be even more trivial than it already is for a regular character, and none of the loot rewards would have any use. Remove challenge and loot from a MMORPG, and there isn't really much of interest left (which is exactly why people who become good at playing MMORPGs are then the first to burn out of them, while the casuals can keep having fun).

I am certain that the 6k Gearscore, 6k dps warrior had to put in a lot of time and effort into getting that far. He isn't alone, but he is somewhere in the top few percents of the player distribution. Which is why Blizzard will ignore him, and design Cataclysm around the median player. Or actually BELOW the median, because the content has to fit the fresh level 80 characters, while most of the real level 80 characters will have grown in power beyond that through gear from heroics, even if they don't raid. There will be quite a number of people wearing T9+ gear, and encountering content which was designed to be beaten with green / blue gear. That leads to the perverse situation that the more effort you put into your character now, the less fun you will have in the next expansion.

I don't see a way to have both the green / blue gear guy and the 6k dps guy do the same level 81 quest in Cataclysm and both have fun, and both get a nice reward. Chances are, based on the experience with previous expansions, that the green / blue gear guy will find the green / blue quest rewards at level 81 to be a huge upgrade to his level 80 gear, while the 6k dps guy won't find any upgrade to his gear before running level 85 heroics and raids.

So I am proposing a radical idea: Let the Cataclysm be accompanied by a magical explosion of disenchanting, which removes all the magic from our gear. Every player would find himself in his level 80 gear, same look like before, but now the stuff has a grey name and no stat bonuses at all. And the armor value of gear of the same basic type, lets say two plate chest pieces, is exactly the same, regardless of previous iLevel. Now previous 6k dps guy will probably still be more skilled and a better player than previously 1k dps guy. But the difference will be significantly smaller, and both can play through the same content and both have fun, and both get upgrades to their gear from quest rewards.

Note that the more likely stat inflation of the next expansion amounts basically to the same thing, leveling out the 6k dps guy and the 1k dps guy. Only that it'll take longer, probably until level 85 heroics, before the two find themselves in roughly the same gear. By that time the 6k dps guy already has missed most of the content of the expansion, because he just rushed mindlessly through and never got a reward. Taking his gear away from him at once might feel harsh, but in the end it is the better solution. You can still leave him an achievement reflecting his gear score at the end of Wrath of the Lich King.
I'd love that - and I got complete T9. But it won't happen.
That Warrior probably doesn't give a rat's ass about the leveling game. He will enjoy breezing through it but what he wants is to reach the new Heroics and Raids.
So he will have some fun in pulling 10+ mobs and raking huge chunks of XP but his real fun will be the new end-game.
That is why Blizzard doesn't need to do anything and if it bothers you to breeze through content, just buy some blues at the AH and start Cataclysm with them.
Kind of reminds me the advice you gave raiders: gimp yourselves to make it a real challenge. :)
I could recommend the addon 'Elitist Group' as a replacement for gear score. Not only will it display the gearscore, it also allows you to rate the pugs you grouped with and saves a database of these people - so if you meet up with someone awful again, you know right away.

Also if there are folks on your own realm that you think were great, you can look them up and ask them if they are free for a random some other time.
What's actually really interesting to me Tobold, is that twinking for leveling is so popular - at level 1, or level 80.

You might find it interesting that I made an alt hunter, with every Heirloom item possible - bow, shoulders, chest, two haste trinkets, two heirloom daggers enchanted with +15 agility, and white items with agility enchants in other slots.

As a level 1, the first creature he killed was level 6. Not quite Hogger, but I think your ideas apply - Heirloom items make leveling content as trivial as the highest end raid gear does at cap.
You'd have to at least leave SOME stats on the gear. Future level 80s might not reach Cataclysm content with T9, but they won't be wearing grey gear either.
Blizz have to do some kind of gear reset though, if only to fit into their plans to remove stats like defense and ArP.
What an awfull sugestion you make. You think top players/ guilde would continue to play a Game that removes all they gained from month like that ?

Casual players are the ones paying for the game but top players/guildes are trends setters, thats why Blizzard have taken and will take them in account.
what if there are players that don't mind being finished with leveling fast? I know I'm gonna like the advantage my hard earned equipment gives me, as short as it may last.
If you were to meter the amount of time spent in combat (or recovering from combat) while you were leveling, what percentage do you think it would be?

Between traveling, and moving from mob to mob, and looting, and figuring out the quests, and gimmick quests that don't take gear into account, I'd say that no more than 20% of your time is taken up with combat. Even if your character had a red "kill" button leveling would not be that much quicker.

I went affliction at 62 on my recent lock and it was probably my most overpowered character ever against same-level mobs. For the reasons listed above, though, it did not make leveling that much faster.
Agree it would be great if it happened and would certainly fall in with cataclysmic behaviour however can you imagine how many people would rage quit?

I'll disagree that people with high end raid gear will be bored with facerolling mobs. Thats exactly what they want to happen as it means they can get to endgame both easier and faster.
What seems to be at stake here is the conception of what is fun in a new expansion. I think it is plausible to assume that the 6K gearscore guy and you might have different ideas of what will be fun to do in the next expansion. Ideally, you will enjoy the leveling experience, exploring the newly redesigned zones and new dungeons that are released. Mr. 6K however might simply see this as work he has to put in before his fun, raiding at a high level, can begin. In that case, taking away his gear is actually taking away the means for him to get to his entertainment faster, and inflicting another person's conceptions of fun on him.
They will think of that. But even with all the newly available badge gear there will still be the multitude of M&S who don't use it properly. Allow the "ease of use" for highly geared players to be a gift from Blizz. Also, most of that should be replaceable by 85 dungeon blues, save for current top-tier.
The one thing you did not take into account is that the 6k guy may look at leveling as a means to an end to the next expansions raiding content. A high end raider wants to raid. All the top end gear he gets now is a bonus to the footrace for possible server firsts in the next expansion. People play this game for different reasons and I am sure with all the hard work 6k guy put into getting his current gear he would be mighty upset to get "reset" back to fresh 80 status.
That's where the gear inflation comes into play.

When you level a fresh 80 or 70 through the new expansion it will throw gear at you which far outgears your current set. Pretty much every quest result will be an upgrade. Doing the level 70/80 instances isn't worth it anymore.

So you quickly get to the level of lower level pre-expansion epics.
I think the high end raider is not all that excited about spending much time questing to the cap anyways. He/She is probably a "fulltime" raider and invests all their gametime into that. When Cataclysm comes all they want is get to the cap again so they can continue their hobby, raiding.

It does not mean they hate or ignore quest content, I guess everyone will have to get the same amount of experience to get to the cap again anyways, so everyone will do the quests. But some enjoy them more, when for others they are just means to a goal.
I actually like that idea.. as I think sometimes the older 80s are too much focused on gear in that, I was running Forge of Souls and the tank was complaining I had greens (one green off hand and I was running randoms to get gear, duh) and booted me. Its happened so many times now even though I have geared up better.. I've stopped running PuGs.

But I regress.. I think that the uproar would be so insanely strong negatively that Blizz couldnt pull it off without pissing too many off.

My 2cents.
Seems like wow is always playing catch-up on issues they've caused with previous expansions. whilst its good they deal with these things, it seems like they end up having to radically change the game to compensate.

In my opinion they really need to stop repeatedly adding more levels on the end and think up some big new and different content. Sure they do this a bit with patches but a few big expansions of alternative content that isn't just a different place to get xp could be really interesting.

similar to what campaign and besieged did for ffxi.
Well, I have to point out 2 things:

1) Your 6k DPS warrior is much, much more likely to be the type of player who considers the leveling game an annoyance before getting to the end game, which he considers the real game. Your idea simply makes him go through what he considers an annoyance for longer.

2) Burning Crusade dealt with this a lot more than Wrath did. Their solution then, which will be their solution in Cataclysm, was to start Hellfire at 58, not 60. The mobs you fight in Hellfire go up very quickly in difficulty.

You may not notice this because at the same time, the quest rewards for those first level 58-59 quests were awesome, so you grow in power at the same rapid rate. By the time players are doing the level 60-61 quests, everyone has vanilla WoW raid level gear.

It will be the same in Cataclysm. By the time you hit 81 or 82, you will be doing 4-5k DPS, even in questing blues and greens. is totally boring right now...has been for about a year now.
Tobold, you mad crazy bomb-throwing revolutionary glubbernugger! I loves it!
Hey, first time i disagree, yay! :)

I did like the "soft" gear reset done in TBC/Wotlk (steep devaluation of gear 70->75). And it's up to you if you zap thru content or enjoy it (not a gear question)

If you really want everybody to start equal, tobold, the feature is in, roll a lvl 1 goblin or worgen :-)

I think that is a horrid idea.

Destroying the effect of a player's work will lead to cancellations. I would say that it is justified too--the 6k DPS warrior played hard to get that way and, one would hope, enjoys the raiding game.

So you would force him to level slower--he who wants to be in the end game anyway--because you think he should experience the content.

I also think that you're underestimating the effect of having all the old world redone. I know I have 2-4 alts planned (lord knows if I will execute) just to see the new lowbie stuff. Of course that will come /after/ Guthammer is 85--which will probably happen in the first week of the expansion--while reading the quest text too. (I take a couple of days of vacation with Blizzards expansion releases.)

Once I have an 85 I will take time to experience the game "as intended".

Penalizing your most dedicated and hard core players seems unwise. Also, being able to be less vigilant or even paranoid while leveling because you vastly overgear the zone does allow the player to focus more cycles on enjoying the world. I will even do the leveling up without the heirloom gear (or maybe just the trinkets)--the point is to see the content, not see it as quickly as possible.
Not gonna happen unfortunately. But another problem will be the time from LK drops ( february ) and Cataclysm comes ( august/sept ? )
I don't think that HL players would like to be at the same level of gear of everyone else... most of them will rush to the 85 lvl and start the new HL content... so there no point of making it more difficult.

Moreover 6k dps is in a 5 people group you have to consider that and the fact that it takes sometime to get to the 6k dps (which is espcialy true for hand-to-hand fighters as their cycles are longer than casters). Consider the fire mage without haste Scorch+FireBall = 4s (and the mod is certainly not dead) or arcane mage Arcane Missiles (Arcane) : 5s (3k per tick). So at least your idea doesn't apply as well for the mage...

nice try.
I think you misunderstand how WoW appeals to most people.

It's not a strategy game it's a reward game, like a fruit machine.

Turning everyone's purples grey would be like the casino owners coming and taking all the money back that people had won on the fruit machines.

WoW is trapped into escalating mudflation by its item-centric design and a player based trained to judge the worth of themselves and others on gear.
I'm one of those people currently making my way through the ICC raids, doing 6k+ dps in heroics and I can say with certainty that the problem you bring up won't seem like a problem to me. Being able to kill enemies quickly is part of the fun of getting the higher level gear and it enables me to see more of the content faster than many other people.
I enjoy the environments of the zones I level in, why would taking 8 seconds longer to kill a monster make it more fun? As a rogue that just means I'll need to spend more time bandaging and there isn't anything fun about that.
The downside of a gear based system.
It's also why PvP is so enormously unfair in WoW. Having the arena in WoW is such a joke. You might argue that choosing the right class for the arena makes some difference, but almost all of the rest is up to the gear.
From comments that Ghostcrawler has made on the official forums, gear inflation is here to stay. I seem to recall him saying that the staff were shocked at the stats on new gear.

Fortunately, they're claiming that damage stats won't go up too much, due to their desire to have bigger health pools relative to the damage and healing flying around, so I suspect there could be a hefty nerf to players stats when they get rid of spell power, attack power, and the like. Either that or, for example, the spell power scaling of intellect reduces as you level up, as ratings do now, to end up with larger numbers on gear, but not a huge increase in effectiveness.

Actually, now I think about it, they are doing what you're suggesting, only instead of removing all enchantments, they're just changing all the numbers, and what they mean.
You have to remember that what you percieve as fun is not percieved as fun by everyone else.

Basically what you're suggesting here is the BC style gear reset. Everyone steps into the new content and has very soon replaced all their gear and more or less has stats comparable to everyone else.

We all know the QQ and "crisis" that happened when raiders saw their precious epics replaced by quest greens and blues.

Besides that you are also assuming that overpowering the content and being able to level faster somehow takes away from the fun of the game.

As someone who hates the leveling aspect of the game, I have to disagree with you there. I would be really happy if my gear did give me an advantage while leveling and allow me to burn through the content. In fact being able to do so would make leveling MUCH MUCH more enjoyable for me and I might be encouraged to level my alts. (Much like how heirloom gear has gotten me to level 2 other 80's and multiple level 60+ characters)

One of the reasons why I liked leveling in Wrath compared to BC is because Wrath has two starting zones. I would go to northrend complete both starting zones and then be one or two levels above all the content I was questing in. With heirloom items I've even hit level 80 in Zul Drake, a zone designed for levels 75-76.

All in all better gear = less dying and faster killing. Less dying and faster killing = faster exp and leveling. Faster exp and leveling = Me being happy and not getting bored/frustrated/annoyed with leveling.
It's very difficult to design content that works equally well for a raid (or even emblem) geared character and a new level 80 who is just passing through.

Removing gear as you suggest annoys all those who feel they have worked hard to get it. Keeping it trivialises content that may be stretching for (say) a goblin who is passing through L80 on his way to the cap a few months into the expansion.

Perhaps the right way forward is to reduce the increments people gain from gear. Is it really necessary for a high end raider to be doing 5x as much DPS as a newly-minted L80? Wouldn't 50% more be enough?
I'd be very unhappy if that happened, and not because I have particularly good gear. It's partially because I'm a packrat, and partially because my good gear has stories behind it. That one day I was brought to a raid where I ended up doing way more DPS than I expected, and I won a sweet piece of gear? I kept it. The Frozen Shadowweave set that took me weeks (months?) to craft by myself? I kept it.

I see your idea and the logic behind it, but some players enjoy keeping pieces of gear that are important to them.
"I don't see a way to have both the green / blue gear guy and the 6k dps guy do the same level 81 quest in Cataclysm and both have fun, and both get a nice reward."

Maybe you have a series of short quests that let everyone gear up. The guy in the high end gear won't get any quest rewards better than his gear, but the fresh level 80 will get a substantial upgrade.
"Your 6k DPS warrior is much, much more likely to be the type of player who considers the leveling game an annoyance before getting to the end game, which he considers the real game."

I don't see why that needs to be true. I can hit 6k on my warrior when fully raid buffed (on a good day :) ) and I really enjoyed levelling in Wrath. The reason I can put up the numbers now are because of what I have done more recently than that.
Ironically, one of the reasons to rush levelling is so that you get the chance to be in on heroics and new raids with the first wave of players. So that you do get a chance to learn it as intended rather than from websites.

I think it's a shame that people who raided in one expansion have to experience nerfed levelling in the next. Esp for those of us who like PvE challenging.
Doing 6k DPS on dungeon elites is different than doing 6k DPS against quest mobs, because it takes time to proc effects and build up combo points, etc...

Also, in an instance/raid you're more likely to use consumables and benefit from buffs/procs/effects of the other players.

Run some daily quests with your mage, and compare his DPS to his instance/raid DPS. My guess is the difference will be in the 1.5x to 2x range.
I would like to see Blizzard do something to reduce the gear inflation but I don't think it will happen.
This is a really interesting idea, but It can't work the way WoW is currently implemented. I taught a Game Design class last semester and one of my students tried using only grey/white gear with no stat bonuses as an experiment. The result: by the time the character is in their 40s soloing on-level mobs becomes difficult - eventually soloing below level mobs becomes difficult/impossible.

Now they are doing lots of changes to the game with Cataclysm I'm sure, but I doubt there will be that many changes.
People with that high a gear score probably see the leveling side of WoW a chore, not something to be enjoyed.

This occurrence has been true for every expac of WoW, people with greater gear need fewer upgrades and level faster. I remember most full t3 raiders barely took any Karazhan upgrades; the two characters I raided with in TBC had a much smoother ride through Northrend than my freshly leveled sped-through-Outlands 3rd stringer.

I don't know if WotLK's gear inflation is greater or the same as prior expacs though, because things like recount/gearscore weren't around as much in the prior game, and raiding is much more open to peole than the past too... plus heirloom items ... etc.
I enjoy the environments of the zones I level in, why would taking 8 seconds longer to kill a monster make it more fun? As a rogue that just means I'll need to spend more time bandaging and there isn't anything fun about that.

What about an aura that insta-kills all mobs the second you are within 20 yards ?

Really! People who claim that 2 seconds per mob is quite ok .. I fear them.
Hopefully the stat redesign in Cataclysm (spellpower gets folded into int, etc) will have a similar effect to what you describe in this post, Tobold.
So the goal is to equalize the power/gear curve in order to make the leveling experience equally enjoyable? Great! I think there are a few ways to go about it:

1. Simply mudflate new gear so that everyone who steps into the new content will be guaranteed to do 5-6k DPS (first quest rewards are equal to ICC25). This makes the fresh 1-80 chars happy and doesn't really affect the raider other than making him slightly bored for a few levels (until he starts getting new shinies). That was the WotLK approach and it worked fine.

2. Simply mudflate new gear so that everyone who steps into the new content will do much higher DPS than anyone before - 8-10k DPS? This makes fresh 1-80 chars happy but some raiders will be really unhappy because they color code everything. It was the BC approach and it worked fine for everyone else with the exception of a few whiners.

3. Replace everything with grey items (your approach). This is a bad idea in my honest opinion, not the least because it involves a lot of technical difficulties - when do you replace the gear, do you take twinks into consideration, what about a fresh char who just got lucky with a dungeon drop, etc etc. It also annoys and frustrates players because it violates one of the simplest rules of game design: 'Thou shalt not take away from the player that which ye hath given". (always better to bring others up than someone down - see class balance).

4. Slightly mudflate DPS stats (or not), but heavily mudflate other stats, such as survivability - and buff environment damage as well. Your 6k dps warrior will still do the same top dps, but if he has 1/3 of the intended HP for the level - yeah, he will be happy and excited to go for the new shinies - which is what we want.

If I would hazard a guess, I'd say we'll see a combo of 1) and 4) in Cataclysm. Still some time until we get there, though.
Eh the most likely scenario is that the new mobs in in Cataclyscm will be balanced with the assumption that everyone is in base T9 at the least. This may seem like a problem at first but they will probably also drop greens and quest rewards that are equivalent. So even if you ARE a fresh 80 you will quickly have the gear you need. Its pretty much exactly what they did with TBC except this time when they make the assumption most people are in Tier gear..they will be right.
Oh and everyone who is saying "OMG people will quit if you make their high end raid gear useless". Where any of you around from Vanilla to TBC ? Because that is EXACTLY what they did. You could have been in old Naxx 40 man gear and found a green or blue off a random mob in Hellfire that was better than what you had on. People won't leave over this. Will they be mad..yeah people would bitch, but no they wouldn't leave.
The next expansion is interesting from a balance point of view.

It differs from the previous expansion in two significant ways.

1) the WoLK gear inflation exceeded what the developers had initially planned

2) the next expansion will have half the levels of the previous expansions

These exacerbate each other. Top end BC raiders had replaced a lot of their gear by level 75, but not all of it (I've been told top end vanilla gear didn't least nearly as long for BC). A very few top end items lasted clear to 80 (because they had a lot of gem sockets, so they could gem-up a lot).

If the gear reset is "as soft" current top end raiders will hit level cap with most of their old gear. If the gear reset is faster then that people will see their damage output climb far more as a result of gear at 81, and 82 then as a result of leveling.

The real solution has a lot to do with player motivation. If current end game raiders just want to get to the end game, then making the gear reset soft works out fine. If current end game raiders enjoyed the leveling game, and then enjoyed the end game anything other then a hard gear reset will "hurt" them.

Maybe the "best thing" is some way to trade in level 80 end game raiding gear for something good at level 85...but the trade-in has to happen before they pass level 81. I don't see a sane way to explain that in-game though.

The _easy_ thing is to assume end game raiders don't care much about the leveling game and just let them power through it. If they don't want to power through, they can level an alt first. Or have enough self control to sell a lot of the end-game 80 gear before questing up to 85.
I think Blizzard has said they want don't want the gear inflatation like they had in WoTLK... and honeslty TBC wasn't much different.

This is one of those things I just don't think Blizzard has mastered yet though.
People claiming that TBC Hellfire green items replaced Naxx40 gear are just plain wrong. I didn't replace my Tier 1 (ie - MOLTEN CORE) gear until the 65-67 range. Partially because I didn't do many 5-mans while leveling (where I'll the blue items in the early 60s was better than BWL and AQ40 gear) and partially because most of them items I gained from questing and leveling didn't have NEAR ENOUGH stamina. PvP servers mean Stamina > lots of stats.

As for the post itself - I fail to see how having top-end gear is going to ruin the leveling portion of Cataclysm. If the player enjoys questing they will quest, regardless of the rewards and gear. If the player doesn't enjoy questing they will race to end-game as fast as possible.

As a Loremaster who also raids, I have no doubt that I will do every quest I can in Cataclysm, even if it means I am questing 1 year after hitting 85.
The second Blizzard announces this they not only see a huge load disappear off their instance servers, but a small load disappear immediately from their subscriber list, and then a huge load disappear off of their subscriber list once they implement it.
What it sounds to me is you want the gap closed between the haves and the havenots, to appease the masses. What a disturbing idea. Those that have the 6k Gearscore aren't going to care about enjoying the quests from level 80-85. They want to get to 85 as fast as possible so they can get 7k and higher gearscores.

The reason why leveling is so easy is because it has to be, otherwise the gap between the haves and have nots would be even greater.
But then I wouldn't have to gear up in Heroics to perform well in Battlegrounds! And I could pull out that awesome looking Polearm I keep in the bank because it looks cool but has crap stats.
im not really agree with the post, but if blizzard should do something like that, i would prefer that they put an area with a debuff, like they do in terokkar near shattrath city where the cenarion are, so when u enter that specific area the debuff will aplly and it would let you do quest at the same speed rate.

that way the people who want to lvl up fast to get raids and heroic can avoid the quest in there.
That's a hilarious idea! I love it.

What I wish is that Cataclysm would actually be WoW 2, utterly separate from the current game. I don't want to lose the entire lower-level world as it is now anyway. Level 80 characters could be copied to the new game including the gear reset you suggest, or remain overpowered and unaltered in the old game.

Obviously that's not Blizzard's plan, but I can dream.
Look at the iLevel ratio of an MC purple and a Heroic WotLK purple, compared to their original levels, and then consider the effort required to complete that content.

The rewards in vanilla were far leaner - this discrepancy between the 6k gearscore guy and the freshly minted 80 is a new problem caused by Blizzard wanting to dazzle players with how big of a jump it is to the next new content that they'll keep mindlessly paying.

And in doing so, the struggle, story and lore of the old game has slipped away into obsolescence to be replaced with a series of mindless coop shoot-em-ups with Dalaran as their lobby.
I would be happy to have the stats on my gear good away. However I would be really upset to have the items go away. The "item" is an important connection to the earning process and I still have my T6 gear and older for exactly that reason.
I love your ability to bring forth great ideas. It is funny to read how people see this as such a radical idea...but it is exactly what has happened in the past. Just not as radical, or as direct.

Remember Burning Crusade? The stamina change made even the top tier 3 naxx gear obsolete by lvl 75 or so. Coupled by percentage based stat bonuses to "ratings," old level gear got worse as you leveled. This made questing items often very appealing.

I expect there will be something similar with how they are changing how so many stats a much more simple system. Immediately anyone with Attack Power or Armor Penetration will have wasted stats.

But the basis of the idea is, to me, a plea to the return of the old. We have been jaded by inflated gearscores, free epics, overgearing and cleaving through instances, etc. We all remember how much excitement your first green drop was when you were only lvl 7.

Blizzard always does well striking a middle ground. There will be an indirect gear/stat reset with Cataclysm for sure, they have to.
I personally go into every expansion the way I came into this world... naked.
I find it amazing how many object to this idea due to the amount of 'work' they have put into there characters with the current xpac. get some perspective, it is a _GAME_, and not a very good one at that...
That's a pretty radical and pretty awesome idea, I am one of those players that are very close to the gear ceiling as each expansion is released and not being able to find any upgrades until the new raids takes a lot of the fun out.

I love how on alts I reach the outlands content and suddenly every quest reward is an upgrade, gives a much greater joy in levelling up as you get new gear along with better/new skills.

You can say that I can throw away all my gear when an expansion is out but that means my guildmates race to the level cap alot faster and are able to get in the new raids alot faster, so evening out the playing field would be really awesome.
"I don't see a way to have both the green / blue gear guy and the 6k dps guy do the same level 81 quest in Cataclysm and both have fun, and both get a nice reward."

Add bonus XP as an option in place of the green/blue items on some quests. Then players decked out in 250+ epics get something good from them too.
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