Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Weapon madness

The trick to get rich, both in World of Warcraft and IRL, is to not spend your money. So in spite of having a big business selling upgrade essences, I never used them on my characters. It wasn't really necessary, as I'm not raiding, and I get plenty of gear from other sources. But yesterday I made an exception and equipped my level 91 paladin with an iLevel 705 two-handed axe.

The effect is astonishing. For comparison the heirloom axe at level 91 is only iLevel 530 and has an average damage per second of 118. The upgraded crafted axe has an average damage per second of over 600, thus 5 times more. Okay, I spent nearly 60k worth of gold and materials on the thing, but due to its low minimum level the thing will have a huge impact on my paladin. I had the gold and materials on hand, but somebody else could have gotten there by spending real money on WoW tokens, so the whole thing feels a lot like Pay2Win.

I don't plan on equipping more iLevel 705 gear, I'm fine with a mix of heirlooms and found gear. I see why there is a limit of using only 3 crafted items though. I think that on the weapon the effect of having a much higher iLevel is more significant than on other gear. I wonder whether that was what prompted Blizzard to effectively remove weapons from the next expansion, by giving everybody the same artifact weapons.

Weapon has always been the highest dps upgrade by leaps and bounds - probably why there's no XP bonus on heirloom weapons.

How significant is the 705 ilvl weapon? Are you one-shotting mobs, or do they still require a couple of globals?
To be fair, a delta variance of 500% (118 to 600) seems like a lot, but you no doubt also slapped on the other 2 640 items, pushing your net DPS to 5K or so. The contribution from the axe is large, but even the 630 iLevel version would have had you going around feeling like Conan the Barbarian.

I got my Priest out of mothballs last week, level 90. I've had this character literally since the dawn of time. Once I got to level 91, I gave it 3 iLevel 640 crafted items in conjunction with it's iLevel 550 or so SoO gear, and it proceeded to annihilate the landscape in shadow mode, a spec I'm not all that good at.

This is probably one of the reasons Raph Koster's MMORPG life curve is so salient, even today. the power inflation after all these expansions is so great, the game is completely trivialized when tuned for the "minimum" character.
I had the same initial thought - it feels like cheating to do that. But then, what are you winning? The least amount of time to get to 100? It's a luxury you purchased with all the hours you spent garrison farming that gold.
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