Tobold's Blog
Monday, December 29, 2014
Epic crap

I think there is some serious imbalance with crafted gear in Warlords of Draenor being far too good. Example: I have a War Mill in my garrison that sometimes turns rare items found into epics. So I was killing a level 92 rare mob and he dropped a weapon which got such an epic upgrade: Smashalupagus, a 2H mace with a minimum level of 92, iLevel 547, doing 138 damage per second, and giving +77 Strength. Sounds good, doesn't it? Certainly the best weapon I found or got as quest reward in WoD yet.

Small problem: My fury warrior is wielding two crafted Steelforged Greataxes, 2H axes with a minimum level of 91, iLevel 630, doing 300 damage per second, and giving +167 Strength. And even characters without the blacksmithing profession can create those in a level 2 garrison forge. Yes, it takes 100 Truesteel Ingots, and thus takes some time, but you can get all the materials without even leaving your garrison. So there are a lot around, and on the AH they weren't all that expensive. I would be surprised if I found any better weapon in the game before reaching level 100.

So by doing something sensible, checking out the AH for gear and buying crafted gear, I basically made myself overpowered and removed all possibility of being happy about a lucky weapon drop for 10 levels. I don't think crafting systems should work that way.

YOU don't think they should.

Blizzard Execs who wants microtransactions do. They want "tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold". Why would anyone pay money to get gold if gold doesn't give them superior gear?

You just found the cornerstone of pay-to-win: shopping gets you better items than playing.

But hey, in literally the previous post you celebrated the accessible Blizzard model. You thought there could be a F2P-accessible model without "axe of uberness"?

Also, stop being so cheap and use the upgraded Steelforged Greataxe:
Item Level 660
1142 - 1714 Damage Speed 3.60 (396.78 damage per second)

+221 Strength
+331 Stamina
Requires Level 91
Yes, it's better than what normal raids give you.

You wished accessible and casual-friendly games too hard and they came true. Now live with them!
Remember you can only equip 3 crafted epic/blue items (which includes weapons, armor, rings, etc) so there are plenty of slots to put something else in. Also, the secondary stats are random (with options to reroll for more bound crafting stuff). Not saying that I'm happy with crafting, but that's not a balance issue.
It took me some time to see that the crafts are min level 91..... I think that the original idea is that you would use them for rerolls, and they completely forgot that any casual player who takes his time leveling can equip himself with them as well, since they only take time to craft, even if you don't have the profession.
On the contrary, raising the, beyond 630 is way too expensive (time and money-wise) for the result.
If crafted gear isn't at least equal to dropped gear, why craft? If dropped gear isn't at least equal to crafted gear, why adventure? That's a circle that will never be squared.

That said, there is a point at which a designer can play these things off one against the other so that they almost balance and this clearly isn't it.
If one must have both, a possible solution is to have some slots where the best gear is generally crafted, and some where the best gear is generally dropped in raids.

But, what Gevlon said. Be careful what you wish for. The world's collective wishes have not been kind to game design lately.
There's really no way to make people happy is there? 10 years of crafting being a waste of time and effort, then it gets good for a bit and now it's overpowered.

The only thing off about crafted gear that makes you feel they are overpowered is the level 91 requirement, instead of the 100 you would normally expect for that level of gear. At level 100, crafted gear is nothing special. LFR is significantly easier than normal dungeons or even questing, and it gives ilvl 640 gear.

As has been mentioned, you can only have 3 crafted items equipped, and epic BoE raid drops are still fairly rare (the AH has only 2 pages of them listed for all armor types, hardly enough to supply more than a few slots for a few players no matter how much gold you buy). So you can't really buy your way into being overpowered nearly as much as many seem to think.
A 630 weapon is a heroic dungeon blue item. Those are meant to be used at level 100, but if you want then you can buy them to help level a character (basically a one time use supercharged heirloom).

They're also quite expensive, probably 5000 gold or more for something you'll get the equivalent of (or better potentially) in a 5 man dungeon. The only advantage is while leveling. Even sleepwalking through LFR will get you 640 items and normal raids at 655.

And, as others said, you're only allowed to wear three crafted items total.

I mean, are you just not aware of Blizzard adding in items with a lowered item required to help people level? For example, in MoP:

Expensive AH staff to help level:

Dungeon drop that requires higher level:

I mean, overall we're talking about a leveling advantage for spending in-game currency (hello heirlooms since WotLK?) when leveling is irrelevant overall.

If they start throwing in weapons 20 ilvls ahead of Mythic gear then let's start worrying.
The level 91 requirement on craftables was a very unusual decision. I can only assume it was intended to let you twink your alts and level them to 100 at lightning speed. Presumably the thought was that everyone would hit 100 on their main before they accumulated enough cooldown-gated mats to make these crafted items.
Like I said to a lot of my posts about crafting. If crafting produces better gear than drops then players wont have the incentive to raid or farm dungeons. If vice verse players won't have the incentive to craft. It's sort of a double edge word.
D2 players did not like the AH in D3 1.0; whereas I like crafting and think anything available from adventuring should be available from crafting. In D3 1.0 I *never* got a drop that was useful. I knew what I needed and had pre-purchased it from the AH. I really liked this. This is where I like EVE's design - all gear is crafted.

I left MoP because my crafting alts had to get to max level and then grind interminable reputations. In all the other MMOs I play. a very low level character can get to max crafting.

If a MMO is going to have crafting, then crafting needs to have value. I had much, much, much rather craft and AH PvP than to run group content.
That weapon is indeed ridiculous for a 92, let alone if you upgrade it to an epic ilvl 655 (which will easily cost you 50k though).

Blizzards reasoning seems to be that you can only get a few slots through crafting or followers, still need other ways to get the rest of your items.

And for levelling, who cares really. Every single item I had was replaced within a few days while levelling anyway.
As have been mentioned. Crafted gear is good untill you are ready for LFR. At the point where lots of players are now, its rather the opposite. Crafted gear is "only" the same ilvl as LFR, with the option to boost it higher (up to 665 for armor, with heroic being 670 and mythic something higher). But the price for boosting is very high. In most cases you could safely buy 1-3 boe epics of same or higher ilvl for the price of the mats.

So true, for levelling, the crafted gear is absolutely ridicolously good, for raiding/pvp/endgame stuff... Its not really up to snuff. Its still nice i guess, but making it all boe means your crafting proffessions doesnt really matter, you can just sell what you make and buy what you want instead.
I don't get what's the issue? Would it make it better of the weapon was an heirloom instead of a blue?

We can already use heirlooms for all 100 lvls. Is it really that big a deal that the crafted gear is as good as dungeon weapons?
I'm always in favor of crafted gear being just as strong as anything available from raids. The problem lies in the difficulty of both.

Max level crafters should be just as rare as top end raiders. When everyone and their sister can have every craft at max, through alts or whatnot, then it devalues what they can make.
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