Sunday, 27 January 2013

Why I'm Glad Item Upgrades Are Being Removed In 5.2

Sunday, 27 January 2013 - by Evlyxx 0

no_more_valor_upgrades

Back in 5.1 we were given a new feature, upgrading gear from justice and valor points. Everybody loved it as it allowed key pieces of gear to be upgraded that were either already best in slot (BiS) or impossible to replace given your individual gear progression. 

That will all change in 5.2 though as Blizzard have decided that thee upgrades are only to be available in patches where there is no additinal raid content, if they even reintroduce it, this has sparked a lot of discussion particularly the other night in Exhumed's guild chat, so I decided to have a deeper think and post my thoughts here.

Bashiok
Even Ethereals need a vacation, and the item upgraders (Voidbinders), are no exception. They're saying they need to go home to take care of business arrangements, but ... I'm not convinced. I think they're just homesick for their 'space mummy' families.

Ok ok, fourth wall broken, we're actually just temporarily removing them from the game for 5.2 due to the new raid tier. The idea with the item upgrade system is that it's a way to spend currency on upgrading items when buying new items isn't the clear path. Either you've bought everything, or at least most of them, and then spend currency to get that extra *oomph*. With a new raid tier coming, we don't want to create a trap where people are wondering what's more lucrative: spend currency on new items, or on the new gear appearing on vendors? (Hint: It's the new gear on vendors.) To help ensure we're not indirectly encouraging anyone to spend their currency somewhere they probably shouldn't, the item upgraders will be taking a break.

Right now we're planning for them to return in 5.3, which will not have a raid tier, and offer upgrades again as people will have likely have some currency to burn. We're not sure yet if we'll continue this cycle of having them take a break for raid patches and then come back in non-raid patches, but we'll continue evaluating as we go, absorb feedback, and let you know how these plans evolve.


The general consensus among my guild mates was that losing the upgrades is bad because now they won't be able to upgrade their items and will have to rely on drops from higher raid tiers that may take time and effort to obtain. 

Well having to rely on drops from higher content is the whole point of Blizzard adding new content, they don't want us farming old content to increase the power of our gear so that we can become more powerful without earning the right to be that powerful and I for one am all for that and I would have always argued that you should only be rewarded with items that provides you with the gear to progress through the level of content you are attempting and I don't actually agree that you should be able to plant seeds and earn raid equivalent gear. 

Doing dailies should reward you with gear or currency to buy gear to allow you to get into heroics and raid finder which in turn should reward you with gear to enable you to run normal mode raids and challenge mode dungeons which reward you with items to run heroic raids or the next raid tier. and so on. When a new raid tier comes out there shouldn't be new gear for valor points from the old rep guys, there should be items on a vendor that you earn rep with running the new raid tier, as we saw in Firelands. If that rep can also be earned by doing dailies, then them dailies should be tough and so tough that you need the gear from the previous raid tier to do them easily. If your gear sucks then your gonna struggle but if you still get the job done then you do deserve the right to get the same upgrades as you'll have worked harder to get there than the raid equipped guy/gal who did his effort grind in raiding. This is controversial to some people but to me it is the fairest way. As for PVP gear, well that shouldn't have an iLevel and therefore stopping PVPers getting an easier time into iLevel restricted content than PVEers get and that is a bit more controversial and not something I wouldn't even attempt to offer a solution for here.

One of my guild mates also said that it was stupid and he wishes that they never introduced it and wanted to know what he would spend his valor points on. Well I wasn't sure about wishing they had never added it but I reassured him that Blizzard would be giving us new items that he could spend all his valor on.

Another was actually pleased because he said he felt like he was currently forced into having to upgrade his raid gear rather than spend it on his off-set. As his raid leader I know it isn't me or the guild applying this pressure so it must be assumed pressure from the game itself. Shame on you Blizzard!

Meanwhile I was rather unmoved by the subject as I neither feel pressured into upgrading gear as I'm happy that my gear is capable of beating the content I'm in nor sad/angry that the ability is being removed. Then I had a think about the whole subject and got rather angry that I hadn't considered the downside to the system.

As a minor player in the gold making scene I dabble with the auction house to keep my gold reserves high enough that I can buy anything I want should it come available and one thing that differentiates me from the big players is that I don't think/notice the gold making impact of changes. But while thinking about the change it suddenly dawned on me that the whole upgrade thing is a kick in the teeth for jewelcrafters and enchanters as instead of getting new items and applying a nice new shiny enchant people are happily upgrading their gear that is already enchanted and gemmed. Now I have realised this I am now even more supportive of the decision that Blizzard have taken than I was before. But I really do hope that Blizzard keep them out of the game entirely rather than bring them in every non-raid patch not just because of the gold implications but because of the perceived pressure that some people feel it places upon them.

About the Author

By day I'm an IT Server analyst for a major telecoms compnay in the UK and I've been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005 when a pair of colleagues bullied me into playing! I have evolved into a raider (summer 2006), an auction house wheeler dealer (2007), a guild officer (2007), an altoholic (2008), a raid leader (2008), a Warcraft blogger (2010) and a PVPer (2012)

My main has, and always will be Evlyxx, a priest and I love to heal. I started as Holy in vanilla, dabbled with the shadow side during the middle part of Burning Crusade, before returning to Holy but I have been mostly Discipline since mid-Wrath.

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About the Author

By day I'm an IT Server analyst for a major telecoms compnay in the UK and I've been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005 when a pair of colleagues bullied me into playing! I have evolved into a raider (summer 2006), an auction house wheeler dealer (2007), a guild officer (2007), an altoholic (2008), a raid leader (2008), a Warcraft blogger (2010) and a PVPer (2012)

My main has, and always will be Evlyxx, a priest and I love to heal. I started as Holy in vanilla, dabbled with the shadow side during the middle part of Burning Crusade, before returning to Holy but I have been mostly Discipline since mid-Wrath.

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