Now that that’s out of my system… let’s look at some of the more interesting 4.3 news. Please note: contents may not in fact be interesting to others. YMMV.
Tier gear only from raid tokens
This makes sense. While it is great having the tier 2-piece before stepping in a raid, tier gear really should belong to raiders. With one caveat: VP should be able to buy good offset options for those slots. Zarhym has posted a clarification stating that there will be a wide variety of VP gear available for a larger number of slots than previous tiers, which is very promising.
Many crafting recipes, handle them
Tying into the point above, it’ll be nice to see some good crafting options… but the main point here is, again, accessibility. A number of crafting patterns were added with 4.2, but the problem is the materials – specifically Living Embers. On my realm they sell for an exorbitant amount, and given that a single craft requires a fair number of embers and they only drop off raid bosses, there just isn’t enough supply to make them available to the general population. I really hope that Blizzard has looked at this and will attempt not to have a repeat of the same situation.
Epic gems from geodes
Epic gems will apparently be available as rare drops from a Geode item that each player is given when they down a raid boss. There are a number of relevant details that have been left out, though.
- Will epic gems be available from prospecting? Given that it was stated that it should take the entire length of the tier to replace all of a player’s red gems with epic versions, this seems unlikely.
- Will the geode gems be pre-cut on drop? This seems unlikely, if only because the update mentioned blue gems too. See the next point, though.
- If not pre-cut, where will we get the cuts? Jewelcrafting tokens seem unlikely. Given the mention of crafting patterns, I’m going to guess that these will be raid trash drops.
- Will the gems be BoP? Assuming that my speculation above is accurate, no. However, I wouldn’t expect to see them on the AH either. It’s the same issue as Living Embers… insufficient supply.
The raid finder will not share a lockout with normal raids
This warrants its own mention, largely because of all of the points above. If profession patterns drop in the raid finder instances, they may well become the new FL trash runs. It also means crafters will effectively have to run the raid finder instances until they have all of their appropriate plans. Moreover, the separate but inequal system may also provide a secondary source of crafting materials, if such do drop in RF instances.
Raid finder will also have its own lower ilvl tier drops, which can be mixed and matched with normal/heroic tier gear for tier set bonuses. I predict many people not knowing how this system works at first.
Overall, the impression is that the designers went in with the intent to show that they’re not afraid to make sweeping changes. That kind of courage is good… provided that they don’t tie too much ego into the new systems. Some people will inevitably hate them, some aspects won’t work as envisioned or as would be best for the players and will thus need to be changed. I just hope that they’re learning as they go.