A shiny new Australia

This post may be best appreciated while wearing a tinfoil hat.

Something in the comments on this post sparked a thought in me. one of the commenters noted that

Yes, my 369 ilvl spriest and my 363 ilvl boomkin got it before my 370 ilvl dk…

Now, I’m not entirely sure whether that’s an intentionally self-deprecating comment, given that the ilvls mentioned are quite close together and generally low. However, I’m going to discuss on the basis of it being honest truth because it’s actually pretty close to how our raid-groups are geared.

Effectively, what we have is a couple of guys – one tank and one healer – who have high ilvl gear. For the sake of discussion, we’ll consider high ilvl to be around 375. In the meantime, pretty much everyone else is hanging around 365-370. At one point I was complimented on my priest’s gear by a guildie. I’m ilvl 371. Thought he was kidding, until I took a look at the rest of the group. After all, 3 months into raiding t11 pretty much everyone and their dog was sitting at ilvl 358 or so – I was expecting similar effect here.

Now, I keep hammering on about how some extremely poor decisions were made in FL gear design. What I want to think about is this: there are three factors that make bosses easier. Experience, gear and nerfs.

Most raid-groups had already gotten as much experience as they could manage before the nerfs hit. Sure, some were still working on new bosses, but especially for the HC guilds, most of them had been skill-capped. Naturally, you’d expect the gear level of characters to increase over time to push that skill cap, but… that wasn’t happening.

There are too few bosses, too few drops, everything – up to crafting materials – is limited by raid kills. In t11 if you couldn’t get Nef down then you could at least gear off Conclave or in BoT. Or you could get crafted/rep items in some slots. The rep items this tier are either lackluster and behind a month of dailies, or gated by the raid faction itself, which requires – you guessed it – boss kills to get to the higher ranks. And even then, the trinkets from FL raid faction are just plainly terrible for most specs.

Blizzard’s stated design goal is that each tier should be tackled by players in an average ilvl of normal-level gear from the previous tier. Given how long it’s taken to gear players just to 370… well, for the majority, 378 just wasn’t going to happen before 4.3 hits.

I may well be way off the point here, but I think perhaps what we’re seeing is that Blizzard may have realised that their decisions in this tier are going to knock on badly to the accessibility of the next. Their extensive planned revamp of the gearing process in 4.3 speaks volumes to me about their awareness that there have been some bottlenecks, and that they’re trying to sort them out. I really hope that they do.

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6 comments
  1. tirthedk said:

    My post was more of a stab at the people who say “LFM Firelands Rag kill, 370+ ilvl”. On all of my toons (except my warrior who is just a farmer now /cry and my paladin who is a healer) I can pull 20k+ in my current gear. I have seen 378 ilvl dpsers pull 12k on rag. No they weren’t doing traps or anything.

    As Arioch also stated, my DK was once recruited to the last guild I was in to be dps, but when cata hit, I was asked to tank. Considering that I don’t mind tanking and the fact that I am pretty good at it (I think) I didn’t mind. However, that limited my choices on tier gear to tanking gear, so my dps set suffered. It would be more accurate to say that my DK has a 378 tank set and a 372 (yay heroic bracers from h rhyo) dps set. It was more a statement that my highest geared toon was the last to get it.

    In another light, it is asinine (imo) to say that you need to be more than 359 to do Firelands on normal, regardless of the fight you are on. Even prior to the nerf, you could bring a raid in all 359s and still down Rag. I am sure it was done by some guilds prior to that. However, for sake of arguement, post nerf, requiring someone to have 370+ ilvl is dumb. Of course, not all players are good players or strive to be good players, so YYMV.

    • Leit said:

      Heh… this is the problem with quoting an example. And waffling around the point. :D Grats on improving your set though.

      As far as my actual point goes – that the next tier will be 378 recommended average, and a lot of folks are gearing too slowly to have that in time – does it make sense to you?

      My personal favourite is folks who sit in /2 spamming “LFM BH ilvl 370” – because Occy is really that hard. >.< Or the folks in normal-mode blues "LFM BoT link full achi and ilvl 370". Got a real gripe with people who require criteria that they themselves can't meet.

      • tirthedk said:

        Well, I was actually able to go to full t12 4 set last night, so I am good now.

        As far as the next content, I think people will be fine if they are 370ish or so, which is doable in a few weeks of running Firelands. Realistically, Patch 4.3 is more than 4 months away, so I wouldn’t really concern myself with my raiders (if I were still a raid leader) not being ready for Dragon Soul.

      • Leit said:

        Hmm… I’d figure on DS in about 2 months, but we’ll see. New 5s can’t possibly come soon enough.

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