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wow Dev Watercooler - Itemization in 6.2

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The WoW Systems Design Team has posted an update regarding how itemization will work in Patch 6.2 for raid rewards. The broad goals are to improve the Personal Loot system, broaden the range of secondary stat allocations, and for more complex bosses deeper in raid instances to reward progressively more powerful items.


The complete post is embedded below, but the highlights are as follows:


Personal Loot


- Personal Loot will now calculate how many raid members receive drops on a group-wide, rather than individual, basis. Groups will receive a more predictable amount of drops, and set items will now reliably drop in Personal Loot.


- Personal Loot's overall rate of reward has been increased to offset the inability to redistribute it.


- The Personal Loot UI has been overhauled so that party and raid members will see your loot rewards.


- All of these improvements are coming to Hellfire Citadel, as well as all Draenor dungeons (including the new Mythic dungeons).


Secondary Stats


- A 'wider range' of secondary stat values will exist on Hellfire Citadel Loot, to help make items stronger for individual classes/specs and curb the 'just equip the highest Item Level item' mentality.


Item Level Revamp


- The Item Level of drops from bosses increases as players progress deeper into the zone (Hellfire Citadel).




Original post:


In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, we’re making some changes to our Raid itemization with the goal of improving the Personal Loot experience, creating more interesting distinctions among items, and providing rewards that more closely reflect the challenge players face to earn them.


Personal Loot Improvements


The Personal Loot system offers several advantages to certain group types, but there are still several areas where we think we can make improvements. Our goals with Personal Loot going forward are threefold:

  • Make Personal Loot more consistent and rewarding.
  • Bring Personal Loot up to be competitive with Group Loot, so players who prefer Personal Loot receive rewards comparable to those you get from groups using Master Loot or Need/Greed.
  • Celebrate rewarding Personal Loot within the group in a way that captures the excitement of receiving rewards in Group Loot.

First, rather than treating loot chances independently for each player—sometimes yielding only one or even zero items for a group—we’ll use a system similar to Group Loot to determine how many items a boss will award based on eligible group size. As a result, groups will receive a much more predictable number of drops when they defeat a boss. In addition, set items will reliably drop in Personal Loot, just like they do in Group Loot today. The end result is that groups using Personal Loot will acquire their 2- and 4-piece set bonuses at around the same time as groups using Group Loot acquire theirs.


We’re also increasing the overall rate of reward for Personal Loot, giving players more items overall to offset the fact that Personal Loot rewards can’t be distributed among group members. We know that finding that one awesome specific trinket to round out your gear set can be difficult with Personal Loot, and this should help increase your odds.


Finally, the most visible change is the new Personal Loot UI. Part of the fun of raiding is progressing and improving as a group, not just as an individual. The previous Personal Loot system celebrated your own rewards, but would bury what your groupmates received in the chat log. However, the moment when your friend finally wins that long sought-after sword can be just as important to you as that moment you won your boots—and we wanted the game to help you celebrate it, too. Now when you loot an item, everyone in your group will see what you won!


These Personal Loot improvements aren’t limited to Hellfire Citadel—we’re updating all of our Draenor dungeons, including Mythic dungeons, to use the same system.


Loot distribution underway here


Secondary Stats


In the early days of World of Warcraft, Raid bosses didn’t have that many items to drop—there were only 150 items in all of Molten Core, and more than half of those were set items. This small amount of total gear in a Raid meant there might only have been one or two items per slot in an entire tier that were appropriate for your class—and if you were a Hunter or a Shaman in a place like Molten Core, that meant your only option for a belt in the entire Raid zone was your class set piece. On top of that, if an item wasn’t class restricted, it was shared between many other specializations with wildly different ideas of which stats were good or bad. When very few items were available to fill any given slot, the desire to make sure they were useful for many specs led us to keep from straying too far from a 50/50 split on secondary stats. 


...we’ve decided to shake things up with how secondary stats appear on Raid loot in this patch.


As the game has evolved, we’ve increased the number of items that bosses drop per kill, as well as the variety of items they drop. We’ve made secondary stats more competitive with one another, and we’ve reduced the frequency of oddball items that were only useful to a few classes. This made more items useful to more people, but eroded the distinction and sense of identity that items held in the past. Too rare became the situation where you knew for sure that this drop was your awesome piece of equipment, and that feeling of finding a truly special item came less often than we would have liked.


To help bolster that sense of excitement, we’ve decided to shake things up when it comes to how secondary stats appear on Raid loot in this patch. Inside Hellfire Citadel, you’ll see a wider range of high and low secondary stat values on items than you have in a long time. Alongside some tuning adjustments that should ensure your attuned stats are the right choice, this change should also make it easier for you to identify which items are good for you in a more interesting way than just “equip the highest Item Level.” Our goal is to help make Hellfire Citadel Raid items more distinct and meaningful to you, and we hope you’ll let us know how things feel once you start collecting your new gear.


Item Level Ramp


As this expansion has progressed, it’s become increasingly apparent that there is a mismatch between challenge and reward for guilds that delve deep into large Raid zones. When the Item Level for rewards across a given difficulty of a zone is flat, a caster staff from Heroic Imperator Mar’gok is largely equal in power to one from Heroic Tectus, despite Mar’gok being the far more challenging boss. We often see and hear about guilds killing a late-zone boss like Blast Furnace for the first time, only to disenchant most of the drops because everyone already has loot from earlier bosses in those slots. On top of that, many guilds move on to higher difficulties before they fully complete a difficulty, because Heroic Darmac loot is stronger than Normal Blackhand loot—and you can get it for much less effort.


To address this, we are structuring Hellfire Citadel so that the Item Level of the loot awarded by bosses increases as players proceed deeper into the zone, culminating in Archimonde—providing both the ultimate challenge and the ultimate reward.


... it feels good to get higher-level items as you progress through a zone.


We’re doing this for a few reasons. First, it feels good to get higher-level items as you progress through a zone. One of the more prominent pieces of feedback we got about Blackrock Foundry was that it felt unrewarding for challenging bosses like Iron Maidens to drop loot that was just as good as—or possibly worse than—Gruul’s.


This also breaks up where your best items are in a good way. The power of the items that you can get in a particular slot will differ based on how far through the zone you are. The best boots for you will likely be different if you are on Normal Gorefiend than they would be if you’re on Heroic Mannoroth, which would be different than if you’re on Mythic Iron Reaver, and so on.



We can’t overstate how much we appreciate your feedback on topics like this, especially when you’ve taken the time to join us on the Patch 6.2 PTR and experienced the changes for yourself. As always, everyone’s encouraged to join us and other testers in the 6.2 PTR Discussion forum as we prepare to unleash Hellfire.


Thoughts on these changes? Let us know in the comments.

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