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Tier Sets Removed in Battle for Azeroth

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It seems the WoW devs have learned a lesson the Diablo 3 team could very much use as well, as tier sets probably won't be coming back come Battle for Azeroth.

In an interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, Gameinformer found out that there are no current plans to bring back raid tier sets in the next expansion, as they limit character customization by locking down their individual gear slots, due to the power of set bonuses:

Quote

"With sets and cosmetic appearances we're always trying new things. We're currently not planning on carrying forward traditional raid class sets.

So we're going to have artwise, the gear will be more heavily themed from the place it comes. There's more customization we want to express through the new Azerite system. I think class sets have changed a lot over a years of World of Warcraft. Back in the day, these 8 piece sets you would put together over the course of 6 to 8 months raiding a zone, where now the smaller sets and so many more sources of gear, it's very common to get 2 or 4 pieces at the start of a tier and it actually kind of locks down those character slots, it limits your choices. It feels like more of a drawback than a strength at this point."

- Ion Hazzikostas, Game Director

Check out the full article over on Gameinformer.

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You can't really compare it to Diablo though. For WoW, tier bonuses are a transient item - In one tier, out the next.

In Diablo, the tier bonus is what defines specific playstyles, for the entirety of the game. While lowing the amount of set pieces needed for the bonus to 3/5 (With RoRG lowering that further still to 2/4) would be fantastic, removing set bonuses entirely would create hellava more problems.

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Completely okay with this. I enjoy doing M+ and I'm disappointed every week because I have to bench 950+ chest rewards for 915-930 tier pieces because the 4pc comes out stronger. With legendaries taking up major slots as well, there is just very little room to slot in different items.

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56 minutes ago, Frogspoison said:

You can't really compare it to Diablo though. For WoW, tier bonuses are a transient item - In one tier, out the next.

In Diablo, the tier bonus is what defines specific playstyles, for the entirety of the game. While lowing the amount of set pieces needed for the bonus to 3/5 (With RoRG lowering that further still to 2/4) would be fantastic, removing set bonuses entirely would create hellava more problems.

Oh you're absolutely right, I was just referring to the fact that the removal of sets would be very beneficial for Diablo. Can't really say it's the same thing as WoW obv, but for D3 I guarantee it'd be a better game without them. It's not really a matter of actual number of items needed for the bonus, basically they simply shouldn't be tied to actual items ever for D3, as they simply limit item choice and are a must have always. Also don't even get me started with the whole balancing the entire game through these 6 items only and subsequantly having to 10x other legendaries to make up for it etc etc. But hey, this aint a D3 post so I'll just stop rambling :D

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5 minutes ago, Starym said:

Oh you're absolutely right, I was just referring to the fact that the removal of sets would be very beneficial for Diablo. Can't really say it's the same thing as WoW obv, but for D3 I guarantee it'd be a better game without them. It's not really a matter of actual number of items needed for the bonus, basically they simply shouldn't be tied to actual items ever for D3, as they simply limit item choice and are a must have always. Also don't even get me started with the whole balancing the entire game through these 6 items only and subsequantly having to 10x other legendaries to make up for it etc etc. But hey, this aint a D3 post :D

Diablo 3 sets definitely limits gameplay and unique builds, rendering half of the skills useless. For example, I absolutely love Witch Doctor's Corpse Spiders. But there isn't a single viable build that uses this skill because of the set bonuses.

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53 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Diablo 3 sets definitely limits gameplay and unique builds, rendering half of the skills useless. For example, I absolutely love Witch Doctor's Corpse Spiders. But there isn't a single viable build that uses this skill because of the set bonuses.

Arachyr's AND Helltooth both support Corpse Spiders.

There are only a handful of skills that are NOT supported by some set or another for ANY class. The main issue is the lack of legendary support for a particular skill OUTSIDE of that set. Corpse Spider has 4 direct supporting legendaries - Depth Diggers, a 100% damage increase (Must be cubed), The Spider's Queen Grasp, a 60% increase+80% slow (Does not need to be cubed), Mask of Jeram, which DOES increase its damage by 200% (Must be cubed), and Tasker and Theo, +50% damage to the spiders (Must be cubed). There are also other, all-purpose supporting legendaries, but those benefit ALL WD skills, rather then just Corpse Spiders.

It mainly comes down to numbers. Why use Corpse Spiders with either set, when, in BOTH cases, you get MANY supporting legendaries for Firebat- 25% alldamage/damage reduction via the channel shoulders, 300% increased damage via belt, an additional 300% increase damage via staff, AND 30% damage reduction/massive healing via bracers? Not to mention that you don't need a primary for this build, period, so you could grab any of the multiple utility skills for the WD. Still, it doesn't mean that there is NO corpse spider build - It just means that you'll be 5-10 GRs below in progression in comparision to, say, Firebats.

(Witch Doctor actually has pretty good skill diversity. They only have 2 skills unsupported by a set - Spirit Barrage, and Sacrifice. Sacrifice hits like a truck naturally, so the supporting mojo/pants when combined with an LoN build and other supporting legendaries for Insect Swarm and Zombie Dogs is pretty damn good, and Spirit Barrage was THE build last season. In comparision to Crusader. Fist of the Heavens is LoN or Akkhans-only, and isn't really good. Hell, Crusader doesn't even HAVE a solid build for Smite, Justice, Fist of the Heaven, Phalax, Heaven's Fury, or Bombardment thats preforming atm since the HUGE buffs to all the other builds - Forget 10 GR lvls, most of those builds will be 20-25 GRs behind the other Crusader builds). And don't get me started on Demon Hunters!

 

Sets are essentially an easy tuning knob for Blizzard. If a set is outpreforming or underpreforming, just tone down/buff up the set bonus. Nowhere near compared to the potential nightmare that is LoN - For Bombardment LoN, if it was greatly outpreforming, what would you nerf? Bombardment? You just nerfed potential Akkhans/Invoker builds. LoN? You just nerfed every LoN build in the game. Thorns? Again, you just nerfed Invokers/Akkhans. Its best to buff everything up, see where the numbers are and then buff LoN respective to that - But again, you might have overlooked a certain LoN combination that with the buff, is suddenly 10 GRs above everything else.

 

Issues with Set pieces limiting your choices can be fixed pretty easy. Making RROG baseline, for instance, would benefit ALL classes in terms of both Sages farming and utility/damage, but wouldn't allow for any game-breaking set piece combinations, like what we saw with Demon Hunter a few patches back and their Shadow/Marauder combination (For some reason, combining set bonuses from 2 different 6 piece sets is bad, whereas using a 7/8 piece set with a seperate 2 piece bonus is A-OK, odd).

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I'm very thankful for this. It felt dumb that they would be pushing mythic + so much and then have these sets that make dungeon runners need to raid.

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I agree with the gear lock thought but honestly i like the flavor of tier sets, so if they are implemented in some other way that would be perfect for me. Although it does make gearing easy i think it also makes it boring because, without sets, stat prio will be more static through the course of the expansion so its one less thing to work for and eventually less interest to play more. It could be overshadowed by something else but idk what yet :)  So i'm not happy nor sad about it, just fingers crossed.

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As someone who hates raiding but loves Mythic+, I'm going to enjoy being able to play Mythic+ without the sinking feeling in the back of my head that I could be a lot stronger if I got the tier pieces.

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Sounds like a great plan were it not for the fact that currently azerite upgrades are locked into individual pieces.

 

So if you replace that piece, you'll have to upgrade the new piece. Basically just pretending the problem is fixed.

 

Am I understanding this entirely wrongly?

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Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

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45 minutes ago, Stan said:

Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they will follow a Diablo 3 path where some items have extra individual bonuses like trinkets?

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52 minutes ago, Stan said:

Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

This is actually the point I was going to make and something i've been pondering since I read this article. Much of wow's endgame is chasing higher numbers, getting the better gear, getting all dem fat loots. One of the biggest parts of this was set bonuses. The set bonuses were so powerful (most of the time....some of the time) it made you want to run the raids to get them. Without the tier sets running raids seems a bit pointless to me. If we are just after highest gear level now mythic+ is so much easier. Especially on smaller servers you only have so many people running it and its incredibly easy to find 4 other people to do it with, much more flexible then raiding.

yes raiding may have really good trinkets or high powered items, and a mount, but the set bonuses were a really big piece to me. Yes there is the story but most raids really only have 1-2 story relevant bosses, the rest are just kinda there as filler. So, watch the cinematic on youtube and tada now we don't need raiding at all.

So, this really bolsters the mythic plus community i think, but feels like a giant middle finger to raiding. 

also on the diablo note i would be fine if they got rid of sets and just gave us like 1000 new legendaries. part of the fun is some diablo legendaries do crazy stuff and it was always fun finding the next new things. 

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I'm more and more disappointed about upcoming expansion. He speak about gear customization after they removed all weapons(!!!) for an entire expansion, I really can't to follow this thought thread, and really don't want such changes like this.
 

Edited by Hypersonic

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In my opinion, it's a bad idea. Sets have been a staple in wow. OK I don't like the situation in Legion, where for example the Nighthold 2-set for Frost Mage (and some other classes) is still relevant even at 890 item level. On the other hand, some specs have really BAD tier sets, where it's not worth wearing all 4 of the items (Arcane Mage, Balance Druid, Resto Druid). But to completely scrap raid sets feels like a giant middle finger to raiders, as was already said.

On the other hand, it does make running M+ worthwhile. Currently, apart from prestige or just enjoying this kind of content, there's no gain from running M+. Few classes have some BiS trinkets in dungeons (like that VotW one for Pallies), but other than that the only acceptable loot you can get in there is relics (they are presumably getting scrapped in the next expansion), belts, boots, rings and necks. M+ has proven to be extremely successful and popular, see for example the unseen for WoW viewership of the M+ invitational.

So how do you distribute fairly loot in raids and m+?

I think the whole issue starts with warforging and titanforging. It's what makes older raid sets still relevant when they shouldn't be. It's what makes it possible for a casual player, a M+ player, a hardcore raider and an all-around player to all have the same item level or have some crazy differences between them. And as it was stated in BlizzCon, even though it's becoming less random (whatever that means), warforging will stay in BfA.

Raid sets at least offer a stability. You know that you have some gear slots covered. because the current tier set is always BiS. Now the hunt for items, good RNG and titanforging is going to be even greater than it already is (and trust me, in Legion it's already pretty hectic). You have to run m+ AND raids if you want to be BiS, whereas currently at least you can choose somewhat.

TL;DR: Removing raid sets just promotes further randomness and more grinding for players who want to have BiS gear, since most tier sets at least offer you the possibility of being BiS in the current raiding tier. Gear hunting will therefore get more hectic than it already is. Lastly, as Stan said, the question is raised as to what's the point of raiding.

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3 hours ago, Yridaa said:

Sounds like a great plan were it not for the fact that currently azerite upgrades are locked into individual pieces.

 

So if you replace that piece, you'll have to upgrade the new piece. Basically just pretending the problem is fixed.

 

Am I understanding this entirely wrongly?

Yes, when you get a different upgrade it is implyed they have different traits to select from so you will have to select them again, BUT you do not have to upgrade it again, they will already be unlocked based on your heart of azeroth level which won't be replaced during BfA

 

so if you have the max level heart of azeroth you will have the traits unlocked for the azeroth gear and when you get a new item you just have to select them not unlock them

 

now weather you have to go to some altar or something to select the traits I have no idea I sure hope not because it defeats the whole purpose of auto unlocking the talents if your Heart of Azeroth is high enough

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IMO the "what's the point of raiding" is more of a game design philosophy question than a practical one. Basically as it is right now raiding is heavily incentivized as it grants you the best gear in the game. But in an ideal game there shouldn't be specific incentives to do activities you don't want to - everything should have the same level of reward (which doesn't mean all rewards should be the same, power level isn't the same as same stats/effects etc). Basically if they only reason people are doing raids is cos they have to to get the best items then raids are not good content, forcing your playerbase to do something they don't really want to do isn't a great idea.

The more variety there is in content the better a game is, but ofc it's not always that simple as usually when game devs do this kind of thing it massively lessens the uniqueness of rewards and makes everything the same and boring.

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Oh and just to make my point clearer, I'm not talking about difficulty at all, the best gear should come from the hardest content, it's just that that content should be varied as much as possible.

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all the opposite, Ion was very clear that raid loot would have extra slots that regular gear wouldn't, hence tier bonuses, will probably be named differently thou.

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