Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wrath, Cata or MoP Gear Market?

With 5.3 dropping right now, I started thinking back to past patches in past expansions. Blizzard has changed how they did gear upgrades in each of these three expansions and I am not sure I really enjoy this last iteration.
Do you remember
the panel of
Magisters?

Wrath was a pain. From what I remember, during the expansion they regularly put out new currency that dropped during dungeons and raids. IIRC, dungeons got heroism tokens, and raids got triumph, the next patch dungeons got triumph tokens and raids got justice, etc.. This kept raiders always one step ahead in gear level behind 'casuals' that could only successfully run dungeons (/s "looking for group for heroics"). They did not upgrade, but instead you could use a convoluted transfer system, where one vendor would take X of an older and convert down. If you didn't run the latest dungeons or raids, you couldn't get the latest gear.

Cataclysm simplified it. With each of the patches that brought about new gear, we saw a devaluing of the higher currency; valor points converted down to justice points, and the valor gear converted to justice gear. A casual player would accumulate both valor and justice points simply by running dungeons, but raiding would still net you more valor with each kill. Raiders still had better gear, easy. On patch day, if you saved up, you could often buy two new justice point items from the former top scale. Raiders would need to start over re-accumulating valor points for the new tier gear.

MoP? I am still undecided. Now instead of my valor points devaluing, the gear gets cheaper. Add in the prevalence of Raid Finder, and now casuals are able to pick up lower level raid gear fairly easy. It creates a market where two valor point items are available with fairly different stats. Do I get the Revered Sunreaver Onslaught back or the Honored Shadow Pan Assault back?

I guess the MoP model has benefits. I am able to get raid level gear (iLevel 522) without much more effort than before. As long as I pay close attention and not simply buy SALE items, but hold out for best available, I won't waste valor points.

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