Upcoming Itemization Changes

August 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm (WoW General)

Bear with me, this is relevant.

Once upon a time, I worked for a company in the pharmaceutical industry.  I worked at said company for around six years.  In that time, I noticed something – every team of people who took over management at the higher levels decided, for whatever reason, that reorganization was an imperative.  Now, there were two primary ways to organize the general area I was in – you could organize based on what product/therapeutic area people were working in (i.e. “the oncology team” working together), or you could organize based on job function (i.e. the statisticians together, the data managers together, the project managers together, etc.)  It almost didn’t matter what was chosen, what mattered is that every time there was turnover in the upper levels, the new management decided it was crucial that it be done The Other Way.  Most people wouldn’t much have cared which way was chosen, but the constant reorganizations were wearying, and cost more than any marginal benefit that came from whatever the new organization might have been.

The relevance to WoW is probably obvious.  Itemization is undergoing another revamp, and is apparently going to resemble the simpler days of yore.  No more attempting to decide which is better, 22 points of haste, 17 points of armor penetration, 14 points of crit, or 16 points of strength (“Oh wait, I’m a caster, never mind.”)

On the one hand, I honestly found myself on more than one occasion (particularly leveling alts) throwing up my hands and guessing as to which piece of gear was better (yes, you may all commence telling me how terribad I am for not immersing myself in quite as much detail with any other class as I do my warlock).  Part of me thinks I’ll miss making those trade-off decisions on my warlock, but honestly, I think I probably won’t.  And I don’t think most players, whose assessments of gear choices come from an addon, a spreadsheet, or gear rankings on a website, will either, the cries of a handful of wannabe-hardcores notwithstanding (for the genuine hardcores, for whom the statistical analysis of one sort of gear’s benefit versus another’s was a major part of the fun they derived from the game, you have my condolences.)

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3 Comments

  1. theerivs said,

    There are those that don’t like change for change’s sake. There are those that fear it. Then there are those like me who lament the past, and miss them but look forward to something new.

    I look forward to our new casual overlords.

  2. Chastity said,

    I’m broadly in favour of the new Itemization changes. What I particularly like (especially from a tanking perspective) is that they seem to be rolling a lot of things into talents, which I think is particularly helpful because you only actually start gearing at level cap, whereas you build your talent spec from the ground up.

    Anything that means I don’t have to try to get Def Capped *again* in the new expansion will be extremely welcome.

  3. Fierabras said,

    This is, quite honestly, a good thing. One of the biggest problems we’ve faced in this expansion is the overwhelming complication.

    For us players this isn’t too large of a problem. The theory-crafters will still have problems to reverse engineer and equations to create, the spread-sheeters will still have their spread sheets to plug stats into, and the gear-listers will still look for the BiS lists to guide their dkp. All in all, we’ll still build our toons the same way we’ll simply have a new set of stat wieghts.

    The big problem is actually saddled with the game designers. Balance right now is like a bowl of spaghetti; tug one piece an inch to the left and someplace on the other side of the bowl collapses, tug another piece to prop it up and three more places collapse. By simplifying the stats there will be less places to cave-in, as well as requiring less dramatic tweaks. On top of this it should be easy for them to slip in the necessary nerfs to avoidance and mana regen; hopefully, allowing for more dynamic encounters in the next expansion.

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