Is WoW catering to idiots who can't gear properly? Okay, done with trolling, let's get started.
Removing AP has a lot of effects on gearing. The first I thought up was dumbing down. Ironically, this is a pretty dumb complaint. It's dumb to have people pulling out third party programs when gear drops to see if it's better. That's not complexity that adds depth, it's just an obstacle to play. Removing it is smart.
The effect that I remain worried about is the cross-class use of gear. Non-armor physical damage items often have AP and agi mixed with hit, crit, ArP, and haste. This makes them usable by any class that does physical damage. Without the AP they will become far less useful to the plate classes and become the exclusive of shamans, hunters, druids, and rogues. Is this bad?
Cross-class loot has it's perils. Is this BiS for hunters or for warriors? Oh damn, both!? Alright let's run the numbers on which class benefits most, pull up Rawr. Rewind: why are we opening third party programs instead of playing the game? Maybe all the non-armor items were like this. Oh sure, versatility means simpler tables and less sharding, but any time you take the class designation off an item you open it up to drama and politics. Maybe we are better off going a little big backward. Now strength will be the plate stat while agility is the other physical damage stat.
Moving on to intellect, this really felt like dumbing down. Seriously, we couldn't handle spell power? It makes more boom! Then I realized that it wasn't what I thought. The real change wasn't the removal of SP; it was the changing of intellect. Is int good? How good? Who knows! Open Rawr. Dammit, close that and get back to playing the game. Intellect is agility for casters. It is your crit and your damage, with the bigger mana pool tacked on because you don't burn and regen your full pool in three seconds.
The defense change: I liked having a goal, something that I could get and say to myself "okay, now I know I'm ready." On the other hand, until someone else spent hours theorycrafting and experimenting to find that goal, I wouldn't know it. My precious goal was just another time for someone to not play the game: theorycrafters running simulations and tanks LF tank because they needed more defense gear. It was people not playing the game. I wonder if we'll go the way of druids, wearing DPS gear. That would counter the agi change, hugely simplifying loot tables. Is forceful deflection the future? That might be a pretty fun future.
Maybe this really is all just dumbing down. It's going from DOS to Windows. Oh noes, people who can't remember commands or even look them up (learn 2 refernce book, nubs) will be using computers! And they won't even be weaker computers, they'll have the exact same computers as the rest of us elite users. This is an outrage!
Oh wait... That's not dumbing down. It's a smarter system. It's better. Anyone who would oppose that is clearly an asshole who hates other people or a complete idiot. Some are both.
Good Thing, Bad Thing: AO, WoW, WAR
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