Tesh thinks low level sets are silly. So of course we all promptly started arguing about loot distribution.
It’s a tricky thing, loot. If it’s random, we lose constantly. If it’s guaranteed, we’re done too soon (from the dev perspective). If it’s a slow guarantee (badges), it’s just another grind.
I decided it was time to dig up my previous post: Gear as an Enemy. Loot often has no story to it, strange for being so powerful. I wished to see quests attached to loot. Which leads me to the current situation.
I'd suggested that the piece for the 'wrong' class could be turned in for the desired class. In my example it was yet another warlock set chest that the mage could turn in for a mage set chest. This has a few problems.
First off, it seems weird that NPCs have all this amazing gear on hand. I don't mean bosses, I mean vendors. The official Horde and Alliance armies are off fighting with plain steel while some unknowns with questionable ties are handed powerful enchanted weapons and armor. It just seems weird that they never use the stuff. Sure, I can see the story to the family heirloom locked or found treasure, but the tier sets appear to just be amazing armor that no one bothers to use. Don't get me started on the masses of unmounted soldiers while we're flying around with 100 different flying or ground mounts, some of which are dragons, eleks, or other creatures which would be weapons all on their own.
There's the player problem too: if warlock tier could be exchanged for mage tier, then effectively the warlock tier is just a cloth set token which happens to be slightly more convenient for a warlock than a mage. That turns problem one: randomness, into problem two: geared up and nothing to do. Also I imagine there would be a split between players who think the drop as gear (warlock first) and those who think of it as a token (anyone can roll).
Hence mage exorcism quest.
If no warlocks want it, the mage takes the warlock tier chest. He can't wear it. But fortunately there is a mage who has experience dealing with demon-tainted magical objects: Tabetha. With her assistance, and of course some reagents that are found who knows where, the mage can remove the demonic magic and infuse it with something cleaner-burning. This could even be split up to allow for fire, frost, or arcane specialization (perhaps that's too far). This makes it so that the chest can reasonably be called a warlock drop rather than a mere token, but poor luck isn't as likely to result in extra shards. On the other side, a warlock might find a mage chest far too boring and would seek a demon to capture and infuse into the armor. Priests might do the exorcism and a blessing with a holy object, or pull an Ashbringer and just spam smite until the warlock set says class: priest.
Tiers would be grouped by armor type, which might give a bias to cloth-wearers, while lowering their ratio would mean they get just as much loot but have to quest more for it. Or just maintain the cloth ratio and have that as the shard source, since there would be less sharding overall.
In entirely unrelated news, if you care much about politics I have another rant about anti-American sociopaths destroying America on my other blog.