The Case for More Gear Inflation

| Friday, May 4, 2012
Jump off a one-foot drop and you can catch yourself, a few more feet and you can roll.  Jump off a three thousand foot ledge, and with the appropriate training and equipment, you might not break your leg.  But anywhere in the middle you're probably going to die.

I've seen Dragon Soul and Deathwing.  Not just in LFR, but in real raids.  This fits with the current WoW model of bumping players up to the most recent raid.  It accomplishes this with gear inflation, with steadily stronger badge loot, higher LFR-available raids (I'm guessing that's going to be the pattern moving forward), and the late-expansion release of instances with upgraded loot: Zulroics and then Caverns of Time, preceded by Trial of the Crusader and before that, Magister's Terrace.

There is a problem, though: The philosophy is one of players seeing content, but if they're always in the most recent, then they're not in anything lower.  That's fine if they started at the start of the expansion and have stepped up with each gear wave since then.  What if they came in late?  Then they're missing the start, because thanks to the inflation, people don't do those anymore.

People might go back if the earlier raids were easy enough.  Maybe there isn't any greater incentive, since the loot did not improve, but the barrier to backward entry can be made lower.

The solution: even more gear inflation.  Don't make a tier 10% stronger than the one before.  Make it 50%.  100%.

Think of the raids from previous expansions, which originally needed 10, 25, or 40 people.  And then five go in.  Or two.  Or one.  They can do this because the character and the gear has gotten stronger by orders of magnitude.  Similarly, if gear advanced by enough, players could take small groups of interested friends for easy tours through the earlier raids in an expansion.  It won't be the same experience, but it will be something.  It will be seeing content rather than nothing at all.


Stabs said...


Seems a bit like trying to put out a fire by smothering it with gasoline to me, but I'm very out of the loop with WoW these days.

Klepsacovic said...

I suppose it's putting out the fire on my house using gasoline I stole from my neighbor.

Paul said...

Player: "Hi Blizzard. I only sent you money for the last six months of the expansion, but I want to enjoy all the content as if I had been here all along."

Blizzard: "Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of the 180 dollars YOU DIDN'T SEND US."

Klepsacovic said...

"I want to enjoy all the content as if I had been here all along." Not even remotely accurate. This would not be "like they'd been there all along". It's not as if it is without precedent, given that we have several previous expansions of outdated raids which have been allowed to be overgeared to the point of needing only a handful of people.

All in all it fits with the claim by Blizzard that they want players to see content.

souldrinker said...

You don't "see content" when you overpower older raids. You can 1-man Lady Vashj these days since cores don't immobilize. Is this "seeing content"? No, it's grinding for mogs.
I think that to "see" Lady Vashj you should at least be exposed to proper mechanics of the fight. Cores should immobilize, strider must be kited (if only a little), and if enough elementals get through to Vashj she should oneshot everyone in P3.

Klepsacovic said...

I'm not suggesting that it is a perfect solution. But it's surely better than not seeing it at all. With the lack of gear incentives, players aren't going as often, or as willing to struggle, as in the latest content.

Dàchéng said...

If people just want to "see" the content, then they can use youtube. But if they want to experience the content, well, they can't really do that unless their gear is appropriate for the level. Otherwise they experience a faceroll, as soudrinker said. How about another solution: don't drop any gear in raids. Then people who want to see the content can continue to watch it on youtube, and those who want to experience it at the appropriate level of difficulty can do so no matter how late in the expansion you come to it.

For bonus points, we could do away with levels altogether, or at least with automatic stat increases through levelling.

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