I had concerns when Blizzard first announced the way bosses would be unlocked in Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum. Blizzard has announced that while the first boss is available immediately, other bosses will be unlocked week-by-week. It's not the first time an artificial barrier has been put up for raid progression -- hello Sunwell -- so I guess I'm not shocked by it, but progression wasn't really what I was concerned about.
In our current raiding system, each boss drops a pre-determined set of loot. Some bosses drop a token which can be turned in for a piece of armor matching that particular slot, and the boss will always drop this same slot token. Thorim will always drop a shoulder token in Ulduar 10, for example.
So the issue is, with the Coliseum officially being our new tier of raiding, with gear that far outclasses Ulduar gear, and with the Coliseum bosses being unlocked each week, it means that players could get screwed out of upgrades. Your chestpiece might not be the greatest, so if you were looking forward to upgrading it, you'd be pretty crushed to find out that the T9 chest token only drops off of the final Coliseum boss -- which will only be available (at best) a month or (at worst) several weeks more than that due to RNG.
It turns out that Blizzard was thinking the same thing I was. That's why, with 3.2, Coliseum bosses all drop one of three universal armor tokens -- the Regalia of the Grand Protector, Vanquisher, or Conqueror.
But how do I know that? Well, I looked on the PTR, and each tier armor piece was purchaseable with the same type of token. To verify that I wasn't just seeing things, I checked the game files and, sure enough, only three types of tokens total.
This is a pretty big step forward for raiding in general, not just for this tier. While there's no guarantee that it'll stick around for subsequent raids, the effects of this change are many:
- You can build your set at your own pace, picking and choosing the best upgrades.
If you're like me, while building your Tier 8 set, you may have gotten some pieces that weren't strictly upgrades because the stats on them didn't shine unless couple with another piece of armor from the same tier. My shaman, for example, was way over hit cap for a while due to not getting my T8 shoulders yet but having my T8 helm. What this change allows you to do is find the most direct upgrade path -- if upgrading your gloves first gives you the biggest bonus, you can grab those first with your Regalia instead of skipping out on wearing your perfectly good legs because you don't have your helm yet.
- You won't "waste" loot by getting identical tokens in 25-man soon after 10-man.
You rolled on that helm token on your no-DKP 10-man and used the helm for a day before getting the 25-man helm token. This way you can use the 25-man Regalia to get your shoulders instead for your two- or four-piece.
- Doesn't matter which bosses you kill, you'll still get your four-piece eventually.
Hey there, priest! Is Yogg-Saron being a total cad and only dropping Vanquisher shoulders? Sucks to be you! With this new system, though, you won't run into this issue. So long as somebody's dropping Conqueror tokens, you'll get your set bonus eventually, just by being there for bosses in general.
- YES BUT WHAT ABOUT LOOTING, MIKE SACCO, WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW
Hey, good question, guy! At least in my guild, this'll certainly mess up offspec sets, which we start collecting once people start passing on mainspec tokens. And yeah, maybe if you use DKP, someone could hoard a bunch of tokens immediately. That's for your guild to work out, though. I'm sure you can figure it out. The benefits tend to outweigh the negatives here.
As with anything on the PTR, this could change at any time, but everything I've seen from datamined info to the text on the Tier 9 vendors on the PTR indicates that this change is a go, and I'm pretty happy about it.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!