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2-01-2012 @ 8:38AM
The gearing model failed, but that's because Blizzard quite deftly solved the wrong problem.Back at the start of Wrath -- especially pre-dungeon-finder -- gearing wasn't trivial. Doing heroics in iLevel 187-200 gear wasn't overly difficult, but it wasn't trivial either. But when players have access to gear two or three tiers higher and are -still- running the same heroics... yeah. Balanced-for-iLevel-187 instances -must- become faceroll parties when characters drop in with gear 50 item levels higher.Fast forward to Cataclysm, and Blizzard very, very successfully makes it hard to get your foot in the door of heroics. Quests may possibly (or may not, depending on class and spec) get you to the barest item level requirement for heroics, and a dungeon-finder group full of characters in that kind of gear is going to have a hard time of it. Of course, patch and gear cycles being what they are, we still have the same problem; it's just that nobody -needs- to go back to the tier-zero heroics anymore for gearing purposes.It's a challenging problem. The patch/raid cycle needs distinct, improving tiers of gear in order to function. But characters overgeared by more than a tier and a half or so are simply not going to clear old content in anything like the intended manner; forcing them to do that is unfun. The solution is probably to stagger dungeons like Blizzard currently does raids -- release 3-4 each patch cycle -- but who here would be happy with an expansion release that only includes the four "starter" heroics?
2-01-2012 @ 9:25AM
I don't even see the entry to heroics being hard anymore. When leveling a new character if you just do each instance 1 time on the way to 85, you have enough points to get 1-3 pieces of gear as soon as you hit 85. Now that those are 378 pieces its really helps inflate that GS you need. Hit the AH for 1000g worth of 359's and your can almost do the troll heroics. 1 week of that and your read for the new ones.
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