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How easy should it be to gear an alt?

That's been the question this expansion, ranging from "The daily quest rep faction grinds lock gear away, I can't get it fast enough" to "The Timeless Isle makes it too easy to gear up my alt" and I'm not sure where I fall, but the EU forums had an interesting discussion on the issue this week. CM Takralus weighed in with an opinion as well, and it's one I figured we could chat about.
Takralus - Way too easy to gear up alts now
I dinged a fresh 90 on Monday, and yes I went straight to the Timeless Isle. However, in questing greens & blues, I had a very hard time. Also, I still have to go through all the old raids in LFR to unlock the latest content, not to mention get my item level high enough to enter.

I've picked up a few purples on the Timeless Isle, but I'm still nowhere near high enough yet to enter SoO LFR. Sure, if you go for it really hard and prepare with crafted goods, Valor gear etc. I'm sure it can be done. But that's why the system's good IMO, if you put in the effort you can be caught up quickly, if you're more of a casual player like me it's going to take a while, and I'm fine with that personally.

I much prefer this to the alternative-getting my alt to level 90 then having to go through the exact same content I spent months on with my other characters.

This is hardly new to Mists of Pandaria - we've been walking a balance on gearing up alts forever, with some expansions (Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King) having a see saw between difficulties similar to the one Mists is now showing. It was much easier to level an alt in Wrath than it was at the beginning of the expansion, as the improved Dungeon Finder debuted and multiple tiers of heroic dungeons were released with better gear in each. Without new five mans in Mists, we've seen LFR and Heroic Scenarios trying to do the work that dungeons did in Wrath and Cata to an extent, and now the Timeless Isle has made that process much easier.

For myself, I'm actually running the Timeless Isle on my main, whose rotation I have down cold and who I know backwards and forwards, for gear to send to my shaman alt, who has been neglected this expansion. Since I can send any mail drops and any cloaks and rings his way, boosting his iLevel while not even playing him has become possible, and I'm not sure how I feel about that - I was very fond of it at first, until I realized I'm not getting any practice in on how to make his rotation work, and that's a big counter-intuitive to me considering it's always been Blizzard's stance that you should have to play a character to get it geared.

So how about you? Are you gearing up your alts via the Timeless Isle? Do you have to catch yourself from calling it the Timless Isle, as if its major characteristic was its lack of Tims? Where are all the Tims? Sorry, digression. What are your feelings about the ease of gearing this patch?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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