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Posts with tag Loot

Warlords of Draenor: No more Tier vendors

Vaelastrasz
One of the more irritating and frustrating aspects of winning Tier loot from bosses is having to take the token to a vendor in order to actually get the piece of armor you won. Nowadays it's rare for me to equip a piece as soon as I get it, unless it's a truly huge upgrade, but I still find it annoying to have to take a token to a vendor in order to get the actual piece of gear. In addition, as a druid, there are four versions of everything available for each token, and scrolling through page after page of nearly-identically named armor pieces makes my eyes cross. Minor complaints, really, but nonetheless the following announcement by Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, aka Watcher, on Twitter really made my day:
This is a fantastic quality of life change for raiders. No more running to vendors and no more waiting to get your new piece of Tier gear. I'd say "no more accidentally buying the wrong piece" with your token too, but in Warlords, your primary stats will auto-change when you shift specs anyway, so that's no big deal. In any case, this new system will be more convenient for players, and I'm certainly thankful for that!

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: The many mysteries of loot drops

Looting monsters in World of Warcraft can be an experience filled with mystery. Surely you've had the quest where you're sent off to collect bear paws or the like where you only get one paw per bear -- or even less? Where do all of those paws go? Or perhaps you've killed a bat who dropped a lockbox, leaving you to wonder what was he keeping in it and how he even got into it. What about the creatures of Azeroth who carry around spare pairs of pants or plate armor? If you're a leatherworker, you've probably occasionally picked up some intestines along with the leather you skinned -- and find gold inside. Yuck. And let's not even get started on the raid bosses of Azeroth who apparently lug around whole chests of loot. (And where was Garrosh hiding all of those heirlooms?)

The game is full of loot conundrums, so today why not tell us yours? What's the most oddball loot you've acquired -- or haven't acquired -- in the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Are you happy with the bonus roll system? Blizzard is pretty happy.

Mists of Pandaria currency
The bonus roll system is a personal loot feature introduced in Mists of Pandaria which gives you extra chances at loot on the raid bosses of your choice. Most people have a love/hate relationship with it, myself included. We don't know the exact numbers, but it appears the chance of loot is roughly 15% in current content (usually made higher in previous tiers). There are other variables behind the scenes which affect this drop chance, such as the bad luck streak protection, but we do not know the exact math behind it. When asked on Twitter, Watcher replied that they're happy with the bonus roll system and it will most likely be making a return in Warlords of Draenor.


I'm happy it's sticking around. Bonus rolls have gotten me out of some pretty bad loot dry spells. If I could change one thing about them going forward, it would be the lesser charm conversion system. Either have them acquired in a different manner, or make the charms useful for something else. Of course, this is coming from someone sitting on a three year supply of lesser charms. I've seen other player suggestions such as having the option to use multiple rolls on a single kill, or a smarter system which doesn't give you loot you already own. Are you happy with the bonus roll system or would you like to see some changes?

Filed under: News items

Potentials and pitfalls of Warlords of Draenor's proposed gearing system

Pally tank bracers
Not long ago Blizzard posted a long and detailed post about the gearing system that they are planning on implementing in Warlords of Draenor. Many aspects of it represent significant departures from what we're currently familiar with, particularly the ability of primary stats to morph with class and spec, the removal of spirit from all but non-armor pieces, and the addition of the randomized tertiary stat system (along with chances for sockets and a higher ilevel). As a result, there has been a lot of discussion, speculation, and debate about how the new system will work, and ways in which it may or may not be an improvement over the status quo.

I personally am excited for the new gearing system, and I'm eager to see how it will work out. I think there's a great deal of potential in it. While we can probably envision endless possibilities as to how the new system will affect gameplay, two major aspects of the change jump out at me in particular:
  • It's extremely friendly to hybrids
  • It's extremely unfriendly to min-max optimization
The latter refers to the fact that whether the gear has a socket, a tertiary stat, or a higher ilevel is determined by chance and there is no guarantee that a given piece of gear will have any of those things. I think there are both good and bad sides to be had here, so let's look at them in a bit more depth.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: Officers of Draenor

Town square somewhere in Draenor
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

BlizzCon 2013 gave us a glimpse into WoW's future. As officers, it's never too early to plan and adjust for the evolution of the game. Let's take a look at the some of the issues that could affect your guild next year.

No new perks

It appears that guilds will remain capped at level 25, which also means no new perks. In the systems panel, Blizzard said that they don't see the point of piling on perks. They said, "The system accomplished what we wanted it to accomplish."

That's good news, in a way, for smaller guilds or people who plan to start new guilds in the future. For those of us who hoped for more, it's a bit disappointing.

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Do you contribute to your favorite WoW database site?

Wowhead Uploader
You know that site you use every day to learn about quests and where things drop? All of that data -- who drops what, the percentages, the map locations -- comes from players who take the time to collect it and contribute. The more people who contribute, the more accurate the data. These lightweight addons collect the pertinent information in the background and upload when you exit the game.
  • The Wowhead Client will let you collect data for Wowhead and upload it at your convenience
  • The WoWDB Profiler addon works in conjunction with the Curse Client to contribute to WoWDB
Do you contribute to WoW database sites?
Yes450 (20.8%)
No1415 (65.5%)
I'm going to start295 (13.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blood Pact: 'Lock loot in Siege of Orgrimmar

Blood Pact 'Lock loot in Siege of Orgrimmar MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill links all the things, all the time.

Patch week with a new raid tier? It's loot list time.

You know the drill. Just like last time, I'm going to visit the loot for each boss, perhaps saying a word or two, just so you know what's there when you spend a coin on a bonus roll.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Loot system for mounts

The Clutch of Ji Kun mount
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

One situation that officers and raid leaders are frequently unprepared for is a rare mount dropping from a boss. Many times, players aren't even aware that specific bosses drop mounts, because they drop so rarely. Without a specific policy in place, you have to make one up on the spot -- which is not a great idea. One guild just ran into this problem, and they want to know the best system for mounts.

Hi Scott,

Last night the officers of our 25-man raid group encountered a bit of a dilemma. Heroic Ji-Kun dropped the Clutch of Ji-Kun mount and we, the officers, had to decide how to deal with it. We use the EPGP lootmaster system, but didn't have any rules in place for how our raiders should roll on the mount. After a brief discussion we decided that we would just put a free roll for all players of Raider status and it would go to the highest roller.

Other officers began to bring up valid points for the future, the next time a rare mount drops. What sort of requirements should we put on who is allowed to roll on mounts the next time one drops from a boss? Most of the other officers are saying "Raider" status, at least 1 month with the guild, and 90% attendance should be required before we roll. I felt the attendance clause was a bit strict, because it's not a combat item and it doesn't enhance the raid's performance in any way. The others feel that we should be rewarding people for having good attendance, which I feel is a valid point.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW TCG introduces Timewalkers: Reign of Fire and more loot cards

WoW TCG introduces Timewalkers Reign of Fire and more loot cards
Mourning that you never got some of the great loot cards of earlier WoW TCG sets? Well, you're in luck, because the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, Timewalkers: Reign of Fire, is all about time travel, which means loot cards long gone are back again. That's right: this expansion features every loot card that we've seen in the game to date. We're sure this is going to make it a hit with WoW players looking for swag, but if you're more interested in the TCG itself, Timewalkers: Reign of Fire sends TCG players back to the era of Warcraft 3 to fight -- or aid -- the Burning Legion.

Have we piqued your interest? Timewalkers: Reign of Fire will be available in stores on July 23rd. Let the loot card wars begin!

Thanks Lenny for the tip

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

Rock on with Kang's Bindstone

Stone Yaungol
I'm going to have to humbly beg everyone for their forgiveness for my terrible title pun. Get it?! Okay, but seriously. We know we've got Phat Loot Friday and all that, but Kang's Bindstone is such a neat item that it deserves its own post. The Bindstone is an item that buffs you with a chance to turn an enemy to stone upon delivering a killing blow instead of triggering the normal death effect. Loot and such is unaffected - this is a purely cosmetic item. The buff lasts ten minutes and works against critters, mobs, enemy players, and even bosses.

Kang's Bindstone drops from Kang the Soul Thief, a rare mogu elite in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. He can be found in the far west of the zone, on Autumnshade Ridge north of the Five Sisters site on the map. He's a mogu sorcerer and does some nasty shadow-based attacks, but he should be soloable for a level 90 character. Happy hunting!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: All that you can't leave behind

Azuregos
I am a total WoW packrat. It's a little embarrassing. My void storage has been full for ages; stuffed with transmog gear, rare and epic archaeology items, and, in particular, old quest rewards or dungeon keys. Those last two, I realize, are kind of ridiculous to keep, but I worked so hard getting that Seal of Ascention! And completing the Scepter of the Shifting Sands is one of my most prized achievements in the game, don't you dare tell me to throw it, or any of the items I got along the way, in the trash!

"But you can't even use rings or necklaces in transmog!" my friends remind me. I know, I know, but guys, that's not the point! The point is... the point is... I just can't let go, okay?!

Are you a WoW packrat? What items do you hoard, beyond all logic or good reason? With bag and bank slots becoming ever more precious commodities, how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

Navigating the loot

Horridon
While perusing Wowhead's blue tracker the other day I stumbled across this thread on the EU forums about the LFR loot system, its frustrations, and potential alternatives. Community manager Draztal is pretty active in the thread, which is nice to see -- there is plenty of back-and-forth and, despite player accusations of just parroting Blizzard policy, Draztal has a lot of good points to make about the nature of effort and reward.

The truth is that WoW has never consistently rewarded players for running dungeons or raids. I still get a little involuntary curl to my lip anytime I think about Burning Crusade-era heroics, particularly Magister's Terrace, and how often I ran them trying to get some piece of gear, and how often my groups wiped and nothing I needed dropped anyway (and all those useless PvP gems).

I agree it's frustrating to run LFR and only get gold, though I did have to sit down and think about why, in particular. After all, I killed Saurfang in Icecrown for probably upwards of three months before I finally got the Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff. During all that time it never occurred to me that my failure to receive loot was an indication that the entire system needed an overhaul. After a couple minutes ruminating, though, I think the answer is pretty obvious: loot is the only real reason to run LFR (with the exception of just experiencing content, for those who may not have the opportunity to raid otherwise).

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Patch 5.3 PTR: Pick your loot for every occasion

Image
Blizzard posted yesterday about patch 5.3's aforementioned introduction of off-spec rolls, and it's now in the PTR, so, of course, WoW Insider had to go check it out. Our first observation is that it's slightly oddly positioned, as you can see in the image above, it's in the right-click drop-down menu that comes off the character pane. Once you've located it, it's simply, as you can see, a matter of picking your spec and heading into your chosen content. As you can see above, I'm on a shaman, and so can choose to gear any of my three specs. The "Default" option, as the name would suggest, is the standard behavior of the system: the loot will be for the spec you have entered the instance in.

This system is active wherever the new loot priority system is, so, Raid Finder loot, including Bonus Rolls, and, as the Blizzard post says, Heroic Scenarios and Mists of Pandaria quests. At the moment on the PTR, it is not working for normal scenario loot, I went and did a few scenarios as Elemental with Enhancement loot selected, and got intellect mail every time, which is not a huge surprise given that the Blizzard post doesn't specify non-heroic scenarios. It is a little odd, though, given that many people will start off in normal scenarios, particularly DPS hoping to gear a tank or heal spec, as the queue times are so much shorter.

Of course, this system is not relevant for 5-man dungeons, where you can already roll need on off-spec gear with no detriment to your chances apart from the anger of four other people. Alas, thanks to a mixture of very long queue times and woefully bad luck, I was unable to test this system in the Raid Finder.

Hit the break for the full Blizzard post.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Drops vs. tokens or points

Breakfast Topic Drops vs tokens or points
I'm a fairly methodical player. I dodge entire swaths of the game (pet battles and holiday events, I'm looking at you) because I don't have time to get sucked into the inevitable completionism. But despite a fondness for checklists and planning, I'm dissatisfied in a system centered on buying gear with tokens, points, or other currency systems. I'm a fan of throwing my fates to the wind and diving into an instance to see what luck may bring me. I like not knowing if or when a particular piece might come my way, and I'm fully open to the possibility that it might not ever come at all. (Although I reserve the right to grouse about it. That's part of the fun.)

For me, this bit of RNG design is part of what keeps the parameters of a game world feeling larger than the sum of my ambitions. The envy of seeing someone in town stroll by wielding the massive two-handed staff that I've always admired, the unchecked line item on my gear list ... I like knowing that there exist parts of this world that I can't manhandle into submission. After all, my dream gear list wouldn't be very dreamy if it were merely a shopping list.

We do need alternatives. We need ways to fill in holes for things that never drop, and we need drops for players who prefer not to run dungeons and raid content. (I wish more of that were based on player-made items, frankly -- but that's another Breakfast Topic.) Most assuredly, we need a selection of rewards for players whose souls crave predictable, regular infusions of upgrade juju.

I appreciate WoW's current mix of methods, although for my own tastes, things have slid a little too far to the predictable side of the equation. Knowing what my upgrades will be and when I will get them feels dully inevitable. I'd welcome a little more reliance on the RNG, with the opportunity for a little more chaos surrounding any given drop (and therefore a little more passionate hope beforehand and a little more unbridled joy afterwards). As Matt Rossi puts it, "loot is the carrot; not getting loot is the stick."

Open country vs. mapped road -- where do you stand? Do you prefer plotting your path to purple glory with gear that lies reliably in your path, or do you wish there were a little more crazy RNG splashed into the mix? Should the mix of gear acquisition methods balance differently in different areas of the game, and if so, do you think the game already does so with success? And most importantly, how has the mix of predictable vs. unpredictable gear upgrades worked out for you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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