Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag item-level

Watcher clarifies ilvl distribution in patch 5.4

Watcher clarifies ilvl distribution in patch 54
Players participating in patch 5.4's new Flexible Raids have noticed that the ilvl for Siege of Orgrimmar loot is set to 540 -- just below the 541 ilvl of current Heroic Thunderforged gear, but above current heroic gear from Throne of Thunder, which is set at 535 before any valor point upgrades are applied. To some players, it may seem as though Blizzard is now encouraging the same kind of multiple-instance running that occurred with the Trial of the Crusader raid and its many, many difficulties.

A thread on the official forums points out that if Flexible Raid gear is better than heroic gear from the previous tier, players will be obligated to run both Flexible and Normal difficulty along with LFR in order to gear up more quickly -- since Flex difficulty doesn't share a lockout with normal modes, it's entirely possible to do so. While the arguments for and against have been both fast and furious, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas stepped in to clarify just what the reasoning was behind the different ilvls for the different difficulties, as well as the purpose of Flexible Raids.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Patch 5.4 PTR: Initial ilevel ideas for the new raid levels

Patch 54 Initial ilevel ideas
Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has tweeted the developers' preliminary item levels for the next tier's raid gear. Patch 5.4 is bringing in flexible raiding, a fourth difficulty level, which sits between Raid Finder and Normal raids in terms of both item level and difficulty.

Do note, first and foremost, that these numbers are not finalized. They should be taken with a very large pinch of salt, and are subject to considerable change. The PTR isn't even live at the time of writing this post, so let's not get ahead of ourselves and proclaim the end of days for raiding.

So let's look at the current item levels. Raid finder drops 502, normal mode 522, normal thunderforged 528, heroic mode, 535, heroic thunderforged 541. So, the gap between normal mode and LFR has been widened, from 20 to 25, with Flex sitting 17 levels lower than normal mode. The gaps above that are the same, but there's been no mention of something like Thunderforged gear.

For heroic geared raiders, Flex seems like a logical difficulty at these levels, but there will be some theorycrafting that needs to be done to ascertain whether the new tier's potentially lower-level drops will outdo their current gear thanks to set bonuses, trinkets and the like. What this ilvl distribution seems to be saying is that heroic-geared raiders shouldn't need to run LFR at all. But, this is all subject to change.

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Should valor upgrades be removed permanently?

Should valor upgrades be removed permanently
I'm a raider at heart. Sure, I took a break back in Burning Crusade, but when I returned to raiding it was with a vengeance, albeit in a slightly less hardcore fashion. Mists of Pandaria started out with several different raids that are continuing to keep my guild occupied and will likely keep us occupied right up to patch 5.2's release -- and that's an excellent thing. Dragon Soul, no matter how interesting a few of those fights were, was simply not enough to keep my guild occupied right up until the end of Cataclysm.

In fact, Mists of Pandaria started out with a whole flurry of activity to keep everyone well and truly busy for the first couple of months. Daily quests were something that I threw myself into without flinching -- partially out of interest for the stories and quests, but also, yes, because I wanted to make sure I upgraded my gear as quickly as possible. Doing this flurry of dailies meant that I was capping valor incredibly early in the week, and spending it as fast as I obtained it.

But there's kind of a problem with that now, and it's being addressed to some small degree in patch 5.2. See, part of that whole raiding process is making sure you're in the gear you need. Now, it also includes upgrading your gear as quickly as you can, putting even more emphasis on capping valor just as quickly as possible. Is all that pressure a good thing?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

25-man raids have harder challenges and better rewards on Asian realms

Difficulty level Asian

The European raiding team Method had a chance to interview Ion Hazzikostas, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer. Most of the discussion centered around the recently released item upgrade system that came in patch 5.1. One of the more interesting tidbits is how item rewards and raids are slightly different in Asia compared to the European and North American regions.

Ion Hazzikostas

How does the upgrading system work on the Asian servers? From what I have seen their items are upgradable not 2, but 4 times. Won't this result in a problem while tuning the bosses of the next content?

Ion: The way it works in Asia, we actually use the upgrade system to create the distinction between 10 player and 25 player that we previously announced for 5.1. So in Korea, Taiwan and China, when you kill a boss in 25 player mode, it drops an item that is already 2/4. So instead of 496, it drops as 504 but can be upgraded 2 more times, so effectively they are 8 ilvls higher but you are still only upgrading any item twice. The other thing that is changed in 5.1, is actually that all 25 player bosses have 8% more health and do 8% more damage, than they do in the US or Europe. It is a bit more like the Wrath of the Lich King system, where 25man is just harder and drops higher item level loot but in theory doing 25 player with 25 player loot in Asia should be the same as doing 25 with 25 loot in Europe/US.

Items that drop in 10-man raids have 0/2 upgrades. Items that drop in 25 man raids have 2/4 upgrades. This is similar to the Wrath of the Lich King model of rewards. Blizzard has already stressed that Asian realms aren't used as "experimental realms" for possible system changes in other regions around the world. In other words, it isn't likely that we'll see these types of reward systems in place anytime soon. But it's an interesting solution to the whole 10 man vs 25 man raiding issue and logistics incentives.

The interview dove into other topics such as:

  • Brawler's Guild
  • Dominance Offensive
  • Current raiding discussion

To those of you who play on Asian realms, we'd love to hear from you regarding your raiding experiences and this reward structure. 25-man raids seems to be the dominant raiding format compared to 10-man raids in that region.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

What item level do I need for Raid Finder?

What ilvl do I need for LFR
It's a good question, which has been coming up a lot lately, simply because there's quite a lot of confusion surrounding these numbers. At first, it was stated that the item level for Raid Finder was 463, meaning that a would be raider would have to gear entirely with heroic dungeon items or better.

This item level was revised downwards to 460, for the first half of Mogu'shan Vaults, the first Raid Finder instance to open, and this is where the confusion starts. Rumors have abounded that the item level required for the second half of the Mogu'shan Vaults raid finder was 470, so Community Manager Crithto has stepped in to clarify:

Crithto

The second half of Mogu'shan Vaults is the same as the first half. The required item level players must have is 460.

Once Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring open up, they will have a required item level of 470, with both raid dungeons dropping improved gear.


To recap Raid Finder item levels:
  • First half of Mogushan Vaults: 460 ilevel required
  • Second half of Mogushan Vaults: 460 ilevel required
  • Heart of Fear: 470 ilevel required
  • Terrace of Endless Spring: 470 ilevel required

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: UI Updates

If you've been nervous about how Blizzard intends to handle the item squish that Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street discussed in a developer blog back in November, worry no more -- we saw the solution in action first-hand at the press event. We also saw a few other notable UI updates and additions, such as the full implementation of the new talent pane, a new buff tracker, and a revamped character creation screen.

Mega Damage

Rather than compressing item levels and retuning seven years' worth of content, the developers appear to have opted to go with the concept of Mega Damage, replacing a bunch of spare 0s with a K or an M where appropriate. When killing mobs in Pandaria, my four-digit damage was not compressed. If I hit something for 3,000 damage, it displayed as 3,000 damage. However, five-digit numbers and higher were compressed. 30,000 became 30K. It's a very simple solution and should have very little impact on your gameplay overall.

Here's Ghostcrawler's explanation of the Mega Damage solution from that old dev blog:

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Are Cataclysm gear ilevels too big a jump from Wrath?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Throughout Wrath, I spent the vast majority of my time in game on my max-level main character, with just a few hours /played on alts at various stages along the road to being forgotten. With the onset of Cataclysm, however, I found myself motivated to level an alt to the level cap for the first time. After a few days questing, I succeeded in bringing my up-and-coming alt from Un'Goro Crater to the quest leading into Hyjal.

Thanks to the time spent on my main, my fresh lvl 80 alt was well-resourced. In addition to carrying pots and foods, I stormed into Hyjal wearing heirloom chest, shoulders, weapon, trinkets, and even a spiffy new heirloom cloak. I was ready to rock, and having come straight from Icecrown, I expected to be able to pull two to three mobs at a time without exerting much effort.

As it turns out, Hyjal is not Icecrown. I soon found out through a process of trial and error -- well, mostly error -- that I could barely survive one mob without popping cooldowns and potions. My response? "But Cataclysm content wasn't this hard on my main!"

Once I completed a few quests and received my first upgrade as a reward, I realized what the problem was: My gear was 100 item levels too low. Aside from my heirlooms, my alt was wearing blues and greens from questing in Icecrown -- ilvl 174 gear, at best. The mobs were much more difficult on my alt because he wasn't wearing anything remotely close to the ilvl 264 gear my main had brought!

What gear were you wearing when you took the plunge into the new Cataclysm content, and how did you fare? Do you feel the new zones are well-tuned for characters coming straight from leveling in Northrend? Is the ilvl jump from 174 to 272 too drastic or a necessity?

Is the gear jump from Wrath to Cataclysm too large?
Yes2274 (23.5%)
No4385 (45.4%)
Only for non-raiding characters3008 (31.1%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Spiritual Guidance: Gearing a shadow priest for Cataclysm heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Your host for the Wednesday edition, Fox Van Allen, always brings you the latest in shadow priest news, the latest in shadow priest controversy, and the latest shadow priest tactics -- all with the level of maturity of an episode of Maury. After the break: a paternity test, a lie detector test, and you won't believe who we're sending to boot camp!

Eight months ago, I wrote one of my most viewed and read articles here at WoW Insider. It was about GearScore and item levels. Most of us know, of course, that each weapon or piece of armor we equip has a numerical value behind it that approximates how powerful it is. Back then, far too many people were using item levels and GearScore as the sole arbiter of who could and couldn't team up with them in pickup raid groups.
Sorry, you seem like a lovely person and all, but I've determined your entire worth as a raider boils down to a four-digit number. Unfortunately, the four-digit number assigned to your worth is slightly lower than the four-digit number I arbitrarily came up with as the requirement to participate in the outdated raid content I wish to be carried through.
In the piece, I explained that item levels and GearScore provide you with a general idea about whether or not a piece of gear is good, but in the end, having the right stats matters more than item levels. That still holds true in Cataclysm -- stats matter. An item level 333 blue can be better than an item level 346 blue.

Despite that, though, measures of your "gear score" matter more than they ever have before. Cataclysm instances and heroics are gated behind strict minimum average item level requirements. Blizzard has become that guy. We won't spend our time today discussing whether that's right or wrong; instead, we'll be productive gamers and figure out how and where to get gear to clear that item level requirement, get yourself into heroics, and eventually, get yourself ready to raid.

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

WoW Rookie: Gearing up with the LFG feature

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Plotting your path from zero to hero? "Last night, I got my alt mage to level 80 (woop) and thought I'd set about doing some heroics to get those 'phat loots' and a have a bit of fun," writes reader Hedwinkle of EU Daggerspine. "However, I was disappointed to see that I couldn't queue up for any heroics using the new tool, as my gear level wasn't high enough. I mean, it's all blue gear from the later instances, so I guess I have two questions ...

"1. What is the gear level required to allow me to queue up for random heroics using the new tool?

"2. What is the best way for me to go about getting my gear level higher? People on my server have very little interest now in finding a group the 'old-fashioned' way."

As it turns out, Hedwinkle's not the only one who's been puzzling over the details of how the new Looking for Group tool matches and places group members. Luckily, blue poster Zarhym had some answers that should reassure all of WoW Rookie's fresh level 80s.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, Instances, Features, WoW Rookie

Tier 9 to come in three quality levels

10-man ilvl 25-man
Naxx 200
KT, EoE 213 Naxx
Ulduar 219
Ulduar hard 226 Ulduar, KT/EoE
CC
232 Ulduar weapons
239 Ulduar hard
CC hard 245 CC
258 CC hard
Well, that answers that question. According to what MMO-Champion has found in the PTR item database, Tier 9 gear from patch 3.2's Crusader's Coliseum raid comes in three different versions for each set (T7 and T8 come in two, from 10- and 25-man). There's one version at ilvl 232, one at 245, and one at 258. This leads to the following loot distribution, I'd guess:

  • 10-man normal (232) < 10-man hard (245) = 25-man normal (245) < 25-man hard (258)

Others (such as 10n < 25n < 10h = 25h) are logically possible, but to me, that's the most likely distribution that leads to three different ilvls. It's also the way Ulduar is done with normal and hard modes, apart from some differences in weapon ilvl.

Crusader's Coliseum on heroic is a bit different than Ulduar hard modes, though. It seems that when you do a heroic CC raid, you start out with a certain number of attempts (wipes), and the more attempts you have remaining upon defeating the final boss, the better loot you get. So will ilvl 258 gear be contingent upon beating CC-heroic in (say) fewer than half your attempts? I guess we'll have to wait and find out.

Of course, the really important question is: what the heck will we call the 3 different sets? T9.0, T9.33, T9.66?


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!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Raiding

The Queue: Item level, attunements, and more


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Good morning/afternoon/generic time of day, everyone! I don't have anything funny or interesting to say here, so let's skip that part and pretend that I did it! Yay! Now imagine there's a silly poll for you to vote in! Exclamation points! More exclamation points! Not enough exclamation points yet! We need more!

Okay, that's enough of them.

Erogroth asked...


"How exactly does item level work? From what I gather its almost like talent points for an item. So any item that is the same level should be about equal in how good it is. However often items of the same item level are no where near equal. So what's the deal?"

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Bornakk on item scaling in WotLK

We're already seeing some significant changes to the way gear works in Wrath of the Lich King. However, in a thread on the official forums about the ever-increasing character level cap, Bornakk steps in to set at least a few minds at ease regarding the way gear will scale. He says the developers don't plan on overhauling gear in Wrath quite the same way they had when TBC came out. So, while the items will be more powerful, we shouldn't see the same disparity between WotLK items and pre-WotLK items that we did for BC gear and pre-BC gear. It won't be like you'll pick up a green from a level 71 quest that replaces your S4 gear.

But there's a bunch of stat changes in WotLK that've already been revealed. Does this mean the spellpower changes will go back through all of the BC gear, or is it just that the item level is going to remain a steady scale? Or will unified spellpower only be available in Northrend? Eh, we're only in Alpha right now. Just the notion that Blizzard is aware and considering this issue is enough for now, and I guess we can wait and see how the drops will look.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Is it really OK for Arthas to be 10-mannable?


So one of the most exciting announcements from the recent flurry of news about WoTLK, at least from my point of view, is the that there will be 10-man and 25-man versions of every raid. Think about that for a moment. Yeah, that's right. That means that you and 9 other friends will be able to scale the heights of Icecrown Glacier and topple Arthas himself from his frigid throne.

This has more than a few people worried.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Lore, Bosses

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories