The intent of this post is to get some insight on the upcoming patch and what the plans are with player power and gear acquisition.
We’ll be leaving Shards of Domination behind and acquiring Tier sets and a 2nd legendary as we venture into 9.2.
Shards of Domination provided an insane amount of player power, more than we’ve pretty much ever had in a single patch system and as soon as we enter the next season of content it’s all gone. 10-15% of player power just removed. The replacement is Tier Sets which we’ll have to work towards and a 2nd legendary which has a wildly varying amount of power.
One of these legendaries is covenant locked which means players who want to optimise will no longer have freedom of expression in that regard as it’s not just covenant, its covenant + legendary. Some covenant legendaries provide utility, minimal power gains and some have huge synergies with the ability. There is a clear imbalance that has yet to be resolved from 9.1. Some work has been done, but we’re still a good way off from this expansion level system reaching its potential (in the final patch?).
If additional data is needed on this front I’m sure we can work to get data from various Theory players to support it.
The feeling from a pure numeric perspective is going to feel quite bad for the player. You go from doing say 11k DPS in 9.1.5 to doing 9.5k in 9.2. Your character is progressing through the expansion story and getting weaker. It just doesn’t feel right.
Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the Tier sets. We have yet to see how they are acquired. The last time we had Tier sets we had Master Looter and Tokens.
When Master Looter was used you had tokens that you could freely distribute.
When Personal Loot was used you just received the armor piece.
I sincerely hope that we will have tokens as drops that you can click to turn into the armor (rather than auto-opening as it did with Personal Loot in Legion) else we’re going to have very awkward scenarios again where say if you are the only rogue in a raid team, you are the only chance of getting the gear.
During Legion (with Master Looter enabled) tokens dropped in the following arrangement:
|Conqueror||Paladin, Priest, Warlock, Demon Hunter|
|Protector||Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Monk|
|Vanquisher||Rogue, Death Knight, Mage, Druid|
So in this scenario, the rogue could get their Tier bonus from other DKs, Mages and Druids.
With Shadowlands we have seen the rate of gear acquisition reduced however with Tier as this represents such a huge power spike for people which they will desire and I’d very strongly argue need for their raid/pvp/M+ progression is this fair to lock behind the limitations we had so far this expansion?
Tier dropped as extra pieces of loot before when Master Looter was enabled so you would suffer from bad RnG which is the case for a lot of things this expansion (looking at you Painsmith Weapons). Whilst loot philosophy for this expansion at least was that the power gains are greater from each item therefore less are required to achieve the same end result as having more drops I don’t feel this should be extended towards Tier pieces as they’re such a core piece.
I know there’s a system in place to Convert items from M+/PvP into Tier pieces but this has yet to see the light on PTR yet. Is it possible to get more information on how this works? Does it require a certain amount of activity on Zereth Mortis?
Additionally, we previously had 6 slots of Tier to mix and match with before to obtain the bonuses faster however on the PTR this looks to be locked to 5. Is this going to expand to 6?
Quite a few legendaries are only able to be crafted on slots that conflict with Tier. Players have had to recraft legendaries each Patch already and as some Legendaries conflict with all potential Tier slots this means that if you loot a Tier piece in your Legendary slot you have a choice:
- Spend a lot of gold and recraft the legendary (potentially multiple times) to get the Tier Bonus
- Not use the Tier bonus as you simply cannot afford to.