Before getting into specifics on the set bonuses themselves I want to start by giving my opinion on Heirlooms. Quite a bit of gold/resources goes into getting a full set of Heirlooms, it is an investment as a veteran player and in my eyes should be seen as such. I am investing for convenience, that is my thought process when acquiring Heirloom items. Heirlooms are not something a new player uses nor are they a necessity, their existence is purely for convenience. Heirlooms are something I pay gold, quite a bit of gold as you have to buy the different armor types, different stat priorities, etc. not to mention you then have to upgrade each piece, one at a time, up to the proper level caps. It is an expensive task collecting and upgrading Heirlooms for the purpose of making the leveling experience more convenient.
So when I make my comments, that is the mindset behind them. Are the Heirlooms making my leveling experience more convenient and enough so to warrant the steep gold price to invest into them?
To start, my thoughts on the EXP bonus being removed? I am fine with that. Having experienced the revamped leveling speeds I am fine with not having an XP bonus tied to Heirlooms. They still have great value in the fact that they scale with Character Level, and from what I played of the new leveling experience there are… gaps… of not getting any new gear for long periods of time. To put it this way, at level 20 in MoP I was still wearing white gear, dropped from killing enemies, from the Undead starting zone in several slots because of how infrequent gear is while leveling. (I have heard this is not the case for Legion and BFA but MoP Chromie Time absolutely had huge gaps in gearing. I even made a thread on it about my concerns and some thoughts on how it could be countered.
Then there is the fact that ever since the first squish and after the subsequent squishes that had happened the pure statistical power of Heirlooms have grown weaker and weaker to the point where I have, while leveling on live, gotten greens and blues that are stronger than my Heirlooms at times. Given their high cost that really should not be happening if I am being honest. They honestly do not feel as powerful as they use to be, that is not even including the Siege of Orgrimmar Heirlooms which have had their gap so tightly closed, paired with Gems not scaling all that well (On live. This seems to be changing in Shadowlands) it feels like they have lost a lot of their value in terms of pure power. I bring this up because I feel like it influences my thoughts on the changes coming to Heirlooms and want to explain where I am coming from with my opinions on these changes coming.
Now that I have those points out of the way…
My Thoughts On The Change
What I Like!
I think that the 3 Set bonus is fine, that’s kinda nice to have because it feels like a safety net to make bigger more risky pulls with less down time between fighting. Something that speeds up/improves the flow of questing is always great in my book! I honestly have no MAJOR complaints about this one as, for me, it sounds like something that would be valuable for me. It means I can make bigger pulls, fight more enemies, push forward with less down time. It comes off to me as convenience, which is what the whole point of Heirlooms is in my view. I am 100% down with the 3 Set bonus.
The 2, 4, and 6 Set bonuses however… I have a few things to say.
What I Don’t Like…
2 & 6 Set Bonuses
Starting with the 2 and 6 Set bonuses… They seem so contradictory in their existence and allow me to iterate on that thought. The Experience Gain from Heirlooms was removed because the Leveling Revamp greatly sped up the leveling experience and as such they became unnecessary, right? I can get that and stand with that, truthfully that does not bother me, but… why then basically turn around and add this which basically is just a weaker, more inconsistent and indirect, form of increased experience gain?
My issues with the 2 and 6 set bonus are the fact that it plays off of rested experience, which you have to gain by either idling or logging off in a rest area, and that if you have no rested experience (say you just made the character that day or have accomplished a lot and eaten through the rested experience already) then they are entirely valueless.
Some posters in this thread have also pointed out how long it takes to accrue rested experience and reach the rested experience cap as well as about how long it lasts. Needless to say, these are both underwhelming for the fact that it incentivizes not playing the that character and instead sitting them in a designated rest area and then waiting… That to me does not sound great at all, it does not get me hyped to start a new character when my mindset shifts to–
“Cool! Made my new character, now to log off for 10 days while my rested XP builds and then I can finally play them effeciently!”
Only to repeat the process again when I run out of rested experience. That does not sound like a fun play experience for me, so I would probably ignore it when then leaves me viewing 2 of the 4 set bonuses as having no value to me. Even with 60% reduced consumption time that Rested Experience won’t last long unless its been building for a while. The bonuses only reduce consumption rate, generation is not affected at all so the average player who plays daily will only be getting a small amount of rested experience that, even with the reduced consumption rate, will go pretty quickly.
The bonus feels very situational, something you are only rarely going to take advantage of and not for very long, and at the end of the day it feels like an overly complicated way of increasing XP gain as opposed to just giving a flat XP bonus. It feels situational and, for a player like me, basically means I will only rarely have all 4 of my set bonuses and more often than not be rolling with only 2 of the 4 set bonuses.
4 Set Bonus
So… At first I thought “Alright, this is a cool bonus! I can get down with this!” until a thought was pointed out to me by a Tauren Warrior I know. He pointed out that its going to be great when you are in the middle of fighting something, but how many of your level ups happen when fighting an enemy and how many of them happen at an NPC in a quest hub that is nowhere near enemies?
As cool and as powerful as this bonus sounds, I can see it more often than not being wasted as you are turning in quests at a hub and are nowhere near any enemies for any of your quests.
Again, the AoE damage splash as well as the 40% increase to primary attributes sounds good on paper but when you think about it practically its going to end up going to waste quite often and as such, like the 2 and 6 set bonuses, feels like a lot of its value is lost.
Also… The fact that a lot of level ups happen at quest hubs, I am not sure how I will feel if I am in a neutral town like say Gadgetzan and I turn in a quest, level up, and there is an Alliance near by who gets hit by the AoE damage and now the Gadgetzan Bruisers have decided to take up the hobby of re-arranging my face. My guess is it probably wouldn’t even persist through death so looks like it’s gone at that point.
With that said, unlike the 2 and 6 set bonus I feel like this one is on the right path but isn’t quite there yet. This leads me to the following…
What I Would Prefer To See!
3 Set Bonus changed to 2 Set Bonus
Before getting to the 2, 4, and 6 set bonuses I wanted to bring this up. Like I said, I don’t have any major problems with this bonus and actually like it but I think that the current 3 set bonus should be moved to the 2 set bonus. It’s passive regeneration, nothing overly exciting about it. It’s like the old tier sets how the 2 set bonuses were usually something like “Increases attack power by 100!” Its not particularly interesting and pretty passive and generic but its only the first of the set’s bonuses. Start small and work up mentality. Again, not saying its bad just saying it feels more like a 2 set bonus.
Replace the 2 and 6 Set Bonuses as new 3 and 4 Set Bonuses
So, honestly… Please just scrap the Rested Experience bonuses. They could be replaced with far more interesting bonuses that feel far more rewarding for the investment you put into the Heirlooms. Things like increased movement speed after killing an enemy or something would be great for convenience.
Honestly, I feel like almost anything else would be better but I really think there should be something that increases movement speed when killing enemies. Maybe even one that increases secondary stats from all sources by a small bit or something to give Heirlooms more power for those who invest the money into them.
4 Set Bonus Rework and Moved to 6 Set Bonus
So, when I think “6 Set Bonus” I think “This is the big one! This is the must have, really cool, really strong Bonus!” and when I read the original 4 Set Bonus it came off as more of a 6 Set Bonus to me. While I think that the groundwork for something cool is there, I feel it has its issues which I outlined above. If it were up to me then this is the idea I would go for.
6 Set Idea
Gaining a level triggers Burst of Knowledge, granting you a buff which increases your primary stat by 5%. In addition damaging spells and abilities to have a chance to cause an eruption of power at the target dealing “X” Holy Damage to the target and all enemies within “Y” yards. Lasts for 1 hour. Persists through death. Has no effect above level 50.
So, for this one I took some inspiration from the Midsummer Fire Festival Bonfire Buff, Bonfire’s Blessing, while also considering the original idea which was a burst of holy damage as well as a boost to your primary stat for a short period of time.
This fixes a couple of issues the original set bonus has.
First, that being of time. As I pointed out, a lot of level ups happen at quest hubs and you end up not having enough time to really make use of the buff before that 2 minutes wears off. So while 40% increased primary attribute sounds great there will often be times where you can’t make much use of it. While the bonus itself is decreased down to 5% instead of 40% you have it for a much longer time and it persists through death meaning you get much more use of it and it does not feel AS impactful when you lose it compared to a huge 40% boost.
Second, the AoE. Not only did it originate from you, meaning Ranged/Casters did not get as much benefit, but as pointed out you have the issues that would arise in neutral quest hubs and cities and not being anywhere near enemies. The big change here is making it so that the eruption of damage comes from your target and not from you, this way both ranged and melee get better use out of this bonus. Pair that with the fact that it’s a chance on dealing damage on a 1 hour buff means it’s more likely to get use even if you acquire it while in town and nowhere near enemies at the time.
This takes the original concept while also taking inspiration from the Bonfire’s Blessing and makes it into a buff that will most likely get far more use for all specs be it ranged or melee while leveling. Something that isn’t going to be squandered while you are turning in quests at a hub, waiting for a tank to to pull bosses/enemies in a dungeon while the buff ticks down, and probably result in less spiking/burst damage in PvP all because a player got super lucky and dinged.
To me it feels powerful, feels rewarding, and feels like what I would expect of a 6 Set bonus from an Armor Set with more consistency to boot!
For me, like I said, when I think Heirlooms I think hard earned convenience for leveling alts. Truth be told, with the new leveling system I would personally have been fine with no XP bonus and nothing replacing them. With that said, the idea of Set Bonuses for Heirlooms is intriguing and I feel has a lot of potential as well as feeling rewarding for those who have invested large sums of gold into them. I think the current set bonuses, aside from the passive regeneration, leave much to be desired but I think that this is a cool thing to see added to equipment and if replaced with better bonuses could be great!
I really look forward to seeing what is done with the Heirlooms and this idea of Set Bonuses moving forward and can’t wait to see if/how feedback has been taken on this moving forward. I really do hope the bonuses do not make it to live as they are and that they be reconsidered for something better.
I know some have voiced concerns that “losing” these bonuses at 50 when moving into Shadowlands would suck but… I mean… Isn’t that just kinda gear in general when moving into a new expansion? Losing those sick tier sets and trinkets for questing greens, losing those cool artifact abilities or essences, etc? That just kind of seems like the nature of the beast with gear to begin with, shedding the old and acquiring the new. Moving from Heirloom Set Bonuses to Shadowlands Legendaries, etc.
Anyway, again, I look forward to seeing what happens and thanks for reading my long post
Side Thoughts That Fit Nowhere Else
So, before closing out this novella of a post there were a few more thoughts I had that are not directly related to this change of Heirlooms outlined in this thread but are related to Heirlooms as a whole that I wanted to get out and I feel like this is the perfect thread to do so in.
Heirlooms With Duplicate Secondary Stats & Shadowlands Mastery & Versatility
So, when equipment was changed to have multiple primary stats on it that changed depending on what class/spec you were the Heirloom equipment got this treatment which ended up with many pieces being duplicate pieces now.
An example being “Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons” and “Pristine Lightforge Spaulders”. Both of these are Plate Shoulder Slot Heirlooms and both of them have the EXACT same stats on them being Strength, Stam, Crit, and Haste. So while the change to allow the primary stat of an item to swap between two different options was nice it ended up creating Heirlooms with duplicate stats.
Now Shadowlands brings with it a very interesting change because of how the leveling changes are being handled. Mastery is no longer locked behind reaching level 78 and is available from the start of a character’s creation is interesting and presents a question.
Could the Heirloom Equipment with duplicate stats, maybe even the equipment with only one secondary stat, be re-evaluated and could we perhaps see Mastery and Versatility options on Heirlooms? Maybe get a better mix up of different secondary stat choices?
Now that character’s start with mastery from level 10 (Once you have a spec), and the fact that some spec’s best stats are Mastery, it would be cool to see options for Heirlooms with mastery on it. Same goes with Versatility for those who like Warmode/PvP.
Is there any chance that secondary stats on Heirlooms could be given a once over and maybe even get new heirlooms where applicable?
Defending Champion & Returning Champion
Okay, first before being crucified I know how hard these trinkets are to get! Unlike other Heirlooms (even the fishing ring isn’t all that comparable) they actually take a good bit of effort to acquire because both require events that only happen at certain times of the day, one of them only available one week a month (multiple times a day) when the Darkmoon Faire is in town. On top of that, unlike the fishing ring you have to win the respective events multiple times to even get the heirlooms! So not only do they happen at specific times of day, not only is one only around for one week every month, not only are you competing with other players all literally killing each other for a chance to open the chest, you have to succeed at this MULTIPLE TIMES just to get them.
I know these are hard earned trinkets and do not want to undersell just how difficult these Heirlooms are to get, I really don’t. If you have these trinkets, more power to you! Well done, seriously, it’s a time commitment for sure.
… With that said, just putting this out there but I think the 50% Exp Bonus from Battlegrounds (100% with both) should be removed and baked into BG’s by default and that the trinkets should get some cool 2 set PvP bonus of some sort.
Honestly, I have never liked the fact that leveling through BG’s feels so tedious compared to literally every other form of leveling. Like imagine if you needed special trinkets to get the current experience you get from dungeons and without them the exp you got was half, if not less, than what you normally get.
PvP is a really fun aspect of the game, for me, and I would love to feel good about queuing up to a BG while leveling instead of constantly feeling like it’s a waste of time because the EXP output compared to Questing and Dungeons is just substantially less. That, if I want to do PvP while leveling and get a good amount of experience I specifically need those two trinkets.
I think, considering that Shadowlands is putting a huge focus on revamping the leveling experience to be better overall, as well as having removed the experience bonuses from normal Heirloom gear, that it would be a great time to re-evaluate leveling BG’s as well as do something with these trinkets instead of making them mandatory EXP sticks for if you want to level with BG’s.
I think they deserve a cool PvP 2 set bonus considering how hard they are to acquire but I also think that they should not be required to level through battle grounds.
Again, I know just how hard fought these trinkets are but I also think that with Leveling getting the focus it is that there is no better time to look at BG’s in the scheme of leveling and if these very hard to acquire trinkets being basically required to make BG experience worth it is still a good idea when the EXP gains were removed from all other Heirlooms.
Insightful Rubellite's Fate
Real quick one here, what is the fate of the gem “Insightful Rubellite” which increases Experience Gain by 5%? Will these remain in the game and continue to give 5% increased experience gain? I noticed, at least from what Wowhead has documented for the beta version of these gems, they still exist but no longer have an ilvl requirement to use. Does this mean they will continue to exist and be used to speed up the leveling process or will these be heading the same direction as the EXP potions?
EDIT: I edited this post to have collapsed points of discussion so that it’s easier to manage/pass if already read and just trying to scroll through the thread. Sorry for being so wordy, haha, I just want to be thorough with my thoughts/opinions on this matter.