Getting loot in Dragonflight’s endgame has been a bit of a mixed bag thus far, especially concerning Vault of the Incarnates. The present loot system (that being one attempt at loot per boss per difficulty per week, with mandatory group loot) has thus far resulted in a very harsh ‘feast or famine’ experience—at least on my end, as I’ve been unable to win even a single piece of gear on normal, heroic and LFR since the raid’s release. Possibly on others as well, if the prevailing majority of commentary I’ve heard thus far is in any way accurate.
To be clear: I’m not pointing the finger at group loot, though the feeling of competition this particular version of it created has been pretty severe. More that the rewards on offer for successfully killing bosses are binaric. Either something drops and you win it, or it doesn’t/you lose it (thereby getting nothing). That players can and do end up with consistent zero sum results across multiple weekly lockouts isn’t great, feels absolutely terrible, and juxtaposes very, very poorly with adjacent systems currently in the game: mythic+ and crafting. The great vault is a good supplement that does help a bit, but it shouldn’t be the only way you’re even remotely likely to get something useable—and mythic+ does it better.
Currently, the M+ reward structure not only feels far more forgiving, but also more deterministic. Valor points ensure that you don’t walk away from a run with literally nothing if you aren’t lucky. Rating gives you a goal to chase, and increases the ceiling for item upgrading. A lack of weekly lockouts means that you can re-run a dungeon if you’re chasing a particular item.
…And on top of this, M+ also unlocks Great Vault rewards on each reset—including a chance at tier – often at higher ilevels than you’ll get from running the raid itself.
Professions are an equally great supplement to gearing, especially with scaling via primal infusions. I don’t need to say more, honestly. Crafting is currently the only 100% reliable means of gearing, albeit limited by sparks and matrixes.
The value of gearing through raids depends entirely upon luck. If you aren’t, you get effectively (or literally) nothing for your time—even on heroic, as there’s not enough bosses for a full primal infusion. Mythic+ loot and vault rewards are lightyears better, as valor points, scaling and a lack of weekly lockouts offer far, far more consistency. Great vault shores up the difference a little bit, but in both ilevel and scaling raid loot falls way short of M+ loot.
In my opinion, bosses either need to drop more loot overall, or there needs to be a form of bad luck prevention—like a token or currency that can be turned in for specific pieces of gear from bosses you’ve defeated that week.
Frankly, anything is better than four+ weeks of going 0/8 (Or worse, since clearing normal, heroic and LFR as of the time I’ve written this means possibly going 0/22) on loot.