I’ve been toiling over this one for a while now. I didn’t realize the issue until after I had hit Max level and was trying to optimize my gear. It outraged me to no end, enough so that I’ve refrained from writing about this one until I’ve had time to think about it logically. However, the more I think about it, the more I just don’t get the logic behind it.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the game within a game that is end game gearing. Every raider knew it well. You would hold onto that piece of gear you just earned because, although it was an upgrade. It was not yet optimized and could hurt you more than help you if you put it on as is.
I was over-joyed when I heard Blizzard announce last expansion that Hit and Expertise were going away. These were by far the biggest problems with the end game stat optimization process. These two stats specifically, were the reason why we wouldn’t put on a piece of gear without first optimizing it. Because it had the potential to lower our numbers due to misses or dodges.
Then came the announcement that Reforging was going away. This too made sense and gave me no cause for concern. We no longer needed to hit a specific hit/expertise cap, reforging would just be used to switch everything to our best secondary stats. Okay make sense. Good deal.
Then I hit 100 and go to look for enchants for my gear and low and behold, Blizzard had stripped away nearly every end game Item Enhancement. Enchanting only Rings/Neck and Cloaks? They also removed the Leg Armors and Belt Buckles that other professions used as a source of income too. Hell Inscription being able to offer a shoulder enchant was one of the biggest benefits to having that profession around and not to mention a large source of income for the profession. Not only did they make the existence of gem sockets in items rare, they removed gem socket color and bonuses? Where is the fun factor in these changes?
What the hell? It is one thing to want to make new gear more easily usable when you receive. It is another thing entirely to completely neuter a system that players have utilized for literally years. You further confuse new players by providing all these “old world” item enhancements and mechanics that they discover when leveling up their professions and characters to only take them away from everyone at the end game? You further neuter the game within a game that is end game gearing by giving us less to do with the mountains of gold and materials that we accumulate over time from playing at end game.
I know I don’t speak for everybody, but I have serious doubts players as a whole had a problem with Item Enhancements in general. These were a fun way of getting the most out of the gear you get stuck wearing for weeks at a time before an upgrade finally drops. The problem was less with having to enchant/gem your gear and more with having to figure out how the stats on that gear are going to affect your hit/expertise caps.
I believe the system would have been just fine if you would have only removed those stats and left the rest alone. Arbitrarily ripping out known long standing mechanics instead of addressing the problems with those systems irritates the piss out of me. The problem was not that Enchants/Gems were a burden to us, the burden was having to manage hit caps with every piece of gear we put on. I for one, like to feel powerful and running around in gear that is enchanted to the teeth does that. If raiding is the concern and you wanted new players to be able to afford the same benefits as seasoned players there were MUCH better ways to address that then stripping out the fun.
I do hope this change is not the direction you will continue to go with changes in the game. I’m growing increasingly tired of feeling like the game I pay to play and invest my time into is just a glorified experiment or beta test. I know it’ll always be your game and your vision, but I wish you would take more consideration into your decisions and maybe pass some of these changes along to the community for discussion before you push them live.