In recent controversial news, Carbine announced that an upcoming patch will significantly nerf the ability for crafters to make gear that effectively supercedes almost all of the adventure, dungeon and even some of the raiding dropped gear. This was likely in response to the confusion surrounding “best in slot” lists that have begun circulating around for newer level 50s.
While I believe these changes place the gear progression into a more linear and common sense path; the vast majority of the community seems to be of mixed opinions on the changes. Some favor the less “RNG” approach to itemization. Some crafters will spend hours crafting the same gear over and over in the hopes that they get extra rune slots or even the right combination of rune slots. The proposed changes would effectively eliminate the need to do so. The proposed breakdown was listed as follows;
- Greens: 0-1
- Blues: 2
- Purples: 3
- Legendary: 4-5
- Artifact: 6
A rather interesting approach, emphasizing the importance of rune slots towards customizing your gear as opposed to crafting the gear initially with the stats you wanted outright (then further supplementing those stats with the rune slots you get).
Its all very interesting, and makes a lot of sense, except for the line introduced at the end. Its the only issue I take with this plan and I’ll go into greater depth why after the quote;
The bad news is, this actually nerfs quite a bit of items IF we go forward with it (it won’t actually affect your existing items; so if you have, say, a blue item with 4 Runes, congrats, your item is OP!).
These are major changes they are proposing. They fundamentally alter the entire series of progression players will go through to hit raiding tier. Yet the ramifications are far more reaching than anyone seems willing to acknowledge.
As it stands, itemization is so scattered to the wind and nonsensical (for example; try explaining to a player where to get the best in slot gear from. Good Luck!). The proposed changes grandfather in a class of player that is already far ahead. The devs even state “It should not be better than items a tier above it”. If this were true, then why leave the old items the way they are? The answer is they don’t wish to disrupt the current class of raiders and this in itself seems a small point to take issue with.
The problem becomes this; Raiders have already started unlocking what will remain the best in slot gear. Their need for this ‘brokenly powerful’ crafted gear has started to be minimized. One could even say that the vast majority will remain ahead because their overpowered gear is NOT being removed. Meanwhile, those players who are not at the cutting edge (who don’t have the crafted gear after the changes are implemented) are being dropped back almost a dozen steps behind the games current raiding base.
This effectively will cut off a large part of the community interested in end-game raiding from a playerbase stuck grinding out adventures and dungeons to increase their ability to effectively do raids. Remember too, that the current raiding base got to skip out of the dungeon grinding. Sure they had to do them all at least once to get Silver status for their attunement, but few if any grinded them repeatedly for gear. They basically were exempted from this grind due to the oversight in itemization.
These changes, while they affect categorically the subclass of players who have yet to hit 50, will also greatly impact the raider class as well. Natural attrition (loss of raiders due to burnout/etc.) in a raiding guild is commonplace, even in a game as new as WildStar. Raiders have a vested interest in ensuring the gear gap (and the ability to close that gap) are not impediments to replacing the attrition they are sure to suffer.
What it comes down to is this; The changes must be implemented. They must be implemented fairly. Allowing half of the game to effectively skip merrily ahead in the elder game while the rest of the player base drudges through painful dungeon grinding unfairly impacts portions of the playerbase and the not rest.
The solution is simple; All new and EXISTING crafted gear must be retroactively nerfed. Its the only way to implement a game changing approach to itemization that, to be honest, should have been done before launch. Every player should be placed at the same level, even if some have gotten ahead due to Carbines oversight. The gear gap should not be arbitrarily propped up by allowing one class of player to continue to abuse crafted gear itemization while others are seemingly punished for not getting to the elder game quicker.