Blizzard's Final Stance on Itemization in Classic WoW menu

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    Kenneth's Avatar Administrator
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    Blizzard's Final Stance on Itemization in Classic WoW

    Progressive itemization. These two words have been staples when talking about what you wan't to see out of Classic WoW. What is progressive itemization? I talk about it in the (Classic WoW Content Plan)Classic WoW Content Plan post but I'll do a quick summary here. Items in WoW were changed throughout its tenure, usually buffed, as catch up mechanics. Some items in dungeons like Scholomance, Dire Maul, and even items in PvP and crafting were all buffed by the time AQ or Naxx came out. They were buffed so that when a new character hit 60 they didn't have to necessarily do dungeons, into MC, into BWL and ZG all just to raid the most current content. How does this tie into Classic? Well when Blizzard first announced their plans for Classic it seemed like they were just adding the items AFTER they were buffed but on launch. This would make items in MC and even for some classes a ton of items in BWL useless for them even when those raids are current content because they got such strong stuff from dungeons. This would not be great for the game overall for obvious reasons. People want them to put the weak versions of the items in from the beginning to keep the raids relevant and then continue to buff them in the same timely fashion as they did Classic. It seems like tedious to ask for something like this but it is crucial.

    In today's blue post Blizzard addresses itemization as a whole.

    WoW Classic will only include that last version of the item, as it existed in our reference version: 1.12.

    When new items are added to loot tables, you’re generally seeing a deliberate effort to provide catch-up gear and/or to provide new goals for players who had exhausted an existing reward structure. For example, in original WoW, items were added to give players a way to quickly prepare for Ahn’Qiraj without having to spend months in Molten Core and Blackwing Lair.

    The changing of existing items in patches often illustrated the original design team responding to how players played the game. Their primary goal at the time was to make rewards more relevant and exciting. Developers realizing that Spirit probably wasn’t an ideal stat for a warrior raid set helm* was an example of this sort of change.
    So what can we take from this. Well it seems like they are not going full progressive itemization which is a shame. They admit that the items were buffed along the way as a catch-up mechanic to not force people into old outdated raids yet also seem to realize these items are going to be insanely strong for Classic launch and make raiding MC/BWL even more of a joke because everybody is going to out gear it before they even step foot inside.

    It’s important to remember that there’s more to WoW Classic than a long series of changes. Even if each item change could be made, and even if every class change could be progressively recreated, that would still only constitute a piece of the overall landscape of original WoW. We remember how early raid progression was punctuated by unexpected roadblocks and workarounds:

    - As far as we know, every one of the first Ragnaros kills was only possible due to a bug that made Lava Burst temporarily stop firing after a wipe.

    - Chromaggus was practically unbeatable due to Ignite Flesh unavoidably and lethally stacking on tanks, until it was discovered that Flamegor’s ramp in the laboratory allowed the entire raid to damage Chromaggus without being exposed to his breath attacks.

    - C’Thun was infamously seen as unkillable until a hotfix in April 2006 prevented additional tentacles from spawning while he was vulnerable.
    To me this is kind of moot. It seems like they are using these bosses being unkillable early on as an excuse to give the players roided out gear to counteract that. I think this is not the best way to look at it at all. Fix the bugs that caused these bosses to be too hard to kill instead of completely changing the whole landscape of item progression.

    So rather than try to recreate a specific experience from 2005 that can never fully be recaptured, our aim has been to accurately and fully restore the original game’s mechanics and stats to their final and most polished state from before The Burning Crusade. That mission has been a pillar of WoW Classic’s design from its inception.

    This means that while content will be unlocked progressively to allow for each raid tier to shine, systems such as class design, battleground mechanics, and stats on existing items will all be set to their final 1.12 conditions. That should take the pressure off players to be constantly figuring out what we might do next to remain exactly in line with how the game once played out, and we can all focus a little more on community building and enjoying the experience together.
    They make good points that a lot of the mystery if not all of the mystery is gone from Classic. The vanilla experience has been super min-maxed due to the private servers over the years. The internet is more accessible, websites will be providing more information than the vanilla days, and everything is just going to be easier because its 2019 and not 2005-2006. There is no denying this. It seems that they are using this reasoning along with 1.12 was the "pillar of WoW Classic's design from its inception." They seem to think since the content plan is accurate that it will counteract the items being the end game versions but I am not too sure about this personally. PvP 1.12 gear is insane so anybody who gets rank 12-14 is going to be max geared up until AQ 40 and some of their gear even Naxx, the last raid. And getting rank 14 will be available during MC.

    All in all not the best news but not the worst. What are your thoughts on progressive itemization and this news?
    Last edited by Kenneth; 04-26-2019 at 12:59 PM.

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  2. Thanks lilsniff (1 members gave Thanks to Kenneth for this useful post)

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