Cataclysm – Gearscore on Viagra

What’s YOUR Gearscore?

As I was standing in the scorching sun yesterday, bartending for a friend’s sister’s wedding, I thought to myself – “I can actually feel my brain cells cooking like oatmeal in a microwave.  There may be damage, and it could be permanent.  Also, what’s my name again?  Is that sweat or pee running down my leg?”

Clearly these were vital questions to consider.  Especially that pee thing.  For the record, it was sweat.  Still kinda disgusting.

Somewhere amidst all that heatstroke and brain damage, my synapses fired in the direction of World of Warcraft.  Maybe it was that giant sword I saw propped up against the tree (turns out it was an elderly man, my bad), but I began to reflect on a blue post I had heard mentioned involving the upcoming gear reset.

Cataclysm Gear much more powerful than WotLK’s
Since we’re only raising the level cap to 85 in Cataclysm, one of the goals is to pack as much content and gameplay as possible into the new 78-85 zones and dungeons. We don’t want the leveling experience from 80-85 to feel as if it’s only half of the content we’ve provided in the last two expansions. So, with that comes more substantial scaling of items and character power with each level gained. A level-82 character should feel significantly more powerful than a level-80 character, for example. There are some epic and legendary items from Wrath of the Lich King raid content which may take a while to replace, but chances are most of your gear will be replaced by the time you start running level-85 normal 5-player dungeons.

The first rule of thumb, as usual, is that you’ll probably be focused on the stats most important to your class. If you’re, say, an Unholy death knight, you probably won’t be replacing items until the strength on the new gear outweighs the strength on what is currently equipped, even with gems and enchants considered. By the time this occurs you’ll also likely be incorporating the benefits of Mastery rating.

[…] The concept is very much the same as the previous two expansions. We expect players leveling new characters in BoA gear, questing greens and maybe even some dungeon blues to be able to head into either of the first two Cataclysm zones at level 78 and do just fine. If you’re wearing mostly quest-reward items, you can expect to replace them very quickly in Vashj’ir or Mount Hyjal.

When WotLK released, people feared it would be the Great Gear Reset of BC.  Top shelf gear was being replaced by quest greens right out of the gate, and that had people, especially raiders, gnashing their teeth.   However, when Wrath did finally release, the gear replacement was much more gradual.  For people wearing purples, they could go quite a few levels without any kind of significant replacement.  The populace was happy (or at least, as happy as World of Warcraft players get) with their gear progression, and the raiders embraced their bloated Gearscore and hugged it tight.

Cataclysm is going to throw that all out the window.  Hello Burning Crusade release 2.0.

I took a peek at what’s going to be coming.  I think Zarhym needs to give his head a shake, because it’s not only quest-reward items getting replaced very quickly.  ICC Heroic 5-man drops are replaced be quest greens that can be obtained before players ever needed to run the Heroics.

Example:  I took a look at the Cataclysm Item List and right at the top is a green quest item, the Barnacle-Coated Greataxe.  It’s an Item Level 272 reward for the quest “Kliklak’s Craw“, which you can get at level 78. Conversely, the epic axe Herculano swings, the Tyrannical Beheader, is an Item Level 232 blade he picked up at level 80 from Scourgelord Tyrannus in Heroic Pit of Sauron.  Kinda hits you right between the eyes.

Just like that.

Now my brain could very well be done like dinner (I don’t always drool like this), but I think this information puts a bit of a damper on Wrath for everyone until Cataclysm, not just raiders.  Myself, I was trying to get some more Pit runs in to try and get another TB axe for Herc’s offhand.  It’s probably the best weapon you can get outside of raiding (and the Battered Hilt).  But after reading about the BC Greataxe, I don’t really care anymore.  I think it’s going to be the same for many non-raiders.  Why run the Heroics when you’re just going to replace the purples so quickly?  Why grind emblems to improve gear, when your Gearscore will feel all fat and meaty after knocking out a few quests upon Cata’s release?  You don’t need emblem gear to start out in Cata’s intro content, according to Zarhym.  What’s the motivation to get any of it now, before the expansion releases?

Raiding guilds are probably going to become ghost towns now, because people would rather chew glass than have to deal with nine or twenty-four other folks potentially standing in the fire, hours at a time, hundreds of gold in repair bills, for days and weeks on end, only to replace that purple within a few hours of playing Cataclysm.

Non-raiders have no motivation to deal with PUGs just to get emblems or gear for the same reason.

The rabbit sitting on my desk makes a good point.  Players have been waiting for the Cataclysm world events to start.  I think this information started the ball rolling, because it’s cataclysmic for people making their way through Wrath.

Cataclysm Bunnys says – “Always wear a hat on sunny days”

This is Herculano.  Don’t forget your sunscreen.


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About Donny Rokk

Gamer. Writer. Lover. Fighter. Defying stereotypes, one nerdgasm at a time.

Posted on July 3, 2010, in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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