Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons

General Discussion
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Question: I hav Noticed with Archeoogy there are caster items x4 and one sword, for end game content. But nothing for Hunters?. Also i have noticed on the trash drops both for BWD and BOT there is nothing dropping on the trash for hunters. Now i dont keep track of all classses and i do think blizz does a fairly good job at distrubution, but was this an over sight perhaps? Also will we ever get a shot at a legendary bow or something close to it???
Thank You
Q: Are you planning to return to the original principle of designing the Tiers, when the sets were themed with the classes, not with the bosses that drop them? Do you have any plans to make the tier items visually different depending on your spec? - Анви (EU|Russian), Trafalgarlaw (Latin America)

A: We try and alternate the themes in order to keep things feeling fresh. Players can get bored if things feel too formulaic. The Firelands raid has a really strong theme, so the tier sets are based on the various creatures that live on the elemental plane: for example, fire spiders for the warlock set. Other tiers don’t have as strong a unifying theme so we go back to the classes for that. In the Call of the Crusade patch, we did faction-specific armor to solidify the military feel and Horde vs. Alliance rivalry.

Varying tiers depending on spec is a cool idea, but it does add more work to the individual armor which usually means we’ll get less of it. Color shifts are one option, but tend to already use all of those. We have more unique art these days than ever before, but the number of items overall has grown tremendously faster.
same thing to befall PvE. Bracers are hard to get now (though the trolls in 4.1 have a lot!), but next tier it might be a different item that becomes precious.


Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan), Vysha (NA/ANZ), Ráchel (EU|German)

A: As we said in an earlier Q&A, we definitely hear loud and clear from players that they want more customization for their character. This is something we want to provide, but we want to do it in the right way. Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.

We also think it's fair to argue that the game just needs more armor and weapon art. As we said above, we deliver a lot of art these days, but we also produce an enormous number of new items every expansion or patch and it’s understandably disappointing whenever items use the same art. It would be really cool if not every mage or priest converged on the same look after a given expansion or patch


I think this highlights some of the problems. While on one hand you say that we hear what the player base is saying about character customization and more unique looks, and you need to deliver more art and robust content, you still give us stuff like the call of the crusade tier where it all looked the same or in current content where armor drops look the same as tier. While I understand this is a business and new content has to come out to keep your player base, it to often feels like content is being rushed out and I for one wouldn't mind waiting extra time to see more robust content.
but understand that we have so many races now (and two sexes for all existing races) that the animations take more time to do right/well.


Hmmm....perhaps a hint that we might one day see a race in this game that doesn't have 2 sexes?
04/06/2011 07:14 AMPosted by Kaelthor
but understand that we have so many races now (and two sexes for all existing races) that the animations take more time to do right/well.


Hmmm....perhaps a hint that we might one day see a race in this game that doesn't have 2 sexes?

Tauren's shouldn't have females because they look stupid and Blood Elves all look like chicks so it's all good.
Q: Can we see gear won via need rolls become soulbound? - Lorinall (NA/ANZ)

A: Yes. We plan on implementing a system where winning an item via Need (when using the Dungeon Finder Need Before Greed loot system) will make a BoE item soulbound. We hope to have this working for the 4.2 patch.


This is a good change I think. one other thing I've run into is where the whole party (including myself sometimes) gets so used to clicking disenchant that everyone accidentally chooses DE on a BoE item - sometimes one aware person is able to salvage the situation by rolling need to preserve the item. That's the unideal solution - I wonder if it would be possible (or a good idea) to prevent DE rolls on BOE items (the alternative is another warning "Warning: you're about to roll DE on a BOE item" but I think warnings are generally probably overused (except Jim Gaffigan's "Warning! You just ate a hot pocket!" warning - that is timeless.
The Barber may not be a fun feature but I find it essential.

I have had characters that after leveling for a while I didn't feel the face belonged to the character and I was glad to be able to change it without having to restart from scratch.

For gear I think an appearance slot/tab would be the easiest way to go but I might be mistaken.
A: Our main goal is to offer the Legendary in both 10 and 25 without requiring say a 25-player raid to feel like they have to switch to running 10s for the sole purpose of Legendary fragment acquisition (and the same is true for 10s). Our plan is to make Legendary completion take longer to acquire in 10-player raids. The exact ratio will be somewhat obfuscated because of the variation in the amount of fragments dropped per boss based on both raid size and raid difficulty. However, you can plan on it being maybe 2 to 2.5 times faster for the 25-player raid. It should feel analogous to number of Valor points or gold dropped in 25s, and is being treated the same.


WTF, Why should it take longer in a 10 man group then a 25 man group to get this. Thats really messed up. I hate 25 mans and by this it means I'll have to do them to have a shot at the drop on any of my toons.
For the love of all that is good and holy, just copy DCUO's "style" tab, without color editing.

Dyes? Who would want dyes? WoW armor models are seldom plain enough that a single color change is going to work well. Dyes just sound like a silly distraction from an awesome possibility.

As things stand now, every piece of gear before endgame is disposable. We all level so fast that there's no time or reason to get attached to any single drop. Then you factor in the handful of possible heirlooms that won't be replaced until near max level, and you're left with little sentiment to invest in pre-endgame gear.

If players could chose to appear to be wearing any piece of gear which they have equipped in the past, it would breathe new life in to every bit of content in the game. Whether questing, raiding, or PvP, people of all levels would have incentive to chase that piece of gear that they just love the look of, because they'd know that look wouldn't end up eating a bank slot and only coming out when they have free bag space and free time to goof off in their favorite clothes.

Make it so.
04/05/2011 11:18 AMPosted by Drbad
It really disappoints me when they reference finances as a reason for not doing anything. At this point, I really don't think money should stop them from doing anything. They have enough money to do whatever they want.


They may have enough money to do whatever they want. Perhaps they dont want to waste money?
Q: Would it be possible for city quartermasters to sell the same equipment that guards wear? Stats wouldn't matter. - Pokemonmasta (EU|English), Tajit (NA/ANZ)

A: Cool idea. We'll talk about it.


Actually, I'd be even happier if I could select a display option that let me put a selectable (maybe only available once you get exalted faction with a city) city guard skin over whatever I was currently wearing, much like helm or cloak check boxes. Many times as a RPer on an RP-PVP server, I would like to be able to effectively "stand guard"... and I can't really do that without stat gear appropriate for my level and with the intent to PvP.

Seems to me this would require much less development time as all that would need to happen is existing city skins be fitted to whatever racial model the player was using. No new items to add to the database, etc.

If there are concerns about people not being able to see how well a character is geared, I mean, come on... enemy players already get to know our race, class, spec, health and mana pools with a simple mouseover. If they want to see my "real" armor, use the Armory!
Q: Would it be possible for city quartermasters to sell the same equipment that guards wear? Stats wouldn't matter. - Pokemonmasta (EU|English), Tajit (NA/ANZ)

A: Cool idea. We'll talk about it.


I hate to be "that guy," but this particular option might be my last straw.

Building look-alike sets is a lot of fun, and often challenging. If full NPC sets were available as loot, that would be awesome. As it stands, I think my outfit is the only 100% NPC replica outfit possible. I've tried and failed with others, so I'd love it if they were actually possible to complete.

Sticking them on some vendor like the existing vanity whites would take a lot of the appeal out of it for me, though. Maybe a piece or two, but I feel that a lot of a piece of gear's value is in the pursuit and whether or not you have the resolve to find it; even vanity gear.

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