The Infinite Gear Treadmill...

General Discussion
[Let's talk a little bit about bonus forging.]

Every good RPG I can think of, at its very core, has some sort of gear treadmill. Every single one of them. You continue to play until you beat the game and have the best state of gear you can have.

In all of these RPGs, this end state of gear is attainable, and does not require absurd luck to reach. In Witcher 3, the best items in the game are a mix of crafted gear (the School sets) and quest rewards. Dragon Age; Inquisition's best gear is all crafted, and the best materials aren't random, they're rewarded from slaying Dragons. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Electric Boogaloo Deluxe Golden Legendary edition, much like the previous games mentioned, have end states of gearing, that being fully enchanted Daedric, Glass, or Dragonbone armor that you - the player - can craft.

In these games, player agency over the time and effort they put in rewards what they get out, and these games are some of the most successful of their time in the genre that they fill.

However, these traits do not solely extend to single player RPGs. Elder Scrolls Online has an end state of gear, and can be farmed on every character for the account to promote alt character growth. Even the random traits on the gear can - for a price - be re-rolled to the traits you desire for the highest level Veteran Trials. The account-bound rather than character-bound gearing system aside, there is, in fact, an end state you can reach. And while the drops are random, the gear's power as it drops is not out of your control.

World of Warcraft, believe it or not, also had an end state of gearing at one point in time. Prior to Patch 5.2, gear that dropped, dropped as it would be. There was no chance for bonus forging, there was no chance for extra sockets, there was no chance for extra stats. If it dropped and your Loot Council awarded you the item, that was it. You earned it. Prior to Mists of Pandaria, you could even reforge the stats on it to better compliment your build, however, that isn't the point of this thread.

Sockets were set. Stats were set. The power of each piece was set. And the game was better for it. Thunderforging, introduced in Throne of Thunder, was - at the time - seen as a good move. While the purpose behind this new system was questionable (if you're really stuck for 9 weeks on Tsulong, I'm fairly sure that you could just, instead, gradually nerf the raid weekly, as was done in Icecrown Citadel and Dragon Soul), it wasn't considered a bad move because it would assist in the re-invigoration of the 25 man raiding scene.

But that's where the problems began.

As each new expansion has been launched, elements of gear that were previously guaranteed have now been put to chance. Sockets are now a chance. The stats on the gear are chance. The power of the loot itself is always a chance. And now, the potential power of each drop is limitless relative to the highest power in the game. Titanforging broke the 6 item level cap that warforging in Warlords had brought. That ring you wanted from Waycrest Manor dropped and didn't titanforge? Better keep rerunning it until you manage to get that one in a thousand lucky 395 item level roll, and hope you're lucky enough for a socket to boot.

Do not mistake my argument. There is an end state for gear in Battle for Azeroth, but that end state is not achievable through any level of effort. It is entirely up to luck. Sure, one in one million players might somehow manage to reach 394 item level with sockets on every conceivable piece, but it is not logical to assume everyone can get there with time investment. It is an endless treadmill whereas other games have long prior set reasonable standards.

Some have, as a consequence, decided that they don't even want to start running on the treadmill if the end goal isn't something they can achieve.

Azerite vendors are a start. Vendors give us control back. But why have you, Blizzard, created a game with a loot system that is arguably the worst in the market? Wrath and Pandaria didn't have that level of ridiculousness attached to their gearing systems, and they were widely reported as the best expansions this game has seen. Why are sockets up to chance? Why isn't effort equivalent to reward?

Titanforging needs to go. It isn't a case of jealousy. It isn't a statement born of a sense of "elitism", as these forums are so wont to cite. It is an unhealthy system that is killing the game slowly but surely.

TL;DR, remove Titanforging, and make sockets on items guaranteed again.

Thank you for your time.
Preach. It's definitely a problem
there's this little thing called "self control" that keeps most people from obsessively doing something without any real benefit. getting a 395 with a socket and leech on every piece of gear you get is irrationally the standard by only certain mythic raiders. i have one titanforge on this warlock, i'm pretty sure. 355 gloves. i could spam wafronts or low level mythics all day long hoping for better but i decided that once i reached at least 340 in each slot that my set was done until the gear reset happens. you too can make an ilevel based decision based on what you actually think you'll conceivably get and then earn that set and then be happy with what you've got. it's not blizz that is making the game miserable for you because of tf. it's you. and only you.
10/24/2018 05:19 PMPosted by Jalen
Preach. It's definitely a problem


I'm just hoping that Blizzard's dev team understands this much as well.
How many players only play for the purpose of getting BiS gear, at which point they will declare that they "won" or "beat the game" or something and quit until the next hamster wheel comes up?

Should the game really be catering exclusively to that crowd, who apparently doesn't like much about the game besides the brass ring at the end of the gear grind?
10/24/2018 05:24 PMPosted by Dekkar
there's this little thing called "self control" that keeps most people from obsessively doing something without any real benefit.


You're right. That 'self control' manifests most often as people unsubbing from the game.

10/24/2018 05:24 PMPosted by Dekkar
getting a 395 with a socket and leech on every piece of gear you get is irrationally the standard by only certain mythic raiders.


It's not a "standard", there's a feeling of accomplishment when you finally get your best in slot. Titanforging destroyed the concept of best in slot.

10/24/2018 05:24 PMPosted by Dekkar
it's not blizz that is making the game miserable for you because of tf. it's you. and only you.


You're right, so the logical conclusion would be to unsubscribe. But I don't want to do that. I have friends here, and I love this game. I only wish that the loot system wasn't such a tumor on it.

10/24/2018 05:25 PMPosted by Jelybeantoes
How many players only play for the purpose of getting BiS gear, at which point they will declare that they "won" or "beat the game" or something and quit until the next hamster wheel comes up?

Should the game really be catering exclusively to that crowd, who apparently doesn't like much about the game besides the brass ring at the end of the gear grind?


I think you underestimate how much time it took to get full best in slot even before titanforging, but at least it was reasonable.
if you're gonna unsub because you got a 385 weapon with no socket and it's causing such emotional turmoil it's causing you to give up what has always essentially been a time sink (wow) because that's what broke the camels back for you. then enjoy other games for a while. you can always come back later if you so choose. your BiS is the raid items or mythic+ items at the level you want. pick 385 for example. that's the base set. get 385 in all slots and you're g2g. obsessing over something that is never gonna happen (full mythic tf) isn't healthy for you. why do you think you NEED the tf anyway?
You mean this treadmill that has existed since the day WoW launched?
10/24/2018 05:36 PMPosted by Dekkar
if you're gonna unsub because you got a 385 weapon with no socket and it's causing such emotional turmoil it's causing you to give up what has always essentially been a time sink (wow) because that's what broke the camels back for you.


You resort to comments such as these instead of defending why titanforging should exist. Give me some solid proof of titanforging being healthy for the game. I challenge you.

10/24/2018 05:36 PMPosted by Dekkar
then enjoy other games for a while. you can always come back later if you so choose.


Spoiler warning; most people who unsub never come back. If they do, it's temporary.

10/24/2018 05:36 PMPosted by Dekkar
your BiS is the raid items or mythic+ items at the level you want. pick 385 for example. that's the base set. get 385 in all slots and you're g2g. obsessing over something that is never gonna happen (full mythic tf) isn't healthy for you. why do you think you NEED the tf anyway?


It's not a matter of need. It is a matter of want. Humans are psychologically driven to want more. You get a decent paying job and can live comfortably, sure, but there's always that niggling sense of "I can have more. I can work to get more." Sure, you don't need it, but humans thrive on accomplishment and goal setting. But when effort stops rewarding you, the effort you put in stops too. You find a better job, a better employer. You find a better game. And at this rate? It's realistically only a matter of time before that better game finally does come around.

10/24/2018 05:38 PMPosted by Snikrot
You mean this treadmill that has existed since the day WoW launched?


10/24/2018 05:15 PMPosted by Lilithyra
World of Warcraft, believe it or not, also had an end state of gearing at one point in time. Prior to Patch 5.2, gear that dropped, dropped as it would be. There was no chance for bonus forging, there was no chance for extra sockets, there was no chance for extra stats. If it dropped and your Loot Council awarded you the item, that was it. You earned it.
I wish to have a bis list, work towards getting all of the gear, and being able to stop worrying about gear until the next patch. If you keep moving the goal post, people will tell like it's pointless and just give up.

At this point, I accept the fact that I will never get bis. I just aim to get geared enough for mythic progression
10/24/2018 05:43 PMPosted by Bigmouse
I wish to have a bis list, work towards getting all of the gear, and being able to stop worrying about gear until the next patch. If you keep moving the goal post, people will tell like it's pointless and just give up.


That could very well be added to the tl;dr too.
You're right. That 'self control' manifests most often as people unsubbing from the game.


THANK YOU, people need to understand the the people "obsessed" will just play a different game when they don't perceive a fulfilling progression path.

10/24/2018 05:38 PMPosted by Snikrot
You mean this treadmill that has existed since the day WoW launched?


In vanilla a BoE Wand with the right stats was BiS all the way into BC. A world full to the brim with magic and power like azeroth should have fun and unique items, not items that are just shuffled vesions of eachother +/- a socket or 1.5% leech.
Blowing it way out of proportion saying it's killing the game. There's just an RNG softcap on gear and no real attainable hardcap. We'd probably be better off with forging being something you farm and craft on to gear, but of course that would lead to Blizzard restricting it with a timegate because if you set a clear goal people will grind for it even if it takes longer than grinding warforges with sockets on every piece, and then the people that can't afford to spend that much time grinding will complain.

So we would end up with another weekly chore to slowly make our way towards BiS gear. At least forging discourages hard farming for it but you can still farm and maybe get lucky if you want to.
10/24/2018 05:47 PMPosted by Kirvin
Blowing it way out of proportion saying it's killing the game.


Am I though? Am I really?

There's just an RNG softcap on gear and no real attainable hardcap. We'd probably be better off with forging being something you farm and craft on to gear, but of course that would lead to Blizzard restricting it with a timegate because if you set a clear goal people will grind for it even if it takes longer than grinding warforges with sockets on every piece.


That'd still be better than the current "pull the slot machine lever" system every time you loot an item, since you'd... you know... have control over it.
then unsub. btw i've unsubbed a quite a few times when the game was going a way i didn't like.

three most recent examples:

i unsubbed for almost all of MoP because i hated the dailies to be able to have rep to buy items. i only came back at the end. because one of my best friends told me it was getting better. and that timeless isle was a thing and i could level and gear my toons with little hassle. so i did.

i unsubbed during WoD until they decided to add flight back into the game. i didn't do WoD pathfinder though (i've done the other two) because i was so annoyed that i wouldn't be able to just pay gold to get flight. and you didn't really need to leave your garrison either. there were no WQ or anything else fun to do.

the third time i unsubbed was when argus came out. i unsubbed for 5 months as i thought it was total bs that i had JUST earned flight and they made a mandatory (for casuals gearing) zone that was no flight. i came back at the end of legion and boosted my warrior with my pre-order stuff. (and i've since leveled him to 120) and had fun doing that.

not everyone that leaves is throwing a tantrum and swearing to never come back. some of us don't agree with certain things and unsub until they're fixed. eventually it's all fixed. if blizz decides that tf is harming the game it too will be fixed. only they can decide that though.
10/24/2018 05:50 PMPosted by Dekkar
btw i've unsubbed a quite a few times when the game was going a way i didn't like.


Spoiler warning; most people who unsub never come back. If they do, it's temporary.


So you're proving my point.

10/24/2018 05:50 PMPosted by Dekkar
not everyone that leaves is throwing a tantrum and swearing to never come back. some of us don't agree with certain things and unsub until they're fixed. eventually it's all fixed. if blizz decides that tf is harming the game it too will be fixed. only they can decide that though.


And you're conceding that you cannot disprove my point.
10/24/2018 05:27 PMPosted by Lilithyra
10/24/2018 05:25 PMPosted by Jelybeantoes
How many players only play for the purpose of getting BiS gear, at which point they will declare that they "won" or "beat the game" or something and quit until the next hamster wheel comes up?

Should the game really be catering exclusively to that crowd, who apparently doesn't like much about the game besides the brass ring at the end of the gear grind?

I think you underestimate how much time it took to get full best in slot even before titanforging, but at least it was reasonable.

Not at all, I think you are.

Mythic raiders I know can tell you in every expansion which piece of BiS gear it was that they never got, and which ones they got duplicates on bonus rolls that their teammates desperately wanted but never got.
10/24/2018 05:53 PMPosted by Jelybeantoes
Not at all, I think you are.

Mythic raiders I know can tell you in every expansion which piece of BiS gear it was that they never got, and which ones they got duplicates on bonus rolls that their teammates desperately wanted but never got


But when it dropped, it dropped. There was no single thought of, "ah, man, it didn't bonus forge." They equipped it and smiled all the way through raid because they finally got it.
Am I though? Am I really?
Yes.
10/24/2018 05:49 PMPosted by Lilithyra
That'd still be better than the current "pull the slot machine lever" system every time you loot an item, since you'd... you know... have control over it.
Probably. Blizzard likely won't change it though. Lots of games have similar RNG softcaps and in the case of WoW it doesn't even make that big of a difference. The main place it did was weapons and that got nerfed. If you play a lot you will likely have some good bonuses from TF.

Not to mention you just listed a bunch of singleplayer games where you weren't even right for half of them...
10/24/2018 05:50 PMPosted by Dekkar
btw i've unsubbed a quite a few times when the game was going a way i didn't like.


Spoiler warning; most people who unsub never come back. If they do, it's temporary.


So you're proving my point.

10/24/2018 05:50 PMPosted by Dekkar
not everyone that leaves is throwing a tantrum and swearing to never come back. some of us don't agree with certain things and unsub until they're fixed. eventually it's all fixed. if blizz decides that tf is harming the game it too will be fixed. only they can decide that though.


And you're conceding that you cannot disprove my point.


lets say i was unsubbed for a year and a half out of the last... 2012 was when MoP was released? so lets say i've been subbed 4.5 years out of 6ish years. they've gotten my money more than they haven't. the fact we're even having this discussion so much later is all the proof you need. i came back when they fixed it. lots of people do. and many more will play wow classic when it's released. i don't care about classic but it's giving people like you the option to game the way you want to. and to stop trying to ruin the game with your ridiculous threats to leave. you know i have never once made a thread threatening to leave? i just did it. i didn't try to hold the game hostage. i just went about my way. and the people i play with knew. that's all that i cared about. i am not up on a horse trying to say what is and isn't good for the game. most people have more self control than you apparently do. you are part of a TINY minority. you're grandstanding acting like it's gonna cost millions of subs. it won't. there are more casuals getting 360s from warfronts where it's like christmas for them and they want to keep playing. the vast majority of the game is casuals. we pay the bills. it's a treat for us. when have you ever seen someone who is a casual come to gd and say "man i don't like how i have to grind warfronts to try to get 360ish gear and i just can't take it i'm unsubbing!"

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