10- & 25-Player Raid Loot Changes – Patch 5.2

General Discussion
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Wonderful change
Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that’s 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

This new item designation is being added for a couple reasons, but first and foremost to make loot drops more interesting overall, especially after you have earlier bosses in Throne of Thunder on farm. As you’re working on progression, those first few bosses can now continue to provide a chance at upgrades, making repeated kills potentially more exciting and rewarding. Those additional upgrades can then help to slowly raise power, and boost you over whatever progression roadblock you may hit.

We’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25s, we’ve seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn’t surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It’s unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don’t want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we’re also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds—if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel—would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

It’s important to keep in mind that this only affects 10- and 25-player Normal and Heroic raids, and tier-15 armor pieces won’t be available in Thunderforged quality at all. We’re curious to hear your thoughts about these changes, and what you think once you begin seeing them on the PTR.

Do the developers really think this is going to solve anything, or are they just trying to blow smoke up our skirts? Sounds like a ploy to get people to shut up in my opinion.
01/23/2013 09:11 AMPosted by Ovan
Fixing realm pop issues would be a start.
So highly populated realms have an abundance of 25m raid teams?
Drop of 25 mans could be due to a realm's population and it's lack of.
01/23/2013 09:13 AMPosted by Oatz
Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

They already do. This just increases that effect. In 25m loot is much more likely to be used, plus the ratio of loot to players is higher than 10m.

If you're going to go this route, at least have 10man drop 3 pieces instead of 2 (or perhaps 3 pieces on tier bosses, like it was in FL).

Even more RNG on top of RNG, that messes with ilvl that will make it even harder to find/get into a solid 25 group unless you already have "thunderforged" stuff? No thanks. The loot drama from these will be amusing though.
I like this idea and the intent behind it. I do think it will be atrociously misinterpreted by the general population, however. The mindset seems to be 'there are two weapons I can get from this instance, one of them is better so until I get that one I'm being screwed'. Can't give people a free chance at something better (e.g. slight chance that the weapon dropping is 6 ilevels higher, or slight chance for bonus loot from Elder Charms) without them complaining that whatever you just gave them, it isn't good enough.

Additional comment on the ilevels for LFR drops - I think 502 is too high. It's equivalent to heroic MV gear, and I can see the hardcore raiders feeling 'forced' into LFR again for progression in cases where someone got unlucky and never got the heroic version of a certain piece of gear (or if the 5.2 LFR piece is better itemized for their spec than the current item they have at the same ilevel).
Something else I wanted to ask, Crithto: How does Ra-den loot factor into this? The last time we had a heroic-only boss was Sinestra. She dropped 379 gear, compared to the 372 item level other heroic bosses dropped.

Will Ra-den drop 542 (7 ilvls above 535) gear with a chance at 548 Thunderforged loot? Or will all his loot just be fixed at Heroic Thunderforged level (541), with no chance of higher level loot than that being dropped?
01/23/2013 09:00 AMPosted by Crithto
You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502

Can I have my 300K back from the BMAH buying 502 heroic level items that I assumed would be better than LFR gear?
Depending on the chance percentage of the reforged thunder, I wonder how this will effect the direct progression path on 10 vs 25 now.

needless to say, an interesting change.
So now everyone is going to pass on loot and wait for BiS TF pieces. Fantastic idea.
I like the idea of the higher chance of the Thunderforged pieces dropping on 25man. I'm not so sure I'm going to like this implementation considering the recurring gold costs to upgrade items that require the legendary quest items. I also don't think this will be a good idea if the upgrade NPCs come back in 5.3. I forsee a ton of VP being wasted on items that get upgraded due to this.

For example, if sha-touched weapons continue to exist in 5.2's raid.. the normal-mode version of the gun is better than my current 517 gun. 10k gold to use it. This cost then applies to the thunderforged piece if I get that before the boss dies on heroic.. as well as both of those charges again on heroic. On top of that, if my guild were to kill the boss on heroic with item upgrades re-enabled in 5.3, I'm looking at wasting 1500 to 3000 VP. :/
01/23/2013 09:07 AMPosted by Daerioz
This will not help bring back 25s.

Right now, with this iteration of the idea, I'm in this camp. I don't think the slightly higher drop chance will make much of an impact.

I mean, we all remember Crystallized Firestones don't we?
My one question is how many per bosses will items have a chance to be thunderforged?

Hypothetically speaking, say a boss had 13 items that can drop from him. He doesn't drop any tier. How many of those 13 items would be marked that they can be thunderforged? All 13? only 4 of those 13? etc.

I'm also curious about the chance of the Thunderforged tag appearing? Is it a 30% chance an item will get a Thunderforged tag while in a 25-man raid, and only a 15% chance that an item will get a Thunderforged tag in 10-man? If this is correct; am I correct about the following

10 man - 2 items; 30% chance per boss to see a Thunderforged item
25 man (non-tier boss) - 5 items; 150% chance per boss to see a Thunderforged item
25 man (tier boss) - 2 items; 30% chance per boss to see a Thunderfored item.

Granted the 15%/30% chance are hypothetical but am I on the right track?
This feels like what happened in Firelands. And that system was good.

If a Crystallized Firestone stopped, it was a cool bonus upgrade to an item. I do hope my previous comment in regards to Heroic Upgraded T15-Thunderforged vs. Normal Tier 16 ilvl is addressed though.

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