Transmog Items I Want in Warcraft

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Just some looks I’d like to see added to WoW somehow, either as armors or purely cosmetic items!

Plague Doctor Costume

pdoc

I’m a big fan of the Plague Doctor in Darkest Dungeon. She’s pretty damn badass, and the mask has a basis in history; it’s not just for awesome looks. Back in t’day, it was believed putrid air was the cause of infection, rather than germs, and so actual plague doctors wore heavy, waxed fabric overcoats and a large mask with glass eyeholes, and a “beak” filled with scented substances and straw, to protect from the “miasmasmatic bad air” around them. Can you imagine a Pandaren dressed like this?! Awesome.

Matador

shin_megami_tensei_matador_by_plegathon-d4cuv4e

Yeah, not generic matador, but Boss Matador from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. With his badass hat, capote that could TOTALLY function as a cloak and his saber, he’d be a good look for my Warlock.

He’s hard as fuckin’ NAILS in the game he appears in. Like damn. MATADOR EVADES EVERYTHING. NO PRESS TURNS FOR YOU.

Archimonde

Archimonde-BC

Sure, sure, he drops the shoulders and his hat in Hellfire Citadel, but I want the bare-chestedness.

Now, there IS a quest reward that is an invisible leather chest, but it’s apparently STILL NOT TRANSMOGGABLE in the Legion Beta, and this is a TRAVESTY.

Speedwagon’s Hat

speedwagon

Just fucking look at it. It’s glorious. We need more top hats in game, especially black & white checked ones.

Also add new emotes to make our characters pose like a JoJo character.

pose

batmanjojo

Do it, Blizzard. Do it do it do it.

Just Anything Brightly Coloured

lillo

poundshopwig2

Okay so I’m angling for more pink here. Sue me. But it does feel like a lot of the tier sets recently have been either dark in colour, or pastel. I want GARISH. BRIGHT. Searing your eyes!

I mean, if you don’t like it, just mog over it, right?

Cool Leather Transmog Items

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With all the political drama going on in the world, it’s important to focus on the important things in life.

Important things like making Pandaren look fucking fabulous.

Over the weekend, I played on my Rogue, respecced her to Assassination for a bit of variety, then threw her into every raid instance from Molten Core onwards. I stopped after doing Bastion of Twilight and Throne of the Four Winds, mainly because I had to go to bed, but I will resume later on, most probably. The reason for all this?

TRANSMOG!

Her void storage and bank was relatively empty, and as I’m gonna play two leather-wearing classes in Legion (alongside my Warlock of course), I figured I’d get on with filling the wardrobe. Both Lunchi and Fujikomine would be able to benefit! Let’s have a look at some notable items!fuji1

This set is one of the Bind on Account transmog sets (The Thunderlord Set) you get from the Dwarven Bunker in exchange for Iron Horde Scraps. Her daggers are called Shard of Azzinoth, dropping from everyone’s favourite boss, Illidan Stormrage. The eyepatch, as you will no doubt gather, is the one mainstay I have on Fujikomine, and drops from Hurley Blackbreath in Blackrock Depths. It’s called Ragefury Eyepatch.

fuji2

Here we have the Sanctified Shadowblade Set from Icecrown Citadel. The chest, head, shoulders, gloves and legs are purchasable from the Rogue vendor at the start of the instance, and you “upgrade” those pieces using tokens gained from normal/heroic bosses. Here, I am using the ilvl 264 version of the set because I prefer the colour, but there’s a matching set both higher and lower in item level, of different colours.

The matching belt and boots you have to get from bosses. Professor Putricide drops the Astrylian’s Sutured Cinch waist piece, and Lord Marrowgar drops the boots, Frostbitten Fur Boots.

fuji3

The heroic Wind Dancer’s Set is another tier set, this time from Cataclysm. It’s the Bastion/Throne/Blackwing Descent tier, and it’s relatively easy to get thanks to Al’akir. Any token you DON’T get from the other bosses, you can use an Essence of the Forlorn to purchase instead, and on 25hc, Al’akir drops 3 of these lovely things. The waist is a seperate item, dropping from the Elementium Monstrosity in Bastion of Twilight. It’s called the Dispersing Belt.

fuji4

This slightly garish, terribly mismatched set isn’t a set, but some random items thrown together. The mask is the Bonechewer Skincloak (world drop), the shoulders are Runetotem’s Mantle from Lady Vashj, the chest is Vest of the Changing Heart (quest reward, Redridge, “His Heart Must Be In It”), the legs and feet are Leggings of the Lifetender and Boots of the Prolific Sire (Freya in Ulduar, Redridge Quest “Still Assessing the Threat”). Those gloves are the Lakeshire Gloves from a Redridge quest called “Surveying Equipment”, and the daggers are called Blade of Tarasque, from Icehowl in 25 Man Trial of the Crusader.

More random cool items?

fuji5

Now NONE of these match, and they’re not really meant to, I’m just highlighting a few favourites. The head item is probably the most well-known, the Cursed Vision of Sargeras which drops from Illidan Stormrage. Look like a Demon Hunter before the Demon Hunters become a thing!

The chest item is one of those skimpy armours I like so much, and is actually just as skimpy on the men too! It’s the Murkblood Chestpiece. Your best bet to getting this and other items in the Murkblood set is to kill things in Burning Crusade raids and dungeons, or just buy it on the Auction House. It’s never terribly expensive from my experience.

Those fancy-lookin’ white gloves are the Boneshredder Gloves which, again, drop from Burning Crusade mobs, so get grinding those old raids!

The dagger on the left is Soulscribe which is dropped by everyone’s favourite god of death himself, Yogg-Saron (25 man). The dagger on the left with the natty purple fire is Alysra’s Razor and is dropped, strangely enough, by Alysrazor in the heroic version of the Firelands.

Sometimes the best way to come up with a transmog set is to take one item you like then build around it, which is why I highlighted some of my favourites here. I’d recommend using the MogIt addon, which allows you to sort items by colour (among other things), so if you want to use those fluffy white gloves, but not the rest of the items in that set, you can find items that are similar in colour!

Maybe I’ll do another of these posts for the other armour types! But for now, what are YOUR favourite leather pieces?

EL FABULOSO

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Perhaps to avoid people getting the Fabulous achievement as soon as they log in, Blizzard made an update to the beta that saw the requirements for said achievement increase dramatically.

This is the most important change ever and so will be what I focus on today. Class changes? Who cares?! Not I!

Having copied my 3 most played characters over to the beta (Shokei the Warlock, Lillorigga the Warrior, and Lunchi the Monk), I was greeted with, well, everything bar the Fashionista: Shirt achievement, and that was only because said shirts were not yet soulbound.

shokeifab

So frankly I wouldn’t worry too much about these stringent 100/200 item requirements. At least shirts/tabards are reduced to 15!

Bear in mind I am a fairly active, rabid transmog item collector, and your mileage may vary. Still, I AM NOW THE FABULOUS.

The Ten Most Important Things About Legion

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Here I am again with another amazing list, this time of the KEY FEATURES of World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion, Legion.

WELL BOYS AND GIRLS, LET’S GET TO IT

1) FABULOUS

Yes, for collecting 25 looks for each piece of armor (including wrists, tabards and shirts, so GET COLLECTING) you get a title.

THE FABULOUS.

psw

Darling, we were born ready for this.

2) There are lots of Pandaren

Especially if you play as a Monk, damn! Taoshi (as a Rogue) and Taran Zhu, 2 of my top 3 Pandaren, pop up too!

3) Artifact Weapons

NO LONGER will I have to wait for like the last 2 fuckin’ bosses of a raid to drop my best weapons. Screw you Mannoroth, my Monk hates you.

ikralla

Also Demonology gets the best artifact because WARLOCKS GET THE BEST STUFF.

4) STORY UPHEAVAL

Things HAPPEN and people will cry! If you’ve seen spoilers, you know what I am talking about. Needless to say there’s gonna be a lot of character development.

Also we get to go to the Emerald Nightmare as a raid, so those of you who are excited about boring Druid stuff will be happy.

5) Stormwind Park

Finally, Varian’s sold enough BoE transmog items on the auction house to afford to throw money at the park to fix it. No more will there be a smouldering crater in the west of Stormwind!

What the frig took you so long?!

6) ♫ ♫ We’re going through change-e-e-e-e-es ♫ ♫

Demonology has been revamped entirely, Combat even changed its name to Outlaw, Discipline works a bit differently now, and Mistweavers are more about hard casting than channeling. Oh and there’s a new class, but they wear blindfolds all the time so I dunno how useful they’ll be.

The UI of a Demon Hunter.
The UI of a Demon Hunter.

7) Gul’dan

Gul’dan the man features heavily, as he rightly should. He’s pretty damn awesome, and don’t tell anyone but he has a pretty hot voice too.

It’s just so… deep… and growly… Rrrrrr!

guldan

Not gonna lie, he’s also probably the best villain in Warcraft as a whole. At least he’s upfront and honest about what he wants, and is happy to take a direct path to get it.

DRIIIIIIIIIIIINK

(I found that picture here!)

8) BAG SPACE?!

More items are becoming toys. You’ll get a wardrobe that allows you to save armor appearances so that you don’t have to hold onto them. There will be 32 and 34 slot bags! You’ll be able to solo an old raid without having to make several “I just need to step outside and summon my vendor mount” trips!

Unless you’re soloing Firelands. Damn that place drops a lot of rubbish. Though I suppose you can mount up and sell crap without having to leave the raid, so small mercies I guess.

9) Gnome Hunters

And mechanical pets! And hunters in general ’cause they can now tame Thok. Maybe Oondasta too, has anyone tried that? Go. Go now and try it.

10) It’s not Warlords of Draenor

Fuck Warlords, we’re ready for new stuff. Bring it on. We have demons, we have story, we have funky weapons and we get to punch Gul’dan in his pretty face. Give it to us!

Legion Beta: Demonology First Impressions

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So in my infinite luck I managed to win a beta key from Icy Veins, and I’ve been messing around with the new Demonology!

ikralla

Here’s Ikralla the Demonology Warlock, I’m Panda Steve, and these are my first impressions!

Aesthetics

The Skull of the Man’ari is a really cool little weapon. The floating skull is actually an offhand weapon, whereas the main hand weapon is a dagger called the Spine of Thal’kiel.

spine

Kinda wished it looked like an ACTUAL spine, y’know? But then again who am I to say what a Man’ari spine looks like?

The artifact quest is a fun lark that sees you join up with some familiar Warlocky faces, try to summon a demon, hijinks ensue, and you end up conquering a planet. All in a day’s work. You have chained-up demons as training dummies, huge infernals and demonic jailers wandering around, and the order hall is just generally pretty damn awesome.

The spec has seen a gigantic change from what it was in Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor, going from turning into a demon into summoning an army to besiege your foes, and it fits really well. Masters of demonic magics, it feels right that Demonology is capable of peerless summoning prowess. Going back to using Soul Shards doesn’t take much getting used to, and you never really feel starved of them.

Abilities

DISCLAIMER: My level is 100, my gear level is 689, I have 1 artifact ability that boosts Shadow and Fire damage by 5%. All of this is still in beta, so things are subject to change. Abilities may differ in numbers, or be changed in functionality, even removed completely, so with that, let’s start with…

itemlevel

  • Shadow Bolt‘s the same old, same old. It’s your filler, it does Shadow damage, and you’ll be casting it quite a lot as it’s your primary Soul Shard generator. At my gear level, it’s hitting for roughly 6,000 damage.

shadowbolt

  • Doom has a relatively uninteresting animation, but does a very large amount of damage (roughly 45k in the above mentioned gear). It also benefits from Pandemic, which means you can cast it with around 4-5 seconds remaining on the debuff without losing any damage (it’ll tick twice over the duration of Doom). If you were to doublecast Doom, then let it run out, the debuff would be 19 seconds, after 15 it would deal the full 45k, then after the remaining time runs out, it will deal a partial tick of around 17k.

doom

doomtick

  • Hand of Gul’dan now has no cooldown, but has a short cast time and hits an 8 yard area around your target. It costs a number of shards to cast (from 1 to 4), deals more damage the more shards you use to cast it (1 shard around 2.7k, 2 shards around 5.4k, 3 shards around 8.1k, 4 shards around 11k), and for every shard consumed, it summons a Wild Imp which throws roughly 7 fireballs dealing around 1k damage. It’s pretty cool to drop a meteor on your opponent.

handofguldan

  • Call Dreadstalkers is one of the new abilities for Demonology. It summons 2 of the aforementioned demons to attack your opponents for 12 seconds, on a 15 second cooldown. They hit for roughly 2.3k per hit, with an initial hit of around 10k each. They do about 9 attacks before they vanish, including that initial hit. They get some pretty nifty upgrades too when you pick the appropriate talents, but we’ll go over those soon!

summondreadstalkers

  • Demonic Empowerment boosts the health and haste of your demons by 50% for 12 seconds, as well as increasing their attack power based on your Mastery rating, so they hit harder and faster! The health boost directly buffs another ability, Thal’kiel’s Consumption. They also make your demons grow in size, so have fun with that, melee classes.

newmastery

demonicempowerment

  • Demonwrath is your baseline AoE spell. It causes all of your demons to pulse energy waves around them that damage anything within 10 yards for roughly 2.2k damage. It’s a channeled spell and hits 3 times, each time giving you a 15% chance to regenerate a Soul Shard! It’s also a form of movement DPS; if you need to move and you haven’t taken Shadowflame, or it’s on cooldown, you can channel this as you run! One thing to note is that each tick only hits an enemy ONCE; even if your foe is in range of 2 or more demons, they’re only hit by one pulse.

demonwrath

  •  Drain Life has mostly the same function as it does now. Channeled attack, hits 6 times, each hit doing around 1.9k damage, and healing you for 6x the amount (so roughly 11.3k per tick). Nothing overwhelmingly new here, though it seems to restore a lot more health than on live. That could just be my perception being off though!

drainlife

  • Thal’kiel’s Consumption is an ability you get from equipping your artifact weapon. It causes Thal’kiel to drain 10% of the life from all your active demons, then he fires a blast of Shadow damage at your target equal to the life he stole. The more total health your demons have, the more damage Thal’kiel’s attack will do, which means you should cast Demonic Empowerment before casting this spell! Currently has no discernible animation, but in the gif below, the second twitch from the Warlock cues a 66.5k hit; this is the hit from Thal’kiel. Has a 2 second cast time and a 45 second cooldown.

thalkielsconsumption

So these are your basic combat abilities. You throw out some Dreadstalkers on cooldown, build up shards to get a max damage Hand of Gul’dan, empower your demons so your pet skull can eat their health, build up shards with your filler, and make sure to replenish Doom at around 4 seconds remaining on the debuff. Overall, the spec has a nice ebb and flow to it; it doesn’t feel (DREAD PHRASE!) clunky like current Demonology.

But of course, this isn’t the full picture. We have other things to consider!

Talents

I’m only going to highlight certain talents here; ones that are majorly cool, or change things dramatically. This is primarily because PRETTY GIFS, but also because a lot of talents, while moved around, are functionally the same.

  • Shadowflame acts as another form of movement DPS, albeit on a cooldown.  It has 2 charges on a 14 second recharge time, is instant cast, deals an instant 7.5k damage, and puts on a DoT for 10.5k damage over 8 seconds, which can stack up to 3 times for triple the damage! It also generates a Soul Shard on each hit.

shadowflame

  • Impending Doom summons a Wild Imp whenever Doom deals damage. It ties in really nicely with a talent two tiers down called Hand of Doom, which makes Hand of Gul’dan apply Doom to anything it hits. Great for adds that are both clumped together, and will live at least 15 seconds. Lots of imps!

impendingdoom

  • Improved Dreadstalkers is on the same tier as the aforementioned Impending Doom, and is infinitely cooler in terms of aesthetics, because it changes Summon Dreadstalkers to also summon 2 Wild Imps. That’s not the cool thing though:
THE IMPS ARE RIDING THE DREADSTALKERS!!!
THE IMPS ARE RIDING THE DREADSTALKERS!!!
  • Trouble is, that talent tier has a THIRD awesome talent, Implosion. It makes all your Wild Imps fly towards a target and explode for about 26k damage to everything within 8 yards. It also looks awesome.

IMPlosion

  • Summon Darkglare is in the final talent tier, and is another talent that synergises well with Hand of Doom. It summons a giant eyeball thing that fires 7 eye lasers (each dealing around 7.2k damage) over the course of 12 seconds. Why does it work well with Hand of Doom? Because it only fires the lasers at targets you have inflicted with Doom! Drop a Hand of Gul’Doom on a clump of enemies and watch the Darkglare make short work of them all!

darkglare

  • The last talent I’ll focus on is Demonbolt, which is in the same tier as Summon Darkglare. It replaces Shadow Bolt, deals the same base damage and still restores a Soul Shard when cast, so what’s the big deal? Well, for every demon you have summoned, it deals an extra 20% (roughly 1,200) damage! It also looks a lot prettier than Shadow Bolt.

demonbolt

Conclusions

So yeah, new Demonology has a nice flow, it has the BEST artifact, but most importantly? It’s HELLA FUN, and surely that’s what matters most? Any bugs so far?

  • As mentioned, Thal’kiel’s Consumption doesn’t have any animation attached to it.
  • He doesn’t yell nearly as much as I’d like😛

gnawthem

He DOES yell occasionally though! I think he did this one when I used Summon Dreadstalkers! I like a little bit of flavour.

 

Another Day, Another Mild Controversy

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lillo

In news that surprises nobody, a small controversy happened this morning. Changes will happen and WE HATE CHANGE.

specchange

Yes, changing spec would have cost a trivial amount of gold in Legion for frequent changers, and people made such a damn fuss, despite the fact that you can easily get even the high-end of that gold scale from selling a weapon or two from Firelands. We’re not talking masses of work here, yet “BUT MAH GOLD” won out, and now it’s changing.

Spec changes are free! TALENT changes are not, at least if you’re mishing out in the wilds of Azeroth.

You know, the things that you’re most likely gonna be changing a hell of a lot MORE than your spec, due to how the talents sharpen a particular niche? Want great single target, take talents X Y and Z. AoE, take A B and C. Cleave, take J K and M. You’d be expected to change talents quite often depending on the fight’s demands, and now that’s gonna cost you! Sort of!

moneyfan

If the need to change talents arises, you have a couple of options.

  1. Interrupt whatever it is you’re doing and hearth back to your home location, wherever that may be. This will allow you to change talents for free, then you can begin the long slog back.
  2. Utilize an Inscription consumable that allows you to change talents for a brief period of time.

That second one is not really looking to be a likely thing though:

The Inscription consumable as currently planned would be something that anyone could drop, not a profession-requiring item like a Jeeves. But, in terms of the materials required, we’re thinking of something that’s more aimed at groups, and probably not the sort of thing an individual is likely to carry a stack of and use freely.

Watcher

Now, I don’t mind a cost to change talents. Technically, we HAVE that already, thanks to the Tome of the Clear Mind items we all lug around with us. But bear with me a minute.

Who will this affect?

Raiders, mostly. While I only speak from my experience, I find that I don’t change talents when I’m dicking around Tanaan Jungle, or when I’m levelling up. I pick whatever talent I need and generally stick with it. Now, perhaps I’m in the minority here and other people are changing talents on an almost constant basis while they level up/engage in solo content, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they don’t.

If you raid, though, you’ll probably be expected to change talents often depending on the fight. Different fights will require different things from different people/classes.

talentz

As an example I’ve taken the Demonology Warlock. Talents highlighted in red are more AoE-based, and would be taken in a fight that needs strong AoE (to use a Hellfire Citadel example, Hellfire Assault, or Xhul’horac). The yellow talents in the same tiers are more single target-based, as Demonbolt is a single target spell, and Improved Dreadstalkers helps power up those Demonbolts, with Power Trip potentially giving you more shards for more Dreadstalkers/Imps. The green talents are situational ones. You’d take Shadowflame if a fight requires you to move a lot ( like Archimonde) and Impending Doom in a fight with long-lived adds, or in a cleave fight (Hellfire Council, or Xhul’horac again).

I’d argue that this was okay though. The talent change item is apparently going to have a group-based cost, so if you’re in a regular raiding team, you’re gonna be largely unaffected, you’ll just have to funnel mats to your scribe(s) once in a while. It does hurt PUGs a little bit though, and I’m counting dungeon finder and LFR in that group. If you’re running with a bunch of random (and let’s face it, often bastardy) people you’re never gonna see again, you might well be reticent to dump out what may well be a very expensive item to craft willy nilly.

It also affects people with the Inscription profession. Prepare to see business BOOM!

lishoe

What could be done instead?

Just throwing out some ideas here!

  • Talents cost GOLD to change. A trivial amount, like 5g, easily attainable, acts as a bit of a gold sink too?
  • Keep the current system. Carry a big ol’ stack of Tomes of the Clear Mind-like items, after all it’s only 1 bag slot. Maybe make it an Inscription-only item and remove it from NPC vendors, so the profession still has relevance?
  • Talents are FREE TO CHANGE! This kinda goes against their stated philosophy of “we want meaningful choices” though.
  • Have an ability that, when activated, clears all your talents and lets you reselect them. The ability has a 15+ minute cooldown.
  • I… have no other ideas. I’ve been up since 3am and I am frazzled. Do YOU have any ideas? Let me know!

Panda Steve’s Personal Opinion

As mentioned, I don’t see how it’ll affect general out-in-the-world questing. I tell you what, I don’t think I’ve changed talents on my Warlock since I hit level 100 way back when, and as far as questing in Legion goes, I think that’ll stay the same. You’re never that far away from a potential hearthstone location, so one will be easy enough to find if you really need to change talents.

It’ll mainly affect raiders, and again organised raid teams will be able to make craploads of the Inscription item, just like they do with potions, flasks, feasts etc, with PUGs and dungeon/raid finder peoples inconvenienced most.

I also think people need to take a fucking step back and realize that lashing out, threatening and crying constantly about things will mostly have no effect, and sometimes make things worse.

No matter what the track record to the contrary says.

ilvl 720+ link curve

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lilloCONTROVERSY

THE DEATH OF ALL STATS

ONLY ITEM LEVEL MATTERS NOW

newStatsPane

So as you can see above (image courtesy of MMO Champion) the character panel has changed slightly. Whereas before, it showed everything even if it wasn’t relevant to you, now it shows only the stats you should care about. It shows your tertiary stats too if they are present on your gear, but doesn’t if they aren’t. Snazzy little change!

(It’s important to note, however, it’s not showing Spell Power for intellect users, and I assume Attack Power for others. I think this should change personally)

It’s dumbing the game down!

No it’s not. The stats you have now are still in the game (bar Multistrike), it’s just not showing stuff that isn’t relevant to the class/spec you are playing. Mages don’t need Strength, why show them what that stat is? The displayed numbers are rounded, but you can hover over them to show you to specific decimal places, as well as the flat number of the stat present on your gear (I assume after passive ability modifiers).

That’s not my major point today, however,

It makes item level so prominent! They’re making it the most important thing!

*sigh* Here’s where I take potshots at everyone and everything.

Item level is a barometer, it’s one of many factors that decide the power of a character. It’s prominent probably because of the emphasis people put on it. Before item level was a thing and displayed in-game, you had gear score and it functioned much the same as ilvl does now, despite being largely invisible and calculated by external addons.

“720+ no scrubs”

Having a high item level is an indication of roughly how you will do in a fight. The higher the item level, the higher your DPS/HPS will theoretically be. Of course, this doesn’t take into account many, many factors, such as:

  • Your spec: It’s all well and good saying you should pull 80k DPS on a fight, but what if you’re playing as a Destruction Warlock, and have to move a lot? Your DPS will suffer for it, a lot more than a Beast Mastery Hunter, who can perform all of their rotation while on the jog.
  • Your secondary stats: Fantastic, you’re a Fire Mage with 740+ item level! You’re still HEAVILY dependent on having Critical Strike on your gear, and if you got unlucky enough with your secondary stats that you’re sitting barely above default? DPS will suffer.
  • Skill level: It’s all well and good being of a high item level, but if you die because you stand in fire, that’s DPS/healing you’re not doing.
  • Arrogance: “wtf this is only LFR/Normal/Heroic, mechanics don’t matter here!” Yes they do, my lovely.
  • Can you do effective DPS? Best way to explain this is with the Paragons fight from Siege. 9 bosses, 3 at a time, looks like an AoE/cleave fight, but actually is a single target fight because when one dies, the others restore their health and buff their damage. It’s easy for a Shaman to spam Chain Lightning and top the DPS meters, but only 33% of it is effective DPS because they’re attacking 2 targets they shouldn’t be*.

And so on and so forth. People are at the point now where generally, people know Hellfire Citadel inside out, and because they want to grab tier pieces, class trinkets and ring upgrades, people generally don’t want to take people still learning the fights. That’s all well and good, people are free to advertise their raid groups (or ANY group) however they feel like.

However!

It also creates this weird thing where people who may not have a regular raiding team are stuck at a particular item level range of roughly 690 to 710 or so, who can’t get into groups because they’re asking for 720+ to steamroller through fights. They can’t get into groups with their “low” item level, yet need to get into groups to increase it. They want to get Ahead of the Curve, yet need it to get into a group.

“But they can do Mythic dungeons”

Yeah, about that. Increasingly I am seeing groups who, again, want to steamroller through things to farm Valor points for gear/ring upgrades, and so again they ask for higher item levels than the instances even drop, gear-wise. They want speed, they want no screw-ups, they want to be in and out, and don’t have the patience for “fucking slack dps” and what not.

Who is to blame for this situation? Well, everybody and nobody, in a way.

The people who placed a high emphasis on gear score way back when, when it was an intangible number calculated by some addon started it, to be sure. Blizzard then displayed item levels on gear, and slowly this became the de facto way of judging the “worthiness” of a player. Never mind that someone with high item levels can ignore important stuff that wipes groups, or have just bought their way to high gear (either from the auction house, black market auction house, or from carry runs) and so don’t know how any fights work, they have a high item level, they MUST be good!

It’s prominent because YOU MADE IT SO.

*there ARE classes that benefit from a little bit of cleave. Off the top of my head, Destruction Warlocks benefited from throwing down Rain of Fire and having Immolate up on three targets, because it generated Burning Embers that they could then pour into their Chaos Bolts on their primary DPS target, but this is pretty much the exception, Paragons was a single target fight masquerading as an AoEfest.