THE DEATH OF ALL STATS
ONLY ITEM LEVEL MATTERS NOW
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.
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.