I was just reflecting on gear and some of my favorite items in the MMOs I’ve played. I think the recipe for valuing the gear is how long or what was involved to get it, what fun thing it does and how long it stays valuable.
I’m trying to think of what item would be considered my favorite of all time, throughout all the MMOs I played…
It wasn’t a weapon since they tend to be a little less exciting, just more damage or faster swings. Most don’t really have a cool proc on them.
It wasn’t armor, though there were a few out there that would have been cool to have like the chest plate armor that gave you invis in EQ1.
I think I have to go with the Levitation Cloak in Vanguard.
Well, the quest to do it took some time but it was possible to do solo. Unfortunately it was a dull brown color but it had a clickable levitate effect (there was a cloak in EQ1 that had a permanent levitate effect though I never aquired it). The effect was simple and let me run across water/oceans while mounted. It let me jump down from high heights. And it added something to my character’s abilities that he didn’t have through his racial or class abilities so that is always a plus.
Runner’s up would have to be an item we gained out of Greystone, in Vanguard, that allowed you to change form into a black skeleton. That was neat. The quest required a group and involved delving into various parts of the dungeon – which is always a plus in my book.
And, this was a close one, my epic water sprinkler for my Cleric in EQ1. It had a clickable rez on it making recovering from wipes easier. The usable effect wasn’t really what did it for me though, the thing that made it valuable was all the time I had to sink into getting it. I spent time camping a rare spawn goblin (even wrote an app so I could get warned when he was about to pop). A guildie passed down an earring that let me breathe underwater so I could camp a rare under water. Once that was done, there was a matter of collecting a bunch of components and organizing some raids for various parts. In short, the item was less of a reward than having everyone else help me out and the memories of what happened along the way.
Not as common.
Everyone seems to have to have their gear handed to them or items are so watered down that they just become numbers on your way to doing MOAR whatever.
I think Blizzard is taking a step in the right direction with some of the items coming out of Icecrown Citadel but I also think they’re losing sight of some of the things that made the original game so cool. Everyone ends up sort of the same at the high level… it’s like you’re rushing to the level cap only to find you’re character looks much the same as everyone else. There is nothing distinguishing other than maybe a title or a mount.
Blizzard is starting to produce less content for its subscribers. I think they need to adjust this model. Go back to having worthwhile drops from the raids instead of just badges and gear that doesn’t upgrade over badge gear – and if it does, it looks the same as badge gear. Leave badge stuff around for people that want it but make raiding more worthwhile than just “getting the same shit sooner” or in the current case of 25 mans, “getting upgraded shit that looks the same as none upgraded shit”.
Really the only other things of value coming out of raids are trinkets, possibly jewelry and hand items (including weapons and shields). The bulk of the armor, cloaks, and what not are all easily available through badges. Even the recipes don’t require random drops, just a Primordial Saronite.
Gone are the days of things being rare.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good they’re trying to make raids more accessible to players and I like that they’re added in the hard mode switch for people that want more of a challenge, but the rewards just seem… meh.
If they’re going to make raiding more accessible, I think they should create a complete tier set of badge gear and a separate, better tier of gear that can be gained from raiding – and I don’t mean a simple upgrade to the badge gear, I mean a different look… not just flipping the color of the gem in my shoulder armor from yellow to green either.