Developer Q&A - Matt Goss: Legion Itemization
Lead Game Designer Matt Goss answered Legion itemization questions today.




Upcoming Q&A
  • Next week the Q&A has the Content Lead for Patch 7.2, talking about all of the content coming in Patch 7.2.

Secondary Stats
  • At Legion launch, players weren't feeling rewarded by doing more challenging content. Secondary stat priority has been brought closer together in most cases now.
  • The team is happier than they were, things are generally better and higher item level items are usually better than lower item level items.
  • The team did all that they could do without making drastic changes in a patch.

Reforging
  • Reforging lets players make items more optimal, but it isn't a great solution to the current problem of some higher item level items not being as good as lower item level items.
  • Reforging made every upgrade more difficult to figure out, as you had to consider the base item and all of the variations you could make.
  • Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item.

Itemization
  • There is gear that is usable across all classes and gear like set pieces and legendary items that are usable on one class or spec.
  • When selecting stats for things like tier sets, the team is aware that there are now six pieces, so you can mix and match a little more than you could in the past.

Tertiary Stats
  • The role of these stats is to be a bonus. If you are looking at two similar pieces, this could be a deciding factor.
  • The team doesn't want tertiary stats to be a huge factor, just a bonus.
  • Avoidance is something like 8-10% damage reduction with just one piece, so these stats are powerful.
  • Leech and speed are also pretty useful stats. Sneaky good.

Legendary Items
  • The team would have made the drop rate of legendary items a little higher if they could go back and do things again.
  • The legendary system was brand new, the team wasn't sure how they needed to tune the drop rate with legendary items coming from everything in the game.
  • They initially went a little low on the drop rate, because it is easier to increase it than to decrease it later.
  • The gap between utility and power legendary items was too high, but the team brought them closer together.
  • Patch 7.2 attempts to narrow the gap further. You shouldn't feel like you need a specific legendary item to do content. If you have multiple legendary items, you should feel like you have a choice.
  • Legendary items that encourage you to try new things with the different items is cool.

Balancing Situational and Universal Legendary Items
  • Situational legendary items should be good in specific situations, better than the universal legendary items.
  • The team continues to make adjustments to legendary items, but things are in a decent place right now.

Personal Loot Trading Rules
  • The team agrees that the current rules are confusing.
  • If you are a player that is doing a lot of PuG raiding, the personal loot rules were designed to protect you. The team didn't want you to feel pressured to trade away things to someone else.
  • Trading personal loot should be a bonus, not a social pressure.
  • You can't trade loot from bonus rolls right now because the team wants you to spend that token on yourself.
  • In Patch 7.2, loot from bonus rolls will tell you why you can't trade it away.
  • Allowing you to trade bonus roll loot would create the opportunity for the group to tell everyone to bonus roll on a certain boss because someone in the group needs an item.
  • If you are in a guild group and want to trade loot around it is a very confusing system right now.
  • The team is looking at how they can loosen up the rules without violating the ideas behind the initial set of rules.
  • The two set pieces in Arcway and Court of Stars weren't be able to traded because they were technically part of a set.

Item Effects
  • If it makes sense for an item to have an effect, the team will add an effect to it.
  • The Spike Collar Chain in Karazhan did damage when people hit you, the effect makes sense.
  • The team doesn't want to do too many effects because it makes it harder to compare items, but the current rate is probably fine.

Dungeon Trinkets
  • The team looks at trinkets a lot.
  • With Legion and the Mythic+ and item upgrade system there are more items than there ever have been before.
  • The team likes dungeon trinkets being useful.

Dungeon Sets
  • The small two set pieces like the one in Arcway and Court of Stars are cool.
  • The sets give you a reason to run different content to complete the set.
  • This is something that has to be done with a light touch, but is pretty cool.
  • The team has talked about adding small sets in raids, they don't have to come from dungeons.
  • Maybe if an item has a cool story it would be worth making into a small set.
  • The team talks about bringing back dungeon sets every expansion.
  • The Order Hall set includes a piece that requires you to complete dungeons.
  • At what point is a dungeon set item too powerful compared to a raid set item? This is even more of a problem with Mythic+ items.

Tier Sets
  • Your first experience in Legion is leveling your artifact. Unlocking all of these powers, getting legendary items, and collecting tier set bonuses was too much to do all at once.
  • Even with Nighthold, set bonuses were a little simpler to avoid overloading you with information.
  • In the future the team could look at adding tier sets to every raid, or maybe adding upgraded versions in a later raid.
  • The team wants to give players choice. If the Tier 19 two piece bonus becomes dominant, the team make changes, but currently you will be able to wear the Tier 19 two piece and Tier 20 four piece. This is an experiment.

Tier 20 Set Bonuses
  • When patch 7.2 goes live, Tomb of Sargeras won't be open.
  • Tier 20 set bonuses aren't placeholders, the team does want feedback on them.
  • There will be a small patch before or around the time that Tomb opens, something like Patch 7.1.5 with tuning changes.

Active Trinkets
  • Looking at current trinkets, it is hard for the active trinkets to compete with the passive Tank and Healer trinkets.
  • The upcoming trinkets should be better in the past, using the trinket should feel like it has an impact.
  • For tanks, the team hasn't hit the mark where they are excited about active trinkets.
  • For DPS, the team needs be a little cautious with active effects, as they can be stacked with other cooldowns.

Enchants and Gems
  • The tuned against what they thought secondary stats would be like now. At release they were probably too powerful, so with the secondary stat rebalancing they were brought more in line with where they need to be.
  • Feasts were a primary stat, with other food being secondary stats. The other food would dominate because of how powerful secondary stats were.
  • Over the course of the expansion, enchants and gems will diminish in power. Epic gems have been used in the past to offset this, so it could be a solution in another patch.

Secondary Stats and Depth of Gameplay
  • The community is better at evaluating stats now than they were in Mists of Pandaria.
  • There used to be a stat priority list, now we have precisely calculated stat weights.
  • The feeling that there could be different builds based on what stat you are stacking is gone because the community is better at determining which stat is better.
  • The team likes the idea of you speccing your character different ways based on the stat you are stacking, but it doesn't fit with the current reality. The team is working on it, but it is hard to justify using a build that is even slightly weaker than another.
  • Healers live in a great world, where they have the choice between faster heals, more crit or mastery, or other choices.

Solo Challenges
  • The challenges are in Patch 7.2 and are very difficult. Very difficult.
  • When you unlock the building on the Broken Shore you are able to attempt the challenges.
  • The challenges aren't normalized, so your gear matters. It will probably be rough early on.

Relics and Second Traits
  • Only allowing one utility and one throughput trait on relics is a decent suggestion.
  • Giving players more choice in what they get was the goal, but the system as described felt too random.
  • There were also a lot of system things that made it not a great system.
  • The team is still looking at how they can bring back another trait on relics, while giving players more choice and control.
  • The team felt that there is a lot more that can be done with relics in the future, so adding a second trait in Patch 7.2 could interfere with the system in the future.

Changing Relics
  • When the team made Artifacts, they wanted the Artifact to feel like it was infused with power by things from the world.
  • There are systems that let you customize your character already, gear, talents, and other things. The team didn't want to add yet another customization.
  • Wanting to be able to swap Relics to try different things is fine, but feeling like you had to swap relics for every boss would be a burden.

Item Appearances
  • The team realized just how many set pieces they were missing when building the transmog set UI for Patch 7.2.
  • There is a backlog of appearances that the team wants to put back into the game, but they have to find the right place to do that.
  • It could be a new system, or just giving out new items with the old appearance.
  • It would be weird if you go to Patch 7.2 and get all of the new items with new art and then one random item with a recolor of a Vanilla item.

Heirloom Items
  • Heirlooms will scale to 110 in a patch shortly after Patch 7.2, but not with Patch 7.2.
  • More information about this is coming in the future.
  • Artifacts have extended the amount of time players are playing their main characters.

Unstable Arcanocrystal
  • This trinket was over budget and nerfed once already.
  • The team is very cautious about taking an item that people think is really good and making it so bad that people don't want to use it anymore. Doing so punishes people that have the trinket already.
  • Someone who wanted the trinket, gets it, and it gets nerfed the next day would also be sad.

Titanforged and Warforged RNG
  • Warforged and Titanforged was intended to make the upgrade feel like a bonus.
  • If you are a Heroic raider and want to help out a friend in Normal, there is no chance of getting an upgrade. This system gives you a chance to get something that is an upgrade.
  • The team is still looking at the tuning, maybe it is happening more than it should.
  • You don't need Warforged or Titanforged, you can move to a higher difficulty or mythic dungeons.

NPC Armor
  • The team would love to offer some of the armor from NPCs, especially bosses to players.
  • This is usually offered to players by adding one or two of the armor set items from a boss to their drop table.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A - Matt Goss: Legion Itemization started by chaud View original post
Comments 118 Comments
  1. AoBman05's Avatar
    Really hoping they address RNG concerns with gearing.

    Also the beef with some stats being outright terrible for certain specs (some are even worse than VERS).
  1. TOM_RUS's Avatar
    RNG, plz more RNG. Not.
  1. HordeFanboy's Avatar
    delete RNG from the game pls
  1. Mask's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AoBman05 View Post
    Really hoping they address RNG concerns with gearing.

    Also the beef with some stats being outright terrible for certain specs (some are even worse than VERS).
    What does it mean if Versatility is one of the better stats for rogues...?
  1. mooninja's Avatar
    I would just like balance across how well certain stats improve your character, i.e. Haste with Monks and Rogues.
  1. Wretchedmist's Avatar
    I'm fine with the randomness of legendaries and that some are much better than others, just as long as they don't tune raids, mythic+, or any content around the expectation that people have x-legendaries. The same goes for maxing out artifact weapons. Love the system, just as long as raids aren't tuned around it. Unfortunately they haven't done this, and it's creating problems as we move deeper into the expansion. Nighthold (mainly mythic) has created problems for raiding guilds due (in part) to this issue. We have great reliable raiders who have a wealth of experience, but not all of them have the time to max out 1-2 artifact weapon specs, nor the time to farm up legendaries. Alts are out of the equation entirely this time around if you're trying to maintain decent raid progression and manage all of the things that go with that, such as retention, motivation, etc. Mythic Emerald Nightmare had a nice natural progression. Mythic Nighthold does not.
  1. kaintk's Avatar
    LOLZ again at legendaries, they really think that adding or upgrading a little the offstats like that, that wuld make the legendary the same power as the BiS legendaries who change greatly a spec, they did'nt realize that no-bis legendarie are just epic item with big stat, its nothing more
  1. Rogalicus's Avatar
    Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item.
    Vendoring higher level item with versa and mastery surely feels better.
  1. familiar's Avatar
    This Q&A is getting more viewers than PVP one, is that weird or what
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Patch 7.2 attempts to narrow the gap further. You shouldn't feel like you need a specific legendary item to do content. If you have multiple legendary items, you should feel like you have a choice.

    Who's betting I still need the best ones for Resto Shaman? Sorry but from what I've seen on adjustments it looks like some are still best in slot and there is barely any choice.
  1. PraisCthulhu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kaintk View Post
    LOLZ again at legendaries, they really think that adding or upgrading a little the offstats like that, that wuld make the legendary the same power as the BiS legendaries who change greatly a spec, they did'nt realize that no-bis legendarie are just epic item with big stat, its nothing more
    Adding more stats to Prydaz made it one of the top Resto Shaman legendaries. Plus it is good, though not BiS for most classes.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    The sets give you a reason to run different content to complete the set.

    The small two set pieces like the one in Arcway and Court of Stars are cool.


    That's why nobody is touching them right? Because they are cool.... oh wait.

    Does the itemization team even know what they are doing sometimes?
  1. enragedgorilla's Avatar
    The stats/reforging / 2ndary stas issue , it will be amazing when Blizz figures out how to make EVERYTHING that drops, Spec specific like they do for Tier sets. They could even make it 1 spec per token.
    Example* I get a token for a ring , I am in Assassination spec. I can either "use" the item in my current spec OR switch specs to Sub or Outlaw, the token for that ring will STAY stated for whatever Spec I "cashed it in/used" it in.
    THey could even keep it Top 3 stats for the spec, so there is some wiggle for Stat weight changes during an xpac/tier
    ilvl STILL is not a clear indicator of what is best for your spec. in a lot of cases. even 20-30 ilvl increases.
  1. goteq's Avatar
    next xpac notes:

    Secondary stats removed.
  1. joebob42's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogalicus View Post
    Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item.
    Vendoring higher level item with versa and mastery surely feels better.
    I call BS on that dev's entire statement because of the tokens from raid bosses. You can't equip a TOKEN at all. You have to go turn it in to get usable gear.

    The dev team is either just completely oblivious or purposefully deceitful in trying to justify something they want to do that doesn't make logical sense. They can't support it with logic, so they really should just honestly say that's the way they want it to be so deal with it. That's really what they're doing, but they're hoping they can trick players into believing it's better when it really isn't.
  1. Ansible's Avatar
    Reforging lets players make items more optimal, but it isn't a great solution to the current problem of some higher item level items not being as good as lower item level items.

    Reforging made every upgrade more difficult to figure out, as you had to consider the base item and all of the variations you could make.

    Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item.
    What a complete load of horse shit.

    The team realized just how many set pieces they were missing when building the transmog set UI for Patch 7.2.
    Because they didn't quite get the message from the players ever since transmog was introduced?
  1. Rivin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by joebob42 View Post
    I call BS on that dev's entire statement because of the tokens from raid bosses. You can't equip a TOKEN at all. You have to go turn it in to get usable gear.
    If you right-click a token it turns into the equivalent piece of gear. You don't have to go anywhere. (And in 7.2 that will apply to all tokens, not just Legion tokens.)
  1. Krovicz's Avatar
    This was such a waste. Like over 70% of those questions have already been answered in Blue-Posts or earlier Q&As.
    Gosh.
  1. dizzzave's Avatar
    The biggest problem with itemization currently is Titanforged allowing gear to swing too much in ilvl for a given difficulty. If Titanforging went away (or was capped at reasonable increases, say +5 for warforged, +10 for titanforged), players would get natually geared by doing progressively more difficult content.

    Its hard to balance gear or get meaningful progression when you can have random items jump 30-40 item levels.
  1. Civil's Avatar
    For Beast Mastery, 2 charges for Dire Beast as baseline and Mantle of Command still adds an additional charge. It's not like BM single target is blowing away the dps charts, an extra charge wouldn't throw balance out of whack.

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