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. Potentio's Avatar
    They didn´t address RNG issues and Titanforging at all. And most upvoted questions from official forums got shunned.

    What a fancy PR event that was.
  1. solidbear's Avatar
    The community is better at evaluating stats now than they were in Mists of Pandaria.
    Umm.. is this dude on drugs?

    Did he completely forget this is how the game was designed back then? We had stat weights because we had reforging. We had a lot more choice back then and a lot more variety with stats BECAUSE THATS HOW THE GAME WAS DESIGNED BACK THEN.


    There used to be a stat priority list, now we have precisely calculated stat weights.
    Guess they haven't even bothered to look at Resto druid stat weights. Its a complete cluster fuck. Depends on what exact content you're doing, any item you get changes ALL your stat weights.. its a god damn nightmare, I have no clue what these buffoons are talking about.
  1. Dartz1979's Avatar
    The team would love to offer some of the armor from NPCs, especially bosses to players.
    Does this mean i might finally get to have a armor set to look like ysera or alexstrasza from dragon soul or even how jaina lookedlike in icc i hope so.
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    well no 7.2 announcement, seems like it will be next week with the Q&A so its confirmed, not coming this tuesday, but maybe the next? or first week of april
  1. Exer's Avatar
    Lets see.


    The Spike Collar Chain in Karazhan did damage when people hit you, the effect makes sense.
    Oh I dont know, name it so it makes sense? Absurd answer.


    The team is still looking at how they can bring back another trait on relics, while giving players more choice and control.
    So many possibilities. You could allow us to merge relics, or tie it with a profession and group content.


    Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item.
    First of all, I can't believe this is still being discussed. If you have no plans to reintroduce the system, say so and stop bringing it back every couple months.
    Secondo, there was a mount that allowed you to reforge. You could also have added an engineering items that lets you reforge.. maybe a little robot or a consumable.



    These Q&A sessions show how much there needs to be a FAQ section on their website so they can answer real questions instead of rehashed stuff sprinkled with a little bit of new infos. You want to be better at communication with the public? Start with a compendium of where you can find vital informations rather than news spread all over the different social medias you guys use.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    well no 7.2 announcement, seems like it will be next week with the Q&A so its confirmed, not coming this tuesday, but maybe the next? or first week of april
    The latest PTR is not even set to release candidate, so it wouldn't make sense to release it next week. My feeling is first week of april.
  1. Triggered Fridgekin's Avatar
    Powerfully weak arguments against reforging especially now that hit and expertise are out of the game. This strawman they've setup where reforging doesn't work because it either breaks the flow of the game or because it relies on an extra step through the push of a button (their first excuse) is their way of thinking what's best for the game without realizing the current state of the itemization is beyond recovery thanks to all the RNG stacked on top of RNG stacked on top of RNG.

    I'd rather push a button at the end of the night to make a bad item slightly better than go through all the hoops required immediately after a boss drops to find out if the item is worth rolling for. Christ knows this should have been the expansion which brought reforging back but here we are neck-deep in vile.
  1. arcaneshot's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exer View Post
    First of all, I can't believe this is still being discussed. If you have no plans to reintroduce the system, say so and stop bringing it back every couple months.
    That's because people keep asking it, duh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triggered Fridgekin View Post
    Powerfully weak arguments against reforging especially now that hit and expertise are out of the game. This strawman they've setup where reforging doesn't work because it either breaks the flow of the game or because it relies on an extra step through the push of a button (their first excuse) is their way of thinking what's best for the game without realizing the current state of the itemization is beyond recovery thanks to all the RNG stacked on top of RNG stacked on top of RNG.

    I'd rather push a button at the end of the night to make a bad item slightly better than go through all the hoops required immediately after a boss drops to find out if the item is worth rolling for. Christ knows this should have been the expansion which brought reforging back but here we are neck-deep in vile.
    If you were only reforging one item whenever you got a new item you clearly weren't using Reforge to its fullest extent. What they said in the Q&A did happen-- once you reforged one item you ended up reforging EVERYTHING.
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Pretty sure we could calculate stat weights prior to MoP. But whatever those Blizzard puppets think to know.
  1. Triggered Fridgekin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneshot View Post
    If you were only reforging one item whenever you got a new item you clearly weren't using Reforge to its fullest extent. What they said in the Q&A did happen-- once you reforged one item you ended up reforging EVERYTHING.
    Complete non-issue now that hit and expertise are removed. It reforged everything because it literally had to make up for the fact that you were either making up for either a gain or loss of either stats which would cause a domino effect across the board in most cases.

    If my Unholy Death Knight got an item with versatility and mastery, re-rolling that versatility in to haste would not cause a cascading effect on my other pieces or gear nor would it have to be done immediately since there is no longer a concern of whether or not I'll be missing my target.

    You could set up stat break points but, again, it wouldn't have to be done right then.
  1. joebob42's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Rin View Post
    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.)
    If you right-click on an item, it opens the reforge menu to allow you to swap the stats around. You don't have to go anywhere.

    See? I can make it work just fine too.

    Hell, remember when we had points we could allocate to talents? Remember DnD type character creation where you get a certain number of stat points to allocate as you please? There is no reason an item couldn't drop with a default stat allocation, but the ability for you to shift stat points around. They could implement restrictions of how many other stats you could shift points to, but that's neither here nor there.

    They could even make it a starting quest with each expansion to acquire and upgrade your "statmogrificator" item that allows you to adjust item stats. By the time the first raid opens up, you'd have your ability to reforge on the fly. They could even make it a gold sink if they wanted by putting a certain charge limit on the reforgerthingy where you had to recharge it back in town (like durability).

    There are any number of ways they could fix itemization where a higher ilvl item is ALWAYS more powerful.
  1. Fkiolaris's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Triggered Fridgekin View Post
    Complete non-issue now that hit and expertise are removed. It reforged everything because it literally had to make up for the fact that you were either making up for either a gain or loss of either stats which would cause a domino effect across the board in most cases.

    If my Unholy Death Knight got an item with versatility and mastery, re-rolling that versatility in to haste would not cause a cascading effect on my other pieces or gear nor would it have to be done immediately since there is no longer a concern of whether or not I'll be missing my target.

    You could set up stat break points but, again, it wouldn't have to be done right then.
    100% this. It's beyond belief that people still can't put 1 plus 1 together: with the hit and expertise gone, reforging would have been the ideal tool to let people customise their gear and have fun because changing items in 1 slot (or more) would not make you drop below the hit/expertise caps and start missing with your attacks. But in such an environment, reforging would be invalidating the bollocks RNG gearing systems that they've pushing since WoD and that's the real reason they removed it. All the rest is just nonsense.
  1. Scyn's Avatar
    WF and TF proced are too high ?
    LeL
    I don't have ANY -_- Yeah sure it is.... dumbass

    They should remove RNG like that, it's stupid how some people got all the luck and other don't get any proc at all.
  1. Nielas Aran's Avatar
    "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."

    Wellt well, that makes so much sense.

    "Reforging also meant an interruption to your raid, as you had to go and reforge an item." and thats bs too. Reforging was great and there was really no reason to delete it. When this is the best reason blizz has, then wtf.... Nobody left the raid to reforge. They did it after the raid... Can't belive what these guys are talking. They have absolutly no clue what they are doing.
  1. Kazuchika's Avatar
    These Q&As serve no purpose other than further convincing the playerbase that these devs know absolutely fucking nothing about the state of their game.
  1. reffan's Avatar
    Reforging was shit, I hope it will never come back.
  1. Letdown's Avatar
    What concerns me immensely is they seem to think that they have "solved" legendaries in 7.2, when the feedback thread on the 7.2 legendary changes is almost entirely negative feedback.

    Also, lel, brewmaster still doesn't exist to Blizzard.
  1. Moridius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by familiar View Post
    This Q&A is getting more viewers than PVP one, is that weird or what
    Sarcasm? A majority of the player base doesn't really care for PvP. This is PvE related, so....?

    Quote Originally Posted by reffan View Post
    Reforging was shit, I hope it will never come back.
    Most. Constructive. Post. Ever.
  1. Tai Rin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by joebob42 View Post
    If you right-click on an item, it opens the reforge menu to allow you to swap the stats around. You don't have to go anywhere.

    See? I can make it work just fine too.
    Yeah? I thought that too when I read what Blizzard said. That's still not relevant to the comment I replied to, though, which was using an example that's not true anymore. If you meant that they should use a similar system for reforging, you should have said that instead.
  1. joebob42's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reffan View Post
    Reforging was shit, I hope it will never come back.
    Because?

    PvP is much worse than reforging, yet we still have PvP in the game.
  1. Leyre's Avatar
    "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."

    Tell that to all the fucking Havoc DH starving because they dont have the ring, or all the Rogues stuck with Will of Valeera like me

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