Friday, November 13, 2009

Gear Rating Web Sites

I'm a little concerned about the recent trend that has come up to entirely base people's ability to play WoW on a gear score. I mean, these gear scores have been around for a really long time. I can remember in mid-BC sites like be.imba coming up and telling you everything you need to know about your toon (wrong enchants, upgradable gems, etc.). Now we have ones like Wow-Heroes and probably 15 others as well that will give a score and tell you where these people can (and can't) raid.

This was set off when earlier this week, we ran a pretty smooth 25-man PUG into Onyxia. There were only about 4 of us from the guild that wanted to do it, so we had to PUG just a few people. As we were forming the raid and getting people on Vent, a couple of people were asking what gear score was needed to join our PUG. Is such and such number high enough for my friend to come along?

Umm... I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but it's Onyxia. Get a couple of geared tanks (which were in guild) and a couple of good healers (which I am *flex* and so was another guildie or two), then you can pug a crappy healer and a whole bunch of dps. As long as everyone stays out of the deep breaths, you really don't have to worry about killing her in record speed. I'm thoroughly convinced that a group in all blues could take her down. She's not hard. She hasn't changed much in the past 4 or so years.

So, while I really appreciate all these gear-checking/rating sites, I would advise using them with caution. Even with the best gear in the world, you still have to know how to (A) do your job, and (B) avoid fires.

Furthermore... didn't Blizzard make "most" classes equal so that we can play with our friends? If one of your 15 (or so) DPS is a lame duck, it's probably okay if he dies. Especially if you get Ony to phase 3... DPS makes it go faster... that's all. Shoot, at that point, all you need is your healers and your tank. She'll die eventually.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Economics on Enchanting Pre-3.3

Matticus posted his thoughts on disenchanting for 3.3. Overall, he believes it's a good thing. And while I agreed with him initially, his article got me thinking about materials we use and how they're gathered, and how I completely disagree with him.

One of the points he makes is that skinners, miners and herbalists get to keep everything. Heck, you don't even roll on one of those things unless there's multiple toons that have that profession. And yes, that person gets to keep it all.

He also points out that given this thought process, enchanters would roll on everything so they could shard it. Personally, I think this is a huge fallacy. If an item is an upgrade for a player, it is much more valuable then the shard would be. So the priority list would go something like The Upgrade > The Offset > The Shard > The Gold from Vendoring the item. Look at how we treat green items today. No enchanter "needs" on all the greens. I've never had anyone ask if there's an enchanter that will collect the greens. And I'm sure that's a function of greens that drop in instances are BoE. But in a sense, aren't blues and purples BoE for a short amount of time now with people in your group?

So, let's take a look at what we get from those gathering professions that everyone in the group can use.

You get leather. I suppose you could argue that that could be useful to everyone by means of the Drums of Forgotten Kings or Drums of the Wild. But we always run raids with at least 1 druid and 1 paladin, so I really don't care. You could even go as far as to talk about leg armor for melee classes or tanks, but it doesn't really benefit everyone. So, Skinners? Go ahead and keep your leather.

Herbalism gathers flowers. Flowers make flasks. Flasks can also be ground into ink for Glyphs. Maybe we should start rolling on herbs. Then again, if you want a flask or glyph, you generally just go to the AH and pick those up. You don't usually see somebody looking for an alchemist in Trade unless the AH is completely out of them. But I'm sure you'll get a fight if you ask to roll on the flowers.

Ore can be prospected into gems. Gems are generally more valuable than ore. Even the raw ore is still something that should be rolled on, but I don't see that happening after years of habits of letting the miners get it. So, fine... miners can keep their ore as well.

Yep... everyone can use the enchanting materials. Everyone can (and probably should) enchant their gear. And yes, it's needed by everyone. But as an enchanter, do you want to disenchant all of the items people don't use? The economic answer is: NO! You do not.

Let's pretend that all enchanters on your server went on strike. "No more Instance Disenchants" is their battle cry. (It's not catchy, but you get the idea.) They only disenchant the blues, purples, and greens that they win on greed rolls. Supply for Enchanting Mats would go down, therefore raising the price. On the other side, for you non-disenchanters, you'll be forced to sell those blues and purples you won on a greed roll to a vendor, so you now have more money to spend on Enchanting Materials. Prices go up some more.

Bottom line is this: Enchanters revolt! We only have a small window of time before 3.3 goes live and forever breaks our ability to revolt. Stop* enchanting all the PUG blues and purples. Reclaim the enchanting materials market and profit. Make sure every enchanter you know gets this message!

*Note: You might want to continue providing this service to guild members. But then again, I guess it just depends on how much of a jerk you want to be.