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Regional FlagTier 15-Massive ilvl Discrepancy (Show MVP Posts)Source
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Isiildur
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#1 - 2013/01/23 11:34:00 PM
You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.


To put this into perspective, this puts tier 14 MSV (heroic), which has current item levels of 502, at the same ilvl as LFR ToT. All normal mode HoF and ToES gear that isn't infused with 1500 valor points (of which it is impossible even to have most of your gear upgraded to 2/2) inferior to the drops from LFR ToT.

When looking at normal mode the disparity is even wider. With normal mode ToT dropping 522 ilvl gear, which is a full 20 ilvls (a tier and a half) higher than the 'new' LFR, which we've already established is better than tier 14 normal mode gear, this puts it on par with tier 14's highest item level drops, the elite heroic 2/2 pieces from protectors, which is ilvl 524, and is only available on certain pieces, and is vastly superior to normal heroic pieces (ilvl 509) and significantly better than 2/2 heroic pieces (ilvl 517).

I'll discount the level of heroic tier 15 pieces, as it follows a more standard upgrade path (13 ilvls); however, why do we now have such a huge gap in item levels between tiers? I was under the impression that LFR, normal, and heroic were all separate progression paths, yet in this system, heroic tier 14 raiders will have viable side/upgrades, from LFR tier 15. Has the implementation of upgrading items with valor bloated item levels so drastically? Will thunderforged (and eventually thunderforged 2/2 items) perpetuate this item level bloat? And most importantly, how does the community feel about this?

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Community Manager
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#57 - 2013/01/26 01:04:00 AM
Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas saw this thread, and wanted share his thoughts on some of the issues you guys have raised:

We think it’s worth noting that many players began their Mists of Pandaria raiding experience with an average item level in the low 460s. Over the course of the past four months, Heroic raiders have seen their average item level climb by as much as 50, while normal mode raid groups that are just getting to Sha of Fear for the first time likely have an average item level that compares to what the cutting-edge guilds had when conquering Heroic Heart of Fear. Getting raid loot along the way has likely felt like a meaningful progression, and the overall damage and healing output of a raid group grows measurably from week to week with each piece of gear looted from a defeated boss. We like that, and we want Throne of Thunder to give players a similar sense of progression.

We could have taken an alternative, more conservative approach, where Throne of Thunder Raid Finder awarded ilvl 496 items and Normal awarded 509 items. A guild that has only done the current normal mode raids, but no Heroics, will then walk into Throne of Thunder with an average item level around 500 (lots of 496 items from Heart of Fear and Terrace, some of them upgraded to 504 with Valor). That doesn’t leave much room to grow – it means that players would only be a few percent stronger when facing Lei Shen at the end of the instance than they were facing Jin’rokh at the start. It also means that when raiders run into a roadblock halfway through the raid, there wouldn’t be much hope that a bit more gear from the next clear would have a significant impact.

Ultimately, we think that raid progression works better, and is more compelling, when there are meaningful increases in power from gear. The effort of downing a boss for the first time is properly rewarded with loot that is attractive to all members of the raid, and the steady increase in player power over the course of progressing through an instance allows us to scale the challenge accordingly. For example, we can now design Lei Shen around the expectation that the average raid group that reaches him will have an item level of nearly 520. The cutting-edge groups that tear through the zone in the first week or two will be comparatively undergeared when they reach him. Without any other changes on our end, item progression means that the same encounter can pose a stern test to a top guild when 5.2 comes out, while still being doable by the groups that only reach the same encounter a couple of months down the line. For example, Heroic Gara’jal was a brutal test of DPS for raiders who faced him last October, but now he feels like part of a smooth progression for groups that are just graduating from normal modes and beginning Heroics.

We’re confident that our planned item levels are not going to skew class balance or degenerate gameplay, and we’re monitoring the performance of all classes and specs in the new gear that will be available in 5.2 and going forward. Stat “inflation” was probably most out of control during the Wrath of the Lich King, but that was an issue with how powerful the gear was that was available as the expansion began perhaps more than any other factor. As a point of comparison, the item level 213 warrior set breastplate that was available in Naxxramas gave a level 80 player 2% critical strike chance; the item level 496 warrior set breastplate available in Heart of Fear gives 1.32% critical strike chance. We’ve learned from the past and carefully left ourselves a lot more room to grow this time around.

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Community Manager
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#68 - 2013/01/26 01:35:00 AM
01/25/2013 05:08 PMPosted by Entitlement
Normal raiders now, would have normal Throne gear, not lfr, I don't see why you're comparing Normal Ilevel -> LFR Ilevel.


If I'm not missing something, I don't think he was. He's comparing 5.0/5.1 normal mode gear to 5.2 normal mode gear.

01/25/2013 05:16 PMPosted by Zergallyeah
This, really can't believe Blizz still force raiders into LFR to stay competitive, WE DON'T LIKE IT.


It's our expectation that Heroic raiders should have no interest in 5.2 Raid Finder gear. If you have item level 509+ gear from 5.0/5.1 Heroics, then the question is, why would you want item level 502 gear from the Raid Finder? Players wearing normal mode gear might find some slight upgrades in the Raid Finder in the first few weeks, but it's a safe bet that any gear that was upgraded with Valor Points will probably beat anything found in the Throne of Thunder Raid Finder.