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A Look at Itemization in WoW 6.2

Reza Lackey Posted:
Columns All Things Warcraft 0

This week we have a look at how itemization and loot distribution will change in Patch 6.2. We’re also finally getting a first glimpse of the Warcraft film!

Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm Rewards

If you’re a Hearthstone player who’s planning on or is already playing Heroes of the Storm, a new reward will soon be available for your card back collection. By achieving a player level of 12 or higher in Heroes you will unlock a new Heroes of the Storm themed card back.

The card has cool animation effects complete with the Heroes of the Storm “blades” rotating.

But wait! There’s more! The rewards between Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone don’t end here. If you win 100 games in Hearthstone’s play mode you’ll unlock a Hearthstone card mount for your characters in Heroes. Similar to the existing flying carpet mount, the Hearthstone card mount floats above the ground with your character standing on top of it. Right now there are three skin choices for the mount; Classic card back, Pandaria card back and the legendary rank card back reward.

Patch 6.2 Itemization Improvements

In an official post on the World of Warcraft site the team outlined new improvements coming in Patch 6.2 to how itemization will work. Essentially the two biggest changes are coming to the Personal Loot system and itemization improvements from bosses in the new Hellfire Citadel raid.

The Personal Loot system is being enhanced in three major ways. From the blog post:

  • Make Personal Loot more consistent and rewarding.
  • Bring Personal Loot up to be competitive with Group Loot, so players who prefer Personal Loot receive rewards comparable to those you get from groups using Master Loot or Need/Greed.
  • Celebrate rewarding Personal Loot within the group in a way that captures the excitement of receiving rewards in Group Loot.

Currently when a boss is taken down by a group using the Personal Loot system, the game will independently determine if a player will be awarded an item and if they are there will then be a roll on the boss's loot table to decide what item will drop for that player. This system is completely random which means groups who down a boss may receive fewer items than a group using the Group Loot or Master Loot systems, for example. Going forward the new changes will have bosses drop an amount of items based on the group size (similar to Group Loot) and then randomly determine which players will receive an item. This essentially guarantees a group using the Personal Loot system will see items drop near the same frequency as the other loot systems. If a player is to be awarded an item, there is then a roll on the loot table to determine what item they will receive. Set items will also drop more reliably with the new Personal Loot system further bringing it in line with Group and Master Loot. 

A new minor but cool feature being added to the Personal Loot system is a new UI element that makes getting loot a little more exciting for you and the people you’re playing with. Now whenever you or someone in your party or raid scores a sweet piece of gear everyone will be able to see who got what with a cool onscreen breakdown. The items that were awarded will be listed followed by who received them. Here’s an example of what that will look like:

While this isn’t a major feature I do think it’s a really great idea. It’s fun and will add some more social elements to running dungeons and raids. Now you can see when your friends score that item they’ve been chasing down for a while.

The second part to the itemization improvement coming in Patch 6.2 focuses on loot that will drop in the Hellfire Citadel Raid. First, there will be a gradual increase in the item level of loot dropped by bosses the further into the raid you progress. This means that loot that drops off the last boss will be a much higher item level than gear that drops off the first. This will help players feel a greater sense of accomplishment as they move deeper into the raid by not having gear on the first few bosses potentially be better than what they could find on the last boss. This also incentivizes completing an entire raid on a given difficulty before moving on to the next highest difficulty - sometimes guilds will only complete the first several bosses until they’re geared enough for the next highest difficulty and thus not actually complete an entire raid.

Hellfire Citadel items will also slightly change the way secondary stats are distributed on items. Currently most items have close to a 50/50 split on secondary stats, for example a bow could have +100 haste and +100 multi-strike. It will now be possible for gear to be more varied, something like a 25/75 split, or using the previous example, a bow with +50 haste and +150 multi-strike. This can give players a little more flexibility and choice as to which items they may want to equip - this could mean it’s now possible for a lower item level piece of gear to have better secondary stat allocation for your character than a piece of gear with a higher item level.

I think these are all great changes coming and hopefully make the act of acquiring gear and deciding what pieces to use more fun and interesting. For the full philosophy behind the changes be sure to check out the official Dev Watercooler post on the official site.

Warcraft Film Update

Finally! The world is getting a peek at what the Warcraft film will look like without having to attend a special event like Comic Con or BlizzCon. In an exclusive article over at Wired we finally get a look at what the orc character Orgrim Doomhammer will look like in the film. Two images show off the CG character model with one of the images appearing to be a still from the actual film. The fidelity on the model is incredible. Notice the tiny hairs on his shoulder and varying skin complexion. Hopefully the other characters and races in the film can stand next to this in terms of quality and authenticity.

With the film due in just over a year from now it’s unlikely that we’ll see a trailer anytime soon. I was originally hoping for a teaser attached to Jurassic World but that seems unlikely at this point. And speaking of teasers and trailer, it’ll be very interesting to see how the marketing for this film kicks off. Will it be more for the fans or for those who know nothing about the franchise? Hopefully we find out soon!

What do you think of the itemization changes coming in Patch 6.2? Let us know in the comments below!

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Reza Lackey