Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Un-Laziness: Gear Tiers

Ixobelle's comment on yesterday's post got me thinking:

"until you consider that the loot from 10-mans is an entire tier lower in quality than the loot from 25 mans

this is arguing semantics, but isn't really true... 7.5 and 7 are both basically the same. the difference between an iLevel 200 item and an iLevel 213 item is pretty insignificant."

I wondered what exactly constitutes a "tier" of gear in World of Warcraft.

Let's start with ilevels. As we know, tier 7 is ilevel 200 epic, while tier 7.5 is ilevel 213.

Taking one step back to TBC, there were 3 official sets of "tier" gear for rogues: Netherblade from Kara, Deathmantle from SSC/TK, and Slayer's from BT/Hyjal.

Netherblade is ilevel 120, while Deathmantle, a tier higher is 133. Exactly 13 ilevels of difference. Meanwhile, Slayer's pieces vary between 146 (another jump of 13) to 154 (for the pieces that dropped in Sunwell). Further, 159 (another jump of 13) was the ilevel of the pseudo-tier available in Sunwell.

So maybe in TBC, Blizz established a consistent standard of 13 ilevels per tier.

But let's go further back. Maybe the old-world sets can shed some light:

The classic Nightslayer from MC was ilevel 66. Bloodfang from BWL was 76 (hrm...the plot thickens!), and Bonescythe from the original level 60 Naxx was 86-92 (most pieces were either 86 or 88, with just the ring at 92). So we can see that back at level 60, a tier increase was only 10 ilevels, not 13.

It's very difficult to make assumptions based on this data, as there are a few possible interpretations that jump out at me:

1) In the original World of Warcraft, Blizzard didn't really know what they were doing when designing raid gear. During their richer and more enlightened recent years, they've settled on 13 ilevels as a "tier" and will probably remain that way indefinitely.

2) The ilevel gap between tiers must expand as the player increases in level. So if the ilevel gap at level 60 was 10, and the ilevel gap at 70 was 13, then the ilevel gap at 80 is either something like 16 (add 3 every 10 levels) or 17 (add 30% every 10 levels). This would put tier 7.5 at slightly less than a full tier apart from tier 7.

We won't really know which of these is true until Ulduar is released. Then it will become very clear what "a tier higher" really means.


Now whether the stat difference between the tiers is big enough to really care about...that's another question.

According to wowhead's item compare, just switching my 5 heroes pieces to valorous pieces gives me:

48 Agi
44 Sta
58 Armor
86 AP
21 Crit
5 Expertise
25 Haste
10 Hit

That seems pretty significant, but I'm not entirely convinced.

According to Vula'jin's most recent version of the rogue dps spreadsheet:

My theoretical max dps in full Naxx 10 gear (nothing from KT/Sapph/Maly except helm) with my usual 10-man raid buffs is:


While in full Naxx 25 gear is:


That's a 10.25% increase for replacing 16 items (I kept the Mirror of Truth trinket). Is that a lot, or a little? Seems smaller than I expected.

So it comes down to a matter of opinion: do you think that after gathering all of that gear, a jump in dps of 10% is significant? Was it even worth the extra effort? That is definitely debateable. And certainly not worth getting upset over.

But the thrust of my argument stands either way: tier 7.5 is more accessible to bad players than tier 7 is, and that's not the way it should be.

-Thanks for the comment, Ixo! I hadn't looked at it that way before. It's actually a big relief to know that I don't have to worry about scrubs in tier 7.5 using the gear advantage to brute force past me on the damage meters, since it's really not that big a difference, especially if they only have a few pieces. I don't really plan to do much 25 man raiding, now that I no longer have to herd all those cats just to see the content.


Ixobelle said...

in all honesty, I didn't know it was that consistent across the board. I figured the difference betweek kara (t4) and SSC gear (t5) was a larger difference than between naxx 10 and 25.

It's strange then, that this is "7.5" instead of just being 8. but 8 will drop in HulaHoop or whatever the new place is called. hmm...

I wonder... dungeon 3 to tier 4, was that a 13 ilevel jump too? what about the tier .5 crap that added that was s step below MC gear? was that a step UP from UBRS, but DOWN from MC?

Tuesday is my busiest day at work (6 classes), so I don't really have a lull to go poking around wowhead atm, but I just know when I look at my naxx 10 gloves, and then look at the naxx 25 ones, the difference in stats that I'd gain, in exchange for another 19 SD gem and 28 SP enchant isn't worth the hassle, especially considering thr 10 and 25 set bonuses are interchangable...

Ixobelle said...

after posting, it occured to jme, they're probably calling it 7.5 for that exact reason (interchangable sets giving the same "set bonus").


Hatch said...

Yeah, in the end the stat gain doesn't look big enough to be really worth the hassle. As I said, I'm really glad you inspired me to look into it, because now I don't feel bad about not doing many 25 man runs.

One of the reasons for my recent guild split was that half the people in our 10-man-focused guild suddenly wanted to do 25 mans all the time. [sarcasm]Coincidentally[/sarcasm], those were the same people who say things like "gear should be given out based on need", and "stat requirements for naxx are unfair". Those just so happened to be the people who wanted to be carried.

So when the leader of the "give me fr33 stuff plox" group crossed some serious lines, the horses finally decided they couldn't take it anymore and just went and formed their own guild.

Now the riders are flailing, and the same people who would get mad about the idea of a "progression group" are now suggesting it themselves.

I'm saying all this to explain why I'm SO GLAD the guy who got carried through the first few bosses of naxx 25 won't automatically be able to perform better than my character who has cleared naxx 10 multiple times.