Usually I don’t play the skeptic when it comes to a video game I have been playing for coming up on 10 years, but this time I thought it would be fun to dance around this topic like everyone else.
For those not aware, the newest difficulty in Raiding will also feature entirely separate gear models. This comes in on the news that LFR will suffer the same fate, leaving 3 separate models for each tier alone, and that’s still per class past LFR. There will be 30 plus unique models (not just recolors) for each tier, which already sounds like a burden on the art team that is apparently struggling to push out the character models, but that is not the argument here.
What I will carry forward on is the premise that they are doing this to help niche players out, and prove that LFR is for the common folk, real raiding can be done by anyone, and Mythic raiders deserve a truer reward than just item level. At face value, I couldn’t agree more. A LONG time ago, in Classic and even until Cata really, you could tell who on your server were serious players without having to examine their health pool. The gear they wore could not be masked, so seeing the main tank of the top 40 man in full dreadnaught really meant something, and often inspired those less accomplished to reach for the stars. I make no qualms about saying this is single-handily what got me into raiding. Seeing a select Warrior tank who would find a way on top of the structures in Ironforge in first full D2, then full Might Set, and finally full Wrath set. It was at this point that I decided I want to raid as well, so I contacted the GM of this man’s guild and let him know that I was top in my class, rank 8 FFA eastern wc ladder 2, and a quick learner. He chuckled, noticed my greens and likely invited me as a joke. By the time I was able to figure things out and get some Wrath gear, our main tank was getting full Dreadnaught and my eternal admiration.
Ahem, anyway enough of the trip down memory lane. The point is that gear rewards used to be what made a player stand out from others. Today, this can still be the case, especially if coupled with a tremendous healthpool and flashy entrance, but with there is one inherent flaw that this entire argument is predicated upon, and I will end this sentence first before unveiling it for dramatic effect. Here we go, are you ready? The issue is… Transmogrification!
Yes, it has become so rampant that anyone who plays a toon seriously puts sets together, even if its mismatched pieces. I personally can not live without my Firelands Heroic tier on top the Reins of Galakras. The colors of the gear and the mount are literally perfect together, and there is nothing even remotely competing in my mind. This is all the reason I need to assume this mythic separation of gear is too little and indeed far too late.
The parallel example would be their Challenge Mode endeavor with gear, and the fact that so many of the sets were indeed as epic as they come. Sure, at one point it really showed an accomplished player, but this was an entire set made to be transmoged to, and with a lot of work put into it.
Will the same happen with Mythic? Even now, in the 582 item level I have, if I untransmogged my entire set, the gear I was wearing would not be a complete match. Is this enough to deter people from showing it off, or does it encourage more unique combinations of the pieces we do actually have.
Regardless, I stand firm when I say that, while I am all for this addition to the game’s gear and cosmetic landscape, what they hope to achieve is something extinct in the minds of most players. Any one who is any one has a plethora of transmog set options, and even those who do choose to use the new pieces to display their prowess will likely do so in mixture, making its effect just that.
There is no easy way around it, but facts of the matter are that if you are spending resources on all these different gear sets just to add separation into the game, and in turn a very low percentage of Mythic raids end up displaying the set, then you have wasted some amount of resources.
Unless of course, the sets are that amazing…
Only time will tell!
I’ll leave you with this image, and you can decide for yourself.
Take note of the massive difference in shoulders, helm and belt from the Mythic (top) to Heroic (bottom.)
Also notice the lack of difference in boots, legs, etc.
Its still very early though. But what do you think? Does this strike you as something you’d shatter your transmog for, especially just to show off yourself as a Mythic raider?