When hunting for information yesterday, I came across this page on worldofwarcraft.com. It was linked from another page on the site as some of Blizzard’s original thoughts on raid design. So far, so interesting, but it was the armour design information that caught my eye. It’s a fair way down, so I’ll quote it here.
Our raid loot will have a unique look too. When they see Onyxia loot, they’ll know that you killed the dragon. Obviously the loot has to scale with the difficulty of the encounter, so raid bosses that are lower-tiered will still give good loot, but not nearly as good as that from higher-tiered bosses. Despite this, even the lowest-tier raid bosses will give better loot than a typical dungeon boss, even a level 60 one.
In particular, the first two sentences: “Our raid loot will have a unique look too. When they see Onyxia loot, they’ll know that you killed the dragon.”
Did that happen? One of the complaints I’ve heard about endgame gear is that you don’t get much of a chance to make yourself distinctive with it: if you’re wearing tier 9, then you’ll look just like all of the other <insert your class here>s wearing tier 9, and so on.
But if you could get the same stats with a different visual, depending on where you got it, then that could be a chance to be an individual. It might also give people who persist through tougher content a chance to show it. For example: my main, Theanorak, is currently wearing 4pc tier 9 thanks to the dungeon finder making it easy-peasy to collect Triumph badges. But what if I’d got my badges by raiding? What if I’d got my loot because it dropped at the end of an epic boss fight (that does happen, right?) and I won the roll? The only way you’d be able to tell is by looking at my achievements.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see where/how I got my tier 9 gear just by looking at it? Of course, that would make TA’s gear a bit George-of-Asda (Wal-mart, for those of you outside the UK), but as long as the stats were the same it would make no difference. If Blizzard wanted to get *really* wild, they could actually theme items appropriately — so Onyxia’s loot would be dragonscale-y, and everything that dropped from Putricide would have scabrous bits falling off it. Hmm, well, you get the idea.
Of course, it’s a ton of extra work for Blizzard’s modelers and designers, but the subject of identity is obviously one they’re considering at the moment, if the “vanity cape” idea is anything to go by. And I bet people other than me would like it.