Ghostcrawler on Stat Inflation

Posted: by Frostheim

Ghostcrawler has a new Developer Watercooler up where he talks about stat inflation. This is something that Blizzard has mentioned in the past as a thing that could become a problem in the future, and apparently with Mists of Pandaria well into development, the future is now.

The basic concept is that stats in WoW are growing disproportionately with level. Back in vanilla doing a few hundred dps in endgame was fantastic; now it’s a rounding error. Here is the stat inflation graph that Ghostcrawler presented:

Item level vs character level. Brown = vanilla. Green = BC. Blue = LK. Red = Cataclysm.

Ghostcrawler makes an important point about the reason for the endgame stat inflation:

The numbers grew so much primarily because we wanted rewards to be compelling. Upgrading from a chestpiece that has 50 Strength into one that has 51 Strength is undeniably a DPS increase for the appropriate user, but it’s not a very exciting reward. Such negligible increases can drive players to do some weird things, such as skipping over tiers of gear or entire levels of content.

Specifically what’s happening is they want the new tier of content to be clearly better than the old tier of content. But if they make the upgrade only slight — as it is while you’re leveling — then the higher ilvl item won’t always be better. An item of a lower ilvl with itemization that’s better for your spec could be superior even though it had less of each stat — because the amount less was so small. And this isn’t even getting into the issue of set bonuses.

Ghostcrawler goes to pains to point out that in their experience this kind of stat inflation is absolutely necessary. The solution to the stat inflation problem is not to lessen the amount of an upgrade an item is, because that just doesn’t work. Players don’t consider it a meaningful upgrade unless the upgrade is substantial.

The Problem

The problem with the stat inflation is that the numbers in the game are getting too large. In the near future they could become silly large. Already we’re doing over 30,000 dps, and have over 100,000 health. At some point the numbers are getting too large for people to easily process.

If they don’t do something to change it, Ghostcrawler points out that in patch 5.3 a chest piece would have, for example, 2569 agility on it, with secondary stats over 1500. By patch 6.3 that chest piece would have 10484 agility with secondary stats over 6000. It just starts to get silly.

The Solution

This is something that the developers are looking at now and discussing now, but they haven’t settled on a solution yet. They only know that something needs to be done, and that something probably needs to be done in Mists of Pandaria.

Currently the developers have two solution ideas in mind, but Ghostcrawler freely admits that neither of them are really great. Here are the two big possible solutions:

Mega damage!

  • Mega Damage: the idea here is to keep the numbers where they are, but turn it into something easier to read. So 10,000 damage might be 1 mega damage. Then 100,000 damage would be 10 mega damage. You could have kilo damage and super mega damage or whatever. Ghostcrawler points out that there are technical issues with computers quickly computing numbers that large, but I think another issue is that it’s just strange to have the scale of your numbers change as you level. So at one point you’re doing thousands of dps, then suddenly you’re doing 1.2 mega dps. There are definitely problems with the transition and the feel of it.
  • Item Level Squish: the other idea is compressing item levels. Basically you’d go and reduce the ilvl on all those endgame items once that expansion is done. Then you go into the next expansion with the same exponential ilvl growth. But next expansion you compress those again. The huge downside with this system is that you will go from doing 30,000 damage in Cataclysm to doing 3,000 damage in MoP. Sure, you’re doing the same damage proportionally, but it feels like a nerf. And a big lesson in WoW is that what it feels like is more important to players than what it’s really like (just look at rested XP for a perfect example).

Is There a Better Solution?

Personally, I don’t think either Mega Damage or Item Level Squish are great solutions. If I had to pick one I’d pick Item Level Squish, but I know I’m not in the majority in looking at things proportionally. I suspect most players would hate it. The real question is whether there’s a better solution. I’m hoping that with the collective genius of the hunter class we can come up with one.

Just keep in mind the very real limitations: item power needs to increase exponentially in the endgame, and player perception is a very legitimate design concern.

I’ve thought about this a bit and I don’t have any great ideas. I came up with some that I think would work but for various reasons they were ultimately bad (I liked an idea I had about normalized damage, where instead of dps everyone has an attack that does max damage, and all other attacks are proportional to that damage, and you just increase the max damage each tier proportional to average ilvl — then you can do interesting things with stats to change the proportion of max, but max is always the same for every class. In other words, a system that changes everything, and that most players would not understand, and thus it sucks).

Ali had an idea about making each tier of gear have special bonus damage vs. undead/dragon/whatever that tier’s creature is. But this has the same downside as ilvl squish.

The tricksy thing is that in an ideal design you have to maintain the exponential power gain in endgame, but also never reach a point where you’re suddenly doing substantially less dps/healing/tanky things than you used to. It’s a thinker.

I feel like the ideal solution would be tied to another stat… like for example if you put a flat base 25% miss chance into the game, but then at higher tiers you got crazy amounts of hit increase, and thus did way more damage, but your numbers didn’t look way bigger. Of course you couldn’t do this with hit, but something like that. What’s needed is a way to let your power grow outside of the size of your numbers, so that the number growth can remain linear, while this other thing goes up exponentially.

We already have a kind of item level squish with ratings — switching from percentages to ratings in BC let Blizzard effectively make thinks like crit and hit go down as you leveled up… maybe some kind of expansion of that method?

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  1. lordmogg says:

    I think the Squish option is the best option. For long term solutions it has the best appeal. It will take a short period of tim eto adjust thinking to the lower percentage outputs etc.

    As long as they nerf the bosses down too ;) I wouldnt fancy having a go at Ragnarous doing only 100 DPS. It would take several months.

    • Matt says:

      Squish isnt the best option cause clearly neither of the 2 listed are really good choices.

      What would be a good option is to let character level affect the stats on gear benefit. Lets say for instance that you have an item with 300 agility and a lvl requirement of 85. The closer you are to 85 the higher % of that actual agility you get. Where at lvl 86 you get 90%, 87 getting 85%, 88 getting 80% etc. till eventually you get to lvl 90 and the gear isnt actually giving you the full 300 agility instead giving you 300(sub100%) agility. This would cause a normalization and could even take large numbers out of the game.

      Lets say starting expansion of Cata an item has 5 agility and at lvl 85 you get 100% of that 5 agility, now we move into 4.1 and 4.2 where the agility on gear isnt 5 but 10 or 20 and you still get 100%, suddenly Pandaria comes out and you lvl to 90 where this gear is 20 agility but you only get (10% benefit) and new lvl 90 gear in 5.1 is giving 5 agility on gear but you get the full 5 not 10% of 20 which is 2 agility.

      • Daishi says:

        Matt’s solution is a real nice one, I believe EQ2 had a reverse of that (if you were too low for an item you got less and scaled into it as you leveled).

        Blizz already has the technology for level based stat scaling (heirloom items), so applying it in a new way might not be too much work.

      • Ghedrhalla says:

        Unfortunately that would not be a great way to walk into each brand new level going forward as the gear would start skewing in strange ways, this time in the opposite direction.
        Level 85 chest gives 300 agi to a level 85 player (100%)
        Level 85 chest gives 270 agi to a level 86 player (-10%)
        Level 86 chest gives 280 agi to a level 86 player (increase over previous)
        Level 86 chest gives 252 agi to a level 87 player. (-10%)

        Continue this long enough and gear AT max level is giving lower stat increases than what you entered the expansion at. The gear IS giving better stats compared to the last ilevel gear, but the amount of bonus being given to that player is dropping significantly.

      • sheppo says:

        @matt , that doesn’t actually fix the issue at all. the crux of the problem is that we’re seeing all stats being massively inflated at the moment, and more so going forward. DPS, for example, has more than doubled between beginning of cata raiding, and the end of 4.2.. to sustain that DPS during a boss encounter every other stat has to go up accordingly. It just doesn’t make sense, and more importantly it takes more resources to process and display those numbers.

        Yeah, it’s cool doing a single shot for anything near to 100k, but ultimately, it’s arbitrary. The squish method seems the best, Just i don’t necessarily agree with the ilevel alignment. ilevels need granularity to allow for rebalancing and new tier content, so realistically the ilevel weighting simply needs dropping to a much lower level, and all mobs and bosses balanced accordingly.

  2. I disagree that itemization needs to increase exponentially. Or even that it matter for the most part. The overwhelming majority of the problems with gear inflation have been created by Blizzard’s failed design schemes in cataclysm.

    Think about all the secondary stats. It doesn’t matter how much they inflate because they’re reset every level, and are converted into percentages, rather than a linear conversion.

    Health pools? A problem brought about strictly by failed cataclysm design. Take all the gear off your character. Strip them naked. They’ll still be sitting at twice the health of the best geared tanks in Wrath. Ballooning out the health pools was a specific goal that Blizzard set out to do intentionally in Cataclysm. They jacked up the base health pools, and increased the scaling with stamina to health conversions up another 50%. It has nothing to do with the gear, and everything to do with the design strategy.

    The worst offender was the push for a hard gear reset in cataclysm. Naxx40 raiders wore their T3 into Kara and Sunwell raiders wore their T6 into naxx. ICC raiders got rid of their T10 by level 82. The gap between ICC 25 heroic gear and T11 normal gear was 82 ilevels. That’s the equivilent of bulking a character up from Wrath 5 man gear to ICC 25 heroic gear. They took the entire endgame of a 2 year long expansion, and gave equivilent weight in the gear curve to leveling content that most serious raiders cut through in less than a week. That’s a horrible return on investment. If Blizzard had been more intelligent when designing the itemization for Cata, and had the leveling gear start in line with the previous expansion’s final leveling zone, and had it finish about a tier ahead of the final raid from the last expansion, then we’d be having Deathing Heroic dropping gear in the 347 range, rather than the 404 range, and this wouldn’t be an issue.

    The fact that the hypothetical item from the end raid of MoP was item level 600, almost a full 200 ilevels above the best gear from cata, shows to me that Blizzard hasn’t learned from their mistakes, and are in fact planning on repeating them. The item level “squish” will only stave off the problem for a single expansion if they don’t learn a little self restraint when it comes to planning itemization.

    • Rammstein says:

      “Health pools? A problem brought about strictly by failed cataclysm design.”

      Not only do you fail to articulate how this design failed to meet its goals, you don’t even bother to explain what goals you think it was trying to meet. Your argument is without foundation.

      “They jacked up the base health pools, and increased the scaling with stamina to health conversions up another 50%. It has nothing to do with the gear, and everything to do with the design strategy.”

      Well yes, it has something to do with the gear, if you jack up the base health pools by 200% then you have to jack up the gear ilvl by 100 or it won’t have as much impact as you want it to have, or as gear used to have. Obvious.

      “They took the entire endgame of a 2 year long expansion, and gave equivilent weight in the gear curve to leveling content that most serious raiders cut through in less than a week. That’s a horrible return on investment.”

      I just explained why they did it…wtf does ROI have to do with it? they didn’t ‘invest’ anything, they changed some numbers around. Sticking with your metaphor, if raising the ilvls in Cata was a bad investment, then what will lowering ilvls in an item squish be? A good loan? Inflationary money printing? A fortuitous and beloved economic crash? Your metaphor is incoherent.

      “The fact that the hypothetical item from the end raid of MoP was item level 600, almost a full 200 ilevels above the best gear from cata, shows to me that Blizzard hasn’t learned from their mistakes, and are in fact planning on repeating them. ”

      Lol, look at those millionaires making the same mistakes over and over again. Just swimming in their money, doing everything wrong. If only they listened to me, the Renaissance Man, whose game is…what game did you design again?

      If you made any effort to say “this is what I think their goals are, these are the drawbacks of their design, this would fit their goals better and have less drawbacks”, then I could actually have a reasoned debate with you. But if you’re going to just post the same meaningless rant about ilvl inflation and that they have no idea what they’re doing on every Wowblog under the sun, then people are going to just point and laugh at you and point out that if they’re really doing (Everything Wrong!), why are they the rich successful game designers instead of you?

      • Here I figured that people actually read the huge post by eyonix last march when they outlined the design goals behind the major stat changes 6 months before cata release. Oh well.

        The change to stamina scaling and base health pools were designed with a couple functions in mind. The first was that they wanted to eliminate the survivability gap between the armor classes, where a DPS warrior had 25k health, and a clothy such as a mage had 15% less health. They also wanted to artificially throttle healer throughput. This second design goal was where they screwed up. While actually nerfing coeficients to the degree that they wanted to bring down throughput would not have been well recieved, it wouldn’t have created any long term problems. Instead, they opted with a design that bloated health pools out, and now once it’s been implemented and we have a few data points to look at where it’s actually taking us, people are going “My God, how did health pools get so big?”

        “Well yes, it has something to do with the gear, if you jack up the base health pools by 200% then you have to jack up the gear ilvl by 100 or it won’t have as much impact as you want it to have, or as gear used to have. Obvious.”

        Issues with itemization are fueled further through the design goals that said itemization is built to implement. You’re confusing cause and effect. Health pools haven’t gotten huge because they have more stamina on gear, there’s more stamina on gear because they wanted people to have bigger health pools. In Eyonix’s original post, they were initially planning on drawing that stamina from the itemization budget allocated to stats that were being removed, Spellpower on armor, Attack Power, Defense, Armor Pen, and MP5. There was a small riot on the beta server when people found out that Deathbringer’s Will was now a stam trinket with an oddball proc, so Blizzard relented, and instead converted the dissapearing stats into their nearest equivilents, and instead kicked stamina scaling up 50% to compensate.

        “I just explained why they did it…wtf does ROI have to do with it? they didn’t ‘invest’ anything, they changed some numbers around. Sticking with your metaphor, if raising the ilvls in Cata was a bad investment, then what will lowering ilvls in an item squish be? A good loan? Inflationary money printing? A fortuitous and beloved economic crash? Your metaphor is incoherent.”

        Think about it like this, gear inflation will eventually be a problem. Item levels will eventually reach levels where aspects of the game begin to break down. PvP burst situations, excessive defensive allocations for tanks in PvE encounters, and the gaps between classes that scale very well with many stats, such as Fury Warriors, and classes that scale very poorly with many stats, such as Enhance Shaman, become pronounced to the point of requiring a complete teardown of at least one of the interelated systems. However, Blizzard had a long ways to go before they were going to hit that point. By blowing a huge chunk of itemization on cataclysm leveling, they’ve eaten heavily into that buffer, pushing themselves almost an entire expansion closer to the problem.

        “Lol, look at those millionaires making the same mistakes over and over again. Just swimming in their money, doing everything wrong. If only they listened to me, the Renaissance Man, whose game is…what game did you design again?”

        And now you’re just resorting to Ad Hominem attacks. One doesn’t have to be a master musician to point out when the Beatles hit a sour note, you just need to have an ear.

    • Jaeger says:

      I tend to agree. It’s silly that previous teir epics are replaced after a couple lvls of questing. People put a lot of effort into acquiring them and then they just become complete garbage when the next expansion comes out.

      I think they need to do an item squish but also change the scaling from tier to tier. It needs just to be ‘barely’ big enough of an upgrade to encourage people to acquire the gear but nothing more.

      The scaling should be linear all the way but greens, blues, and purples should have different y-intercepts or something. I think Heroic gear should have a separate color as well.

      For example, if you have top ilvl from the previous expansion, you should be ready for heroic dungeons when you hit the new max lvl. There shouldn’t be a need to replace your gear through quests and normals because you’re just doing those to lvl anyways.

      The next problem with scaling though is having multiple tiers at endgame. I think the problem here is that Blizz doesn’t want people to skip content because it has a small upgrade. This can be addressed by requiring people to have the previous tier before they move on to the next tier; basically, everything would have an ilvl requirement. The gain in ilvl would be more about gaining experience by earning it while doing the content instead of gaining more agility and stamina bonuses.

      I’ll think about it some more and see if I can mock up a system that would work.

      • Armin says:

        Although I agree, that teh problem is mostly one of Blizzard’s own creation.

        There are a few things I want to add to:

        1) Quote: It’s silly that previous tier epics are replaced after a couple lvls of questing.

        We should not forget that this was by design, as Blizzard also tried making heroic 5-mans hard again. With the base community (forget about core raiding for a second) in full ICC non-heroic gear, they had to make it semi-obsolete. (That said, the 2pc bonus still was so good I carried it for a significant while).

        Look at the graph and you’ll see the red line starts higher in teh blue line than previous patches did.

        Now because the base community revolted because “Wow Dungeons Are Hard” this blew in their face, but here I actually am on Blizzard side. This was not a design error but they overestimated the comunity.

        2) A second issue – buit this one is on Blizzard – is that Blzzard only released 5 levels because they also had to rework thw whole world. So the whole smear from making stats scale had to be pushed in half the levels. Hit-rating, crits, etc all go down when you level and don’t replace your gear. Now per character level they had to make a much stronger ilvl gear scale.

        This is a design error or at least limitation based on choice not to make 10 numeric levels. A choice I’m not critising perse as I can also understand not to have 10 double-fast end-game levels.

        But the funny thing now exists that e.g. killing Argent Crusade daily mobs from two expensaions back will give you XP when you start your advantures in MoP because of this …

        But the real issue is that MoP will have again 5 levels. In case they would use 10 levels they could use the longer slower smear. So therefore this is something they created themselves.

        (BTW will this mean the whole world will be reworked also? Else I see no reason to make 5 double-length MoP levels vs 10 single lenght levels like TBC/WotLK.)

        3) The second big problem is the insertion of extra levels in patches. The best example is in PvP, where a complete new honour gear set for Season 10 was introduced instead of just roling the old Season 9. Because of this the conquest-Season 10 needed to be extra ilvl increased. In PvE similar issues arised. with their choice of positioning the tiers.

        4) The game indeed must be rising exponentially, but the final issue is that the co-efficient Blizzard uses has increased in Cata. Look at the graph and you see that the curve became a lot steeper in Cata. There is no reason why MoP could reduce the coefficient a bit again back to ICC levels.

        It will still be exponential, but e.g. not the 3000 agi they used in their example but ‘only 1000′.

    • JTW says:

      you didn’t even bother to try to read the article correctly before starting to rant…

      The ilvl 600 is what would happen (possibly, in theory) if nothing were done, yet of course you have to use it as a fact that it will happen and THUS Blizzard are a bunch of idiots.

      • The overall gear scaling curve is set in pre alpha development, precisely where MoP is right now on development. They don’t know the exact items, but they know the general range they want things to land in. If you look at the “post squish” graph ghostcrawler threw up there, it still shows a rediculous hike in item levels in cataclysm content. To the extent of Cataclysm eating up more itemization than Vanilla and BC combined, which is exactly how things are now. They’re realizing that mistakes are being made, but they haven’t figured out what those mistakes are.

  3. Huntros says:

    So with if squishy idea were put in to place, are you saying that I wouldnt be able to go and do Cata raids until I had geared up for the new expansion or would the entire world be scaled down along with armour?

    • 7seti says:

      Everything would be squished down to match the new curve. The only difference you’d notice is that soloing old content would be harder.

  4. Steelhide says:

    Obviously Blizzard has an awesome game, so they must be doing ok in the design. It sounds like they don’t want to change the way stats get inflated at the end game because of its allure to players, and keeping them playing.

    Having some goofy gimmick like “MEGA DAMAGE” is really lame. There is already a game mechanic in use, just use it here as well. When you look at the health of a Boss on his portrait, you don’t see 7,342,246 health, you see 7.342M or something similar. Same with our health, we don’t see the entire number, but an abbreviated version. My hunter may have 127,433 health, but instead I see 127K for health.

    It should be a simple matter of displaying the points done in damage this same way. When a mages fireball hits for 7,234,432 damage just show the first few digits on screen with the suffix M. Thus, 7.234M. Easy to understand, not clunky at all, not hard to tell you are doing a lot more damage than 120K damage.

    A highlight/shadow could be added to the displayed text as well. And if some wanting a detailed look at their nbers wants to see it done to the decimal they can always refer to the combat logs (which could have a feature to show full or abbreviated numbers with a tick box).

    It really is too simple. Don’t make this sound more complicated than it is.

    • Deepfriedegg says:

      you know, the issue is not just with displaying these big numbers but rather with computing those big numbers. Adding 154 and 241 is much less computing than adding 14,862,471 and 10,324,752

      • Armin says:

        Since most math is non-floating there is zero difference between 154 and 241 addition and 14.862.471 and 10.324.752. As long as all three numbers stay below the magic 4294967295 it takes exactely the same time to read, add and store back in the memory. This is because internally they all work with fixed length registers.

        So adding

        00000000000111 and 00000000000101

        is the same cost as e.g.

        01000000000111 and 01000000000101

        Now Blizzard may use floats here and there, and there indeed higher numbers will give rounding in the precision behind the comma (or dot for the US readers :-) ). However besides from the fact that those are irrelevant noise (e.g. 140000 or 1400016 damage), you still have typically 53 bits of the 64bit total for the coefficient so the numbers required to hit this are very high. Much higher than MoP will bring.

        So what Blizzard has been hinting at I don’t know. I suspect this is more at the issues displaying it. A hit of 154 can be just displayed in 3 chars. A hit in 14.862.471 is more digits to parse and display therefore more expensive. Especially as it will likely be displayed as 14,9M on one side of the Atlantic and 14.9M on the other side, which requires evem more processing. Displaying the number is several magnitudes more expensive then calulcating them.

        However displaying these numbers is again several magnitudes smaller than the rest of the graphics, so I would doubt that is it. A simple waterfall background is in terms of system calulcations immensly more costly then a number.

        So I consider this Blizzard argument pretty void.

      • sheppo says:

        @armin you’re assuming a bit depth limitation to their combat system. Chances this has been extended already since vanilla – again an assumption, but one would hope they weren’t throwing around more bits than they needed to when we were doing 4 digit damage.

        atop that you have the issue of communicating that information to clients, it’s easy to compress trailing 0s out of the equation, not so much when every single tick of every single action is 8..9…10 digits in length.

        then of course we have the issue of displaying the numbers in a friendly way on the screen. They’re all very very real issues.

  5. Arinvar says:

    I think a good way to go would be from an interface perspective. The default interface could give rounded off/scaled down numbers for players to look at, while having the option to see the “real” figures. No need for a lot of messing around and balancing, just an interface addon.

    In terms of computing the numbers and potential performance issues, client and server side, especially for raids this would only be a band aid fix.

  6. Thornagol says:

    I like the idea of reducing secondary stats or adding mechanics to the fights. (Disclaimer: I have not done the math yet for the upcoming examples I am giving. These are just assumptions until math can be performed.)

    In case of the secondary stats, dropping I have about 30% crit now, but having it scale down to say, 5 or 10% could reduce the HP pool inflation needs since I’m not critting as often. The HP pool will still have to increase to cover the primary stat increases but it wouldn’t be as much.

    As for the mechanics, if the boss enters a phase of the fight where all damage is reduced by x% or puts up a raid-wide debuff of x% increased miss chance, then this could mitigate some of the need for larger health pools. The trick with this is that you would have to do this for every boss. The problem with this is that it won’t effect the way that damage is dealt in PVP, though an increase the the amount that resilience ratings give could deal with that.

    If I had to choose between mega damage or the gear squish, I would go with the gear squish. I think it would be fun to level a new hunter and see me doing 50dps when I used to be doing 300 or more.

  7. Omogon says:

    I agree with the comments that gear scaled much too quickly in Cata. It pissed me off that my LK epics…..which took me months to get…..were pretty much gone by the time I got out of Hyjal and half way through Deepholme.

    I don’t have problem with smaller increments in scaling… as a Dwarf MM Hunter I might keep a lower levl gun with good itemization over a a supposedly “higher level” or better item……that (to me) just keeps things more interesting. But Bliz has to deal with the wide fanbase who want MOAR AND BIGGER :)

    I would go for the “squish” option because I think the mega damage thing is just plain silly.

  8. Arthemystia says:

    As WHU hunters, shouldn’t we be among those who can realize the need for something like this, and not mind if we get ilvl squished to oblivion? It’s all about balance between classes and bosses; a number is just a number. From my perspective, this is a non-problem, but I realize there’s others who wouldn’t take kindly to doing less dps than the previous expansion.

    • Ghedrhalla says:

      Glad to see you post as I had hoped to email you and could not find an address for you on the site.

      There is actually 2 ways to interpret the second option being put put forward from the Watercooler article.

      The first way to read it was 49,000 damage shot now becoming a 490 damage shot. Basically it would be functionally like option 1 (Mega Damage) where 49,000 damage would become 49K damage. Faster computations all around due to smaller numbers, gear still growing exponentially. Overall, no big change as the percentage damage dealt is still the same and it would probably take 2 days for an addon to be released that reads the combat log and spits out the 490 damage as 49,000,000 damage on the floating combat text.

      The second way that option 2 of the Watercooler article could be read that the scaling would be not keeping an exponential growth in gear and stats, but approach a more linear one. This means that killing an equal level mob would still take the same number of shots, but since there is less rise between lower levels and higher ones, pet-tanking and soloing of older content would become significantly more challenging if not outright impossible.

      The loss of soloing (or ease there-of) in that interpretation of option 2 is quite a hit to the hunter community that enjoys it as an activity. The upswing of such a change would be that PVP would become less one-sided when getting jumped by a higher geared or higher level player.

      Really what is needed at this point in the game is a complete rewrite of the underlying code (not just combat values and stats) including the splitting of abilities into PVP and PVE variables while bumping those internals up to be strictly 64-bit compliant. This would result in cable internet and updated OS’ being mandatory and a fairly huge drop-off in subscribers who would not meet the new gaming requirements, but that would be the only way to fix the ‘broken’ parts of the game to the extent required.

  9. Worvince says:

    I don’t quite understand the numbers side of the game, but would changing the ‘primary’ stats into the same system as the secondary stats help at all? i.e. Use an ‘Agility Rating’ like we have ‘Haste Rating’?

    • JTW says:

      no. The problem is that the results of those stats are going to insanity, not necessarilly the stats themselves .

      So you’re ending up having 10m hp at the end of MoP, and doing 1m dps, unless something’s done.
      To get rid of the problem, there has to be a serious nerf across the board on both the mob and toon side.

      The entire stat line can be made pretty much linear that way, with a maybe a mild curve up around the end of an expansion, but flattening again in the beginning of the next (so the top gear of exp.1 has similar stats to the early gear of exp.2, or even slightly worse, not having the early gear of exp.2 having 50% higher stats than the top gear of exp.1).

      That way the stat inflation is very much gone, while at the same time there’s still an incentive to go for top gear in each expansion (maybe even more than now, as raid gear from WotlK would no longer be outclassed by early cata greens but be either similar or slightly superior).

      • Worvince says:

        I was thinking more along the lines of the ratings contributing differentially based on the character level so that 1 Agility Rating @ lvl85 contributes more than @ lvl90, etc. Again, not sure if it would make any difference at all.

        The numbers would look bigger and shinier to players, but their contributions could dwindle to control the effect of the stats.

  10. Hyrne says:

    I’m with all of you in your tier gear. I hated watching it float away with early quests in Cata.

    What about cutting down the amount of tier? How many “big” patches do we get with each expansion? What if we got one piece of tier at the end big boss so by the time you’re at the end (or near the end), you’ve got your set bonuses. I’m a Wrath Baby, but didn’t some of the early tier have 6 or 8 pieces? Using Cata as an example. Chogall dropped a piece, Nefarian dropped a piece, Ragnaros dropped a piece, and some near end boss of Deathwing dropped the last one (so you’ve got your set before you take down the end boss of the expansion). You work hard for it and you keep it through an entire expansion, and it’ll hang around quite a bit in the next.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind stats going up by 1s and 2s. I run in a friendly enough guild that there’s competition to top the charts, but were not pricks about it, so squeezing out every little bit of dps counts. But, I do see the issue with scaling the game content that way. There’s a total difference between playing baby huntard and not knowing what you’re doing to rolling a new one and taking out mobs 4 and 5 levels above you.

    In addition, why do xpac greens have to replace previous xpac purples? Maybe start the greens half way between the previous xpacs ilvls and go up from there, so end game gear might last through a patch or two. Not everyone downs end game content.

  11. Slipstrêam says:

    I think you can implement an armor debuff very easily. If you are level 90 wearing lvl 85 armor then the armor gets a 25% stat debuff. This way the last raid tier for 85 can have the same stats as the new lvl 90 heroic dungeon gear but have 25% less benifit due to the debuff, giving people an incentive to gear up without having to increase the stats significantly.

  12. Taira says:

    I’m on-board with the Item Squish because I think we need to get back to more manageable numbers. There are a couple things to consider with the big numbers:
    (1) Computers don’t work with abbreviated numbers. If it’s 1,234,567 damage, then it’s 1,234,567 damage. The computer doesn’t see 1.2M the way we do. The computer can put that format out there, but that’s additional load above and beyond calculating on the larger number behind that abbreviation. Our local PCs can handle large numbers in basic calculations, but consider the other members of your raid and their calculations. Also consider the thousands of other players on your realm, or battlegroup, and their calculations being done on the server side.
    (2) Blizzard coded WoW with hard-caps. Threat, for example, has a finite limit. Tanks are already running into the threat cap on Ragnaros. 4.3 will have more tanks hitting that cap on the lesser raid bosses, and perhaps even the heroic bosses. Tanks are doing 500% of what we do in threat, but with the scaling being exponential, how long will it be until the DPS start hitting the threat cap as well? What happens when the tanks and DPS have equal threat? What other systems have hard-caps that we’re not aware of?

    I wrote a pretty lengthy suggestion in the Item Squish blog replies, and the short version is that blizzard doesn’t necessarily need exponential growth. They need items to look like upgrades for each tier of content, just so it feels like a meaningful upgrade.
    The magic number has been 13 item levels for meaningful item levels. If you look at item scaling from 1 to 60, you can see that leveling gear progressed at the same pace as player levels. Blizzard can then use 13 item levels for tier 1, and continue on the same trend for each raid tier. As you resume leveling for new expansion content, you can continue leveling up linearly again. With the linear scaling model, players would not be replacing their raid gear from the end of the the previous expansion as quickly, but would certainly be replacing it once they enter new raid content. If blizzard feels that players are not getting enough bang for their leveling buck on non-raid gear, they can change the linear scaling item level appropriately.
    With linear scaling, with 1 item level per character level, item levels for the 4.3 raid would be 254; that’s almost a full expansion reset, and still keeps the separation between raid tiers.

    Now, having said all of that, Frost does have an interesting idea in the theory of diminishing returns. 100 crit rating at level 10 is certainly different than 100 crit rating at level 85. If Blizzard put a diminishing return on the primary stats so that more of the stats are required at higher levels, that could also force the numbers down while still allowing them to put ever increasing amounts of stats on gear. However, it’s still going to feel like a nerf unless they leave the current values as a base for the diminishing return.

  13. Meecham says:

    This will end up being real deep discussion in to general game design. (not my comment, just the subject in general).

    How do you make the game compelling, while keeping the numerical subsystem constrained against exponential growth? (kind of wordy, I guess)

    People like shiny new things. Especially ones that make a bigger boom than the previous things. Computers, they’re stuck doing the computations. You start getting over 4 Billion, and things start to get hairy. Not impossible, not wrong, they just start taking more time.

    I dunno, maybe blizz just has too many distinct items in the game. Scrap everything. (unlikely, but hey I’m brainstorming)

    What if there were 85 item levels, one for each character level. Within there you get 5 variants of armor/weapons stats. Out side of that, appearance could give you the uniqueness option.

    Make the stats on the items grow linearly with each item level. The New shiny will be the look of the gear and maybe a special set bonus.

    Maybe there’s an idea spark in there somewhere, it would be too massive to change out right. But they will need to do something.

    Set bonuses can get added for Epic gear or something.

  14. Lóse says:

    I love this thread, and this website!

    Anywho, I’m in favor of the ilevel squish. And if not a squish, then a greater a value needs to be placed on the base stats, so that when an item with only 10 more agility on it would yield a much larger DPS gain than it does now.

    Or a squish and this. LOL

  15. Frostheim says:

    Just a note on some comments here: keep in mind that vast majority of stat inflation occurs in the endgame, not when moving from one expansion to another.

    I know some people don’t like replacing their purples with greens, but it’s pretty necessary to prevent people from raiding with their old tier epics (something that happened in Wrath, by the way, though that was partially due to how easy Naxx was). New expansion means new gear, and it certainly seems to be a design decision that you should want to use the new gear — whether it’s from a new expansion or a new tier of raid/pvp content. I have to say I agree with this.

    • 7seti says:

      I can’t find the source, but I’ve heard that the real reason for expansion gear-jumps is to make the content moderately challenging to all players. They don’t want players in T13 3-shotting elite mobs as they level to 90, but then they also have to provide powerful leveling gear so the players in Cata greens can keep up.

  16. Steelhide says:

    I have serious doubts that the size of the number has any performance impact. Servers are doing billions of computations per second. It doesn’t matter if thats 1+1 or 1,234,567+1,234,567, both take place in one computation, which can be done billions of times in one second. And this is assuming servers aren’t maximizing calcs by utilizing multiple GPU cards for those calculations.

    It would be interesting triva to see though, what the user load is in calcs per second, per user.

    Anyone have any links to WoW server statistics?

    • Meecham says:

      the problem is that the number with 10 digits after it takes up more space in registers, 1+1 has 2 characters 00000001 + 00000001 = 00000010

      1234567890 + 1234567890 = 0b1001001100101100000001011010010 + 0b1001001100101100000001011010010 = 0b10010011001011000000010110100100

      It’s not that it can’t do it, it can. but chugging through billions of these takes it’s toll on performance.

      • Armin says:

        Why would it? Steelhide is correct.

        The way CPU’s work is using fixed size registers where it doesn’t matter of the registers contain all zero bits or not. So 1+1 and 1234567890 + 1234567890 take up identical space and both take the same amount of cycles (On some CPU’s just 1 cycle if you leave pipelining apart).

        So as long as you are below 2^33 – 1 (I by accident write 2^32 in an earlier post) you are good. And we are not hitting that anytime soon.

        For us humans 1+1 is easier, but for computers it is not important.

      • Darggo says:

        Thank you for covering for me on that Armin (Darggo=Steelhide), I meant to mention registers and the wife got me sidetracked !7:^).

      • Meecham says:

        Ok Armin,
        I give you that, I guess I’m trying to understand why it would be a problem PC-wise.

        Just wondering though, not trolling or sarcasm, I’m not a PC hardware engineer, only had 1 class in it, 15 years ago.

        Wouldn’t Bliizz use Floats for most if not all the computations it does? We’re dealing with fractions in the game all the time. Percentages of this and that. My guess is that most of the on screen numbers are rounded, (I don’t know…just guessing).

        Floating point calcs are more intense than integers. Wouldn’t that make a performance difference over “billions and billions” of calcs?

        I’m just curious over all.
        If it’s not more processor intensive, why would the even bother questioning really, just do the easy thing of putting a K, M, B, T…. after the initial number.

        The other thing , from what I’ve heard is that tanks are hitting the hardcap of threat now with the most recent threat changes? that’s a problem, what happens when DPS hits it as well? Was that’s Frost’s cast? god I think so…

        just my .02


      • Jaeger says:

        Storage becomes an issue when you transition from 16bit to 32bit to 64bit, etc… However, the problem is more what GC originally mentioned and that is computational complexity. As Frost and Zeherah have mentioned before, the calculations for dmg etc are not simple. They usually involve several floating-point operations and just as it’s harder for a human to multiply 103265935.367*346328.83 than it is to multiple 5*5, it takes more clock cycles for a computer to do it too.

  17. Orchano says:

    How about adding talent points to endgame gear? Instead of just increasing stats you can also get extra talent points to spend as you like. Stats can be allowed to increase during the leveling stage but after that they only increase slowly and the gear is spiced up with talent points instead. This is kind of a set bonus but with more options. It will of course make life a bit harder for Blizzard to balance the classes and they would probably need to extend the talent trees, but then again… that’s S.E.P….

  18. Dondeezy says:

    The ilvl squish would fix the problem. But its not an “ideal solution” due to Blizz’s experience with player perception. The player’s perception is that this is a nerf due to ignorance. So if you are going to blame anyone about why this problem is not easily fixed, blame it on the “fact” that 99% of human beings are idiots.

    • Darggo says:

      I can back up that 99% claim. I was a Technical-CSR for Cox Communications (Digital Cable/Phone/Internet) for a couple of years. Roughly 99% of the calls were something I thought every kid knew about TVs. “I dont have a picture, the screen is blue with a #5 in the corner”, and so on. I formed a lasting opinion of the rest of the world; First, assume everyone else is an idiot, but don’t treat them that way, just be nice, and remember to try not to talk over their heads. Don’t be condescending, and all will be fine.

      No flames needed, just an opinion.

  19. Kirk says:

    I don’t care what they call it. They could just do a simple division, i.e. 1000 agility prior to expansion equals 10 agility afterwards. I would be amused to see 0.2 agility on a level 20 item. ;)

  20. hollyluya says:

    Sorry, what do you mean about rested XP for example? I tried a search but adhd kicked in and I didn’t read all the results.

    • Lóse says:

      There was a big fear that when they introduced rested experience when Burning Crusade dropped (I think it was BC), people thought it was going to be unfair and make leveling too easy, and all sorts of other things that didn’t actually happen.

      People make assumptions without all of the facts and just complain.

      • hollyluya says:

        Oh that makes sense, thanks for the explanation. I just started playing a few weeks before Wrath, so even though I missed out on the rested XP hub-bub, I have seen my share of shotgun reactions.

  21. Shadda says:

    According to Zeharah’s Analyzer, a naked worgan MM hunter wielding an unscoped Crossfire Carbine (which I chose due to the lack of relevant stats) will still pull 5437.60 dps, and that’s with absolutely no hit. (If they could somehow reach hit cap, they’d pull 5995.19) Blizzard can’t just nerf our gear: they have to change our base stats.

  22. Freis says:

    Give damage units a name in each expansion. Example: Vanilla-unit, Crusade-unit, Wrath-unit, Cataclysm-unit, Panda-unit, whatever.
    “Your fireball crits for 30 Panda-units”. “Your Holy Light heals for 10 Panda-units”
    With every new expansion released players will know that (for example):
    1 Panda-unit = 10 Cataclysm-units
    1 Cataclysm-unit = 10 Wrath-units,
    Technically every damage/heal/health humber would be represented not by just a numeric machine type, but instead by two components: a numeric value and the expansion-type (Vanilla, Cata, Panda, ..).
    This could solve the problem of big number presentation on UI and the technical problem of storing and computation of exponentially increasing binary numbers.

    • tibbelkrunk says:

      My first thought was, “Hahaha,” but the more I think about it, the more I really like this.

      It’s a lot like the copper/silver/gold currency system. When you first start a character, you’re counting pennies, and items that cost silver are a real investment. Later on, you’ve got a satchel full of gold and silver, and something costing 20 or 40 copper is just a drop in the bucket. Nowadays, 20 or 40 gold is pocket change.

      Same idea.

      Give each damage level a color and a conversion rate.

      “Whoa! My Chimera Shot just crit for over 400 Blue!”

  23. boomerang says:

    Skimming through the player comments to the blog, Squishing seemed to be very popular as a solution.

    Honestly, I think they should squish our level as well down to level 65 be removing the need to level through Wrath and BC content. We should go from 1-65 in Azeroth, then to MoP for 65-70. It would allow them to remove all the gear inflation for Wrath and BC, lower the number of total levels (perhaps we could up the XP requirements for each level so you didn’t blow through zones so quickly), and have a much more fluid quality experience. Then we could start over at ilvl 100 (for level 60) plus 4 tiers of cata gear.

    That would fix the problem for a long time.

  24. Ardor says:

    “but it’s pretty necessary to prevent people from raiding with their old tier epics ”

    Why is it necessary to prevent people from raiding with their old tier epics?

    The core of the problem is iLevel, as in iLevel existing. They screwed the pooch long run with that decision. It lead to the inflation issue under discussion as well as the Gearscore zealots, etc.

    They should tie everything to character level. Wear what ever you want and it scales with your level. They’d not be having to deal with inventing and managing Transmogrification, etc.

    Then they can focus on Set bonus’ to keep players raiding for Tier gear. By tailoring Tier bonus’ to current content they can then make it unattractive to raiders in the next wave of content, without penalizing others.

    Granted, it means coming up with compelling bonus’, consistently interesting artistic choices in item design, and re-educating a very large audience …

  25. tibbelkrunk says:

    I say just keep the same numbers, but present it all to the players on a logarithmic scale, sorta like the Richter Scale for earthquake intensity. That way it perfectly counteracts the exponential inflation.

    If that’s not a way to scare off the majority of the player base, I don’t know what is!

    • Freis says:

      I was also thinking about it, but an obvious downside of this is that at some point you will see something like:
      “Omg, we have all the same gear but my cloak has 300 agi and his cloak is 305 agi, but his DPS is 3 times higher! (i.e. he is killing the same mob 3 times faster).

  26. Kuon says:

    I’m not a fan of either of Blizzards solution.

    Frost points out the the inflation mainly occurs at end game.

    This becomes a problem as the end game gear path is the same as the levelling gear path.

    Perhaps there should a stat (or three) specific to each expansions end game content.

    The base stats accumulate close to linearly, but end game gear/gems/enchants exponentially increase a set of expansion specific stats that are required to kill that expansions heroic dungeon or raid bosses.

  27. Kuon says:

    Reading back through Ghostcrawlers article and the comments following, I think Blizzard have already made the decisions and this article is testing the waters.

    The Mega-Damage option is presented with a slight silly graphic.

    The Item-Squish option is presented with a sober sensible graph.

    Most people subsequently prefer the Item-Squish option.

    The Squish is coming. It may not be in MoP (although they’ll probably start incorporating that thinking into their design), but certainly the expansion after that.

    I think that Blizz must now have some idea of what a good range of numbers is that gives them enough control the game design issues mentioned in comments above and that what they’ll be aiming for, rather than constantly increase numbers

  28. Sonicross says:

    My suggestions are:

    (1) Use the % like heirloom, so as you level up you get more percentage of your gear.

    (2) Have a buff that affects you depending on what continent you are on.
    — Outlands, Northrend would give you a negative you so that dungeons are still challengeable based on what item level your gear.
    — Pandaria would “squish” your output until you reached a certain level and were at the “new” cap (say 10k more than current output).

  29. Semris says:

    The very basic idea of expansions raising the level cap is wrong IN MY VIEW, as I say since BC came and I will keep saying so.

    I have read a gaming review of how WoW beats new MMOs because of it’s rich content build over years – but that is only partially truth, because every new expansion kills the older PvE content – that content lies empty as ghost town…

    I have also stated during LK that stats, damage etc. are beginning to be absurd. I was shunned on forums though – there is scaling, no issue exists! Yeah…


    If they kept same level cap and if they just added new contents (not including stronger gear etc., just different one) for variety, current end game content would be so rich, with so many options… And raiders could still have their raid progressions etc. Yes, people playing just to get better gear could leave, “what a loss”.

    But no, we have Cataclysm which will get killed by Pandas. After 3 years Pandas will get killed by whatnot. Rich content? Our content is 1 expansion.

    At least they might finally get the numbers back down to something normal.

  30. Starzein says:

    I find this whole discusion quite strange the basic principle is that big numbers are somehow harder to understand but i think thats a crock it may seem odd at the moment to have an item with 1000 agi or whatever but in vanilla days the idea of 300 agi on anything was far beyond what anyone expected but we got there and most of us can still read and understand the stats, in fact as long as the number is always increasing you can tell or feel like your getting stronger, i dont get why Blizzard seem to think the large numbers are bad its not real its just a number and most players wont be turned off the game because the numbers are now four or five digits long, (some bosses have tens of millions in health….so what just means the fights last longer) , the stats dont need to jump so much though Ghostcrawler saying 6.3 would be tens of thousands of agi is stupid we dont need to do double the damage by the end of the x-pac and next x-pac is only 5 lvls if we are doing 50,000 damage instead of 30,000 then we are still masivly stronger and the numbers are not too large the problem lies in the rate of growth not the growth itself. This is only a problem if Blizzard keep wanting to double or tripple our power each x-pac but thats just overkill its not needed a lvl 90 toon doing 50k is still better than what any 85 can do by a long way but the stats involved would still be in the hundreds on gear, they are now they dont need to go into the thousands then tens of thousands as long as they grow they dont need to grow expedentially at all. we may be 10x better at 85 than at 80 but we dont need to be 10x better than this at 90 thats flawed logic we just need to be better but not by as much as what GC talks about.

  31. The NU says:

    They don’t need to rise the ilevel every patch like they do. I mean.. people are talking about patch 5.3 an 6.3 having crazy numbers. I think the jump form Wrath to Cata was way too much.

    There is no way around it, they need to nerf the ilvl stats across the board by 20% or something if not more. People say this would feel like a nerf. I don’t see it that way. If my toons stats across all stats was cut down by say 35% going back down to early wrath levels if not BC level.. but everything else in the game stay the same.. then YES I would feel nerfed. BUT…

    If the raids, heroics, etc across all content going form level 90 to level 1 was nerfed by that same amount. Then it’s not really a nerf… its just making the numbers smaller so I don’t have to roll on an item that’s 1200 hit on it.. and trying to figure out what my 5% is for pvp again.

    What I think they need to do is redo the system or something. You know what I would like? I like them to take the numbers back to mid wrath levels.. then make it so your stats never go up.. in that range. ilvl 400-500 would always give you 240 Agility. But an ilvl 400 vs a 420 would give you more mastery which would make your DPS, Healing, etc go up. You never need to worry about damn.. redoing your stats or having to figure out if losing 4% crit is worth gaining 1% Agility or whatever.

    My point is, they are all about making the game easy. I talk to a friend of mine who said the main reason he didn’t like the game was the numbers… and not even the big numbers. .just the whole stats system was confusing and it jump too much around.

    I think they should nerf the number down and they could very easy get away with saying why in Cata we did 30,000 DPS and now in MoP we do 3,000 DPS.

    “As Deathwing attacked the world, the balance of power and nature was out of whack.. in order to protect the world and give the heroics a chance.. something magical happened that gave the heroics of the world more power, a buff that made them near god like levels.. however now that Deathwing has been destoryed the world saved.. this power needs to be taken. As such the powers to be removed whatever form the world restoring balance… once again.”

    Simple.. its can be explained.. and it wont matter. Think of the ICC buff that was going on.. we got 30% more everything.. now its time to take it away.

  32. The NU says:

    On a side note.. I heard that some really well gear tanks in heroic raid gear, popping everything and fully buff, etc can hit 200k health. Um what? Yeah.. nerf us please.. I don’t want my hunter going into MoP at level 90 with 210k+ health.. I want to do old world content again and want it to be some what hard.. and not easy because I can just take more damage and it doesn’t matter.

    Can you just see a level 90 Hunter pet with over 200k health? Yeah.. I don’t think any old world raid can kill your pet and I don’t see raid bosses at end game with 10 billion health pools.

    I wont mind going form 30k dps to 10 again. I’ll know that even know recount says I’m only pulling 10.1k dps.. I know I’m really doing more then had the numbers stay high.

    People just love to complain and feel like their being nerf.. do do you really want to have to see gear with numbers like that and have to figure out your stats at such a high level? And the whole deal with computers having a hard time reading such large numbers.. I call BS on that. A computer basically only does math.. the bare bones of a computer is math.

    Humans are the ones who can’t read or do math at such high levels. Their player base would complain if they ilvls jump again and the numbers got large like they did form wrath to cata.

    • GTyoungblood says:

      I went into ICC to solo it the other day. With the buff, my health was about 220k, and my turtle right about 200k. I have to say, I didn’t mind that one little bit. I was geared in season 10 Vicious gear that took me two afternoons of honor-farming to get get. Gem’d and ‘chanted for nothing but stamina to do soloing with. [Before the ICC buff that gear gets me to about 175k health and my pet at 159k].

      If you want to go back through the old content and have it challenging, then roll a new hunter and do it AT LEVEL. Don’t bother using any gear but the gear you get from questing, or gear from vendors.

      So what if a character that’s level 90 can come back to vanilla content and walk through it. That content isn’t meant for him. It makes it nice to help get guild mates leveled quickly, to get some experience doing dungeons, and having some back up just in case things get hairy.

      But this does bring up the question, however; Even if everything scaled linearly, how many expansions would you do before you had this exact same problem with super high stat toons? Will five or six expansion signal the death knell of the game because we have demi-gods walking the streets of Stormwind? Or, perhaps would it mean some kind of transition will take place? Once we get to the expansion after Mists of Panderia, will that expansion elevate out characters out of the mortal realm and into the realm of the Titans? Never again to tread the soil of Azeroth? In other words, that expansion being a whole new game experience completely separated from the old world?

  33. Keelyu says:

    I envision a Mists of Pandaria expansion that has a similar gimmick to the Cataclysm expansion. BUT! Instead of Deathwing flying around and 1-shotting you, it will be a super-sized Ghostcrawler floating around (because crabs don’t fly, duh.) and casting Nerfbat on all of Azeroth.

    By the way, we already have “mega-damage” sorts of numbers every time a Sporebat crits.

  34. Kalven and Hobs says:

    I personally consider this a non-issue, but worth discussing if change is desired. The only input I have is to suggest modifying the presentation of data. The up-tics at each historical max level can be put into context better if each tier of gear was treated as a “Level”, i.e. ilevel 200=level 80.1, ilevel 219=80.2, ect.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the amount of time and effort intended to level from 60-70, 70-80, and 80-85 are not exactly linear, and this variable is made worse by the XP squashes to old expansions.

  35. Ermako says:

    Stat inflation is not a problem. Numbers are not too large. Don’t be scared of big numbers. Computers handle these big numbers very easily. If some people have problems with them, tough shit. If necessary, just use scientific notation.

    I do agree with you that both proposed solutions suck. Especially the second solution, expansion nerf. I would really hate this because it takes away from what I’ve already earned. This is probly what Bliz will do.

  36. GTyoungblood says:

    But this does bring up the question, however; Even if everything scaled linearly, how many expansions would you do before you had this exact same problem with super high stat toons? Will five or six expansion signal the death knell of the game because we have demi-gods walking the streets of Stormwind? Or, perhaps would it mean some kind of transition will take place? Once we get to the expansion after Mists of Panderia, will that expansion elevate out characters out of the mortal realm and into the realm of the Titans? Never again to tread the soil of Azeroth? In other words, that expansion being a whole new game experience completely separated from the old world?

  37. Steelhide says:

    [ BTW, GTyoungblood = Darggo = Steelhide. Depends on my method of accessing and browser. It's a long stupid story]

    I was just thinking about my last post. Could the upcoming TITAN be just that? The asscention of ubertoons to a new level? I had often thought how cool it would be to be able to input/transfer toons into another MMO or computer game (thinking back to the 1980′s, Bard’s Tale computer game).

    Another MMO, where characters start out as some real heros, that continue on where WoW left off? You could just roll a fresh toon there, or import one from WoW, and getting some kind of benefit for doing so (like skipping some levels, or having gear that lasts through a bunch of content like heirlooms). Hm… The possibilities…

  38. romanchance says:

    Bear with me: tie equipment stats to the character level instead of the gear with the only difference being in the choice of secondary stats= all warriors with identical builds carrying i150 swords do the same white damage – just allow for choice on the secondary: hit or crit or whatnot. The incentive to wear/carry qwest rewards and boss drops come from the quality bonus increase: Give a flat percentage damage bonus based on gear quality 5% for green 10% blue 15% epic and 20% legendary. All gear will auto-scale just like heirlooms since weapon and armor base stats are based on your own level. If we are truly going to “bring the player” then his level (representing his fighting experience) should determine how dangerous he is. Then when the expansion comes and everyone becomes level 86 the quest greens will be ten percent weaker than the raid gear carried into the new expansion by those who chose to gear up and it will stay that way. Quest rewards can then never be better than Epics but can still grow in power as you level. Since raid gear also grows then their “Thunderfury” remains permanantly viable and gives them their edge simply because of its quality percentage bonus. Legends should remain permanantly legendary throughout the life of WOW. Make damage output and player/monster/boss hp a straight parallel line of growth.

  39. Bushie says:

    They really screwed themselves when they decided that “We need more HP”……i went from lvl 80 at around 30k hp to 85 at about 100k…..whats the point in that….? then i went from about 3k dps in naxx to 6k in ulduar 10k in icc now im pushing 42k….for what? redesign boss scaling cuz the fist boss in those now twilight 5 mans has 1/2 the HP of LK 10 which is insane…then you run into the problem of heroic bosses being old news in 7 seconds…..but remember, in MOP well get to 85 and be right into heroics then well do those challange modes for our VP, where gear is nomamalized…..