Archive for upgrades

The Philosophy of Sidegrades and Cow-Punching Noobtards

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by Mark Pannell

A few days ago, Vonya over at The Egotistical Priest wrote an interesting post about the idea of upgrades in Northrend. As a relatively seasoned raider, her PvE purples outshined anything that I’ve ever equipped. But the point she made even applies to less seasoned players like me. Some of these alleged “upgrades” that we were promised in the brave new world seem more like sidegrades. If you’ve read more than a post or two on this here blog, you know that I did just about zero endgame raiding at 70. So my purples were a mix of welfare epics and world event epics. Either way, the stats were as impressive as anything I could have acquired given my complete lack of raiding experience. I assumed that as I headed into the frozen continent to the north, I’d be picking up greens with stats so mind-blowing that I’d vendor my Merciless Gladiator gear and never look back. Not so fast.

What I’m finding, just as Vonya found, is that most of the new goodies are “sidegrades” at best. Note to… well, you guys: all credit for the term “sidegrade” goes to Vonya. Just so we’re clear. Back to the diatribe. As a Fire Mage, I loves me some Intellect, Stamina, Spell Power, Crit, etc. When one of these new-fangled antarctic armor pieces drops, it may give 20 more Stamina than the piece I have equipped, but it’s at the expense of 15 Spell Power. The really tough choices are the ones where I’d gain about 40 of one stat, but dump a ton of another in its place. Bah!

Hopefully you’ve all read Vonya’s post by now. If not, this paragraph will be a spoiler. In the end, she makes the decision to go ahead and equip the sidegrades. After all, we’ll eventually be replacing every piece of our 70 gear anyhow. Plus, if Blizzard thinks that I suddenly need a ton of Haste rating, who am I to argue with them? But it brings another issue of mine into the spotlight. Maybe it’s not all about the stats for me. I think the second half of the equation is the negative stigma associated with wearing greens again. As a late bloomer, I was proud to have finally worked my way into mostly purples with some blues. I never had to go through this at level 60 because I was already in Outlands by then. So when I dinged 70, I started accumulating some purples and equipping them with a quickness. For once, I wasn’t embarrassed to be strolling around Shattrath.

Let me go ahead and tell you a seemingly unrelated story that will make more sense when I tie it all together in the end. Why? Because I love when writers do that and I don’t have the tact to do it without holding up a huge banner that says, “Check this out This is some quality writin’s right here!” Ya know what? If I eliminated all of the unnecessary banter from my posts, I could probably host this blog on Twitter. Back to your regularly scheduled ramblings.

Earlier this year, a co-worker friend of mine took up WoW. He rolled a Human Warrior and quickly made his way to level 5. From 5 to 10, he slowed down a bit. I don’t mean  that he slowed down due to the increased XP required to level. I mean it seemed like it took far too long for him to ding 10. Then, getting from 10 to 20 was an absolutely ridiculous amount of time, even for a new player. A few of his friends and I started asking him investigative questions in an attempt help him figure out what he was doing wrong. But we couldn’t get a feel for what was holding him up. Finally, we all partied up to help him level a bit. We stopped off at an armor merchant in Ironforge to get repairs before heading out. A friend asked him if he needed repairs. He replied, “Repairs? What do you mean?” Mystery solved.

Turns out, our pal had no idea that he needed to repair his items from time to time. He just ran around killing mobs until either the durability of his weapon hit zero or a new one dropped for him. If the former happened, he started punching critters for XP since he could no longer take on mobs of the same level without a weapon. If you beat enough cows to death, they’re eventually gonna give you a world drop sword. I’m not even kidding here.

What’s the point of my story? Putting on greens again makes me feel like a cow-punching noobtard. I just have a hard time stripping off purples to equip greens. As a player who started post-BC, I never had the experience of replacing Old World epics for Outlands greens. For seasoned veterans, my argument probably seems ridiculous. And when the next expansion drops, it will probably seem ridiculous to me too. But if you happen to be playing on Silvermoon Alliance side and see a Draenei Mage standing out in the middle of the Borean Tundra with the telltale <AFK> lingering above her head, leave me alone. I’m thinking.

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