Gearing decisions in M+

Dungeons & Raids
I've recently been thinking about why me and a couple of my ingame friends are having less fun with M+ this expansion and remembered that in Legion we had the ability to swap gear out of combat in M+ dungeons, which was a mechanic I loved abusing to the absolute maximum on both my Warlock and DH.
Its removal didn't get too much attention in Legion, probably because it only affected a small percentage of M+ runners (which caused confusion about why it was being removed in the first place), but it's probably a part if why I'm enjoying M+ less and I'm interested to see how people feel about it.

This is what I think:
I certainly feel like gear choices (in both M+ and raids) are less interesting at the moment than in Legion. Of course a lot of that is just due to the sorry state of Azerite traits compared to the massive impact certain Legion legendaries had on performance, playstyle and stat weights. But in addition to that, Blizzard removed:
-some interactions between specs and item procs (Atonement)
-AOE vs ST tradeoffs inherent in stats for some specs (Mastery for Affliction used to be good for dots but bad for seed spam, Crit for Havoc used to be BiS for ST but got worse the more targets you had)
-AOE damage proc trinkets, they all split their damage across targets now, making them do the same DPS regardless of the situation

So they removed gearswapping from M+ with the stated goal of making gear choices more difficult and interesting, which is logically sound though still not necessarily desirable. But then they also removed the reasons why many specs would gearswap in the first place, along with the exact choices they wanted to emphasize.
Now I have a bunch of stats that basically do the same, some slightly better than others, and making builds and thinking about gearsets is about half as fun as it was in Legion. My only significant gear optimization as a Disc in M+ has been to avoid mastery because it doesn't contribute to my DPS, and mastery isn't even particularly good for healing anyway so it's not much of a choice.
The thing is, gearing decisions weren't difficult in Legion either, but the sheer amount of opportunities for optimization you had made it way more fun than what we currently have. You could make optimized gearsets for single target, cleave, slightly more cleave, priority damage, mass aoe, a speed set that minimized runtime, defensive sets, etc.
What we have in BFA feels so much more bleak, and even if they brought back gearswapping now it wouldn't be the same due to stats and Azerite traits being less interesting than what we had in Legion.
The main reason for swaping gear in Legions were legendaries, nothing else. I had 11 sets for blood, 8 for frost where i was just swapping 5-6 legends and some trinkets. Since "one-shot" mechanics on bosses are gone now u no longer need avoidance gear, which makes switching gear pointless.

Everyone had 3 types of sets (dmg, def, speed), which was nothing else than swap prydaz and deff trinkets or get a boots and some speed gear. With the current gameplay u arent even able to switch when u got infested in combat for 24/7.

Only problem with gear swapping might occur if u have started dung with wrong gear. But u can still go out and reset...
I only have now one gear set per spec, since I have an off spec as resto.

Not sure if in the future there may be room for multiple gear settings, depending on the azerite armor I am wearing.
The only issue I have with the gear locking are that it goes strictly against the vision blizzard themselves had with the azerite gear system. Blizzard have during a Q&A stated that players whould have a nice set of choices to make while crafting gear sets.

Like Single target, AoE, Sustain for healers. AoE dps/Single target for DPS-ers. Cooldown/AoE/Single Target tanking for tanks. That was at least their vision with the azerite system... yeah like anyone whould ever get that many decent azerite pieces of similar ilvl to begin with but "what if...?!".

The only places in the game were Azerite pieces whould have any greater effect to swap around traits that ain't the "best traits" whould be in mythic+ and mythic raiding, for any other content you can basicly use whatever traits aviable and do good enought.

By locking gear in mythic+ that choice gets removed on pull - pull basis, which are a bit lame concidering all the hype blizzard themselves seem to have about the system. Theres also a huge dps difference between a "AoE" trait and a "singletarget" trait. Which basicly have made most general purpose traits the "best traits" since specialized traits perform worse unless specificly choosen for those fights they shine.

Like Twist Magic... hmm i have a robe i use on Zul only since im a lonely priest in my raid team, twist magic allows me to multitask while single target dispelling adds between mass dispells "yay". I could see some use for that robe in some packs in dungeons but since it's worthless in 9/10 pulls... Nah It's my fine robe for the rare occasion.
31/10/2018 10:36Posted by Whosyp
The main reason for swaping gear in Legions were legendaries, nothing else. I had 11 sets for blood, 8 for frost where i was just swapping 5-6 legends and some trinkets. Since "one-shot" mechanics on bosses are gone now u no longer need avoidance gear, which makes switching gear pointless.

Everyone had 3 types of sets (dmg, def, speed), which was nothing else than swap prydaz and deff trinkets or get a boots and some speed gear. With the current gameplay u arent even able to switch when u got infested in combat for 24/7.

Only problem with gear swapping might occur if u have started dung with wrong gear. But u can still go out and reset...


I disagree. I still have multiple sets for the same spec and some of them are very different. Different azerite traits, different start balances, etc. I would love to be able to swap gear sets in the middle of an M+ run, just like I'd love to swap talents during a run.

I still don't understand why they changed it.

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