This is being spawned from the complaints regarding raid gear on the Rift Public Test Server being buffed up. Prior to the buff, crafted gear was about on par with the raid gear, so this is creating a separation between the tiers. But is this good or bad?

I think this is a good thing, although some seem to disagree. The argument that is being used the most right now is along the lines of “you should not take what we have crafted and earned and then put us behind those we were [in the past] on par with.” Essentially, prior to the buff those with raid gear were about equal to those with crafted gear, so when it comes to the competitive edge everything was alright. With the change, however, competition kicks in again, where the strongest survive (in this case, those with raid gear).

The main reason why I am all for this change is that crafted gear and raid gear should be separate. While crafted gear can be made by anyone (by buying the materials and trading to someone who can craft them, or doing it yourself) or be bought straight up, raid gear simply can not. There is the argument that raiders can be carried, but that is still a lot more difficult than earning x platinum and just buying the items outright.

I also usually fall in to the same mindset as many raiders in that “if you do not want to get raid gear, you do not need it. Therefore what you are missing out on is irrelevant since it has no real need.” I think a lot of players just want multiple paths to getting their top gear, but when it really comes down to it they should never be equal. If there are four different paths to earning a set of gear, it would be too difficult to ensure that each path has an equal difficulty. Because of this, players would generally take the easiest path, and it is not fair to put them on the same level as those who take the harder path. The harder something is to complete, the more rewarding it should be. Taking away that reward will only hurt the content it is related to, in that laziness will undoubtedly kick in at some point.

Now, I can completely understand the idea behind crafting gear. I am in no way trying to say that you should not be able to craft items that are good enough to get you in to raids. In fact, in a majority of cases this crafted gear is pretty much a necessity to get started. What I am saying, however, is that it should not be even close to being end game gear. There should be a clear enough separation between the two types that it is obvious crafted gear is just a stepping stone towards the better stuff.

The only way I could see this changing is if Rift took the approach that some games do, where materials drop from raid bosses that are rare and can not be traded. These materials would be a requirement for the crafted items. In this case I could see it working because you are still crafting the gear, but at the same time you have to have taken down the bosses. This should be on par with raid gear in that either way, you had to work at least an equal amount to achieve it. Possibly even more, so I could see it being a little more powerful. To make them both equal, the material should be dropped at a rate equal to the full item drops.

Now, this leads us in to another somewhat big problem: new raids, new tiers of gear and changes to previous gear. This is something we have seen with most of the large content patches, and will undoubtedly continue in to the future. As an example, you can watch what it takes to get the latest raid gear, and watch for a change in its costs. Or you can watch a lower tier and see it become cheaper. This was seen recently with the Hammerknell Fortress gear. On the “guessing” side of things, this leads me to feel that we are getting new raids soon that will require higher tiered (or at least better) gear. I would say that it is about the same as when we went from needing the following path:

  • Normal gear → Experts
  • Expert gear or crafted gear → T1 Raids
  • T1 Raid gear → T2 Raids

I feel that what is happening is we are moving back into another “gated raiding” mechanism. And even with these changes, those with the crafted gear are stated as being about equal to the expert gear (which was how it used to be prior to Storm Legion). It is unknown exactly what the future will hold, but Trion has been doing great at implementing player feedback in to game changes and taking risks to see if there are better ways of handling things. So this is to you, Trion: do not let crafted gear be on par with raiding gear unless there is a mechanism in place that helps put them on a similar difficulty! Otherwise everyone will start just crafting items and it will start killing off the raid groups because there will be no reason to continue the content (sort of like we are already seeing with the first tier of raids, ever since the level cap increased with Storm Legion).


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