To BoA or not to BoA

Recently, there has been some talk in the community and here on the Rawrcast about what loot is acceptable to make bind on account (BoA) and what isn’t.  BoAs have changed the game, and when Blizzard allowed BoA items to also function as heirlooms, WoW took a major step forward in my opinion, but where should it end?  When does a piece of gear really need to be bound to a player, and when should it be ok to allow it to be shared with another player on your account?

Quest Rewards

Let’s first take a look at the gear that should not, under any circumstances, be BoA.  In my opinion, the only gear that should never be BoA are quest items.  Quests are available to all of your toons, and anything one toon can quest to receive, any of the others can quest for as well.  Quest rewards always end up in 1 of 2 places eventually, the vendor or as enchanting mats.  Sure you may equip a quest reward for a few levels, but eventually they all get disenchanted or vendored when it is no longer of any use to you.  Allowing a player to send quest rewards to an alt could, conceivably, flood the enchanting market even more than it already is thanks to the changes for disenchanting gear in 3.3. Blizzard can try and sell you as much as they would like about the crashing of the enchanting market, but anyone who has made money off their enchanting mats will let you know, the market has completely gone to hell.  I have seen it happen on 2 servers, and would guess they are not unique.  With heirlooms and the quest rewards that come as a result of leveling, I don’t know many that would feel quest rewards should become BoA.

Badge Gear

The first major category of gear which should receive BoA status is badge gear.  Any player who gears up a toon, and then collects badge upon badge they may never use can understand the delight which would overwhelm the servers if badge gear was BoA.  Does a player with a paladin who tanks and has 200 triumph badges, and a druid who heals who has 150 badges really need to run his lock through countless instances to collect his own set of badges to make his purchases?  You might suggest he does, but these are encounters in a game, it’s not like you are sending in a dentist to do heart surgery.  Anyone who would argue the lock needs the practice is ignoring a couple key facts.

First, any player who actually takes the time to learn one class is likely to learn about each class they play.  Wanting to be a good player applies to each and every one of my 80s, of which there are now four.  Let’s also be honest about “learning your class.”  The Blizzard model has always been easy to learn, hard to master.  Learning consists of competent DPS and mastering consists of your lock blowing those bitch ass mages out of the water in lesser gear, but eventually, under the current badge system, even mediocre players will eventually be in gear to hide their weaknesses, so really learning the nuances of your class is now only something that can be demonstrated.  A philosophy by which I think we should all be judged anyway.  I have a dream that alts will one day play on a realm where they will not be judged by the score of their gear but by the competency of the character.

Second, if a player really wanted to, they could use those horded badges and buy crusader orbs and runed orbs and put a newly dinged alt in 2 iLvl 232 pieces (chest and bracers) in addition to 2 iLvl 226 pieces (boots and belt).  Those 4 pieces would allow any semi-intelligent player entry into early end game.  There are already ways to circumvent the gearing up process with crafted items, so why not just let us buy the gear as BoA instead of craft it?

The caveat to this and later ideas to BoA gear is the bind on equip function.  All gear can be enchanted and gemmed, but when it is equipped it becomes soulbound.  This would ensure gems and enchanting mats would keep the economy at least in motion.  Anything Blizzard does for a player should always be weighed against the economy.  Some of you might be wondering why I am concerned about jewelcrafters and enchanters when all of the other production professions seem to have little opportunity for making real money in the end game as an expansion comes to a close.  My only response to this will be the new reforging option available to players come Cataclysm.  The reforging kits the developers talked about at Blizzcon are likely to keep the economy moving later in an expansion when many of us start to collect cash for the new gold sinks headed our way, and I am sure the customization on your gear was as much as a contributing factor as the economy was with the new reforging concept anyway.

Drops

I know some of you are thinking, “there is no way he is about to suggest what I think he is going to.”  Well, I apologize in advance, but I am going to suggest making drops BoA, and it will revolutionize the game in ways the new LFD system has.  First, I want everyone to think about how many times they have seen the Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood drop over and over and over while running Heroic Nexus and think to themselves, “if only my lvl 78 hunter could have that as soon as he dinged 80, he could be raid ready.”  How many times have you been tanking on your deathknight only to see Kurisu’s Indecision drop in HToc and wish you had brought your mage to the group instead because it was just sharded?

The same rules for binding on equip would apply to emblem gear, but the actual rolling system is probably what has people the most afraid of a system like this.  That can easily be addressed by removing one of the many loot options people NEVER use and replacing it with an “Alt Roll” option.  The current LFD looting system can remain exactly as it does now, but along with disenchant the player can also choose to Bind to Account.  A BtA roll would function exactly as a greed roll, and if you win the roll, it would bind the loot to your account and allow you to equip it to one of your alts where it would then become character bound.  Need rolls would still be available to the players in the group who actually need the piece, and it would supersede any greed rolls just as it does now.  To keep the number of loot ninjas claiming to need the item for an alt down, the need roll would remain exactly as it does now, and would remind you that looting an item as need will bind it to you, and not your account.

If you were in a guild group, or one where you did not use the LFD system but organized the group yourself, the party leader could then choose the “Alt Roll” option.  This time instead of the BtA roll acting as a greed roll, it would function as a roll with less priority than need but more than greed/disenchant.  You and your guildies could then pound out heroics, or any of the older raids in hopes of gearing up your alts and not actually compromise the group cohesiveness that allows content farming.

For All the Naysayers

Many people will have what feels like valid arguments against such a system.  I know I will hear, “but Rhab, all of those alts will have uber gear and not know what they hell they are doing.”  Of course, to that I will say kiss my toon’s big dwarf ass.  I hopped in random dungeon the other day and was grouped with a team of dps who all had gearscores of 4900-5300.  The tank was rocking 45K hp with my Mark of the Wild, and we chugged right through that place with no problems…except one.  The warlock with a GS of 5100 insisted on using her Voidwalker and couldn’t put out more than 1900 DPS the entire run.  Anyone who cries about the overabundance of loot already available to bad players needs to acknowledge that ship has already sailed and there ain’t shit we can do about it.  On the flip side though, you have great players who study their class(es) and their devotion to their main in the name of community to their guild means their alts, who they would rather gear up, often get punished for being a good guy like the dramarama recently addressed here on the Rawrcast.  Good players with good guilds will benefit as much if not more than the bad players because their Trial of the Crusader farming will give them more loot to pass around to alts on off-nights than those players who aren’t participating in progression content.

Many enchanters are still upset about the sharing of their profession with the 3.3 disenchant option.  The markets have essentially crashed on my servers, and the biggest problem is every time an enchanter steps into an instance they are devaluing their profession specific mats whether we are talking crystals and shards or essence and dust.  Allowing players to greed roll for alts will help bring the price of enchanting mats back to a reasonable market value because there are always going to be players who would rather gear up an alt instead of rolling for a shard.

So what say you?  Should BoA take a revolutionary step forward or am I completely off my rocker?

  • Dreadmoon

    I have to admit that you present a very good case for BoA loot. As someone who has over 300 Emblems of Triumph on my mail toon and all my alts with heirloom items I do feel the pain of having to run multiple toons thru the same old instances to get the needed emblems.

  • Smokimus

    Excellent suggestions…As I’ve recently discovered my alt-ohalism. It would be really nice to use these excess badges that I’m accumulating on my main for something/anything rather than letting them go to waste.

  • DraftingDave

    By “making Badge gear BoA” do you mean the gear you buy from Badges are BoA? or the Badges themselves are BoA? I would rather the badges themselves be BoA. It may result in more badges spent, but it would make earning badges more fun. If the Gear was BoA i could see my Feral Druid Tank being the “badge toon.” I would basicly have to run him all night (since queues are .1 second for tanks) in order to gear up my other toons.

    If the Badges themselves were BoA i could do 1 run with my tank, 1 on my healer, and a few on my dps toons. Just seems more fun.

  • Rhabella

    Well, to be completley honest, I hadn’t really considered that. I am not really a patient person and unless I have something to do while I am hanging out in LFD, I always just grab one of the tanks or my healer and run random. Your idea is actually pretty appealing, and would probably work if Blizzard implemented acount banks. I am looking forward the the new battle.net and the possibilities it may open up for those of us with multiple toons.