Anyway, the implementation of epic gems is confusing at best with it's current design. With all the new content spilling out onto our computers with 4.3, the implementation of epic gems felt rushed. I wanted to make a short post about the currently model, where it falls short, and how to possibly improve it.
The Current Model - An Epic Failure
So you want some epic gems huh? For anyone who has raided the final tier in a previous WoW expansion knows that eventually you end up with epic gems in every single slot, hell even on some of your alts! I remember near the end of Wrath some of the epic cuts were actually CHEAPER than the blue versions with lesser stats. Unbelievable? Of course not, supply and demand hard at work. So is that were we are headed? With the current model absolutely not.
Blizzard seems to be attempting to make it painfully clear the divisions between rare and epic gems. They are doing this by making them some of the rarest items obtained via RNG. To make matter worse you'll need to work 5 days (or pay someone else) to obtain the pattern to CUT said super rare game. Why would they do this? It's simple - they want the experience of getting a epic gem representative of the term epic. They don't want you to be slamming these epic gems into every available slot for your main and all our alts just because that is the "socially acceptable" thing to do. It's an adventureous understaking at best - how can they do it?
The only method of obtaining these gems is via raiding and I'm not kidding. The current method is via purchasing geodes and cracking them open. Those geodes are purchased with a mote that is automatically looted to your currency tab for killing a boss in the Dragon Soul 10 or 25 man. Currently LFR raid bosses are not included. So what is the drop rate like?
The first week my 10 man group cleared 3 bosses. There was 1 epic. The second week we gathered 25 people together and killed 2 bosses. There was 2 epics. The second day we had 10 people kill 2 more bosses. No epics. This roughly equates to 100 geodes and 3 epics. That is 3%........3%. Talk about controlling supply!
Why This "Sure Fire Plan" Will Fail
With the current incantation one can only assume Blizzard intends for these to be so rare that we have only a few of them at best. That is almost laughable really - any player spanning from the normal 10 man raider to the hardcore 25 man heroic raider will be pushing to be fully gemmed out - not to mention those with deep pockets. So the bar will be set at having all epics and anything less is scrubbery. Who does this make the experience epic for?
Does any of that sound attractive? Not to me.
First of all, let me say I like the whole concept of cracking geodes and finding an epic gem. To me that is just plain fun. That said there is a wrong and right way to implement that. The current drop rate of epic gems is mortifying - increasing that is a way to address the issues of supply and demand. For example, making the drop rate 12-13% would in theory allow a player who fully clears Dragon Soul a chance to obtain ONE epic gem. To say that the act of clearing all 8 bosses in Dragon Soul is not representative of that desired epic feeling is borderline asinine. But what if you want to keep that 3% drop rate?
Give alchemists the ability to x-mute epic gems.
- Require a rare gem and a flask
- Require 2 reds to make 1 epic red, etc
- Require 1 blue and 1 red to make 1 purple, etc