I've previously discusses how there are now more stats than I know what to do with in WoW. Why, beyond confusing my math skills, is this a bad thing? Take the quest Testing the Antidote. Okay, this is a simple, very short chain, kill some level 61ish felboars, loot some blood, kill an angrier felboar, collect ilvl 93 green gear. And yet, I managed to screw it up for my Fury Warrior.
See, the two choices of use to a Fury Warrior are the [Helboar Carving Blade], a 2-handed sword, and the [Dreadtusk's Fury], a 2-handed mace. Now I was already swinging a random green 2-handed mace, so I figured I might as well take the sword. This way, I'd be able to keep two of the three weapon skills that matter to the Warrior going forward in practice at the same time. Why was this the wrong choice?
A new gear niche
It turns out that I just passed on the only 2-handed weapon with a swing speed faster than 2.8 in all of Outland. (I've excluded feral and caster weapons from this measure, for relatively obvious reasons. There are some stat-less white and grey vendor weapons with faster speeds.) The 2.8 belongs to the [Zangarmarsh Claymore], comes from a Sporeggar rep quest, and I wasn't planning on doing that rep on this character. There are no others below 3.0, and the vast majority are 3.5ish. There is a single quest reward in Northrend with a 2.7 speed, and no other 2-handed anywhere since 2005 that swing faster than 3.0.
Now, in fairness, there were no classes in the game until today that would want a fast 2-handed weapon for their offhand. One could argue that it doesn't even make sense to add gear to the game that is only of interest to one spec of one class. And that's the problem you end up with when there is too much specialization in the game. Unless you're willing to go the Warhammer route and offer class-specific loot at every single turn, there's no way to deal with this. And the Warhammer route isn't without its drawbacks; either you offer less loot less often, or you offer players lots of loot they don't need because they already have something better.
Choices are good. Making the loot table so complicated that there's no room for items that some classes need is bad. I don't know where the right balance is; only that I'm regretting having picked the wrong reward for a random level 61 quest that would otherwise be completely forgettable on the journey to level 70.