Friday, July 9, 2010
The punchline is that my little Dirge is not relying on top end raid gear, or even group dungon loot, to transform into a walking Chuck Norris fact. The majority of her gear consists of quest and faction rewards from the solo quests of the current expansion. She's been on three successful dungeon runs and got a few pieces of level 90 loot. Apparently those first few pieces were enough to make me bump up against 100% for both crit and double attack chance.
(The DA number includes a 15% buff that I can only cast on a single person at a time, and would most likely go to a pure DPS or tanking class rather than myself in a group setting. The crit number is a also technically a soft cap because it takes more crit to affect higher level boss targets in EQ2. Even so, I'm not yet doing dungeon runs in earnest and I'm already starting to swap out gear to shift away from the stats that I'm capped in - the "crit bonus" stat that improves the amount of damage you do on a crit is comparatively more valuable when EVERY hit is a crit.)
This situation arrived in EQ2 because the game was desperately due for a gear scaling adjustment with the last expansion. Unfortunately, the developers managed to get browbeaten out of doing so by community outcry, and the result is a situation where, as Ferrel notes, we're left to wonder what will happen next expansion, triple attack and extra critical hits?
The problem is that, once the situation gets this badly out of hand, the solution is bound to be painful. WoW's gear situation may be almost as bad after the game had to add multiple tiers of additional hard mode loot to the current expansion. The rumor out of the Cataclysm alpha was that combat ratings will decrease in effectiveness by a whopping six-fold between level 80 and level 85. Part of the idea there is to leave room for future expansion so that the next time the curve does not need to be so steep. In this case, it might actually be difficult to keep players from actively becoming LESS powerful when they gain levels in the Cataclysm era.
The challenge, then, is to scale gear downwards BEFORE things get so out of hand. That, apparently, can be easier said than done.