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Goodbye to Item Upgrades and Good Riddance

Posted Wed, Apr 09, 2014 by Mem

Item Upgrade NPC

In lieu of World of Warcraft's newest expansion; Warlords of Draenor, a giant content patch will be bringing in a massive amount of changes to the game we love. Most of these changes have been pretty good, with only a few causing a giant groan of dissent from the community. However, one of the more recent announcements concerning the next expansion is raising more than a few eyebrows; the removal of item upgrading in Patch 6.0.


Goodbye Item Upgrading in Patch 6.0

As mentioned above, the announcement I am speaking of is the total and utter removal of the item upgrading feature from the game. Yes, you read that correctly, item upgrading will be going the way of the dinosaur in World of Warcraft: Patch 6.0. There will be no changing, reworking, or rebooting this particular system, it will be totally and utterly obliterated from the game.


Of course, the effects of item upgrading will remain in the game even after you can no longer upgrade items. Items that have already been upgraded, prior to patch 6.0, will remain in their current upgraded state. So if you really want some of your items upgraded, now is the time to get it done. Wait too long and you will miss out entirely, so break out those Valor points and get upgrading.


Item Upgrade Twitter


An Unnecessary Complication

In all honesty, I am not sad to see item upgrading go. In fact, I might even throw a little party celebrating it's departure. I am sure there are some players that will mourn the loss of this particular game feature, but I will not be one of them.


You see, while some people found the idea of upgrading their gear “fun”, I saw it as just another chore that needed to be done with what should have been perfectly good gear. To me, getting a great new piece of gear and then having to run out and reforge, enchant, gem, and upgrade it, before I could even consider using it, took a little of the glow away from getting that brand new item. Worse, unlike gemming and enchanting, these things couldn't be done directly in the raid.


Back in the day, getting a new piece of gear was one of the most exciting parts of the game. Seeing that piece drop was nothing short of amazing. You sometimes even didn't even wait till you had it enchanted to throw it on, because it was just that good. With reforging and item upgrading in the mix, these new pieces of gear don't leave much to get excited about.


That is, not until you spend a ton of valor points and much time rearranging remaking that piece into something totally different than what originally dropped. Basically, with all these systems in place, a new piece of gear feels almost totally and completely useless, until it has a lot of work done to it. This seems really silly to me. Would you buy a new car and expect to have to completely revamp it to make it work? I certainly wouldn't, yet this is what these systems are asking us to do.


Item Upgrade Menu


Item Levels Galore

Besides undermining the value of a brand new piece of gear, item upgrading introduced more item levels than any one game really needs. As if trying to keep up with which item level is the best wasn't hard enough, item upgrading made things even more complicated. It makes sense that with Warlords of Draenor incoming and a new era of simplification rolling in, that frumpy, cluttered, systems like item upgrading are being ushered out the door.


The Fate of Valor Points

Speaking of frumpy, cluttered, and outdated systems, Valor points may be directly affected by the removal of item upgrading. Currently, the only use for these points seems to be to upgrade gear. Otherwise, these points have become something of a nonessential. Without the item upgrade system in place, it seems logical that Valor Points will also eventually be removed totally from the game. Or perhaps Blizzard will take pity on them and give them another use. Which road the developers will choose remains to be seen, all we can safely say is that something major will need to be done with Valor Points in Patch 6.0 or beyond.


Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

Even if the removal of systems like reforging and item upgrading spell the demise of Valor Points, I still stand behind the decision. Based on all the points I have made here, these systems are, in my opinion, nothing more than busy work. They add nothing to the game except unnecessary complications and take the raw joy out of getting a new piece of gear, an essential part of the raiding experience. While I may be one of the few who feel this way now, I think that after they are gone, fans of these systems may realize that they don't miss them after all.


How do you feel about the removal of the item upgrade system in Patch 6.0? Do you think Valor Points will also be removed from the game? What other game features should be removed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!


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