Mini-rant: A better token system

Irony update:  In a shocking turn of events, fate decided to actually give me my token tonight.  I am now a very happy shaman.  The rest of the post will remain as it was for posterity.

So, here we are again.  Last post, I don’t think we knew yet when Mists was going to be released (I could check the post date and the release announcement, but ehhh, that would take a whole 30 seconds and I am just too busy).  But now we do, and we’re six weeks away from the death of WoW by pandas and Pokemon.  Apparently.  I dunno, some people have been very convincing with the allcaps.

Things with the new guild are going pretty well.  We’re trying to become a more cohesive unit by raiding Dragon Soul until Mists launches, both for gear (that we’ll mostly scrap by the time we hit 90) and raid experience.  We’ve already downed two bosses on heroic (my first heroic kills of the expansion!  over a year and a half in!  yaaaaaaaay!), hoping to get at least a couple more in before Mists.  I’m really happy to occasionally top charts, though part of that comes from being fairly well-geared before I transferred.  Whereas most of them were ilvl 378 or lower, I had most pieces at least ilvl 384, including dual No’Kaleds and my 4-set.  And now, I’m proud to say that with another No’Kaled, I’ve officially upgraded all my loot from Raid Finder-level!

Except one piece.

One damn item has eluded me since this patch started.  No matter how many times I ran LFR, no matter how often I got into Dreadnaught’s raids, no matter how many times I tried recently.  One item refuses to drop, and it’s the most important item to me now.

Shoulders of the Corrupted Protector.

Rewind to the buildup to 4.3.  The shaman tier set was one of the first revealed, and when I saw it, I knew that was going to be a set I was going to wear forever.  It was like a better Ten Storms, a set that embodied everything about a shaman’s primal nature.  And those shoulders…giant wolf-skull shoulders that made spectral wolf heads burst into being when you /roared.  It was amazing and I had to have it.

So then 4.3 launches, and naturally I don’t get to raid because this was before the core team fell apart enough to make them need me to fill a slot (except for failing at downing Deathwing that first week; they used me until their rogue could make it).  I start running LFR every week, and every time the token drops, it goes to someone else, usually PVP-geared or doing awful DPS or AFKing their way through the raid.  Sometimes all three.  Gradually I geared up my other slots, but no shoulders.  I finally got to raid normal modes after a while, but even so, still no token.  LFR, normal, no tokens.  LFR, normal, no tokens.  LFR, normal, no tokens.  Many weeks, LFR would drop only conq and vanq tokens, just to spite me!

Another reason I wanted those shoulders was because of their great itemization.  Giant chunks of hit and expertise meant hitting those caps would be much easier.  It also meant I could use the valor helm with hit and mastery, rather than use the tier helm with hit and haste.  But no luck.

I still haven’t seen it since I started running Dragon Soul with my new guild.  Every week before we pull Hagara, I tell my guild master that it won’t drop.  The game refuses to prove me wrong.  LFR double-spited me this week, dropping two tokens and giving them away.  It’s slowly driving me mad, that the one piece I need for perfect itemization, for my perfect transmog set, just won’t be mine.

So one night we’re raiding and we down Zon’ozz.  Leggings of the Corrupted Protector drop.  The warrior doesn’t need them, and I’m the only other prot-user in the raid.  The GM hands it over to me, and I wonder just what I’m going to do with them.  Upgrade my non-gemmed, non-enchanted, unused resto set that will become outdated in a few weeks anyway?  Buy something and vendor it for cash?

I mulled it over some more, and an idea began to form in the back of my head, one I just now dubbed as Armor Transmutation.  Think of it as a way to get use out of unwanted tokens that pile up after a while.  Simply put, it allows a player to convert two armor tokens into a single one that is more useful for them.

Here’s the basics of how it would work.  Let’s say that, in your raid, you’ve gotten tons and tons of conq shoulder tokens, so many that all of your conq users are now fully shouldered up for all their specs.  The token is now worthless to your raid (at least until you do heroics, of course), making every time it drops a missed opportunity.  With Armor Transmutation, that won’t happen as often.  Pass it over to, say, a prot-user who doesn’t have his shoulder token yet, and wait.  When he gets another token for a slot he already have a piece for, like legs, he can visit a vendor (probably ethereal) where, for a fee, he can combine the two tokens into one, walking away with a new shoulder token to use.

Restrictions would be fairly simple.  The fee would be large, but not prohibitively; 1k seems fair.  There would be no need for a cooldown, as at most you could only get four tokens in one week and convert them into two (the odds of this would be extraordinarily low).  I don’t think there would be any balancing issues; the odds of this coming up would be fairly low, but high enough to make it a good idea to implement just so there’s some use for the tokens.  Maybe combining two identical tokens would allow you to gain that token for your class instead.  I dunno.  Just a thought I had.

Another raid tonight means another chance.  Just 5 more to go.

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