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WoW > WoW RemixJun 4, 2024 10:00 am CT

What you need to know about gear and gear upgrades in WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria

The gear system in WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria is more complicated than you may think — particularly when it comes to scaling. During this event players acquire Bronze which can be used at any Infinite Bazaar to upgrade your gear or purchase cosmetics. While leveling this serves very little purpose as you get new gear with naturally higher item levels from drops and quest rewards as you work towards hitting 70.

Remists gear has little in the way of stats: instead, you apply gems which boost stats or provide unique abilities, letting you customize your playstyle in a way you just can’t in retail. With this vastly different approach to gems in Remix, Prismatic Gems give you a straight stat increase, while others like Tinker gems, Cogwheel gems, and Meta gems provide abilities or buffs, with a mixed bag of static or scaling numbers depending on the gem in question. And gems are important to keep in mind when making gear decisions — particularly upgrade decisions.

After years of playing modern WoW and WoW Classic, we’ve been trained to make a majority of our gear decisions based on the stats we can see on gear already, while the gems provide extra buffs. That’s because the primary stat gain from higher ilevel pieces almost always beats out better secondary stat distribution — in short, the Stamina, Strength, Intellect, or Agility on those higher level pieces would give you more power than anything else.

But Remix doesn’t play by the standard rules. I fell into what I have come to realize was a trap: I was discarding gear because it had Crit when I wanted Haste. I didn’t want to lose my best stat for a piece of gear that only had a higher item level.

But now I’m here to say that the way we’re used to thinking about gear has changed in Remix.

What’s so different about gear in WoW Remix?

Let’s discuss why Remix gear is so different. Normally gems are static, and their benefits are easily observed like +100 Haste. In Remix however, the quality of gem simply adds another plus sign to the gem, which isn’t exactly clear.

But that’s because the gem scales with the item level of the gear.

If you find yourself struggling while leveling, you may benefit from putting your best Tinker Gems and Prismatic Gems into your highest ilevel gear, while also reconsidering that piece of gear with a higher item level (even if it has stats you don’t want). This includes your jewelry and trinket slots as they are capped at 342 at max level with no way to progress them.

Item level is king here in Remix, and even at max level the differences between gear quality are negligible at best. Uncommon (green) quality gear has just as many secondary stats as Rare (blue) quality with the addition of a marginal amount of your primary stat. Epic (purple) gear becomes even more peculiar as these items roll a small amount of another secondary stat on it which can include the stat already on the gear. I think this is best explained by pretending to compare an item with the same stat across each quality. At max level, Green gear will have +800 of a secondary stat baseline while a Blue item will add +75 primary stat and a purple will add another +150 of a secondary stat (which can be the same or different).

Players who hit max level will quickly notice another departure from the gameplay loop we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Higher difficulties mean higher loot after all, right? Well, not exactly.

In WoW Remix, all gear is capped to 346 from all forms of content. The jump from Normal to Heroic raid difficulties will give you the chance to earn Epic gear with more stats, item level remains capped at 346.

That means the only way to progress your gear beyond 346 is to upgrade it. This has sparked a debate amongst the community as the currency to purchase cosmetics from the event is the same currency required to upgrade your gear. Many players are questioning whether it’s worth spending their precious Bronze on gear upgrades that are only going to disappear when the event is over. After all, there are cosmetics that will last until the end of the World… of Warcraft.

You expect me to spend Bronze on that?!

Upgrading gear may seem costly, but upgrading it, at least partially, could help you find groups and complete higher forms of content. Overall, upgrades will make it easier to acquire more Bronze by making it easier to complete raids, dailies, and quests at a faster rate.

But upgrades do come at a significant cost. It takes 38,530 Bronze to complete an upgrade level as every piece of gear must be upgraded to the same level before you can by further upgrades. To fully upgrade your gear from 346 to the maximum item level 556 it will take 577,950 Bronze.

But while maxed out gear will certainly make it easier, it isn’t necessary to have a fully maxed set to complete content

This is a staggering amount when compared to the plethora of cosmetics that could could acquire, but it also amounts to a staggering amount of power. The Cloak of Infinite Potential, while strong, pales in comparison to the power to be gained from gear upgrades. The cloak is advertised as the source of power for the game mode, and the nearly-infinitely-upgradable item was recently hotfixed to raise the stat cap to 10 million. But reaching that new power cap will take time, and if you want to be really powerful and complete content like a breeze right now, then gear upgrading is the way to go. This became even more evident to me immediately after the cloak nerfs to frog farmers where I saw gear capped players with recently rolled back cloaks still achieving upwards of 3 million DPS.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide how you would like to enjoy the event.

Do you want to farm raids quickly and earn additional Bones of Mannoroth more efficiently on higher difficulties along with the increased Bronze drops? Maybe you just want to get some long coveted cosmetics you missed back in the day and get out?  That will determine how to spend your Bronze.

If Blizzard is determined to keep gear upgrades and cosmetics on the same currency, then I wish there were alternate ways to improve your gear. Something that I think would at least be more agreeable is a token or item that removes the upgrade cost of your gear when consumed. The token could have a chance to drop from a Cache of Infinite Treasure when at max level, or perhaps higher raid difficulties could have higher drop rates as boss loot. This would increase the reward for completing higher difficulties while also saving players some Bronze.

Would you want to see a gameplay loop like we are used to by completing harder content in order to earn better gear, or are you content with the system Remix has now?

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