Undoubtedly there is a whole range of people out there, from the people who were waltzing through BT, TK, SWP, etc, etc to the people who could barely finish a level 70 5-man on regular... regardless to say, one of the things everyone looks forward to when they start a new place, new zone, new instance is... new loot.
New phat epikz.
My own toons fall in between the spectrum outlined above. I had Kikidas and Kathe and Kiljara and Kvasira who were geared super-nicely to the point they could waltz through any given heroic and Mags/Gruuls/ZA without a care in the world.
Well, okay, they cared about ZA before the nerf-battage, but they still did A-O-K.
Then we hit Northrend and we eagerly look at quest rewards, wondering what we'll be upgrading.
On one hand, the thought of upgrading a hard-earned piece of purple with a quest green gave most of us nightmares. Thankfully, I had no one in position to have nightmares at the start of BC, but I've heard the whining.. er, QQing... erm, I mean, the valid concerns of people who were raiding pre-BC and how they felt about post-BC quest upgrades. (I jest, I'd have been irritated too.)
Then I hit Northrend with Kvasira and Kikidas, arguably two of my most well geared characters. Kvasira is geared mostly in PvP gear - Season 2 purchased with honor and the Season 3 gloves. For a ret pally who is PvEing and not in raids, this was awesome gear! It had crit. It had strength. It had intellect (ah, the days before Divine Plea).
I hit 74 without really upgrading more than maybe one ring. And then finally I started to upgrade pieces of gear. Here and there. The first upgrade was a twinge and a wince. I was really about to get rid of my hard earned gear. The thought of all the PvPing I had to do to get that gear... *sigh*. Now that I'm 77, NOW I'm starting to really get pieces that are clear upgrades to my gear. Sidegrades are so wierd.
And none of the gear has INTELLECT on it. My mana has tanked. Thankfully, with the improvements to retribution paladin mana returns, I haven't had too big of an issue.
And then there's Kikidas. I don't think I've upgraded anything on her yet. Granted, she's only level 72, but I don't expect I'll see an upgrade until 75 at least as well.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum.. Karika my shaman who dinged 70 on my Birthday, which was one week before the release of Wrath. She had the blessed cloth pieces from the Scourge Event, but other than that, was really not well geared. And I'm upgrading just about everything, with the exception of the chest piece, which though it's cloth, is still better thus far than anything I've run across. I'm sure it'll change soon.
Now, what is all this about, I hear you wonder. Because really, it's rather boring.
Boon and I have been feeling very let down by the lack of upgrades. We feel like though the content is cool and the quests are awesome and the storyline is epic... we were still in most of our Outlands gear.
Suddenly, playing the Deathknight/Shaman combination is much more exciting (and will make the crawl to 80 that much slower, as we split our play) as everytime we turn around there's an upgrade or a sidegrade. It's so much more exciting when you know there's a good chance that you'll get to upgrade something.
And has anyone else noticed the switch in gear? All of a sudden everything has haste rating and armor penetration and expertise.
Now, please do correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't armor penetration like spell penetration - more useful in PvP than in PvE? According to RetLoL, Armor Pen increases damage exponentially. Does that still hold true, with all the changes that have come? Or is Blizz trying to tell us something?