So. The Battle for Azeroth pre-patch is now live, and with it an enormous number of changes. One of the more controversial changes is to the loot system: all instances are now locked to Personal Loot. For many, this is a non-issue, but the change was fairly devastating to hardcore progression guilds and transmog hunters. I can’t speak for mythic raiders, but for transmog aficionados the problem is thus: Personal Loot in raids means that any loot you get is locked to your current loot spec, you can’t get pieces that you can transmog but aren’t “meant” for you (such as a staff for an Arms warrior), and you’ll only get between zero and one piece of gear per boss (versus the 4-6 you’d get if it was Group Loot). This could have been the end of transmog farming, but luckily Blizzard decided to introduce Legacy Loot Mode. As initially described, it would activate when you entered content that was ten levels or more below your character’s level, and would drop loot as if you were in a full group, NOT tied to your class or spec. This sounded GREAT, and I personally was thrilled at the prospect of hitting up raids from past expansions with reckless abandon.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. I decided to test things out on the BFA (BEEEEEFA) beta and popped into mythic Blackrock Foundry (a place I run weekly for transmog and a chance at Blackhand’s mount). Imagine my surprise when bosses dropped either a small amount of gold, or a small amount of gold plus a piece of loot-spec-limited gear. This was NOT how Legacy Loot Mode was supposed to work, so I assumed it just wasn’t enabled yet. After all, I’m level 110, and Blackrock Foundry was level 100 content from what is now TWO expansions ago. So, I filed a bug report and mostly forgot about it. Fast-forward to yesterday, after the pre-patch went live, and Legacy Loot Mode STILL wasn’t activating for Warlords content. Well, it turns out that what Blizzard intended was that it would activate in content that was MORE than ten levels below you, which means that, at level 110, this only works up through Mists of Pandaria content. For a fully-leveled BFA toon, all loot from the previous expansion (Legion) will still be Personal and therefore nigh-unfarmable (because running an entire raid to get a single duplicate gear piece is NOT worth the effort). At this point my internal scream was deafening. I am (was?) already soloing quite a few raid bosses from Legion, and was really looking forward to getting actual loot from them in BFA. This will not be the case, as Legion raids won’t meet the level requirement for Legacy Loot until the unnamed expansion AFTER BFA. This is disappointing, to say the least. Why make us wait at least two years to get loot from content that can be soloed now? I’m not sure, but as it’s not technically a game-breaking issue, I won’t hold my breath for any changes.
Don’t get me wrong: the Legacy Loot Mode is great, for as far as it goes. I popped into Siege of Orgrimmar and got half a dozen new transmog pieces, and old solo-queue LFR instances now actually drop loot and gold instead of a little bag of nothing. I just think that that limiting it to content that is MORE than ten levels lower makes it much less useful than if it were ten levels OR more. That little distinction is enough to lock out an entire expansion worth of gear. Will Blizzard reconsider? Maybe, though I doubt it. Soloing/transmog hunting is likely pretty low on their priority list of things to evaluate (and rightly so), considering there’s an enormous expansion being released in a month. Regardless, it is what it is (oh, how I HATE that phrase), so I’ll be milking it for all its worth and bolstering my transmog collection one way or another.