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mudflationI just like saying that word… mudflation. From Wikipedia: Mudflation, a portmanteau of MUD and inflation, is an economic issue that exists only in massively multiplayer online games. Mudflation occurs when a more recently acquired or introduced item makes an existing item lose significant value. This is most common when a game releases a new expansion, which tend to introduce better items.

Hated by raiders and loved by the rest. The practice of introducing items that completely make the previous gear in the game look like a cracked staff is an interesting topic. Should an expansion make the months of hard work raiding nearly worthless? In Kunark SOE introduced many (maaany) new quests for the level 70s. These quests, even the starting ones, offer gear that is equal to or much better than the gear they (the raiders) just spent a year trying to obtain. A treasured solo quested item being better than a raid item that took 24 people months to obtain… that might sting a little. The reactions are a mixed bag as some are simply excited to see a new item on their character and others are having fits of rage over their now run of the mill bottom of the barrel equipment.

I see this as a good thing. Why? Because it places less emphasis on the gear and more on the experience of raiding (at least until everyone reaches max level again). Imagine if no gear dropped in a raid and you were simply going for the enjoyment of slaying the dragon. Would you still do it? Now that players know, or should know, that after an expansion their previous gear means little perhaps they will focus more on the enjoyment of the experience and less on the stress of gear. An enormous responsibility falls upon the developers to make the content really something to behold or else players will feel as I did when LOTRO introduced the concept of raid gear being equal to crafting gear but leaving their raids to be horribly dull experiences – wtf is the point?

Top end gear should be something to behold though. If you’re going to put in the time to complete objectives or raid an instance (and it really should require effort… not the assembly line approach WoW took) then the reward should be fitting. When an expansion comes out realize that your gear may be lackluster now but it represents accomplishment and something you’re hopefully proud to own. I like how in EQ2 they give the option to hang some armor on the walls of your home or display them in trunks or other methods. This allows for players to still showcase their stuff.

A major downside though to all of this is that even though a level 60-70 raid was fun it may no longer be run by anyone. EQ2 has done such a fine job of creating leveling content that there really is little purpose to stop what you’re doing and try to obtain a full set of raid gear. You might as well just continue enjoying the content and move on to the top level stuff. However, I personally encourage and hop when I am in the 60-70 range people will run these raids for fun and if you get an item then great but if not you at least got the see and challenge yourself to the experience. To me what was once the premier content now becomes additional content – not old content.

As a returning player to EQ2 and almost to level 30 with my Sarnak SK I can’t help but get a little pleasure from knowing that I suddenly became a little less behind everyone else. God bless mudflation, imo.

  • We’ll if they increse the lvl cap and the gear that way becomes redundant, I dont think it is fair that hard to obtain raid gear is replaced by equal lvl or 2 or 3 lvl above easy to aquire solo quest gear.

    That was one of the things I hated most about TBC all my raid gear(T2+AQ) that i had been raiding 1 and a half years for became pretty much replaced with greens 4-5 lvls above. If it was lvl 70 Blues I could understand it, but lvl 61 blues WTF!

  • I was very happy when TBC came out, since I am a casual player by definition, it was so cool to get some gear equal to and better than most raiders were wearing. But, then I do see the frustration that would be felt by those who spend years getting to that level just to be nothing special…but then again, raiding isn’t all about the gear, at least it wasn’t for me, mainly because I never did it long enough to reap the rewards…

  • Yeah, there was a lot of hulla-balloo over the mudflation in TBC. But it was needed on so many levels to re-balance a seriously skewed playing field, and even today things are much better at the end-game because of it.

    The trials and tribulations you and your guild go through at the level cap of a raid-based/dungeon-based/or even PvP based elder game should never be about what gear you get, but the things you lot are capable of accomplishing together. It’s simply amazing that some guild cleared Naxxramas before the expansion hit, and while I’m sure some of them were mighty pissed that a lot of their gear was nearly equalled (NEARLY) by greens at level 63 or 64, I hope most of them realize the feat the accomplished.

    That friggin’ place was a nightmare for just about anyone but the best. You really had to be a well-oiled machine to take out that place, and yet some guilds did it. They should be proud of the experience, not clinging to their loot… look, I’m rambling.


    You guys catch my drift.

  • As a now Lvl 73 player with mostly KoS fabled stuff I can assure you: at least the quests in Kylong Plains and Fens of Nathsar (the first two (huge) T8 zones) will not give you stuff strictly better than your fableds from KoS. That may change in later levels, but I expect only some of the legendary gear to be strictly better than what you get out of EoF raids.

  • […] Without raids, we never would have had to mess with MUDflation in WoW. MUDflation is an old term that’s recently been discussed quite a bit in the blogosphere, but it’s essentially what happened when the Burning Crusade came out and made all the previous raid gear trivial compared to the new common drops in Outland. A lot of raiders were upset about this while everyone else was pretty happy with their sudden huge power upgrades, but it was necessary because of the presence of raiding in a largely casual playerbase. […]