Forgot password
Enter the email address you used when you joined and we'll send you instructions to reset your password.
If you used Apple or Google to create your account, this process will create a password for your existing account.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Reset password instructions sent. If you have an account with us, you will receive an email within a few minutes.
Something went wrong. Try again or contact support if the problem persists.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

WoW devs discuss itemization in Dragonflight season 2 and its impact on class balance: ‘There’s an entirely new landscape’

Fresh new loot tables for your characters to peruse.

In World of Warcraft, there is a fine line between items that make your character stronger and more fun to play and items that can become so good on one certain spec that they’re practically mandatory. So far in Dragonflight, there are a handful of items—some of which are class-specific—that have turned some specs into completely different versions of themselves. 

Recommended Videos

Items such as the Elemental Lariat, Manic Grieftorch, Neltharax, and others can make some classes superhuman, and transcend the definition of best-in-slot. 

In a group interview earlier this week, WoW associate game director Morgan Day discussed itemization in Dragonflight, and how the game’s developers are making it a point to separate class balance from item balance, while still allowing the two forms of tuning to coexist with one another. Needless to say, it’s a difficult process. 

“We always try to distinguish between class balance, which is like, ‘how hard does my class hit? How do I interact with these talents? How do we tune them versus each other?’” Day told Dot Esports. “And we’re pretty proactive. We have very frequent tuning updates when it comes to class balance.”

To counteract WoW’s frequent class updates and hotfixes—which tend to come out as frequently as twice a week when things get real dire—itemization balance is rarely touched. Items in WoW tend to stay at their intended power level throughout the course of a patch or season. 

Blizzard makes it a point to not make too many adjustments to items after the launch of a season because if an item is strong for a certain spec or class, the devs would rather see players make it a goal of theirs to chase after the item rather than nerf the item to reduce their desire for it. 

“Often if there’s an item that stands out above the rest … that’s just something that you’re excited to get and chase,” Day said. “So we try to be really careful about—especially post-launch—messing with the tuning there.” 

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

In season two of Dragonflight, players can expect a whole new loot table full of items to chase after. If you’ve been running Court of Stars endlessly for a chance at items like the Jeweled Signet of Melandrus or Windscar Whetstone, you’ll probably look forward to repeatedly running dungeons like Freehold for a slim chance at Harlan’s Loaded Dice. 

Additionally, the new raid, Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible, should play host to a ton of new trinkets and weapons to kit your character out with. 

None of the items granted from dungeons and raids in season one will be relevant in season two, considering a shiny new crop of Mythic+ dungeons and raid bosses will have entirely fresh loot tables attached to them. The only exception could be in the form of extremely high-level gear (item levels 421 and higher) that could outrank Normal difficulty gear from Aberrus and other early sources of loot. 

Day also confirmed that profession-crafted items, such as the Elemental Lariat, Amice of the Blue, and other noteworthy items from the first season of Dragonflight will still be present in season two. Patch 10.1 will allow players to upgrade their pre-existing profession gear (so long as they have the required recipes), while also acquiring new pieces of profession gear from the patch. 

“There’s an entirely new landscape of itemization for players to explore and discover,” Day said. “‘What is that new thing that I really want to chase? What are my new goals with this season?’ Rather than just knowing, ‘okay, I’m gonna get the [Algeth’ar] Puzzle Box again this season.’”

Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.