This thread is generally in response to this discussion: http://wildstar-central.com/index.php?threads/random-stats-on-gear.3089/ but I wanted to create a new thread to include more people and also not to sidetrack that thread. For those of you who havent yet read about Circuit Board Crafting yet, I suggest checking out my dev post on . It will give you a foundation to understand what we are talking about here. http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/econ_devblog_circuit_board_crafting.php This is a balancing issue. The balance is making the correct % of items rubbish. We want people to make choices about items. The chips on the items have value, too. The non-fused chips can be extracted. This means if an item drops with a really cool Strength+3 Critical chip, but the fused chips on the item have and Technology and Armor on them, then that item is either good for a tank or for extracting that Strength+crit chip. However, if the fused chips roll say Armor and Assault Power, then you still can extract the rare chip out of it and use that in something else. If neither of those is good, there is always salvaging or selling the item. Choices. I recently created some 40+ items for a dungeon that has 5 bosses. Assuming that each one has 2 locked random stats (which is not always true) and each of those stats can choose from about 10-30 stats (we'll average it at 20), this means that there are about 16,000 permutations of unique items that can exist. That is a mid level dungeon, btw. Are you suggesting that I create 3000 items per boss? Let me be frank about this. I have played a lot of games that I love that have systems that are really great, but have flaws. When I started working out the details of this system, I looked at random items and said "What are the flaws with this system and what are the strengths?" My goal is to highlight the strengths of random items, while minimizing the effects of flaws. Some of the strengths are: There is a ton of variation, obviously. There is practically no one "best in slot". (Sure there is a theoretical best, or an "on average best") You get those JACKPOT moments when the stars align just right. A given item can be good for different class/specs depending on how it rolls (potentially a weakness as well) There is always a reason to replay current tier content, and some previous tier content is still good. Because items aren't deterministic, you have to make choices instead of strictly follow guides. I look at that list and think that is a pretty strong list of strengths. The item hunt is what keeps a certain set of players playing games long passed when they have completed their content, and a lot of those reasons go straight into the item hunt. As several people have pointed out, I don't make the entire item locked in random, only a couple slots. This goes towards the minimizing of the flaws. I generally don't like to point to specific games when discussing our systems, because it makes me uncomfortable for whatever reason. When Diablo 3 came out, we played it extensively during our lunches and at home. The Diablo series is tremendously good. We knew immediately that the game felt different, and we identified the reason why: The Auction House. Diablo has always eschewed soulbound items, and with the Auction House, the speed of Item Inflation is hastened because the ease of trading makes players save more items. What ended up happening in Diablo 3, in my opinion, is that the Auction House actually made the game less fun for the 99%. The reason is because the way to upgrade your gear is to go to the Auction House. You don't get random good drops that are any better than anything you can find on the AH for 1000 gold. So the cycle of play was: Go grind gold, maybe get a good drop that is for a different class, and sell it, and then buy stuff on the AH until you can do harder content. Repeat. Where are the WOW moments? They were gone. Instead of having a smattering of 60-90% optimal gear, you go to the AH and buy the most cost-efficient 90-95% optimal gear (the 95-100% is not affordable). In the previous Diablos you were running around in gear that was 5-20 levels below you and when you found an upgrade it could be drastically better than what you had equipped. The rewards were very spiky. Sometimes you would get gear that was just slightly better, and rarely you would get something that was so good you would be using it for 20 levels. With the permanency of items in Diablo, what changed is that now when you replace that item, someone else can get it - at their level - with no effort at all because of the auction house. And in a level or two they can replace it with something else and pass that awesome item on again to someone else, who will use it for 2 levels and resell it. Buying phat loot is not as fun as getting it off a drop. So how does this link into our system? The distribution of power matters in WildStar. If you are a tank, for example, you want to equip a Weapon Attachment that only uses 20% of its power towards Assault Power, because that is not as useful of a stat for tanking. DPS want an Attachment that uses 40% of its power in Assault Power. Pants always (after a certain level) have at least 1 locked stat that is purely defensive in nature. None of these stats are great for DPS, but some are better than others, so DPS may prefer Health chips and a low % of their Power Distribution spent on it, whereas a tank may prefer Deflect and a high percent. Alright, so at this point this post is getting really long and I am starting to ramble. I could seriously write about 20 pages on this. I go to bed at night thinking about this issue and wake up in the morning with new ideas about how to make it better. This system is a little over a year and a half old, so I have had that much of a head start to think about it, and I get paid to think about it so I spend the day working on it. I am very pleased that you guys are starting to come across some of the more interesting dynamics of the system, and digging down into what the implications will be. Keep bringing your concerns up. It can only help us strengthen the design.