Gear Upgrades. The never-ending process.
While levelling a toon in WoW, you've got a handful of options for gear upgrades as you go. But, if you miss a step, or forget about one stat or another, who cares? The gear will be obsolete in a week or so as you level out of it.
At 70, your gear stays with you for as long as you choose to not upgrade it.
You've got a variety of upgrade options: Quests, Normal 5-man dungeon drops, Heroic 5-man dungeon drops, crafting, reputation with a variety of factions, Badge of Justice gear, AH for some spiffy BoE world drops, and depending upon your progression, Raid dungeons. Oh yeah, and PvP in Battlegrounds and Arena. Did I get them all? I dunno, but I'm going cross eyed already.
Then you've got the stats game. Depending on your role and style, you've got a handfull of stats that mean something to you.
Hunters, we've got agility, attack power, crit rating, hit rating, stamina, intellect, haste, armor, ignore-armor, mp5. Yes? More? I dunno, but my eyes are further crossed. And if you like PvP, throw resiliance in there too.
So you've got various decisions and tradeoffs to make.
You a raider? Ok, then you'll want to get your hit to 142. Unless you like Spicy Hot Talbuk, then you only need 122. Unless you're one of the classes who gets a ranged hit bonus, but only with one type of ranged weapon, so make sure you're quipping that proper type. Or, maybe only try to get close to the hit rating, as the fancy folks like BRK promote "balance" of stats over extreme positions like "thou shalt be hit capped or thine appendage shalt be caned".
Ok, we only did hit rating so far.
It goes on and on.
Plus, when thinking about a particular equipment slot, you've also got to consider, across all the possible sources of gear, what the reasonable time horizon is for upgrades. For instance, when picking between a PvP belt and PvP boots, maybe consider what bosses your raid is reasonably expected to face soon. Do those bosses drop boots you like? Then maybe pick the PvP belt. Unless of course, there's also a better pair of some such available for Bages, in which case pick...ooooohhhhhh....I've done it again. I've gone crosseyed.
Oh, man. Its getting worse. Now you've also got to consider patches. With 2.4 Badge of Justice gear and Arena Season 4 gear on their way, maybe hold off a little longer. I suppose Blizzard is in the business of always making us want what's coming next. Never be satisfied with what you have. Like little mice running neatly in place in our little wheels. Run, baby, run.
The real fun starts once you sorta get set up with your toon in some slightly-better-than-lvl-70-greenies-n-bluies. You've sorta got your gear in order, and you're starting to move towards the purple end of the spectrum. You're happy with your hit rating. You're working on a balanced progression of agi, crit, and attack power, without forgetting about stamina and intellect, as nobody likes a glass canon with no gunpowder.
Then you start to get a new piece or two that totally mess things up. Hits a classic one. New piece of gear, lots of extras in areas you like, but has little or no hit and its gonna replace another piece that has lots of hit.
No problem you say. Just re-gem your existing pieces to make up for the hit decrease. Ok, but then you've got to factor in the gem replacements in your calculations of whether that new piece is truly an upgrade for your toon.
Its just discusting how far it goes.
And the question that pops into mind is has Blizzard gone too far? Even if only a bit?
I honestly think its easier to file my taxes than it is to plan out a gear progression.
Sure Ratings Buster helps. And the future enhancements to RB that'll include some gem choices are nice also. And modelling tools like Warcrafter.net help. But is it really necessary to be quite this involved?