The Color Purple

There are some of us that have been around long enough to remember when the color of the text of your loot meant something.  But at max level, pretty much everything you get after the first patch of the expansion is a purple.  They don’t introduce a new level of greens or blues.  So the idea of something being purple being special is…lost.

The color of the text stemmed such popular use of the phrase EPIC, but when everything is epic, can anything really be epic?  Before patch 3.2, when item level became visible on gear, there were add-ons that would calculate this mystery number called “gear score” that would tell you, but mostly other people, how good you were.  It was based off some formulas that weighed the values of your items and came up with an arbitrary number, so that people could judge you and decide if you were geared enough to take to ToC.  

Now however, since item levels are available, the game calculates your average iLevel and the game itself uses this average to determine if you are geared enough to be tackling certain content.  The idea that players could out perform those of higher gear level by using skill and knowledge of the game all but disappeared.  People can get awesome gear scores and still be terrible.  We all know this, we’ve seen it. 

So this gets me back to my original thought, the value of that purple text, the “epic” status of the item.  Since everything has an iLevel, there really is no value in the text color.  It used to be a visual indication of item rarity when iLevels were not available through the game, but now you can just look at the iLevel and determine which epic piece is best—this is what most players do.  Higher iLevel must be better and it’s pretty much true. 

So why when there are new patches in an Xpac, aren’t there new iLevel greens and blues?  Why aren’t there new blue items that drop from DS that have the same iLevel as say…something from T11?  Or even so, why do ANY of the items even have special colored font anymore since it doesn’t matter because usually a higher iLevel is better.  At end game level 85 requirement items are pretty much all purple.  So I basically ask then…is there a need for green, blue, and purple anymore??  Does the purple color still excite you on a boss or is it just expected?  It’s a purely visible and cosmetic thing…I’m not sure I’d notice if they ever decided to remove item text colors.

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4 Responses to “The Color Purple”

  1. zarigar Says:

    I think there would be much ripping of hair and wailing if “the purplez” were taken away.

  2. Tyler F.M. Edwards Says:

    For a minute there, I was worried this was gonna be another “only 0.01% of the playerbase deserves to have epics” posts.

    I suppose we could just get rid of item grades altogether and just rely on ilevel, but for what it’s worth, epics still feel “epic” to me. Maybe not in the same way they did for someone who joined when epics were still a rarity, but for me, epics signify you’ve hit max level (or else achieved something else special). It shows that you’ve “made it,” so to speak, and are no longer just some random adventurer collecting boar guts.

    I guess that doesn’t mean anything to those who view max level as the whole game, but I’m not one of those people.

    • Troutwort Says:

      I think epics at lower levels, even blues feel awesome. My alts love them, they feel great, but at max level…when there is nothing BUT epics, they don’t feel epic.

  3. wolfgangcat Says:

    You’re right – finding an epic world drop while leveling (I still kept my “Gut Ripper” even though it’s useless – it’s still a purple!) or getting that “blue” item drop in a dungeon is exciting. At max level, even with raiding, it’s all about ilvl, stats and bonuses – nothing but numbers, and math doesn’t need any colors.

    I have no idea if that is good thing or a bad thing…


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