More and more people are gearing up in epic equipment these days, either through Zandalari heroics or normal and heroic-level raiding. This leads to a lot of purple items of wide range of different ilevels, particularly toward the end of an expansion set. While this is great for those of us who are catching up to current content (or gearing up an alt), couldn't there be more of an incentive for hardcore raiders?
Back in vanilla, it was really something to see someone decked out in the highest level of gear. The color category of a player's items alone was enough to determine their in-game accomplishment. I absolutely think it's a good thing that a larger group of people get to see content and gear up quickly, but shouldn't there be a new level of reward for those who work the hardest on progression?
Well, as longtime WoW players may remember, there already is. There has always been a level of gear above epics that has never been implemented in game: artifacts. Originally planned as a step above legendary items, red-quality artifact items could perhaps instead replace heroic raiding-quality epic items as a status symbol for those at the cutting edge of content.
At a point in time when blue gear is considered temporary and purple is again becoming the norm, could it be time to implement a rarer category of reward? Do you think it would be beneficial to World of Warcraft for the best possible items to be of a different grade? Would this be enough to bring hardcore players back to the game? Or would it greatly devalue traditional epics?