And it looks like this is only going to move more towards RNG with Warlords' removal of currencies, removal of reforging, and the addition of sockets and tertiaries as RNG elements on top of the Warforged system. PvP gear remains mercifully points-based, and in a play system where gear equality is so important, we can only hope it remains the case. But in PvE, what's the good and bad of each?
Well, points-based gearing is predictable. It gives you certainty and goals to work towards. Just so long as you keep grinding points, you know categorically that you will get that piece of gear. You can see your points build up, and it's satisfying. On the downside that predictability makes it less exciting. In PvP, that's no bad thing -- you certainly don't want the opposition to get their weapon and 4-set first while you get 2 rings, a neck and some bracers!
But in PvE, it's less of an issue. As you're all on the same side, you may well fall behind and it may be annoying, you might eventually lose your spot, which would suck. But, it won't have such a huge impact on every match as it would in PvP. Instead, in PvE, the randomness makes boss kills more exciting. If you're killing Immerseus for the 44th time, it's going to feel marginally better if he might just drop an upgrade for you than if you categorically know he won't. The "long tail" gearing method extends the life of content, keeps it more interesting for players.
All that said, the question is which do you prefer? There is definitely space for both in PvE, less so in PvP in my opinion at least. PvP gear needs to be predictable, as we've discussed before, but the BlizzCon idea of bonus bags for PvP which are RNG-based is fine so long as it's only a bonus. But for PvE it's way more subjective. Would you rather have a system that centers around grinding out points, with a little RNG, or a system that centers around RNG with points based options as an aside? Would you rather have pure RNG? Pure points with no RNG?
Personally, I dislike RNG immensely. It lacks a feeling of progression, because your only obstacle is luck and Warforged Seals to get another chunk of luck. You can't work towards anything other than being more lucky. And that's pretty much impossible to do. My vote's going for a points-based system with a little RNG on top, just because it's exciting to have a chance at getting lucky. The current PvP gearing system, of points and Celestials, is pretty much perfect for me. What about you?