Players are up in arms after the WoW Mists of Pandaria: Remix team refuses to budge on the whopping 577,950 bronze cost to upgrade all your gear

Garrosh Hellscream swings his axe violently in the key art for Mists of Pandaria: Remix, shrouded in flames and smog.
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Mists of Pandaria: Remix is great fun but, as I pointed out last week, it's also a prison of optimisation that's making some people genuinely very upset. The culprits? A couple of changes were made to the Cloak of Infinite potential pre-launch, Gulp Frogs caused huge balance problems between players and, right now, bronze is the source of all heartaches. The Sha are eating good.

In a recent post by community manager Kaivax to the Blizzard forums, the MoP: Remix team announced that it's got no plans to change upgrade costs for the event's end-game, which has led to a lot of booing:

"Looking forward, we want you to know that we do not plan to change the Bronze cost of upgrading gear. We’ve already seen many players make the decision to upgrade items so that they can comfortably take on Heroic raids (and hopefully earn the large amounts of Bronze available from them)."

In case you're wondering why that's an issue, there's a pretty big disparity in costs between the event's transmog items and mounts and the cost of upgrading your gear. Upgrading a character's full set (thanks, WoWHead, for putting these numbers together) will run you a whopping 577,950 bronze. To put that in perspective, the event's most expensive mount, the Reins of the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, costs 50,000 bronze.

So why is Blizzard refusing to ease up? "The gains in power that come with increasing your item levels are exponential, not linear, and we don’t want anyone to second-guess their decision to become much more powerful." For many players, this reasoning doesn't track at all. MoP Remix is a temporary event, so all of these power gains are pretty transient anyway. 

It feels, in part, like an artificial grind tacked onto an otherwise zany romp through an older expansion. "I have a character about to be done with getting full 556," responds one player—with item level 556 being the endgame goal: "Believe me, it’s fine. We don’t mind the upgrade costs being reduced. Please do it for everyone else."

I'm trying to wrap my head around the philosophy here, and while I do think this is overall a bad move, I am finding some answers. Power scaling in MoP: Remix is obscenely high, meaning that as the event goes on, higher-level content will get utterly stomped. The team in charge of balance is clearly hesitant to let players just skip over to that level of godhood willy-nilly, especially since an entire pantheon of end-game geared monsters with suped-up Cloaks of Infinite potential will be deleting everything in a month or two.

But also, like—who actually cares? MoP: Remix isn't like Season of Discovery, it's existing for 90 days and then going away for a very long time, potentially forever. Especially since, as they later point out in the same announcement, that if you want to get all the cosmetics you can just level alts to cash in that juicy 40k bounty from hitting level 70. 

I think, more than anything, the day-one design mistake of MoP: Remix was tying up cosmetic rewards and gear upgrades in the same currency. It just ruins the whole vibe: While you're levelling, the event works as-intended. 

You're getting an alt to max level, growing stronger with extra tinker gems, and unlocking cosmetic rewards along the way. It all feels good. Then you hit the event's endgame and suddenly, you need to choose between power and cosmetics. You get hoisted from a rewarding experience and thrust, unceremoniously, into a retail-style grind—and for what, player retention?

I think the strangest thing about this whole fiasco is that, otherwise, improvements to the event's tuning have otherwise been pretty sensible. Still, it remains to be seen whether the MoP: Remix team will keep its heels dug for 81 days until doors close on timey-wimey Pandaria. I somehow doubt it, but more stubborn things have happened. 

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.