April 1, 2010 by Paul Curtin
The boys and girls over at Blizzard always love a good April Fool’s Joke. Two years ago they announced a console version of the popular raid instance Molten Core. Last year they announced a new feature that would allow players to pimp their mounts and a new Dance Battle System.
Now for 2010, Blizzard is unveiling their newest feature in development, the Equipment Potency EquivalencE Number. The Equipment Potency EquivalencE Number or EPEEN for short, will let World of Warcraft players know exactly where they stand in comparison to other players in terms of gear. Hit the jump for more details and images of Blizzard’s new EPEEN feature in action or check out the actual fake webpage here.
How Your Number Is Determined
Here’s how it will work: With every new piece of gear you obtain, your number will grow; if you attain a high enough number, you’ll graduate to the next tier (more on that below) and gain access to exclusive rewards. If you’re looking to boost your number even more, activities such as earning raid and Arena achievements or realm-first titles will help you get it up, and you’ll also begin receiving in-game mail with exciting offers for additional ways to enhance it.
Player Potency Tiers
To complement this system, we plan to use an updated version of the phasing technology introduced in Wrath of the Lich King to automatically place players in segregated tiers based on their number. Each tier will comprise all players within a certain number range, and players will only be able to group with, talk to, or see other players in the same tier as themselves. To ensure players with a smaller number will not be shafted by this new system, we plan to introduce a wide variety of new solo content for less well-equipped players.
Those with sufficiently large numbers can earn in-game rewards such as a permanent bonus to “need” rolls, the ability to cut to the front of the queue in the Dungeon Finder, a larger ignore list, a much shorter dungeon deserter debuff, or — if your number is exceedingly impressive — a new non-combat pet, Binky the Mechano-Rooster.
As your number grows, the game world will tailor itself to you in other subtle ways: as the pool of players you interact with becomes more and more exclusive, you’ll no longer need to stand still in prominent locations quite so often to allow others to inspect your gear; you’ll have fewer time-wasting calendar invitations to sift through; and your friends list will become increasingly more manageable, reducing needless scrolling time. Any negative repercussions of these changes will be offset by the satisfaction you’ll receive knowing your equipment is significantly more impressive than average.