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Has the Tyranny of BOA Gear Ruined Alt Leveling Dungeons?

Need moar boomkins on dragons!

Philosophically, I am neither for nor against BOA gear for your alts. I have a few caster pieces, scattered across the three servers upon which I actively play. At best, on one server, I have head, shoulders, chest and cloak. On another I have weapon, chest and shoulders. Amassing a collection of alt BOAs has just not been a priority for me. I've put my badges/points to other uses over the years. But it feels like I'm in the minority on that, at least amongst the leveling dungeon crowd.

Frequently, I've been in dungeons with people sporting a full set of BOA gear, down to two trinkets. That's fine by me. Should mean more gear for my alts who are relying on dungeon drops to improve as they go. You see, I'm a firm believer in having my alts wear what they can make or they earn from quests and dungeons. I just don't spend gobs of cash on my alts' leveling gear.

In years past, this approach has gone unnoticed/unremarked. But in the past month, I've been on the receiving end of meter spamming, vulgar comments, and being called a bad for my characters in leveling dungeons not being tricked out. Yes, I'm serious: I've been called a Bad for not having optimized my gear in leveling dungeons.

The most annoying was in the level 80-85 grind. Therein were positively the worst LFD people I've encountered thus far. Until that group I couldn't fathom why people would drop group mid pull. Which is exactly what I did after I tired of the vulgar comments coming from the three wretched guildies who apparently trolled LFD to show everyone else how leet they were in their full sets of BOA gear and how fail everyone else is if they don't have it.

It's interesting to me, as someone who has spent most of her WoW time historically focused on raiding to encounter ruthless elitism amongst people leveling alts. Even when I was one of only three druids on my server, at the time, who had a full set of T2 gear, I was never compelled to go around and talk smack to other people. I was able to bask in my accomplishments and feel good about my character without putting down other people.

What is it about the current state of affairs that would compel people to become obsessed with maximizing their alts for leveling, and more importantly, to look down upon and bully others who are leveling without having that same focus? What happened to the game being whatever it is that you want to make of it? When did we get overrun by the tyranny of the BOAs?

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