I’ll start out by apologising in advance. I’m new to the forums so my post might be all over the place in terms of how things are laid out around these parts - here goes!
I’ve been an alt fiend for years, so Heirlooms have been quite useful outside of Recruit-a-Friend. But I feel like a good move would be to consolidate all Heirlooms into a single necklace or ring, something that doesn’t affect a player’s appearance. It could even be tied in with the Heart of Azeroth when the expansion ends (I’m not great with lore so maybe that last part is a terrible idea).
For the sake of discussion, this new Heirloom would give stats and a +50% experience gain for kills/quests (obviously this would be tweaked accordingly when the level-squish is implemented) and it would have to have an upgrade system much like the one we have on Heirlooms currently. There would also have to be some sort of refund and possibly achievement/title for players who’ve collected/upgraded Heirlooms in the past.
I’ll explain my reasoning below:
I feel like seeing people in Heirlooms negatively impacts the immersion/fantasy aspects from 1-120. For the most part I don’t think Heirlooms look very nice. I understand there’s such a thing as Transmog, but it’s not readily available in the starting zones and looting pieces of regular gear such as boots/gloves so often from quests/dungeons just ruins your entire look anyway, forcing more and more trips to the Transmog. Furthermore some people simply cannot be bothered. I can’t un-see a level 115 male Draenei Paladin in a Tattered Dreadmist Mask and Preened Wildfeather Leggings (this raises another issue; Plate wearers or whatever, sitting in Cloth/Leather to save on upgrade costs). There’s also the Chauffeured Chopper which is a funny idea and everything but again, it looks/sounds ridiculous and you’re not even supposed to have a mount 'til 20.
There are many ‘variants’ of each type of armour (4 types of Plate shoulders for example). I believe they used to have different stats which made sense, but now the likes of Agi/Int will shift depending on your current spec. Certain pieces actually still differ with Crit/Haste/Versatility but this just means you’re paying 3 times to upgrade each piece in order to min/max your sets (I’m aware most people won’t be doing this).
Enchanting can be a very tedious process. Once you Enchant an Heirloom you’ll need to physically keep it on a character or in a bank which can result in a lot of tracking down and sending different sets across alts. And it’s not just a case of enchanting one set of Leather for a Druid, it’s enchanting Leather for Feral, Guardian, Balance, Restoration and so forth (because of the stat shift and min/maxing mentioned above).
Now I know many people voice this online but I don’t see cost being an issue here. I think it’s healthy for the game/economy to have gold-sinks and having the choice to invest in Heirlooms to level up your alts offers a good sense of accomplishment. The problem is the amount of Heirlooms involved, and the rings are also locked behind Fishing/Garrison lines which doesn’t provide much consistency. There are close to 100 individual Heirloom items in the game and choosing which to upgrade can be an OCD nightmare, especially for newer players.
Overall I feel like the current Heirloom system is very messy and a single item that grants you some decent stats and a boost to experience would go a long way in providing not only a much more streamlined process but also bring back some form of normality whilst levelling. If I were a new player and the first thing I saw was a Chauffured Chopper bouncing around the starting zone just one-shotting everything that moved, I’d be slightly put off (not enough to warrant not playing, because WoW is amazing, but still).
Let me know if you like the idea of consolidating Heirlooms and let me know if you don’t!