World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth|OT| War Mode Enabled!

Oct 25, 2017
192
I’ve been Heroic raiding as a warlock since Uldir opened and I’m sitting at ilvl 372 after getting every item I wanted out of that raid. I’ve also got a level 30 neck after doing a bunch of early Azerite grinding and emissaries, as well as all the Azerite passively from end game content like raid bosses.

For 8.1 I capped my mage who I’m considering switching to since my guild is a bit full on warlocks. After being 120 for ~2 weeks of light casual gameplay I’m already at ilvl 369 with a level 31 necklace. The mage hasn’t done a single raid or dungeon besides Normal Waycrest for the herbalism Quest.

I put much much more effort into both the gear and necklace for the warlock and it didn’t matter at all. It feels bad.

This expansion sucks.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
I got 3 characters around 370. My rogue who is my main, which is actually around 390 if you consider gemslots and compare to that sort of gear level. My DH who is around 375, mainly geared from warfronts, world bosses, and a little m+/raids. And my mage who is a mix of pvp, world stuff, warfronts.

I don't get the negativity around getting gear easier or that somehow devaluing the effort people put in. Getting geared this late in the season is mainly preparing for the next one at this point, hence the catch up mechanics being a thing. I think catch up mechanics are great. Lets people who entered the expansion late get ready for season 2, or people who want to switch characters do so with less barrier. It'd be impossible if they had to do an season's worth of effort just to get on equal footing. I think bliz knows what they're doing in this area of the game. People who quit cause they hate uldir can come back knowing they can get back into the swing of things without having to farm uldir just for ilvl.
 
Oct 25, 2017
192
I don't think any of us are looking for a flat gear progression like in TBC at this point, but the balance between catch-up gear sources and traditional gear sources is out of whack in BfA. New/returning players should be able to jump into Season 2 and catch-up to the power level of someone that spent several months working on the previous PvE season, close-enough in power level to succeed in M+, Normal, or even Heroic raid groups. But it doesn't need to be the exact same power level. Why not have 8.1 catch up sources drop 355 (equal to Normal Uldir) or even 360 gear? 360 gear would certainly be enough to get new/returning players ready for BfD or the new season of M+, while not completely invalidating the gear that people spent months earning in Season 1. Since 8.1 launched ~a month ago a piss-easy Incursion that takes 10 minutes to finish and resets daily will drop the same ilvl gear as Heroic G'Huun or a Mythic 10+ dungeon. AFK'ing through the Darkshore Warfront will reward gear that is the same ilvl as Mythic Uldir. That's absurd. What is the point to raiding or doing M+ once you see a new season on the horizon given the way itemization is currently designed?

It's made much worse this expansion by the Azerite system. The catch-up mechanic kicked in immediately for this Azerite XP, the system never felt rewarding at any point along the way, and if you spent hundreds of hours doing IEs or other boring Azerite sources between BfA's launch and now, it's silly that a brand new character can reach the same or a greater HoA level in a few hours. That dramatic difference between Azerite XP earning efficiency would have felt more appropriate towards the end of the expansion, not when the very first content patch arrived.

My casual heroic guild finished AotC back in in October. We kept raiding up until December so that people could get the gear they wanted and be better-ready to work on the next raid tier when it released. The correct decision based on BfA itemization, knowing that we weren't going to move up to Mythic, would have been getting AotC and then immediately unsubbing. Any character progression we earned in the extra months we spent raiding could have been earned by catch-up content that is impossible to fail as soon as the next gear season is about to start.

At this point I'm waiting for my 6 month sub to expire and then am likely inactive until 8.2 if it delivers a revamped end-game, or 9.0 if it doesn't, but I think the longevity of gear progression is one of the thousand things that BfA gets wrong that is hurting the long term health of the game.
 
OP
OP
Tachya
Oct 25, 2017
1,484
Yeah the gear catchup is certainly just one factor of many affecting BfA for the worse, but it’s probably one of the most noticeable/most felt by nearly all players.

It’s just way out of whack.

I don’t have a problem with gear catchups and I’ve certainly taken advantage of them myself over the years, but I do believe that the current situation is far too generous and hasn’t been balanced appropriately.

Combined with other factors, there’s really not much incentive to play the game at a midcore or a more mildly hardcore level, so the middle skilled players of the game are dropping out in droves, which is affecting everyone’s experience.

For me right now the only solutions seem to be to not play, play extremely casually (which is ultimately unsatisfactory), or throw myself deep into hardcore raiding/M+ or PvP. The latter isn’t an easy solution though since the time requirement goes up fairly steeply and I (like many people) either can’t or don’t necessarily want to commit to that for one reason or another. My natural environment as sort of a midcore/lower-end hardcore raider is all but gone.

I’m still considering going more hardcore since my schedule for the next few months at least is more certain, but it’s not a particularly exciting prospect because I don’t enjoy the current game systems that much and that doesn’t seem likely to change until 8.2 at the earliest now. It’s also easier said than done because I haven’t been working on my WoW “resume” so to speak over the past few months, so I’d either be relying on social connections or experience from previous expansions to get my foot in the door. The one “positive” with the game bleeding players of my mindset/caliber is that recruiting standards are probably lower than normal for many guilds.
 
OP
OP
Tachya
Oct 25, 2017
1,484
Oh and I should also mention that I’m based mostly on something like a top 3 horde high pop server in the region. For people that aren’t so lucky in similar situations as mine, there’s even less incentive to play since they’d have to hand over $25+ (or equivalent in gold) for every character they’d have to transfer. And even in my case, if I expanded a guild search beyond the server to find something that might fit better, I’m still hit with the same fees. Not exactly appealing, especially when you have as many high level characters as I do and there’s no bulk discount option even if I do consider a different server as a new long term home.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,166
I mean I guess that’s great for you, but that’s one of the problems with the game right now. It completely devalues the efforts of hardcore and midcore players much too quickly. And the game can’t sustain itself on casuals alone, it just falls apart which is what we’re witnessing now.
Agreed. I'm selfishly benefiting. I know it's not good for the game, though.
 

Twig

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,381
Yep. I haven't even started the game up for a long while now. I guess I'm done. It was fun having fun despite everyone else not having fun. And then it wasn't fun when it stopped being fun.

Goodbye WoW. Next time, I won't be tricked into picking you back up just so my friends can bail on me. Time to uninstall.

Womp womp.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
Why not have 8.1 catch up sources drop 355 (equal to Normal Uldir) or even 360 gear? 360 gear would certainly be enough to get new/returning players ready for BfD or the new season of M+
Whats the point of gearing to 355 when you're going to likely need 370 to do progression in the next raid's normal tier? Force them to wait for LFR to come out just to get 370s? Nah.

Since 8.1 launched ~a month ago a piss-easy Incursion that takes 10 minutes to finish and resets daily will drop the same ilvl gear as Heroic G'Huun or a Mythic 10+ dungeon. AFK'ing through the Darkshore Warfront will reward gear that is the same ilvl as Mythic Uldir.
Well, it only drops 370 if your gear is already 360 or something. In other words it just scales. You're not just starting to gear a new character and going right to 370, you need to gear up. I think this is an important catch up mechanic if someone wants to run normal/heroic next season while it's progression. Darkshore I think is aimed at giving the same ilvl as the next season's heroic raid tier, just like arathi gave 1 heroic uldir leveled item. Since you can only get 1 item every couple weeks I'd say it's fairly slow way to get gear and keeping in mind that people who ran M+/mythic raid this season likely have way way better gear, especially in terms of wf/tf/gemslots, but also in terms of azerite traits.

--

I think we're putting too much undue weight on gearing if it's an issue that a casual player can gear up this many months late in an expansion. Prior to 8.1 you could only get items >340 (ignoring raids/M+) from world bosses and warfronts. That is a very slow, inefficient, way to gear up if you even can get a full 370 set then you're only on heroic gear which could have been on farm status for months by then.
 
Oct 25, 2017
192
Whats the point of gearing to 355 when you're going to likely need 370 to do progression in the next raid's normal tier? Force them to wait for LFR to come out just to get 370s? Nah.
Normal mode BfD did not need to be balanced around ilvl 370 gear. It could have been balanced around a catch-up gear level of~360 or even ~355 gear (the ilvl that dropped from Normal Uldir), giving groups had invested in Heroic Uldir a small leg-up in pushing through normal to the content that was most relevant for them (Heroic) in the same way that guilds who progressed far into Mythic Uldir will have a small leg up when pushing through Heroic BfD. That's pretty consistent with how itemization in the game always worked prior to BfA.

Well, it only drops 370 if your gear is already 360 or something. In other words it just scales. You're not just starting to gear a new character and going right to 370, you need to gear up.
My new mage was getting consistent 370 rewards from incursions within a week of being 120, without touching any raid or dungeon gear sources to speed things up. The only content I did was world-quests, incursions, and the warfront and very casually.The "gear up" process in 8.1 to get to 370 is insanely fast.

I think we're putting too much undue weight on gearing if it's an issue that a casual player can gear up this many months late in an expansion. Prior to 8.1 you could only get items >340 (ignoring raids/M+) from world bosses and warfronts. That is a very slow, inefficient, way to gear up if you even can get a full 370 set then you're only on heroic gear which could have been on farm status for months by then.
You're building my posts into a straw-man to say that I was arguing that catch-up mechanics should put the power level of new/returning players to less than what is required to play intro season 2 Raid content, or that no catch-up gear boosts should exist at all and people should be stuck with the solo/warfront gear ilevels of 8.0, so I think I'm done discussing this with you either way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,166

cant they just buy it from this dude and put it in game? >_>

Or hire him tbh lol
I'll never understand why so many people loved this moment/cutscene in the game. It was so artistically dissonant from anything that came before or around it, so it already felt very jarring. As an Alliance player and a fairly big Warcraft fan, I wasn't familiar with some of the most important the characters in this, so their actions and fates had no gravity or weight. I dig that it was a big step forward in the WoW team's storytelling methods, and I'm glad we have a lot more of these types of cutscenes these days, but at the time, this felt very poorly executed to me.
 
Oct 28, 2017
210
I canceled my sub back in late October and actually just completely uninstalled the game last night to make room for other games (Rainbow Six) on my hard drive. It’s too bad because I loved the initial experience of BFA but it just lost too much steam by the end. Once the initial stories come to a close you’re left with a mostly bland experience grinding content that is easy and boring with little meaningful progression.

The island expeditions were a bust. The battle fronts were intriguing the first few times but ultimately became automated and boring. Mythic+ dungeons require far too much effort to find groups. Finding a consistent raiding group is a chore because of the ever dwindling server populations. The azerite gear is just not a fun mechanic compared to the artifact weapons from Legion. The fact that they were relying on the azerite gear to spice up the class design makes the gameplay pretty stagnant and actually feels like a step backwards from Legion class design. Exacerbating all the above issues is the offensively slow drip of content that was marketed to players leading up to the launch of BFA.

Oh you wanted to play as the Zandalari or Kul Tirans? Well you’re going to have to wait at least 6 months post expansion launch. You wanted to play as the Dark Irons or Mag hat? Well you need to buy the expansion and pay for 2 months subscription to access them via a time gated rep grind. Releasing new content over the life of the expansion isn’t a new concept but the way in which it has been done in BFA feels like extortion of a loyal player base. I rarely felt like my time with Legion was lacking value but I certainly felt that way with the first few months of BFA. What is my subscription paying for anymore? The yet to be released content for BFA, particularly the Zandalari and Kul Tirans should have been included in the initial $50 price tag of the expansion.

It’s a total bummer because I feel the core gameplay of WoW, the lore and the polish of the game are all great but I just don’t feel like it’s worth the time or money right now. Hopefully their next expansion is wonderful. Unfortunately BFA is totally done for me at this point.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,958
At this point I'm more curious about who will be the lead for the next expansion and if they understand what needs to be done to turn things around, you know work already has already started on it.
 

Won

Member
Oct 27, 2017
306
Oh you wanted to play as the Zandalari or Kul Tirans? Well you’re going to have to wait at least 6 months post expansion launch. You wanted to play as the Dark Irons or Mag hat? Well you need to buy the expansion and pay for 2 months subscription to access them via a time gated rep grind. Releasing new content over the life of the expansion isn’t a new concept but the way in which it has been done in BFA feels like extortion of a loyal player base. I rarely felt like my time with Legion was lacking value but I certainly felt that way with the first few months of BFA. What is my subscription paying for anymore? The yet to be released content for BFA, particularly the Zandalari and Kul Tirans should have been included in the initial $50 price tag of the expansion.
As someone who always leveled up a new character whenever they released a new race and generally mains a different class each expansion, I still haven't and don't plan to actually sub to this game anymore until they go back on this.

But with how things are seemingly going with WoW and with Blizzard in general I don't expect this to happen.

And I was really looking forward playing Kul'tiran Human too. :/
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
What I hate the most about BFA is that no one is allowed to be critical of its faults without someone calling you a hater over it.

Yes, there are people who go overboard in their distaste for the game but saying "I don't like x" and justifying it also gets you that long, tired ass argument of how "you're just not enjoying it correctly" or some shit.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,958
What I hate the most about BFA is that no one is allowed to be critical of its faults without someone calling you a hater over it.

Yes, there are people who go overboard in their distaste for the game but saying "I don't like x" and justifying it also gets you that long, tired ass argument of how "you're just not enjoying it correctly" or some shit.
I feel there is enough reasons why BFA has not resonated with the wider player base that only the devoted will claim people are haters at this point. Even those who support Blizzard have noted the problems or negative issues associated with this expansion, compared to Legion it's day and night.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
You're building my posts into a straw-man to say that I was arguing that catch-up mechanics should put the power level of new/returning players to less than what is required to play intro season 2 Raid content, or that no catch-up gear boosts should exist at all and people should be stuck with the solo/warfront gear ilevels of 8.0, so I think I'm done discussing this with you either way.
To be clear, that last part was not in response to your post specifically. Hence the --- separation.
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
I feel there is enough reasons why BFA has not resonated with the wider player base that only the devoted will claim people are haters at this point. Even those who support Blizzard have noted the problems or negative issues associated with this expansion, compared to Legion it's day and night.
Maybe here, sure. But I guess it depends on where you go. Twitter, Reddit, and a few other places just constantly shit on anyone who voices their concern of the state of the game. People get weirdly defensive over this game as if it hasn’t been better (and worse in some cases) previously.

The fact of the matter is that the general consensus of BFA is that it’s a poor experience and these people going out of their way to put down the “dissenting opinions” are exhausting.

Do I think they can fix some of the issues? Yes. Maybe? Hopefully. Do I believe it will actually happen? That’s a tough question. But all isn’t pretty in the World of Warcraft.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,346
Normal mode BfD did not need to be balanced around ilvl 370 gear. It could have been balanced around a catch-up gear level of~360 or even ~355 gear (the ilvl that dropped from Normal Uldir), giving groups had invested in Heroic Uldir a small leg-up in pushing through normal to the content that was most relevant for them (Heroic) in the same way that guilds who progressed far into Mythic Uldir will have a small leg up when pushing through Heroic BfD. That's pretty consistent with how itemization in the game always worked prior to BfA.



My new mage was getting consistent 370 rewards from incursions within a week of being 120, without touching any raid or dungeon gear sources to speed things up. The only content I did was world-quests, incursions, and the warfront and very casually.The "gear up" process in 8.1 to get to 370 is insanely fast.
So what’s the quickest way to gear up? Grinding it out on my hunter is getting boring so if you know a short cut I’d love to know so I can stop wasting time doing shit inefficiently.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,346
Didn't know you could get moonglaives from the Darkshore Warfront. Gotta say, it looks pretty nice. Too bad it's a warglaive, so only DHs can use it.

How do you get the gear from those war fronts? Is it random? And is that from the scenario or do I actually need to go to Darkshore and kill shit?

One thing that’s been odd for me this expansion is that I’m obviously missing shit, which is why I’m asking people like you these kinds of questions. Granted I am super casual at the moment but I can’t think of another time when playing this game that it wasn’t clear what I should really be doing.
 
OP
OP
Tachya
Oct 25, 2017
1,484
Maybe here, sure. But I guess it depends on where you go. Twitter, Reddit, and a few other places just constantly shit on anyone who voices their concern of the state of the game. People get weirdly defensive over this game as if it hasn’t been better (and worse in some cases) previously.

The fact of the matter is that the general consensus of BFA is that it’s a poor experience and these people going out of their way to put down the “dissenting opinions” are exhausting.

Do I think they can fix some of the issues? Yes. Maybe? Hopefully. Do I believe it will actually happen? That’s a tough question. But all isn’t pretty in the World of Warcraft.
Yeah, I'd probably picture those people as the "This is Fine" dog in a room that's on fire haha.

I mean I understand the position of "I'm having fun, why aren't you having fun?!" but people that have played this game for any appreciable amount of time should have the experience/frame of reference to see that there are problems. Not to mention the fact that different types of people find fun in different things, so if your particular avenue of fun hasn't been affected (or potentially even improved), you might be more oblivious to issues that are affecting other people unless it's explicitly pointed out to you.

BfA hasn't held up past the typical expansion-launch honeymoon period so far, and it was flawed enough that the honeymoon was even shorter than usual (or at least seemed like it.)

I'm conflicted, but the current state and direction of the game has just made me apathetic for the most part. It's seemingly sort of a self-reinforcing chain reaction too - a literal reverse network effect.

I'm not sure if there's any guaranteed way to change the direction on a reverse network effect, or maybe stop or slow it except for some Hail Mary type moves, but those are risky plays since they could just as easily backfire. The best bet might just be for Blizzard to improve the game as much as they can with patches this expansion, accepting the losses, and hopefully make it up with an amazing 9.0 expansion.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
317
I am not as pessimistic as most of the community seems to be. I am still having fun.

However, the game definitely has problems. And I have serious doubts they will be fixed in 8.1 or 8.1.5. The changes in those two patches are just stopgap. I don't think real fixes will come about till 8.2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
I am looking forward to the new raid, the new ring on gear, and new seasonal affix for M+. I do also find the new profession tools they're adding to be interesting, although I am not sure they'll be a big deal.

But I am still actually having fun with the game right now. Mostly for the social aspect of RBGs, but still M+. Still aiming to get higher keys done, even though that has been hard since my original group ended up not running much after the tank had to stop playing due to being simply too busy.
 
OP
OP
Tachya
Oct 25, 2017
1,484
Yeah 8.2 seems like the earliest we'll start getting real fixes, but again, that's quite a ways away. Which is part of the problem - the development is simultaneously too slow and too fast at times and it seems like the team is really struggling to find a balance, especially in situations where they make unforced errors and have to course correct.

Pacing for tentpole content like new raids and dungeons is more or less right (as with the patch cycle in Legion), but that needs to be better alternated with lower-key or experimental things like the Chromie scenario, for example, in a more natural way. Systems adjustment and fixes should always be on the table and not just packaged in with major patches. Now they sort of do this with the .X and .X.5 patches, but it feels very artificial now with often too many time-gates (time-gates aren't inherently bad, they're just getting overused) and either an inability or hesitance to make any truly impactful changes outside pre-designated patch dates.

Raid launch and the stuff that goes with it in Season 2 will certainly help some, but the current limbo period is more or less as bad as 8.0 was after the honeymoon.

Though what I saw teased about 8.2 at Blizzcon, plus finally getting some much-longed-for story development in that patch with Azshara really coming back into the mix should be good.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
4,032
8.1 really offered nothing that would make me want to play again. Even if the new raid is great, raiding in and of itself isn't going to make me want to play if I am dissatisfied with the core endgame reward/progression loop (ie, azerite sucks.) At this point I am just awaiting 8.2 news, and am at least a little bit hopeful given that they seem to have finally accepted the current design is bad and are planning a significant change.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
yeah I am looking forward to the new content in 8.2, specifically the Azshara stuff and the new artifact progression. And a new zone. I was fine with it at first but now I've grown to really dislike the separate continents. Only leveling in/seeing mostly 3 zones is really.... boring? I don't know exactly the word I'm looking for. There's nothing inherently wrong with them - the music and art and questing are fine/good/excellent but doing only the same three over and over with very little room to mix it up isn't very fun to me. And, while I have never liked dungeon leveling, I feel that the XP from leveling dungeons feels really low compared to how quickly you can level through questing. I tried doing islands but I practically fell asleep during.

Spreaking of islands, I didn't follow a lot of beta stuff due to spoilers but they were hands down the thing I looked forward to the most in BFA and it sucks that they're so disappointing. I never liked scenarios back in Mists because I felt they competed with dungeons too much and didn't really serve a purpose so I thought islands would be a better take on that idea... nope. And now everything: dungeons, raids, lfr, warfronts, islands... all have that same feeling of redundancy that scenarios had. Nothing really has priority anymore and it's more like "you better do everything! that 340 piece could titanforge to 395 and you'll be behind! YOU. JUST. NEVER. KNOW. lol ;)"
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,346
Yeah 8.2 seems like the earliest we'll start getting real fixes, but again, that's quite a ways away. Which is part of the problem - the development is simultaneously too slow and too fast at times and it seems like the team is really struggling to find a balance, especially in situations where they make unforced errors and have to course correct.

Pacing for tentpole content like new raids and dungeons is more or less right (as with the patch cycle in Legion), but that needs to be better alternated with lower-key or experimental things like the Chromie scenario, for example, in a more natural way. Systems adjustment and fixes should always be on the table and not just packaged in with major patches. Now they sort of do this with the .X and .X.5 patches, but it feels very artificial now with often too many time-gates (time-gates aren't inherently bad, they're just getting overused) and either an inability or hesitance to make any truly impactful changes outside pre-designated patch dates.

Raid launch and the stuff that goes with it in Season 2 will certainly help some, but the current limbo period is more or less as bad as 8.0 was after the honeymoon.

Though what I saw teased about 8.2 at Blizzcon, plus finally getting some much-longed-for story development in that patch with Azshara really coming back into the mix should be good.
I think a lot of this could have been mitigated if Blizzard had listened to the Beta feedback. We're in the situation right now because of Blizzard's broken feedback system and the break is purely on their side. The community is stupidly toxic, but that doesn't change the fact that blizzard has charged full speed ahead with things people aren't interested in, AND those game play mechanics that blizzard put in have met universal disdain because of how things were executed. Blizzard showed the hampster wheel and are now confused as to why people want to get off. For example, the minute re-unlocking traits came in someone should have put the brakes on right then and there and said "Is it fun to make people have to re-unlock this kind of thing over and over?" but they didn't. They looked at it like an engagement metric and said "This will get people to keep playing" rather than "Is this fun, which will lead to people continuing to play?" and everything spiraled out from that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
192
So what’s the quickest way to gear up? Grinding it out on my hunter is getting boring so if you know a short cut I’d love to know so I can stop wasting time doing shit inefficiently.
In short:
  • Do Incursions every time they are up if you're around (Timer: http://www.wowincursions.com/)
  • Do the Warfront scenario once when it is up. Repeating it will get you more gear, but the first time each lock/unlock cycle will get you a bonus higher ilvl piece of gear from a quest.
  • Join a Group Finder raid for rare mobs when the Warfront world zones are controlled by your faction, follow the horde to kill everything once per lock/unlock cycle.
  • Kill world bosses each week. Use your bonus roll on them.
  • Do any world quests that offer ilvl rewards.
  • Pick up the PvP weekly quest to kill 25 players outdoors for a 370 piece of gear. Turn on warmode when an Incursion is on your faction's continent to easily complete it without having to group up or organize. All you need to do is get tags on people that die, you don't need to know how to PvP well or even have your faction "win" the world battles.
There are also crafted PvP focused armor and weapons in 8.1 for each profession at ilvl 340 that are easy to make and should be pretty cheap in the AH. If you have some gold to spare you can probably drop a few thousand gold to get a full set of 340 gear. I did this for the few slots that the sources above didn't quickly cover, and it'll improve the ilvl rewards you're getting from the sources above too.

Spreaking of islands, I didn't follow a lot of beta stuff due to spoilers but they were hands down the thing I looked forward to the most in BFA and it sucks that they're so disappointing.
The weirdest thing for me is that they keep advertising & including new Island Expedition maps as features in new patches. 8.1 added 2 new Island Expeditions, a Vykrul and a Gilnean one. 8.2 is going to add 2 more, a Kul Tiran and Pandaria one. That means there are currently 9 in the game and will be 11 as of 8.2.

Did we need more than like ... 3 of these? They all feel identical. I never queue for an IE and think "oh cool, I love this map!". It's the same rush through trash mobs, mining nodes, and rares every time. I would never have time to appreciate the architecture given that they are a race between your team and your opponents and since the maps are flooded with trash mobs. Any unique identity the maps might have had is further eroded when the randomized invasion kicks in after a few minutes and suddenly the map you were playing on is filled with enemies and visual effects for an entirely differently themed enemy, one that can also show up on any other IE map.

There is a huge disconnect between how Blizzard designers thought BfA features would be used and received, and how players actually used and received them. It doesn't feel like their internal teams were even on the same page, or fully thought features out before committing months of dev time to them and locking them into the patch roadmap for the first 12 months of the expansion. With IEs the intent seemed to be "Creating a large number of maps and filling them with many different enemy types, objectives, and events will keep the content fresh and encourage players to explore". That goal was sabotaged by the balance of earning Azerite in IEs for the objective, where AoE'ing down massive trash packs and hunting rares became the only thing players did because it's what reliably got them the most Azerite. It was then sabotaged again by the way rewards were earned from IEs, where players noticed that only extremely specific Azerite sources in IEs were capable of rewarding the specific item they were trying to acquire. It was then sabotaged again by mob density and type randomization in IEs, leading every map to feel like a massive field of random trash enemies and therefore every map to feel the same. Even at a conceptual level, "players will explore IEs and discover a variety of sources for Azerite" seems totally at odds with the fact that IEs are on a timer, and against a competing team which they will lose against if they don't earn Azerite efficiently enough. If a new quest spawns on an IE that I haven't seen before and it's not immediately obvious how to solve/complete it, I'm going to ignore it and go back to killing trash and rares because I know that's going to get me Azerite efficiently and consistently and I'm on a timer.

I think Warfronts are the most striking example of this disconnect. I went through the Darkshore Scenario on a new alt recently and knowing what groups focus on to win and how the scenario plays out makes the long series of tutorial quests feel like a painful walkthrough of how much wasted effort went into the feature. You're guided through a dozen quests showing you all these areas and buildings you can unlock that allow you to do things like summon hired NPC helpers, summon friendly AI boss mobs, boost the armor/weapons of your AI teammates, etc. You can even summon like 4-5 different Heroes to play as that have several unique abilities and control like a vehicle. All of these, and more, unique to each faction, when the actual strategy groups use on the alliance side is "build glaive throwers ASAP and we win".

The dev team put in dozens of things you can do to increase your chances of victory, but then the dev team also says "warfronts are designed to be won" and they are balanced to be so easy that none of it matters. Most of your team can even AFK and you'll still win as long as a few players are working towards the small number of objectives that are crucial.

Like how much time did they spend testing and designing all of these vehicles, AI teammates & upgrades, and map objectives only to render 99% of it inconsequential because of difficulty balancing?

When you think about great RPGs systems you think about features that all work in concert with each other, augmenting and supporting each other into something that feels like one unified and well-thought-out vision. Like the way professions in WoW used to allow you not just a way to make money and participate in the economy in-game, but also to strengthen your character for raiding, or to customize for PvP, or to solo more easily, etc. and those content destinations might drop materials or recipes that fed back into the profession. In BfA all the features feel like the opposite: they don't support each other and feel at-odds with themselves, poorly thought out and unsatisfying to play with.

"Here are a dozen ways to increase your chances of winning this Warfront" vs. "The Warfront scenario will automatically guide players along a path to guaranteed path victory, but they need to contribute resources towards this one single AI vehicle before they can win so the Scenario won't end too quickly".

Did they expect players to spend resources on any of the other upgrades in the Warfront, knowing that success was guaranteed and that only thing you could spend resources on actually mattered?

"Here are 4 difficulty levels for you to tailor your dungeon to the experience and gear level of your group which offer increasing rewards" vs. "World Quests and Warfronts will drop higher ilvl gear than anything except M+ dungeons about ~2-3 weeks after the expansion launches"

Are new players who reached the cap casually after 2 weeks supposed to run dungeon content that drops no rewards that are actually relevant to their character in order to learn the dungeon and how to play in groups? Are they supposed to jump directly into M+ where the content is on a timer and everyone expects them to know the specific mechanics of the dungeon already?

It all feels so amateur.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
The weirdest thing for me is that they keep advertising & including new Island Expedition maps as features in new patches. 8.1 added 2 new Island Expeditions, a Vykrul and a Gilnean one. 8.2 is going to add 2 more, a Kul Tiran and Pandaria one. That means there are currently 9 in the game and will be 11 as of 8.2.

Did we need more than like ... 3 of these? They all feel identical. I never queue for an IE and think "oh cool, I love this map!". It's the same rush through trash mobs, mining nodes, and rares every time. I would never have time to appreciate the architecture given that they are a race between your team and your opponents and since the maps are flooded with trash mobs. Any unique identity the maps might have had is further eroded when the randomized invasion kicks in after a few minutes and suddenly the map you were playing on is filled with enemies and visual effects for an entirely differently themed enemy, one that can also show up on any other IE map.

There is a huge disconnect between how Blizzard designers thought BfA features would be used and received, and how players actually used and received them. It doesn't feel like their internal teams were even on the same page, or fully thought features out before committing months of dev time to them and locking them into the patch roadmap for the first 12 months of the expansion. With IEs the intent seemed to be "Creating a large number of maps and filling them with many different enemy types, objectives, and events will keep the content fresh and encourage players to explore". That goal was sabotaged by the balance of earning Azerite in IEs for the objective, where AoE'ing down massive trash packs and hunting rares became the only thing players did because it's what reliably got them the most Azerite. It was then sabotaged again by the way rewards were earned from IEs, where players noticed that only extremely specific Azerite sources in IEs were capable of rewarding the specific item they were trying to acquire. It was then sabotaged again by mob density and type randomization in IEs, leading every map to feel like a massive field of random trash enemies and therefore every map to feel the same. Even at a conceptual level, "players will explore IEs and discover a variety of sources for Azerite" seems totally at odds with the fact that IEs are on a timer, and against a competing team which they will lose against if they don't earn Azerite efficiently enough. If a new quest spawns on an IE that I haven't seen before and it's not immediately obvious how to solve/complete it, I'm going to ignore it and go back to killing trash and rares because I know that's going to get me Azerite efficiently and consistently and I'm on a timer.

I think Warfronts are the most striking example of this disconnect. I went through the Darkshore Scenario on a new alt recently and knowing what groups focus on to win and how the scenario plays out makes the long series of tutorial quests feel like a painful walkthrough of how much wasted effort went into the feature. You're guided through a dozen quests showing you all these areas and buildings you can unlock that allow you to do things like summon hired NPC helpers, summon friendly AI boss mobs, boost the armor/weapons of your AI teammates, etc. You can even summon like 4-5 different Heroes to play as that have several unique abilities and control like a vehicle. All of these, and more, unique to each faction, when the actual strategy groups use on the alliance side is "build glaive throwers ASAP and we win".

The dev team put in dozens of things you can do to increase your chances of victory, but then the dev team also says "warfronts are designed to be won" and they are balanced to be so easy that none of it matters. Most of your team can even AFK and you'll still win as long as a few players are working towards the small number of objectives that are crucial.

Like how much time did they spend testing and designing all of these vehicles, AI teammates & upgrades, and map objectives only to render 99% of it inconsequential because of difficulty balancing?

When you think about great RPGs systems you think about features that all work in concert with each other, augmenting and supporting each other into something that feels like one unified and well-thought-out vision. Like the way professions in WoW used to allow you not just a way to make money and participate in the economy in-game, but also to strengthen your character for raiding, or to customize for PvP, or to solo more easily, etc. and those content destinations might drop materials or recipes that fed back into the profession. In BfA all the features feel like the opposite: they don't support each other and feel at-odds with themselves, poorly thought out and unsatisfying to play with.

"Here are a dozen ways to increase your chances of winning this Warfront" vs. "The Warfront scenario will automatically guide players along a path to guaranteed path victory, but they need to contribute resources towards this one single AI vehicle before they can win so the Scenario won't end too quickly".

Did they expect players to spend resources on any of the other upgrades in the Warfront, knowing that success was guaranteed and that only thing you could spend resources on actually mattered?

"Here are 4 difficulty levels for you to tailor your dungeon to the experience and gear level of your group which offer increasing rewards" vs. "World Quests and Warfronts will drop higher ilvl gear than anything except M+ dungeons about ~2-3 weeks after the expansion launches"

Are new players who reached the cap casually after 2 weeks supposed to run dungeon content that drops no rewards that are actually relevant to their character in order to learn the dungeon and how to play in groups? Are they supposed to jump directly into M+ where the content is on a timer and everyone expects them to know the specific mechanics of the dungeon already?

It all feels so amateur.
Well. Said. I like you - you get it.

It's not like these are BAD IDEAS. It's just the implementation is lacking and completely lacking forethought. I'm sure when we're in space next expansion for void lords we'll have planet expeditions and the system will be better but right now.... no. At least, I hope. I really want to fast forward through 8.1 to see what the future holds. I'm tired of being disappointed by a game I love so much and just want to have fun in the current expansion. "make your own fun" doesn't really work for me anymore because the fun I'm making is stuff I've done so many, many times before.
 

Jag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,709
It all feels so amateur.
Agree with everything you wrote. They put together some great stuff, but the execution is lacking. Island Expeditions are the most disappointing. They nerfed the weekly xp quest, so it's not even worth running alts. At least make it so you can que from anywhere. That might get a few more bodies in it. Right now I have zero desire to run them.

I am digging Assaults and Warfronts right now though. Assaults for leveling alts and rep (and yes world PVP is fun again!) and running Warfronts to collect all the toys, mounts and pets. It's easy and mindless enough that I don't mind running all my alts through it, plus I get decent gear.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
At least make it so you can que from anywhere. That might get a few more bodies in it. Right now I have zero desire to run them..
This is especially necessary. Whenever I do randomly think about trying one I don't want to have to stop what I'm doing to go to the damned table.

And make War Mode activation available in any major city. Not just Orgrimmar.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
Normal mode BfD did not need to be balanced around ilvl 370 gear. It could have been balanced around a catch-up gear level of~360 or even ~355 gear (the ilvl that dropped from Normal Uldir), giving groups had invested in Heroic Uldir a small leg-up in pushing through normal to the content that was most relevant for them (Heroic) in the same way that guilds who progressed far into Mythic Uldir will have a small leg up when pushing through Heroic BfD. That's pretty consistent with how itemization in the game always worked prior to BfA.
I doubt you actually need 370 ilvl to do BFD but if you want to be in a progression group they're likely going to want higher than 370, especially if you didn't clear the last raid. Once it's on farm status, that's a different story of course.

People who have invested in heroic already have a leg up. You think people who have had heroic on farm are sitting around 370? Nah man. I have very few kills on mythic uldir, like 1 piece of gear from there, and would be 385 if I equipped all my highest ilvl gear. https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/character/eredar/Violous. I realize my character may not be the best example since most of it is from M+, but I think my point still stands. Heroic raiders should definitely have a leg up over people just getting gear from world stuff in the last few weeks. I also know high ilvl rings and trinkets from world content is sparse to the point of not being available, as are aiming for azerite traits although the new ring will shake that up regardless.

My new mage was getting consistent 370 rewards from incursions within a week of being 120, without touching any raid or dungeon gear sources to speed things up. The only content I did was world-quests, incursions, and the warfront and very casually.The "gear up" process in 8.1 to get to 370 is insanely fast.
"Very casually?" what? I seriously doubt that based on your post instructing someone how to gear up fast. You need to get to like 360~ ilvl to start getting 370 pieces from world emissaries and incursions. Doing that within a week takes considerable effort, perhaps mandating dropping a lot of gold and having champs of azeroth to revered on another character already. It's probably possible but I wouldn't label it "very casually".

You're building my posts into a straw-man to say that I was arguing that catch-up mechanics should put the power level of new/returning players to less than what is required to play intro season 2 Raid content, or that no catch-up gear boosts should exist at all and people should be stuck with the solo/warfront gear ilevels of 8.0, so I think I'm done discussing this with you either way.
Nah, that isn't what happened there. My remarks were made in general that I think people worry too much about gear and how fast it takes people to gear up. But if you don't want to discuss because I disagree with you on a few points, that'll make this a very shitty echo chamber.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,958
Island Expeditions should have been the new Timeless Isle. No instance thing, just a big open place you could explore, team up with some to do other bosses or just around and do your own thing. People would have enjoyed that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
900
Austin, TX
I had actually canceled my sub but then bought the 6 month sub with the flying ghost ship on sale from ebay (got it for like $54 or something which was a really nice deal in theory) but haven't touched it in like 6 weeks now. This expansion is sadly not at all compelling for me.. I haven't bothered to level up any alts after getting about 8 or so to 110 in the last one. Certainly one of the main issues was the follower quests only yielding like 100-125 gold.. it's barely even worth my time to open the app.

Has there been anything new added in the past month plus?
 
OP
OP
Tachya
Oct 25, 2017
1,484
Rokal good post.

Yeah, it's a huge problem that systems aren't really integrated anymore. Like there's no overarching systems philosophy/goal. There's all these various types of content, but they're frequently contradictory in a vacuum and especially so in the context that they're often undermining other pieces of content. It's negative synergy.

For gearing especially, probably the primary source of player power, too much seems to be more or less viable, so nothing feels valuable.

Perhaps one solution would to be to have gear go back to being good only for specific activities (e.g. PvP gear with resilience), but that has a different set of issues. As it stands though, gear is being used as a sort of catch-all reward system and very likely overused beyond an appropriate amount.

Islands and Warfronts are a huge shame because clearly a lot of developer resources went into them, but the final product is not worth that much. Islands are especially bad because the objective being the exact same across all islands every time devolves them into the same boring mess, just with different window dressing.


I'm not entirely sure if this is the right way to go about it, but I think in general Blizzard should look at condensing difficulty settings while also slowly increasing depth (if not also breadth) for class and systems design. The latter is a fine thing to balance if you also want to remain accessible, but remaining stagnant or shrinking depth is not the way to go (neither is change for change's sake) if you want to retain veterans as well. I definitely think the strata of difficulty in content in the game has gotten out of hand though. I'm not completely anti-LFR or anything, but it's introduction was definitely a turning point, certainly for raids.

For raids specifically, I'm not sure where you'd make the prune. Probably the current normal mode? But that assumes nothing else changes and to be honest the whole system might need a larger redesign. I don't know about other people, but I would almost certainly still be very committed if 10-man Mythic was a thing. Obviously that has its own drawbacks, but that's more on Blizzard's end. It makes THEIR job easier only having to balance for one "hard" difficulty. It doesn't necessarily make for the best end-user experience.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
317
Raids and Instances are fine. It's the new content (Islands and Warfronts) that are a flop.

And more importantly, it's the new system - Azerite. Don't forget that an activity is no better than it's reward. In Legion AP was a good reward because it earned you permanent upgrades. With the Azerite system you have to grind just to stay in the same place. That's no fun and motivates nobody. With the motivation for earning Azerite being poor, the activities that reward it by definition become less appealing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
172
I love how the final Raid Finder wing for Dazar'alor opens just 2 weeks before Dreadwake subs start expiring (Monday March 18 2018, 180 days after the promotion launched).
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,032
Raids and Instances are fine. It's the new content (Islands and Warfronts) that are a flop.

And more importantly, it's the new system - Azerite. Don't forget that an activity is no better than it's reward. In Legion AP was a good reward because it earned you permanent upgrades. With the Azerite system you have to grind just to stay in the same place. That's no fun and motivates nobody. With the motivation for earning Azerite being poor, the activities that reward it by definition become less appealing.
Raids and Dungeons are generally good, but I found M+ overall to be a lot less fun and interesting in BfA than Legion. I know some of that is Azerite related, but the dungeons themselves felt like more of a chore largely due to a mix of onerous trash and spec/combat mechanics feeling a bit worse than Legion.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,511
Florida
Raids and Dungeons are generally good, but I found M+ overall to be a lot less fun and interesting in BfA than Legion. I know some of that is Azerite related, but the dungeons themselves felt like more of a chore largely due to a mix of onerous trash and spec/combat mechanics feeling a bit worse than Legion.
yeah same. I think it has a lot to do with trash and some specs/classes feeling like they're missing that certain something/ability.
 
Oct 27, 2017
681
Been gone a couple of months, did 8.1 bring the nerf to leveling I read about before stopping? I was leveling some allied races but I just couldn't continue with that torture for the upteenth time.