PSA: Creatures now scale with item level

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03/28/2017 10:25 PMPosted by Demetrius
Oblivion scaling has hit wow.


the various bethesda games never scaled with your GEAR. if you had a set of daedra armor it was gonna be better for you then iron armor
Apologies for the delay in getting information out on this - our initial focus was on putting out other patch-day fires.

Yes, this reflects a deliberate change, but it's also not working exactly as we intended. The scaling may be too steep, and the fact that unequipping a piece of gear can ever be helpful is a bug in the system. We'll be looking into making changes to correct this in the very near future.

Power progression is an essential part of the WoW endgame, and the last thing we want is to undermine that. We stressed the importance of that progression when discussing how the level-scaling system worked in Legion around the time of the expansion's launch, and explained why we then had no plans to scale foes' power based on gear. But as we've watched Legion unfold, we've come to observe some side-effects of our endgame content plan and the associated rewards structure that made us reconsider.

We've never had the initial outdoor world content stay relevant for this long in an expansion before. By the end of Mists of Pandaria, for example, the mantid of Dread Wastes that had once been reasonable foes were completely trivial. They'd basically evaporate if a raid-geared player looked in their general direction. But there wasn't much reason besides achievements or completionism to revisit the Klaxxi dailies once Isle of Thunder was out or, later on, Timeless Isle. And the enemies in those later zones could be tuned to a proportionally more challenging baseline difficulty.

But in Legion, while the new content in Broken Shore is the focus of 7.2, and we've made sure that the core outdoor rewards (both dropped and from Nethershards) are superior to the rep-related rewards from the original factions, the intent is not for the Broken Shore to completely replace the rest of the game. You'll still go back to the other Broken Isles zones for emissaries, Legion Assaults (coming next week!), Order campaign quests, improved world quest rewards, and more. And as 7.1 and 7.1.5 progressed, we could see that even with Nighthold gear the pacing of combat was getting a bit silly - what would happen once new content made that level of gear more common, and once the Tomb raid pushed limits even higher?

To reiterate, power progression is an essential part of the WoW endgame. We absolutely want you to feel overpowered as you return to steamroll content that once was challenging. But there's a threshold beyond which the game's core mechanics start to break down. When someone trying to wind up a 2.5sec cast can't get a nuke off against a quest target before another player charges in and one-shots it, that feels broken. And even for the Mythic-geared bringer of death and destruction, when everything dies nearly instantly, you spend more time looting corpses than you do making them. You spend an order of magnitude longer traveling to a quest location than you do killing the quest target. You stop using your core class abilities and instead focus on spamming instants to tap mobs as quickly as possible before they die.

Our goal is basically to safeguard against that degenerate extreme. We tune outdoor combat for a fresh 110 around a 12-15sec duration against a standard non-elite, non-boss enemy. It's great for gear, over the course of an expansion to cut that time in half, or even by two-thirds. But once you get down to a duration of one or two global cooldowns, the game just wasn't built to support that as the norm. (Note that this is an current-content endgame concern; running legacy content for completion/transmog/etc. purposes is a totally different story.)

The intent of our change in 7.2 was to smooth out that progression curve a bit, not flatten it out, and certainly never to invert it. If you get a great set of item upgrades that make you 5% stronger, maybe the world gets 1-2% tougher. Perhaps instead of getting 400% stronger over the course of the expansion relative to the outdoor world, you only get 250% stronger. But you should always be getting more powerful in relative terms, and upgrades should always matter. From some reactions so far, it sounds like we may be off on that tuning. And as noted above, the fact that unequipping items can ever be helpful is a bug that we'll be investigating and fixing.

Finally, there's the natural question of why we didn't patch-note this. It was not to be deceptive; we know it's impossible to hide a change from millions of players. But the system was meant to feel largely transparent and subtle, just like level-scaling does if you don't stop and really think about it, and so we did want players to first experience the change organically. Your feedback and reactions and first impressions of the system are more useful in this particular case when they are not skewed by the experience of logging in and actively trying to spot the differences. Thank you for that, and I look forward to continued discussion.
So basically, you lied your faces off back in September and then you really hoped that this would slip fast enough under the radar that you'd get away with only minor anger as opposed to a massive uproar of completely justified outrage.

EDIT: Oh my god you're telling us that you did this because you were worried we'd get bored re-grinding the same rep and AP wqs we'd already gotten sick of. And your solution was to make sure they didn't get easier, instead of just peacefully letting them become obsolete? You know, 99% of this game is obsolete at this point and I think we're grateful for it. I'm happy nobody's making me grind out boar murder in the Valley of Trials. I am happy doing things and letting them stay DONE.
Unbelievable, it was deliberate. If this change isn't removed, I'm done with this game.
Whelp, guess once my game time runs out, I might be done. What the is the point of a MMO if your power progression is null and void? Are mobs to easy with gear? Yeah, but that is what happens when you have unmitigated mudflation/power creep.
I hate it. Make it stop. It makes me not want to play because everything became less rewarding. I want 7.1.5 npcs back. This anti fun and I don't want it smoothed I want it gone. CRZ was bad but this punishment-feature is by far the worst idea yet implemented.

I hope this feedback is helpful.
Once again thanks for disregarding healers completely. It was nice to be able to overgear garbage trash mobs and stay in your healer spec and efficiently quest. Once again, you tell us to screw off into our DPS spec that we can't afford to put AP into.
03/28/2017 10:56 PMPosted by Jacksouth
Unbelievable, it was deliberate. If this change isn't removed, I'm done with this game.


Lol the drama queens are here.

They said its bugged. Let them fix it first and let's see how it actually was intended to work.

Maybe it'll actually be good? Who knows.

You guys are really hypocritical though. "Blizzard,do new things and make the game better omg!!" Then when they try something new "OMG NO TAKE IT AWAY REMOVE IT NO!!!!!". My god just wait for it to work as intended before getting all upset.

The main way for a game to improve and get better is for the devs to try new things. If it works it stays, if it doesn't then it goes, but you guys will screech about anything even if it's not working as intended. We have no idea what it will be like without the obvious bugs it has now.
03/28/2017 10:55 PMPosted by Drakyn
So basically, you lied your faces off back in September and then you really hoped that this would slip fast enough under the radar that you'd get away with only minor anger as opposed to a massive uproar of completely justified outrage.


03/28/2017 10:48 PMPosted by Watcher

Power progression is an essential part of the WoW endgame, and the last thing we want is to undermine that. We stressed the importance of that progression when discussing how the level-scaling system worked in Legion around the time of the expansion's launch, and explained why we then had no plans to scale foes' power based on gear. But as we've watched Legion unfold, we've come to observe some side-effects of our endgame content plan and the associated rewards structure that made us reconsider.


People are so caught up trying to say "gotcha!" they don't even bother to read what was said. As much as some people here believe otherwise, plans can actually change.
Yes, way off indeed. Going from being able to pull 15-20 non elites plus a rarespawn and obliterate them to barely being able to handle 5 non-elites without dying, all while at 900+ ilvl, feels incredibly bad.
So basically, you lied your faces off back in September and then you really hoped that this would slip fast enough under the radar that you'd get away with only minor anger as opposed to a massive uproar of completely justified outrage.

EDIT: Oh my god you're telling us that you did this because you were worried we'd get bored re-grinding the same rep and AP wqs we'd already gotten sick of. And your solution was to make sure they didn't get easier?


Knew it. Devs have no clue
03/28/2017 10:48 PMPosted by Watcher
Your feedback and reactions and first impressions of the system are more useful in this particular case when they are not skewed by the experience of logging in and actively trying to spot the differences. Thank you for that, and I look forward to continued discussion.

Mob health pool scaling seems fine. Mob damage scaling seems way out of control. The health pools feel about what I'd expect for a 'similar' experience to early Legion, but the damage scaling feels way, way off. Most things are more dangerous than they were around launch.
what an absolute joke, it is intentional? 10/10 lying to customers
Uhhhh. What? It was intentional? What's even the point then? Sure dungeons and raids will get easier but those of us who work and have families enjoyed being able to do more and more in an evening of play as we got more gear. This just means that World Quests go back to being an unfun slog without any hope it'll get better with gear...
Thanks for the response Watcher.

Perhaps trying to tune the mobs to be a few ilvls lower than what the player is might help or maybe reducing the health scale up? From what I have noticed though it seems the damage is the bigger problem,such as the elite npcs that roam in packs in Suramar City atm.

I'm not saying i'm for or against it here but just thinking of ways to fix it if it has to stay.(Even if I personally don't agree with the change)
Blizzard has made a lot of stupid, brainless changes over the years. This one is easily in the top 3.
Yes, this reflects a deliberate change, but it's also not working exactly as we intended.


How dare you. If you had a shred of ethics or conviction you would have at least announced this ahead of time and dealt with the storm then.

Shame on you cowards.
Whatcher admitted this change as being intended.

He admitted to not being forward about it.

He admitted that we would pick up on this undocumented change, and that it's hard for them to run these kinds of disingenuous changes past us without us figuring it out.

He admitted that the magnitude of item-level scaling was making progression irrelevant and therefore taking away from incentive to gear up and raid for that specific purpose.

He admitted to being caught...and proud of it.
03/28/2017 11:00 PMPosted by Ravynar
Uhhhh. What? It was intentional? What's even the point then?


The same point as the massive amount of gating and RNG this expac, to keep you paying those sweet sub dollars for as much time as possible.

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