The Netherlight Crucible And You

7.3 PTR Feedback
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What players mean by, "no more RNG." isn't exactly no RNG. They just don't want RNG on top of more RNG, on top of a bit more. Just keep typical gear drop RNG and bring back tokens.
Just don't make it where classes have to fight over tokens.
08/07/2017 04:26 AMPosted by Vincentiu
08/07/2017 12:01 AMPosted by Aenimma
This system is to upgrade relics?
What happens when I get a new one?
Does this give me a second bonus to my relics or does it replace the one I have now?
Why don't I just kill the Dungeon or Raid boss that has my better relic and hope for a better ilvl one?
From what little I gather I just get a chance at a random bonus, so I could get a not great one with a not great bonus? or get a bad one and replace the bad one with another bad one?

It's actually quite simple, this is basically the second random relic trait they where going to add in 7.2 but ended up scraping it because it was too uncertain. This is better explained with a Deck of cards:
    1)You have a 10 cards deck, each card represents one of your traits.
    2)Now take from the deck the card with the trait the relic already has, you have now 9 cards left in your deck.
    3)Shuffle the deck and draw 3 cards.
    4)Choose 1 card and put the other 2 cards into the deck.
    5)Now your relic has the trait it originally had (step 2)) and the trait you choose from 4).


Technically, it is less random than the second random trait they wanted to implement in 7.2. As for why they want to implement this, apparently they don't like that players are constantly spamming Mythic+ Dungeons in order to get an specific relic trait, so they want that any Relic you get might have the trait you are looking for.

For specs whose traits are all weak this change adds nothing. For specs that have one particularly strong trait, this is apparently useful for them since they no longer need to farm an specific relic and instead any relic they get might get that bis trait from the bonus trait. For specs with multiple strong traits, no idea.

You can preview wich options you have in each relic using the fourth relic slot in the Netherlight. Previewing or inserting the Relic will make it non-tradable, so if you are a master looter, you shuld keep giving relics as you did before 7.3.


With the critical miss of: since you can now have 2 traits, you now want your best trait and the runner up. All I see here is a significant increase in disappointment and frustration with loot. It's like Blizzard is designing a game for people that hate fun.
My only issue with relics is, if I can't use it (not one of my specs), why am I getting it? I should never receive a blood relic as a fire mage as an example. Yet I have. When we say excessive RNG, we mean this sort of thing. Now it gets even worse. Blizz, PLEASE STOP listening to the Diablo dev kiddies. They are clueless about this game as the day is long. BTW if you dont know, this is yet another Diablo system import.
The diablo B team is in panic mode as they realize WoW MMORPG players are not the same as MMO players from Diablo....while there is overlap of players that play both games it should be clear by now that the two do not mix.
08/07/2017 07:23 AMPosted by Tilliad
My only issue with relics is, if I can't use it (not one of my specs), why am I getting it? I should never receive a blood relic as a fire mage as an example. Yet I have. When we say excessive RNG, we mean this sort of thing. Now it gets even worse. Blizz, PLEASE STOP listening to the Diablo dev kiddies. They are clueless about this game as the day is long. BTW if you dont know, this is yet another Diablo system import.


If you ever receive a relic that isn't fire, frost, or arcane as a mage, that's a bug. The closest there is to this is getting an off-spec relic as a WQ reward, which is possible.
08/07/2017 04:26 AMPosted by Vincentiu
As for why they want to implement this, apparently they don't like that players are constantly spamming Mythic+ Dungeons in order to get an specific relic trait, so they want that any Relic you get might have the trait you are looking for.


Hopefully that's not what they're trying to address, because this system is even worse. Those players that are spamming M+ trying to get a TF relic with BiS traits are now going to spam even more M+ for multiple copies of the relic and hope one of them rolls well on both 2nd row and 3rd row.

If anything, this is an even worse grind than AP. At least with AP, you were making constant progress with every token. With the crucible, you could farm multiple relics and have none of them roll BiS so your grind continues with no progress at all.
08/07/2017 08:42 AMPosted by Maxilla
08/07/2017 04:26 AMPosted by Vincentiu
As for why they want to implement this, apparently they don't like that players are constantly spamming Mythic+ Dungeons in order to get an specific relic trait, so they want that any Relic you get might have the trait you are looking for.


Hopefully that's not what they're trying to address, because this system is even worse. Those players that are spamming M+ trying to get a TF relic with BiS traits are now going to spam even more M+ for multiple copies of the relic and hope one of them rolls well on both 2nd row and 3rd row.

If anything, this is an even worse grind than AP. At least with AP, you were making constant progress with every token. With the crucible, you could farm multiple relics and have none of them roll BiS so your grind continues with no progress at all.


Rather than addressing the root problem (that some traits are vastly stronger or more desirable than others, and relics have both ilvl and trait attached, with the added frustration of specific "sockets" they fit into) they go after the symptom, which is; "Players are trying to optimize a system through grinds and other means that are burning themselves out."

I remember when the RNG in wow loot was just that--whether or not a loot piece dropped or not. At this point, there are so many layers added (I think in a futile effort to take emphasis off min/maxing?) that it just feels pointless to even try. Which isn't a great feeling.

I miss the days where games rewarded X, every single time, for doing Y. It was okay to cap and feel like I reached the end--I knew next tier all my stuff would be rendered outdated. That was fine. That's how things should be.
The worst part of all this is that there is such a simple solution to reducing the disparity between relics. Simply cap all traits at 7/7 max, and allow the crucible to choose an extra trait with each row. If at any time you exceed the max and have 8/7 trait, you can pay X to change one of your 8/7 trait choice to something else.

So the maximum difference becomes:

Current: 7/7 worst trait v 7/7 best trait
New: 7/7 worst trait v 7/7 3rd best trait, and because both cases have 7/7 best & 2nd best, the relative difference is even lower.

And since each row unlocks at a specific concordance level, if you're not expected to unlock all 6 extra traits by the time Argus opens, it's a matter of tuning the raid/boss difficulties to what's expected at that time.
Ever since the dawn of WOW, there's been the concept of optimizing your performance. BIS lists appeared very early on (although early lists were very inaccurate since we had a very incomplete understanding of combat back then). Having BIS wasn't really an issue because no one really knew how well you were doing. The moment damage meters came out, it was now quantifiable and the mindset of BIS or junk came about.

Now, I'm not going to judge whether that's good or bad, but the fact is that is the mindset that players have had for over a decade. And since it's very inception, Blizzard has tried to make players believe that stuff like this are "bonuses". And players have NEVER looked at it that way. I think the fundamental difference is somehow Blizzard believes PVE performance is about personal performance and the players believe PVE is about relative performance.

Blizzard has a level of DPS they feel players should hit, and if they can perform up to that line, the DPS is fine. Anything above that line is just gravy. Players however always measure their performance against each other.

My point (and I knew I took a while to get there) is that to the players, the Netherlight Crucible is not a "bonus" but rather another metric that we must use to compete against each other.

Imagine if you will playing chess against an AI. The rules state that each player gets an extra piece but that piece is random. No one will consider it a good idea if one player gets a queen and another a pawn based on random. Sure it's a bonus piece they normally wouldn't have but the power dynamics are too different. (Also, forgive me if pawn is a bad choice, I'm no master chess player :))

Blizzard, stop trying to change the player's mindsets. Unless you fundamentally alter how the game works, you will never be able to do so. As long as people can compare their performances to each other and those performances matter, this will always be how it is. It's been a decade, it's about time to stop deluding yourselves and design accordingly.

And that is why RNG on RNG on RNG like this garners so much antipathy.
For the most part, the current system is one designed to drive longer term demand for new relics among players. Choose 3 given 10, and players desiring at least the top 3 of those 10 and avoiding the bottom 3, the system certainly does this. Personal demand will be at a premium with few players wanting to trade relics.

While it is certainly great to have power progression, with the way it is added to relics rather than to the weapon itself, this system will create a constant demand for relics extending the acquisition until completion dramatically up as players will feel that they can improve if they are just lucky enough to get the best and the second best or third best ad nauseum if capacity allows for it.

A more stable system with respect to the present design would be to allow players to select 3 shadow/light traits at any given time from the available pool of choices and also to advance 3 traits of their choice. A completely deterministic system would drive down the long term demand for relics when compared with the current proposal.

It is this final point that conflicts with the logic provided by Lore, and I find fairly contentious.
I think, personally and given the MMO nature of the game, this will mostly harm trading of relics amongst raid members where what used to be a clearly understood "side-grade" that a player could comfortably pass on now becomes a complete unknown veiled in the secrecy of the crucible could be the best or merely another mediocre relic. And few will desire mediocrity resulting in more relics been wasted during the soulbound previews rather than economically redistributed and socketed.
08/07/2017 10:07 AMPosted by Thalka
A completely deterministic system would drive down the long term demand for relics when compared with the current proposal.

It is this final point that conflicts with the logic provided by Lore, and I find fairly contentious.


Well put. Use appropriate tools to solve specific problems.

Blizzard's solution is not fit for the problem.
I don't like this at all. I don't like the concept of endlessly fishing for the right combination of good effects on relics. I also don't think the fact that you have to leave the raid to go find out if something is good or crap is a good idea. All you are going to end up with is people needing/rolling on items that they then end up selling to a vendor.

On top of that, all of the mystery and RNG built into this system just makes it harder to distribute loot and makes it harder for people to know what items are really upgrades for them. Loot distribution should be simple. You should be able to look at an item and decide in a few seconds if it is an upgrade. You should not have to plug it into a website, crucible, or any other program to determine if it is good or bad. Isn't that one of the same reasons that Ion gave for why reforging was removed?

I think that it is perfectly OK at this point in the expansion for the grind to be over. Let us just continue to put AP into our weapons for menial amounts of throughput increases and drop this crucible. Let us progress the old fashioned way - by acquiring gear that has higher stats than the gear we are wearing. Let us call our mains "done" until raid time and spend our free time exploring the content you created on alts.

there is nothing wrong with being "done". The only reason these treadmills exist is so that you can call players "engaged". "Engagement" != fun. I am going to use kind of a silly analogy to explain this. Assuming it were true, If i was told that I could hold down a button for the rest of my life and no one on earth would ever go hungry again but i had to hold the button - not put a weight on it or a piece of tape - i had to physically hold it - i can guarantee you I would hold that button no matter what. I would be fully ENGAGED in making sure that button was pressed for as long as i possibly could. I can also guarantee you that it wouldn't be FUN.

This (to a much less grand extent) is how blizzard has made me and my guild members feel this expansion. A constant chore, climb, trial, treadmill, whatever - without an end in sight.
Why not just let us use the Crucible to swap out relics like any other piece of gear?...or just give us that capability within the class hall weapon forge and scrap the crucible because it's a bad idea. Artifact progression needs something that allows us to tailor our weapons to an encounter the same way we tailor our legendaries to an encounter.

Artifact power is a crappy system too, you say it's there so we feel like we're getting something useful even when no gear drops. The opposite is true, it's no different from apexis crystals. It just passively builds up and eventually spending it is just pointless and you only do it to keep bag space available. Even on my alts that haven't hit Concordance yet, I don't go hunting for artifact power. I know it'll show up in my bags regardless of what I do.
08/07/2017 08:16 AMPosted by Mafic
The diablo B team is in panic mode as they realize WoW MMORPG players are not the same as MMO players from Diablo....while there is overlap of players that play both games it should be clear by now that the two do not mix.


you're Only just NOW realising this?
08/07/2017 08:56 AMPosted by Elegies
Rather than addressing the root problem (that some traits are vastly stronger or more desirable than others, and relics have both ilvl and trait attached, with the added frustration of specific "sockets" they fit into) they go after the symptom, which is; "Players are trying to optimize a system through grinds and other means that are burning themselves out."

I remember when the RNG in wow loot was just that--whether or not a loot piece dropped or not. At this point, there are so many layers added (I think in a futile effort to take emphasis off min/maxing?) that it just feels pointless to even try. Which isn't a great feeling.

I miss the days where games rewarded X, every single time, for doing Y. It was okay to cap and feel like I reached the end--I knew next tier all my stuff would be rendered outdated. That was fine. That's how things should be.


So much this. 100% agreed on all accounts.
08/07/2017 09:59 AMPosted by Frayya
Blizzard, stop trying to change the player's mindsets. Unless you fundamentally alter how the game works, you will never be able to do so. As long as people can compare their performances to each other and those performances matter, this will always be how it is. It's been a decade, it's about time to stop deluding yourselves and design accordingly.

And that is why RNG on RNG on RNG like this garners so much antipathy.


Yes, it seems they don't have a good grasp on basic human reward psychology and operant conditioning... or maybe they just don't care to make games that 'feel' fun to play anymore? I guess your answer/opinion lies in how cynical/business minded you think Blizzard has become since the Activision acquisition.
08/07/2017 01:04 PMPosted by Hrothknut
08/07/2017 09:59 AMPosted by Frayya
Blizzard, stop trying to change the player's mindsets. Unless you fundamentally alter how the game works, you will never be able to do so. As long as people can compare their performances to each other and those performances matter, this will always be how it is. It's been a decade, it's about time to stop deluding yourselves and design accordingly.

And that is why RNG on RNG on RNG like this garners so much antipathy.


Yes, it seems they don't have a good grasp on basic human reward psychology and operant conditioning... or maybe they just don't care to make games that 'feel' fun to play anymore? I guess your answer/opinion lies in how cynical/business minded you think Blizzard has become since the Activision acquisition.


They historically did (which is why lower rewards with set stats were currency-bought and higher rewards were rng loot drops) - but in recent years most online game companies have pushed the limit to see what players will tolerate.

It really took off with the rise of so-called "f2p" games. It got worse and worse as mobile gaming took over the industry. Pay real money for random item boxes!

If I had the option of removing most of the RNG elements of WoW, but paying more $$ up front--I'd take it. Every time. I'm tired of being disappointed by randomized rewards.
One quick update for now, based on some discussions that came up after this was posted on Friday:

Q: What are the requirements to access the Netherlight Crucible?

A: Our intent at this stage of development is for there to only be two requirements: your character is level 110, and you have the account-wide achievement "Now You're Cooking With Netherlight." That achievement is given as part of the final chapters of the 7.3 story campaign, which is planned to open week 3 of the patch (so 15 days after release).

We've been able to isolate a couple of bugs - partly due to responses to this thread, so thank you! - that are currently on the PTR preventing access to the Netherlight Crucible unless you have a rank in Concordance of the Legionfall. That's an unintended restriction, which we're working on fixing for a future PTR update.
Lore, I think we would all appreciate it if you could address some of our big-picture concerns about the Netherlight Crucible and its use of RNG.
Thanks for the info Lore.

I guess outside of the slot machine aspect of this, my biggest question is 'Where are all these relics to be used in the crucible going to come from?'

I mean I get it if you just do LFR or questing as your end game. But for even a normal mode raider you just don't get more that a handful of relics around your ilvl over the course of a tier. There's no point in me (just a lowly heroic raider) putting in world quest relics as they'd never have a chance at competing with what I already have. In raids the relics are rare enough someone almost always needs one without taking the crucible into account. So, all this for something a lot of people will barely intact with?

I mean, I'll get a relic from the raid, plug it in the crucible and just pick whatever's the best option the slot machine decided to give me. There's no try next time or any of that. It's just I'm going to be stuck with what I get for a very long time.

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