Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
First off, thanks for putting this thread together. Even if phrases like "Worst Itemization in WoW's History" are a bit hyperbolic (seriously, I can't be the only one who remembers farming level 30 dungeons for AQ40 resistance gear)


Do not think thats worse then Azerite Armor on the simple fact that it was a static set that you could farm. You cant even Farm Azerite Armor.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore

As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you're describing -- reforging constantly depending on what you're doing -- to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.


I'd just like to add that as someone who frequently has to change specs for raids or mythic+ this is extremely disheartening to hear. Sometimes I need Holy, sometimes Disc, sometimes Shadow. The traits required are all completely different. I guess if I ignored holy I could focus on just damage traits in theory.

I mean isn't this completely counter-intuitive to the whole idea of letting us swap between specs more easily? Something you made easier way back when first with being able to have dual-specs then eventually just making it baseline that anyone could swap at any time (mostly).

The issue with having multiple pieces is now I have 355 for my helm, and shoulders. As well as 370 for my chest. By the time I got a second piece for any of those slots I would probably find a piece a higher item level which makes all those backups of the lower item level obsolete. I guess maybe by the end of the 6 months mentioned between patches my gear may have finally stabilized to have multiple options but the second the patch hits again it immediately would be sent into chaos again trying to manage it all.
Edit - I wanted to add to this point that the generic traits you mentioned being maybe not as strong in some situations are exceedingly boring since it makes you lose out on class altering play. The interesting traits are the ones that tweak your specs spells. Outside of having 1 Uldir trait for the buff there I would honestly rather not have to resort to those traits.

Honestly the azerite traits seem much less fun, exciting and much more stressful that unlocking traits on my artifact weapons were. That gave me options, but I also knew eventually I would unlock everything as long as I kept working on it. This system just feels overall less fun.

That all said, overall I am enjoying Battle for Azeroth but I sincerely think the trait system could use some reworking. Especially since this is going to be happening for the better part of two years.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore

The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature. Similarly, making traits with more outside-the-box designs leads to more complicated questions of "is this better or not," which in turn encourages more simming. Either way, it's an interesting challenge, and one we're taking to mind as we move forward with traits in future updates.

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Are you stupid? Can you guys stop being condescending for 5 minutes and have some self reflection? D3 sucks and an indie game is more popular than it, be thankful there are no real competitors for WoW. Are you ready to listen? I'm going to explain this to you:
Traits are useless and boring, the majority of them have no effect on game. People need to sim the traits because they are not equal and they want the one that will do the most dmg for them. They sim because you (the devs) can't balance anything. They aren't happy because the traits are bad and the game is bad, which you (the devs) made.

We are right and you are wrong. That's the way it's always going to be. We aren't the problem with the game. We aren't the enemy. You are, and your condescending nonsense about how good your boring, unrewarding, unpolished pile of crap content are the real problem.
How is it hyperbolic?


Because it's the worst case mythic raider scenario that doesn't represent what the majority of players are also experiencing. Reforges in the thousands for far less usage of the system.

I'd also point out it didn't curb the worst "offenders" one bit, they still threw gold into the pot like it was no one's business. And that brings me back to my original point. The system is this way because Blizzard knows players will pay it, and they know that will drive a higher number of people towards the cash shop.

Are you actually trying to suggest this isn't what they've done? Like maybe they didn't have many sitdown meetings to figure out how to drain players of in-game gold and drive them towards microtransactions?

09/26/2018 10:31 PMPosted by Kalaryia
People change their talents per-fight RIGHT NOW. People would absolutely, 100% and without question do the same for Azerite traits given the chance.


Yea that sounds like it might be fun, better not allow it.

Well, at least not without marking it up artificially and making sure the dopamine ride steers players towards the cash shop.

hek hek hek.
09/26/2018 10:31 PMPosted by Kalaryia
How is it hyperbolic? People change their talents per-fight RIGHT NOW. People would absolutely, 100% and without question do the same for Azerite traits given the chance.


So what? Players have always done anything they can to have the most optimal build at any given situation and always will. Punishing that behavior or trying to stop it is a complete and utter waste of everyone's time and does nothing but infuriate players.
09/26/2018 10:35 PMPosted by Isabelle
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore

As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you're describing -- reforging constantly depending on what you're doing -- to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.


I'd just like to add that as someone who frequently has to change specs for raids or mythic+ this is extremely disheartening to hear. Sometimes I need Holy, sometimes Disc, sometimes Shadow. The traits required are all completely different. I guess if I ignored holy I could focus on just damage traits in theory.

I mean isn't this completely counter-intuitive to the whole idea of letting us swap between specs more easily? Something you made easier way back when first with being able to have dual-specs then eventually just making it baseline that anyone could swap at any time (mostly).

The issue with having multiple pieces is now I have 355 for my helm, and shoulders. As well as 370 for my chest. By the time I got a second piece for any of those slots I would probably find a piece a higher item level which makes all those backups of the lower item level obsolete. I guess maybe by the end of the 6 months mentioned between patches my gear may have finally stabilized to have multiple options but the second the patch hits again it immediately would be sent into chaos again trying to manage it all.

Honestly the azerite traits seem much less fun, exciting and much more stressful that unlocking traits on my artifact weapons were. That gave me options, but I also knew eventually I would unlock everything as long as I kept working on it. This system just feels overall less fun.


This all leads back to the same base issue:

Azerite gear is too rare. Why? I have no idea why. They clearly WANT it to be rare outside of raids. But WHY? Chests and Shoulders and Hats were no more rare than any other slot before Azerite gear. Why are they now?
09/26/2018 10:36 PMPosted by Fasett
09/26/2018 10:31 PMPosted by Kalaryia
How is it hyperbolic? People change their talents per-fight RIGHT NOW. People would absolutely, 100% and without question do the same for Azerite traits given the chance.


So what? Players have always done anything they can to have the most optimal build at any given situation and always will. Punishing that behavior or trying to stop it is a complete and utter waste of everyone's time and does nothing but infuriate players.


Players will always be infuriated over something no matter what. Turning WoW into Eve Online is equally infuriating. We've gone way too far down the "World of Excelcraft" hole at this point.
Am I stuck with azerite gear for the entire expansion?

An entire expansion where a new tier means all the second and third circles from gear that I may get is locked for weeks? An entire expansion of +0.5% dps from a new trait? The set bonuses and legendaries add rotation changes and niche abilities that became the large portion of the rotation's damage for a st, execute, and or aoe encounter. None of the current azerite traits give that.

I wish you would knock out almost all of the current traits and give us something that has a powerful effect to our character that empowers abilities instead of old thunderous blast/dagger in the back/archive of titans/laser matrix giving me plus 1% passive damage as the BIS slot. Why did the trait tuning take so many weeks to come out? When I look at the Wowhead guides on patch 8.0 hitting live and I see the neutral traits out sim all the other traits SOMETHING IS BLATANTLY WRONG! That is a fault on your part for not having the balance team do their work in coming up with traits for the classes and specs and frankly it is upsetting to me.

Finally, what do I like in an azerite trait? The old legendary powers. The tier set bonuses. But you don't have those. The only trait I've found that feels like it empowers my characters is a dispel magic trait for priests that heals party members when I successfully dispel an effect from an enemy. That gives me some healing output to a spell that prior to then had none. That changes my rotation. That gives me something to do now during movement when I can't heal with a flash heal. I'm really upset with the end game progression system of battle.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons.


This is very disappointing to hear.

09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
Ideally, the gap between them isn't so large that you feel it would be hugely beneficial to grind out the perfect set.


That is confusing.
In the sense that it is basically saying "trait choice isn't supposed to matter"

Is the ideal really a situation in which you can just blind pick these?
Makes traits sound like a really pointless addition.

09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
"is this better or not,"

"Has a chance to increase Critical Strike by 960 for 14sec"
"Has a chance to increase Mastery by 783 for 15sec"

Which is better?
You know what would really help in answering that question and making a quick evaluation without turning to a 3rd party source?

Has a chance = .... exactly how much of a chance? How often does this occur?
09/26/2018 10:33 PMPosted by Kalaryia
...

No one is putting on the rose tinted goggles for the expansions that were actually bad (Cataclysm, Warlords, and now soon BFA). The azerite system tries to do tier sets, legendaries, and artifact weapons while also simultaneously failing to not only act as a compelling replacement for these systems, but also failing to be a piece of fun and compelling content entirely. The Azerite traits system is so broken right now that it is almost unredeemable at this point.


You're missing the point.

The whining and moaning and complaining and hyperbolic "LOL WORST GAME EVER" stuff comes from the following assumption:

This is the biggest uproar the community has ever been in and therefore BfA = bad

Except these very same forums were in this very same kind of uproar at the beginning of Legion over AP and Legos so I don't see why you think this is any different or special.

New expansions always result in the same forum reaction. A honeymoon period that lasts a couple of weeks, followed by the same frothing and hand-wringing there's always been.


Good god just stop. We get it, you don't think it's a big deal. Good for you, MVP coming right up. Just log in and actually fight the guy and stop taking up half of each page.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
Few things I'd like to comment on here.

First off, thanks for putting this thread together. Even if phrases like "Worst Itemization in WoW's History" are a bit hyperbolic (seriously, I can't be the only one who remembers farming level 30 dungeons for AQ40 resistance gear), you've summarized a lot of the discussions we've been seeing around the community very well. It really helps us clarify exactly what we need to be focusing on.

I'll speak to each of your points as best as I can:

Regarding targeting specific traits: I think we've said this a few times now, but just to reiterate, we believe that's merely a symptom of the imbalance between traits. Ideally, the gap between them isn't so large that you feel it would be hugely beneficial to grind out the perfect set.

The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature. Similarly, making traits with more outside-the-box designs leads to more complicated questions of "is this better or not," which in turn encourages more simming. Either way, it's an interesting challenge, and one we're taking to mind as we move forward with traits in future updates.

I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons. But we agree it can be a bit of a downer.

I mentioned the imbalance between traits before, but just to expand on that: that's why we've focused so much effort into tuning Azerite traits over the past few weeks. With this most recent round of tuning, we think we've gotten most of the really egregious outliers dialed in, but please let us know if there are any you still feel are so good that they're worth huge sacrifices in terms of item level.

As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you're describing -- reforging constantly depending on what you're doing -- to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.

And finally, regarding the tuning passes: like I mentioned, we think we've got most of the major outliers dialed in to an acceptable level at this point. There's likely to still be some adjustments here and there, but we don't believe we're going to need another big wave of Azerite trait tuning like you've seen over the last few weeks. To put it another way: if one trait is far and away the best compared to every other option, sure, we should probably do something about that, but we don't expect that to take the form of a widespread tuning pass going forward.

Also, to Ion's comment about new traits being introduced: he was referring to new traits on new gear added in new content, with higher item level, that replaces your old gear entirely. We're not planning to add in new traits to existing items, so don't worry about holding onto old Azerite pieces just in case their traits change.


I just think the biggest problem is that we were told azerite would actually change things or be interesting, when in actuality it is netherlight redone but slightly less rng (which is the farthest thing from a compliment). I've said it before and I'll say it again, progression needs to be done outside of an expansion by expansion basis. Make new talents that act to modify the spec, or even better add subclass talents (I.E priest of elune, loa priest) that add additional abilities or passives to each spec/recolor normal abilities, making specs function similarly but have some other option to them.

TLDR, stop with the artifact stuff, it's pretty abysmal.
WOW Bliz! What an utterly tone deaf response. That entire response reads as "We hear your complaints and we dont care."
09/26/2018 10:43 PMPosted by Whitecrow
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons.


This is very disappointing to hear.

09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
Ideally, the gap between them isn't so large that you feel it would be hugely beneficial to grind out the perfect set.


That is confusing.
In the sense that it is basically saying "trait choice isn't supposed to matter"

Is the ideal really a situation in which you can just blind pick these?
Makes traits sound like a really pointless addition.

09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
"is this better or not,"

"Has a chance to increase Critical Strike by 960 for 14sec"
"Has a chance to increase Mastery by 783 for 15sec"

Which is better?
You know what would really help in answering that question and making a quick evaluation without turning to a 3rd party source?


Even if you knew what that chance was, how would it help? Knowing the chance in no way prevents the necessity to sim.

Let's change it up here:

"Has a 10% chance per auto-attack to increase Critical Strike by 960 for 14sec"
"Has a 7% chance per auto-attack to increase Mastery by 783 for 15sec"

Yes, that is SO MUCH MORE CLEAR! Oh wait, no. It's not. There's still no way to know which one is better without simming it. Heck, which one is better might even change depending on how much Crit or Mastery you have from your gear at the time!

That said, I don't really know what the purpose of obfuscating it is. No, it's no more clear when it isn't obfuscated, but if both possibilities are almost just as opaque, why go with the possibility that offers less information? I dunno.
09/26/2018 10:36 PMPosted by Kalaryia
Azerite gear is too rare. Why? I have no idea why. They clearly WANT it to be rare outside of raids. But WHY?


Is this really the mystery of your universe? Azerite gear needs to be rare because it's the only thing players have to chase right now. Reforging needs to be high so they can justify telling you to chase multiple sets. You can't chase multiple sets because of lockouts.

Your options are to wait and spend money on a sub, or spend money in the cash shop to reforge. These consequences correlate positively with one another, in that the time in game is extended because players will need to chase these ultra rare pieces, or the money spent in game is increased so players can be and feel fully optimized. The need to feel optimized or correct is strongest when you've experienced a release of dopamine - i.e. acquiring a new piece of gear.

If this is genuinely a mystery to you, maybe sigh up for a microeconomics course, intro to psych wouldn't hurt either. Nothing here is beyond 101 learning.

Competitive players will not wait, they will spend $.

Devoted players will wait, which will also translate to $.

It's win/win, and the justification in this thread doesn't even come close to fitting the reality. Blzzard doesnt' want to discourage you from using this system, they want you to use it early and often so you're driven towards your next microstransaction.
...

You're missing the point.

The whining and moaning and complaining and hyperbolic "LOL WORST GAME EVER" stuff comes from the following assumption:

This is the biggest uproar the community has ever been in and therefore BfA = bad

Except these very same forums were in this very same kind of uproar at the beginning of Legion over AP and Legos so I don't see why you think this is any different or special.

New expansions always result in the same forum reaction. A honeymoon period that lasts a couple of weeks, followed by the same frothing and hand-wringing there's always been.


Good god just stop. We get it, you don't think it's a big deal. Good for you, MVP coming right up. Just log in and actually fight the guy and stop taking up half of each page.


Why would I care about MVP? I post like... not much. Search me for all I care. I'm just some rando on a RP server who facepalms at the constant THE SKY IS FALLING over-the-top nonsense that always goes on here.
09/26/2018 10:47 PMPosted by Hammerator
09/26/2018 10:36 PMPosted by Kalaryia
Azerite gear is too rare. Why? I have no idea why. They clearly WANT it to be rare outside of raids. But WHY?


Is this really the mystery of your universe? Azerite gear needs to be rare because it's the only thing players have to chase right now. Reforging needs to be high so they can justify telling you to chase multiple sets. You can't chase multiple sets because of lockouts.

Your options are to wait and spend money on a sub, or spend money in the cash shop to reforge. These consequences correlate positively with one another, in that the time in game is extended because players will need to chase these ultra rare pieces, or the money spent in game is increased so players can be and feel fully optimized. The need to feel optimized or correct is strongest when you've experienced a release of dopamine - i.e. acquiring a new piece of gear.

If this is genuinely a mystery to you, maybe sigh up for a microeconomics course, intro to psych wouldn't hurt either. Nothing here is beyond 101 learning.


Spending money on the cash shop to reforge is an absurd conspiracy theory when reforging can very quickly build up to a cost that's MORE GOLD THAN YOU CAN EVEN CARRY AS A PLAYER.

If the purpose was to encourage token purchases, than the ideal cost of reforging would be something that's both A) more expensive than your average player's gold income can possibly support but also B) not so expensive you'd need to buy 5 tokens for a single reforge.

When reforge costs can quickly reach stratospheric levels, the purpose is quite clearly deterrent.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other.


The points are absolutely not, "at odds." They have zero correlation.

The reason these have zero correlation is because most traits are useless, and uninteresting, but they may still require simming because something is going to negligibly be best by virtue of simply existing. Take a look at Blood DK traits or Ret Paladin traits. Most of them are severely outclassed by the non-class traits. Ret Paladin's 4 best Single Target Traits are Dagger in the Back, Champions of Azeroth, Rezan's Fury, and Tidal Surge. These are all uninteresting as well because none of them do anything more than give your attacks a chance to do some extra damage based on a proc, or in the case of Champions of Azeroth, give you a stat boost. Look at the traits we had on Artifact Weapons. These were way cooler. We actually got new effects to our abilities which altered our playstyle. As an example Ret Paladin had a trait that gave Divine Storm a ranged component, allowing you to "Skill Shot" your divine storm at enemies, or allowed you to position yourself better to get the most out of your Divine Storm. That's just one example. Ret Paladin has nothing like that with Azerite traits.

Let's also not forgot that you guys at Blizzard took away our tier sets, and legendaries for this system. But what you've given us in return feels exceptionally mediocre. This system feels so basic and bland, it almost feels like this is the precursor expansion to Legion and you guys messed up and released Legion first. It's beyond boggling how such an absolutely uninspired watered down system could come out AFTER Legion, when Legion did Artifact Traits so well!
Wow Lore, very rude response to be honest. I'm very not happy with this whole direction you're going with BfA and WoW in general. Do better, if not for the players, then at least for the stockholders.
I didn't raid in Vanilla, but given you needed this lvl 30 resistance gear to raid and you COULD farm it, it already sounds better than not being able to farm it, which is the case of azerite gear.

I know you're just trying to show Azerite gear isnt that bad, but from my point of view, you just showed me and i guess others that its that bad that it covers vanilla issues up and makes them seem far more fair.

in all seriousness it seems like the only issue with this lvl 30 gear, is/was that it was level 30. Azerite gear's issue is that you can't farm it.

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