Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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Wait, who here is saying azerite traits are randomly generated? I'm not seeing anyone say that, though I'll admit I might've missed it.

What I am reading and quite consistently seeing is that the process of actually getting the azerite gear you want is entirely random and not up to the player. The azerite gear I have is not the azerite gear I wanted, so it's essentially random to me which traits I will actually be using.

This isn't much of a problem at 340 gear levels because I could just repeatedly run bosses that DO drop the ones I want, but my options for higher gear is either raid specific or is randomly generated by the weekly m+ cache.

So when players are saying that azerite traits are random, that's what they mean. I think it's kind of worrying that you're defaulting to players not understanding the systems and criticizing them. It feels like you're not listening and understanding our complaints because you're misrepresenting our arguments.
My main issue with the feedback, as I posted on the other threads, is that there are features of this system that you guys acknowledged aren't fun, but are so vital to the system they can't be changed.

Those kinds of statements are the very reason players keep saying to take Azerite out completely. It's baffling that you guys would consciously move forward with a system that, at its core, you knew wasn't fun for players.
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.

[/quote]

yikes. I hate simming every day, and tbh how on earth could azerite traits get simpler? i think they are the most simple piece of traits i have ever seen, THEY ARE ALL PASSIVE, MOST REQUIRING NO CHANGE IN GAMEPLAY TO THE CLASS.
09/27/2018 12:20 PMPosted by Yam
What if instead of individual items having set traits, traits became individual drops and could be inserted into Azerite gear just like a socket and a gem?


This would be a much better system, and let some of them allowed to be traded.
They need to make the Mythic+ & PvP caches drop a guaranteed Azerite Armor piece per week in addition to the normal drop. That would be a good step in increasing the rate of getting Azerite Armor other than Mythic+ should be dropping it already ofc.
09/27/2018 12:22 PMPosted by Fiascoh
If I wanted to play brewmaster or mistweaver right now, I would be significantly better off by making a 2nd monk. Is this really the design you were going for?

Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.
The second thread was locked and this one was reopened while I was writing this. I'll say this again, expanded.

What, exactly, are the upsides to the Azerite system?

What can you say about the Azerite system to sell it to someone, that doesn't have a gigantic asterisk next to it?

Pro: The traits are a new way to progress your character and see it evolve over time, particularly as new traits are added.

Con: Except the vast majority of traits are completely and entirely passive effects which do not actually change the way your character plays at all, and the vast majority of active traits that actually change your play style are objectively worse for anyone who cares about performance (or, as Ion so generously put it, "people who obsessively sim"). And there is now conflicting information regarding new traits being added, old ones being replaced, etc. which I'll touch on later.

Pro: Azerite Power is something you can continuously work on so you always have something to do.

Con: Except the best way to farm Azerite Power, by a HUGE margin, is spamming the same boring, unrewarding, zerg-fest Island Expeditions for hours and hours. AP rewards from world quests, missions, dungeons, raids, etc. are all absolutely pathetic in comparison. And there's the whole issue of continuously having to run the treadmill to gain rewards you've already achieved before with new Azerite pieces having higher and higher requirements. And, of course, this is "something we simply have to accept", even though Blizzard knows flat out that this is a big problem.

Pro: After the traits are more balanced, issues with 380 pieces being outperformed by 340 pieces will no longer exist, and higher level pieces should almost always be an upgrade.

Con: So....what exactly am I supposed to care about then? If the traits end up a barely-changing mess of "it doesn't matter what you take, the differences in performance are so low as to be not worth your time", what exactly is the point of the traits? IF all the existing traits were released perfectly balanced, this just goes right back to the issue of the huge majority of traits not affecting your character in any way and being completely passive bonuses. So it's a few clicks of the UI that, in the end, just doesn't matter. So why have the system in the first place? If the numbers end up the same for us "obsessive simmers", and the traits don't have a tangible effect on your play style, the entire system has no reason to exist.

Cut in half because of character limit.
09/27/2018 11:57 AMPosted by Lore
Holy hell this thread went places. Okay, couple quick things:

1) I've mentioned elsewhere that we're looking at Azerite armor availability. 3 weeks into a raid tier/mythic+ season is a bit early to make hard conclusions of how difficult it will be to acquire alternate sets over the next few months. But we're hearing that feedback and keeping a close eye on it. Availability in mythic+ particularly is a regular topic of conversation. I've talked about that before so I won't rehash everything here, but we're looking into it.

2) I noticed a few posts that seemed to believe that Azerite traits are randomized when a piece drops. They're not; each piece of gear has a preset assortment of traits to choose from. Most of y'all seem to understand that already, I just wanted to toss it out there for anyone who may not.


This crap doesn't work and it's worthless effort trying to balance it. Both PvP and PvE players have a lot of issues with it. PvP players have to farm their azerite pieces every week because you failed so miserably with balancing them during beta. Every week my friends have to farm new pieces because bis one was nerfed. Balancing them is also a nightmare because you have to consider that 1 trait that is theoretically good for tank won't be good for dps spec in PvP etc. We already have few examples of such things regarding trinkets. Tank trinker during the first tournament or meele rocket trinket on mage.

In PvE it's frustrating that you have only 3 available options to get them:

1. Raid
2. Weekly RNG chest
3. World Boss that is available once per 1,5 month

Great. You know how to frustrate your customers and you pretend it's fine. You will push this horrible system till the end of the expansion just because 1 designer though it will be cool but it's not. We need to go through Legion-daries rng problem again just because you can't admit it's poorly designed.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations
With the hundres of thousands of drops locations for azerite gear, building multiple sets it's indeed a valid option here...
[/quote]

Here’s my situation, and maybe you can see where this is problematic. I play raid content and high (relatively speaking) mythic plus. Often I am a Tank and DPS.

Now for world quests and solo content I agree that it doesn’t really matter what my traits are.

For raid content and mythic plus content I want to be effective. My tanking traits are completely useless in DPS spec. I currently have a piece of 370 Azerite gear in each slot and many 340s.

So here are my options:
1) Keep my 370 on with tanking traits, where I get no use out or the outer ring, when I DPS.
2) Switch to 340 gear with DPS traits and be More useful than 370 with tanking traits, but less useful than reforging.
3) Reforge back and forth constantly when I need to be flexible.

Currently I’m choosing option 3, because when you’re running a M+10, at this point in the expansion you want to pull your weight.

But the reforming cost has gotten up in the thousands each time and it’s not exactly fun. Just my $.02 feedback.
09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
09/27/2018 12:22 PMPosted by Fiascoh
If I wanted to play brewmaster or mistweaver right now, I would be significantly better off by making a 2nd monk. Is this really the design you were going for?

Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.


Having a set of 340 gear (the only farmable pieces) does not mean this is working. You can't get the armor at end-game item levels.
I posted some of my ideas on how to improve the system here:

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20769376944?page=1#post-2

Reposting below

----------------------------------------------------

There is a lot of opportunity with the system. Below are some ideas primarily through the lens of someone who prefers mythic+ over other progression paths. I personally think of high m+ keys as "5 man raids", but I digress.

It is my assumption that the strength of azerite traits will continue to vary through tuning. That topic will not be discussed here.

  • Azerite Availability
  • As I said, my preferred content is mythic+. The major hurdle in gearing for higher level keys is the scarcity of azerite pieces.

    Based on Lore's indication that the intention is for us to have multiple sets based on what we're doing, the current lack of azerite drops for m+ is a failure by your own standard as the ideal pieces change based on the weekly affixes.

    The primary challenge here is just how difficult it is to get to the point where we can have different pieces. This requires us to raid and PVP in order to improve those 3 slots, whether we enjoy that content or not. Personally I had to buy 2 more helms from champions of azeroth exalted to cycle through various permutations of traits just to somewhat manage costs.

    Respeccing 3 pieces = 9 days to reset cost against affixes changing every 7 days means there is some cognitive dissonance in Lore's response vs. how it actually works. This is aggravated for classes who can fill multiple roles thereby assigning a cost penalty for those players.

  • Proposed Solution
  • Allow azerite pieces to drop from m+ along these lines only when the key is completed in time. In other words, the bonus piece of loot that you would get for completing a mythic+ in time would be an azerite piece.

  • +2 to +6 = 340ilvl
  • +7 to +9 = 355ilvl
  • +10 and up = 370ilvl
  • Leave the weekly cache azerite ilvl the same.

  • Bonus Traits
  • The reorigination array within Uldir is great in that it makes raid gear function much better within the raid. That makes it the most lucrative azerite gear for the content that is being completed.

    There is an opportunity here to do the same for other content in a way that could truly be exciting and invigorating. Restricting this type of bonus to raids is a missed opportunity.

  • Proposed Solution
  • Add similar bonuses based on the content that is being completed. The below examples are specific to mythic+.

  • Restore x% of health every y seconds while out of combat (stacking to x% * 3)
  • Increase the duration of crowd control effects by x seconds (stacking to x * 3)
  • Reduce threat radius by 5yds while out of combat (stacking to 15 yds).
  • Increase movement speed by 10% for 10 seconds after killing a mob. (stacking
    to 30%)
  • We don't like this system, you made the system and can change it. I don't understand why you are so reluctant to admit you messed up and try to fix it. Would earn a lot of points with the community that you seem disconnected from.
    Pro: Once the traits are more balanced and new ones are introduced that have more tangible effects on your spells and rotations, the choices will be more about play style and preference or specific tasks for a boss encounter or content such as PVP vs M+.

    Con: And then we're boxed in by the restrictive and arbitrary gold costs for reforging Azerite pieces, potentially even having to reforge between boss fights to get the best performance for specific fights (especially in Mythic), or after a raid's over and you want to go do some arenas or M+. Remember all the arguments Blizzard has had for removing and not reintroducing MoP's stat reforging, like not being able to tell at a glance if an item is an upgrade or not, or having to leave the raid to "finish" an item before you can use it? I sure do. And, without a way to target farm Azerite pieces, we CAN'T build up a stock of different pieces for different situations, because the explicit number of times a week you can do something that can get you an Azerite piece is extremey limited. Raid boss kills and your M+ cache are the only sources of them after you're even geared in Normal Uldir level gear, after which the possible pieces from WQs, emissary chests, and mythic 0 dungeons are far too low ilvl to ideally be an upgrade. And God help you if you want to run more than one spec.

    Pro: If they give more targeted ways to get Azerite pieces, make reforging less restrictive so your best pieces can be used in multiple ways without heavy penalties, make the traits an actually engaging, effective, interesting choice, make new ways to farm Azerite Power and/or make existing ones far more lucrative, and fix the issues of constantly having to re-grind for things you already unlocked, the system works!

    Con: Half of those things we're being told are explicitly not going to happen (target Azerite piece farming, less restrictions on reforging traits, and fixing the re-grinding problem), one of those we've had NO indication will be happening whatsoever (better ways to gain AP), and the last we are actively being told two different things by Lore and Ion.

    While the generic traits are deliberately fairly straightforward, some of the spec-specific ones are indeed too passive, or interact awkwardly with spec rotations. We’ll be retiring some of those in an upcoming patch and adding better replacements to the pool.


    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.


    So, who do I believe here? Because, at this point, I have no faith whatsoever in either of you.
    09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
    Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.
    I think that this is partially a "WoW" issue. The way the game currently stands, if something is a 2% upgrade, it is perceived as "required". Without getting into whether or not that is justified, that is the current state of the game.

    The design approach appears to be "don't worry that you'll be at a disadvantage, and just use the trait that is okay-ish for all specializations!" That doesn't mesh with WoW's design. Also, the core question still stands - What positive change does introducing a cost to reforging actually bring to the game?
    The biggest frustration is that I have 370 shoulders for holy which are good enough but not the best. I keep 340 shoulders for ret because of the reforming cost and the 340 have better traits and are higher dps. That just shouldn’t be the case. The reforging reset desperately needs to be faster maybe reduce by half every hour or completely reset at daily/weekly reset.
    Something has to be done about 340 shoulders being better than 370 ones.
    09/27/2018 11:57 AMPosted by Lore
    Holy hell this thread went places. Okay, couple quick things:

    1) I've mentioned elsewhere that we're looking at Azerite armor availability. 3 weeks into a raid tier/mythic+ season is a bit early to make hard conclusions of how difficult it will be to acquire alternate sets over the next few months. But we're hearing that feedback and keeping a close eye on it. Availability in mythic+ particularly is a regular topic of conversation. I've talked about that before so I won't rehash everything here, but we're looking into it.

    2) I noticed a few posts that seemed to believe that Azerite traits are randomized when a piece drops. They're not; each piece of gear has a preset assortment of traits to choose from. Most of y'all seem to understand that already, I just wanted to toss it out there for anyone who may not.


    This is not a proper response to all the questions that have been asked. Not constructive one bit.

    Azerite armor availability is just part of the problem. These traits need to do something. Not just give me extra armor when I use Demon Spikes. Or reduce damage taken from auto attacks when my Judgment crits.

    Traits need to : give a second talent option, allow me to place my frozen orb at a static location, give me the ability to place divine shield on another player, allow my eye beam to drag all mobs within 15 yards into it's line of path. These are the sort of ideas we expect from Blizzard. Not Thunderous Blast or Bone Spike Graveyard.

    Can you at least answer the question : what about this system is good? What about this system is fun? We haven't heard anyone ever say anything good about the Azerite system. And seeing as how this is supposed to be the core system for this expansion, don't you think that is a clear indicator that it needs to be scrapped or revamped?
    09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
    Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.


    And as someone who plays a shaman I want to know what its like having 3 viable specs! OR ONE!!!
    09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
    09/27/2018 12:22 PMPosted by Fiascoh
    If I wanted to play brewmaster or mistweaver right now, I would be significantly better off by making a 2nd monk. Is this really the design you were going for?

    Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.


    So after playing for a few hours and ending up with a a few new pieces of azerite gear, trying to decide which combo to use with each spec and figuring out and trying to remember what each trait does and oh am I doubling up on that spec and what does that trait do again and wait does my holy spec have this trait or not ok I'll hold alt and see what the other pieces do and what does that trait do again and ok i think this would be better for prot oh wait I already have that trait on my shoulders ok this piece has traits that I want for both prot and ret but If I choose this one it works for holy too and wait do I already have that trait on my holy chest piece I'd better rummage through my bags to see but what's the name of the item again and holy crap where did THAT piece come I think it would be good for ret but I already have that trait on my shoulders but If I switch my ret shoulders to this piece then it would be a dps increase but I already have the best prot trait selected and is it worth paying to respec it and my brain starts to hurt and I log off.
    09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
    09/27/2018 12:22 PMPosted by Fiascoh
    If I wanted to play brewmaster or mistweaver right now, I would be significantly better off by making a 2nd monk. Is this really the design you were going for?

    Not at all, and I'm curious why you feel that's the case. It isn't in my experience as someone who is currently playing a tri-spec monk.


    Do you even know what min-maxing is? Some of my azerite pcs have the best traits for balance and resto druid on my main. I main balance, but i like to resto when my guild needs it.. I dont want to use balance azerite traits with my resto druid when i can switch them to resto druid traits and increase my healing for my guild. When i switch specs i want to min-max the spec im switching to, so i can perform better. yikes.
    As has been mentioned by several others, some of the main sources of frustration are not solely the rate at which Azerite Armor can be acquired, which brings back to mind early Legion Legendaries, but the overall lacking class integration of traits, most of how Azerite Armor feels like random trinket buffs spread out with no actual regard to class identity, and those that are spec specific are horribly behind the generic Azerite traits.

    Additionally as others point out, it feels that the current implementations is akin to a hybrid tax, which is regressive compared to policy after wrath enabling multispec. Especially since as has been claimed by Ion or yourself, (can't recall at the moment) but Azerite Armor is meant to be a replacement for tier sets, the issue is that the tier set bonuses changed based on your spec, without additional input required, streamlining the need to farm for duplicate tier gear as was done during WotLK. Having multiple sets of Azerite Armor just to play a specific spec is frustrating. There isn't even an alternative in having viable chest/shoulders/helm upgrades if the traits aren't viable as was the case with tier gear.

    Furthermore, as mentioned, the current Azerite system does not feel like progression. Yes the initial Artifact Power grind was a bit daunting, there was an end reward in sight, being your end trait, with Azerite Armor, as has been said by many, it just feels as if I'm endlessly farming for the same trait if I get a higher item level Azerite piece and the stars align and it is the one I want from my mythic+ weekly chest.

    At the risk of going off topic...while the aesthetics for the warfront gear, and the graphics for more the armor is higher resolution, it feels lacking in regards to class identity. It felt nice being able to have that visual decision that denotes specifically that this gear set is designed for my specific class.

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