Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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09/27/2018 12:54 PMPosted by Uristä
Azerite upgrades aren't fun to get, because it's usually a trait loss.

Azerite traits aren't fun to unlock, because there is rarely a meaningful choice or change to your gameplay once you get them.

Azerite AP isn't fun to obtain, because the levels are so few and far between I forget I'm even grinding for it until I find myself at 95%.

Azerite traits aren't fun to have, because there is very little evidence most of them actually exist unless you have a damage meter addon.

At what point is this system, -fundamentally- meant to be fun?


I don't grind AP. The benefits are not clear. Islands are boring. The benefits have been promised to change. I'll get there eventually.

I was considering buying the 180 days boat, not now.

Just thinking of some things I'm guessing would be easier to implement than scrapping the whole system (which is what I would recommend otherwise):

1.Double down on M+ and let azerite gear drop there.

2. Allow multiple traits on the outside ring: "Oh snap, I got an azerite helm with SS and PoTM!" or "Nice, I got shoulders with a decent balance talent and decent resto talent. I might use that at some point". This reduces "Dammit, I got a piece of crap that I need to sim to see if it's better".

3. Allow us to freely switch between outer ring traits for our current spec when not in combat (and sure, not in M+ if that's what you want) - Then i'd have fun on zek'voz AND on fetid without carrying two sets of gear for one spec.

4. See if an activist investor can buy you back from Activision.
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.


Oh and I forgot to mention this. You could at least farm it...
Just posting to voice my dislike for the entire Azerite system. Put a bullet in its head and give the classes a static buff or something.

I'm enjoying this expansion, at least the raid content, dungeons, and ambiance, but the Azerite system is threatening to ruin the whole experience for me.
Lore, you're picking at obviously poor arguments to make yourself feel more credible. Try responding earnestly to the legitimate feedback instead of validating your ego by cherry-picking hyperbole.

Either way, it won't change the fact that obtaining azerite gear is too slow and random, and the few meaningful traits that exist out of a bucket of poorly tuned/designed garbage are completely untargetable.
...

Yes.

Remember when legendary system was capped at 4 before the hotfix in Legion ?
Its basically the same, but worse: can't drop from any content beside anything that you can do once a week. Tell me how it wouldn't be more time efficient to just grind on multiple character until you get what you need ? Its all about odds.


I can see where they are going with this. Basically because there is a lockout, if you wanted to get gear for 3 specs, but can only get 1 drop (correct me if I'm wrong please) a week at best, then it's actually faster to have 3 toons, one of each spec. Ergo - toon 1 would be farming tank gear, toon 2 would be farming dps gear, and toon 3 would be farming healing gear. Otherwise you're stuck at farming 1 set of gear, say tank, and at best using "hand me down" lower level gear for the other specs, or waiting a very long time to get gear for the off specs. So say it takes 4 weeks average to get gear for each spec. On 1 toon you're looking at 3 months, on 3 you can do it in 1 month presuming you have the time to farm on 3 toons.

Hope that help you see their POV.

Someone give this guy a medal
09/26/2018 10:47 PMPosted by Kalaryia
Even if you knew what that chance was, how would it help?


If something procs 4 times a minute vs once ever two minutes it matters.
In the example;

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


If A proc'ed twice as often as B, would you really need a sim to tell you A performs better?


What?

Absolutely you would still need to sim it. Now if the two trinkets both proc'd an increase of the SAME stat, and one proc'd twice as often for a relatively similar amount of stat increase then yeah... yeah, it'd be obvious. But if they're different stats and not only that but also different AMOUNTS of those stats and for different durations? You're getting into way too many variables to be immediately apparent.
Stop posting suggestions to completely change the system. Blizzard won't do that and it will most likely cause more issues. The problem isn't the system it's the availability of getting the gear.
09/27/2018 12:48 PMPosted by Lore
09/27/2018 12:43 PMPosted by Duckle
Weird, I wanted Uplifted Spirits, Font of Life, and Overflowing Mist on my gear for healing, but instead I have Elusive Footwork, Fit to Burst, and Boiling Brew. As you know, those three do absolutely nothing for mistweaver, while the former three do nothing for brewmaster. It would cost me hundreds to thousands of gold to spec swap even once per day, and since I do m+ as brewmaster and any raiding as almost exclusively mistweaver, that's a pretty frequent occurrence. It would actually save an insane amount of gold to just have a 2nd monk, though I wouldn't do it personally.

There's also the part where I'd even have equal ilvl azerite pieces pretty quick, since azerite over 340 might as well not exist despite my 370 ilvl.

And you believe the process of leveling and gearing a 2nd monk would be more efficient than farming those 340s on your main?

To be clear I'm not arguing - legitimately trying to make sure I understand this feedback.


Are you saying if I want to Heal in Raid, Tank in dungeons, and DPS in PvP I should go reforge the 370-385 azerite pieces I have for tens of thousands of gold, or just simply "get another set lmao".

On a side note, I did the math and the Ret trait I'm using (indomitable justice) is about a 2.5-3% HPS increase, while the Holy trait option (Moment of Compassion) on that piece is roughly unironically a ~.2% increase overall. Do you know if there are any plans to look at Holy Paladin traits at all?
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.


Thats depressing...
I just want to add that, to me, the biggest problem with Azerite gear is that getting a higher ilvl piece is usually a big disappointment because the traits on it are really bad.

I got a headpiece out of Uldir on my druid, which was ilvl 355 (I was wearing 340) but I don't even use it because the traits on it are horrible and the tuning you've done hasn't changed that.

I think you have the wrong idea with your tuning. The problem is that some traits are just practically useless, and some aren't even fun because it's a basic stat boost you won't notice 90% of the time.

Traits that give your abilities new effects or change your rotation are fun. Giving me a random stat boost for 15 seconds is not fun.
That feeling when you spend 20 minutes writing a response only to have Lore lock the thread and extend this one...

TL:DR was I've been playing this game since Wrath, most of that time at a Cutting Edge or equivalent level, and I've never been more frustrated/confused about what is a good trait, what isn't, what I should stack, and what I shouldn't. How does stacking a trait even work? More procs? Harder procs? 2 independent proc chances?

09/27/2018 11:57 AMPosted by Lore
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.


You hear the irony of this statement and your earlier statement that people shouldn't be reforging, they should be building other sets. Right? Next few months?

I think the biggest factor, IMO, is the system isn't fun. At least with Legendaries while actually getting the proper Legendaries could be frustrating, once you had the correct ones they were fun to play around with. Tier sets, most of the time adding the 2 and 4 piece bonuses were fun. Adding new Artifact traits could be fun (mostly the golden traits here). The Azerite system isn't fun at all.
09/27/2018 01:08 PMPosted by Lunadelsol
Lore, you're picking at obviously poor arguments to make yourself feel more credible. Try responding earnestly to the legitimate feedback instead of validating your ego by cherry-picking hyperbole.


I'd have phrased it differently, but I agree with the sentiment.

The true test of one's courage is not picking easy challenges. The true test is picking the difficult ones knowing they build character. Choosing the easy path is not honorable, courageous, laudable, or impressive; it's the path of a coward and that is how it perceived.

I'd have instead argued picking the more lengthy and meaty responses with the tough questions. Even if the answer is: "That's a good question, I don't have a good answer. Let's talk about it internally and I'll get back to you within (committed timeframe) with a response." That's better than what we're seeing here. It doesn't require the pique of hubris nor does it infer knowledge not yet available.

I work with developers every single day. I've found that they don't know all use-cases and they're more likely to listen if they can understand the problem. What worries me here is the customer facing representative is clearly ignorant of the problem, doesn't know how to engage properly with the customers, and is misrepresenting the issues. We can get that from a badly scripted search engine, we don't need a human to make that problem worse. What we'd need is for a better qualified human to respond in your place (Lore).
09/27/2018 01:05 PMPosted by Kalaryia

It doesn't matter how MUCH the variance in performance is.

There's two possiblities:

A) All traits offer the exact same performance, in which case why even bother having multiple traits if the end result is the same?
or
B) Traits offering differing levels of performance, no matter how small the variance, in which case the "best" trait will immediately be known and be the only "viable" trait and the only trait people will be willing to choose. In which case, again, why bother having multiple traits if one will be the "correct" trait?


Just like with talents, certain fights might do better with different traits, or might be more fun with different traits. I can easily switch my talent from Beacon of Faith to Beacon of Virtue, right before a fight. Options are great so we can figure out how to use them. Right now you are stuck with whatever you have on there which is not fun.
Hey hey hey guys hey, do you guys remember when way back Ion Hazzikostas said Azerite Traits would allow customization and that there weren't going to be any absolute picks?
He lied, like he lied in many other things.
09/27/2018 12:48 PMPosted by Lore
09/27/2018 12:43 PMPosted by Duckle
Weird, I wanted Uplifted Spirits, Font of Life, and Overflowing Mist on my gear for healing, but instead I have Elusive Footwork, Fit to Burst, and Boiling Brew. As you know, those three do absolutely nothing for mistweaver, while the former three do nothing for brewmaster. It would cost me hundreds to thousands of gold to spec swap even once per day, and since I do m+ as brewmaster and any raiding as almost exclusively mistweaver, that's a pretty frequent occurrence. It would actually save an insane amount of gold to just have a 2nd monk, though I wouldn't do it personally.

There's also the part where I'd even have equal ilvl azerite pieces pretty quick, since azerite over 340 might as well not exist despite my 370 ilvl.

And you believe the process of leveling and gearing a 2nd monk would be more efficient than farming those 340s on your main?

To be clear I'm not arguing - legitimately trying to make sure I understand this feedback.


I don't think you're understanding the root issue here...

340 is not the gear people are shooting for any more. If you do M+ or raid you have very few shots to get pieces of azerite at an equivalent item level to the rest of your gear.

People want to try different things, but they cannot because they either are stuck with lower level azerite or they don't get lucky on those relatively few chances to get a piece close to the other content we're doing.

Basically we have no choice in anything we can do because we don't have the opportunity.

Don't me wrong, I think you've gotten traits relatively balanced, for example swapping equivalent pieces for me is like a 300 dps change, but you still have people running around in gear 30 ilvl below the content they're capable of because they've been unlucky. If you happen to get a high item level piece, you're stuck with what you get because odds are you're not going to get something equivalent without a ton of luck. God forbid you want to play a different spec as you'll be hit with gigantic reforging costs.

We feel helpless and exceptionally bad when we can't fill out 3 key slots without exceptional rng.

Let us have choice by making things easier to obtain as there's no other alternatives.
A big part of the reason the system isn't fun is because traits are not tuned well enough.
And blizzard thinks they are. It's not acceptable.

There needs to be more tuning.
09/27/2018 01:09 PMPosted by Viinblind
Stop posting suggestions to completely change the system. Blizzard won't do that and it will most likely cause more issues. The problem isn't the system it's the availability of getting the gear.

Stop discouraging feedback. The fact of the matter is that it's not just availability. It's also the dubious nature and difficult nature of Azerite gear. Honestly with Artifacts it was clear what you wanted to do: get everything. Azerite on the other hand is random garbage that would otherwise be on trinkets (and probably should be).
I don't honestly see how it would be easier to level a second character. I guess simply for the fact you have so few shots at getting azerite beyond 340 a week? Still, doing the rep and neck leveling on another of the same class sounds painful.

That shouldn't take away from the fact that it most definitely is too hard to find azerite gear above 340 ilvl.

It also shouldn't take away from the fact that regardless of how well balanced they may end up, the azerite traits we have now are mostly boring. Nothing is interesting about dagger in the back or archive of the titans. Adding new, and hopefully more interesting, traits on new gear is fine. However, we're going to be running the same m+ all expansion with maybe 1-2 additions. So m+ isn't going to be a good way to find those new and improved traits.

Edit: I'd also like to suggest adding secondary stats to azerite gear. It's help make them upgrades based on ilvl, even when the trait is weaker.
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.


Say I do mythic 10s, because I enjoy doing mythic dungeons over raiding (time commitment, easy to do one, put it down, come back later, less sunken time, etc because I don't want to make a larger commitment to a guild) I am at a significant disadvantage with 355 being my optimal maximum (note, I wont be bonus rolling az pieces over weapons, especially as someone with an IO of 860 (5 different 10s completed, not counting repeats and an 11) and still using a 355 and 340 weapon with 2 340 az pieces)

However person B with a consistent guild is significantly more likely to have 3 370+ pieces of az gear + weapons. For a smaller time commitment then I give to mythic+ (content I enjoy significantly more because of its pick up put down mentality, which is just as difficult as heroic content, if not more in some cases, I say this as a former mythic raider)

The fact that you think 3 weeks is too early to tell shows how little you care about mythic+ and how worried you are about hurting diehard mythic guilds, which isn't logical.
Can you guys just make each set of traits spec specific?

Example:

Four Protection traits to choose from when you look at the piece, rather than one. Then when you change to Ret, you get four completely different traits to look at, rather than the one. I realize that there are two traits you can choose from, generally, when you are looking at a piece of Azerite armor.

I think the flavor traits (like dagger in the back)in the outer ring should be moved in, or removed. I also think a cloth magic equivalent could or should be added. Warlocks and mages don't boomerang daggers into a mobs backside.

Doing this would alleviate having to carry extra gear around, and would also ease the burden of reforging costs. For example, you would only have to reforge if you wanted to swap from an AoE to single target trait.

Cramming more traits into each piece is a band-aid, but it will also likely help with only *maybe* getting one piece a week from the mythic plus cache.

I also think the Azerite neck levels should power up the traits that you choose, not gate access to them. I don't have any refinement ideas on that; it's just the first things that comes to mind when grinding a level.

I'm also not opposed to the idea of someday being able to choose two outer ring traits. I don't know what kind of gate could or should be put on that, if any. It would feel a lot like double legendary research in legion. I don't think it should be tied to neck levels, though.

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