Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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09/27/2018 03:56 PMPosted by Reque
Side note for Azerite Feedback:

In PvP, it feels horrible.
Echoing this especially in the PvP side of things.

The problems this poster highlighted are only a part of them. I'd also like to mention how insanely frustrating it is to lose because an Azerite passive literally hits harder than some of the heaviest hitters in the game. 20k hits from Azerite trait procs when Execute crits are barely doing more than half that?

Frankly the system needs to be disabled in PvP. No amount of tuning is going to make crazy passive effects that wildly shift the tide of the fight interesting or fun.
Everyone : Azerite sucks.

Lore: Yeap. Too bad, we'll just make them even more boring by balancing it to where neither trait will really matter then. Either way, nothing can be really done about it.

Well... thats uh... yeah. Really glad I resubbed with gold cuz god damn does this system suck absolute doodoo.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.

Step 1 of that process is explaining what our viewpoint is so that you guys can present counter-arguments. If your response to that explanation is to roll your eyes and make snarky comments about how dumb I am, that's fine, but it's really not helping make the game any better.

I get the need to vent, but if y'all could keep the personal attacks and memes to a minimum that'd make it a hell of a lot easier for me to actually help make the video game more fun for you.


y i k e s.

So, you post something absolutely controversial, (i mean you gotta be blind to not see the distastefulness of azerite gear) and expect to not take the heat for it? How about you fix your damn game first, and then we might show some affection for what you guys do for the game. This isn't charity, we pay to play on your game and servers.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.

Step 1 of that process is explaining what our viewpoint is so that you guys can present counter-arguments. If your response to that explanation is to roll your eyes and make snarky comments about how dumb I am, that's fine, but it's really not helping make the game any better.

I get the need to vent, but if y'all could keep the personal attacks and memes to a minimum that'd make it a hell of a lot easier for me to actually help make the video game more fun for you.


you keep telling people to farm 340 azerite pieces if they want multiple sets but the thing is you cant farm them period you can farm every other piece of gear in the game but not azerite pieces. Which the reasoning is something you guys have not said, its not like azerite pieces are amazingly strong or being able to target farm them will cause massive imbalances more so than farming pieces for titanforges would so idk. You guys are basically telling us to use X system but prohibiting access to said system and then we get a piece that is lackluster because the traits are either super under tuned or broken. You guys have also said you dont want people to feel bad about getting gear but if you put out a poll asking how people felt about getting azerite pieces i bet it would be 80% or higher saying they feel bad if their loot is a azerite piece with bad traits right now
I just don't understand how you introduce a system that promotes collecting "cool" traits on gear to impact your character but then not provide a way to actually collect them. It's just so unbelievably counter-intuitive and asinine to suggest that you want players to amass these heaps of items but then gate actually getting the items based by pure luck. I'm still using a 340 chest because I haven't gotten anything useful from my cache and thanks to personal loot I haven't gotten anything from raids either.

I get that the expansion is still new and that learning from issues within these new systems is important but you guys are doing the complete opposite of what is required. Back at Legion launch you guys learned a lot about legendaries and how that acquisition should feel in terms of time played and spec integration. You tweaked it so it wouldn't feel as bad swapping from a spec with 2 legendaries to one where you had 0 by making catch up mechanics for offspecs. However, for BfA you guys have done the complete 360 in terms of what you're doing with this feedback. If you get feedback by the majority of the player base that this system is incredibly frustrating and unrewarding to experience it really doesn't matter how you try to justify your initial thought process. Instead of doubling down on the system by trying to balance the traits which is never going to be a good solution, make it less restrictive so people can actually play the game.

BfA is the expansion where players want to actually play the game but it honestly seems as though the developers want the players to struggle and piecemeal out things so they are engaged for as long as possible. People meme you for the time played metric and Ion said that the only thing they care about is if you're having fun. I can attest that as a long standing player I am not having fun with this whole mess and hope you guys gain sense and change this system properly.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
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.


At least for prot pala, there's a trait which makes avenger's shield hit 4 targets instead of 3 and gives mastery per target hit. This is SO good for M+, other traits would have to be buffed massively to compete. There's also one that increases the chance to reset Avenger's Shield and give 1 charge of Judgment from 10% to 20%. Great increase for active mitigation uptime and damage. Good luck making all the other traits this good, without nerfing these.
I want 1 of the 20% reset one always, 1 of the 4targets one in M+ and 1 Uldir trait in raids. The 3rd one... doesn't matter much as long as tuning is kinda equal. But it does require me to target specific traits.

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.


This very much contradicts the view in earlier expansions where tier sets were made so it was easier to use them for multispecs and where a small reagent cost was required for respeccing your talents.
To be honest, when the system was first announced I kinda expected them to work like that too, maybe (just speaking outer ring) 2 global traits and 2 spec traits. Or 1 global, 1 class and 2 spec traits or something along those lines. And then you'd pick the one that gives you the playstyle you want. If you choose to reforge traits you would do so either because you got new gear and want to make a different combination or you're gonna do different content (M+ vs raids vs pvp) or you want a change of playstyle.
Then when you go to a different spec, the artifact traits also change and you choose the one you want for that spec.

While I get that azerite gear should be kinda special (it's the "big new BfA system" after all), I don't get why it should be unavailable from M+. Legendaries, rarer than azerite gear (right?) could drop in M+ end-chests. What is the reasoning behind them not being available in M+? I vaguely recall seeing something about them not being available in all +5 itemlevel jumps, but that's fine. You've already set tresholds for M+ levels where the azerite ilvls jump up 15 for the M+ weekly chest. Just add them back to the end chest loot table with the same tresholds, but itemlevel one tier down. Then if you'd completed an M10 and got azerite from the end-chest it would be 370, and from the weekly chest it would be 385. M7-9 end-chest would give 355 and M1-6 340.
This would still keep the weekly chest great, but would allow us to actually target some traits we want. For whatever reason, be it best according to theorycrafting or because we enjoy the change to playstyle. They also are a bit lower item level in a way that I think matches the difference between farmable and 1 chance on a weekly item out of a massive completely frustrating RNG pool.

I think that either one, or both of the above ideas would make the whole azerite system a lot less frustrating to people than it is right now, simply because right now we have barely any control over our character progress in regards to azerite gear. One chance per week (+ bad luck protection) multiplied by the chance to get the azerite piece you want really is too little. I know there are raids too, but I just cleared heroic + 2 mythic bosses and got no azerite pieces, so that's not some kinda "azerite wonderland" either.
09/27/2018 03:52 PMPosted by Kailisia
First, please stop acting like balancing the traits is going to fix most of the problems.

It won't.

You're always going to have

1) traits that are better than others
2) traits that are highly situational
3) pieces that do not feature good trait combinations
4) traits that are very difficult to obtain

This system has many, many problems and you all sweep them under the rug and say ''but we'll balance it better'' as if that'll fix all the frustration points. If you think perfect balance is what fixes this, here's an idea: remove all the traits and put some flavor back into the specs, BASELINE.


It does fix most of it. If you know you'll get a trait that's 90% as good as your best trait... Then you can make meaningful choices. You can make ST vs AoE choices, movement vs non-movement choices.

No that doesn't make azerite interesting. Nothing will make these current choices interesting.

But it does make you feel SIGNIFICANTLY less bad when you don't get your best trait but it's still almost exactly as good.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.

Step 1 of that process is explaining what our viewpoint is so that you guys can present counter-arguments. If your response to that explanation is to roll your eyes and make snarky comments about how dumb I am, that's fine, but it's really not helping make the game any better.

I get the need to vent, but if y'all could keep the personal attacks and memes to a minimum that'd make it a hell of a lot easier for me to actually help make the video game more fun for you.


I must say, Lore, it is becoming quite apparent how detached from community the Blizzard development team is. If the same exact problems have to be posted in several different forms and shapes, just to get our point through on how broken this implementation of a system is. It surely starts to look like we are reinventing the bike in a form of feedback, and you still don't understand what the underlying problem is. At this point, it basically becomes hopeless to even attempt and explain what the problem is with sufficient data to back our claims. As in the end we as the community are just quoting each other like monkeys with exact same or similar feedback and our desires on how it could be improved. Only for all of that feedback to fall on deaf ears. So much for the effort and hard work.

Players have always greatly cared about the state of the game, yet our feedback always seemed to slip by as if nothing has happened. We forgave Blizzard for that, but we did not forget. However, you continued to walk the same trend, and here you are now at it's worst it's ever been. It's about time, Blizzard invests more of their time into what community wishes to see for the longevity of the game, rather than pretending that they know best what we want. You think you do, but you don't. Because, it is no secret anymore, that you guys have created a slippery slope for yourselves by yourselves, countless expansions ago.

I also do urge, the community to stay civil in the matter of this delicate situation that our beloved game is in.

I would also like to see a higher standard of professionalism from Blizzards part in communication with us, your valued customers. It takes years to build a company's reputation, and just a matter of seconds to lose it. I do not wish to hear any more excuses, answers without answers, making bold statements without consulting with the developer team about the problems and the ways they are going to tackle them, just for it to end as false information from internal miscommunication. Gaming industry for decades has lived in their ivory tower, telling people to "just deal with it", when they themselves were the ones disregarding their customers. If, Blizzard continues to treat their customers by various metrics to maximize profits with lowered input, soon the very same customers of a loyal community will just vanish.

As well as pointless Blue replies to a thread on how certain users are misbehaving by meme'ing, threatening or insulting you as the community managers/developers. Thus, Blizzard ignoring more than a half of valid criticism and counter arguments, just because a minority of people have made bad remarks (which for the most part, doesn't even seem to be the case or fall into the category of personal attack in the first place), is absolutely pathetic communication from your part. If that's where your attention is, then I guess, there is no point into having a discussion about the state of affairs the game is in as of right now. Next time, perhaps just time-out the user, delete or modify the comment, instead of taking your precious time away from what really matters. The discussion between us, the community, and you, the WoW developers.

If, you do however wish to fix the game. Please, there is more than enough feedback on the old alpha/beta forums, as well as in this excellent thread made by Chaosbug and countless others. If, you would just devote some of your time, to get this through and let the developers that are working on the systems, read them. It would be a great start for long-term solution to existing problems. I also, commend you Lore, for engaging in this thread more than any other community manager or developer since the alpha of BFA.

P.S. It would be about time to merge both EU and NA forums together. As we all know here by now, that nobody reads EU feedback or even dare to engage us in an open and civil discussion about the game over the seas.

Best regards,
Customer from EU
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.

Step 1 of that process is explaining what our viewpoint is so that you guys can present counter-arguments. If your response to that explanation is to roll your eyes and make snarky comments about how dumb I am, that's fine, but it's really not helping make the game any better.

I get the need to vent, but if y'all could keep the personal attacks and memes to a minimum that'd make it a hell of a lot easier for me to actually help make the video game more fun for you.


There's no real, clear linear progression through the system, because of how a low level item can beat a high level one because of the traits. But, more importantly, there's no real sense of completion to the system.

IE., you could complete Artifact traits, a tier set, even collect all the Legendaries, etc. But Azerite traits aren't a collectable, progressive system: it's just a lottery system where you hope that one best piece, with the right traits and highest ilvl, comes your way. You never feel like you're building a character or building towards something, which is the hallmark of RPGs, because you're always losing something (traits).

For example, in another RPG, Azerite traits would be gradually accumulated and you could choose which ones to use (card deck gameplay). As it stands, character progression/completion is non-existant, not just because it's buried under so much RNG, but because you can't really keep what you collect. There's no real sense of growth, especially when I have to give up fun traits for something else, and systems that used to allow quasi-growth (reforging, etc.) have been eliminated or made almost impossible to use by gold costs.

In other words, players don't really design their characters anymore. It's just all RNG. You guys have completely lost sight of the fundamentals of what makes an RPG an RPG by diluting it with randomness so heavily. All you guys do is look at your calculators while not having a clue of how something feels.
<span class="truncated">...</span>

This. I am unsubbing at this very moment based on the responses that were laid out and the responses Ion gave in regards to the class I want to play. With that much disconnect, I'll go find a game I enjoy playing. Maybe they'll fix it. Maybe not.


ele shaman changes in 8.1 looked really good from what I seen.


Moving damage from ES to LB (and nerfing it by 20% in the process) without giving more maelstrom generation isn't going to boost damage. Most of the people who are simming that are either at break or at a loss (hop on over to the forums any time, there's far better people than I that can break that down for you).
The LB/FS change is a hotfix that should have always worked like that. It's not a buff. Stormkeeper? Almost how it worked minus the third strike in Legion, so not really a buff. Just a reiteration. The new talents? Surge looks interesting but again, without viable maelstrom generation (we don't generate like ENH does), you're still struggling to build up to ES to make that talent remotely viable. And to boot, there's no baseline damage increase. Everyone else at this point has gotten damage increases to at least something in their kit. We have not. The changes right now to Ele on ptr will not be enough to stop us from being benched in future content. And nothing in those changes even remotely addresses the lack of survivability or mobility we have.
It's early, they could still see the error of their ways, yea, but after seeing the !@#$ show in this thread along with the blatant tone deaf interview with Ion, I need a break. Maybe permanently. Depends on them, though.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.

Step 1 of that process is explaining what our viewpoint is so that you guys can present counter-arguments. If your response to that explanation is to roll your eyes and make snarky comments about how dumb I am, that's fine, but it's really not helping make the game any better.

I get the need to vent, but if y'all could keep the personal attacks and memes to a minimum that'd make it a hell of a lot easier for me to actually help make the video game more fun for you.
Sorry you're dealing with the heat of our vocal players. They definitely can be a bit much. There's a lot of issues people are touching on, just making you this post as a reminder that we do actually appreciate this effort from you guys a lot, this making our player base healthier and even if they're mad about your choices, that's an experience that is better than radio silence.

Please don't consider the anger as a success, much like radiation poison it's going to get worse before it gets better but it will get better.
09/27/2018 03:52 PMPosted by Kailisia
First, please stop acting like balancing the traits is going to fix most of the problems.

It won't.

You're always going to have

1) traits that are better than others
2) traits that are highly situational
3) pieces that do not feature good trait combinations
4) traits that are very difficult to obtain

This system has many, many problems and you all sweep them under the rug and say ''but we'll balance it better'' as if that'll fix all the frustration points. If you think perfect balance is what fixes this, here's an idea: remove all the traits and put some flavor back into the specs, BASELINE.


balance will fix it, we don't want everything baseline that is boring.
Okie dokie here's my feedback, which is not unique from reading the thread.

* Let non-raiders obtain good Azerite gear more easily. I'm a raider, but just thinking about what M+ players have to go through feels bad. As many have suggested, this is easily fixed by adding it to the M+ loot tables. If you don't want it to be farmable then limit drops to 1 azerite piece per week or something. Waiting on single RNG box roll every week feels bad. ALTERNATIVES: Make it them an Expedition reward? Buff World Quest iLvls? Have badge vendors?

* iLvl upgrades should be an upgrade. I was excited to get a 955 helmet in my M+ cache, but then simmed it and my 940 one is better. Yes, this is an acknowledged balance issue, but even after multiple balance passes the 940 still sims better. There are so many traits in place that it's unrealistic to think tuning will solve it. And it would be naive to assume people AREN'T min-maxing these. My recommendation here is design fewer traits overall and make the remaining ones compelling, like the golden traits from artifacts, which have an impact on gameplay beyond random dots or stat buffs.

* In that vein, having an iLvl upgrade actively punish you by locking you out of traits feels very bad and is completely counterintuitive. There's no sense of pride and accomplishment in having to grind out the exact same trait I had on a lower iLvl version of a piece. And YES, this is an issue that will go away with time as HoA levels increase, but it will come right back at the next content patch. Either remove this gating entirely or lower the restriction significantly.

* Remove the reforge cost, or have it be a flat rate (let's say 50g). Punishing people for switching their playstyle on the fly is ridiculous. This is such a transparent time gate-- expecting people to farm multiple sets just to play how they want. Wasn't this why the vanilla respec cost was removed? Why tier sets (may they rest in peace) became spec-agnostic? This is such a step back in the team's design philosophy.

Honestly, though, these issues have been raised by hundreds of people through the beta cycle and on live. The dev team has gotten significant feedback on the issue. Why are you suddenly asking for feedback here when it's been consistent since the system was introduced? Surely you can understand why people are concerned-- it's the exact same thing that happened with garrisons, legendaries, etc, and none of those were addressed until it was too late.
09/27/2018 03:52 PMPosted by Sephurik

The entire thing is a catch-22. The rules and restrictions of your design are at odds with each other, and then on top of everything, you think tuning everything to where it doesn't matter is somehow compelling or interesting. Why have traits if it doesn't matter which one it is? Why have talents if it doesn't matter what you pick? Why have gear if the only thing that matters is item level?


Well the ideal response to that is you pick the one that you enjoy playing the most. One might not add/change anything to your spec's playstyle, instead offering a passive stat boost/proc. The other two could alter the way the spec plays in someway. I'd prefer not picking a trait/talent based on what's best, but what feels the most fun to play. However, that's mostly a dream scenario and will likely never actually happen.
Man the more I think about it the better the artifact power system was. With this system you have RNG on top of RNG.

If I do mythic+/raid I have RNG chance of azerite dropping.

If its from m+ I have very little to no control over what azerite drops compared to a raid that I can bonus roll or trade. So you have RNG traits you get because you have no way to predict what drop you will get from your weekly cache. It's not like "Hey let me do a Freehold+10 because Freehold has my best azerite therefor thats what I get from my chest". Its 100% random. Lore this is what players mean by RNG azerite traits. And even if it did most dungeons have multiple azerite drops. You have no way to target a specific azerite armor.

Then you still have to worry about leveling your neck to unlock traits like you did with the artifact weapon.

See the current system I don't think would be bad if azerite gear was more plentiful as far as it dropping. And I'm not talking about running regular mythics and equipping 340 azerite while I have 360-385 everything else. I mean getting minimum 355+ azerite which there is no way to farm for it. Please don't bring up farming 340 azerite that is not an acceptable answer when most active raiders are 360+.

So I have no way to farm specific traits and I'm depending mostly on RNG to be on my side which if you have watched my posts it has been against me so far. 4 bracers one week followed by 4 cloaks another week.

You guys either need to make azerite drops significantly more plentiful or offload the traits from the gear to the neck and make it so I can select what traits I want as I level my neck. That would take a lot of the RNG out of it which I would argue is not a bad thing. Allow helm/shoulders/chest to drop from M+ and bring back secondary stats on that gear.
09/27/2018 03:52 PMPosted by Grasp

it honestly feels like theyre trying to kill off wow so they can move onto other projects. no other expansion has had the fanbase this dissatisfied at launch. in wod people were unhappy because you ran out of things to do, but in bfa nothing feels like its worth doing


100%.
09/27/2018 04:05 PMPosted by Jasn
09/27/2018 03:52 PMPosted by Grasp

it honestly feels like theyre trying to kill off wow so they can move onto other projects. no other expansion has had the fanbase this dissatisfied at launch. in wod people were unhappy because you ran out of things to do, but in bfa nothing feels like its worth doing


100%.

false
There's 2 massive issues with azerite right now, just to tldr this:

#1 availability sucks
#2 tuning went from awful to bad

Lore, you guys already said you don't know how to solve availability yet. OK fine (I mean not really but I get it). So fix the issue you can fix:

Actually properly tune azerite.

We went from 30% differences between traits to 20%. That's not ok. 10% is fine. 20% is not. Fix the problem you can fix and better tune these traits.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore
As a quick aside: I understand and appreciate that many of you are frustrated about the system. That's why I'm here - to get a better understanding of what exactly is frustrating people so I can present that feedback to the development team.


First off Lore I would like to thank you for taking the time to reach out to the community.

Second we as a community need to be able to give feed back without attacking people trying to relay the information to the developers / higher ups. Working in a customer service role can be very difficult especially if you are trying to do what you can to help people out usually getting back lash from everyone even though their goal is to help out and in this case they are usually passionate about what they are trying to support. Please keep in mind it's a human behind the keyboard trying to help out.

So onto the feed back:

Just some feed back from my own personal experience with the current content.

A lot of the traits feel very underwhelming or different versions of trait a, b or c all just do a different type of damage proc instead of feeling like an extension of your class abilities.

The other issue right now is that there is a very limited amount of ways to get higher end azerite gear especially for multiple specs / rolls let alone trying to get the most optimized traits for raid, Mythic plus or PVP. Then with the adjustment of azerite traits in recent patches going from for example on monk if they received Doom's Howl Vest at 370 that was one of the better Azerite chests since it had Swift Roundhouse. This trait went from being our top traits to being one of the worst for Windwalkers thus making it feel like a downgrade. I know Balance is also feeling the hit with streaking stars. I feel it would have been better to balance the traits to be even with the top ones instead of nerfing others to the ground.

While I agree there were some traits that were a lot stronger then others but I feel like the ones tied to your abilities / rotation should be stronger then random damage procs.

Feed back about personal loot.

My biggest issue with personal loot is getting a piece of gear in this case an 390 trinket with a socket. Now this trinket is my worst trinket with trinkets at 340 ilvl being better then it. That being said some of the items in Uldir especially trinkets are very underwhelming. I would like to be able to see something along the lines of if in a guild group being able to trade items like this to a dps (since I'm the tank) that would be more beneficial to the group.

One piece of feed back would be that there are so many sources of different types of gear. Mythic plus, PVP, and raids. Prior to Legion raids were the best source of gear a lot of that has been diluted by the other sources and makes it feel very unrewarding to try and push some of the hardest / most coordinated content.

Thanks again Lore / Blizzard for taking the feed back from the community and trying to improve the game for everyone.

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