Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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09/27/2018 05:33 PMPosted by Calxen
09/27/2018 11:57 AMPosted by Lore
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.

Can you give us a timeframe on when we're actually allowed to give feedback that will get listened to?

Because alpha was too early, beta was too early, doing it at launch was too early, doing it 2 weeks after launch was too early, and now apparently 6 weeks into the expansion is also too early.


Murdered by words.
Imagine still not having Major Glyphs and instead having to hope you get lucky and get the Azerite piece you want only to see it get nerfed a week later.

Imagine not having set bonuses anymore.

Imagine not having your artifact ability anymore or seeing it replace a talent you used to like.

Imagine not having legendary bonuses anymore and seeing them replace talents you liked.

Imagine wondering if your class could be anymore pruned than it already is only to see it get pruned every expansion... imagine being invested in PVP and seeing your toolkit REDUCED. EVERY. EXPANSION.

Oh wait.
Balance is not enough. I want control over my play style. I want traits that let me make choices. I can't make that choice if the gear is next to impossible to get.

It feels bad to run M+ knowing that some of my equipment will not be upgraded ever.

If feels bad that after 3 weeks of pushing myself in M+ I have received no azerite armor in my cache.

It feels bad that I have killed 22 normal raid bosses and 13 heroic raid bosses and run many M+ dungeons and I'm still equipping two pieces of 340 azerite armor.
Thank you to everyone making the effort to discuss this in a constructive manner. Rest assured that I'm taking all of your feedback to heart. I've got a great list of discussion points and arguments to make on your behalf the next time I meet with the development team.

There's a number of good points raised in this thread that I haven't responded to yet simply because I haven't had a chance to talk to the devs about them. And, for full transparency, it's going to be a few days before I can. In the meantime, keep making good points and I'll keep taking notes.

And as for "this conversation should have happened during beta," you're right. It should have. I'm sorry it didn't.
More than a month of live client data has been accumulated.

If the dev team can't act on a month + of live data then they will never be ready to act to fix this system.

Edit: Thank you for your apology Lore. But you are not the one that should have to apologize. At this point what people want is a compromise to fix the Azerite Armor system.
I got an Ilvl upgrade of the same Az item. Went from 2 + almost on the 3rd trait (on the low item) to 1 and just under getting the 2nd trait on the slightly higher Az piece. I got this during our raid so obviously the higher Ilvl piece was shelved till we finished and I could finish grinding out that 2nd trait again to not take any losses. Now I need another 2-4 levels just to unlock the third when I was about to unlock it on a lower level item. Tons of the traits are also pretty much useless and the options are never actually options for a healer ( MW anyways ) Out of the 3 choices you do give us 2 of them are rarely also a healing trait/buff thus useless and there is no point to reforging it around due to its tiny bonus. It's like why even have fixed traits, or why even have options because they are still illusions and not an actual choice ( something you guys didnt want as a design philosophy )

It feels like this crap is designed to keep you farming Azerite but no one wants to farm that junk and you never actually catch up unless you were 110 and farming within the first week of BfA, or you never get any item level upgrades and so much time passes anyways. The system isnt fun and it;s not rewarding. It is just making upgrades feel so much worse and most ( if not all) higher Az item with terrible traits ( there are a TON ) are unbalanced. Finding out it's easy to rank up a 10+k charge on reforging is bas too. That seems like a huge oversight.

Remember this replaced interesting set bonuses, set armors that were unique looking and other aspects of the game such as a 120 talent.

They went and added tons of extra work for themselves having to balance so many mini az traits compared to just giving people another talent slot and balancing classes which happens normally. They think THIS is what we asked for with less RNG too and the fact is they took that feed back from Legion literally up to beta+BfA launch and didnt do much about it. There are issues with the Azerite system people were pointing out since they were announced. Adding reforging and az gear too also went against their design philosophy to make items easier to equip when you get them ( which made gear unfun in it's own way compared to being able to manipulate the secondary stats or add more gems, socket/spellthreads etc )
09/27/2018 05:35 PMPosted by Plo
I think if i were redesigning the system from scratch (which is unfeasible and has the benefit of hindsight) I'd make the traits inventoried somewhere - like they were in legion, and tie new traits to quests or achievements. Think megaman.


Congratulation. You've just reinvented Prime Glyphs. Yes, Prime Glyphs unlocked via quests or other in-game actions rather than buying it from an Inscriber, but still. It's a "Pick three modifiers to your class abilities that improve or alter them in some positive way" system.

Now, maybe it's time for Prime Glyphs to make a comeback, since the Devs seem adverse to expanding the Talent system to include any new ranks. But let's be clear about what we're doing here. The idea in question is a parallel set of Lesser Talents with more freeform selection choices. Is that a good idea? How should that be implemented? Do you make it a core feature or slap them on a gear collection sub-system with a ton of special exceptions to the loot rules everyone's familiar with? (Probably don't do the last, from this thread.)
We don't want the Azerite system. We don't enjoy "customizing" the traits. We don't enjoy unlocking the traits. We don't enjoy reforging the traits. We certainly don't enjoy spending weeks trying to get the items that *have* the traits. And we absolutely don't enjoy having to keep old armor in our bags because of the traits.

If you removed the Heart of Azeroth, as well as all the Azerite gear and replaced it with equivalent item level loot with optimized secondary stats in the mailbox NOONE would mourn it's disappearance right now. A lot of players were sad to see their legendaries go. Some players miss their artifacts. Noone will miss Azerite when BFA ends.

Please just let gear be gear. It doesn't need to have a talent tree. We have talent trees for talents.
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.

[/quote]

The difference to farming Maraudon nature resist gear in Vanilla and the system we have now is, back then we were able to farm it easily by just reset the dungeon and trying again, your system is well you didn't get the drop from m0 this week, raid or world boss well better luck next week oh and good luck with your RNG chest each week because chances are you won't be getting a peice.

Like in reality it seems like from me saying theres 3 different locations to get said azerite peice the chances of getting one above 340.... not so high.
09/27/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Lore

And as for "this conversation should have happened during beta," you're right. It should have. I'm sorry it didn't.


And why didn't it happen during beta?

To be clear, I've already unsubbed and nothing that happens will change that. I'm just baffled that feedback wasn't listened to and proper development practices weren't happening when it mattered - before launch. The community deserves some honest answers.
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.


Personally I find it frustrating that I have to continuously unlock the first two rings on my azerite armor while also having to replace it before I ever unlock the inner traits. I think the Heart of Azeroth level requirements are set too high, I get that you guys are looking at this in long term but it feels terrible now. I have a trait on my 370 shoulders that requires neck level 30, that feels so far off I can't actively pursue it. My engagement with my Heart of Azeroth is basically passive accumulation of points until the UI tells me a trait is available.
09/27/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Lore
Thank you to everyone making the effort to discuss this in a constructive manner. Rest assured that I'm taking all of your feedback to heart. I've got a great list of discussion points and arguments to make on your behalf the next time I meet with the development team.

There's a number of good points raised in this thread that I haven't responded to yet simply because I haven't had a chance to talk to the devs about them. And, for full transparency, it's going to be a few days before I can. In the meantime, keep making good points and I'll keep taking notes.

And as for "this conversation should have happened during beta," you're right. It should have. I'm sorry it didn't.


Thanks, hopefully they listen and we see some big time changes in the upcoming weeks.
I fear that if there is another lackluster round of changes that arent enough the majority of the player base will still be very disgruntled.
The main problem with azerite is the low amount of ways to get it (basically weekly chest only to get decent azerite + raid). This can be fixed in a few ways imo (some of them already mentioned so ill borrow them to sumarize):

1- Add a vendor that sells a chest that contains a random azerite piece appropiate for your ilvl (this wouldn't mess too much with the gear progression, so yeah, no 385 for 340 ilvl toons) which you can purchase with sanguicells.

2- Make it so that the weekly m+ chest contains a guaranteed azerite piece plus another random item.

3- Include azerite pieces in the final chest of m+.

4- Add a currency to m+ clears on time (this would encourage good groups of m+) and with that currency you can buy the said chest on point 1.

Hopefully you find one of these fitting or you can change them a bit for balance purposes, but please look into the sources of azerite gear cause atm they are a vital part of every class and you just can't get them anywhere (and with the tuning passes farming 340s will get old pretty fast, at least for us it's already ilvl>all).
To be frank, the conversation did happen during beta. Plenty of players spent hours discussing the Azerite system, all of its problems, and what could be done to fix it.

The devs just decided that they didn't want to listen to it.

There is not one single issue with the Azerite system that was first discovered by the players post-release.
Not a single one.
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 think the Azerite system is great conceptually, but it obviously has not been implemented well. My main gripes are with the traits themselves (being boring), and with how they're acquired. I have a few points that I'd like to make:

Reforging: I'd LOVE to be able to have multiple sets without having to reforge, but here's the problem... I can't. I have had only two 340+ helms drop. I have a 340 helm from WQs and a 370 helm from Uldir. I want to be playing all 3 specs, and I want to be trying different traits out, but I CAN'T because I don't have options unless I reforge. And yes, I have gotten the cache for pvp and m+ every week so far.

Traits: The Azerite traits need to be designed around the talents and secondary stats (see expurgiation, crit and blade of wrath). Azerite traits and talents can be designed in a way where all secondary stats can be the best stat based on which traits and talents you have. Please start designing around that. For the record, I find simming boring and I honestly don't care if it turns simming into a nightmare.
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.

[/quote]

As a primarily M+ player who tanks, DPS’s and enjoys PvP on the side.

This is horse !@#$
09/27/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Lore
In the meantime, keep making good points and I'll keep taking notes.


Thanks Lore <3
Suggestions on how to fix the Azerite system.

Swap Traits for New Traits
Allow any of the traits to be swapped out for another that wasn't originally on the item at the reforger. It can work similarly to the Diablo 3 system where it randomly gives us 3 to 5 replacement traits to choose from. Like D3, this process should be repeatable for the same item incase the trait you want was not given in the reforge. I don't think using D3's method of limiting 1 reforge per item would be ideal, because multispec would probably want to replace all or most of the traits. The Reforging would come at a cost obviously. I suggest either sacrificing actual azerite power or using some other possibly new currency. A currency that we could farm by doing Expeditions or World Quests I think would be ideal. Maybe it has a lower drop chance than azerite, but still fairly common and targetable. Please, not gold.

Free Spec Switch
Allow free resets of azerite gear the first time you switch to a certain spec with that item equipped. Once you choose your traits for that spec, thats it until you go to a reforger for a reset. The item remembers which traits you had on each spec and switches automatically when you change spec.

Azerite Item Sources
High level azerite gear should come from all sources that other gear of the same level comes from, i.e. mythic+, raids, world bosses, pvp, ect. These items should be targetable just like all other gear, not just weekly reset chests.

Tooltips
Tell us exactly what each trait does. The word "chance" should never appear in a tooltip without a number and " % " preceding it. This should apply to all tooltips across the board, not just azerite traits. Not knowing a proc chance is frustrating and is what makes people sim to find out a closley as possible what the exact proc chance is. The idea of advanced and basic tooltip options is something that should be seriously considered by the devs. There are a lot of players who take the game very seriously and do not want to have information withheld from them about how their character or gear works.
09/27/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Lore
Thank you to everyone making the effort to discuss this in a constructive manner. Rest assured that I'm taking all of your feedback to heart. I've got a great list of discussion points and arguments to make on your behalf the next time I meet with the development team.

There's a number of good points raised in this thread that I haven't responded to yet simply because I haven't had a chance to talk to the devs about them. And, for full transparency, it's going to be a few days before I can. In the meantime, keep making good points and I'll keep taking notes.

And as for "this conversation should have happened during beta," you're right. It should have. I'm sorry it didn't.


Cool post. I can take that and look forwards toward seeing what happens to help improve the systems. Good luck to you guys in your efforts, because the more successful you guys are in your endeavors, the more fun we all get to have with the end product.
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.


The whole azerite system is bad.

Having traits that just give random procs or stat increases is the most boring thing ever.

We lost artifacts, set bonuses, the netherlight crucible and legendaries for this system.

We lost so much and gained so little. The whole point of an mmo is progress not take things away.

Most of our talents for example should all be baseline including all the pvp talents.

I never understood why you guys are simplifying the game so much for.
This is the reason why so many want classic wow so bad.

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