Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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Just going to throw in my 2 cents, its the combination of azerite and personal loot that is causing the community to lose interest in the game.

While azerite has all of its flaws that have been outlined in detail here by the community, personal loot is the most critical flaw in the equation. It makes the system exponentially more frustrating. This extra layer of RNG has completely destroyed their vision of how collecting azerite gear would work (which causes the rest of the system to fall apart), as they're assumptions are based on old gearing models where players were able to reliably collect loot. However, now with the atrocious decision to force personal loot on everyone, players who have poured hundreds of hours into content at 120 are still wearing all 340 azerite gear, while their peers are in all 385. There is no justification for this. The data is out there, and forcing personal loot on raid content was by far the worst decision in the history of wow. You took a fundamental aspect of the game that caused absolutely no issue, and ruined it for the sake of change. It provides no benefits, only downsides.

If this simple fact was changed, and guilds were allowed to masterloot raids again, so much of the frustration around the azerite system would be resolved. If specific bosses were guaranteed to drop azerite gear similar as to how they were tier, you could reliably build multiple sets. Since collecting multiple sets appears to be blizzards solution to the short comings of the system, in order for that to be a solution, players need to be given a RELIABLE way to collect MULTIPLE sets of azerite gear. As the game currently stands, there is not even a reliable way to collect a SINGLE set.

Honestly, the only way I see Blizzard redeeming BfA is to revert the personal loot changes ASAP, no later than 8.1. Failure to do so will result in such a large percentage of the player base being overly frustrated with a loot system that doesn't offer an appropriate level of reward for the amount of effort needed.
Watched Preach's stream going over this exact post and while there is no proof, a viewer said something that caught my attention. They said the following.

"They have lost control of their game to the community who seeks to Min/Max and they are desperately trying to find a way to take back control without alienating the player base."

It almost seems that they want to create a system, where you accept your loot for what it is, and move on. The era for being able to have BiS is gone, and will probably never return to modern retail unless the systems in place cause such a mass exodus, that they return to methods that once worked just fine.

I have tossed in the towel of having the best traits, and sim the best gear I have and stat weights. It's too draining to chase a carrot Blizzard apparently doesn't want anyone to catch.

Look at the quote from the OP
09/26/2018 06:32 PMPosted by Chaosbug

Food for thought: Getting a single desired piece of Azerite gear from the Mythic+ cache is less likely than getting a Warglaive to drop from Illidan, or Thori'dal from Kil'Jaeden, and all examples have a one-week lockout time.


Just let that sink in...perfect non raid loot is harder to get than a Legendary from a previous raid boss.

Just go back to systems that were in BC thru Cata. It may have not been flashy or exciting, but at least the gear was iconic and wasn't disposable like it is now.
To add to what has been already said, playing since launch I have never at any point in time (even looking up pieces of azerite armor in the adventure guide that have never even dropped for me) seen a piece of azerite armor with two good outer ring traits to pick from.

Literally never.

Regardless of the item level of the azerite piece it has 3 "options" in the outer ring.

1 of them is for a different spec / role.

So there is only a choice of 2 major traits. One of them is ALWAYS terrible. Rarely, the other one is good.

I have never seen a piece of azerite gear that had two good traits as options to chose from in the outer ring EVER.

EVER.

EVER.
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.
This is a conclusion for a lot of issues that have survived through beta with pages, and pages of solid feedback for this issue, and potential problems with it since even alpha.

I could carry-on/vent that this is also the problem of some class design. Specifically Shadow and Marksman to drop a couple of examples.

As for the topic at hand:
We have a system that is just not designed well in the way traits are handled.

The neck itself, and how it's resource is treated is fantastic. Simple, and easy to manage, and even more so with the implemented catch up mechanics.

As for the Head/Shoulder/Chest, it's just too much. The tuning of traits from very limited sources across 36 specs (6 tanks, 6 healers, 24 dps) is just asking for complications, where players will have issue with availability, scale and limitations (reforging or holding onto pieces).

For clarification, the system need to be wound back and simplified.
Head/Shoulder/Chest need to go back to being regular loot with no bonus/traits, while generic (easy to tune) traits need to be placed on the Heart of Azeroth itself (like a simplified Artifact weapon). These linear generic traits (lets say a total of 3-5) can indeed be unlocked via HoA progression, but also scaled with it's level. You can also have Heal/Tank/DPS traits that switch depending on the players current role.

These are just suggestions, and I hope you take them on-board. Fact is, the system's current of the limitations of gear, the traits and how they're handled between specs is considerably flawed.

Wind it back. Reduce the system to linear, generic, role based traits (which switch depending on that role) that are specifically on the HoA.
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.


Sorry but the big majority of people don't believe the empty promises of better "discussion" or more channels to talk with the developers aren't going to cut it. Until some concrete solutions to the almost nonexisting feedback we get, are presented the players are going to complain. This is not a new problem, Blizzard and all the CMs over time have promised the same thing. We will communicate better but this never happened.

There are literally beta threads with hundreds of comments from the beta with absolutely zero comment, feedback, acknowledgement or questions from the devs.

People post those because they care, they see issues and problems, some are warranted many aren't, but you can't fix problems if you don't engage with the players. The Devs should be active in beta forums and actually asking for feedback about things they are doing and explaining why they think this is the right way.

As an example have a look at the guardian druid thread from the beta: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20763856304

it has 40 Pages of comments starting from the Alpha and they are pointing over and over the same problems we still have today on live. Zero Feedback. Nada.
I agree, especially on the simming. I had to sim a 330 with a socket vs a 340 without a socket because I couldn't tell which was better. ANd i'm informed and know my stat weights, but yet couldn't eyeball which was better. They sim within 0.2% of each other, so it wasn't my mental math that was the problem. It was simply that they're so close in stats that you need a sim to tell which I should use. If I had a better gem, the blues would have been better. But someone not simming would see an ilvl increase and think they got better. Other people would see an ilvl increase and also think you got better.

gotta sim everything >.< even when going from blue to epic...I've really had to sim stuff with an ilvl difference before (though admit missed some xpacs). Maybe once in a blue moon when it was my best stats vs my worst but a big ilvl difference. But neer when the lesser had my second to best stat and the upgrade had my best stat...
Warfronts need to be more engaging and have varying difficulties. i would love a PVP option, even if it’s once a month with both alliance and horde in one event I would love it. I think guilds should be able to group up against varying difficulties of Npcs.

The anchor weed update is needed yesterday. All recipe updates too.

World Quests only feel engaging once a week with the world boss. I would honestly prefer two world bosses per zone per day than what we have now for the DPS world quests. Make me afraid of dying as this is a world raid boss.

Give us more in game dialogue with Sylvannas and Anduin. Make them buff us in some way while out in the world. Have them fight us as a powerful training dummy that scales with our level. When we get them low they can cast a signature ability and go back to full at a higher ranked power level than the last test run. It could be cool.

Give us a pause feature for Mythic plus. People disconnect, a windows update pops up, work calls, a baby cries, some one randomly knocks your door, that persons battery died, that person is playing while there is a minor storm crossing, etc etc. Life happens and we should not be punished for it when it does. This may be something Blizzard is avoiding for complexity reasons, altough I think they can figure this out. We need to be able to pause this. Even if it’s only once per go on a voting system. It would be better than what we have now.

Warmode and Non war mode parties need to be auto instances to the party leaders mode. It’s adding time to the game to change frequently instead of smoothly going to the dungeon stone and summoning.
Never thought this game would be RNG Hell. Fought Taloc on Normal/Heroic and his 2h Mace did not drop even with a few bonus rolls.
RNG based Azerite gear drop, meaning you can go weeks without an upgrade.
I'm getting burnt out faster than ever before, I hope you guys can fix this, 8.1 will either make or break, i truly hope you guys can salvage this.
the traits are unacceptably boring
A loot currency would be a big help to the gear situation, not sure why they are so opposed to it. I'm sure it comes down to not wanting us to get all the stuff we want quickly, but they can adjust how much each piece would cost. Legion had Dauntless and a few other kinds of buyable gear, but it was always sub par (until the very end with Titan Essence). I'd like to see a way to get Azerite gear with a currency that drops in raids and M+
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.

As someone who just leveled a DH 110 - 120 in one day yeah I would have to say it is easier to just have a second character. I didn't use any leveling potions I stayed within the system and leveled legit. Boosting a character to 100 or 110 then breezing through the content isn't hard to do the second time around, even without warmode enabled.
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.


This bit really stood out to me as a major class design issue. I don't think that 'simming issues' or things not being super simple should stand in the way of talents having synergy with each other or different talents being competitive for different reasons. I think the 'is it better or not' question is what separates new players from good ones and good ones from great ones, and players who want to make their performance as great as possible should absolutely be rewarded for doing the research and knowing what buttons to press in which order, which talents to take etc.

Similarly, making azurite traits overly simplified passive stat buffs is effectively the exact same situation as talent A vs talent B, where we sim both and determine which one is better. The only difference is that with talents we could pick whichever one we preferred if they simmed around the same, whereas with stats it is way more absolute.
An idea for fixing this cluster Fwvk of traits is offering all traits to every azerite peice and the player get to choose what trait goes in. This takes away all the good and bad luck from grinding gear. In my cache this week I gained a 385 chest peice. Seems like a certain upgrade going from a 340 chest. Because of the poor traits it equated to a 2% upgrade . Hardly worth the time . And by far the biggest imbalance blizzard have dropped on us poor subscribers to date. Btw the reason this triggers us so much is because we all want to min max our dps. And lady luck plays far to bigger role in that we want our dps to be reflected by our skill level not our luck level
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.

I'd like to personally extend deep thanks to you for this statement from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate this deeply.

As a PvPer who refuses to even glance at PvE, this Azerite + no vendors basically puts a gun to my head and says "do the dungeon". And that's completely ignoring how unplayablly awful warlocks are in arenas, let alone RBGs, the only PvP format i really enjoy. I don't want to get into the prune that's another topic but it hit warlocks and casters extremely hard in RBGs, far more so than arenas. casters are trash in RBGs. you're bad for taking them, they're dead weight.

If you force a player like me or my team to PvE to remain competitive we'll just quit. It's not fun to be forced to play parts of the game you want no part in. I'm doing a chore at that point and chores aren't fun.

If it's not fun, why bother? If it's not a battle, where's the fun?

I quit right around the time you said "you'd rather we didn't play Demonology."
I was one of the top demon locks in RBGs. I hate what you've done to the spec, it's an insult to the feeling of the playstyle. Again this is off topic but honest to christ i could rant for hours. MMOC has a good pole that gives you an idea of where warlocks sit on the class as a whole.
https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/2432644-What-version-of-Warlocks-have-you-enjoyed-playing-most-and-why

Imagine if there were 8 candidates running in an open election, and one candidate got 57% of the vote, with the runner up getting only 10. I want you to mentally picture an open, free election with 8 candidates running, and the runner up was 40% behind. That's where warlocks sit on how the class felt to play. That is the absolute state of warlocks. I hope that you will listen to us, Inshallah.

The reason why I feel this is relevant is that we warlocks said all of this stuff in WoD's beta, in Legion's betas, ect. You just didn't listen.

Because you'd rather we didn't play Demonology.
I don't like raiding. I tanked heroic progression in two expansions (pre-mythics) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm at a different place in my life and raiding is more of an inconvenience for me these days. I was really excited that I could progress in pvp and mythic + exclusively, but i can't. The rate at which a heroic pug raid will give you gear, and the type of gear available is just too good.

In pvp you also run into neck level problems. In pve you might be fine with the added ilevel as long as you get your first trait but the third trait is actually really useful in pvp.

In Mythic + you get 1 shot at an azerite piece per week, I don't know how good a chance it is, and there is also a chance your BIS slot only drops in the raid.

Jumping points, I always thought artifact power was like those weekly raid nerfs to make the content easier even if you hadn't actually gotten more gear. This is why it seems odd to me that this tier has the artifact power gain mechanic, combined with a stacking buff within the raid.
Azerite armor has to be a system that allows better progression and easier access to upgrade and drops.

Characters in WoW stopped progressing at level 100.

If levels, gear and talent stop mattering past level 100 that is not a good outcome for a MMORPG.

No new talents since WoD.

No new baseline abilities for classes since MoP.

Since WoD there has been pruning.

Azerite system is the only form of progression left for character in WoW with the removal of glyphs, tier sets, etc.
This is getting too much out of hand in stupidity. The more you analyze it, the worse it gets.

Who is working in Blizzard?? Because a lawyer is the game director... like... wtf!? And who are the current developers? Because it's so clear by now that those people doesnt know a single thing about what's fun and what's not.

The current system is pretty mucha like the hated loot boxes from EA. Now your loot box is the weekly chest.

Way to go Blizzard. Good example to follow.

Just fire the guys breaking everything and hire some people with a brain, a good work ethic and good ideas.

Ion allowed this broken system. We are 1 month into the expansion and pretty much everyone is hating it. And we're stuck with is for 2 more years.

The future is not very bright.
I just want to say I love all of you for snowballing this train wreck of a response from lore
09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
First off, thanks for putting this thread together. Even if phrases like "Worst Itemization in WoW's History" are a bit hyperbolic (seriously, I can't be the only one who remembers farming level 30 dungeons for AQ40 resistance gear), 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 just want to point out that the reason people farmed Nature Resist gear is because they understood what Nature Resist gear did for them in that specific fight, and why it was very useful for that fight.

When people loot an Azerite armor piece with random proc traits, they have no idea that the random proc trait is the highest DPS trait on that piece of gear until they look it up online.

You've essentially stuffed trinket slot procs into our shoulderpads: the only way we can tell how good the procs are on the azerite traits is by having math magicians or computer science nerds punch in a bunch of numbers and combat log data into a simulator that spits that data out.

That isn't an interesting system FYI, it's convoluted and opaque and annoying to have to deal with.

Edit: Oh, and an idea: Azerite traits shouldn't be reforge-able. That's because you should never need to in the first place. Your trait choices shouldn't lock in, you should be able to swap them around as you please once you've unlocked the rings. Yeah, that makes them kind of like talents, but I'm not sure why that would be a bad thing.
I will agree with 1 thing Preach said:

Why did they just create 40 different variations of the exact same trait?

X traits does damage
X traits gives Y stat

Thats 90% of the azerite system right now.

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