Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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With the restrictions such as high gold cost and thinking of putting a cap on it, this has turned into a hand holding situation.
Basically players are given gear and told to play a certain way because you feel the traits are close enough that players shouldn't be changing them. You need to let players make mistakes and play the way they want to.
For instance the Monk player, he has specific traits he wants to use but you say well the others are close enough and you place a cap on Reforge count and jack the gold up. You are penalizing someone for playing the way they want to play.
The solution you gave, laymen terms from course from me is " Well this trait is close enough so you should use that instead of spending all that gold" its like going to a buffet and having these great choices but then telling you that you can only eat mac n cheese.
Another basic failure of the gear is that it doesn't feel like it impacts or changes gameplay for most classes. Getting that piece is nice I wont lie but then disappointment comes in to see something that doesn't benefit you and knowing the cost to change it is going to be absurd.
The issue going forward is that we know development is ongoing and that from past expansion experience most systems stay as is with minor tuning. That has many worried about whether or not this system can be saved in time and really improved upon
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.

Just popping in as an extremely casual player than finally decided to do something (normal dungeons, ha) and found that my azerite options were all DPS and I had to pay, and pay more, and pay more again, to change them to work with healing, and then pay more, and more and more again, to change them back. That was a "hmmmm, someone didn't think this one through" moment.

Seems like if changing specs reset/changed the azerite options, this would be solved.
My suggestion. Bring back a weekly valor cap. Each can can raise the iLevel of 1 piece by 15 up to 385. Players can slowly build up their favorite piece and build a connection to their gear. Leave the current tier 1 gear at the 385 cap and let the new traits/gear replace them. If an old trait remains dominate at 385 just nerf it.
09/27/2018 12:27 PMPosted by Lore
09/27/2018 12:22 PMPosted by Fiascoh
If I wanted to play brewmaster or mistweaver right now, I would be significantly better off by making a 2nd monk. Is this really the design you were going for?

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

I feel that way because I had to replace Cowl of Dark Portents (Mythrax) with Hood of Pestilent Ichor (Vectis) after the swift roundhouse nerf. Initially that cost me my helmet for Mistweaver M+ healing (Uplifting Spirits) and that was the first reforge, from Uplifting Spirits->Archive of the Titans.

The second reforge was from Archive to Open Palm Strikes after the buff, which did not include PvP, so mind you there is another peice to obtain in that slot unless I'm essentially gonna roll with a helmet 30% less effective.

To replace that helmet for M+ healing on Mistweaver I had to take my Brewmaster helmet, Circlet of the Enveloping Leviathan, from Shrine of the Storm and reforge my Elusive Footwork to Overflowing Mists. Then I had to find a second helmet (Another Hood of Pestilent Ichor) to replace that in the meantime, to reforge overflowing Mists back to Elusive Footwork, during this time I had no brewmaster helmet.

That's where it begins. I'm on playing the one Sunday and my Hpal asked me if I wanted to tank something as a Brewmaster, sure let me go re spec my helmet real quick. The intention might be for me to build multiple sets of gear but every week you guys punch a hole in my gear set for any type of content it seems.

My chest got reforged from Swift Roundhouse to Dagger in the Back before it got upgraded. Didn't have the gear to really deal with the changes in other slots too much. Meridian Strikes getting nerfed in PvP and essentially reforged after that, since that overlaps on a peice with overflowing mist and boiling brew, and then replaced with whatever off spec gear people had at the time. I was fortunate enough to not have to deal with additional swaps other than that because of pvp. My condolences for the other monks.

There are a lot of situations out there where people have been trying to juggle multiple specs and each week they're getting screwed by the system. I think it's pretty unbelievable if we're really just going to let the system devolve so far that I can't even reforge a peice of gear to a trait for my off spec and use that as an upgrade for a secondary spec slot because the dev team wants to target the issue of people wanting to play more than one spec with limited gear options or overlapping gear on high ilvl peices?

At what point did the decision we made at character selection become so obsolete. I'm a monk and I enjoy playing that class when I do content with my friends. I didn't sign up to be just a windwalker, or just a mistweaver, or just a brewmaster, I don't need a system that makes it harder for me to play multiple specs.
09/27/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Lore
this conversation should have happened during beta
Wait, hold up, are you saying that this isn't the beta? When did we leave beta and go Live??
I keep getting the sneaky feeling that Blizz does not see this as a big deal. I am in the IT industry and compare it to an email server being down, it is all hands on deck trying to come up with a solution. Conference calls, brainstorming sessions, round table meetings, yet Blizz is treating this situation as if it is a pop up window that comes up every time you log in.

Where is the sense of urgency, where is the feedback on any front. I understand the customers are demanding and you may not have the answers. Have someone with the answers with you providing them on the forum. Some of the responses are coming across as opinions and feelings instead of facts.
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.

While I appreciate the fact that you're engaging in a feedback system, I actually take issue with the idea here.

You can't argue a robust point. This isn't a good communication system because the developers have an idea and they can defend their own idea, whereas you, a person who doesn't necessarily fully understand the feedback, cannot offer return points from the perspective of the person you collected it from. Regardless of how much data and notes you take from here, we can't plug every hole in the system. It relies entirely on the development team to plug the holes in their own arguments, in a sense.

If this is all we're going to get then I suppose it'll have to do, but it will inevitably taint the feedback process if the developer doesn't interact with the requested feedback directly and engage the community. You're dealing with the insults and memes in their place, so it's not as if we're even protecting the ideas from harmful ranting.
Lore.... just. No. This is what farming for nature resist looked like.

To sum it up, crafted, nature resist pots, and dungeons you already ran. If people farmed maraudon they were just being lazy.

The difference between this and azerite, hell relics even, is that there was a very clear and concise ending points. You knew exactly what you needed, it was content the community already did, and the payoff was further gains toward the top. The current points in which we, the players, are constantly striving for the top that is constantly moved.

The reason why artifact weapons worked is that there was a direct correlation between time spent working for it, and reward gained. It wasn't that farming 300+ maw of souls was crazy, it was that the end reward was worth doing it, and the toll was deemed reasonable. This system wants you to do all of the same work, but then also tells the player, "but there's no garuntee AND you can only roll the dice so many times in a week :)"

That feels terrible. It works for diablo because there is an infinite limit on rolls, it does not work in a system in which there are extremely limited number of rolls, and if your class still has the imbalance in traits then it gets even worse.
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.

Hi Lore!

Question, how often does your team get to actually meet with devs? Does it depend on the issue? Do you have a set time for meeting or round tables? Im just curious how the information from the community to you guys at the community team to the needed dev team for specific issues (such as class balance vs raid/pvp balance/ azerite type balance)

I work with a ton of moving parts myself so I am curious what you guys have to deal with as well.
Lore, just watch Preach's videos. He analyzes the issues in depth.
09/27/2018 09:38 PMPosted by Beatonme
The reason why artifact weapons worked is that there was a direct correlation between time spent working for it, and reward gained.
except they didn't. An endless grind for diablo 3 in a weapon, or necklace is pointless. All of the traits are pointless, if they're beneficial to the class they should be baseline, if not, they shouldn't exist. If they're a unique choice that changes the playstye they should be a talent.

There are places for literally anything that was on artifacts or azerite prior to their existance, they did nothing but screw up the game and create massive imbalances that stacked with preexisting balance issues to the point where only symptoms of real problems could be solved.
Coming from a casual player that mains a unholy dk the issues I have with azerite armor are the following:

As it stands there are no azerite traits that meaningfully impact the buttons I push while I am in combat. I say meaningfully because there is one trait "Cankerous Wounds" that increases your chance to the higher amount of wounds on your target (wounds aren't too impactful but that's a gripe with class design), this means the only difference it provides is that i am using scourge strike slightly more.

I think this is what people mean when they say a trait is uninteresting. For instance I think the "Festermight" trait is interesting from a theorycrafting stand point, but it offers nothing for my actual gameplay and the choices I make during combat. The trait gives you a 20 second buff that every wound you pop you get a stacking strength buff, so you have to pop as many wounds as possible in a short amount of time. The only thing this allows for is snap shotting your diseases which is really no different to a trinket proc (which most of the general traits in my opinion the same as trinket procs).

At this point in time the only thing I feel that seperates the gameplay of when you first hit 120 and fully heroic/mythic gear is the haste stat (talking from unholy dk perspective). I'll add that even then the high ilvl character might have less haste than a fresh 120 due to how secondaries work now. Don't think I'm meant to talk about secondaries on azerite forum, but just saying there isn't much change in gameplay from a fresh 120 to high ilvl 120 (this is something I would've expected azerite to add to).

The weekly chests are extremely unlikely to give you the one piece with the traits you want and you just have to use want you are given as a result. You have no control over whether you get the only shoulders in the game that have "festermight" trait from the weekly mythic plus chest which I have to deal with and accept just like the facts of death being inevitable (still haven't managed to get 340 with festermight and bonus roll every week for it).


Re-unlocking the same traits as you get higher ilvl gear, doesn't make much sense to me and seems like a way to get people running on a treadmill.

What I'd like to see in future:

The souls rings be brought back in some form.

Relics being brought back to insert specific ability such as an active ability into the neck itself. Maybe this could be a way to introduce new abilities to add a bit more to the classes rotation. Just to clarify I am not meaning an ability that does damage. An example would be transferring the pvp talent dark simulacrum to be used in pve situations. Or for a damage example an ability the cosumes the remaining damage of all your active dots and wounds and then reactivating it would cause the remaining wound damage to deal aoe in a small area around your character and the dots deal remaining damage to your target.

Also I'd like to see a crit synergy trait much like "castigator" for specs that have no crit synergy with their abilities.
Lore - First of all thank you for the response as someone who also designs for a product used by billions of people I can understand the hate, push back, and drama that comes with any change or design. I also understand the paradox that most users have no idea what they actually want, and instead it requires deep understanding and research before you can find a great design concept to explore. That said I had a few pieces of feedback about the Azerite system that I have not seen captured here in the above thread:

Visual Feedback: I have found the process of leveling up my necklace painful and unrewarding. I do not know how much Azerite is required for the next level and as such I have felt no need to grind out this resource. Unlike the Artifact where I have a visual feedback and rewards system this seems lacking on that front.

Reward feedback: When leveling the necklace I rarely feel more powerful after each level. Most levels pass without any interaction or thought on my part, only when looking at my gear do I even realize I can unlock a trait. Secondly as someone who no longer raids, does not participate in mythics, and does not do arena I find the motivation for leveling the necklace lacking as it does not actually improve my character or allow me different game play. In the future I would love to see rewards similar to the honor system where at levels you could unlock a battle pet, mount, xmorg, etc. For those of us who are causal these are great hooks to feel accomplishment in this game.

Complexity of rewards: I have found myself visiting a 3rd party website whenever I get a piece of gear to figure out how to use it. We need a simplified way to show how traits affect my dps / healing / damage mitigation without me needing to tab out and give someone ad revenue.

Spec exploration: This system locks me into a spec which I find cumbersome, and the respect costs are too high to just eat on a daily basis. As someone who played in 2004 I understand the goal of this to help build spec identity like we did in the past but that ship has long sailed. At this point players expect the fluidity to quickly change specs and not have to change all their gear.

Just my 0.02
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.
It takes a big man to apologize publicly, like this. We may be extremely dissatisfied with how azerite armor has turned out, but like you said work in progress. Just know this isn't your fault, it's the entire development team outside of the creative departments. It's alright to mess up, if you guys are actually fixing it before BFA is over. I know the meme of Beta for azeroth is strong and all but it's nice to know you guys are finally listening. GG Lor'bi one kenobi, keep your chin up, you are our only hope.
Major issues-

Pruning destroyed a lot of joy, rotations, or interest in the classes

Azerite talents are boring and subpar. They don't make up for the lack of a 120 talent.

You can't even get azerite pieces due to RNG from raids or the 1 piece of gear from m+.

You can farm low level azerite gear (340) but no one wants to carry downgraded gear to swap specs.

These things were consistently posted in beta and the last few months, ignored (with the team saying "its fine" or "we're getting to it later") and this attitude has effectively destroyed the most hyped launch in a long time
Forgive me for not reading all 63 pages, and most likely repeating something already said, but here goes. Gear is super gated right now. You have taken player choice out of so much of the equation. This is the biggest failing of BFA in my opinion. The feeling of having to grind hours for a piece of gear sucks, as was stated in vanilla resist gear, but what sucks even worse is not having the option to pursue even that.

Part of what makes an MMO enjoyable is working with other people to meet goals, and the gear grind has always been one of those. Bellular hit it right on the head with his video on why you could increase the content in game 100 fold and still feel shallow. You have made acquiring specific gear restricted, be it wanting gear that sims BiS due to a specific az trait, or a specific trait that alters your class play style in an interesting and preferred way. We can't actively pursue it beyond the time gate.

Super OP BiS equipment... IE pre-legion legendary gear should be gated this way, not a CORE selling mechanic of the expansion. This was the main thing people HATED with legion artifacts, and was addressed with time sure, but why make the same mistake?

Further more you have made it impossible to seek a replacement piece for a subpar slot on the players own timescale. What I mean is, in previous expansions, lets say you haven't gotten a specific item slot filled from the time gated content (ie raids mythics w.e), and the repeatable farm content has been long since left behind. Previously there were badge vendors, pvp vendors for conquest, or heck, even crafted player items that were acquirable but maybe not the most efficient. We severely lack this choice now. We have content, but no real reason to do it beyond gearing a fresh toon or grinding az power and war/titan forged gear from world quests ect.

Currently you have rep vendors that offer a whole lot of nothing, RNG based drops from warfronts/islands/mythic+ that offer only select pieces. This would be completely acceptable if all item slots were acquirable via repeated farming, but instead you locked 99% of AZ trait gear behind gating. Another player choice taken away, can't farm or replace specific traits on your own time, have to do your weekly allotment of content and pray RNGesus blesses you.

Most gamers understand there will be balance issues when there are major changes to the game, with class changes like losing the artifact traits and the stat squish. We understand you have to bring the outliers in line, but constant changes week after week make us feel like we have wasted our time playing the first whole month...not a good feeling. We can only hope as the system progresses that balance issues with both class and items get addressed, and that boring but effective traits like dagger in the back don't stay the best for half the specs in game.

In closing I'd like to say this: the first 2 weeks of the expansion is the most fun i have had in WoW since Wrath. You all did a wonderful job with story, art, sound (GREAT music, for the first time in a long time i haven't muted the music after a day of playing) and content overall. It is the end game that falls flat. Independent character progression falls flat. Player choice falls flat.

You have all these great tools that could be so much more, so much room for player freedom and choice, that is locked away behind your homogenized itemization timeline you seem to have put us players on. Detracting from the fun and enjoyment that is there. C'mon dad give us the car keys and let us play!
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.

Now let's all ask ourselves why it didn't. Or better yet, ask the devs.
Azerite gear sucks. As someone that plays a hybrid, I have varying specs with different traits needed. But guess what? I also do different modes of the game; raiding, mythic+, and PvP.

If I want to heal Arena, my best trait is Surging Tides and it’s recommended to stack x3. (even after it’s been nerfed)

If I want to heal mythic+, my best trait is Swelling Streams.

If I want to raid as elemental, my best trait is... you see what’s happening? I feel like I’m being punished for playing your game. I shouldn’t need to carry old, lower item level gear just for the marginally better traits.

I shouldn’t need to spend an increasing amount of gold so I can keep using my highest item level piece from my weekly cache.

Am I expected to rely on rng and wait months and months until I somewhat have 4 different, similar item level sets to use? And carry 12 pieces of armor in my bag?

That’s so incredibly tedious and annoying. And eventually with a new raid gear and item level bump, the process starts over again.

I need more options to get the gear I want and less rng. I’m not playing WoW so I can roll the slot machine every week like I’m in a gambling situation. I’m sick and tired of your loot boxes and rng that Blizzard is passing off as “content” like it isn’t a way to prey on our addiction for that one last lucky “roll.”
IF this has already been discussed my bad but...

My problem with the reforging is the price doubles SIX TIMES if you switch then switch back with three pieces of armor that need respec'd.

Let's say you want to raid, then do m+ on the weekends with a different spec and want to be optimal for each. So every seven days you have 6 doubles, but only 2.3 halves. That's unsustainable. IS IT SO UNREASONABLE TO WANT TO RESPEC ONCE PER WEEK?

Reforge costs NEED to be either per piece, or per slot. That is a reasonable solution i think.

Not to mention there are dozens of reasons you would need to switch up a trait ie. prog fights, trait tuning, testing a new spec/talents etc. The costs are too restrictive right now for reasonable activities. Do the developers actively not want us to experience our class to its fullest? It makes no damn sense.
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.

How many times are we going to hear this before it actually happens? Maybe you guys will get it right 2 expansions from now. Maybe.

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