Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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Looking forward to this thread in 2 months, when top players are still sporting 340s but have 400+ everywhere else :) It's like the opposite of legiondaries - congratz on having to wear bad gear, instead of being pumped to wear the best gear.
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)

I actually like resistance gear in games. It's much more simple and straight forward, I'm going into a fire zone, I have a set of fire resistant armor. Azerite traits are much worse by far, I never had this sort of gear anxiety with resistant gear.
09/28/2018 05:31 AMPosted by Cean
Thank you for reading my feedback hope it helps and to the ppl bashing on the system plz help out Lore understand better why you personally think its not a good system. try to avoid saying stuff is bad or trash explain calmly you're reasoning and that will be enough to get to the dev team.

Why don't we begin with Lore telling us why he thinks it IS a good system? We've heard them say 'this is a trade off' or 'might have to just accept that', but what is actually the good part of this system? Are the traits interesting (No, its just generic flavors of passive buffs or random damage procs)? Is it fun or engaging to get gear that is a downgrade despite a 15-30 ilvl difference (no...)? Is grinding AP from any source actually fun and not just a chore? Does it fill the void left by removing some class abilities, artifact weapons, legendaries and tier sets? Like for real, what is the value added in this system that took so much dev time away from anything else (like finishing classes...)?
The reason Blizzard thinks it's a good system is because it's a system that keeps us grinding away to do daily activities.

It's a mutation of the Legion artifact system, which is just a mutation of the D3 Paragon system (makes sense since several of the dev team are from D3).

The whole point is a system that they can easily replace, don't have to deal with in the next theme park expansion, and keep people playing every day.

Before Legion, there wasn't a good system that acts a lot like the experience bar for players. Once you hit max, the only grind was gear and ilvl. AP adds another layer to that and it's completely flushable at the next expansion.

It's obvious that tried to change the system enough (so it seemed new), but it turned into a failure. See how during the Beta they significantly reduced the AP level requirements, then bumped it back up, then reduced it again on Live? That's because they realize the intrinsic failure of azerite gear, but won't scrap it because they lose the incentive to keep people htiting the daily/weekly feeder bar for another food pellet.
Well if you're gathering feedback:
- I used to raid. I don't anymore because there is no point.

- Any week my class (fire mage) can be made weaker or more powerful with buffs or nerfs. I experienced this mostly in I think WoD where crit was out of control so every patch was like a reset back down (zero sense of progression). WHat's the point of trying to improve and work on killing a boss if the next week your dps is wildly different without any control from you? (This is the same as with Azerite traits which change wildly due to buffs and nerfs)

- Farming any specific piece of gear is pointless because of RNG, it can titan forge next week. WORSE, my alt can get a better piece through sheer luck!

- I'm the kind of player who likes to max out on effort, get powerful, then enjoy myself. This is impossible with the current setup. You get nerfed or worse you have to keep playing for the power pellet like some kind of a demented squirrel running in a wheel.

- I like doing research for my class. But !@#$%^- I don't know why I need to memorize 10 different outer ring traits to know which one to keep when it drops. Lazer matrix? Is that the better one than the Tidal Surge? Let me crack open another website to find out! Oh wait I just got another piece of gear which has 2 other traits. How do they relate to the one I have? Let me crack open a website and check. You took the fun out of knowing your class entirely because we literally can't, without external help.

- I realized when I was in beta for WoD (?) and giving endless feedback on objectively bad (at the time) mage tier 90 tiers that the developers are not listening to Beta feedback. Then, at the end of the expansion you admitted we were right and the traits were bad. Thanks. I have realized that the only solution I have is to wait 5+ months for the devs to admit that the things we told them in alpha/beta WERE true, and fix them in another 5+ months. So the game is actually not ready at launch and you can come back in a year to play the game it SHOULD have been.

Hopefully by the time I actually take up this end-game for BFA for real you'll have worked out a fix for your game for Azerite and other problems it currently has (no flying).

Why the beta of the game needs to be done by live players in production is something you should be asking yourself as a company. It feels awful as a player. But I'll wait a year for you to realize we meant that.
I'm pretty late to this party it seems so I'm just curious if any good feedback was given about how they could possibly make azerite gear more farmable without completely minimizing raiding. Farming as in like being able to target specific pieces.
09/27/2018 02:53 PMPosted by Lore

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.

Sorry that this is going to be disjointed. I'm typing it up while working.

I've totally soured on the entire gearing system myself. I feel targetting the pieces I want to be punishing. IE. it took me something like 80 VotW M+ to get a faulty countermeasure last expansion. This expansion it was 20 or so +5 Kings Rests to get a Geti'ikku the first week of m+ but when I finally got it it wasn't warforged/socket so it still felt bad. With titanforging and the ilvl bloat getting upgrades feels awful unless they have optimal stats especially if the stats have a significant effect on play. Running any M+ below +10 feels like a total waste of time which leads to loads of toxicity. I'm one of those players who turn very toxic if I feel my time is being wasted by others and I've seen more than my fair share of those like me. I've completely stopped running M+ outside of friends but there's such a massive gear disparity at this point I'm just a carry which feels horrible. I feel like I have to constantly run the gear/artifact power treadmill if I want to be able to pull my weight.

Edit: Words
Fyi Lore good for you for trying to communicate and solve some issues Yes we can all do better and hindsight is something that always will exist. Please take the best that comes out of these forums and make the game even more fun.
I'm not usually against a lot of Blizzard thoughts and direction of the game and while I like the azerite system I think it was done contradictory to reasons other systems were changed.

The problem here is that the reasoning for reducing talent choices was because there was theoretically one path players would take based on maximizing their character for the situation. Yet, Blizzard goes and makes an entirely more complicated process by adding Azerite gear + power system and doing the same exact thing: adding traits that are in many cases useless. The only difference now is that you farm the gear and you get a random drop that's useless and have to farm the specific powers per gear piece repeatedly, instead of having the option out of the gate like we had with talents.

Also, having set pieces prior gave a 'path to perfection' that helped bridge that randomness gap. We just don't have that anymore.
09/27/2018 05:44 PMPosted by Moonshayde
I find it rather interesting that even the usual white knights haven't showed up much in this thread. The current system seems to be pretty universally despised.

Because this isn't GD.
Right now the azerite reforge system is so prohibitive it feels like the only "correct" way to select traits is by either researching them on a 3rd party site or running a sim on them.

Please reduce this restriction to encourage experimentation. I'd love to play around with traits and figure out what's best for my play style in BGs, arenas, raids, and mythic+.

I'd also like to hear feedback on /why/ Blizzard feels changing azerite talents around is a bad thing. Having to farm tons of the same gear slot feels bad, especially when you like to play multiple specs in multiple different game modes. Let me swap my talents to suite whatever I'm about to do.

Maybe give engineers or another crafting profession the ability to create an item that reforges an azerite piece? Gate reforging through either gold to another player or a small bit of farming. This would cap the cost of reforging to seem more reasonable while still preventing people from doing it every 5 minutes.
"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)"

What is your argument here? "Well, this one process for gearing in the past was surely so much more worse than the current system, so you can't really complain that much right?"
Is that what you want to go with? Saying azerite gearing isn't as bad as gearing systems in the past seems like a complete cop out. Whether gearing systems in the past have been good or bad is irrelevant. What matters and IS relevant is the flaws the current system has.
09/28/2018 04:37 AMPosted by Nepla
Short and sweet if it.

We have a system that punishes rerolling traits and a system that limits acquisition of azerite armor. These two can't coexist.

Exactly. This embodies the nature of how fundamentally flawed the Azerite armor system is. It's also not rewarding to have a gear system that requires significant resource grinding before a higher ilevel piece can even be equipped as an upgrade.

09/26/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Lore
"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)

Comparing the current system to farming for resistance gear back in Vanilla as something better fantastically misses the issue. Even resistance gear farming had a clear-cut purpose in progression. There's no such clarity with the Azerite gearing system. It is fundamentally flawed as a design for this reason.

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 appreciate the sentiment. But this conversation was happening in the beta and all over the Internet. But it was only happening amongst the players.
Azerite gear is in many ways like the legendary system from Legion. Each piece is unique and the drop rates are low for high item level versions of the pieces you want.

In Legion, most of the complaints about legendaries came at the start of the expansion, when players struggled to get the pieces they wanted while watching other more lucky players appear on with perfect legendaries and high parses. The complaints died down around Tomb of Sargeras, which was the first time you saw many people start getting all of the legendaries obtained on their mains. In my opinion that was also the time at which the system started getting fun.

It was fun to be flexible. It was fun to swap legendaries to match that particular boss. I've never had to think about my gear boss-to-boss like I did in Legion, and finding that right setup + figuring out how to capitalize on it was enjoyable. When everyone had the same legendaries available to them, it stopped being about who was luckier.

Having all the legendaries meant you no longer had an incentive to complain when a certain legendary was overpowered for a situation. On the contrary, you hoped for it. I did not enjoy my shadow priest in Antorus because they stuck to the same two legendaries (ring and belt) for every boss, while other classes like warlock used an assortment of different ones. Azerite gear can offer the same, but we don't want to wait and grind months and months to get there. Even worse, unlike legendaries we don't want to throw it all away when a new tier of item levels hits.

Fixing Azerite gear should not be about watering down the trait outliers and keeping drop rates low so players are less frustrated with the pieces RNG gives them. Having a piece of azerite gear that is overpowered in a certain situation is fun. Putting an ilvl 385 version of that piece in the hands of 1% of the player-base is not. I don't think any amount of azerite gear tuning will truly fix anything. Treat azerite gear like legendaries and then fix the problem that plagued those legendaries in early Legion, their availability. Letting people upgrade azerite pieces fixes this issue.
Id honestly rather just have normal gear for the slots, it worked for a decade just fine but I know thats not going to happen.

So how to make azerite more bearable?
Allow it to be spec specific like talents are. Getting lots of azerite gear at relevant ilvls is neither a good philosophy nor is it working in execution. Its already hard to come by as it is, especially since you can't farm it in M+ and aside from some rep rewards/pvp rewards at 355 its all down to the 'RNG is everything' model Legion/BfA have seemed to go all in on. People min/maxing will naturally keep extra pieces to min/max traits but to be wearing an arms piece as prot with a 100k+ gold respec is just silly. I don't agree that its too early to judge 3 weeks in as we know the acquisition methods of gear, and how unforgiving the Legion/BfA model can be (especially with the questionable bonus roll token nerf).
I still think allowing azerite gear to drop at the end of an M+ once per dungeon, per tier, per week would help.
So if I did motherload +2 I have a chance at 340 azerite gear, and if I run a +3 motherload the same day I won't have a chance at azerite gear from that dungeon again, until I did a +4 for a 355. So you'd stick to the tiers. Note: this could be a weekly lock out on each tier per dungeon. Or a daily one. All depends on how bad it'd be to farm so much azerite gear. You could make each dungeon/tier lock out weekly so it fits in line with raid drops for azerite. And make bonus rolls always have a shot at azerite.

I know this doesn't solve all the problems, but it does allow players to effectivly target m+ azerite
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)

Maraudon NR farming is a really bad comparison here. That was really specific classes for 1 boss in the penultimate raid in the expansion and you could hit the instance/hour cap farming it solo. I think maybe 10 guilds on my server at the time had even reached Huhuran before BC dropped. Maybe spellpower gear being nearly non-existant at the launch of classic would've been a better comparison.
Bring back tier sets, move azerite into the neck and the neck alone, and give us helm/shoulder/chest drops.

Remove generic azerite traits and make them all function specifically with class mechanics, *actually design the class around these traits like you would design around talents* Don't just make them "you deal 500 extra damage when you cast x spell" Make it "Your ability has a 20% higher chance to proc" or something of the like, something actually tangible that you can feel works with your class. "Your cooldown is reduced by X seconds whenever you cast Y" or "Critical strikes with this spell procs an instant cast that does extra damage"

3 azerite slots should be inside the neck and we should be able to upgrade the slots themselves, and allow us to upgrade azerite abilities throughout the expansion so that they have a form of progression. Make it a choice, so it doesn't feel bad

Say your neck has 3 slots,
The slot its self should have the item level attached to it, upgraded by tokens that are dropped from content, some sort of special shard of Azerite that empowers the slot so say the slots would look something like this
Now; you should be able to place any ability into those slots, say for example my class has Sudden Onset as our best trait, we should be able to slot one (AND ONLY ONE, NO STACKING) trait into our best slot, so I'd put it into my 370 slot because it's my strongest slot, and I can put weaker traits into the lesser slots, remove this luck aspect. Nothing is worse than a high ilvl azerite piece that has a terrible trait. People shouldn't be upset for recieving high level gear, they should be excited. Stats on gear is marginal, it's ok if a 50 ilvl upgrade has poor stats because it's still a 50ilvl upgrade. With azerite, sometimes 50 ilvl upgrades are worse than your old piece of gear, which is abysmal design and plays against the basic principles of game design, which rewards players for completing difficult content.

Tokens should drop that read something like "Upgrades an Azerite slot to X level" any allow you to use it on any of the three slots, let them become tradeable among people you're grouped with when it drops. Hell, you could give it the same class restrictions of tier tokens if you so wanted.

And most importantly give us access to **ALL** azerite traits upon defeating a boss that gives that trait, for example if a boss used to drop a dungeon specific trait like Rezan's Fury, make it such that clearing that dungeon unlocks that trait on your character. Specific raid bosses could drop extra powerful azerite effects that only the raiders get access too, and higher ratings of pvp should drop pvp-specific azerite traits that you can hot-swap in whenever you want, wherever you want.

Legendaries had the benefit of letting you 'tune' your class at any moment, if I needed AoE I could slot on my AoE legendaries, I didn't need to go back to the Azerite reforger and spend 10k gold because this is my 30th time reforging my azerite, I could just quickly slap on my "AoE" set that I preplanned and be good with it. I should be able to go, "This is an AoE encounter, so I'll quickly change to all my AoE talents, traits, and stats"
So, I went fury on wednsday to test it out. Reforged my azerite gear to optimize.. wanted to go back to arms for my main raid, 1st reforge 5k allright bit expensive sure.. next item 10k OK ? OH CHEST ONLY 20K ??? hello, you must see this system isn't good at all right? Make a tome or smtn to reforge? this is insane
Well would be easier if you do one of simple things like add a currency on a completed m+ (value depends of m+ key level)

- if on time gives X
- if it wasn't on time gives half of X, if you don't give any currency of the failed timer many will leave, for many even the guaranteed loot isn't enough already

1. Have a weekly cap (like valor was) and having a vendor to add +15ivl on chosen azerite armor

2. Having a npc that you can deliver X currency to get a chance on a random azerite piece according to you ilvl with 5ivls max apart (if you have 360 you may only get a 355 but if have a 361 you can already get the 370 and so forth) with the triple weekly cap (from 1.) that players can at least for week can get 3x the chance on the random item. Its random so 3x after hours (its will be hours) to farm m+ to get the currency is only fair that we get no less than 3 trys for our work

Why this? this helps relieve the problem and help alots the M+ community, helps against the people that simply leave and dont even want to finish and helps to keep people interested in m+. We are already getting to the point that people will only do +10 a week and that's it and this will help alot to keep players interested in doing 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.

I'm legitimately concerned that either your being patronizing or unrealistically innocent if you don't see a problem with needing to have 5 different gear sets for a class. Have you seen Preach's new video? You should just send that video out to all the devs because it's exactly what we are talking about.

For example. I'm a prot/arms warrior. I need a prot az set, 2 arms sets for pvp and 2 for pve for single target and multi-target dps. That's 5 sets of gear for 2 specs. How in the world can you sit there with a straight face and say this not a problem, specially considering you're stating you don't want people to reforge?

So tell us whats the goal here? Are you guys wanting us to carry all these gear around or not?

Also, his argument isn't the strongest but you're completely missing the point. We could essentially save time by lvling two characters because we could use each az piece for one purpose and not need to keep re-farming the az gear we already have, just to have a set for our off spec. This option is becoming increasingly seductive considering you stated that you don't want the reforging ability a common/cheap option to turn to. Unless AZ armor starts dropping much more often and particular AZ armor is target-able. Frankly, if it was just said "hey this didn't turn out as planned and we are open to player suggestions" rather then "it's not working like we intended exactly but you'll get use to it after some minor changes".

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