Putting it on Pause

Ion ran an AMA on Reddit on Friday.  One of the mods was nice enough to extract the tangible items from that event.

After reading that AMA, I decided to cancel my subscription.  The TLDR; answer is that I will wait until Blizzard actually launches Battle for Azeroth.  It sounds like a fun game.  I want to have fun.

Communication

“We need to do better”(R)

I kind of chuckled at this one.  The AMA is a good thing, and hats off to Blizz for doing it.  Cause there’s been nothing but crickets otherwise on a game that has had a large amount of bugs and daily hotfixes for over 2 months.  Is it hard to have client communications?  Yeah, it is.  But when you make a bajillion dollars, it’s not hard to hire someone to do just that.  T&E do a better job at this than Blizz.

Azerite Armor

Fully cognizant that the rewarding feeling is not there, and that there are many under tuned skills.  Great.  Not sure why this is news now.  DPS specs have a ton of options (some of various levels of interest) but tank/DPS have clearly better options than others.  This makes i370 items downgrades when compared to i340.  Ion agrees this is a problem that needs tuning.  (That word comes up often.)

That AP neck levels are a ridiculous gating mechanic for item upgrades.  The answer here is that everyone should be at level 18 neck and then this problem goes away, in addition to the 30% downtick in requirements every week.

Which is honestly an odd statement, since the AP gains after the first ring of a piece of armor are unlocked are relatively minor.  Once you pass that point, AP has minimal value.  In Legion, very few people unlocked all 35 traits until there were large catch up mechanisms and AP value dropped.  Odd.

Island Expeditions

They feel under-rewarding (because they are), and a hotfix was applied to increase all rewards drop rates.  So better RNG I guess.  Which really isn’t the problem.

The issue that island expeditions are just go-go-go fests due to the pressure of the azerite ticker.  There was an acknowledgement of this, but no actual plans to change it.  There will eventually be more islands to explore, and more random events… but that’s not going to help.

Armchair here… but if they reduced the number of enemies on the island and had larger events with competition against the other team, that would allow for more strategic play.  e.g. Should we take on this boss over here, or head over to the other side and prevent the other team from taking on their target?  Right now, it’s about chain-AE everything on the island.

Faction Gating / Grind

That this is an artificial gating mechanism bound to WQs.  The Paragon system is coming back, where you get a back if you max out reputation and keep getting more.  No plans to have the factions across the account, or the exalted items be account-bound (for transmog).  Which is odd, since MoP really hit this one out of the park with commendations.

The Alt Grind

That leveling an alt has a double grind – reputation and AP levels.  Unless I am drastically reading this wrong, this is working as intended.  Re-leveling a faction on another character is something to look forward to.  Odd statement.  In particular since the Champions of Azeroth are the real “hard gate”.

AP gains will be managed through the catch up mechanism.  So I guess the message is hold off on alts for a little while.

Shamans

That aside from guilds, Shamans are actively being ignored/removed from groups due to their perceived uselessness.  Kind of goes for Ferals as well in M+, since they have no real AE.  The changes required here are too large for a hotfix and will be in a patch.  There’s certainly a point of perception, but that usually is enough to become reality.  It’s really too bad for people impacted by this, and Blizzard really should have addressed this fully by now.  Guess another 2 months before we see any real change… and by then, I wonder if the stigma will leave.

Warfronts

On a factual note, the whole cycle is likely to be more like 3.5 weeks, and not 5. There are basically three stages you progress through as an attacker:

  • Donating to fund the war effort, turning in materials for AP (tuned to take 4-6 days depending on player contributions)
  • Warfront active, able to queue, with a once-per-cycle 370 reward and then repeatable 340s (7 days)
  • Zone control, can kill world boss for a shot at a 370 reward, 340s from the rare spawns (11-13 days, while the opposite faction does steps 1 and 2 on their end)

There are two reasons Warfronts are paced this way: First, it lets us give them generous rewards relative to other core content like dungeons, without completely obsoleting that content. Second, we want to make sure most players feel like they have a decent chance to participate in each step; if the Warfront were only available for 3 days instead of 7, the whole thing would move faster, yes, but someone who wasn’t able to log in for a few days would miss the activity entirely.

Yeah, this was the line that really made the decision for me.  There’s an allusion that this is similar to other weekly events, like Timewalking.  Except timewalking doesn’t give  raiding level gear for going AFK.  Warfronts are a prime example of everything I have issues with in BfA.  They are time gated, they require no effort, they negate other content, they are full of bugs, they are without replay value, and guilds cannot use them.

All Told

There are some really solid things in WoW.  The world building is great.  The art/music is the best it’s ever been.  The M+ dungeons are solid (with a few bugs), raiding seems to be in a decent spot.  But none of that is BfA-specific.  We had this before in Legion.

The BfA parts – Azerite Gear, AP, Island Expeditions, Warfronts, class re-builds, professions rebuilds… all of it is less fun than what we had 2 months ago.  Ion was clear enough in the responses that Blizz sees the issues and wants to address them.  Great!  Please do!  When that’s done, I’ll take another look.

Until then, Spider-Man and a dozen other things in my queue are calling me.

One thought on “Putting it on Pause

  1. I just hit 120 on my Horde, and very satisfied with that side of the story. It was great. Started grinding out the same old WQs and BS and was happy to see only 15 days left on my sub… I have tokens in bags so will be looking forward to jumping back in if/when it makes sense.

    Liked by 3 people

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