I guess Blizzcon is 90% Diablo content now.
Two bits of interesting news. Mike Morhaine is stepping down from Blizzard leadership. No reason given, but after 27 years of doing something, I’d be tired of it too. I consider Mike part of the old guard, like the doctors from BioWare. More passionate about the games than the market. Instead of oozing charm, he was full of geek. I thought that resonated well.
J. Allen Brack is promoted to his position. I didn’t do much digging, but there’s an interesting video with J. Allen, Ion, and Tom. I just think their personalities are really quite focused in this particular video. As a people watcher, I find this quite entertaining. Not from what they are saying, but how they are saying it.
- More drops: You’ll eventually get up to 370 Azerite gear from world quests. A quite inelegant solution to the problem, but it certainly fixes it.
- More traits: A new outer ring on some gear in 8.1. I don’t understand this one, personally. It seems like it makes the situation worse, not better. The problem now is that there are too many traits, without interesting choices.
- Trait tuning: To make things more interesting. Without actual examples, this feels more like number tuning.
By adding more traits, that’s further diluting the pool of available gear. By adding Azerite gear drops to WQs, it goes completely against the design choice to target azerite gear drops for their specific traits. WQ rewards are entirely random. Combined, this appears to be making the problem worse. Practical examples will help straighten this out.
Interesting vs Meaningful
This post as a base. It’s a decent summary of the Azerite issues, with no potential solutions. Which is smart in a sense, since people will focus on the problem, rather than the solution. Lore responded. One particular item:
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.
Useful things are not always interesting. A toilet is useful, but it is far from interesting. A Ferrari is interesting, but far from useful. A robot that vacuums the floor is both useful and interesting. They are not binary, or in conflict. It’s like saying something is red and big. They are simply descriptors.
Azerite traits are generally uninteresting, because they have no impact on gameplay. No matter the trait you have, the buttons you press stay the same, 99% of the time. They are generally useful since they do apply a +damage/healing effect. Some are much less useful than others (getting +haste on my Brewmaster feels bad man).
Azerite was meant to replace artifacts, tier sets, and legendary items. All 3 of them had interesting impacts to gameplay. So much so, that the majority of Shaman Ele changes in 8.1 are cut and paste from that model.
That the set of traits are so poorly worded that they require simming is a different point altogether. Passive damage boosts require simming, and it’s actually practical to do so. An interesting trait that changes your rotation… that’s something much harder to sim and compare. It’s also a whole pile much harder to balance. Pretty much why they were always restricted in the past.
I do get what is trying to be achieved here. Simplification is every IT person’s goal. It’s extremely hard to do. I don’t quite understand what the changes above will actually do to fix that issue. At least they are trying.