Starym

Infinity Artifact Trait Clarifications and Intentions

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More AP system explanations, specifically surrounding the new 50-point trait.

The discussion around the AP system continues, as several top PvE players have expressed a dislike of the new "infinity" artifact trait, Concordance of the LegionfallConcordance of the Legionfall, as it's going make their AP grind a whoole lot longer (it's actually "only" 50 ranks, not infinity, although for most players it may as well be). However, the new final trait system is intended to alleviate AP concerns, as  we already saw Game Director Ion Hazzikostas address them, and we now get even more insight, this time focused specifically around the new trait.

In short, the intended fixes are the fact that it's a proc and not a permanent buff, that it's a primary stat boost and not a % one, that individual ranks are less impactful and the fact that the cost will increase exponentially (as you can imagine the top end raiders "loved" this one in particular).

Blizzard LogoLore (source)

Ion alluded to some of this in his post last week, but essentially the goal here is to address what we believe to be the core of the issue with the 7.0 final traits: the large gap in player power it created between players who spent a lot of time farming AP and those who spent their time on other endeavors. To that end, there's four key changes:

#1: The individual ranks are less impactful. This was honestly one of the biggest issues with the 7.0 design. Grinding out a couple million Artifact Power for a 0.5% raw damage increase was just too lucrative compared to other methods of endgame progression - even eclipsing gear for some players. The goal for the new 7.2 design is that the next rank is still an increase, and you won't turn it down, but it's not your primary focus.

#2: The rate at which the cost for the next rank increases is higher. In the 7.0 design, someone who farmed twice as much AP as you had roughly twice as many ranks as you. While rewarding the extra effort isn't a bad thing, it doesn't need to be nearly that rewarding. By making each rank's cost increase exponentially, we can help ensure that you're never too far behind even if you aren't spending as much time farming AP. It also means that, as Artifact Knowledge increases, it'll be easier for alts or newer players to catch up.

As a quick aside, to put some extra context on both of those changes: we always want Artifact Power to be of at least some value to you. It's fine to reach a point where you're not going out of your way to earn it, but it's purpose is to be a fairly reliable form of progression. If you spend an evening raiding, or run a few dungeons, or do some PvP, but don't get any gear upgrades, you should still be able to say "at least I earned some Artifact Power" with some level of satisfaction.

Anyway, key change #3: The new trait gives a primary stat bonus instead of a percentage-based increase. With the 7.0 design, as your gear improved, so did the total benefit you were getting from your final trait. Changing to a primary stat bonus means it's giving roughly the same benefit to someone at ilevel 900 as it does to someone at 850. Again, the goal here is to reduce the overall power gap.

And finally, #4: It's a proc. I know anything that involves RNG is often controversial, but this is, in my opinion, a great example of where it's extremely useful. This is for two reasons.

First, it kind of muddies the waters a bit. When you wipe on a boss at 1%, or just barely miss a kill window, it can be easy to say "if Todd was doing 2% more damage we'd have won." But when it's a proc, you can't actually be that sure. Maybe Todd needs more AP, or maybe he just got unlucky with procs. Maybe the wipe wasn't Todd's fault at all. Maybe you should be a little nicer to Todd.

Second (and more importantly), it allows for player skill to play more of a factor. If you're the sort of player who can pay attention to procs and adjust your rotation on the fly (say, a healer who chooses to use cheaper spells while it's active, or a damage-dealer who saves a charge of their hardest-hitting ability), you're going to get more value out of the new trait than someone who ignores it.

I've seen some initial feedback that indicates some specs are likely to benefit from these more than others - to some degree that's expected, but specific feedback on which specs those are and why is very helpful. We're still actively tuning and tweaking things, so please keep that feedback coming.

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First, it kind of muddies the waters a bit. When you wipe on a boss at 1%, or just barely miss a kill window, it can be easy to say "if Todd was doing 2% more damage we'd have won." But when it's a proc, you can't actually be that sure. Maybe Todd needs more AP, or maybe he just got unlucky with procs. Maybe the wipe wasn't Todd's fault at all. Maybe you should be a little nicer to Todd.

Terrible reasoning imo and doesn't actually mean anything. This is better because now it'll be harder to know exactly the cause of a wipe?

The last part of that paragraph is a complete non-argument. It doesn't address the problem at all. It just sounds like appeal to pity.

Quote

Second (and more importantly), it allows for player skill to play more of a factor. If you're the sort of player who can pay attention to procs and adjust your rotation on the fly (say, a healer who chooses to use cheaper spells while it's active, or a damage-dealer who saves a charge of their hardest-hitting ability), you're going to get more value out of the new trait than someone who ignores it.

That part though, much better. Flat % damage increase is lazy and everyone gets the benefit from it, but having a proc like this, just like the pre-legendary ring from WoD, you'll have people who just do whatever and use their strong CDs and ability procs while their artifact proc isnt up and end up doing a fair bit less damage than a player who doesn't bother with keeping track of it.

On the other hand, though, if the proc rate is too low, you may run into times where you keep your big hits waiting for that proc to come, and then it never comes, and never comes, until you'd have been better off using your big hits outside of the proc anyway. This already happens for certain classes. Though Lore made another reply on that thread saying they aimed for the proc rate to be consistent, but that will remain to see.

 

In general though I think the people saying they should get rid of last trait entirely have the better idea... Or another one I read in that thread about having only one point in that extra trait, and then you're done. No more grinding, it's easy to get 1 point in that trait after you max out your artifact, and everyone is on an even playing field. Would be great!

I don't really have a problem with changing from a flat 5% increase to a proc as long as the proc rate is consistent (like, at least 1-2 ppm on an internal cooldown or something so it reliably procs at the same time every time), but making it take waaaay more AP for every trait is stupid because then people will never finish it (hence people calling it Infinity heh...) Even though the power gap is "supposedly" smaller it doesn't really change that people will still feel like they need to get it... and let's be honest the difference between someone at 1 (or another comparatively low amount) and someone at 50 will still be significant so you can't just stop bothering with AP after getting your first point.

Edited by Ammako
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Well his comments have reasons. moving from DMG % to Main stat is a nice thing, easier to understand for a crowd of those who do not know what % is. 
Proc trait in general it is fine, but but but, if we assume that proc model will be designed by those who made trinkets and Artifact Dragon proc talents things would be terrible. In the end I am afraid that we will end up with 30% of classes who have constant procs due to their mechanic (auto attacks, crits, etc) and others will have a big fat fish because artifact will almost never proc. (Like every time you use a specific spell, lay a HoT or something like that).

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10 hours ago, Ammako said:

Terrible reasoning imo and doesn't actually mean anything. This is better because now it'll be harder to know exactly the cause of a wipe?

The point is that Blizz is trying to help the 99.9% of raiders out there that think they're wiping because of a lack of gear rather than a lack of aptitude to understand the reality of the situation. I think it's a great idea.

 

Also, be nice to Todd.

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10 hours ago, Ammako said:

and let's be honest the difference between someone at 1 (or another comparatively low amount) and someone at 50 will still be significant so you can't just stop bothering with AP after getting your first point.

You can stop, whenever you want. 

But for those who want the absolute most out of their character they can get, however ridiculously small that amount may be, the opportunity is there.  Like they said,

 

10 hours ago, Starym said:

but it's purpose is to be a fairly reliable form of progression.

 

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42 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

You can stop, whenever you want. 

But for those who want the absolute most out of their character they can get, however ridiculously small that amount may be, the opportunity is there.  Like they said,

Sure you "can". But then you gimp yourself and then what's the point anymore.

More casual players already don't really bother trying to get as much AP as possible for their extra trait, all this does it hurt higher-end raiders even more while casual players continue not caring.

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31 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Goddammit Todd. 

This! Every raid leader knows that the first step is to find somebody to blame for wipes! DPS blame tanks for dying, tanks blame healers for lack of healing, healers blame DPS stretching the fight so long that they run oom.

What I am more worried about is how this change will play out in PvP (especially ranked). The impact of gear quality is reduced by templates, but artifacts aren't normalized and they stand out. Primary stat procs - even in small increments - might very well shift PvP out of balance, even more than a flat %.

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Blizzard no longer caters to higher end raiders. Higher end raiders take up less than 1% of the player population. They care about the 99%. They made it ideal for the 99%, and not as necessary for the 1%, who get screwed if they deem it necessary. Simple as that.

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12 minutes ago, Sharknad0 said:

Blizzard no longer caters to higher end raiders. Higher end raiders take up less than 1% of the player population. They care about the 99%. They made it ideal for the 99%, and not as necessary for the 1%, who get screwed if they deem it necessary. Simple as that.

Oh, youre absolutely right (also I dont think they ever catered to them), but this is getting a little extreme, as guilds are quitting left and right, so they might consider fixing it. The real problem/depressing thought is that they had this sorted before Legion's release, Ion himself said that legendaries wouldnt work the first few weeks of Mythic raids and it's an easy addition to add in the final trait to that system (which is a system the HC guilds suggested over and over back in beta).

So it's less about catering to them and more about maybe not utterly murdering your high-end PVE scene.

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58 minutes ago, Starym said:

Oh, youre absolutely right (also I dont think they ever catered to them), but this is getting a little extreme, as guilds are quitting left and right, so they might consider fixing it.

This exaggeration has been thrown around for a good long while now. Maybe the people you know are quitting but others are taking their place.

Also, to try and provide an endless form of entertainment without some progression involved would be pointless. Some form progression will always be the bane of those who feel forced to do everything and in their minds don't want to gimp themselves. Maybe those people could come to the conclusion that they're really only compelled to grind themselves into melancholy as a result of their own faulty conclusions. They're prisoners of their own minds as it were.

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39 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

This exaggeration has been thrown around for a good long while now. Maybe the people you know are quitting but others are taking their place.

Also, to try and provide an endless form of entertainment without some progression involved would be pointless. Some form progression will always be the bane of those who feel forced to do everything and in their minds don't want to gimp themselves. Maybe those people could come to the conclusion that they're really only compelled to grind themselves into melancholy as a result of their own faulty conclusions. They're prisoners of their own minds as it were.

In the case of the competitive guilds this isn't the case. They have to go as hard as they possibly can or others will. My personal complaint about the system isn't that it's a grind or long or whatever, it's that the solution to the HC raider problem (and it IS a problem, you can talk around it all you like but this extra layer of farm added to the usual gear split heroic raids etc is really too much for progression raiders) is so simple, was planned to be implemented AND it would act as a natural "soft nerf" over time for all guilds that do Mythic.

And no, it isn't "people I know" that are quitting, it's (so far) 3 top 10 guilds, with 2 of the top 3 having solid to serious roster issues because people can't/don't want to do the endless Maw grindfest anymore. Personally I like the AP system as I don't feel compelled to have to farm it, as I think most people don't, but that doesn't mean Blizz should ignore the simple solutions they themselves already wanted to use (but then decided not to without any explanation or reason given).

As for others taking their place, the higher the barrier of participation for top guilds is, the less talented/skilled the players in them become. Basically it turns into not the best of the best going for world firsts but the ones that can play 24/7 at ALL TIMES. It was already crazy before AP and legendaries, but it was relatively limited to the 2-3 weeks of progress every 5ish months. Now to be "good enough" to compete you have to play constantly and do Maw runs ad infinitum to even have one SPEC on par.

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30 minutes ago, Starym said:

And no, it isn't "people I know" that are quitting, it's (so far) 3 top 10 guilds, with 2 of the top 3 having solid to serious roster issues because people can't/don't want to do the endless Maw grindfest anymore.

No offense but it is "people you know." Those guilds are constantly in flux as members come and go and join other guilds. Heck, even Method had a pseudo collapse and spawned an entire separate guild from its turmoil. This has been the state of things for a good while now. Perhaps you remember them different than they were. Check out the Internet Archive and look up the wow forums for a good taste of how things were.

As to the point of farming: How do you provide endless progression without providing progression?

Should they not? Should they just have a hard cap BiS and done? Do you think that would retain more people. I don't. Farming has always been in the game whether in the form of valor or random stat gear or whatever it was. It is a major mechanic that is used to keep us playing.

The challenge for hardcore raiders is to tell themselves that the other 0.2% DPS increase they might get isn't worth the 6 weeks it's going to take to get it. That is the conclusion that Blizz is trying to lead them to by making very clear efforts to remove any dramatic power disparities at end game without removing all of them.

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2 hours ago, Starym said:

So it's less about catering to them and more about maybe not utterly murdering your high-end PVE scene.

^ This

I really don't think making the last trait only 1 trait would count as "catering to the high-end PvE scene."

I mean, have artifacts stop at 34 traits, with no final extra trait (or only one rank of the extra trait that provides flat 5% damage increase, or that primary stat proc): none of the more casual players care, and the high-end PvE scene is thankful for it.

Have artifact continue past 34 with dozens of additional points to put into a trait with vastly increased AP requirement for every trait, the more casual players still don't care, and the high-end players suffer. For no reason.

Sure, call it "catering to the 1%" if you want (and I'm not directing this at you Starym, just anyone in general), but I don't think any of the solutions proposed would hurt more casual players in any way, so why would it be a bad thing?

I can totally understand the want to always have something to progress towards, so even for more casual players, removing Paragon trait or capping it at 1 point might not be ideal, but that idea of disabling Paragon trait's bonuses in PvE for the first few weeks of a new raid's release has no downsides, or at least I can't think of any. More casual players can continue gaining traits at their own pace, and high-end raiders aren't required to spend so much time grinding the same thing for hours like it was two full-time jobs at once in order to compete.

Win/win in my eyes, but they'll never do that.

11 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

The challenge for hardcore raiders is to tell themselves that the other 0.2% DPS increase they might get isn't worth the 6 weeks it's going to take to get it. That is the conclusion that Blizz is trying to lead them to by making very clear efforts to remove any dramatic power disparities at end game without removing all of them.


And no matter how hard they try to do that, they will. Always. Fail.

The high-end raiding scene relies on that less-than-1% disparity to remain ahead of the others. They're more likely to quit bothering with staying competitive entirely before they do that.

Which I guess is fine? The game won't die and nobody will die if no one is ever competitive anymore, but what's the harm in letting them actually have fun and enjoy the competitive race?

Edited by Ammako

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@Prophet001 Um I think you're arguing with the wrong guy here. What I'm saying is that they need to disable legendaries and the final AP trait for the first two/three weeks of mythic. That's all I'm saying. I like the AP system and think it's a good thing in general (but they really need to address the alt/offspec problem it creates).

Also I've been following/writing about the progress race for around 7 years now, so I'd say my qualifications for having a good feel for when things are different is pretty decent, and yes, I'll reiterate, Legion has seen more problems in top end raiding than any expansion before and it's because of legendaries/AP.

Also also, to your 0.2% point, Gul'dan has survived on 0.3% and under for several guilds, taking them either a number of extra tries or in some cases hours or even days to get him down. If you think that doesn't impact the race and a serious team can just say "fuck it, we don't need that small boost to dps etc" you really don't follow the very top end of the race much (which is fine, why would you, but then please don't come arguing about it without facts).

You seem to be under the impression I'm against the infinite trait itself or the AP system, which is not the case. Perhaps you're actually arguing with someone else and using me as a proxy? :D I've noticed this AP issue makes a lot of people get somewhat upset and that hurts a normal discourse, although I can't really pinpoint why. My guess is this is just another round of the casual vs hardcore discussion, except this time it's the hardcores "whining".

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23 minutes ago, Starym said:

@Prophet001 Um I think you're arguing with the wrong guy here. What I'm saying is that they need to disable legendaries and the final AP trait for the first two/three weeks of mythic. That's all I'm saying. I like the AP system and think it's a good thing in general (but they really need to address the alt/offspec problem it creates).

I was just responding to your points.

...responded to the:

3 hours ago, Starym said:

Oh, youre absolutely right (also I dont think they ever catered to them), but this is getting a little extreme, as guilds are quitting left and right, so they might consider fixing it.

...point and the:

1 hour ago, Starym said:

And no, it isn't "people I know" that are quitting, it's (so far) 3 top 10 guilds, with 2 of the top 3 having solid to serious roster issues because people can't/don't want to do the endless Maw grindfest anymore.

...point.

Anyway, to the point of disabling legendaries and the final trait until there's enough power gain from current tier gear to make them irrelevant might be a good solution. I don't know. Seems to me like only Blizzard knows how they've tuned the encounter. Surely you remember Mythic Archimonde and the outcry over having to grind the legendary ring to be relevant. The very same legendary ring that Method downed him without. I would say that gave evidence that the community's perspective is not always right. If it's not always right then maybe its wrong right now. Can you definitively say that gear is the stopping block of the guilds that haven't yet downed Mythic Gul'dan? How about the guilds that came in out of the top 5 on downing him? Was it only gear that caused that? Heck Method themselves would tell you that they lost due to execution issues.

Also, if you've decided to divide your argument into one that's simultaneously for AP and legendaries and against AP and legendaries (as a mythic raider delegate) then I guess I am responding to someone else through proxy. That someone is you though.

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Could they beat Mythic without having maxed out their Paragon trait? Likely.

Could they have an even easier time doing it if they maxed it, compared to other guilds who weren't doing it? Absolutely.

That's the point you're missing here. That Method beat Mythic Archimonde back in WoD without the legendary ring is hardly relevant. Not to mention that little other guilds at the time had the ring either, considering the RNG involved with getting the 33 tomes.

Edited by Ammako

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Anyway,  my one and only point is that hardcore raiders do have things to complain about, that they are right in complaining about them from their perspective and that Blizzard has a very easy fix that would also improve the mythic raiding experience for non top 5 guilds as well. I added in my personal opinion as a casual, but that was beside the point (aka my personal opinion of MY experience with AP).

Also, as to your Archimonde point, you seemed to have completely ignored mine about the 0.3% and under wipes THIS raid progress. That obviously indicates that, yes, factually, even the small gains from the 50 point infinity talent WILL influence the race. Will it absolutely influence it every single time every single boss kill? No, but the mere potential for it to will drive the raiders to get as many points as they can and kill themselves in Maw. If there is an edge to get, whether it's gear or AP or legendaries, all top guilds that care about rankings will go out of their way to get it, right to the point when they get frustrated with the grind and quit (which has happened 3 times in this particular progress race).

Now, as to the fact that they shouldn't WANT to get that extra 0.2%, that's never going to happen so it's completely pointless to argue it, Blizzard have to address the situation they created for these top end raiders if they want a (serious) competition at the top (as you said, there will always be guilds filling out the spots of those that quit, but as you can see from Gul'dan, the difference between the very top and the rest is huge, so when From Scratch quits, it's no lover the "top 4" and then x days til kill, but top 3, then when Exorsus quits it'll be the "top 2" and then weeks til kill etc etc). Now, whetehr Blizzard want/care about a serious top end raiding scene is another discussion entirely (personally I think they don't, or at least not enough to in any, however minor way, affect the rest of the game.

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On 24-2-2017 at 8:41 AM, Starym said:

Anyway,  my one and only point is that hardcore raiders do have things to complain about, that they are right in complaining about them from their perspective and that Blizzard has a very easy fix that would also improve the mythic raiding experience for non top 5 guilds as well. I added in my personal opinion as a casual, but that was beside the point (aka my personal opinion of MY experience with AP).

Also, as to your Archimonde point, you seemed to have completely ignored mine about the 0.3% and under wipes THIS raid progress. That obviously indicates that, yes, factually, even the small gains from the 50 point infinity talent WILL influence the race. Will it absolutely influence it every single time every single boss kill? No, but the mere potential for it to will drive the raiders to get as many points as they can and kill themselves in Maw. If there is an edge to get, whether it's gear or AP or legendaries, all top guilds that care about rankings will go out of their way to get it, right to the point when they get frustrated with the grind and quit (which has happened 3 times in this particular progress race).

Now, as to the fact that they shouldn't WANT to get that extra 0.2%, that's never going to happen so it's completely pointless to argue it, Blizzard have to address the situation they created for these top end raiders if they want a (serious) competition at the top (as you said, there will always be guilds filling out the spots of those that quit, but as you can see from Gul'dan, the difference between the very top and the rest is huge, so when From Scratch quits, it's no lover the "top 4" and then x days til kill, but top 3, then when Exorsus quits it'll be the "top 2" and then weeks til kill etc etc). Now, whetehr Blizzard want/care about a serious top end raiding scene is another discussion entirely (personally I think they don't, or at least not enough to in any, however minor way, affect the rest of the game.

Hardcore raiders always have something to complain about. They've always HAD something to complain about. And they always will. Because the world doesn't revolve around them, and it never will. Because hardcore raiding, in all honesty, is some of the saddest time investments within the relatively 'useless' time investment that WoW itself is and always has been.

It takes a while to realize the pointlessness of it all, for some it takes over a decade to get there. But they get there eventually. It's that simple. There's no reward, there's a huge time sink, and all of it is fleeting success as the 'firsts' are forgotten every time a new expansion comes out. Every expac, all progress is essentially wiped, and this has been going for 10 years. So here we are, halfway into Legion expac, discussing pro's and cons of an infinitely scalable talent? Does anyone realize how POINTLESS that discussion really is? The next item tiers will render all of this discussion worthless. We may be discussing an issue that will be gone within 1 year, or maybe a year and a half.

There's a good reason its only 'the 1%' doing top end content right now. The other 99% actually has a life.

No single game mechanic should cater to the 1%. They are irrelevant. What is relevant is an enjoyable game, and a relative power from player to player that allows every player to enjoy the game. The 1% actively tries to evade and surpass that principle, and then concludes 'the game doesn't cater to them'. No shit? Someone in this topic earlier pointed out how people are 'prisoners of their own mind'. This applies mostly to that 1%. And it applies to everyone who has the illusion of being a part of that 1%, or wants to be one.

Ultimately what Blizzard is doing with the legendary system, both weapon and spec drops, is creating a time sink and sense of progression in a game that has been played a few dozen times over already. There's only so much creativity you can expect here, and I think the current setup is a pretty good one. An infinite trait won't change that reality in any way, and whether you get 1 point in it or 50 really is quite irrelevant to the content you'll be doing. It's a trait that exists for its psychological effect, it exists to make you *feel* like you accomplished something, when in fact you're just playing the same game as you always have.

Let's not kid ourselves otherwise.

Edited by Vayra
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Hardcore raiders always have something to complain about. They've always HAD something to complain about. And they always will. Because the world doesn't revolve around them, and it never will. Because hardcore raiding, in all honesty, is some of the saddest time investments within the relatively 'useless' time investment that WoW itself is and always has been.

I Disagree with this statement. Going back a few expansions and you get less and less grind based competitive methods. If we have a quick look back at wrath for a moment the only advantages you could get over other plays with prep was Pots, food, enchants, Professions and class diversity. With the AP system your ranking is also a factor and one that determined players will grind out. I believe raiders will take any opportunity to boost there performance.  You say its a psychological trick to inspire. But its more likely to have the reverse effect. people getting exhausted and burnt out trying to cap.  The only real way to balance this out is to either lower the cap. Because once a hardcore raider hits that end point. There is that sense of finally... From a high tier perspective it frees up time for research or just generally doing more things. Aiming for that higher loot. From a mid teir perspective. It means your good to raid most content and can focus on either farming your off spec or start on an alt.

I personally believe the updated 50 point is designed to punish hardcore players pushing themselves to be the top and be the best and most ready before going into a raid. while a lower cap would benefit them by removing a lot of painful grinding and stress it would benefit more casual raiders as well. But that's just my thoughts on the matter.

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On 2/23/2017 at 9:00 AM, Ammako said:

all this does it hurt higher-end raiders even more

How?  They get continual progression until they hit the extremely high cap.

It's not much, but they also don't want it to be super overpowering to have a high AP level alone.  They stated as much already.

It's progression.  Guaranteed progression, albeit incrementally smaller each time.  It promotes Alt-ing, it promotes off-spec'ing.  Variety. 

Look back a few expansions ago.  If you didn't get any upgrades that week, how much progression did you make?  0.  none. 

Even if you get zero this week, you can still do some AP farming and get SOMETHING.  Warforging/socketing helped.  Titanforging adds another layer of possibility.  AP gains that continually offer SOMETHING while still needing more and more to get, are just another step.  I honestly cannot see how this 'hurts' high end raiders, unless they max it out, considering in previous expansions if you got the 25m version of your trinket you had NOTHING to upgrade and no hope of an 'uproll.'

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      And, of course, congratulations to everyone that helped out in the endeavor, it was an amazing performance by all involved!
    • By Starym
      New hotfixes and this time around there's a whooole lot of dungeon changes to non-boss enemies as well as a tragic modification to Fetid Devourer's classic walk. M+ affixes were also tuned, with a Grievous nerf and a Bursting buff. The Elixir of Tongues has also made an appearance, allowing you to understand the opposing faction, and you can buy it from Lizzi Liverzapper. There's also Island Expedition fixes and a few PvP changes as well.
      December 14 (source)
      Classes
      Hunter Marksmanship Double Tap will no longer be immediately consumed for no benefit if it is activated while channeling Rapid Fire . Dungeons and Raids
      Grievous should no longer stack to 2 on the first periodic. Increasing damage of Bursting to 7% per tick (was 5%). Atal’Dazar Removed Infested from several stationary enemies in the instance. Kings’ Rest Adjusted spawns of Teeming in the instance immediately before and after the Golden Serpent. Animated Guardian’s Released Inhibitors only increases Melee haste. Lowered duration of King A’akul’s Hidden Blade to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds. Lowered Embalming Fluid DoT duration to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds). Lowered Golden Serpent’s Animated Gold health by 75%. Lowered Guard Captain Atu’s Axe Barrage to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds). Queen Patlaa’s Dark Shot changed. It now takes 1.5 seconds to land. Reduced Spectral Berserker Severing Blade damage by 25%. Seneschal M’bara is now level 120 and is susceptible to crowd control. Spectral Berserker is now level 120 and is susceptible to crowd control. Motherlode Adjusted spawns of Teeming in the instance. Reduced Venture Co. Mastermind Leech Globule healing by 50% Increased Feckless Assistant Transfiguration Serum recast to 20 seconds (was 10 seconds). Reduced Weapon Testers Echo Blade damage by 50%. Reduced damage of Venture Co. Earthshaper’s Rock Lance by 25%. Reduced Recast of Earthshaper’s Earth Shield to 20 seconds (was 10 seconds). Wanton Sapper casts Final Blast at 10% health (was at 20%). Sethrallis Increased recast of Healing Wave cast by Charged Dust Devil to 16 seconds (was 10 seconds). Reduced duration of Sandswept Marksman Neurotoxin to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds). Faithless Tender’s Greater Heal is now single target. Reduced melee damage of Faithless Conscript by 70%. Increased respawn of Faithless Conscripts to 50 seconds (was 60 seconds). Shrine of the Storm Lowered damage of Temple Attendant’s Wash Away by 25%. Wash Away no longer hits pets and guardians. Runecarver Sorn’s Carve Flesh initial damage reduced by 75%, but is now increased by 70% per tick. Increased recast on Drowned Depthbringer’s Rip Mind to 16 seconds (was 8 seconds). Removed Infested from the Living Current before Aqu’sirr. Siege of Boralus Reduced damage of Blacktar Bomber’s Burning Tar initial damage by 50% and Fire Bomb by 25%. Adjusted spawns of Teeming and Infested in the instance. Increased cast time of Ashvane Commander’s Bolstering Shout to 5 seconds (was 3 seconds). Reduced Hadal Darkfathom’s Break Water unavoidable damage by 25%. Reduced range on Bilge Rat Demolisher Terrifying Roar to 10 yards (was 30 yards), and added a precast visual. Tol Dagor The Sand Queen’s Buzzing Drone no longer melees, but casts Itchy Bite much more frequently. Ashvane Marine’s Suppression Fire initial damage removed, but periodic damage immediately deals damage. Overseer Korgus Incendariy Rounds no longer stacks. Heavy Cannon’s Cannon Blast damage should now scale with the Keystone Level of the dungeon. The Underrot Increased recast on Devout Blood Priest abilities. Reduced Fanatical Headhunter Barbed Spear duration to 4 seconds (was 8 seconds). Reduced duration of Warcry to 8 seconds (was 30 seconds). Elder Leaxa will now only spawn one Blood Mirror clone. Waycrest Manor Deathtouched Slaver is now susceptible to Stun. Maddened Survivalist Freezing Trap is now Magic. Uldir Fixed a bug with the way Fetid Devourer uses his walk. No time to talk. Island Expeditions
      Resolved an issue in Jorundall that could cause the Southsea Pirate invasion to spawn a pirate ship in Fatigue waters. Items
      Players are now able to purchase Elixir of Tongues from Lizzi Liverzapper. Using and applying the potion will allow players to be able to understand the opposite faction. Captain's Signet of Command is now item level 395 (was 380) to match its Horde counterpart. Scouting Maps should again show up on the Honorbound and 7th Legion vendors and display the Pathfinder requirement to buy it if you do not have that achievement yet. Fixed an issue where Cloak of the Restless Tribes was not scaling properly after exiting a Timewalking dungeon. Player versus Player
      Monk Wind Waker will put a spell visual on the Monk when an ally triggers it. Paladin Ultimate Retribution will now cancel when Divine Shield or Blessing of Protection is applied. World Quests
      It is now raining additional mana for the Nazmir Assault World Quests "It's Raining Mana " and "Untapped Potential ". Previous hotfixes.
    • By Starym
      The folks over at Warcraft Secrets are hard at work, with The Hivemind mount still eluding them. But that may not be the case for long, as some secrets have already been revealed and a whole lot of clues found. As a reminder, the mount is presumed to be multi-person, and each person on it speeds it up by 10%, so it's one of the most unique mounts to come to WoW in a long time. In any case, there's colored crystal monocles and a lot of puzzle games involved, as well as everyone's favorite shopkeeper Griftah, who starts the whole thing off with the Talisman of True Treasure Tracking which then leads you to Vashj'ir, Skyreach and the Halls of Origination to start with.
      This one's definitely going to be a tricky hunt and you can check out the full guide for all the parts discovered so far and even help out with the search over at Warcraft-secrets.com.

      And, of course, as always, you can also join the Secret Finding Discord to share your findings and get really into the secrets and mysteries of WoW.
    • By Stan
      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas recently answered some Battle for Azeroth questions submitted by the Greek WoW community before the expansion came out and here's a summary of the Q&A. We learn more about the removal of Master Loot, Warforging/Titanforging and the stat squish system.
      Q&A Highlights
      The team is excited about Mythic+, but at the same time they realize the incentive to run Mythic+ content with a lower barrier of entry has somewhat affected raiding in general and they're going to continue adding new benefits that are distinctly compelling to make sure raiding is still popular. They wanted to disable gear swapping in Mythic dungeons sooner but felt like doing it in the middle of an expansion in Legion would be bad. An entire Mythic+ dungeon is viewed in a lot of ways just like a single boss encounter, meaning no gear/talent swapping even when you drop out of combat over the course of the run. They're always looking for each spec to have a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses in PvP and that's hard in a game with 36 specializations. If you're Class is highly mobile, it's going to have less survivability. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can expect to be tankier if you have less mobility. The team mainly focuses on increasing strengths as opposed to mitigating weaknesses. The alternative of always trying to bolster weaknesses leads to a state where everyone's kind of average at everything and that's a less interesting game to play in their opinion. With work done to the stat squish system in Battle for Azeroth, future stat squishes should be fairly easy to execute. They've overhauled every single spell and creature from 2004 through 2018 to complement the new system. No stat squish is needed for at least one expansion. Stat squishes are there to prevent numbers from spiraling out of control when there's no gameplay value out of it. Paladins and Druids in the Legion environment already bring plenty of utility, so they decided not to bring back Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild in the end. They're going to add more abilities to Classes whenever there's a need for differentiation. Years ago, loot was much harder to come by. Over the years, the game moved away from a space where you just kill a boss or run some content week after week and never see the item you want. Drop rates are now higher across the board, so you're effectively spending less time getting the item you want. Warforging and Titanforging keep some level of interest and potential growth in those repeated clears and create the opportunity for everything to happen, giving you more incentive to continue raiding the same tier. Sco got a Warforged socketed Polearm halfway through progress that was a giant upgrade for him on his tank that made an immediate difference. In a world where loot is more common, the rare opportunities to have these amazing items retains some moments of excitement. You're much better off doing a high Mythic+ rather than clearing old content for a small chance to get an upgrade. This was a problem especially in Legion, where players went back to clear Emerald Nightmare for a chance to get Legendaries or Titanforged versions of Class sets. That wasn't healthy for the game and they decided to move away from that. The benefits of removing Master Loot have outweighed the downsides so far and there are three things: On the lower end of the organization spectrum, there are guilds that go through trials and historically in the Master Loot world, guilds had very strict control of loot and trials were not allowed to get any loot. For the time and effort spent, the trial would get literally nothing out of it if the guild decided to not make the player a part of the roster. On the high end of the spectrum, we've seen top guilds run the same raid over and over to funnel gear to specific mains. Split raiding made it difficult to balance encounters and provide a challenge for Method and other guilds while still being a fun and satisfying progression experience for the majority of Mythic guilds in weeks to follow. Method's item level during the first week of Mythic would be higher than what typical guilds would have to work with a month later. It worked well in Uldir. Bosses like Mythrax, G'huun and even Vectis were challenges for top guilds without needing massive nerfs. Finally, it lets the team itemize in a somewhat different way. When Master Loot was an option, they had to design loot tables around the possibility of Master Loot, so very niche items (useful only to a handful of people) would drop even though there would be nobody in the raid to wear them. They think the raid composition in place since Warlords (LFR/Normal/Heroic/Mythic) is the right for World of Warcraft. LFR/Normal are serving totally different audiences. LFR is not a social or progress experience. Normal difficulty is for friends and family groups. In Mists, Normal difficulty was similar to Heroic today, groups found LFR unsatisfying and Normal as it was then to be too difficult, that's why Normal exists today in its current form.
    • By Starym
      We have some incoming class tuning next week, with some flat % buffs for Feral Druids and Frost Mages, applied to both PvE and PvP.
      Class Tuning for December 18 (source)
      With scheduled maintenance next week, starting on December 18 in American realms, we’re focusing on shoring up a couple of specs that fell a little behind with Tides of Vengeance:
      Druid
      Feral Damage of all abilities increased by 7%. Mage
      Frost Damage of all spells increased by 3%. Both of these adjustments will apply to PvP activities as well.