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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      I just want to end this by plugging the correct channels to report bugs in.
      To report a bug in-game: Click Help to open the Customer Support window.
      Click Submit Bug.
      Enter the details of the bug, making sure to follow the guidelines outlined on the submission form.
      Click Submit.
      You can also report bugs over in the Bug Reporting Forum here:
      https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/1012660/

      If you'd like to report something like an exploit and not advertise it, a way you can report that it is here:
      https://us.blizzard.com/en-us/submit/hacks.html
       
      This is not the case at all on any point that you've made. The MVPs@blizzard.com email address is for any and all concerns regarding the MVPs. Please stop trying to spread false information in threads.  
      Updated.
      Well this is a little sad, or great depending on your outlook - Rextroy, the Paladin who recently soloed both MOTHER and Vectis in Uldir (with Vecits taking all of 0.5 seconds) with very, very creative use of game mechanics, got banned for a month. The Vectis kill in particular seemed to be a sore spot, as it got him reported many times, but there's still no word from Blizzard on what specific incident caused the ban.
       
      Check out Rextroy's thoughts on the matter below and check back later in the week when we'll be posting an in-depth interview with the new solo king (or rather, highest profile soloer at the moment), focusing on the exploit/creative use of game mechanics dichotomy.
    • By Starym
      The community is split over Rextroy's solo kills, especially the recent ones in Uldir, and the age-old argument over what constitutes an exploit and a bannable offense has returned. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter, but Blizzard has stepped in and given their opinion, with Rextroy receiving a 1 month ban earlier today. We were already in the middle of an in-depth interview with the man himself when the ban hit, so we're going to be splitting in into two, with today's focusing on the ban itself, as well as what he thinks of the exploit vs. creative use of game mechanics issue. We also get to hear about how he could have used the mechanics he found to one-shot Mythic bosses, but instead decided to do it on Normal.
       
      What are your thoughts on the ban in general?
      Well it feels quite bad, but I was prepared to someday be banned for the things I do, most of my major solo kills use some kind of "cheese" or unintended interaction between abilities. However, it was never to gain any competitive advantage over other players. I do really wish I knew what the exact reason I was banned was (if it was for Vectis… killing people in Stormsong, stacking traits for one shotting people in Arena or something else)

      Do you feel like more of a beta tester for Blizzard? You’ve said in the past that you send the reports in advance of posting your videos.
      I don’t send reports on all the videos, I only do it on the major ones that could be exploited for competitive gain (the Vectis one and one earlier back in Legion, when you could turn immune to damage and solo bosses).
      One thing I need to clarify about the monkey - guard one shot combo that I saw people talk about is my use of it in Stormsong Valley VS Uldir. I did use the same tactic a few weeks ago to one shot people in Stormsong. I didn’t bother to report about it back because I never thought it were anything major. You could spend 30 minutes to gather up guards, to turn into a slow moving one shot machine that couldn’t chase anyone that didn’t engage. And that had 2 easy counters: killing the monkey and other alliance players. At the time I just thought that it was something silly broken for WPvP (like a lot of other things), I didn’t think about the Uldir strat back then and that it could be used in bigger ways than expected.
      When I discovered about the raid warlock summon tactic, I kept trying it until I got the timing right. I had my friends wait probably 8 hours in total until I finally got it down (I have really good friends!) This cheesy strat however, I realized could be used for Mythic progress etc, so I asked WoWhead if they could help me get in contact with someone from Blizzard, which they helped me with!
      I reported it to them and they fixed it within a few hours. After that I uploaded the video since it's quite an insane bug and I was sure most people would enjoy seeing it, however wouldn't be able to take advantage of it. (And no I got no ingame advantage from it, I don’t care about the 355 trinket since I got great 365 ones)
      Now to get back to the point, I guess I feel a bit like a QA tester, however I don’t fault Blizzard for having these bugs not fixed. They are quite out of the box and most people wouldn’t think of them.

      Is 1 month too much for a first infraction?
      It's my first infraction, and I would have liked a warning!... Or at least an email saying the exact reason I got banned.

      How did the ban make you feel?
      Well I did get a bit surprised since I talked to a US customer manager about it, and the team seemed alright with my videos, and since I made sure to have it fixed before uploading the Vectis kill so no one could abuse it…
      I am currently appealing the ban, seems like the EU devs suspending me didn’t know that I had contact with them from US. Will see where it leads. However, if the ban stays I feel a bit uncertain what things that are ingame are considered exploits, and which things are considered clever use.

      So the big question at the center of everything: what is an exploit and what is creative use of game mechanics? Do you consider what you do exploiting/cheating?
      This is one of the questions I am sure a lot of people wonder about and that I can’t give an answer to, don’t think anyone can. I don’t actually consider what I do exploiting. I personally consider exploiting using tactics to gain an unfair advantage in a competitive sense. Nothing (in my opinion) that I have done so far has been with a competitive advantage. My solos back in Legion usually took 6-9 hours to defeat a single boss. Vectis one shot took A LOT of hours to get the timing right (it also took a lot of time from my friends helping me, who didn’t get any loot) and Mother solo also took a long time to bring all the worms. All of this could be done much MUCH faster with a standard group.
      If I had used the tactic (with the monkey and a group of friends) to one shot mythic bosses and gain gear and achievements from it that I needed, I would consider it exploiting, since I would be using it to gain an advantage.
      Now some people can bring up the point about the Last Surprise one shot. I don’t consider that an exploit either since it really is just stacking up 3 traits… That would be like a talent being OP and people using it would be exploiting. Is using something overpowered an exploit?

      At what point do you feel an exploit should be punished with a ban?
      This is really hard to tell, there are a lot of exploits which aren’t ban worthy by my own definition. Such as the Spellsteal incident back in Legion in Black Rook Hold (spellstealing a buff to gain a huge damage increase in a competitive sense). According to my own definition it is an exploit... but it is such a simple and obvious exploit (using a class ability) so that it in no way deserves a ban. It is more of an oversight from Blizzards part.
      If you found something huge, game-breaking that would take days for Blizzard to fix and would ruin things such as the Arena ladder, World First Mythic Race, crash the server and you intentionally use it simply to maliciously grief the things listed then I would consider it ban-worthy.
      However, I wouldn’t say most other things are ban-worthy. I really enjoy the creativity players have when they find things. If I were a game developer and people found unique ways to play through challenges I put in front of them I might fix their method (if it is broken), but I would approve of them thinking outside the box and discovering things, never ban them. It would be my own mistake for letting it slip into players hands. I do wish Blizzard would put a better definition when it comes to clever use and exploits. It feels really vague right now.

      Do you have any alts you’d continue your solo attempts on in this month (or in general if you got perma-banned)?
      I didn’t have any major solo plan this month (I did think about some m+), but Uldir wise I am temporarily out of ideas. Might discover some of course, but thought about focusing on some guides / PvP. I will most likely wait out the monthly ban if it ain't appealed and then return afterwards. If I someday were perma banned I'm quite positive I would create a new acc (I wouldn’t give up on Rextroy easily tho!)

      You don’t actually “profit” from these kills in terms of gear, correct? Your gear is above the one you get from them and you presumably have a raid group that’s on Heroic or higher difficulty?
      I currently got 368. So far I haven’t benefited gear wise from any of my solo kills (both in Legion and BfA). Have read a lot of people saying I exploited to get the trinket from Vectis but I could happily delete it since I don’t feel I got any use of it. I got 365 trinkets right now.

      Have you ever run across anything as ridiculous as the Vectis trick/bug? What would be your second and third favorites?
      Vectis is surely one of my top ones, however there are two back in Legion I felt really happy about finding.
      The first one is a bug when you became immune to damage taken inside the Antorus raid. I could if I wanted to solo a lot of Mythic bosses but I reported it and just demonstrated it on normal High Command (it never went viral tho, most likely because BFA was around the corner).
      My Khadgar “solo” was also hilarious, both of these videos I linked were such ridiculous bugs but also really fun ones. They were amusing to edit as well!
      I kinda want to give an honorable mention to my Kin’garoth solo. I attempted him for quite a long time to try him the normal way (outlive the berserk) and then someday I figured out the strat to bug out the adds and get him down, felt really good finding out about that strat!

      Are you/will you be trying Mythic+ solos?
      Fun thing is that I was going to attempt +8 Motherlode today but then I noticed I got banned… But yes I plan to attempt quite a few of those, will be fun trying it out! I also look forward to future raids to see the boss mechanics / ways around them.

      Will you continue to test out the limits of bosses and try to kill them in the weirdest ways possible in the future?
      Definitely! One of the best feelings is finding out these strange tactics and sharing them with the community (after a fix has been applied if it is too major)!
      It is like the iconic Kazzak Reckoning bomb and Naxx Mage solo videos, people seem to really enjoy those and I feel like it can strengthen the WoW community / keep people interested in the game. Because if people notice these things they can be inspired to play in other unique ways… If you get my point!

      Do you think what you do benefits the game?
      I do think so. I doubt World of Warcraft lost many people because of my videos but hopefully a lot of people stayed / started playing again because they were inspired. When it comes to bug finding I'm sure it benefits the game as well, since Blizzard will know about it for the future and be more on their toes when they release things.

      What would you say to the many community members that reported you and, well, basically hate you because they think what you’re doing is wrong?
      Well I don’t agree with their opinion that what I did was wrong, it is not like I broke anything or gained any major advantage of it. Just simply showed off a cool unique mechanic. I didn’t try to ruin anyone's game!
      With that said I was once much more strict and much less “clever”, always used to play the exact way the game was intended but since I started soloing seriously / finding out all the weird ways around things, I do explore the “clever” part of the game a lot more. I still got a strict sense of not using any exploits for competitive advantages, I am sure some of our community members think I do use it for those reasons but it is not my intent.
       
      That's it for part one and we'll be back next week(ish) with the second, focusing more on Rextroy's WoW background, inspirations for starting up soloing and more.
      What constitues an exploit and a bannable offence, consequences of the ban and more.
    • By Zadina
      You read that title correctly: we may be almost two months into Battle for Azeroth, but a guild managed to down the notorious end boss from the penultimate raiding tier of Legion only yesterday.
      The Feat of Strength was achieved by  <realm first btw> 1 year and 3 months after the release of Mythic Tomb of Sargeras. The guild proceeded to disband afterwards, although -  according to a comment on Reddit - it was originally created with the sole purpose of achieving this realm first kill. They even shared their nerd screams for this great achievement on Twitch.

      Image source: Reddit
      Wyrmrest Accord is one of the most well-known RP servers on the US. Players are obviously not that focused on the competitive aspect of the game, but there's still some raiding presence. Five guilds have cleared Mythic Antorus and four guilds are currently on 2 out of 8 bosses on Mythic Uldir.
      Kil'Jaeden was the only boss that had gotten away. The first guild on Tier 20 killed Mythic Fallen Avatar two weeks before the release of Antorus and it seems that afterwards nobody bothered with clearing Tomb of Sargeras.

      Wowprogress still hasn't updated with the KJ kill - if it ever does, given that it was done by a disbanded guild
      We all remember what a pleasant walkover of a boss Kil'Jaeden was on Mythic difficulty. The big bad guy, thanks to whom the "mathematically impossible" meme was created, remained alive for 19 days when first released. It took Method 3 resets and 654 wipes to achieve the Kil'Jaeden world first, making it one of the hardest bosses in WoW's history.
    • By Stan
      The second Raid Finder wing is now open and players of item level 320 or higher can queue up for Crimson Descent to defeat Fetid Devourer, Vectis, and Zul.
      Halls of Containment (Taloc / Zek'voz, Herald of N'zoth / MOTHER)

      Crimson Descent (Vectis / Zul, Reborn / Fetid Devourer)

      Heart of Corruption (Mythrax, the Unraveler / G'huun)

      The third Raid Finder wing with Mythrax and G'huun will open on October 7th.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Raid Finder Wing 2: Crimson Descent is now available to players who have reached level 120 and have a minimum ilevel of 320. To queue for this new adventure, simply join with Group Finder (I) as either a healer, tank, or damage dealer. Learn more about each of the bosses in this wing through the Adventure Guide (J) in the Raids tab.
      Gallery of Failures: Fetid Devourer
      The experiments within Uldir conducted tests upon countless lifeforms, including several loa who inhabited the forests around Zandalar. After the experiments proved lethal, the remains of the loa were disposed of improperly, much to the delight of the dark consciousness imprisoned within Uldir.
      Plague Vault: Vectis
      The plague of corrupted blood killed countless trolls and began one of the most terrifying periods in Zandalar’s history. The constructs within Uldir studied the disease in search of a cure, but found that only isolation and extermination was effective. Unfortunately, as the facility’s safeguards cracked apart, the plague was accidentally combined with a sample of G’huun’s blood, creating a new entity that hungered for fresh victims.
      The Oblivion Door: Zul, Reborn
      Once the proud leader of the Zanchuli Council, highest advisors to the kings of Zandalar, Zul was praised as the greatest of prophets. Now, the dark prophet has turned on King Rastakhan and would see a true troll empire rule the world once again, even if it means submitting to the blood god G’huun.
      View the complete Uldir raid unlock schedule here.