Jump to content
FORUMS
Stan

No Plans to Allow Flying on Argus

Recommended Posts

GZKu2ml.jpg

Ornyx has been active on the official forums recently, answering questions about flying on Argus. While some players have a feeling of flying "being taken away from them", Blizzard doesn't have any plans to allow it in the new zone.

No flight paths, just Lightforged Beacons, and on top of that, Krokul FluteKrokul Flute upgrades your Flight Master's WhistleFlight Master's Whistle to summon a krokul tunneler to take you to the nearest Lightforged Beacon while on Argus. The item is gated behind Revered reputation with Argussian Reach. Getting around on Argus doesn't seem to be much of an issue, but we'd still like to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Here's a quick summary of what Blizzard had to say about Argus flying:

  • People are upset to have "just earned flying" and now it's "taken away".
  • New zones added in Patch content have never had flying allowed. (except Tanaan, but the zone was only a part of the original overworld of Draenor. It wasn't added in a patch)
  • Argus is not supposed to be a friendly and hospitable place. If you're having trouble getting around Argus, you are probably not paying attention to the landscape.
  • There are no plans to allow flying on Argus. 
  • Flying is not a game's core feature and the community sees it as one for convenience.
  • Isle of Quel'Danas didn't have good terrain to get around, especially for the dailies with the naga (on the east side), so they didn't allow flying in the zone.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The zone is so drab and really feels like nothing more than broken shore 2.0...same atmosphere/scenery just with too much mob density.

We spent months earning pathfinder just to have flying removed yet again.

This is going way too far blizzard, especially with the terrible terrain design on Argus. I hope blizzard will rethink their once again "no flying" debacle before they lose another drove of subscriptions in order to get their attention.

I think plenty of folks disagree with you on the first point, and Argus has been one of the best parts of Legion to me personally, but just to clarify on the second:

This is nothing new, and we don't have any plans to change this going forward. New zones added in patch content have never to my knowledge had flying allowed. Even when flying was introduced in 2.0, flying was not available on the Isle of Quel'danas when it released in 2.4. The same is true of Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle from 5.2 and 5.4. These zones have always been about exploration, with a bit of danger, and Argus fits quite nicely into that theme.

I can understand that you may have recently earned Pathfinder and want to fly, but no one is stopping you from flying anywhere you want over the Broken Isles - but this is Argus.

If you're having trouble getting around Argus, you're probably not paying attention to the landscape. If you're dying in Fel flows, you're probably charging head first into them instead of leaping across the rocks floating about. If you're constantly being tagged by mobs, you're probably missing an easier way around the groups.

Argus isn't supposed to be a friendly and hospitable place, and I wouldn't bet my gold on a demon sitting down for tea with me any time soon. If you're having trouble and finding it difficult to get around and avoid pitfalls, then Argus is working as intended.

With all due respect you guys arent understanding the issue 

Before when new patch content was released without flying.... We had had flying since the moment we hit max level. so we actually got to enjoy is for quite awhile before ti was taken away.

Now, it's taken away very shortly after most people have earned it.... DOESN'T FEEL NEARLY AS GOOD'

I do understand the "issue" but we don't see it as an "issue". You're not on the Broken Isles anymore. 

I think we'd probably try to avoid things like this being so close together in the future, but its just a symptom of timing as far as I'm aware.

Well, perhaps it's time for the development team to acknowledge that flight is actually part of the game and develop content with the idea that we can fly rather than take the mindset of "we don't like flight, so we're going to restrict it--even after making people jump through hoops and holding them back for nearly a year without it."

The genie is out of the bottle. The development team needs to open their minds to that idea rather than constantly look for ways to pull back from it. 

I remember Lich King and the idea that we could fly early. And we flew. And we had fun. It was OK, really. 


Why exactly do the developers feel that only by restricting flight can they give us new things?

We can say buzz phrases like "the genie is out of the bottle" all day, but it doesn't get us anywhere. I think it's been well acknowledged that we are still open to the idea of flight or we wouldn't have flight in any content at all, no? We've moved to meet the community in the middle - that's what Pathfinder has been about. Earn your wings: show you've achieved completion of the content overall and you can fly.

There's not really an attitude of 'close mindedness' on the topic from the development team, we've had plenty of positive discussions on the direction of flying overall. I do think, however, that there are folks in the community who are 'close minded' to entertaining an idea of "maybe you shouldn't be able to fly around and skip all the content when new areas are released". 

I think these conversations need to be a two-way street, and the more we have everyone in the community calling the development team closed minded or pointing fingers, the further we get away from amicable understanding within the community. Of course I've always been happy to have those conversations, but whenever they start they very quickly dive into arguing instead of a discussion on the merits of each approach and that's really not something I want to be apart of.

I also don't think asking pointed, rhetorical questions is going to get us anywhere.

Tanaan. Wonder why you forgot about Tanaan. 
Tanaan. The patch zone that allowed flying. 
Tanaan, the MOST RECENT patch zone before Legion. 
Tanaan, the patch zone from the only other expansion that made you earn Pathfinder to fly before this one. 
Tanaan allowed flying because after you've waited over half a year to earn something, what you want is for it to be useful going forwards.

Tanaan was technically a part of the original overworld of Draenor. It wasn't added in a patch - a door was just opened via your shipyard in patch. 

I don't think they're quite equitable for a number of reasons from how they are accessed, the number of zones, how invasions and world quests function, etc.

Uh, I hope you're saying with timing and not rolling back on content releasing faster.

Yeah, timing wise. I don't have answers in front of me, and it's just my personal opinion, but I think in terms of spacing the fact that flight landed really close to the launch of 7.3 was unfortunate timing. 

I get why people are upset to have "just earned flying" and now its "taken away".

And how much of the terrain in Isle of Quel Denas was made to intentionally impede you? in Timeless Isle?

Well, Quel'Danas was pretty much an experiment of its time, but it did have a good bit of terrain to get around, especially for the dailies on the east side of the islands with the naga and such. Argus is massive compared to Quel'Danas, so most points comparing them are pretty moot.

I don't think the terrain was made to intentionally impede you by way of making you frustrated, as you can easily teleport to any subzone of all three zones, but rather it wants you to not charge head first into everything and actually explore. If that's how we wanted the game to be played, we'd probably just have a flat plane with a couple of trees here and there. 

The most frustrating part of Argus for me has been the area between The Spirit Crucible and the entrance to Antorus in the Antoran Wastes with the demon camps, bridges, and Fel flows, but I found that I was always looking for a shortcut and jumping off ledges instead of taking the route that was laid in front of me. Once I stopped doing that and learned other paths to the areas, I was having a much better time.

Establishing a history of bad decisions doesn't make it right.

Your one-liner is nice and all, but I'd appreciate it if you could explain to me why those were "bad decisions" retrospectively.

Yet its not a core game feature, its a convenient feature that saves time daily on an MMO. I never thought of it as a core feature, as the game doesnt REQUIRE us to have flying to progress anywhere. You can easily play the full game without flying, and you can play it with flying, that does not make it a core feature if you don't require it to finish the game.

This is semantics really but I'd agree that flying is not a core game feature. The community sees it as one for convenience, but in terms of design the game plays the same with and without, so it's pretty far from what I'd consider core.

So Valley of the Four Winds/Tanaris/The Barrens/Desolace/Jade Forest?
Can we have those back? Please? I'll trade a raid tier for well-designed zones again.

Can you adequately explain why pruning game features, making players earn them back, and then pruning them again before the expansion is over is considered a good decision?

In fact, should we start calling expansions contractions if they continually remove content?

I think I remember classic Desolace and Jade Forest very different from you.

Some of us respect you Ornyx. Just because this isn't even worth your time with how 'stupid' some of these people are. I could've used a meaner word but its not worth it. I dont even understand how people seem to think flying is so important. Someone even said its a core feature, when 0% of the game require us to fly to complete it.

I don't think I'd go quite that far. There is a point to be made for flying, and I think it's become a huge part of the game for the community, so it is an important conversation for me. For example, I do think the timing here is what has made this stick out even more, with a lot of folks earning flying just a few weeks before heading to Argus. 

Anyways, I just think we need to meet in the middle and be civil and not throw threats around and we can have good conversations to take to the development team. :)

You're a Blizzard employee. You have to agree with everything they do, at least publicly here on the forums.

I don't have to agree with everything we do. I have a personal opinion that I've expressed many times about content throughout Legion and beyond.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is certainly open up to honest debate.

Who in the world actually enjoyed desolace?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing Onyx seems to hedge the hell around is how flying in this expansion required way way too many hoops.    He remarks on the "unfortunate timing" several times but the fact is we should have had access to flying much earlier in the expansion; IMO it should have been a reward after killing Xavius and reaching revered with all factions in the legion zones.   At that point you've clearly quested everywhere, the "puzzle artifacts" and other things flying trivializes are either done or irrelevant anyway, etc.   

Again, the hoops made to get flying this expansion just got way too convoluted, and that's not even counting their original intent of doing an invasion in each territory and whatnot.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying in Argus is unnecessary. Yes the mobs are hard and scary but it's the Legion's base of operations for goodness sake!! You go 20 feet up on your Ashes of Alar and see how long it takes them to shoot you down!!
I would like it if they actually had that happening in the game though, like when you fly over the druid or hunter order halls and get kicked out.
Or even just some flimsy justification that someone mentions somewhere.

On the topic of Pathfinder generally, I love the mechanic. It means you are more immersed in the world the first time you run through the content (and it really really is more immersive) and then later in the expansion, when there is more to get done regularly or you want to start on alts, you have the magic of flight to make it faster and easier.
That said, I agree with Migol and Ornyx about the difficulty and timing of it this expansion. One of my friends quit because he looked at Pathfinder, Part 2 (before they nerfed it) and realised he just couldn't do the grind anymore.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting how the point that is consistently brought up is that flying is "taken away" as if Blizzard said here you go you can fly now, and then decided nope... no more flying until next time.  You can still fly in the Broken Isles, you can still fly in Kalimdor, you can still fly in Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend, and Draenor as well.  You just don't have the ability on Argus, I mean it kind of makes sense.  Argus, the Eredar homeworld, headquarters for the Burning Legion, an overinfested landscape with nothing but demonic beings and corrupted entities, and the shell of A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TITAN SOUL... I mean who knows It could be the demonic energies that dampen our mounts and their abilities to fly (yes I'm reaching but it makes sense in my head).

The point is that flying has not been taken away in any form.  It was just not made available in the Argus zones.

 

My only gripe (albeit a small one) is that I can't use my new class hall mount on Argus as a Druid... This is unacceptable!  but meh... I'll live to world quest another day.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

My only gripe (albeit a small one) is that I can't use my new class hall mount on Argus as a Druid

I have the same problem just before the Kil'jaeden fight in ToS. My guildies were all showing off their class mounts just after they got them and there's me as a stag :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy the fact that flying is disabled in Argus.  It makes the zone feel larger and more dangerous (as intended).  This is enemy territory; flying would be quite hazardous, if not impossible (or maybe you should watch the cinematic again, for reference).

 

Pathfinder flying is meant to make the Broken Isles feel less threatening and less intimidating because we are now taking the fight to them (the isles are no longer a threat).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, DeathsDesign said:

(yes I'm reaching but it makes sense in my head)

This is pretty much what I'm getting from Blizzard too. "It makes sense to us so deal with it".

 

Draenor, anyone? This is just a repeat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Ancalagon said:

I enjoy the fact that flying is disabled in Argus.  It makes the zone feel larger and more dangerous (as intended).  This is enemy territory; flying would be quite hazardous, if not impossible (or maybe you should watch the cinematic again, for reference).

I kind of agree and disagree at the same time, and it's heavily dependent on what I am playing. As a Blood DK, I couldn't care less. Honestly, not in the slightest. I can pull an entire zone and survive, no questions asked. As an Arcane Mage, navigating the zones to try grab an elite at the end is hell. I guess it's all part of class fantasy, one is a walking corpse in armour and one is wearing a dress, but yeah.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Idk I don't mind not being able to fly, it adds the risk of dying. It does give a better sense of danger for sure. My only gripe is I can't Heroic leap anywhere I want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Blainie said:

I kind of agree and disagree at the same time, and it's heavily dependent on what I am playing. As a Blood DK, I couldn't care less. Honestly, not in the slightest. I can pull an entire zone and survive, no questions asked. As an Arcane Mage, navigating the zones to try grab an elite at the end is hell. I guess it's all part of class fantasy, one is a walking corpse in armour and one is wearing a dress, but yeah.

Hahaha, yeah, I suppose that's true.  As a prot pally, I can survive anything; but as soon as I switch to Ret... I need to use strategy or group with friends.  But I still don't mind it, even on my squishy alts.  If nothing else, it encourages people to work together, or think outside of the box.  This is an invasion after all, running through enemy ranks the same way that you do back home isn't going to cut it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Bjorn said:

Idk I don't mind not being able to fly, it adds the risk of dying. It does give a better sense of danger for sure. My only gripe is I can't Heroic leap anywhere I want.

They actually fixed/broke the hook for Outlaw so they can't use it to grab easy chests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Ancalagon said:

Hahaha, yeah, I suppose that's true.  As a prot pally, I can survive anything; but as soon as I switch to Ret... I need to use strategy or group with friends.  But I still don't mind it, even on my squishy alts.  If nothing else, it encourages people to work together, or think outside of the box.  This is an invasion after all, running through enemy ranks the same way that you do back home isn't going to cut it.

Definitely a fair point, it wouldn't make much sense to run in and yolo my way through swathes of demons. The new buffs available do make it better though, with the tank for 45 seconds. Makes things far, far easier on my Mage and the damage buff is great for my tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be pretty cool if they allowed flight BUT had Legion troops in the sky everywhere ready to shoot you down.

That way you still have to pay attention to where you're going, and you really can't just fly from objective to objective safely. If anything, make flying more dangerous than ground travel, to make up for the ability to skip terrain. Make them dismount you while you're flying. Make them do more damage. Make them maintain aggro much longer/farther than regular mobs. Lots of ways to do it.

It makes sense that we wouldn't be able to just safely fly around, but at the same time it doesn't mean it should prevent us from trying. The game doesn't prevent us from running through every pack of mobs even though we generally aren't able to safely do so, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The truth is, nobody would give a shit about this if they hadn't given flying so late in Broken Isles. No, I don't need flying to get around Argus, but don't make me waste my fucking time on pathfinder 2 for this BS

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Ammako said:

I think it would be pretty cool if they allowed flight BUT had Legion troops in the sky everywhere ready to shoot you down.

That way you still have to pay attention to where you're going, and you really can't just fly from objective to objective safely. If anything, make flying more dangerous than ground travel, to make up for the ability to skip terrain. Make them dismount you while you're flying. Make them do more damage. Make them maintain aggro much longer/farther than regular mobs. Lots of ways to do it.

It makes sense that we wouldn't be able to just safely fly around, but at the same time it doesn't mean it should prevent us from trying. The game doesn't prevent us from running through every pack of mobs even though we generally aren't able to safely do so, either.

I wonder if they could have done something like this with the light tank we get. It could have been on a certain cooldown, two minutes or so and it has an HP bar. There are mobs in the air shooting you, etc., and with smart flying you can fly wherever you need to go. If you are careless though, you will take damage, it will be destroyed and you then have to wait for the cooldown to come off. Would have been a brilliant skill over the current tank form.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I don't care about flying one way or another, the problem I with Argus is the mob density.  Just too many trash mobs around. It wouldn't be so bad if Blizzard had given us a reason to fight them outside of the occasional world quests.  I just see players running past after being dismounted dragging 10-15 mobs behind them.  Super fun and immersive etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like others have said, the problem lies with mob density and respawn times. Some classes and specs don't care whatever happens, but when you're working on rep on a third or fourth alt and it's taking you two or even three times as long to get to A to B or to finish a quest because everything just keeps piling onto you then the zone loses the threatening and this is the end game vibe and just becomes an even more tedious grind that your big scary main didn't have to deal with. Switching specs is easier than ever before though thankfully, and we have things such as bodyguards to take the rest of the pressure off, but I'm more concerned about the implications for the future; this kind of design implementation is fine by me if it makes sense, but this already does feel like Broken Shore 2.0 or Tanaan Jungle Nightmare Mode Unlocked, but they eventually allowed for flying to be opened up in the future. I mean, from short term (alting) to long term (going back for achievement and so forth), it's quite a poor attitude to just tell us they won't do it at all when we already pretty much know better than them at this point. 

They could also do themselves and us a huge favour and make more of an effort to make zones feel more three dimensional. They control the skies? Then fucking show us. Give us world bosses that provide a flying buff for an hour or two. Make us fight for things instead of  causing a shitstorm on the forums over it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Give us world bosses that provide a flying buff for an hour or two. Make us fight for things... 

I could get on-board with that.  I think it would build a better game to have world objectives that both factions can work toward achieving, that would offer a temporary reward, making the invasion a little easier for a short duration.  This would feel and act a lot like the old Hellfire Peninsula buffs, for taking control of towers; only rather than making it a PvP objective, there is more emphasis on PvE cross-faction cooperation.

 

It would also give the player a sense of ebb and flow, as the battle for control over invasion points swings in favor of the invaders and then swings back in favor of the legion.

Edited by Ancalagon
additional thought.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To start with, I LOVE flying. Everywhere and anywhere. So I find the decision to not have flying in Argus slightly disappointing, because flying is fun. I'm not particularly surprised, as I was warned by long term players that it's likely to be like Timeless Isle and Isle of Thunder. I don't much care for those zones. But oh well. However, I kind of take issue with the statement that if you're having trouble getting around in Argus you aren't paying attention to the terrain. I'm paying attention, trust me. MacAree isn't too bad, but the Antoran Wastes are so layered that it's difficult to find the path to things. The arrow to the objective says, "Go that way." but how to get there is not very clear at all. The paths could be more clearly defined on the map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What really frustrates me is where mobs are placed. They seem to place rares where you see them while questing but you cant get there directly from the quest area. You have to ride around a quarter of the zone and up or down a mountain to get to a mob thats right next to you. Chests which have a long wait and appear for short times are only adding to the frustration. I play to ease the stress of everyday life, not add to it. Warcraft is a game, it should be fun, not frustrating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, munchkin said:

Flying in Argus is unnecessary. Yes the mobs are hard and scary but it's the Legion's base of operations for goodness sake!! You go 20 feet up on your Ashes of Alar and see how long it takes them to shoot you down!!
I would like it if they actually had that happening in the game though, like when you fly over the druid or hunter order halls and get kicked out.
Or even just some flimsy justification that someone mentions somewhere.

On the topic of Pathfinder generally, I love the mechanic. It means you are more immersed in the world the first time you run through the content (and it really really is more immersive) and then later in the expansion, when there is more to get done regularly or you want to start on alts, you have the magic of flight to make it faster and easier.
That said, I agree with Migol and Ornyx about the difficulty and timing of it this expansion. One of my friends quit because he looked at Pathfinder, Part 2 (before they nerfed it) and realised he just couldn't do the grind anymore.

The enemy in Legion has had anti-aircraft/flying weaponry in zones we have already had flying permitted in so that argument doesn't really make much sense. Using logic with WOW is typically a big mistake, lol. Don't forget that according to Blizz "flying breaks immersion".

I don't mind traveling on a ground mount at the moment. If they decide to add flying in a couple months that would be fine. The upgraded flight whistle should suffice for the meanwhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ChaosDecides said:

"flying breaks immersion".

Loading screens also break immersion, and that would be my biggest complaint about Argus.

It doesn't feel like a world, just a few isolated zones on their own, which it is to be fair.

They are never going to allow flying, because it would suck hitting the invisible wall around each zone, then having to use the beacons to switch zones as they aren't connected in any way.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just find it funny that for seven years flying wasn't an issue yet for some reason now it is. The only reasons I can see them not wanting to allow flying is: it is easier for them to make zones (in other words be lazy) and to artificially make content last longer. Now if this was any other expansion I could see reason number two being somewhat justified however (and this is a complement) this expansion has so much to do already. On top of that, if you manage to get to a point in which you have done everything then good chance you would like to do it again on an alt. Also could some one describe to me what exactly "immersion" is? It a buzz word thrown around a lot and doesn't seem to match up with it's actual definition. Actually let me rephrase that last question. Why is don't they tell us the real reason instead of just using it as a blanket defense?

Edited by Granis
Rephrasing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Players who have recently acquired Beta could only access Torghast, the max-level realm, which was not intended, and Blizzard has fixed the problem, so you should see all 3 realms now.
      (Source)
      I have gained access to Shadowlands beta tonight and have found out that there are 3 servers for most people yet I only see the one. I was looking to Make a level 50 template or Copy a char over. Every time I make a char I look at a level 60 char. When I go to copy a char over it was copy failed then bugs my game out. I was wondering why I can only see the endgame server. When I was wanting to test out some classes changes while leveling in say Bastion. Some feedback would be nice on the situation.
      Just wanted to confirm that this is not intended, all Beta testers should have access to all the Beta realms.
      We have been investigating into this and believe we have found the root cause. If you have Beta access and were only able to see the Torghast Realm, you should be able to see all 3 realms now.
      Apologies for the inconvenience.
    • By Starym
      We have a very different entry in our Shadowlands spec highlights series today, as Seliathan takes us on a trip down Assassination lane and explains the problems the spec has, and might have for a long time in the new expansion. The spec has gotten probably the least updates of all on the beta, being basically ignored, and so we take a look at what can and should be done, some history of the spec and how it works, the massive number of bugs present with it, as well as the usual changes, Covenants, legendaries, conduits and other highlights. Also, there's a surprise happy ending, so if you don't have time to read it all, definitely hop in to the last 2 chapters!
       
      Assassination Rogues in the Shadowlands
      For this spec highlight we will take a look at Assassination Rogue and the changes that will come for the spec going into Shadowlands.
      Wait. Let's not do that. Instead, I would rather talk about the lack of changes, the lack of attention throughout alpha and beta, the broken promises and all the things that still aren't working the way they're supposed to. Because playing Assassination on Beta right now is a very frustrating experience and while I am going to go into detail and inform about all the new things that are coming for the spec, it feels nigh impossible to do so without also looking at all missed opportunities and the things that create the frustration I feel on Beta every day. Let's Begin!
       

      Table of contents:
      What needs to change - A short history lesson Gameplay changes in Shadowlands (or lack thereof) New Abilities and Talents in Shadowlands - A blast from the past Broken promises Covenant Abilities Class fantasy in trouble - An identity crisis Legendary effects in Shadowlands Conduits in Shadowlands Conclusion - Can someone call the Exterminator? It just keeps going to voicemail. Conclusion 2 - Is Assassination a hopeless case for release?
       What needs to change - A short history lesson
      Before I go into the disappointing details, let me preface this opinion piece by saying that in order for Assassination to work well, there's really not a whole lot that needs to change. At it's core, Assassination has been unchanged for almost four expansions now, with only minor adjustments. Rental or temporary powers were nice additions to an otherwise simple but enjoyable core gameplay loop. We generate energy passively, we use it to generate Combo Points, we spend those to generate more energy. It's simple yet elegant, and most changes the spec has received over the last few years have been in pursuit of the same exact goal - letting us generate more resources.
      In Warlords of Draenor  Venomous Vim was changed to no longer have a 75% chance to proc on Rupture  and Garrote but instead it only procced every time Rupture ticks. (Garrote was only usable from stealth back then)
      In Legion Garrote was changed to be usable outside of stealth, creating a new maintenance ability that would allow us to generate much more energy thanks to Venomous Vim, while lowering the individual energy gained per tick (but still providing more energy than before). 
      In Battle for Azeroth all our bleed effects would now be scaling with Haste, leading to faster ticking bleeds. Haste was now a desirable stat not just because it increased our passive energy regeneration, but our bleed effects now also generated energy faster via Venomous Vim.
      These were the only major changes to the spec in each expansion, and the spec didn't need anything else. There's a clear theme to all of these changes and they all come back to generating resources, so let's compare them to the exciting new stuff we get once we venture into the Shadowlands.
       

       Gameplay changes in Shadowlands (or lack thereof)
      Vendetta is no longer on the global cooldown. Toxic Blade is no longer a talent. In its stead you can choose to talent Alacrity . Toxic Blade is now a baseline ability, or rather it is now a Rank 2 version of Shiv, with the other specs gaining access to the utility portion only.  Improved Poisons now also applies to non-lethal poisons, lets you apply and change poisons a bit faster and immediately procs poisons when attacking from stealth. And that's the whole list. As was mentioned previously, Assassination doesn't really need a whole lot of changes, since the core gameplay works incredibly well already. With Shiv now being a baseline ability for all specs, combining it with Toxic Blade makes sense at least thematically and frees up the talent slot. Speccing into Alacrity isn't really a choice however, since it is way better than the other two options in this talent tier. While doing so technically still aligns with the whole notion of Assassination Rogues generating more energy, doing so through a talent that you cannot live without feels wrong. Most rogues would've loved to see a change to Venom Rush which has been a useless talent for the entirety of Legion and BfA, and will remain so for Shadowlands as well. Exsanguinate will also feel very lackluster again once we lose the massive amounts of Haste we currently have, and with no bonuses to bleed damage in sight.
      Sadly, the change to Toxic Blade is yet another utility tool that is now also part of our DPS rotation, same as Vanish . Deciding whether to forego some damage to keep access to a useful utility ability is not something anyone likes to do, and Shiv increasing that number of abilities is forcing us to make more of these choices where no matter what you choose, you lose.
      Improved Poisons is a nice addition to ensure poisons are applied immediately when opening on your target. However, it is not nearly enough to give credence to the "Master of Poisons" class fantasy the spec has going for it. We are still limited to only using one lethal and one non-lethal poison each, and this passive would've been the perfect opportunity to allow Assassination rogues to use more than two. Because if we can't even do that, how are we better at poisoning than other specs? Once the poison is active it rarely drops off, and at that point all we have is a higher percentage of poison damage, which is taken into account when balancing the numbers anyway. Our utility through poisons is the same, and it's the only thing we have.  
       

       New Abilities and Talents in Shadowlands - A blast from the past
      Slice and Dice is making its return as a maintenance finisher, increasing your attack speed by 50%. Assassination gets a Rank 2 upgrade to this ability Slice and Dice , boosting that number to 70%. Ambush is back as a direct-damaging stealth opener. The biggest impact this re-addition has is due to a reworked Blindside talent, which now utilizes Ambush instead of a much worse ability the talent used to give. Numbing Poison returns as a non-lethal poison, which slows both attack and cast speed of enemies by 15%. Very useful in dungeons. Let's have a cynical review of this list to explain why this feels very disappointing.
      Slice and Dice is back as a maintenance finisher for all specs. While the other specs get more resources and not just raw auto-attack and poison damage out of this, Outlaw with Combat Potency  and Subtlety with Shadow Techniques (which also grants 1 CP every time it procs), Assassination doesn't actually gain anything from attacking faster besides a bit more damage. The opportunity was lost to add a meaningful Rank 2 version for this ability, and instead of introducing some way of letting it generate additional energy or Combo Points, it's just even more attack speed. It also directly leads to less Envenom uptime, an ability that actually accentuates the niche and fantasy of a poison-based spec.  Ambush was added back to Assa and Subtlety. A change that barely impacts our damage at all, doesn't really mesh well with the bleed and poison style of Assassination, and puts further emphasis on burst-damage instead of sustained damage. Oh, and it's only really meaningful when using one talent. Cool. Numbing Poison is a thing now. For all specs. Again. While other specs already had a baseline slow and thus they don't necessarily need to use Crippling Poison , Assassination is now left with the choice between providing a movement speed slow or the new attackspeed/castspeed slow. So much for "Master of Poisons" eh? As you can see, none of these things are spec specific. None of these further the class fantasy of Assassination being the master of poisons and bleeds. Ambush comes at the cost of a bleed opener. Slice and Dice comes at the cost of a poison finisher. Numbing Poison comes at the cost of unique utility that no other rogue spec previously had, and instead makes Assassination worse at slowing and debilitating targets than both other specs. 
      While some of the new legendaries and conduits boost the impact of these new additions to the spec, it feels odd to be forced into certain combinations of rental powers to make a core change to the spec work. Shouldn't a core gameplay change work at its core instead of relying on temporary additions to the game?
       

       Broken promises
      If you've followed the development of Shadowlands, the initial teasers and the first few talking points about each spec, you are wondering where some of the things are that were promised and talked about very early on. You're not alone in this. Here's the list of changes Blizzard hyped up in their initial Class Update reveal.

      Let's have a look at these, shall we?
      Pickpocketing items that improve Crimson Vial? Doesn't exist. Shiv providing a concentrated version of Poison? Only for Crippling. Using it with numbing poison was supposed to dispel enrage effects, but that was removed months ago and has not been brought back since.  Stronger Poisons? Nope, the numbers are the same across all specs. They just proc a bit more frequently for Assassination. Return of Shiv for Assa? It's just a renamed Toxic Blade, there's nothing new about it.  Shiv upgrade reducing the cooldown for Assassination only? Doesn't exist. Quite disappointing. The "mastery of poisons" only exists for lethal poisons. Deadly Poison  is exclusive to Assassination and Wound Poison can stack up to 5 stacks for Assassination, while other specs only get up to 3 stacks. This is great and shows how Assassination has an edge over the other rogue-specs when it comes to utilizing poisons. 
      But utility poisons are virtually the same for all specs, unless you're talenting into Master Poisoner. While this may not matter much when raiding, it was crucial for Assassinations role in Mythic+ and PvP. Where Outlaw and Subtlety had access to other movement-speed slows and disrupting tools like Gouge or frequent uses of Cheap Shot , Assassination had its poisons. But now those exist for all specs, and Assassination doesn't gain anything from the other specs toolkit, except for a direct-damaging opener you get to use once every 2 minutes unless you're talenting into Blindside, and a renamed but functionally the same Shiv which forces you to decide between utility or DPS, a decision neither of the other two rogue specs have to make. 
      It is a disappointing situation, to be teased with so many cool things that might really cement Assassination as the poison (and bleed) spec and instead almost all of it either isn't in the game and likely never will be or actively detracts from the class fantasy and niche Assassination had for a very long time now, watering it down and leaving Assassination in a crisis for what it is supposed to be best at. Needing to spec into certain talents to utilize new abilities or gain an edge over other specs or classes is not something the core fantasy of the spec should require. That is why it is supposed to be a core mechanic.
      But let's move on!
       

       Covenant Abilities
      Kyrian Ability - Echoing Reprimand
      Deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 energy. 45-second cooldown. 
      After using Echoing Reprimand, your second, third or fourth combo point will be highlighted as the anima-charged combo point. When using a damaging finisher with this exact amount of combo points, it will scale as if it was being used with 7 combo points instead. This scales both the damage and the duration of any effects associated with the increased amount of combo points being used.
      While this looks like an interesting ability, Assassination has very volatile Combo Point generation due to Seal Fate generating extra Combo Points whenever you critically strike with your Mutilate, generating anywhere from 2 to 4 Combo Points. You might go for over half a minute without ever hitting 2 Combo Points if at least one of the hits with Mutilate crits, leaving you without much control for this covenant ability. Lining it up with Cooldowns such as Shiv or Vendetta will inevitably lead to a lot of disappointment, because you just didn't get lucky enough to score the amount of CP you needed while these effects were active.
       
      Necrolord Ability - Serrated Bone Spike
      Apply a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy. 30-second recharge, 3 maximum charges.
      This ability feels very fun to use whenever there are multiple targets, due to its fracturing mechanic. You will always want to target less important targets first, and then get a huge spike of burst on your priority target on your third use. While the ability is fairly simple on single-target, it is currently (subject to change) the strongest covenant ability for Assassination Rogues. 
      Unfortunately it is also the one that interacts the least with the Assassination toolkit, and can become the only button you press on AoE until you run out of charges. Serrated Bone Spike allows for a much smoother AoE opener due to its low cost, and gives Assassination Rogues a much easier and faster ramp-up before sustaining high AoE damage.
      While it is a bleed effect, it only works with our Mastery: Potent Assassin but all other bleed-related bonuses and effects do not affect Bone Spike. 
       
      Night Fae Ability - Sepsis
      Infect the targets blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer additional damage and you Vanish from sight. Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration. 90-second cooldown. 
      This covenant ability scales directly with the usefulness of Vanish as a dps cooldown. With an entire talent-line dedicated to stealth-based functionality this provides some very interesting choices with Nightstalker , Subterfuge or Master Assassin. Having Access to these bonuses more often during a fight is a nice addition and seem like a tailor-made choice for Assassination. With the current number tuning however, this still does not warrant picking this covenant. Despite the synergy, both Rupture and Garrote simply don't deal enough damage for this Covenant to become the go-to choice. 
      This ability is particularly frustrating to use in any open-world content as well as Torghast. When you're tackling content by yourself, the automated Vanish will oftentimes make you drop combat with your opponent, making them evade and healing back to full. Having a covenant that is essentially unusable during one of the main draws of the expansion is just incredibly demotivating. 
      While Sepsis is a nature-damage poison-like effect, it does not work with any poison-related passives and bonuses Assassination has access to with the exception of its damage being boosted by Shiv.
       
      Venthyr Ability -  Slaughter
      Slaughter the target, causing moderate Physical damage. The targets anima mixes with your lethal poison, coating your weapons for the next 5 minutes. Slaughter Poison deals Shadow Damage over 12 seconds and steals 15% of the healing done to the target. Costs 50 Energy.
      This ability can only be used from stealth. That means you can use it once in your opener, and once again every 2 minutes by using Vanish as a dps cooldown, This directly conflicts with the stealth-based talent-row which has two talents centered around using bleed effects from stealth.
      Slaughter deals exactly the same amount of damage as Ambush . The Slaughter Poison  is exactly the same as Deadly Poison.
      The only way to make this a viable choice, and a very potent one at that, is by using the talent Blindside . Whenever the talent procs, you will be able use either Ambush or Slaughter. With the Conduit Slaughter Scars  this becomes a very significant DPS increase on single-target. The Covenant ability still does absolutely nothing on AoE however, with both abilities dealing the exact same damage as their original counterparts. 
       

       Class fantasy in trouble - An identity crisis
      Assassination has always been mixing bleeds and poisons together into one spec to deliver strong sustained single-target and AoE DPS. There was a heavy divide between poison and bleed builds in Legion, best represented by choosing either Toxic Blade  or Exsanguinate as a DPS-talent, and then choosing other talents and gear to further enhance this chosen identity.
      Battle for Azeroth united both aisles by applying it's Mastery: Potent Assassin to bleeds as well, introducing haste-scaling for bleeds, and providing multiple options for poison-based azerite traits while there was no significant bleed-based one besides the iconic Shrouded Suffocation . Thus all Assassination rogues were now using both bleeds and poisons, without any distinct differences between the two types. This was much less a unification than it was watering down the original ideas and fantasy of poison vs bleed, without improving on either of the two.
      A lot of our damage also did not actually come from bleeds and poisons, but from our builders or generators, with heavy emphasis on both Mutilate and Fan of Knives  for single-target and AoE respectively. While during the later stages of BfA we started utilizing Exsanguinate and a bleed-heavy build to deal high dps, we lost the sustained-dps niche in the process and instead became one of the strongest cooldown-based single-target DPS with only Fire Mages providing an even stronger 2-minute cooldown burst. 
      Shadowlands then finally promised a return to the old formula of strong sustained DPS by using bleeds and poisons. But as we already learned earlier, a lot of the promises were broken and a lot of the same mistakes are being made once more. 
      The current reality on the Beta does not reflect the initial class fantasy, and with both Outlaw and Subtlety gaining access to poisons and even bleeds, Assassination Rogues are left wondering how they are supposed to still feel unique. Some of the new abilities are poisons or bleeds, but they don't actually work or synergize with our poison and bleed toolkit. 
      While there is a new poison, it is not specific to the spec, and even Deadly Poison can be accessed by other specs when choosing the Venthyr Covenant. While losing a lot of uniqueness by giving poisons to all rogue specs at the same effectiveness, the opportunity was there to instead focus on Assassinations class fantasy by adding more interesting bleed-based effects and options, but sadly that has not been the case either. No new bleed abilities, passives or conduits exist, and instead we risk treading towards using our builders, not our damage over time poisons and bleeds, to deliver ever increasing amounts of our damage. Let the era of Mutilate , Ambush and Fan of Knives begin. Not very poison-y or bleed-y. 
       

       Legendary effects in Shadowlands
      There are quite a few legendary effects available in Shadowlands, so we have picked out some of the strongest ones for Assassination rogues **(power level subject to change).** 
      Master Assassin's Mark is back and provides a 100% increased crit-chance for 5 seconds after using Vanish. Using this makes the Night Fae ability Sepsis quite a bit more powerful, and might deliver some very strong burst opportunities by lining this up with Shiv and Vendetta . Zoldyck Insignia makes a return as well, boosting your bleed and poison damage once the target hits 35% health. Coupling this with Blindside will make for exceptional execute.  Dashing Scoundrel is a slightly reworked set bonus we used to have during Antorus, the Burning Throne. It significantly increases the amount of energy we generate, especially on AoE, and allows for a faster and smoother rotation on single-target while putting bigger emphasis on having a very high Envenom uptime.  There are plenty more legendaries with different power levels, these are just a few that currently perform strongest and offer the most opportunities to build around for Assassination. We will keep you updated on the individual strength of each legendary once we get closer to release.
       
       Conduits in Shadowlands
      There are many conduits coming in Shadowlands, so this is just a selection of some of them.
      Lethal Poisons increases the instant damage of lethal poisons, allowing for more damage from auto-attacking on single-target, while boosting your AoE damage whenever you cast Fan of Knives and proc your poison.   Poisoned Katar further boosts the idea of using Fan of Knives as the ability to carry your AoE damage, by providing even more chances of applying your lethal poison and also increasing its base damage. Maim, Mangle increases your Mutilate damage whenever Garrote is active, which should be the case at all times. 
       
       Conclusion - Can someone call the Exterminator? It just keeps going to voicemail.

      Let's finally talk about the elephant in the room. While the new additions to the spec are questionable and the identity crisis should've been addressed in BfA already, the most frustrating thing about playing Assassination on Beta right now is the plethora of bugs. They're everywhere. And Blizzard isn't talking to us at all. While the most recent build (35938) fixed a variety of bugs, this was also the first time any rogue bugs have actually gotten fixed, and some of them have been around since early Alpha. There is also still a whole lot left that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. A lot of rogues would like to play around and test certain legendaries or interactions, but getting good data and information is almost impossible when things don't work the way they're supposed to, the way they're described, or simply don't work. I'll list some of the most egregious ones in no particular order, to give everyone an idea on what we have had to deal with for almost five months now. 
      Remember the hyped up Improved Poisons ? It doesn't actually work on beta right now. Hasn't worked in 5 months. While the cast-time reduction and proc-rate does work, the 100% application chance, one of the main points in the first look at the spec, isn't there. I've already mentioned it before, but what happened to the promised Crimson Vial and Shiv upgrades? They're nowhere to be seen, and a lot of people are left wondering if or when these things will come. Speaking of Shiv , it is supposed to be an enrage dispel (at least it used to) but that part has been missing for months. Slice and Dice Rank 2? Unavailable on beta right now.  Tiny Toxic Blades is one of the new legendaries, that could potentially work with some of the Covenant abilities and create very interesting synergies. That is, if it was actually available on beta. This legendary power hasn't  functioned at all on beta since it was first datamined.  Numbing Poison isn't actually affected by Master Poisoner. Yet another hit at the Master of Poisons.  Zoldyck Insignia another legendary, doesn't currently work for poisons, only bleeds. Dashing Scoundrel crit-chance also applies to Envenom (which isn't stated at all in the tooltip). Is this intentional? We don't know. At least the other 3 bugs this legendary had were finally fixed last week. Slaughter Scars only applies the damage bonus to Slaughter. The crit bonus is applied to the poison, creating some weird and powerful synergy between Slaughter and Dashing Scoundrel. While most of these are easily fixed, it still leaves a lot to be desired. We would like to test certain interactions and a lot of that is still not possible.
      Thankfully Blizzard seems to be paying more attention to rogues now, with the most recent build fixing a variety of important bugs. Sadly, these bugs have been around and reported for months, and they've just started getting on top of them now. There is still a total of 46 open bug reports on the BugTracker, some of which were first reported back in May. 
      The total lack of communication is exemplified by our Rogue Class Feedback Post on the official forums. A single Bluepost which was made in late August, after both Outlaw and Subtlety had Placeholder talents for 5 whole months. When other classes had their talents changed or become baseline, a replacement was ready immediately. When Rogues have placeholder talents and Blizzard finally adds the new ones, they're riddled with bugs that have yet to be fixed.
      This lack of communication creates a lot of confusion and makes the entire rogue community feel ignored. Questions are being asked, answers are not being given. Bug reports are made, but fixes come months later, if at all. It didn't help that most rogue legendaries and conduits were introduced with the same patch that removed the vendors from Beta realms. We could datamine legendaries, but we could not test them until they eventually re-introduced the vendors. That was another four weeks of potential testing gone. It took another month, with the build last week, until they finally started fixing some of the bugs we encountered months ago. Shadowlands is slated to be released in a month, the pace needs to be picked up or the class will be a mess on release.
      Overall Blizzard has done a much better job throughout the Shadowlands Beta than they did during the BfA Beta cycle, responding to Feedback of most classes within days or weeks, and addressing concerns and issues with manifestos describing their design goals and explaining decisions. Some classes however have fallen behind, best seen when comparing blueposts and communication towards certain classes. This picture shows the amount of Blueposts for Druid, Shaman and Rogue (from left to right). And keep in mind, that there is exactly 0 blueposts that are in any way relevant to Assassination. During the entire alpha and beta. While missing key-features that were teased and revealed before Alpha went live. I'm sure the Monk and Windwalker community in particular can share this sentiment of frustration and feeling of being ignored. A bit more effort and communication shouldn't have been that difficult. 
      And while we're on the subject of things that really shouldn't have been that difficult, the final complaint that echoes the lack of attention for all rogue specs, not just Assassination:
      We didn't get Alpha access, at all. By "we" I mean people within the rogue community. While there certainly is a lack of prominent rogue streamers or content creators, there definitely are people who provide rogue-centric content on a regular basis, myself included. There are plenty of rogue theorycrafters and community figures that are active within the community, on the class discord, twitter, authoring guides or opinion pieces and on their own personal streams. Ravenholdt has a list of active community figures and theorycrafters. Not a single one of them received an Alpha invite initially. A single person got Alpha access a few months in. Only a handful of these people received Beta Access when Beta started. I myself did not receive Beta Access immediately. Some of the community figures are still lacking access. When the main goal is supposed to be to test and try out newly introduced abilities, changes to the spec and figuring out interesting and potentially overpowered or underpowered interactions, one would assume that inviting some or all of these people would be the best way to ensure that people with deep knowledge of the class would be able to give feedback as early as possible. Instead we couldn't do so until very late into the beta cycle, and the current state of not just Assassination but all three rogue-specs is a perfect reflection of this lack of testing that could've been done by dedicated rogue players early into Alpha, if we would've received access.
       

       Conclusion 2 - Is Assassination a hopeless case for release?
      No, not at all. I would even go so far as to say that Assassination as a spec will be fine. Most of the bugs that need fixing should be easily fixable. As initially stated, Assassination at its core is a spec that works well without rental power and temporary power gains. This still holds true, and it is the saving grace amidst a situation that could only be described as messy and disorganized, with little to no communication or thought put into it. But Assassination can handle that, and while it might not be the best out of all three rogue specs once Shadowlands finally releases, it will not be the worst DPS spec in the game either, and only needs a few specific changes to become the raiding powerhouse it has been for the last couple of years. 
       

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Vengeance Demon Hunter Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Marksmanship Hunter Arcane Mage Frost Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Affliction Warlock Protection Warrior
    • By Starym
      We're back with another update on the cat in the box that is the Shadowlands pre-patch, as the PTR has flipped back to Release candidate once more! Somewhat shockingly, however, we did not get a release date for the patch today, bringing even next week's fairly late pre-patch launch date somewhat into question.

      Also, as player frustration, impatience and hype grows for the pre-patch, meme production and demand has soared, but we'll just share this one, as it clearly solves everyone's problem with the long wait:

      Source.
    • By BluePosts
      War Mode bonuses are not going anywhere and the automatic bonus scaling will continue to work as it does in Battle for Azeroth.
      (Source)
      Will alliance keep their increased 30% xp and rewards buff when Shadowlands releases?
      Hello.
      The automatic bonus scaling will continue to function in Shadowlands as it does in Battle for Azeorth.
      Of course, it’s not only for Alliance players! Players could choose to shift the relative numbers between the factions, and the bonus would scale accordingly.
    • By BluePosts
      There's a stress test coming to the Shadowlands PTR tomorrow, and Blizzard need your help to see how some server updates worked out! Hopefully these issues are key to speeding up the arrival of the pre-patch, which we still hope is coming next week.
      Stress Test (source)
      The World of Warcraft server team needs your help!
      Please join us on the Anasterian and Benedictus PTR realms tomorrow, Wednesday September 30 at 12:00 Noon PDT and 7:00 p.m. PDT (3:00 p.m. EDT and 10:00 p.m. EDT) for a stress test. We’ve implemented some behind-the-scenes server updates in the Shadowlands expansion, and we’re looking to bring as many testers as possible onto those realms.
      While the changes being tested will not be highly visible to you, they are quite meaningful to our game service. The Shadowlands Beta is already running these changes and we’ve had success testing them there, but never with as extremely high a number of testers on a single realm as we’d like to see.
      The format of this test will be straightforward. Please log into the Anasterian or Benedictus PTR realms, create a character, and then enter the game and play however you like for as much time as you can spare us. We expect that we’ll be done with our data gathering after about 20-30 minutes. Due to the potentially extremely high load this will place on the game service, we recommend that you create or copy a character ahead of time. It’s possible that the realm will crash, and it’s also possible that we’ll disconnect players a few times to generate more load spikes. Please re-enter the game on your chosen character if you’re disconnected.
      Thank you very much to anyone who can test with us tomorrow. We’re looking forward to the chaos of this test, followed by a smooth Shadowlands launch.
×
×
  • Create New...