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Azerite Gear Feedback: September 27th

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38473-pvp-disqualification-policy-update

Blizzard responded to player concerns about the Azerite system earlier today.

Update #1:

Lore replied that the team is discussing availability of Azerite gear in Mythic+.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Holy hell this thread went places. Okay, couple quick things:

1) I've mentioned elsewhere that we're looking at Azerite armor availability. 3 weeks into a raid tier/mythic+ season is a bit early to make hard conclusions of how difficult it will be to acquire alternate sets over the next few months. But we're hearing that feedback and keeping a close eye on it. Availability in mythic+ particularly is a regular topic of conversation. I've talked about that before so I won't rehash everything here, but we're looking into it.

2) I noticed a few posts that seemed to believe that Azerite traits are randomized when a piece drops. They're not; each piece of gear has a preset assortment of traits to choose from. Most of y'all seem to understand that already, I just wanted to toss it out there for anyone who may not.

Targeting specific Azerite traits was merely a symptom of imbalance between traits and recent tuning passes helped bring major outliers back to an acceptable level.

Re-farming traits doesn’t feel great, but they do not have a solution for that. It’s a downside of the system.

They don’t want you to reforge gear all the time which is why reforging cost quickly ramps up. Ideally, you should have multiple pieces /sets/ of gear for different scenarios (tanking/healing).

New traits added in future raids should be more interesting.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

You can't target the gear you want at all.
There are 10 M+ dungeons, all of which drop ~10 different items per dungeon, and are all eligible to be looted from the cache (the only way to actually get the gear). This translates to a 1/100 chance to get the piece that you want, but that's only one piece. Then you've got to get 2 more pieces, each on separate 1/100 "drop" chance. Let's be lenient here and say we are given 6 months per content patch. This means that the probability of getting the items we want is actually orders of magnitude lower than the probability of getting the ideal legendary items in Legion.

The vast majority of traits are useless and uninteresting.
When all of our abilities were stripped away in 8.0, we were promised Azerite armor that would bring back the gameplay changes that artifacts brought. There are very few circumstances where this is the case, and most of the top-performing traits are just stat-padding, providing no progression or gameplay enhancements.

When we get "upgrades" we have to re-farm the same traits that we have already farmed.
We complained about having to farm traits on Legion Artifacts, and Blizzard's response was to give us only 1 or 2 traits, but to consistently lose them and have to re-farm them for the whole expansion. How is this an improvement?

Every single gear change or upgrade requires simming.
At no other point in WoW's history has simming been so required to find out if an item or trait is actually an upgrade. The proc rates, damage bonuses, or other interactions are so unintuitive that we have absolutely no idea what is an upgrade or not. At no other point in WoW's history has the casual player been at such a disadvantage for being uninformed.

340 traits are out-performing 385 traits. Significantly.
This is just embarassing, and should not be the case. How did this sort of imbalance between traits make it to live?

The reforge cost re-introduces the exact spec-lock problem people had in Legion, but worse.
Oh you want to PvP? Gotta reforge your Azerite! You want to PvE now? Reforge time! Oh, you need to tank this boss? Hearth and reforge your Azerite! People are getting their reforge costs into the thousands of gold, and it doesn't go down fast enough to allow us to reasonably perform multiple roles. How was this supposed to improve gameplay?

The massive swings in power during "tuning" passes mean we have to hold onto all gear.
We have no idea what is going to be our best trait next week, and what is best today may just be completely gutted tomorrow. Our only option as a player is hold onto every single piece of Azerite Armor and hope we have the right ones when Blizzard swings power in a different direction. Not only that, but when new traits are introduced to replace old traits, per Ion's comment, we are likely to encounter exactly the same issue.

Few things I'd like to comment on here.

First off, thanks for putting this thread together. Even if phrases like "Worst Itemization in WoW's History" are a bit hyperbolic (seriously, I can't be the only one who remembers farming level 30 dungeons for AQ40 resistance gear), you've summarized a lot of the discussions we've been seeing around the community very well. It really helps us clarify exactly what we need to be focusing on.

I'll speak to each of your points as best as I can:

Regarding targeting specific traits: I think we've said this a few times now, but just to reiterate, we believe that's merely a symptom of the imbalance between traits. Ideally, the gap between them isn't so large that you feel it would be hugely beneficial to grind out the perfect set.

The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature. Similarly, making traits with more outside-the-box designs leads to more complicated questions of "is this better or not," which in turn encourages more simming. Either way, it's an interesting challenge, and one we're taking to mind as we move forward with traits in future updates.

I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons. But we agree it can be a bit of a downer.

I mentioned the imbalance between traits before, but just to expand on that: that's why we've focused so much effort into tuning Azerite traits over the past few weeks. With this most recent round of tuning, we think we've gotten most of the really egregious outliers dialed in, but please let us know if there are any you still feel are so good that they're worth huge sacrifices in terms of item level.

As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you're describing -- reforging constantly depending on what you're doing -- to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.

And finally, regarding the tuning passes: like I mentioned, we think we've got most of the major outliers dialed in to an acceptable level at this point. There's likely to still be some adjustments here and there, but we don't believe we're going to need another big wave of Azerite trait tuning like you've seen over the last few weeks. To put it another way: if one trait is far and away the best compared to every other option, sure, we should probably do something about that, but we don't expect that to take the form of a widespread tuning pass going forward.

Also, to Ion's comment about new traits being introduced: he was referring to new traits on new gear added in new content, with higher item level, that replaces your old gear entirely. We're not planning to add in new traits to existing items, so don't worry about holding onto old Azerite pieces just in case their traits change.

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42 minutes ago, tkioz said:

So in short... System working as intended and if you're not enjoying it your the one in the wrong?

Basically, yes. It's your fault wanting to have fun in the game, choosing your own path to gear and being able to target specific one. What a preposterous idea. That's not the game plan. Devs know what's good for you, just hand over the money and all will be fine.

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It's just sad that there is no answer to the farming situation and the drop chances from caches 😞

Anyways my solution would be: just make the probability for the loot of the cache being an azerite piece, be the probability for an additional azerite piece, besides the normal items.

Blizzard counter argumented getting azerite AND normal items out of every caches, with getting way to many pieces of azerite. That would be fine, with just a chance of sometimes getting 2 items out of it. no problem, aye?

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2 hours ago, tkioz said:

So in short... System working as intended and if you're not enjoying it your the one in the wrong?

I sincerely hope this guy is a troll and there is no such stupidity in real.

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I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons. But we agree it can be a bit of a downer.

You

Fuckin

Wot

 

Did I just read "we may have to accept this as a downside" ? On a 2 year-long plan, such a big part of the system "may have to be accepted as a downside" ? Is that a joke ?

And hey, for all the other problems ? It's all your fault, and if blizz does something, it'll be more restrictive, so be happy with what you have, yeah, great.

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2 hours ago, Lentine said:

Basically, yes. It's your fault wanting to have fun in the game, choosing your own path to gear and being able to target specific one. What a preposterous idea. That's not the game plan. Devs know what's good for you, just hand over the money and all will be fine.

The freedom to "choose" your gear has never truly existed to begin with. I'll agree the acquisition of Azerite gear in general they failed to hit the mark with, and it was the same with legendaries in legion, but realistically there has always been a loose path set out for each class for ideal stats and gearing choices.

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2 hours ago, Lentine said:

Basically, yes. It's your fault wanting to have fun in the game, choosing your own path to gear and being able to target specific one. What a preposterous idea. That's not the game plan. Devs know what's good for you, just hand over the money and all will be fine.

I mean, you could just not play the game if it's not fun?

I don't disagree with the sentiment that the gearing process outside of raiding is pretty much garbage (as well as being kinda garbage in raids, thanks titanforging and persoloot!). But if that's the one thing that keeps you from having fun with WoW, then I feel sorry for you.

41 minutes ago, Baguettson said:

Did I just read "we may have to accept this as a downside" ? On a 2 year-long plan, such a big part of the system "may have to be accepted as a downside" ? Is that a joke ?

No, it's not a joke. Here is what it actually means: Something, we as developers didn't see as an issue, has come up as one for many players, and we don't have a fix yet. It does not mean "just deal with it", it means that they just don't know yet how to fix this problem, and might never find a solution without scrapping the system altogether. And if they really have to resort to that, it won't be happening in a hotfix.

There is a very clear disconnect between the developer and the user, doesn't matter if it's WoW or any other software, or if it's even IT related at all. And it's easy to spout memes and say "the developer thinks they know best" as if the player base knows any better. The player base has no fucking clue what they actually want. If there's no progression system, the endgame is boring, If there is one, it's too grindy. If there is a little bit of it, then it's not enough. If it's too impactful, it's bad. If it's not impactful enough, it's boring. 

 

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Dear Blizzard:

4 hours ago, Stan said:

The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature.

You are notorious for making things not simplistic. "Your attacks have a chance to..." "Your heals have a chance to..." - we don't know these things without simming, datamining or playtesting since day one of the 2004 beta. And we're not even talking about generally obscure ICD's yet. You are mentioning "We could solve this by..." and then provide a very simple solution you haven't tried for 14 years.

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

I think we agree that re-farming traits doesn't feel great. I don't have a solve for that issue to share today, and to be completely transparent it may be something we simply have to accept as a downside to the system for other reasons. But we agree it can be a bit of a downer.

And this was completely unexpected over months of playtesting on PTR? "Hey guys, this system may have a few downsides." never occurred in your minds? You felt it was okay to add RNG on top of RNG, and are now disappointed with the results? Hindsight 20/20

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

I mentioned the imbalance between traits before, but just to expand on that: that's why we've focused so much effort into tuning Azerite traits over the past few weeks.

Because testing these before and during the PTR is again something you just don't do? All the thousands, ten-thousands, hundred-thousands of willing playtesters doing this for free and providing feedback on the PTR forums since January or earlier regarding concerns didn't raise a flag for you? Hindsight 20/20 again.

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

And finally, regarding the tuning passes: like I mentioned, we think we've got most of the major outliers dialed in to an acceptable level at this point.

It's just going to take you 3-9 months of feedback for you before you actually start implementing a possible solution that may overshoot - or undershoot - it by a large margin regardless; based on results in the past.

 

 

I doubt this'll be read by them, and that's okay. I just felt like sharing my piece.

Edited by Yridaa
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I think the best thing now for itemization will be reintroducing badge system. Like, now you don't have any hard prove that you will get something valuable from m+, thus totally killing the incentive to do it (at least for me). So why not giving badges with help of which you are guaranteed to eventually get something you want?

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2 hours ago, Kurosu said:

I sincerely hope this guy is a troll and there is no such stupidity in real.

So I'm a troll and/or stupid because I don't eat Blizzard's PR horse dung with a smile on my face and pretend it's chocolate?

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. 

I just created an account to comment on this because it is just absurd. Remember when they made primary stats automatically switch based on spec to prevent us from having to carry around several sets of gear to wear based on spec or content?

Also, remember when they removed reforging because they didn't want players to have to sim or reforge away from secondary stats once we reached certain breakpoints? All of this to simplify the game, but now they have backtracked. Not only have they backtracked, but they have made it worse in every way imaginable. 

Edited by Malthezzar
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Hahaha nów all the whiners complaining About artifacts can complain more about azerite gear 😄

artifacts were perfect comparing to this shit, and i really liked them. Blizzard should give us the item system from legion back and delete azerite forever

I hope they Didnt abandon sets for classes 

Edited by Dvanom
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So I rarely post at all, but this whole discussion is one of the main issues i have with this otherwise pretty great expac.  

 

I don't know how to quote in sections, lol, but the part about how "The point about traits being "useless and uninteresting" is interesting considering that you also make the point of "every gear change requires simming." These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature." seems like he missed the point of what it means to be useless and uninteresting.  Most of the traits do nothing in changing your gameplay, rotation, etc. (i play an outlaw rogue and we have 3 traits that do just that, but my other alts do not).  Using simming as something that is "at odds" with being uninteresting is AT ODDS with blizzards very stance on overcomplicating stats, as they demonstrated when they eliminated hit/expertise, eliminated reforging (even though it would have been fine after eliminating hit/exp), what lead them to say during the beta of this expac "we want ilvl to be the main factor in deciding whether or not items are upgrades", etc.  

 

Perhaps add in traits that impact classes in other ways, specifically the inner ring traits that are so pointless "heal when a mob dies".  Make these traits do things similar to the OLD minor glyphs. something like "rebirth is instant while in cat form" for feral, or "a lesser healing rain is autocast when you use shammy wolves" for enhance. These would be useful and interesting, at least more so than throughput increases that take no real effort to use properly. 

 

Moreover, the very idea that they are ok with these huge disparities and with the idea that chasing the RNG dragon to get traits that are not shitty, is crazy, considering it was largely agreed that leggos in legion were not a great system.  Either ACTUALLY tune things to be close enough to each other (with raid traits being slightly better to reflect the increased effort in aquiring them, and since M+ is farmable), or make sure the overall effectiveness of all traits are never greater than or equal to the value of increased item level.  

 

Aside from that, is no one ever going to acknowledge that within a day of trait tuning changes being pushed through, sites like herodamage and bloodmallet already have comprehensive rankings using sims? Is it unreasonable to expect blizzard to have the ability to use these, or perhaps more powerful tools to PROPERLY tune things? Or are we supposed to pretend these resources don't exist or are not effective?  

 

I don't hate the entire system, but I do feel it is being underutilized as an aspect of the game that can be fun.  I also see it as something that has backed blizz into a position they vehemently stated they were going to avoid after last expac.  It sucks that all this dev time is devoted to these things, and not to fixing guild control/UI issues, finding interesting ways to make guilds meaningful again, and other community focused changes that i think would be largely welcomed, but i digress. 

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51 minutes ago, Dvanom said:

Hahaha nów all the whiners complaining About artifacts can complain more about azerite gear 😄

 

I think you discredit people that are trying to provide constructive feedback on how to improve their game here. Most of us have played WoW for years, some for more than a decade. It is very fair for them to criticize changes made on a game they love.

 

53 minutes ago, Dvanom said:

 artifacts were perfect comparing to this shit, and i really liked them. Blizzard should give us the item system from legion back and delete azerite forever

I agree to a certain point. Artifacts were certainly flawed in the early parts of Legion, especially so when rolling alts and having to painstakingly level Artifact Knowledge up on that alt to get even close to the level of a main. (Which you couldn't, because mains always stay several levels ahead because of how long it takes to get AK)

 

They solved that part with account-wide progression and even later with server-wide progression. Something they continued in BfA for the amulet. I agree that this latest installment of this system is the most fair, and while it will still take time to level your amulets with artifact power, it isn't nearly as impossible as it was in early Legion.

56 minutes ago, Dvanom said:

 I hope they Didnt abandon sets for classes 

During the dev diaries/talks/q'n'a they wanted to get rid of sets altogether when they implemented this azerite trait system. So unless they go back on their word on that (More likely in the next expansion, rather than this one), we won't be seeing any sets for a long, long time.

 

59 minutes ago, GorditoLOL said:

Or are we supposed to pretend these resources don't exist or are not effective?  

This is a tricky question. Despite that we can be very certain that they can use similar, identical or even more effective tools; the results that Blizzard provides us with xpac after xpac proves us otherwise...

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2 hours ago, tkioz said:

So I'm a troll and/or stupid because I don't eat Blizzard's PR horse dung with a smile on my face and pretend it's chocolate?

Well you are stupid enough to support this crap they do with traits so dunno

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3 hours ago, tkioz said:

So I'm a troll and/or stupid because I don't eat Blizzard's PR horse dung with a smile on my face and pretend it's chocolate?

 

40 minutes ago, Kurosu said:

Well you are stupid enough to support this crap they do with traits so dunno

You two got off on the wrong foot here. tkioz was being cynical towards Blizzard in his original post. I believe Kurosu interpreted it as if tkioz was in agreement with Blizzard here.

 

You're both on the same side here, the way I'm reading it at least.

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In one paragraph he makes a hipster statement, remembering the days of grinding restist-gear, and how it was one of the worst states of the game.  And then, in a following paragraph, he states that it is an intended goal that Blizzard wants players to carry around different sets of gear in their bags and NOT change the traits on their gear to cater to their playstyle or content that they wish to play.

 

These two statements contradict each other and show that this aspect of the game is reverting to a system that has been proven to be flawed and harmful to the player-base.  I've noticed that many "new" things implemented in BFA are just reskinned versions of systems that they have already tried before (unsuccessfully).  It's a trend that doesn't inspire confidence.

Edited by Ancalagon
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5 hours ago, Yridaa said:

You are notorious for making things not simplistic. "Your attacks have a chance to..." "Your heals have a chance to..." - we don't know these things without simming, datamining or playtesting since day one of the 2004 beta. And we're not even talking about generally obscure ICD's yet. You are mentioning "We could solve this by..." and then provide a very simple solution you haven't tried for 14 years. 

And this was completely unexpected over months of playtesting on PTR? "Hey guys, this system may have a few downsides." never occurred in your minds? You felt it was okay to add RNG on top of RNG, and are now disappointed with the results? Hindsight 20/20

The only thing that Blizz didn't anticipate correctly was that people would be upset about chasing Best-In-Slot pieces over time and maintaining multiple gear sets. I can understand why they are now confused about the negative reaction, as both are talked about fondly out of the other side of the player's mouths in service of WoW nostalgia. In Legion, basically all armor slots were non-spec specific. The rings and trinkets were generally targeted as spec specific gear, without primary stat and distinct effects. As you received Legendary pieces, some would be spec-agnostic and others hyper focused on spec, another piece to the gear set min-max puzzle.

Azerite gear is meant to be the NEW gear-set variable, with light customization. A spec-specific gear set will have certain Azerite gear pieces for those 3 slots, and maybe some situational swaps based on secondary traits and the trinkets/rings that can't be re-used -- additionally, if you DON'T have a specific Azerite gear set for a given situation (switching to a new spec when necessary, PvP), you can still perform at a high level with the provided primary and secondary stats, even though the traits may be vestigial. Anyone comparing it to artifacts betrays their ignorance: unfortunately Blizz did this in the pre-release coverage which I think was a major mistake, but in hindsight they were only drawing the parallels in terms of the customization aspect.

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15 minutes ago, Ancalagon said:

In one paragraph he makes a hipster statement, remembering the days of grinding restist-gear, and how it was one of the worst states of the game.  And then, in a following paragraph, he states that it is an intended goal that Blizzard wants players to carry around different sets of gear in their bags and NOT change the traits on their gear to cater to their playstyle or content that they wish to play.

See my above reply to another post. It is not inaccurate to say "carrying around an entire set of new gear isn't a positive experience for a lot of players", and also that players who want to excel in multiple situations should expect to carry around a few extra pieces. You can't min-max without some effort, dude. The point of Azerite gear is to condense the gear swapping into a 3-piece set to minimize the amount of stuff the players are tracking and keeping in their bags. And if it's too much trouble for you, then you can still perform at a perfectly acceptable level without the optimal traits chosen, because of how those gear pieces are still giving you piles of stats. 90% of the "problems" with the Azerite gear is player perception (and some Blizzard communication errors).

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As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you're describing -- reforging constantly depending on what you're doing -- to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they're maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild's main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn't achieving that, but if it isn't, we're likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.

This is exactly the problem I have with Blizzard as of late.

They go out of their way to dictate how we play the game, while swearing up and down that they actually aren't.

You've got one piece that has both a good tanking trait and a good healing trait, and you want to bounce between different roles to get into different pug groups? Either get good and have 2 sets of gear (that is nearly impossible to farm), reforge at an increasingly large cost, or go into the content with a neutral trait that kinda-sorta works for both specs. No min-maxing for you, because you're going to play our way. Don't like it? Good, because we're going to make it even harder.

Got something in your spellbook that is a niche ability and should be amazing against a certain kind of mechanic, like a snare/root or Blessing of Freedom? Nope, doesn't work against this mob, you have to man mode it. Why? Because we made your class abilities not work intentionally. You're going to play the game our way.

Want to use Mythic and Mythic+ as a way to make money by earning Hydrocores, so people can buy your crafted gear and do the content with you? Sorry, all of the gear you can make with them is BoP, because you're going to play our way. If you want to make a 355, you have to run content that will make it irrelevant within a week for BoP mats that will be obsolete as soon as you get your pieces. Hell, I don't even need to craft 370's and I haven't even set foot into heroic yet. Talk about an utterly broken and stupid system of progression. The only reason for the vast majority of people to craft these pieces is going to be for transmog.

If they would do at least a little bit of catering to us such that we could play our way, we wouldn't be nearly as pissy about their systems.

Edited by Tarazet

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56 minutes ago, Tarazet said:

You've got one piece that has both a good tanking trait and a good healing trait, and you want to bounce between different roles to get into different pug groups? Either get good and have 2 sets of gear (that is nearly impossible to farm), reforge at an increasingly large cost, or go into the content with a neutral trait that kinda-sorta works for both specs. No min-maxing for you, because you're going to play our way. Don't like it? Good, because we're going to make it even harder.

Best-in-slot is best-in-slot, that doesn't mean that the items that aren't BiS are useless. You can push high level content without 100% optimized gear if you know how to play. And if you're pushing that content anyway, you've got about 50 different possible gear sources. It's weird seeing people complain about WoW being simplified, being showered with loot, but at the same time complaining min-maxing requires some effort.

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2 minutes ago, CorneliusBrutus said:

Best-in-slot is best-in-slot, that doesn't mean that the items that aren't BiS are useless. You can push high level content without 100% optimized gear if you know how to play. And if you're pushing that content anyway, you've got about 50 different possible gear sources. It's weird seeing people complain about WoW being simplified, being showered with loot, but at the same time complaining min-maxing requires some effort.

The complaint is that they are actively trying to get in the way of people min-maxing, which is something that has always been part of the experience. Now, there have been times that they catered a little too much to the numbers crunchers - I'm looking at you, reforging and 15% hit/expertise/spirit caps - but this is a first for them actively punishing people for using their built-in systems too much.

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3 minutes ago, Tarazet said:

The complaint is that they are actively trying to get in the way of people min-maxing, which is something that has always been part of the experience. Now, there have been times that they catered a little too much to the numbers crunchers - I'm looking at you, reforging and 15% hit/expertise/spirit caps - but this is a first for them actively punishing people for using their built-in systems too much.

I am just constantly surprised at WoW players. I had thought anyone upon seeing the Azerite gear system's workings, would inevitably come to the conclusion "oh, if I want to play multiple roles extremely optimally, it would be a good idea to keep a dedicated set of these 3 pieces for that specific thing". Apparently that hasn't been the case. Reforging costs are meant to help guide you to this conclusion ("well this isn't something I should do often"), but apparently people are just didn't get that hint and are now outraged. Reforging has always been an "oops I picked the wrong thing" or "I'd like to try a new thing" button.

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    • By Stan
      The Harvest Festival in WoW starts today, but there are no permanent rewards that come from the event, and it is not required for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been meta-achievement either.
      (Source)
      The yearly Harvest Festival is now underway in Azeroth. This is a solemn time when the Alliance honors Uther the Lightbringer by lighting a candle at his tomb in the Western Plaguelands, while members of the Horde show their respect to Grommash Hellscream by leaving a bottle of spirits at the base of the Hellscream Memorial in Demon Fall Canyon in Ashenvale.
      When: September 29-October 6
      Where: Outside Ironforge and Orgrimmar
      Commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives to help friends and allies. Feasts are also held outside Ironforge and Orgrimmar in honor of these fallen heroes.
    • By Stan
      Update: an official Blizzard post has explained that Conduit item levels will in fact be going above item level 210, as well as many other details about the system, which you can check out here.

      Soulbind Conduits in Shadowlands will be hard-capped at Item Level 210 or Rank 5 in the first raid tier of Shadowlands.
      Soulbind Conduits have 15 ranks of power, and in the latest Shadowlands Beta build, we learned how to upgrade them through a consumable sold by Ve'nari in the Maw.

      Today, we found out that in the first raid tier of the expansion (and also Mythic Season 1), Soulbind Conduits will be hard-capped at Rank 5, 210 being the highest obtainable.
      If you run the following macro in the game and manually replace conduitID and conduitRank, you will see Conduit tooltips with various ranks in the chat. Thanks to AcidWeb from the Shaman Discord for providing the macro.
      /run print(C_Soulbinds.GetConduitHyperlink(conduitID, conduitRank)) In the following example, we used the Iron Maiden Conduit and figured out that Soulbind Conduits will be capped at Rank 5 or Item Level 210 in the first raid tier of the expansion. The difference between Rank 5 and Rank 6 is 90 item levels.
      Conduit Rank 1: Item Level 155 Conduit Rank 2:  Item Level 165 Conduit Rank 3: Item Level 180 Conduit Rank 4: Item Level 195 Conduit Rank 5: Item Level 210 Conduit Rank 6: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 7: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 8: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 9: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 10: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 11: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 12: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 13: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 14: Item Level 300 Conduit Rank 15: Item level 300 Below are Ranks 1 through 6 and the final rank of the Conduit.

      Item Levels of Rewards in Shadowlands
      For comparison, here are the item levels of rewards that you get from various sources in the new expansion.
      Crafted Gear
      Item Level: 151-168 (upgradable with Crafter's Mark II) Shadowlands Dungeon Loot
      Rewards from dungeons start at Item Level 158 on Normal difficulty in Mythic Season 1. The Item Level will increase throughout the expansion.
      Normal Difficulty: Item Level 158 Heroic Difficulty: Item Level 170 Mythic Difficulty: Item Level 183 Timewalking: Item Level 158 Shadowlands PvP Loot
      Honor gear: Item Level 158-190 (upgradable) Conquest gear: Item Level 190-222 (upgradable) Shadowlands Raids/World Boss Loot
      The last two Castle Nathria bosses (Stonelegion Guardians and Sire Denathrius drop better loot from the rest of the raid).
      Raid Finder Difficulty: Item Level 187-194 Normal Difficulty: Item Level 200-207 Heroic Difficulty: Item Level 213-220 Mythic Difficulty: Item Level: 226-233 Timewalking: Item Level 200 Shadowlands World Bosses: Item Level 207
    • By Starym
      There's a beta wipe coming this week, most likely late on Wednesday, mostly to address issues players are having with quest flow. There will also be 2 new options after the wipe for character copy, with level 50 and 60 options available.

      Whether this indicates anything about much awaited pre-patch arrival date is hard to say, but it seems pretty definitive that we won't be seeing it pop up tomorrow. In fact, with still no news from Blizzard, even next week, the long-presumed October 6th/7th release date, is starting to not look so hot.
      Shadowlands Beta Wipe (source)
      Later this week when we take the Shadowlands Beta offline for its weekly update, all test characters will be removed from the Shadowlands Beta realms. Over recent weeks, many of the bug reports we’ve received are related to player-characters getting into a broken state due to changes in questlines or Covenant flow. These are not bugs that could occur in a live environment, and they often mask other issues that we still need to identify and fix. When the Shadowlands Beta resumes public availability, testers will want to copy or create new characters in order to resume testing.
      Thereafter, on test realms you’ll find that Renown with all Covenants will be set back to its initial, Week 1 state. Please note that there will be two options for template test characters: On the Maw and Oribos realms, you’ll find character copy and Level 50 templates for testing the initial experience. On the Torghast realm, there will be Level 60 character templates and vendors that support PvP, dungeon, and raid testing. This will skip the Shadowlands level-up content and put the test character right before their Covenant choice.
      As in previous weeks, we’re targeting late Wednesday morning (PDT) for the time when we’ll take the Beta realms offline and do maintenance, remove all characters, and update the build.
      Thank you to all Beta testers for your continued testing and feedback!
    • By Starym
      We have some official clarification from Blizzard on how exactly aspects of Conduits work, from item levels, drop locations, loot type and a lot more! It seems the item levels will go above 210, as an example of a Mythic raid drop is mentioned to be 213, unlike what we previously assumed. The good news is there will be multiple sources for Conduits, from vendors and drops, and they're always Personal loot and class-specific, and drop in addition to other loot from a source.

      The other bigger piece of news is that Stygia is going to be more rare, as the repeatable reward from Torghast is being removed.
      Conduits (source)
      We’ve recently seen a number of questions about how Conduits work in Shadowlands. Here’s a brief explainer:
      Conduits are items, and they have item levels like other loot you’ll see in Shadowlands. Currently in the Beta, Heroic dungeon loot is item level 171 and Normal difficulty Castle Nathria is dropping iLvl 200 gear. Like other loot, the higher the Conduit’s item level, the more powerful its effect.
      Conduits can come from many sources, including dungeon bosses, raid bosses, the PvP vendor, and World Quests and content (via Callings). Conduits go into a collection, making it unnecessary to repeatedly earn individual Conduits at a given item level.
      Conduits drop as personal loot and are class-based, so they don’t differ based on your active spec or your loot spec. They’re also additive with other loot drops – a Conduit won’t replace an item that a boss might otherwise have dropped. Conduits are not tradeable.
      Our goal is to offer one or more ways of targeting the specific Conduits that you might want (such as PvP vendors and loot drops), in addition to those available via Callings and a catch-all Conduit sold by Ve’nari in the Maw.
      Specific to Ve’nari, we’re in the process of removing Stygia as a repeatable reward from Twisting Corridors. Our goal here is for the Eye of the Jailer in the Maw to be a limiting factor on Stygia gains. As with other items, you can experience big upgrades when replacing Conduits. If you have an iLvl 171 version of a Conduit, and you obtain an iLvl 213 version of that Conduit from a Mythic Keystone dungeon, you’ll take it to the Forge of Bonds and enjoy your nice upgrade.
    • By Stan
      It appears Blizzard is removing Rank 2 and 3 Warlords of Draenor crafted item appearances in the Shadowlands pre-patch.
      UPDATE: Blizzard just confirmed that the appearances will only be removed temporarily.
      The news comes from Redditor macrotransactions, who figured out that Warlords of Draenor upgrade tokens (Burnished Essence) have been turned into gray items (Burnished Essence) in the Shadowlands pre-patch, which means you will be no longer able to upgrade the crafted items.
      Rank 2 and Rank 3 crafted items from Warlords of Draenor have unique appearances, and the removal affects all professions.
      Warlords of Draenor recipes are heavily daily-locked, so if you want to obtain the appearances now before they get removed, get ready to spend a lot of gold on the Auction House.
      At this time, we do not know if this is a bug or intended.
      Source: Reddit
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