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Upcoming Azerite Armor Improvements

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Improvements to Azerite Armor are coming! Blizzard outlined changes to the system that will be implemented in the near future and/or Patch 8.1.

UPDATE #2: Azerite Armor rewarded from world quests/emissaries now scales with your item level up to 370. The hotfix is now live.

UPDATE: Blizzard posted additional followup clarifications yesterday.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Got a couple additional notes from the development team based on your initial responses:
 
  • When Siege of Zuldazar opens, loot from other sources will also increase in quality. So BfA Season 2 PvP rewards will have 5 rings, as well as M+ drops from existing dungeons, etc. Those rewards will be higher ilvl to reflect the new season. The change isn’t retroactive (items you already have won't be upgraded), but basically all endgame loot will have 5 rings once we’re in Season 2.
  • Emissary Azerite armor still scales with your item level - it's not just a flat increase. The goal is to make sure that if you have a high item level, regardless of the source of that gear (raiding, PvP, M+, etc.), you have a reliable source of comparable Azerite rewards.
  • The reason we chose Emissaries for this is that it's an issue affecting a wide range of players, not just those who are clearing Mythic+ dungeons. Adding them to Mythic+ would indeed be a great solution if you're a player who's already focused on completing high-level keystones, but doesn't really help people who just want to stick to raiding or PvP. Emissaries are accessible to everyone.
  • 370 is just the current Azerite cap for the hotfix we're working on. When Season 2 begins and the overall quality of rewards goes up, that cap will increase.

The following improvements are coming to Azerite Armor:

  • Azerite Armor rewards from Emissaries will scale all the way up to 370 based on your current item level to give everyone a reliable source for appropriate gear. The team is also looking into how Emissaries reward gear.
    • Apparently, there are no plans to make Azerite Armor drop in Mythic+.
  • Azerite Armor pieces introduced in BfA Season 2 (starting with the Siege of Zuldazar) will have a new outer ring with two spec-specific trait options for each spec.
  • The plan is to make spec-specific traits more interesting and powerful than generic traits.
  • No ETA for implementation, but some changes will be hotfixed into the live game soon.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Thanks for all of the continued feedback and discussion around the Azerite Armor system. We’ve been following the community discussions closely, and the systems team has been focusing on making some improvements as their top priority. I’ve got some updates to share on our current thoughts, as well as some upcoming changes.

To start, here’s some of the bigger issues we’ve been seeing brought up:

  • Overall Availability: While there’s plenty of Azerite Armor in the 295-340 item level range, further sources are heavily limited and susceptible to bad luck. Even players who are doing a wide range of high-end content are still wearing at least one Item Level 340 piece, despite having replaced all their other gear several times over. Everything else about the system is basically irrelevant if you can’t get your hands on the gear in the first place.
  • Lack of Agency: When items do drop, it can feel like you’re not really given much in the way of options. You can choose whether you want this to be a Fire or a Frost piece, or a versatile one with a generic trait, but that isn’t necessarily an interesting choice. And when you look at the complete package, those choices don’t often feel like they’re having a meaningful impact on how you play your character.
  • Trait Depth: Several of the traits that are considered the “best” mathematically turn out to be some of the simplest mechanically, which reinforces the sense that the system isn’t really affecting gameplay.

We agree that those issues need to be resolved. So, here’s a few changes we’re working on:

  • We need to make Azerite Armor more available, for all types of players, through a method everyone can utilize. So we’re actually looking at Emissary rewards for that. The plan is to make Azerite Armor rewards from Emissary quests scale all the way up to 370 (based on your item level), which gives everyone a new, reliable source for appropriate gear. Further on, we’re looking at making some further improvements to the ways Emissaries reward gear, but getting more Azerite Armor in your hands is the higher priority for the immediate future.
  • When we add new Azerite Armor in what we’re calling “BfA Season 2” (starting with Siege of Zuldazar and its corresponding Mythic+ and PvP seasons), we’re going to add another outer ring to those pieces of gear that has two spec-specific trait options for each spec. This effectively means that your favorite traits will be available on a lot more items, while also opening up a lot more options across the scope of all of your Azerite pieces (and thus, we hope, create more interesting decisions).
  • We’re also going to continue to work on the individual traits themselves. We’ve done some basic tuning so far, but we’re taking the lessons we’ve learned from these first iterations forward, and Tides of Vengeance will bring new traits into the pool that reflect that. Our goal is to make the more generic traits be decent middle-of-the-road options for when you want to use a single piece for multiple situations or specs, but make sure the spec-specific options (which are generally the more interesting traits) win out in their respective environments.

Some of those changes won’t be coming until Tides of Vengeance (and you’ll see them on the PTR soon), but the overall availability of Azerite Armor is a much more pressing concern, so we’re investigating ways of hotfixing that directly into the live game. I don’t have a solid timeline on when that might be yet, but we’ll definitely have more information to share as soon as we can confirm when that can happen.

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Dont get fool by this. this is new 340. Just becuz u increase the ilvl to 370 mean nothing when the ilvl r getting higher. 8.1 has new raid with higher ilvl 370 will be juz a base line az gear which they will likely drop from regular mythic dungeons and Emissaries. Blizz is still holding on with no az gear in M+. Still being 1/100 from weekly chest. And anyone who is getting 385 piece will hv to re-rng for the az gear. 

Edited by rahnaddonerisal
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Yeah this is just a desperate bandaid, the entire system needed a complete rework in beta, at the rate they are 'fixing' it we'll have a working system in 8.4 just as the next expansion is ready to roll out, much like Legion with Legendary items.

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4 hours ago, rahnaddonerisal said:

Dont get fool by this. this is new 340. Just becuz u increase the ilvl to 370 mean nothing when the ilvl r getting higher. 8.1 has new raid with higher ilvl 370 will be juz a base line az gear which they will likely drop from regular mythic dungeons and Emissaries. Blizz is still holding on with no az gear in M+. Still being 1/100 from weekly chest. And anyone who is getting 385 piece will hv to re-rng for the az gear. 

Back in legion 7.3.5 rewards from emissaries were 860? Even if they increase ilvl by laughable 30 ilvls, that's still something yet it shows that blizzard really needs to take their time to learn.

All they have really "added" to BfA are mixed and then (or just) nerfed systems. Azerite gear is Artifact/Trait/Legendaries/Raid Sets added up but with little impact. (compared to what it used to be) From emissaries we can get gold or ap or resources or an item instead of everything at once at good quantity like it was in legion.

If you think that legendaries were badly designed and you're glad that they have been removed, well i find legendaries as an additional motivation to do out-dated content. (just like emissaries and world bosses after few patches)

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Lol sure give people even more heroic gear IL for free. At this rate at 8.2 I almost expect to see that we receive free loot in our mailbox every reset day " to give people a chance to catch up"

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9 hours ago, Stan said:

Apparently, there are no plans to make Azerite Armor drop in Mythic+.

Eh. -.-"

1 hour ago, Skayan said:

If you think that legendaries were badly designed and you're glad that they have been removed, well i find legendaries as an additional motivation to do out-dated content. (just like emissaries and world bosses after few patches)

I would give the half of my hand to bring back Legendaries instead of this Azerite system.

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Obviously, they want gear from the new raid (and other sources) to be better than the previous one(s). By not making the change retroactive, they just force you to grind more - which you already do if you want to have BiS traits for at least one of your specs (let alone if two or all three of them are viable).

Azerite not dropping from m+ is still absolutely absurd. I will try to rationalise their thinking: I am not a hardcore player and I already have 370 ilvl. My gear hasn't cleared heroic yet but tbh I need like 1-2 gear pieces from in there. Perhaps they want people using their bonus rolls more in m+ (I am already contemplating doing it), but the chance of getting Azerite from that is so damn small. (Just thinking out loud here, trying to understand their logic.)

I am not sure how these are improvements, I would just call them changes. The endless grind and endless simming every time you get a new piece continues.

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2 hours ago, Skayan said:

If you think that legendaries were badly designed and you're glad that they have been removed, well i find legendaries as an additional motivation to do out-dated content. (just like emissaries and world bosses after few patches)

That's about the only plus of the old system, I barely do Emissaries anymore in BFA because there is nothing I can get from WQs and I'm incredibly over the Azerite grind.

However just because Leggos were better than Azerite doesn't mean they aren't both terrible systems that needed to be taken out back and shot in the head.

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5 minutes ago, Zadina said:

Obviously, they want gear from the new raid (and other sources) to be better than the previous one(s). By not making the change retroactive, they just force you to grind more - which you already do if you want to have BiS traits for at least one of your specs (let alone if two or all three of them are viable).

Loot grind in a MMO? This is an outrage!

As for the M+ not dropping Azerite, what would the options be? M+ with lockouts but dropping armor? Or no restrictions what so ever, like with the Maw of Souls grinding for AP?

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honestly it just feels like the legion weapon drama all over again. a system that was poorly implemented and progressively altered (band-aided) over the expansion. first we maxed out the weapon to quick so they added the infinite void 0.5% dps increase trait. well that made people grind ap forever and reach dps levels far out classing the raid, so they removed that and added another tier of each existing trait and a couple more. then they finally added the double trait system which lead to more rng and grinding. so basically every single patch there was some major alteration to the system.

i realize their QA division probably has 8 million angry emails/tweets but i really would rather them take a little more time and actually make a correct fix of the system instead of a new bandaid every patch. we can hope but alas history does repeat itself. 

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Just more bandaiding while pretending it's all fine after the bandaiding, only to have them admit in a later Q/A again that "it wasn't what we had hoped". These solutions are very half hearted as we've come to expect.

Disappointing, but not unexpected.

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1 hour ago, Drachar said:

Loot grind in a MMO? This is an outrage!

As for the M+ not dropping Azerite, what would the options be? M+ with lockouts but dropping armor? Or no restrictions what so ever, like with the Maw of Souls grinding for AP?

Grinding assumes you know what you are attempting to get. This is just RNG bullocks. Honestly who gives a rats backsides if a small percentage of players no-lifes it and gets uber gear, the rest of us will get at as we go, just like normal.

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Well, as a really casual player and someone who does not need to get that last 0.01% dmg increase a certain stat/item/trait whatever gives you I have a really hard time understanding all the rage. I haven't had a single ring drop so far but get azerite gear from every weekly chest. I might be lucky/unlucky in that regard.

I just wish people would try to focus more on the enjoyable things online games offer instead of being angry/raging/finding things to be upset about all the time. I know that there are competitive souls out there but why do you have to get the super mega best gear right away so that you can clear the hardest content within a week of its release and be bored afterwards? 🙂

I know that most of the systems Blizzard introduced are flawed to a certain degree but I still wish people would focus on how to have fun with and or despite those flaws instead of this endless complaining and raging.

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42 minutes ago, Caeren said:

I have a really hard time understanding all the rage.

Same.  We're starting to push Heroic, not much, but i would say I am after ENOUGH dps increase.

But if the issue is "i cant get azerite gear past 340, nobody can except 1/100 chance."  Then literally everyone has that chance, and is gated behind the same thing.  Its' like complaining that you dont have invincible.  Hes frickin hard to get, but everyone hast he same odds.  and its not really affecting your DPS if NOBODY has the gear either.  

You can get azerite from the raid.  LFR, N, Heroic, Mythic...  opportunity is there. 
 - "I cant grind it in M+" NOBODY CAN - so its a non-issue.  
 - "the traits arent good." so its not technically a DPS increase over your 340 one you can farm from WQ?  Then use your 340 one.  Boom!  No different than if a WF/TF 380 trinket drops that your darkmoon deck AH piece out-sims.  

I dislike the system, but i mean come on...  

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8 hours ago, Zadina said:

 which you already do if you want to have BiS traits for at least one of your specs (let alone if two or all three of them are viable)...


LOL, the BIS traits for the two different classes I play most are almost identical and one is melee the other ranged.  Class-specific traits, forget about spec-specific traits, barely dent the top 10 on either.  That's a bigger problem than ilvl of AZ pieces given a 310 pieces with one of the top 3-5 traits could beat a piece of 370 gear with lower or even middle of the pack traits.

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Boring system with boring announcements.

 

Just boring.

 

NONE of the traits have ever struck me as, "oh that's cool! I can't wait to see that proc."

 

LIke, oh gee thanks for that .5% bonus haste for 5 seconds. *yawns*

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Honestly, it sounds like great changes all around considering where we started from.

This new tier will ONLY have two spec specific choices. So odds are it won't be your usual passive crap but new procs and things to watch out for. In fact Preach covered this with a video recently and the new datamined traits were pretty interesting and gave you new things to watch out for!

PS: Also Bellular's new vid on this.

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On 10/4/2018 at 5:11 PM, Caeren said:

Well, as a really casual player and someone who does not need to get that last 0.01% dmg increase a certain stat/item/trait whatever gives you I have a really hard time understanding all the rage. I haven't had a single ring drop so far but get azerite gear from every weekly chest. I might be lucky/unlucky in that regard.

I just wish people would try to focus more on the enjoyable things online games offer instead of being angry/raging/finding things to be upset about all the time. I know that there are competitive souls out there but why do you have to get the super mega best gear right away so that you can clear the hardest content within a week of its release and be bored afterwards? 🙂

I know that most of the systems Blizzard introduced are flawed to a certain degree but I still wish people would focus on how to have fun with and or despite those flaws instead of this endless complaining and raging.

Yes and that is all good and all, but ''fun'' for a lot of people differs. People are angry for a reason and not because of the heck of it, some are but most are not.  Also comparing a ring drop which you can farm with azerite gear is not really the best thing here, since they are not the same .

And it kind of is the point to an MMORPG to get the best gear, that's the whole thing. There are other aspects to the game of course but that is the main point of the game. I know you probably don't mean this word by word but generally most of the people cant even pull of clearing content at the speed you are saying, even with really good gear, it's just how it is.  Getting better gear and progressing with your raid group and being happy for your friends once they get that piece they wanted is fun and exciting,but when you hear people saying things like '' Oh this new item is 370 but my 340 is still better'' or that they do not get what they want and is making them sad  or disappointed that kind of brings the fun down where it shouldn't .

The thing is. We are paying for this game and as a consumer if we do not like what we are getting it is only reasonable to give voice to it, and i am not saying it should be a voice full of meaningless  hate and negativity but you will get such things even with ''tiny'' flaws. 

Which brings us to the flaws mentioned, they are sticking out quite a lot and are in the way of enjoying the game. Unless you do not care for the whole azerite gear and its system in general.

The current system is just not ''flawed'' it is quite broken.

 

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