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Party Sync in Patch 8.2.5

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In this post, we're taking a closer at Party Sync, a new 8.2.5 feature, which scales down your level and power so that you can play with low-level friends.

In June 2019, Blizzard started sending out level squish surveys to select players and Party Sync looks like a good foundation for a leveling overhaul that would go hand in hand with the squish in Patch 9.0.

From the 8.2.5 development notes, we know that activating Party Sync scales all players above the lowest-level player down to the lowest level. You will automatically receive the quests that your lower-level friend is on and even replay quests that you already completed for a small amount of gold. The scaling down works for both raids and dungeons, but unlike Timrwalking, you will temporarily lose access to abilities and powers (Azerite traits, Essences).

Check out our Patch 8.2.5 hub for more information about WoW's upcoming patch!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Introducing Party Sync

During this PTR we’re experimenting with a new mode that makes it easier for players in a party to do quests and play together: Party Sync. When players activate Party Sync, everyone in the party becomes aligned to the same quest state, including phases. By mousing over a quest in your tracker, you can see who is on the quest, what their progress is, and who’s ready to turn in the quest. There’s something else we’re going to try out on the PTR, a “replay” quest feature. This will allow players who have already completed certain quests to replay those quests with their friends for rewards that are appropriate to their current level, regardless of the original level of the quest.

We’re also relaxing level restrictions on queueing for instanced content with your friends. This allows lower-level players to queue for content in their level range, and higher-level players can choose to join them by having their level scaled down while they’re in the instance. This feature will be available for dungeon instances for PTR Week 1, with PvP instances being flagged in the following weeks. Please note that unlike Timewalking, when your level is scaled down via Party Sync you will temporarily lose access to abilities and powers (such as Azerite traits) with requirements that exceed your reduced level.

Redditor Eredun tested the feature on PTR more extensively and shared how it works based on his findings and in addition to the dev notes we found out that:

  • Repeating quests yields only a small amount of gold, the money reward isn't scaled up to max level (120).
  • You're not able to use Azerite traits, Essences, gems, food, and even potions when you're scaled down.
  • Completing any quests while in Party Sync has a chance to award a box of goodies for either character, which contains a piece of gear appropriate to your specialization and level, but there’s a cap.
    • At level 111, Eredun received item level 210 gloves, so at max level, the item level can be anywhere around item level 280-300.
  • Party Sync works with dungeons and raids. You could get scaled down to 60 and clear Molten Core. 
Quote

First off I should state that there are some VERY LARGE BUGS with Party Sync, PTR is new, so expect some large changes to the system before it launches. For example, I can infinitely re-loot some treasure chests in Kul Tiras, Zandalar, and Pandaria, which is an easy way to get levels and thousands of gold/resources. Then there's random other things, like the inability to use potions while Party Sync is enabled, even a level 35 healing potion when being scaled to 110, or the ability to use the Garrison Hearthstone, i've bug reported those things. I'm just saying, be aware that things are not set in stone or finalized.

Here's how Party Sync works: Lets say you have a level 120 and a level 60, you group up and either of you click the "Party Sync" button in your Map/Quest Log, it will scale all the players above the lowest level player to the lowest level, meaning the 120 scales to level 60. It will also lock any of your quests that are too high level to get at level 60, and any quests that the level 60 has will automatically appear in your Quest Log and your current objectives. This includes quests that the 120 has already completed, they can be re-done but you will not get physical rewards on a repeated quest, only the money, which does not scale to 120 money values.

When you're scaled down, you cannot use your Azerite Essence, Azerite Powers, Trinkets, Enchantments, Gems, Food, or even Potions. Most buffs also get wiped, as if you entered an Arena. This includes items that are normally usable at that level, but that may be a bug.

Completing any quest including repeats or non-repeats while Party Synced has a chance to award a box of goodies for either character. The box contains a random bit of gear for your level. At level 111 I got 210 item level gloves, so i'd imagine at 120 you'll get around 280-300 ilvl gear from this, but I forgot to test this on a level 120 when I had the chance. I assume this can upgrade to rare or epic, I also saw a weapon drop. Visually you seem to get the boosted gear, Demon Hunters get a scaled version of their starting armor.

The lowest level you can scale to is 60, but you'll still be Synced and able to play with the under-60 character. If the lower level is in an earlier phase than you (I.E. the quests in Highmountain that take place before Riverbend got exploded) it will phase you to their proper phase. There are definitely some shenanigans you can get up to with this, but personally I haven't found anything super cool or game-breaking. I'm a bit too lazy to experiment with Death Knights and Demon Hunters that are still in the starting zone, but I was able to do some funky things with some Worgen in their starting zone.

Another new feature unrelated to Party Sync, you can see other members of your party regardless of their phase. If player 1 is standing in destroyed Riverbend, and player 2 is standing in Riverbend full of friendly tauren, you DO still see each other. It doesn't work perfectly, there's definitely some major clipping into everything, but it's cool. This does not affect War Mode. You are also unable to get on each other's 2 person mounts or swapblaster each other when you're in different phases.

You can do any content while scaled at the current moment. Blackrock Mountain has the best breakdown of this. So i'm a level 120, and I scaled to level 60 by grouping up and syncing with a level 20 player. I can walk into Blackrock Depths and am still level 60 with very difficult to kill mobs. I can walk into Molten Core, and boom I can raid as a level 60 without having to halt a character's experience at 60. Lastly, I walked into Upper Blackrock Spire (Which got revamped in Warlords of Draenor, so it is now a level 100 dungeon), and I was still scaled to level 60, so all the enemies were level ?? and were not happy to see me.

Lastly in regards to Party Sync, you're probably wondering "thats great but like, this all sounds like a waste of time". Yea well, your low level friend doesn't think its a waste of time that you're playing with them ?

But for real, you DO get a very decent amount of Experience for completing these. At level 111, I got 16k XP for a quest in Westfall when being scaled to level 60. HOWEVER, if you repeat a quest more than once it stops giving ANY rewards. I assume there's a daily or weekly limit preventing you from repeating a quest over and over and over. So basically you can do the kill Hogger quest your first time, do it again a second time if you are above level 60 and group up with a lower level, then it stops giving XP and money. I do not know about Reputation because i'm a dingie that didn't think about Reputation until this very moment typing this out.

Now another new feature in 8.2.5 is the ability to queue for any dungeon that your lowest-level party member is eligible for. So I queued for Random Classic Dungeon on a level 110 Demon Hunter. I got into Wailing Caverns, and DH is kinda OP (damage wise I was fine, I mean OP because of my utility) because they keep almost every single ability, the only things I lost were useless at this low of a level anyways. Talents keep bugging out and becoming available, but it seems that you are supposed to only keep the first 3 rows when you are level 60 (which is odd, 15, 30, 45, considering the 4th row is 60. But I kept losing access to my fourth row ability on the DH). So basically we're unsure about specifics due to it being a little buggy. Wailing Caverns still took a while to clear, especially since I move immensely faster than anyone else in the group due to Infernal Strike and Glide, while everyone else had... their feet. Mob kills gave measly XP, around 600 per kill, a rare mob gave 1k, not sure how much a boss gave. The two quests I bothered completing gave their full 16k XP, and I actually leveled. Dungeon completion gave 100k. All in all, the dungeon gave roughly 1/6th of a level counting the quests, with no heirlooms or XP buffs on. Definitely not OP, but also not something to laugh at.

If you disable Party Sync when you are in a low level dungeon, all of your Azerite Traits, Essences, Gems ect ect ect do function, and you are able to use any ability. That is most likely a bug.

All in all... I really like this. I think its great for people like me that hear "Hey, do you wanna level together?" and for me to say "Sure! Wait... what level?" And then they're like "80 Horde" and i'm like "...well, my closest would be a level 110 or a level 20 that I haven't bothered with yet". I have one nitpick, when you use Party Sync I think all the mobs that only scale to level 20 should scale all the way to 60, that way you can quest with them all the way from level 1. Also please for the love of all that is holy, LET US SKIP THE WORGEN, GOBLIN, AND PANDAREN STARTING ZONES IF WE HAVE ALREADY DONE THEM ON THE ACCOUNT. Just add an option to all of the first-quest givers that says "I've already heard this story before... <Skips the starting experience and sends you to Stormwind/Orgrimmar. Note: You will still be level 1>" then give them a "Are you sure you want to skip the starting experience? You will not be able to return". And if you're a pandaren, after they hit yes slap that choosing a faction UI on their screen. BOOM, rejoice.

Anyways, if I missed anything or made any mistakes let me know. I only got on the PTR to break it, I didn't expect to be writing up this post so I didn't have it planned out. I just figured "eh why not"

Are you looking forward to the return of Recruit-a-Friend and Party Sync? Let us know in the comments.

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12 minutes ago, Arcling said:

"Are you looking forward to the return of Recruit-a-Friend and Party Sync?"

Nope, since there is no one left to recruit anymore. 🤷‍♂️

On a different outlook, there has never been as many WoW (Classic) players to recruit before 😛 

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1 minute ago, Seksi said:

On a different outlook, there has never been as many WoW (Classic) players to recruit before 😛 

technically those have already a subscription...

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

"Are you looking forward to the return of Recruit-a-Friend and Party Sync?"

Nope, since there is no one left to recruit anymore. 🤷‍♂️

except they said you could recruit old players iirc

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I just want them to expand this a bit and not require a lower lvl person to activate Party Sync. This way a group of 120s could go back and legacy raid if they wanted without needing to have someone locked at that lvl.

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