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Starym

Covenants Already Preferred for M+, Preach and Dratnos Discuss the Issues

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The undoubtedly greatest issue and debate surrounding Shadowlands has been the Covenant abilities for each class. Their impact on class viability for all WoW activities has been a hot topic ever since they were announced and Blizzard are not backing down from their "significant player choice/RPG aspect of the game" argument, and it's almost certain we'll be seeing Covenant-exclusive abilities in Shadowlands.

Today on the beta, we have a bit of a possible portent of things to come, at least if the alarmist faction of the WoW community is to be believed. While this isn't the biggest deal or proof of anything, it is what most players fear will be happening throughout all activities, from raids to PvP and Mythic+ (except a lot worse):

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In case you can't quite make that out, people are already "preferring" specific Covenants for specific dungeons, as each has their own bonuses (and you can check them all out here). This is a particularly light version of what the community thinks will happen, as it's only 1 slot and is only preferred, but it's also just the beta and a meta hasn't had a chance to form yet. Again, this isn't proof of anything, but is certainly an indicator that player fears aren't completely un-waranted, especially when things like this are popping up this early.

We've also recently had two prominent community members talk in-depth on these issues, starting with the most adamant opponent of the system, Preach, who even went head-to-head with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas on the matter, and is now giving his final thoughts on all things Covenant:

We then move on to Dratnos, who's also expressed concerns about the system and how this isn't the first time a system like this was introduced and caused problems:

Both videos are definitely worth a watch if you're even remotely interested in the discussion/system, especially if you haven't been keeping up with this burning issue.

All of these potential limitations on which high-end activities you might get excluded from based on your Covenant choice are perhaps even more exacerbated due to the new Great Vault system, which requires you to complete three tiers of more and more difficult activities in each category (M+, PvP and raids) in order to get the biggest selection of weekly loot. Especially so since another fear of the system is that Covenants will have different optimal abilities for different activities, so if you want to be the best at PvP, you'd need a different Covenant than one you'd need for M+ or raids. In any case, Blizzard's main defense on the matter has been that these abilities will not be so important and powerful as to be required, which implies very good balance for them, while the community isn't quite confident they'll be able to pull that off.

Where do you stand on the issue? Is there even enough time for Blizzard to rethink this particular decision or is it one of those things that they'll realize is a problem around patch 9.2 and fix in 9.3?

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This was literally the inevitable. If they kept the Covenants as strictly cosmetic thing and let us pick which Covenant power to use (not to mention switch like a talent), we wouldn't be here

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Indeed, just give players talent selection and don't make abilities bound to specific Covenant. Then everyone can use whatever they want, including min-maxers. This is also problematic for future patches, someone might pick the "best" Covenant, only to find it being nerfed in next patch. Even more casual players might be affected by this, when they are declined on lfg, because they had "bad" Covenant.

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I hope they listen about this, it's so obvious, why are they still going with this?

I mean, I'm not gonna choose because the meta told me so, but this situation is boring. They should say something like "ok Covenants knows they need each other so they share their knowledge" and done, you can choose your covenant and the spell/skill you want. 

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I'd never imagined this would happen in beta, lol. I've seen this coming but not this early. I honestly wish for them to scrap this covenant bullshit entirely. Release SL without them and just go the path from older xpacs, take some time and develop a fully fledged, well thought system that does not exlude you from something just because your choice makes you weaker.

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I've said it numerous times, and I'll repeat myself again. The best thing as far as Covenants go is to offer all the four abilities as a separate talent row and not gate cosmetics and everything that comes with Covenants behind player power. I don't want this all to happen in 9.2 as a band-aid fix like Essences in BfA.

At the end of the day, I want to pick a Covenant based on what mounts and perks it gives me and I don't want people to check out my Covenant choice before I join a Mythic+ group because for now, the design clearly favors one Covenant choice above all. Like the Night Fae is currently superior for Restoration Druids, and if I don't pick that, will I get kicked from the group?

It will be extremely difficult for the balance team in Shadowlands to balance everything properly. We have Covenant Abilities, Legendary Powers, Soulbind Conduits, all systems layered on top of each other.

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I can't believe Blizzard is being so oblivious of this problem, and still thinks it's fine to affect gameplay for RP purpose. It never is. It almost makes me not want to come back for Shadowlands

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In before Blizzard says, "This concept looked great on paper," again like they did about Azerite gear.  I agree with Preach's and Dratno's videos.  But the question is will Blizzard scrap the plan for Covenants if it doesn't pass the Beta testing like Ion stated before?  Or will they charge head first and watch it all snowball into a bigger problem in later patches?

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This is just outright stupid. SL is somewhat 3 months from launch and we still face the issue that's been talked about and criticized since its announcement. And the biggest STUPIDITY about it is that the dev team really think that they can balance out all these abilities and soulbinds. May i remind that this is the same dev team that have been balancing the game for the past several years and they have been DAMN BAD at their job (either nerfing something to the ground or making minor tweaks THAT DON'T DO ANYTHING). Legion Outlaw Rogues, BfA Shadow Priests, Shamans, post Zul Sub Rogues and others send their regards. Don't even want to mention the abomination that is the corruption system.

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Honestly i dont think the exclusive abillity is issue here, i think problem is community where everyone on LF going primary for highest power level, played unholy DK all BfA and allways had an issue to find a group in LF caus everyone just preffered rogue until patch 8.3 as melee DPS or DH (and there been always plenty rogue and DH), so i dont think that some covenant abillity will be so big issue still everyone will prefer better DPS/heal/tank on actual patch... so one exclusive abillity on top of that is not a big deal, still mass shroud or easy DH with top DPS will be preffered same for resto druid...

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10 hours ago, Senou said:

I'd never imagined this would happen in beta, lol. I've seen this coming but not this early. I honestly wish for them to scrap this covenant bullshit entirely. Release SL without them and just go the path from older xpacs, take some time and develop a fully fledged, well thought system that does not exlude you from something just because your choice makes you weaker.

I mean beta is literally the place to test things, how do you test things without the covenant needed to test it? This is exactly where I'd expect to find this.

We'll likely have a similar situation as we had with 8.3 and corruptions. Early on there'll be some "link corruption for inv" expecting a nice juicy TD/IS/w.e was broken early in 8.3 since I don't remember, then people will realise we don't need anything to steam roll through everything, even up to 17-20 range if people have the gear and know wtf to do, a nice middle ground. Then we'll reach the point we're at in 8.3 where we can push beyond what we should be able to do because of the borrowed power system. 

In the end, it'll all come down to r.io score anyway.

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It is a shame they invest so much time and effort into something that could potentially hamper players' experience.

 

Whenever I see stuff like this go down, I just think they could have not done this and instead spent energy giving us a super enriched player housing, or an extra instanced pocket zone to regroup at. Something that won't make or break your experience with other players.

 

Welp.

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3 hours ago, TyZone said:

Whenever I see stuff like this go down, I just think they could have not done this and instead spent energy giving us a super enriched player housing, or an extra instanced pocket zone to regroup at. Something that won't make or break your experience with other players.

I really don't see the point of player housing. We had garrisons in WoD, and all people did was moan that people spent all their time there, not with other players... how does player housing (or another instanced zone...) work any differently?

Honestly I'd prefer covenents to that but then I've never seen the appeal in it.

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8 hours ago, Eresken said:

Honestly i dont think the exclusive abillity is issue here, i think problem is community where everyone on LF going primary for highest power level, played unholy DK all BfA and allways had an issue to find a group in LF caus everyone just preffered rogue until patch 8.3 as melee DPS or DH (and there been always plenty rogue and DH), so i dont think that some covenant abillity will be so big issue still everyone will prefer better DPS/heal/tank on actual patch... so one exclusive abillity on top of that is not a big deal, still mass shroud or easy DH with top DPS will be preffered same for resto druid...

The community wanting the best in their group is something Blizzard can't change, and no one will ever be able to change it.

And that's Blizzard's job to make it so the majority of players have a chance to be taken in group. Because players have litteraly no reason to handicap themselves if they can have someone better in their group.

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Just now, Mugendai said:

The community wanting the best in their group is something Blizzard can't change, and no one will ever be able to change it.

And that's Blizzard's job to make it so the majority of players have a chance to be taken in group. Because players have litteraly no reason to handicap themselves if they can have someone better in their group.

True, though this is where I'd expect the games developers to see the issue and try to think of a solution so that some players won't be handicapped to find a group either. We've already got this with classes this is just another layer on the cake.

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2 hours ago, Mugendai said:

The community wanting the best in their group is something Blizzard can't change, and no one will ever be able to change it.

And that's Blizzard's job to make it so the majority of players have a chance to be taken in group. Because players have litteraly no reason to handicap themselves if they can have someone better in their group.

no its not a blizz job, its job is to make game as much balanced as can be (even with special and uniqe abilities between classes, specs or now covenants...) and give players fun and ways how to feel special when playing specific class, race, covenant, specialization, etc... they are not responsible for players which are looking just fast grind, for players which looking for friendly enjoying conent of game you have tools like Guild or even in LF you still can start a group without specific req for covenant, class, specialization, etc...

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I realy dont know why they dont do it like it were in Legion. We will go through all covenanst while leveling and using all theyr abilities. WHY these abilities dont stay?! They could do it like how it worked with Vindicaar ability. 4 powers but only one usable...if i wanted to use another1 i have to go change it on Vindicaar. And choosing covenant vould geat us secondary moving ability. This would prety much solve everything....yeah and no covenants dung bonuses in M+ ?

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6 hours ago, Eresken said:

no its not a blizz job, its job is to make game as much balanced as can be (even with special and uniqe abilities between classes, specs or now covenants...) and give players fun and ways how to feel special when playing specific class, race, covenant, specialization, etc... they are not responsible for players which are looking just fast grind, for players which looking for friendly enjoying conent of game you have tools like Guild or even in LF you still can start a group without specific req for covenant, class, specialization, etc...

You can feel special without having it affect other player's gameplay. That's the whole point of the problem.

You can get your cool story, skins and everything you want, but it shouldn't affect how effective you are.

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7 hours ago, Mugendai said:

You can feel special without having it affect other player's gameplay. That's the whole point of the problem.

You can get your cool story, skins and everything you want, but it shouldn't affect how effective you are.

thats about balance not about removing special abilities for specific classes, specializations or covenants or anything else, still everyone just complain on something which is in game from its beginning its a basic game design of WoW, i can complain as unholy DK on missing usable utillity for M+ or low DPS in comparison with DH which is even easier for playing but rather than just complain i find a way how to enjoy my class and to bring maximum from it even in M+, and as i said before the game has plenty of options for you to find a group which wanna play with you...

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