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Starym

Covenant Dungeon Ability Nerfs Are Starting, Is Blizzard Listening to the Community?

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As discussion over the biggest wedge issue of the Shadowlands continues, Blizzard have started toning down Covenant benefits. The most recent focus of the long "Covenant meaningful choice" war has been the bonuses individual Covenants get inside specific dungeons (which you can check out here), with specific Covenants already being preferred for groups on the Shadowlands beta.

In this latest beta build, however, it seems Blizzard are starting to pull back on the significance of these bonuses, or perhaps they started them off at higher values for testing purposes to begin with. In any case, the Plaguefall dungeon bonuses for Necrolord Covenant players have been drastically reduced, as they went from 25% to 5% across the board. Here are the abilities and buffs in question, received by poking around specific slimes in the dungeon with the ability_necrolord_fleshcraft.jpg?35679 Fleshcraft Necrolord ability:

While the initial numbers were very high and really did basically demand one slot be reserved for a member of the relevant Covenant, even the 5% buffs will almost certainly still have the same effect for high-end Mythic+ groups. But this change does somewhat alleviate the issue for less hardcore players, which is definitely a good thing, but does once more accentuate the inherent problem with the Covenant ability exclusivity decision.

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It's interesting to think about why exactly Blizzard started the values off so high, fully knowing the reaction it would cause in the community on this already very contentious issue, and whether this recent tuning pass was always going to happen or if it was in reaction to the community outcry. Whether it's truly possibly for Blizzard to achieve their goal of balancing the Covenant abilities and dungeon buffs to such a degree where they're not as big of a decision factor in choosing a Covenant remains to be seen, but it seems like an almost impossible mission to accomplish for those high-end M+, raider and PvPers who will want/need every single percent of an improvement.

The main message to be taken from this seems to be that the more feedback the better, despite Blizzard already having heard plenty on the Covenant matter. While there are under 2 months left until Shadowlands launch and it really does seem unlikely that the Covenant system changes (even though Game Director Ion Hazzikostas did say that there was still a chance it could all change in a recent interview), the more Blizzard hear about player dissatisfaction, the faster a solution might come - as it might make a difference between free swapping Covenants or unbound abilities coming in 9.1 or 9.3.

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I know it's hard the developers out there, bit listening to community is neccessary. They need to remember the 2 golden rules:

1. The customer is always right.

2. Don't fix what ain't broken.

 

I get the need to experiment, but change for the sake of change (screw you Tzeentch) benefits no one

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It's a step in the right direction but I feel as if there is so much work to be done in under a short amount of time.  But imo I would prefer the buffs to be removed in a keystone setting all together.  It's a small compromise never the less.

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22 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

I know it's hard the developers out there, bit listening to community is neccessary. They need to remember the 2 golden rules:

1. The customer is always right.

2. Don't fix what ain't broken.

 

I get the need to experiment, but change for the sake of change (screw you Tzeentch) benefits no one

I just don't get the meaningful choice argument since it's ALREADY meaningful, as you get the zone to upgrade, the special events, soulbinds, cosmetics.... like how much more meaningful does it have to be...

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1 hour ago, Dejo93 said:

I know it's hard the developers out there, bit listening to community is neccessary. They need to remember the 2 golden rules:

1. The customer is always right.

2. Don't fix what ain't broken.

 

I get the need to experiment, but change for the sake of change (screw you Tzeentch) benefits no one

No, quite frequently the customer is a dumbass. It hasn't been a golden rule for a while. More accurate is to know your customer base and how something will play out.

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Everyone's outraged at the lack of swapping, but why would Blizz give complete flexibility on a system that they can re-use for future patches? ("Pick a second covenant in 9.1" or whatever)

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2 hours ago, Starym said:

I just don't get the meaningful choice argument since it's ALREADY meaningful, as you get the zone to upgrade, the special events, soulbinds, cosmetics.... like how much more meaningful does it have to be...

Right, like its a very valid point, but to contrast what if I changed your verbiage to say its just the zone, soulbinds and cosmetics? Not very meaningful choice.

So from a perspective of letting the covenant really embrace all aspects of the game just adds depth to the choice. It has has to be REALLY meaningful, or its just a waste of time and should be generic. I think the games been lacking in depth of choice for awhile, idk if covenants are the right direction but I remember when someone had the key to UBRS or ark it was a big deal. They went and chose to get the thing and they were desired for it. Adding a flavor packet to dungeons because you chose that isnt bad imo and its also not new. Remember Court of stars? No one really went out of there way to make sure you had a alchemist or X/Y race/profession but they helped, hopefully this is no different and is just a good addition to the game.

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7 minutes ago, Whisla said:

Right, like its a very valid point, but to contrast what if I changed your verbiage to say its just the zone, soulbinds and cosmetics? Not very meaningful choice.

So from a perspective of letting the covenant really embrace all aspects of the game just adds depth to the choice. It has has to be REALLY meaningful, or its just a waste of time and should be generic. I think the games been lacking in depth of choice for awhile, idk if covenants are the right direction but I remember when someone had the key to UBRS or ark it was a big deal. They went and chose to get the thing and they were desired for it. Adding a flavor packet to dungeons because you chose that isnt bad imo and its also not new. Remember Court of stars? No one really went out of there way to make sure you had a alchemist or X/Y race/profession but they helped, hopefully this is no different and is just a good addition to the game.

I mean you can change my verbiage so it's not accurate anymore, sure. There are many zone-related activities which are specific to the Covenant and are unique. Also you're changing the premise here, Blizzard didn't say "REALLY MEANINGFUL", as that's completely subjective, it's about meaningful and not.

And just to be clear, personally I don't mind the decision it all, it won't impact me personally in the slightest, as I'll simply choose whichever Covenant I like best based on the story lore and mechanically interesting addition to my class gameplay. That doesn't mean it won't negatively affect a LOT of other people though, and I can 100% tell you that making the class abilities talents unrelated to the Covenants would not hurt anyone in practice on any level, just the theoretical "meaningfulness" would be gone.

The dungeon bonuses I actually 100% agree with you, if they stay at the 5% they are now, they won't be game-changing as you just need 1 member of the covenant to get it covered.

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1 minute ago, Starym said:

I mean you can change my verbiage so it's not accurate anymore, sure. There are many zone-related activities which are specific to the Covenant and are unique. Also you're changing the premise here, Blizzard didn't say "REALLY MEANINGFUL", as that's completely subjective, it's about meaningful and not.

Right, no to your point i was just saying to you it may seem like theyve already done a lot but to others it doesnt seem like much of anything. So kinda repeating what you just said, its subjective so to make it actually meaningful they need to fully embrace it across a wide spectrum. That was the only point I was trying to make, not trying to say youre wrong or anything bc ultimately I dont think anyone is exactly wrong in this argument. 

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3 hours ago, Dejo93 said:

I know it's hard the developers out there, bit listening to community is neccessary. They need to remember the 2 golden rules:

1. The customer is always right.

2. Don't fix what ain't broken.

 

I get the need to experiment, but change for the sake of change (screw you Tzeentch) benefits no one

lol yeah, the customer is almost never right, this is probably the biggest lie you are ever taught

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1 hour ago, Whisla said:

Right, no to your point i was just saying to you it may seem like theyve already done a lot but to others it doesnt seem like much of anything. So kinda repeating what you just said, its subjective so to make it actually meaningful they need to fully embrace it across a wide spectrum. That was the only point I was trying to make, not trying to say youre wrong or anything bc ultimately I dont think anyone is exactly wrong in this argument. 

Oh well sure, but then there will always be people that want "more" meaningfulness even than class abilities and dungeon buffs etc. Again, I don't mind it at all myself, but I just don't get the all in mentality from Blizz here. I don't see ANY way if they implmeent the system that they dont then have to do a patch where they fix it later.

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On 8/31/2020 at 6:44 PM, Dejo93 said:

I know it's hard the developers out there, bit listening to community is neccessary. They need to remember the 2 golden rules:

1. The customer is always right.

2. Don't fix what ain't broken.

 

I get the need to experiment, but change for the sake of change (screw you Tzeentch) benefits no one

1. The customer is almost never right, they're almost always a dumbass that should have their things checked and double checked for sanity (as someone who spent 10 years in retail and now 4 in scientific sales... the later is just as bad at times)

2. Yeah true here, but there's not a lot that isn't broken in some way, and fixing one thing can break many more.

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