Patch 8.0.1 Hotfixes - September 26, 2018
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
  • Uldir
    • Coagulated Bloods roaming the halls of Uldir now inflict a maximum of 3 stacks Roiling Blood on Raid Finder difficulty.
  • Waycrest Manor
    • Fixed an issue where the Heartsbane Triad would not be able to cast Claim the Iris if the iris was not in line of sight.
    • Fixed a bug where the player may remain stunned even if Soulbound Goliath’s Soul Thorns on them were destroyed.

Player versus Player

Warfronts
  • Players who are Away From Keyboard will now be automatically removed from the Warfront.

World Quests
  • Fixed a bug that caused the gryphon mount to disappear and prevent completion of “Saving Xibala”.

Blizzard Responds to Azerite Armor Concerns
Originally Posted by '"Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Azerite - Worst Itemization in WoW's History
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.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 8.0.1 Hotfixes - Sept 26, Blizzard Responds to Azerite Armor Concerns started by Stoy View original post
Comments 163 Comments
  1. Fillerbunny's Avatar
    I like the response about reforging, not because of the content but because of the stand they take.
    Wish they had the balls to do that on all of their decisions, instead of the usual backpedaling they play, like the little snowflakes they usually are.
  1. Yggdrasil's Avatar
    It's almost like they could have avoided all these issues if beta testing was actually testing and not just some hype bullshit machine. A lot of people knew about these issues months before release and Blizzard subbonly knew best as always. So here we are... shit system for the rest of an expansion..
  1. FurryRedVixen's Avatar
    this is worst deflection and non addressing in any responsible matter then the 2016 elections o.o
  1. Mushkins's Avatar
    That's right. If all Azerite traits are equally powerful, what's the point in the system then?
  1. Nootz's Avatar
    Just let us farm M+ for Azerite pieces. Why is that such a horrible thing?
  1. Ilnez's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fillerbunny View Post
    I like the response about reforging, not because of the content but because of the stand they take.
    Wish they had the balls to do that on all of their decisions, instead of the usual backpedaling they play, like the little snowflakes they usually are.
    Right? Who cares that the system is hugely punishing for no reason and no benefit? At least they're sticking to their guns about a fucking stupid design decision.
  1. Pratt's Avatar
    Translated:
    We acknowledge that our complete inability to balance the azerite traits is killing the feature.
    Since the traits have different power levels, they must be useful and interesting, and live up to our promise that they would alter gameplay in fun ways.
    We agree that refarming traits is super not fun at all but we need to have you grinding as much as possible.
    We believe that tuning the traits to the point they should have been at before launch makes them useful and interesting.
    We intentionally made a high reforge cost to make you keep piece of azerite armor and need to farm every single one. Have fun with that.
    Because new traits will only be added to all new gear we think the forced grinding and hoarding is fine.

    This response legit makes me want to quit the game.
  1. Malix Farwin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mushkins View Post
    That's right. If all Azerite traits are equally powerful, what's the point in the system then?

    Well what people assumed and what was communicated about the system was this:

    There would be traits for different situations and playstyles.

    Meaning some best suited for PvP, Mythic+ and Raids.

    The problem with this is that the cost of reforging the traits AND the fact that the gear isnt farmable means it directly contradicts that. Now instead of people looking for traits and armor for different situations it encourages you to only use the ones that work in all situations.

    A lot of the issues with Azerite traits could be resolved by allowing you to farm them in Mythic+
  1. Monkeymoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Malix Farwin View Post
    Well what people assumed and what was communicated about the system was this:

    There would be traits for different situations and playstyles.

    Meaning some best suited for PvP, Mythic+ and Raids.

    The problem with this is that the cost of reforging the traits AND the fact that the gear isnt farmable means it directly contradicts that. Now instead of people looking for traits and armor for different situations it encourages you to only use the ones that work in all situations.
    So I’m slightly confused about something. Why are people saying azerite gear isn’t farmable? As far as I know each piece has specific traits so I’m not seeing why you couldn’t just get multiple of the same piece or whatever and lock in diff traits? Am I missing something?
  1. Fillerbunny's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeymoo View Post
    So I’m slightly confused about something. Why are people saying azerite gear isn’t farmable? As far as I know each piece has specific traits so I’m not seeing why you couldn’t just get multiple of the same piece or whatever and lock in diff traits? Am I missing something?
    you are not missing anything. its only people complaining about not being able to have their way and only their way.

    as usual.
  1. Propelled's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeymoo View Post
    So I’m slightly confused about something. Why are people saying azerite gear isn’t farmable? As far as I know each piece has specific traits so I’m not seeing why you couldn’t just get multiple of the same piece or whatever and lock in diff traits? Am I missing something?
    Because the only way to get Azerite items in PvE above ilvl 340, is in the weekly m+ chest which picks a single item from every possible dungeon loot table, and from raids which reset weekly.
  1. Dizzeeyooo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeymoo View Post
    Why are people saying azerite gear isn’t farmable?
    because once you want to go above 340 ilvl, you are dependant on your rng weekly caches to acquire the vast majority of traits - so not really farmable unless you consider crossing your fingers and toes every wednesday morning farming
  1. ablock87's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mushkins View Post
    That's right. If all Azerite traits are equally powerful, what's the point in the system then?
    The point of the system is to have equally strong traits that (supposedly) change your game play, pending on which trait you choose, for whatever play style you like to pursue.
  1. Zurich's Avatar
    Idk about anyone else but as someone who has been enjoying bfa so far, also has gripes with the game but has so far not complained, the reforging comment seriously pissed me off. Imo it might as well be a giant ‘[email protected]#k you’ from whoever wrote it to the players.
  1. Phailox's Avatar
    "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."

    This is possibly the worst argument i have ever heard, and the fact that it comes directly from blizzard themselves is the worst red flag. I mean this dude, this mentality is exactly why we have the problems we have ingame. I would bet u the dude writing here, talking to us, barely even plays wow.

    like legit. How does having to sim gear indicate any sort of gameplay complexity? when we fucking have 0 info about the effect, at all. How do we value an arbituary 500 haste vs 120 agility vs 1200 dmg on a X PPM? Simming is how we value it.
    How are the points of traits being passive number increases come at odds with traits being useless and uninteresting.
    How?
    Legit, how the fuck?
  1. ls-'s Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    Noice.
  1. Monkeymoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzeeyooo View Post
    because once you want to go above 340 ilvl, you are dependant on your rng weekly caches to acquire the vast majority of traits - so not really farmable unless you consider crossing your fingers and toes every wednesday morning farming
    Oh ok I see. So azerite gear won’t drop from a completed M+ but it CAN drop from the weekly cache? I thought there was no azerite gear in M+ period, completed runs or weekly chest. Yeah, that is annoying.
  1. Kaeth's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    As is becoming increasingly common, what they "think" about game balance is far from reality. Or, the definition of "acceptable level" is analogous to Greg Street's definition of "soon."
  1. Zurich's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeymoo View Post
    So I’m slightly confused about something. Why are people saying azerite gear isn’t farmable? As far as I know each piece has specific traits so I’m not seeing why you couldn’t just get multiple of the same piece or whatever and lock in diff traits? Am I missing something?
    Its not farmable because the entirety of m+ azerite gear is knly obtainable by a once a week rng roll
  1. Devlin-'s Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    The vanilla analogy makes the current system look even worse. In vanilla you knew what to farm and where to farm it. Simple. In BFA you can't even target items which is such a fundamental feature that it's making it clear, in my opinion, that BFA actually does have the worst itemization systems in WoW's history. Or are you saying that head, chest and shoulders should be as rare as legendaries were in Legion? That's the only system that comes close, and it was solved by the end of Legion; wakening essences. You have solved this exact problem before!

    Like, what even is the reasoning behind the scarcity above 340 item level? Is there some fucked up roleplaying aspect I´m missing here?

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    This goes against one of the core aspects of loot-driven RPG games; Actually getting sought after loot. If your solution to the issue of not being able to get desired items is to make them undesirable, then you are in fact missing the very essence of loot-driven games. You are also telling people how their subjective enjoyment of the game is wrong which is complete folly.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    Jesus christ, no those points are not at odds with each other, and this is not even an answer to the core issue of actually being able to get the traits in the first place. A trait can be uninteresting and require simming at the same time. You accomplish this by 1) wording the tooltips so vaguely that players have no way of knowing what is going on and 2) you make all traits similar and passive with zero player input interaction. You have successfully achieved this with Azerite traits.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    Well now I feel much more secure in my trust in BFA, thanks

    Honestly though, throwing your hands up in the air saying "deal with it, we don't believe we can fix it" is possibly the worst response I have ever seen. It's far worse than not saying anything at all. YOU created this system, are you saying you don't know how to program a better system, or are you saying that the system is so heavily intertwined with other systems that no changes for the better can actually be made? I don't know which is worse.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    See above, the issue is not solely the balancing of the traits, it is also the acquisition of the gear with the traits in them as well as the traits themselves being boring and passive with zero interaction with what I, the player, actually does in the game. That aside, you're actually missing the mark with the balancing, so thats a triple failure.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    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.
    Another contradictory system put in place here. Azerite traits are rare above 340 item level. There are also HUNDREDS of them in various combinations, so getting a trait is hard, and you might not be lucky and get the "right" trait for your playstyle. On top of that you add arbitrary restrictions to HINDER players from using that rare trait combination for more than one situation. The tank into dps into healer example is the go-to, but dps also have traits that work differently based on spec and talents and situation. Making it hard to adapt your gear to your character and gameplay, or as you do threaten to make it nigh impossible, is an arbitrary restriction on top of an uneccessarily cumbersome system. You worked for so long to get rid of these kinds of system, only to add them back. It is not FUN.

    Here's an interesting exercise. Change the word "reforging" to "respec" and "traits" to "talents" in the above paragraph, and see how well it would sit with Blizzard's current system of talents and respeccing.

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