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Patch 8.1.0 PTR - Build 27985

Upcoming Azerite Armor Improvements
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
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.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Upcoming Azerite Armor Improvements started by chaud View original post
Comments 137 Comments
  1. Softbottom's Avatar
    Excellent!
  1. SinR's Avatar
    still no way to target 355/370/385 from M+

    Bandaid fix at best
  1. Dankhunter's Avatar
    Not being able to target traits you want is still a huge issue. Makes no sense for them to be so against not allowing azerite to drop at the end of a mythic+ chest. Hopefully the outer ring is actually interesting and not just another thing to sim, but with what has happened so far, I wouldn't be surprised.
  1. mathiaslindberg's Avatar
    It didn't take them until after the release of the game to realize that picking the only trait relevant for your spec isn't giving you any choice. They knew the traits were bad, everyone knew it from the first time we saw them in the database.
  1. IIamaKing's Avatar
    So we’re actually looking at Emissary rewards for that.
    I just wish we could go back to a drop/currency system. LIke back in the Valor days.
  1. Blackbrd's Avatar
    It would be awesome if they just gave us empty azerite pieces and let us buy tokens that we drop in the armor. They can be upgraded with azerite or scale with your necklace or something
  1. City Pop's Avatar
    It's a decent bandaid fix, but my hope is still that we drop this system by next expansion. I want class customization through my class, not random, untargetable gear.
  1. Tesshin20's Avatar
    I think it would be really cool if we could change the traits on the gear as much as we want for free as long as we are out of combat. Would make every single Azerite piece more valuable.
  1. Kreo's Avatar
    I second that currency thing...Makes sense, add extra game time to farm stuff and you can choose the gear with desired traits. Maybe add different currency for different content, so they match the ilvl of the item. That would be simple and yet good fix imo.
  1. Blur4stuff's Avatar
    Trait balance is still way out of whack. I found myself staring at my DK trait 'deep cuts' today trying to figure out how such a thing could happen and still exist.
  1. Thetruth1400's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mathiaslindberg View Post
    It didn't take them until after the release of the game to realize that picking the only trait relevant for your spec isn't giving you any choice. They knew the traits were bad, everyone knew it from the first time we saw them in the database.
    This. There's always going to be a best choice, the only way to eliminate that is to have the system be trivial or the contribution from the items be so minor that the choice just doesn't matter.

    I think Blizzard is just so disconnected from reality that they can't see the system for what it is; a failure. They need to get over their sunk cost fallacy, scrap the system, and just focus on a different, better system going forward, and yes, that means in this expansion, not just the next one. It's good to try new things, but there comes a point when it's clear the new thing is a flop and the best thing for everyone is to just move on.
  1. Chuckadoodle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber Lain View Post
    It's a decent bandaid fix, but my hope is still that we drop this system by next expansion. I want class customization through my class, not random, untargetable gear.
    This, ohh and bring back badge gear...
  1. Nightstalker's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SinR View Post
    still no way to target 355/370/385 from M+

    Bandaid fix at best
    Bad luck protection should help at some point. Got my first after 4 weeks.
  1. Sithalos's Avatar
    Azerite is dead. This garbage shit isn't going to change that.
  1. Mirishka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IIamaKing View Post
    I just wish we could go back to a drop/currency system. LIke back in the Valor days.
    I said this to a guildie like... 4 hours ago. The valor stuff really helped out with the stretches of bad RNG (and alts), and it is garbage that they removed it.
  1. itzLCD's Avatar
    Just STOP playing this god awful expansion!
  1. Playintrafic's Avatar
    Well this helps, but azerite still sucks
  1. muto's Avatar
    Zzzzzzzz

    Let me know when you clowns actually allow it to drop in m+
  1. dcc626's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber Lain View Post
    It's a decent bandaid fix, but my hope is still that we drop this system by next expansion. I want class customization through my class, not random, untargetable gear.
    it will be gone next xpac. and replaced with a similar but different system.

    whats important right now is making the current (for the next 1.5 years at least) system better.

    giving us more azerite is a start.
  1. duster2's Avatar
    I think this is a decent solution to the problem. I like that Blizzard is not letting the 5 man Mythic+ "elites" control their design decisions. 5 man content should never drop the best gear in game.

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