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Winter Veil Event: Toys, toys, toys!, PTR Patch Notes - December 3, 2018

Island Expedition Rewards Update
Patch 8.1 will change Island Expedition rewards from being based on the NPCs you kill to the NPCs that are on the island.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
In Tides of Vengeance, in addition to two new Island Expeditions, we’re making a number of adjustments and improvements to Islands. One of those changes will alter how various cosmetic rewards are determined, and we’d like to explain that further, as we promised here: https://twitter.com/WarcraftDevs/sta...80683058487297

Currently in Battle for Azeroth, Island Expeditions have a chance to reward cosmetic items based on which type of creatures you and your team defeated. For example, if the island theme of the week was Hozen, there’s a chance to receive one of the Banana toys. If the invaders were Nerubian, you could have a chance to receive the Voru’kar Leecher companion pet (among other things). They way this has worked is by means of a hidden scorecard that counted your group’s efforts against anything on the island that was part of the invaders’ ecology. So if anyone in the group earned some Azerite from killing invaders or mining Azerite near the invaders, everyone in the group had a chance at the cosmetic rewards. That chance grew based on how much invaders’ Azerite was obtained, and was also a higher chance in Heroic and even higher in Mythic difficulty Islands. We set the maximum chance you could earn at a reasonable threshold, in the hopes that players wouldn’t feel that they needed to only kill invaders and not complete the islands in a natural way.

Of course, that’s not how it worked out. Confusion around the best way to get cosmetics led to a divergence in playstyles, with some players wishing to focus exclusively on hunting specific creatures, while others wished to win the island efficiently to get Azerite. This caused a significant amount of tension between players who had differing goals.

In Tides of Vengeance, all players on an Expedition will have a chance to receive cosmetic rewards based on the island’s inhabitants, rather than which enemies were specifically defeated. That chance will again be higher on higher difficulties, but there will be no need to strategize around invaders. The most efficient way to receive cosmetic rewards will be whatever tactics cause you to complete the Island quickly, on the highest difficulty that you’re comfortable.

Thanks to everyone who has stormed our high seas with feedback on this. We really appreciate it.

New Pet Battle Dungeon - Gnomeregan
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s time to martial your menagerie and put your best battle pets forward within the halls of Gnomeregan.

To get started on your journey, you’ll need to have earned the achievement All Growns Up!, which requires you to raise a pet to level 25. This will make a new quest available to you from Radek Fuselock, who is located near the pet battle trainers in Dazar’alor, or Tizzy Gearjolt, who is located just outside of Dana Pull’s shop in Hook Point in Boralus. You won’t need to complete the Wailing Caverns or Deadmines pet battle dungeons to gain access, and with the release of the Tides of Vengeance content update, you’ll be able to play the three pet battle dungeons in any order.

Completing the quest and pet battle dungeon the first time earns you an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone. You’ll also be able to avail yourself of Manapoof’s aid to teleport directly to Gnomeregan’s dungeon entrance as a part of the quest reward.

For those daring to push your team, you can take on the Challenge Mode version of the dungeon, which requires you to have at least 15 maximum-level battle pets. This will open an account-wide weekly quest that you can pick up from Micro Zoox, who’s waiting outside the Gnomeregan instance portal.

Completing the Challenge Mode the first time will grant the achievement Pet Battle Challenge: Gnomeregan, which rewards a Mini Spider Tank battle pet. Return each week to complete the quest and you’ll earn the reward Pristine Gizmo, which can be exchanged for items from Micro Zoox including an Unopened Gnomeregan Supply Box, Mechanical Cockroach, Schematic: Mechantula, Leper Rat Tail, and Rechargeable Alarm-O-Dog Battery.

Whether you’re new to pet battle dungeons or a companion-combat veteran, you’ll want to get in on the ongoing story as it unfolds. Who are the shadowy figures that keep appearing? What do they want? What are their nefarious plans? Discover what awaits your critter pals next in Gnomeregan!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Island Expedition Rewards Update, New Pet Battle Dungeon - Gnomeregan started by chaud View original post
Comments 85 Comments
  1. Daemos daemonium's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lushious View Post
    But changes to 8.1 would already had fixed this, without ruining the expeditions! Invasions are still the fastest way to grind azerite, instead of grinding croc #742. In 8.1 the Azerite giant wont neccesarily spawn, but be part of an invasion pool. With this change, every single item can drop, and you have NO WAY of influencing it. You'll never get your last mount now.
    Only items from that island enemies can drop not every single item. so if you want your last mount grind it on the week it rotates in.
  1. Lushious's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    Only items from that island enemies can drop not every single item. so if you want your last mount grind it on the week it rotates in.
    Ah yes, misread that part.
    Still against it though
  1. Mardux's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    Wait how is there more rng now then before? Now you either get the loot when you finish or you don’t where before you needed to get a group willing to stall out and island if your playing solo and hope the enemy team doesn’t kill the mobs you want.
    Before this fix, you were able to target specific loot. Say you wanted the tiki-bound blade, your group could go in and focus on murdering trolls. Kill all the trolls and finish the island by killing no-loot mobs (crocs, bears, tigers, etc) and mining. At this point you have 2 layers of rng. Loot - yes/no. If yes, you have a 1 in 11 chance of getting the transmog you were after.

    Now, with 8.1, you have to fight the yes/no rng, plus the extra dozens of potential items you don't want from mobs you werent focusing.
  1. Mamut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lushious View Post
    But changes to 8.1 would already had fixed this, without ruining the expeditions! Invasions are still the fastest way to grind azerite, instead of grinding croc #742. In 8.1 the Azerite giant wont neccesarily spawn, but be part of an invasion pool. With this change, every single item can drop, and you have NO WAY of influencing it. You'll never get your last mount now.
    Not every single item, drops are still connected to the mobs type present on the island. You just dont have to kill them anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lushious View Post
    Ah yes, misread that part.
    Still against it though
    Why?
  1. Lushious's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mamut View Post
    Not every single item, drops are still connected to the mobs type present on the island. You just dont have to kill them anymore.



    Why?
    Because it dumbs them down. I liked the part where you use different strategies to affect the rewards.
  1. hyrenfreak's Avatar
    for someone that grinded over 300 islands and not seen one one mount im all for this will make it a lot faster
  1. Daemos daemonium's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mardux View Post
    Before this fix, you were able to target specific loot. Say you wanted the tiki-bound blade, your group could go in and focus on murdering trolls. Kill all the trolls and finish the island by killing no-loot mobs (crocs, bears, tigers, etc) and mining. At this point you have 2 layers of rng. Loot - yes/no. If yes, you have a 1 in 11 chance of getting the transmog you were after.

    Now, with 8.1, you have to fight the yes/no rng, plus the extra dozens of potential items you don't want from mobs you werent focusing.
    I suppose that would be more rng in a premade group but less in pugs blizzard seems to want to make it better for pugs it seems.
  1. Mamut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lushious View Post
    Because it dumbs them down. I liked the part where you use different strategies to affect the rewards.
    Yeah run around island to find specific type of mobs, where is strategy here? And gl doing that when two other people are not interested in it. For me big QoL change.
  1. Coconut's Avatar
    In Tides of Vengeance, all players on an Expedition will have a chance to receive cosmetic rewards based on the island’s inhabitants, rather than which enemies were specifically defeated. That chance will again be higher on higher difficulties, but there will be no need to strategize around invaders. The most efficient way to receive cosmetic rewards will be whatever tactics cause you to complete the Island quickly, on the highest difficulty that you’re comfortable.
    This seems worse, unless the actual drop rates are also increased. It's not clear if a triggered invasion adds those mobs to the list of "inhabitants" (technically the inhabitants are the mobs spawned at the start). If it doesn't, you won't be able to farm a certain reward unless the associated mobs happen to be part of the weekly island rotation.

    The simple, obvious solution was to further increase drop rates and to make invasions spawn earlier so we can actually farm them properly in Heroic and Mythic. With these changes, the loot system would have actually been fun. I don't understand why they felt the need to go this route (easier to implement, maybe?)

    So if anyone in the group earned some Azerite from killing invaders or mining Azerite near the invaders, everyone in the group had a chance at the cosmetic rewards.
    I suppose "mining" means opening invasion-specific chests, otherwise I call BS. My early tests with a mining-only strategy (back when the aggro reduction item was available) consistently triggered only azerite-related loot. Basic chests also dropped rep items, never rewards related to nearby mobs.
  1. tyrlaan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    The "Gogogogogogo" crowd wins again. Participation must be really low for them to abandon the mechanics like this.
    Except the fundamental premise of island expeditions is literally "gogogogo" so this is a super weird gripe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lushious View Post
    But changes to 8.1 would already had fixed this, without ruining the expeditions! Invasions are still the fastest way to grind azerite, instead of grinding croc #742. In 8.1 the Azerite giant wont neccesarily spawn, but be part of an invasion pool. With this change, every single item can drop, and you have NO WAY of influencing it. You'll never get your last mount now.
    You don't even realize the inherent contradiction of saying "every single item can drop" and "you'll never get your last mount" do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamut View Post
    Yeah run around island to find specific type of mobs, where is strategy here? And gl doing that when two other people are not interested in it. For me big QoL change.
    Exactly. With this change, everyone will be there to do the same thing - beat the island as fast as possible, which is literally what the game tells you to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
    The simple, obvious solution was to further increase drop rates and to make invasions spawn earlier so we can actually farm them properly in Heroic and Mythic. With these changes, the loot system would have actually been fun. I don't understand why they felt the need to go this route (easier to implement, maybe?)
    This is a simple solution but certainly not a good one because it just doubles down on playing islands in a way different than what was intended.

    Why they went this way is clear as day to understand and is right there in the Blizzard writeup you are responding to - they want people to play islands they way they were intended and eliminate friction between players since not everyone was on the same page of how to play them (which is what happens when the game tells you to do X but hidden mechanics encourage you to do Y).

    A loot system like what was in place could be great, but it should be in a section of the game that encourages that play style.
  1. Coconut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tyrlaan View Post
    This is a simple solution but certainly not a good one because it just doubles down on playing islands in a way different than what was intended.

    Why they went this way is clear as day to understand and is right there in the Blizzard writeup you are responding to - they want people to play islands they way they were intended and eliminate friction between players since not everyone was on the same page of how to play them (which is what happens when the game tells you to do X but hidden mechanics encourage you to do Y).

    A loot system like what was in place could be great, but it should be in a section of the game that encourages that play style.
    No it doesn't. The frictions were largely caused by invasions spawning so late that you had to babysit your azerite bar to avoid finishing the expedition too soon. Some people wanted to rush and others to wait. If they make invasions spawn earlier, you will always encounter one regardless of your speed, and you would likely kill those mobs because the rares and chests are great sources of azerite. On top of it, a further drop rare increase would alleviate the stress related to the grind, making it less frustrating for the players to miss out on a few rares they need it on any particular run.

    Besides, the whole divergence idea is overblown. Only morons and misinformed people actively try to miss out on loot. Leveling on expeditions is slower than questing, and the gold you can make from selling mogs and pets is great enough to be worth a minute or two targeting specific monsters. If you don't like it, you can always look for someone like-minded in the group finder, it only takes 2 other people...
  1. tyrlaan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
    No it doesn't. The frictions were largely caused by invasions spawning so late that you had to babysit your azerite bar to avoid finishing the expedition too soon. Some people wanted to rush and others to wait. If they make invasions spawn earlier, you will always encounter one regardless of your speed, and you would likely kill those mobs because the rares and chests are great sources of azerite. On top of it, a further drop rare increase would alleviate the stress related to the grind, making it less frustrating for the players to miss out on a few rares they need it on any particular run.

    Besides, the whole divergence idea is overblown. Only morons and misinformed people actively try to miss out on loot. Leveling on expeditions is slower than questing, and the gold you can make from selling mogs and pets is great enough to be worth a minute or two targeting specific monsters. If you don't like it, you can always look for someone like-minded in the group finder, it only takes 2 other people...
    The game literally tells you that islands are a race to get more azerite than the other faction.

    It doesn't tell you "farm these mobs to get cosmetics". It doesn't tell you "focus on specific mobs to get specific things". None of that. It tells you to get azerite faster than the other guys.

    And until players started experimenting, all Blizzard really told us was "oh and you can get some cool stuff when you do islands".

    So yeah it's flat out divergence. You can insult everyone that disagrees with you but it doesn't change facts.
  1. Coconut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tyrlaan View Post
    The game literally tells you that islands are a race to get more azerite than the other faction.

    It doesn't tell you "farm these mobs to get cosmetics". It doesn't tell you "focus on specific mobs to get specific things". None of that. It tells you to get azerite faster than the other guys.

    And until players started experimenting, all Blizzard really told us was "oh and you can get some cool stuff when you do islands".

    So yeah it's flat out divergence. You can insult everyone that disagrees with you but it doesn't change facts.
    Relax, I am not insulting you.

    Yes, Blizzard had a problem in communicating the loot rules, but sometimes it's fun to let players discover some things too. Imho, they should have clarified the exact details as soon as we had the system mostly figured out here and on reddit. But the problems you are raising, while technically correct, are only relevant because of low drop rates and late invasions.

    If they fixed those, people would naturally get loot and have the opportunity to observe how it works simply by doing the objective, with deviations being more or less meaningless on both sides. Ther biggest deviation currently is people doing the Azerite Elemental event instead of farming other mobs and waiting for invasion; replace that event with something more lucrative 90% of the time and the problem fixes itself.
  1. tyrlaan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
    Yes, Blizzard had a problem in communicating the loot rules, but sometimes it's fun to let players discover some things too. Imho, they should have clarified the exact details as soon as we had the system mostly figured out here and on reddit. But the problems you are raising, while technically correct, are only relevant because of low drop rates and late invasions.

    If they fixed those, people would naturally get loot and have the opportunity to observe how it works simply by doing the objective, with deviations being more or less meaningless on both sides. Ther biggest deviation currently is people doing the Azerite Elemental event instead of farming other mobs and waiting for invasion; replace that event with something more lucrative 90% of the time and the problem fixes itself.
    I agree that its fun to let players discover things, but not when what you discover tells you "you know how we told you to do the thing this way? well now you know you should be doing it this completely different way". The mechanics should at least be aligned to the point of the game mode.

    My issue with your recommendation is it doesn't really align the loot mechanics to the game mode, it adjusts other things to try to obfuscate it, and like you point out, it is not a clean fix.

    Move this loot mechanic elsewhere where it syncs with the goal of the game mode.
  1. Th3Scourge's Avatar
    Still not enough to get me to do Islands. They are not fun, and even if I did target specific mobs for weapon xmogs, I only ever got fucking pets. Who the fuck wants to collect pets???
  1. Coconut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tyrlaan View Post
    I agree that its fun to let players discover things, but not when what you discover tells you "you know how we told you to do the thing this way? well now you know you should be doing it this completely different way". The mechanics should at least be aligned to the point of the game mode.

    My issue with your recommendation is it doesn't really align the loot mechanics to the game mode, it adjusts other things to try to obfuscate it, and like you point out, it is not a clean fix.

    Move this loot mechanic elsewhere where it syncs with the goal of the game mode.
    Your issue is a valid one, but I feel better drop rates would alleviate it. If the mounts are as rare as the one from Sha of Anger, sure, you'll be pissed that you wasted dozens of hours without knowing what to do. If the drop rates are high enough that you can target something and pull through the grind over a reset or two, it's not so bad anymore.
  1. Doddler's Avatar
    Get rid of island expeditions. They aren't fun.
  1. Queen of Hamsters's Avatar
    I might just bother with the islands as of this change making it to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Th3Scourge View Post
    Still not enough to get me to do Islands. They are not fun, and even if I did target specific mobs for weapon xmogs, I only ever got fucking pets. Who the fuck wants to collect pets???
    A lot of people, MMORPGs and collections go hand in hand.
  1. Th3Scourge's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Hamsters View Post
    I might just bother with the islands as of this change making it to live.



    A lot of people, MMORPGs and collections go hand in hand.
    The only players I've ever come across that seem to care about them are female gamers, which is fine if that's what you want but it seems the only things added these days as rewards are pets and mounts, and mounts just aren't unique anymore
  1. mmoc80be7224cc's Avatar
    A good change. It was inneficient to just pursue bosses for toys/pets ignoring all of the island objectives. This restores them to where they should be design wise.

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