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  1. #1

    Does Blizzard have a reasoning behind the covenant exclusivity?

    Hi guys, I'm sorry if this discussion has already been talked to death, but the more I play Shadowlands, the less sense the covenant system makes. I'll try to describe my experiences and thoughts, and look forward to hearing yours.

    Before release: When I first heard about the covenant system , and the fact that there will be four different "factions" in the Shadowlands, of which we, the players had the "RPG" role of picking for our characters, I thought two things;
    - Blizzard, this won't work, the game and the player base is far too dependent on performance that any choice regarding player power isn't actually a choice. The best performance will be king.
    - On the other hand, it's kinda cool. Rivalling factions with different aesthetics recruiting us in order to assert their dominance in their respective realms.

    However, they aren't really rivalling, and throughout levelling and the campaign, we are a huge asset to all four covenants. It kinda makes the point of us choosing a covenant pretty redundant. All four factions see us as a valuable ally, all four factions allow us to use their powers while levelling. Why would they be against it when we are max level?

    Why do I bring that up? Well one of Blizzards main arguments was that its an RPG aspect of the game, but from an RP perspective, they could just as well not have done so. Perhaps made the Covenant Ability (Fleshcraft, Night Fae form, Blood Mirror and Call Ally) as well as the in-dungeon benefits permanent and covenant based, and the actual "power" things be easier (maybe not free) to change.

    So, to summarize;
    - Late into this patch, I feel like trying out different specs for fun in RBGs and farm content. Specifically I play a Venthyr Enhancement Shaman and would love to play around with resto and ele every now and then, but I can't, and I don't understand the reasoning behind blizzards decision to not allow them to be open. Similarly I really enjoy the concept of Night Fae Paladin, a paladin to me is a character that buffs others, that's just how I see the class when I play it, and the Night Fae ability is perfect for that... It's just not good enough, so I went Kyrian

    - The RPG element could just as well allow for free "empowering" from each covenant, as we're all friends anyway. Perhaps a short quest chain -after- reaching renown 40 with your main faction, with each other faction in place to gate-keep it a little would've been good.
    - The idea of creating different permanent factions with different permanent power levels will never work in WoW (or modern online gaming) - Most power = King for 99% of the playerbase. (As far as I see at least)

    What do you guys think? Is this system good, or does it have it's merits? Do you feel there's a strong argument for it being as it is? RPG/MMO wise? Could they have done anything better? Will they change the system going forward?

    Thanks for your time <3

  2. #2
    Back in the day there was more class identity. Specifically spec identity. Your spec, and race, and faction mattered more. You were an alliance dwarf holy paladin. Was a lot harder to respect, or recoil character.

    I believe blizzard wanted a throwback to this kind of identity. This is their "meaningful choice". You can change it but its not as simple as clicking a button and you are 100% done.

    I'm not saying it was a good idea or a bad idea. But I do feel there is a little more identity now. When thinking about my character, im not just a deathknight, im a necrolord deathknight. In that one aspect I think they hit their mark.

    In terms of balance tho I wouldn't be surprised if in later patch we could choose the abilities from any cov, and picking cov would be purely aesthetic/lore. Not sure how they'd handle soulbinds tho

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Algorath View Post
    Thanks for your time <3
    to some people unlocking it would make the choice meaningless, just another thing to adjust before fight/instance like talents

    and why do minmaxers care? if you pick whats best anyway no matter any other aspect than performance then why does it matter if its locked or not, youll pick "best" anyway... sure, its not single covenant best for everything, but neither is class so if you want to do absolute maximum in everything you have to play multiple characters anyway...
    Last edited by Lolites; 2021-03-23 at 02:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Epic! Alroxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Algorath View Post
    However, they aren't really rivalling, and throughout levelling and the campaign, we are a huge asset to all four covenants. It kinda makes the point of us choosing a covenant pretty redundant. All four factions see us as a valuable ally, all four factions allow us to use their powers while levelling. Why would they be against it when we are max level?
    They aren't but rather the boon of being able to permanently use their power is contingent on you pledging your allegiance to them. For instance, in the storyline quest, you're not able to use the Bastion abilities in Maldraxxus or Revendreth until after you reach 60 and then pledge your allegiance to Bastion which then allows you to use bastion abilities everywhere else.


    Quote Originally Posted by Algorath View Post
    - Late into this patch, I feel like trying out different specs for fun in RBGs and farm content. Specifically I play a Venthyr Enhancement Shaman and would love to play around with resto and ele every now and then, but I can't,
    Full stop. You can switch to another covenant very easily. Just go talk to the covenant rep in Oribos. You want to go try NF for resto or Maldraxxus for Ele? Not a problem. Now switching back to your original covenant, that's a different story.

    Also with the way renown works, the catch up is amazingly fast. Had a guild mate switch and restarted renown from 1 to 30 in 3 days. And if he did want to switch back, it's just a 2 weekly quest turn in (could be as short as 1 week if he timed it around reset).
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Algorath View Post
    Hi guys, I'm sorry if this discussion has already been talked to death, but the more I play Shadowlands, the less sense the covenant system makes. I'll try to describe my experiences and thoughts, and look forward to hearing yours.

    Before release: When I first heard about the covenant system , and the fact that there will be four different "factions" in the Shadowlands, of which we, the players had the "RPG" role of picking for our characters, I thought two things;
    - Blizzard, this won't work, the game and the player base is far too dependent on performance that any choice regarding player power isn't actually a choice. The best performance will be king.
    - On the other hand, it's kinda cool. Rivalling factions with different aesthetics recruiting us in order to assert their dominance in their respective realms.

    However, they aren't really rivalling, and throughout levelling and the campaign, we are a huge asset to all four covenants. It kinda makes the point of us choosing a covenant pretty redundant. All four factions see us as a valuable ally, all four factions allow us to use their powers while levelling. Why would they be against it when we are max level?

    Why do I bring that up? Well one of Blizzards main arguments was that its an RPG aspect of the game, but from an RP perspective, they could just as well not have done so. Perhaps made the Covenant Ability (Fleshcraft, Night Fae form, Blood Mirror and Call Ally) as well as the in-dungeon benefits permanent and covenant based, and the actual "power" things be easier (maybe not free) to change.

    So, to summarize;
    - Late into this patch, I feel like trying out different specs for fun in RBGs and farm content. Specifically I play a Venthyr Enhancement Shaman and would love to play around with resto and ele every now and then, but I can't, and I don't understand the reasoning behind blizzards decision to not allow them to be open. Similarly I really enjoy the concept of Night Fae Paladin, a paladin to me is a character that buffs others, that's just how I see the class when I play it, and the Night Fae ability is perfect for that... It's just not good enough, so I went Kyrian

    - The RPG element could just as well allow for free "empowering" from each covenant, as we're all friends anyway. Perhaps a short quest chain -after- reaching renown 40 with your main faction, with each other faction in place to gate-keep it a little would've been good.
    - The idea of creating different permanent factions with different permanent power levels will never work in WoW (or modern online gaming) - Most power = King for 99% of the playerbase. (As far as I see at least)

    What do you guys think? Is this system good, or does it have it's merits? Do you feel there's a strong argument for it being as it is? RPG/MMO wise? Could they have done anything better? Will they change the system going forward?

    Thanks for your time <3
    thousands of people were voicing ur concerns and begging them to pull the cord before release. they refused, we all still hate it, but now it's too late, they can either admit defeat and do one of a hundred changes that open up covenants, or they can stay stubborn, regardless of the choice, its gonna be shit for a large part of the player base, one of the main selling points is the "meaningful choice" it was implemented insanely poorly though.

    its basically azerite armour all over again, blizzard never learns.

  6. #6
    I agree, i do feel like having ppl make diffrence in they way they play and look due to covenant is awsome idea, however due to the severe lack of balanceing its so unrewarding picking the ''losers'' covenant for your class, and also the ability for most classes doesen't change your gameplay at all, it's mostly an extra nuke like the hunt or condemn which is plain lazy designing.

    The only reason is see why we can't switch every week is so ppl keep playing and money keeps rolling in. I would love that you can just switch on the fly and use diffrent covenants abilities like fleshcraft with and night fea attack ability, I mean they already proven they dont want to balance stuff or just can't as an indie company after B. kotick drains all the life and money for more devs.

    ps: yes i still play and love the game, i just cry to see the neglect in the game due to company recourses going in pockets rather then in a quality game.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tumile View Post
    thousands of people were voicing ur concerns and begging them to pull the cord before release.
    and another thousands of people loved the idea and still enjoy it, i know its hard pill to swallow admiting that not everybody thinks the same but people should realy learn it, especialy after 16 years of game where there was literaly NOTHING whole playerbase agreed on...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by shaqar View Post
    The only reason is see why we can't switch every week is so ppl keep playing and money keeps rolling in.
    that makes absolutely no sense...
    Last edited by Lolites; 2021-03-23 at 03:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Yeah... still don't get the "meaningful choice" everyone was raving about.

    If it would have been. Fine i guess... but now it is just an inconvinence. I would love to play a bit with other covenants. But for Moonkin it is quite clear which one wins by a longshot...

    I also don't really see a lore reason why we can't join every covenant. I got why aldor and sryers where exlusive. The litteraly hated each other and killed you on sight.

    But here... nothing. No reason whatsoever. You would assume, the fact that they are all anima starved they would take everyone who brings them some, no?

  9. #9
    I am Murloc! A Chozo's Avatar
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    They do have a reasoning (you know, meaningful choice, having people with different purposes in a group, reducing the pressure to change Covenants for every different need, etc), they've explained it lots of times, lots of people wanted it they way we got, several players are fine with the way Covenants worked out, people in forums still think that their opinion is the only valid one.

    This whole discussion has already happened. It's pointless. This will become an echo chamber real quick.
    Last edited by A Chozo; 2021-03-23 at 04:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Elemental Lord Soon-TM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolites View Post
    another thousands of people loved the idea and still enjoy it.
    The beauty of freely interchangeable covenant skills is that if you like being, idk, a NF warlock (because nothing screams "master of powerful demonic forces" louder than Ardenweald aesthetics lul) you can stay with dem faeries until the end of time. However, if you ever want to switch because of either performance or RP reasons, or just because you want to try something new, you can do it without any hassle. Win-win.

    Not that being tied to a single covenant makes a lot of sense even from a RP perspective. As OP correctly pointed out, covenants aren't at war with each other, they aren't even competing for anima, or whatever other resource. They even let us use their abilities while we are levelling, and we aren't "betraying" them in the slightest when we pick one of them at level 60.

    It could have made sense in e.g. an Aldor vs Scryer type of situation, but devs in BC were smart enough to keep their influence over gameplay at a minimum.
    Quote Originally Posted by MoanaLisa View Post
    As for the "hone your skills" argument that some are tossing around, fuck that. Most people want to have fun. They're not logging onto WoW, the video game, as a self-improvement project. That's a ridiculous notion and goes right along with the idea that the game is "work." If it's not 'play' then you're doing it wrong. Sadly this is a concept that the devs seem to have lost sight of in their quest to keep anyone and everyone busy.

  11. #11
    the only problem really is that you can only have benefits from your sanctum in the zone of your covenant, for fast travel, bonus WQ and the like.

    my main is a lightforged paladin, covenant is kyrian, she can not use the temp teleport pad on bastion, war fury alt in venthyr can only use the revendreth mirrors...

    can't wait for flying that'll make all those sanctum upgrades useless lol

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rioriel View Post
    Shut it down, people! It's already been talked about!
    and so many times...
    yet people still spew the same opinions presented as arguments...

  13. #13
    Why can you not try your offspecs? Venthyr is actually a completely viable pick for Resto, if not the best pick for M+. If you don't think you "can" play your offspecs being a few percent behind optimal that's a you thing.

    I don't get this argument about not being able to play something if it's not 100% optimal. I play 2 of my 3 specs in 15+ keys and Mythic raiding using the same covenant (Venthyr which is the best raiding pick for disc, and one of the worst for Holy). It's complete bullshit if you ask me, not to mention that switching covenant only takes a little bit of effort the first time you do it. (:

    Whether you feel like it's a good system is entirely up to you, but that you "can't play around" with your offspecs is something is entirely false. It's the same argument made by people who feel like they need to reroll every single tier believing they can't hold down a raid spot or a M+ spot otherwise. The real problem is that they either have friends/guilds with a bad attitude or that they are just not very good players and make up for it by always playing FOTM.

  14. #14
    The moral of the story is: Choices have consequences.

    You learn this the hard way if you ever decide to switch covenants for any reason. Covenants are not connect for the same reason there is no global unlock for race/class combos. The idea is to maintain some level of identity and loyalty while keeping the flavors separated. Sure you could put 4 different flavors of ice cream together, but cookies and cream all by itself is tasty and unique. You should stop over thinking things, and passively over expecting things.
    “Common sense is not so common.” ~ Voltaire

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    The beauty of freely interchangeable covenant skills is that if you like being, idk, a NF warlock (because nothing screams "master of powerful demonic forces" louder than Ardenweald aesthetics lul) you can stay with dem faeries until the end of time.
    slowly rotting away, as in nature, pretty much screams affliction warlock, yes, and if you are vulpera worgen or nightborne its even better fit...

    i get that to you being easily switchable dont break the immersion, but to alot of people it does, WHY take it from them? just so you can be "optimal" in every part of game? you cant realy do that anyway on the same class (unles some class is teribly OP in which case it gets nerfed anyway)...
    i know i know, YOU want it that way so its better to everyone in your mind, but reality is you just cant (or dont want to) understand others disagree

  16. #16
    Elemental Lord GreenJesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    Back in the day there was more class identity. Specifically spec identity. Your spec, and race, and faction mattered more. You were an alliance dwarf holy paladin. Was a lot harder to respect, or recoil character.

    I believe blizzard wanted a throwback to this kind of identity. This is their "meaningful choice". You can change it but its not as simple as clicking a button and you are 100% done.

    I'm not saying it was a good idea or a bad idea. But I do feel there is a little more identity now. When thinking about my character, im not just a deathknight, im a necrolord deathknight. In that one aspect I think they hit their mark.

    In terms of balance tho I wouldn't be surprised if in later patch we could choose the abilities from any cov, and picking cov would be purely aesthetic/lore. Not sure how they'd handle soulbinds tho
    If you come into a raid right now as frost mage instead of fire or even arcane you are literally trolling your raid group and they will tell you to switch. Why did they think covenants would be different? It just reads that blizzard doesn't know their playerbase. I consider myself an "Ashen Hollow Paladin" instead of "Divine Toll Paladin" right now. The Venthyr/Kyrians themselves I don't give a shit about.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2021-03-23 at 05:09 PM.

  17. #17
    "We wanted to try something cool based on choices but realized that we cannot deliver enough content so that only 1/4 might statisfy players".

    It's the age old dilemma of RPG's when story choices are involved, it would make sense for them that some of them cause massive deviations within the story, but the developer lacks the means to flesh them all out properly.

    That's from an overall perspective the biggest crux of the covenant system in my opinion, the whole "they are actually all allied and work together but somehow treat the departure from one covenant to another as some sort of capital crime" is utter nonsense.
    If all those four factions were at war, at the very least some form of tenuous armistice similiar to Horde / Alliance in Classic, it would make sense, but then content for each covenant would be so paper thin, so it cannot happen.

  18. #18
    I have a strong dislike of the current system.

    Story wise, it makes no sense. Like, none. I helped all these people. I'm on good terms with them. But if I pinky swear to help somebody else, I'm not allowed in the tree house any more?

    I can earn a mail set of transmog armour on my hunter, but my shaman can't use it because she's Necrolord? I have mounts only usable on a quarter of my toons. Rare stuff can drop off mobs that you can't get because it's only for one covenant. There's a shit grindy faction that sells items that can only be used by one covenant.

    The abilities were the thing that everyone complained about before release, but I think that's the only bit that's worked out OK. Generally each DPS only class has one covenant ability that's feels good, and they couldn't think of any more ideas so they just made it OP enough for everyone to pick it. I don't think I've seen a single hunter in PVE that wasn't Night Fae for example. And for hybrid classes, they just made every ability terrible, so nobody really cares there either.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by shaqar View Post
    I agree, i do feel like having ppl make diffrence in they way they play and look due to covenant is awsome idea, however due to the severe lack of balanceing its so unrewarding picking the ''losers'' covenant for your class,
    And thats imbalance is the biggest issue. I would love to play my bm as a necrolord. But my damage will be simply rip then. So i HAVE to play nightfae to have at least a little fun and aceptance in m+ and raid. Cuz the Specc balance is worse aswell.
    So my Horde Hunter feels like a nightelf -.-

    And to make thing even wirse, they create 4 new "factions" but hey i cant talk to dudes with the same covenant, if he is an alliance player...

    covenants should have been for cosmetic only, they are a lot of other ways to implement the next unbalanced borrowed power thingy into wow.

  20. #20
    Oh hey, another thread bitching about Covenants. I wonder if 95% of the replies will be the same people saying that "they should have only been cosmetic" as if this is the most incredibly deep, earthshattering observation that any mortal human can possibly make?

    ::reads thread::

    ::dies inside::


    Never change, MMO-C.

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