I'm afraid that Azerite Armor is going to be completely scrapped, but I think there's a lot of good. Unfortunately, like so much else in BfA, it was just implemented horrendously. My main points I'll expand on.
- Less overall powers on pieces
- Many of the "one and done" traits need to be baseline in classes
- Gambling sucks
- Targeted buy cost should be more reasonable
- Tier bonuses should be a thing again
AMOUNT OF POWERS & MOVING TRAITS BASELINE
I'm going to combine these because they are both about the same goal. While I think Blizzard absolutely had to add the extra ring of powers we got in 8.1 to make the system even somewhat bearable it's just way too much stuff on a single armor piece. Balance is all over the place, it's an extremely convoluted system that hardly anyone understands and just relies on raidbots to tell them what to do.
Basically every single class has multiple "one and done" traits that are fairly crucial to class gameplay. I like many of these traits, and they do cool things. But, they should simply be baseline parts of the core class gameplay moving forward.
This would open up the ability to remove many powers. I would take it back down to one ring of class powers and one ring of the tertiary stat proc rings. When you remove the one and done traits you are left with some powers that augment various class abilities. This is a fine choice to make in many cases and could actually be interesting. Remove the defensive ring. In removing the defensive ring they need to simply fill out all classes defensive and utility toolkits in the baseline. You can probably leave the ilvl boost in some form, that was not a bad goal to chase.
With much less being on each piece I could even see a world where more armor slots have azerite powers. I think there's just way too much and due to the "one and done" traits is WAYYY too restrictive in the setups that are competitive.
AND TRAITS SHOULD ALWAYS BE UNLOCKED. If the idea were to continue.
GAMBLING & TARGETED BUYING
I'm sorry but gambling Azerite has been one of the most awful things about the system. Every class in the game needs at least 1 piece from the vendor as best in slot and many classes need 2 (especially if you consider the multiple aspects of high end gameplay).
When this ties into targeted buying I think the gambling would mostly work if you were also getting a separate currency that every 6-7 weeks allowed you to buy the single item of your choice. The fact that you have to choose between gambling or waiting for close to 2 months to buy a piece is why the entire system breaks down. There are multiple specs for all classes, there are multiple builds, there are niche powers you can find fun in various scenarios. Similar to legendary acquisition complaints you can't experiment and have fun with these different powers if you can't get them in the first place. This is even worse than legendaries though because you have to completely RNG your way to the pieces again every single time a new tier comes out.
There shouldn't be anything wrong with guaranteeing players a few ways to get things they want when it defines class gameplay like Azerite and Legendaries do/did.
TIER BONUSES RETURN!!
These "raid specific traits" for every single tier in BfA have been boring AF. They have zero impact on anything you do, have almost always been completely passive, and changed absolutely nothing about your class gameplay. Tier bonuses did all of those things, and need to make a come back.
Maybe you put them on all raid drops like you have now, but instead of boring and stupid powers you get tier bonus powers. There's something to be said for being able to get any piece of armor from the zone to get the bonus. I feel like Azerite was trying to accomplish that, and it's a good goal but all the powers have just been worthless and boring.
I like the idea a lot of having freedom in gear and choice. Tier bonuses were always limited in this way. If you put them back in Azerite armor it leaves you just taking one armor slot (or maybe two if you go with two bonuses again somehow) but it lets you choose which one it is, and it can be ANY azerite drop from the raid under this model.
I think M+ players should be able to gamble these with currency and have 1 or 2 pieces they can specific buy (under a specific buy system that's not awful) but keeping the incentive for raiders in the drop rates and more options of pieces.
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