When the AoE cap was first introduced in the beginning of the Shadowlands Alpha, I thought that it was at least worth to let people test before passing judgment. I still do think that their inital argument that they want to differentiate between AoE and cleave is still worth exploring and that there is value in that. However it feels like they forgot why this homogenization of cleave and AoE happend in the first place, because it's not fun to see the tank pull large number of mobs and you can only hit 5 of those.
It's not just about falling behind, it's also about the feeling. If there are more enemies I should do considerably more damage. It just doesn't feel right to see my chracter swing their big swords, swip their claws or conjure a storm of holy energy into a big groups of enemies and you suddenly only deal damage to five of those enemies.
Additionally people feel powerless if they fall behind other people in their groups and it can come to a point where it doesn't even feel worth to press your buttons anyways if the other people in the group deal maybe double or even more damage.
And also as a Tank if I think I and the group survive the damage from pulling more I should pull more, but with AoE cap it just becomes an unnecessary risk factor, and we are losing a decision the tank has to make.
You already have a spec in the game right now that is capped, and people just stop playing it because AoE is just not fun with it. I played Fury at the start of BfA and I for me it's one of the most fun melee specs from a pure rotational standpoint in the game right now, yet I stopped playing in in the first month of BfA, excatly for the reasons stated above.
So people have played with it and it turns out it didn't suddenly become more fun than before, just like with Fury right now and just how it was in the past. People shared videos and clips showing specs that have been capped obviously falling behind specs that have not been, and saying "hey this is not fun". Rather than stopping to think if their solution becomes the problem and maybe is not fun, Blizzard Instead doubled down on it and now capped Unholy AoE aswell, and I don't see them stopping. There will be another spec that take the top and people will again say hey this is not fun and now show examples of maybe Boomking or Frost Mage or whaterever will come out on top in the next few days on Beta.
I just don't see their argument that they want to differentiate between AoE and cleave anymore. It feels like that this argument iis just for show and they just didn't like that people pulled big in M+, open world and Visions. And they don't stop to think that people don't just do it because it's most effective, but also because it's fun.
WoW is not a hard game, there are hard aspect to the game like mythic raiding, pushing high keys and high end arena, but at the core it's an RPG where your chracter becomes more powerful. Beeing able to do more damage, kill the same things faster, pull more enemies, defeating more powerful enemies than before and overcoming hurdles that were impossible before. And with AoE cap they just removed a big aspect of that for alot of classes at least for me.
I also want to bring my own view on AoE vs cleave in. I think there is value in having abilities in the game that cap at 2,3 maybe 5 targets. However they should be next to your AoE ablities in your spellbook and not replace them, and not every class needs these cleave ablities. By adding more abilities with different target cap next to AoE you give the player more choice, in different situations. It doesn't just come down Single Target vs Mutli Target, but how many enemies are there. Should I use AoE or my 3 Target cleave on this pack of 4 enemies or should I AoE. How important is each enemy in my pull are the priority targets etc. It just adds complexitiy to the classes that have different AoE and cleave spells.
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