So, I've been reading a lot of the discussion about Covenants just like everyone else on this subreddit, and there's a certain argument that just isn't great. Here's a quote from a high level comment in a high level post.
I dont understand the "0.1% viewpoint AT ALL.
If you keep covenenant as it is, casuals will just play the game and tryhards will complain A LOT, and justifiably so.
If you change it, casuals will just play the game as usual and tryhards will be happy.
Why is it even an argument? People say "majority of people dont care!" GREAT! Then change it if they dont care, that's perfect.
For a bit of background, I'm an officer in an RP guild. Most of our players are casual players who mainly are interested in RP. That said, we'll run content. We run raid once a week and just last week got AOTC, which is typically the farthest we go.
So, believe me when I say: Casual players do care about this, they just care in a different way. Every casual player I know is picking a Covenant for RP reasons. We're RPers, we love the lore and we want to think "oh how cool would it be if my main ended up here!"
When it comes to the gameplay side of things, though, what casual players care about is viability, not optimization. Casual players know their specs and their classes. They know what the best essences are, they know what their best azerite traits are. They work towards those things and try and find those things when they can, but they're not obsessive about it. They are not chasing BiS gear or builds, they're not simming themselves, but they are trying to be the best they can.
Casual players are focused on being viable for the content that they do rather than optimized.
What the above argument misses is that decoupling power and RP solves the optimization problem for tryhards, but not for casual players. The underlying solution to the problem is for Blizzard to keep the Covenants viable. If certain Covenants aren't viable, but it's fine because tryhards can just choose the optimized one, that actually hurts casual players because it lets Blizzard off the hook for balancing the game. The covenants need to be balanced so that they're all viable for content, even if there's always going to be an objectively correct choice. It's the same with race or class, really. If you want to optimize by only playing the top spec, you can, but every spec in the game needs to be able to participate in PvP and PvE content.
TL;DR – Casual players care about viability, not optimization. They want to be able to do content even if they make choices that aren't optimal. The solution is for Blizzard to balance Covenants, not to decouple power from RP.
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