I originally made this post on the WoW forums, but I thought I'd share it here, too. I think it's important that we realize that Blizzard is seriously putting in an effort to make 8.2 the saving grace of this expansion, as well as the future of WoW.
(A lot of the information is based on the recent interview that Taliesin and Evitel conducted on Jeremy Feasel).
I’ll start off by saying this.
For the past few months, I haven’t been optimistic about World of Warcraft. I despise Warfronts, find the Island Expedition system boring, and I’m not having fun anymore.
Why? None of this content is rewarding or exciting, and what has finally created a sense of optimism within me about WoW’s return to form is the fact that the development team is finally addressing this in patch 8.2: Rise of Azshara. Hopefully this will make some of you feel better about the direction that the game is going in. It seems like 8.2 is fixing a lot of the major problems of WoW, which right now, I see as being:
Lack of Open World Content
The Azerite System
Now, here’s how 8.2 is making a valiant (in my opinion) effort to fix these major issues that have been bringing WoW down:
Lack of Open World Content:
Open world content is something very important for WoW. With the introduction of Rise of Azshara, there are many systems making a return to facilitate more healthy outdoor content.
- Less Gating: The story is going to be considerably less gated, according to Jeremy Feasel. He explained that there’ll be a huge focus on this awesome story they’re telling with as little gating as possible.
- Old Outdoor Content Systems: There will be old systems returning. They’re going to be having outdoor content akin to the Timeless Isle, Outland towers, and they’ll also have major pop-up events throughout the zone that breaks up content and brings people together to take down a major threat.
- New World Quest System: They’re experimenting with new world quests that are unlike any we’ve ever seen. This will allegedly add some variation to the world quest system, making things a bit more unique and providing a new experience.
- Bodyguard Backstory: We’ll have bodyguards that we go on quests with to learn their backstory. We’ll get to personally connect with them to learn about who they are.
- Mechagon and Professions: We’re also going to Mechagon, another outdoor zone that, according to Feasel, has a ton of cool profession things. This could potentially be a small return to form for professions!
Warfronts… or Lack Thereof
It’s been confirmed that there’s not going to be any new warfronts in patch 8.2. This, in my opinion, is great. Let’s dive into everything and how this is a game changer for the rest of Battle for Azeroth.
- No Warfronts… They Take Too Much Time: I think Blizzard realized that Warfronts took to much time and provided very little praise in return. They aren’t going to put their resources into a system that’s flawed. Instead, they’re working on outdoor content, which really brings back that open world MMORPG feel that BfA was sorely missing.
Heroic Warfronts and Why That’s Good: Heroic Warfronts are good. Why? Instead of throwing away Battle for Azeroth like Blizzard did with Warlords of Draenor, they’re trying to salvage it and make it as good as it can from here. Heroic Warfronts are honestly the best they can do to make Warfronts more engaging and exciting. Warfronts aren’t the best thing in the world, but you have to remember that they can’t just remove things like these or add in new ones until a major expansion.
- You Can Play With Your Friends!: Heroic Warfronts will also allow you to queue up with your guild, which is a spectacular option. You can take on these improved systems with friends, which was something else they needed to do.
- Warfronts Will Be a Side Task: As I said before, I truly think this is Blizzard straying away from making more Warfronts. They’re solidifying the system as best as they can and working on the things that will make the game’s experience better.
The Azerite System and Gear:
The Azerite system has had a lot of controversy considering it’s inherently flawed, completely cancelling out the idea of progression. That’s why we should be excited for the major changes being made in 8.2 to the Azerite system.
- No More Grinding! All Rings Are Unlocked: Upon the release of 8.2, all Azerite rings will automatically be unlocked, which means you won’t be required to level your Heart of Azeroth to acquire new traits. You can upgrade your Azerite gear with ease now.
- Customization to Show Off: There will be some sort of customization system to show off your accomplishments. It seems like you can earn different customization appearances for your Heart of Azeroth by doing different tasks. We’re not sure what this is exactly yet, but it’s so much better than the previous system.
- Awesome Unique Gear: In the 8.1.5 Crucible of Storms raid, we’re getting a ton of unique gear. Blizzard is finally going back to the gear style that players want. All of the items in this raid have awesome buffs and consequences, and that’s a big step for raids, in my opinion.
Let me sum this all up for you. It might not seem like insanely major changes that would make a new expansion shine compared to the last one, but that’s not what Blizzard’s goal should be right now.
Blizzard is moving back to outdoor content and straying away from the flawed Warfront system. Overhauling it to make it better would be a humongous waste of resources rather than working on the awesome new zones of Nazjatar and Mechagon, and providing a challenge for the existing instances rather than making a new one and repeating the same mistakes is the only direction they can take for now.
We’re also seeing changes in world quests. They aren’t the most exciting thing in the world, but we can’t expect Blizzard to deliver an entirely new system for a patch. I think they’re trying to make them as unique as possible so this feels like a fresh patch where the rest of BfA can start to shine.
Lastly, the Azerite system has been pretty bad up until now, but they can’t be expected to make an entirely new balanced Azerite system for a patch. They’re doing what they can to make the current system as good as possible.
What does this all mean? They’re fixing what they can. They know what they’re doing wrong, and I think they’re making an honest effort to make up for it.
We’ve heard from multiple people who went to Blizzcon 2018 that the WoW developers said that if we were to go to 1 Blizzcon in our lives for WoW, 2019 should definitely be the one to go to. They’re improving this expansion as best as possible, and they’ll definitely be making changes to the next expansion that overall reflects their new design philosophy based on player feedback.
Also, WoD sucked, but then we got an awesome expansion like Legion. I’m sure they’re going to make a good expansion again. Let’s try and be positive, at least until this patch comes out. I think we should hold out hope that things are gonna get better, because it seriously seems like they are.
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