World of Warcraft

WoW: Potential Improvements and Suggestions 2

wow4 - WoW: Potential Improvements and Suggestions 2
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Hey,

for the people that don’t know me, I am Deepshades, a Warlock in Method (World #1 PvE Guild) that has been playing since several years in the High End PvE scene with multiple World 1st’s. I’ve done plenty of high Mythic+ keys, commentated the MDI (WarcraftDE), 3x Hero of the Horde & 2x Gladiator. I only mention this to showcase my knowledge in this game.

There are a lot of changes I’d personally like to see in the future that I’ve shared on my stream and my viewers encouraged me to make another post about this topic. This is boy no means a thread to make Blizzard or World of Warcraft look bad and I appreciate the game they’ve created for us the last 15 years.

Please be mindful that everything I am writing is my own personal opinion. Some ideas that I’ll list are inspired by friends and viewers.

Some topics might be quite similiar to my former post but they're still a problem.

This thread is split into a lot of small topics to make the reading experience smooth.

Classes: Classes are the most important feature in the game. They decide whether you like the content you play or not. If you’re not enjoying the character(s) you play, you won’t enjoy the content you’re experiencing. I think since Warlord of Draenor the classes have taken a big hit and especially in Battle for Azeroth the lack of unique and engaging abilities is noticeable. In Warlord of Draenor the classes were still a lot of fun due to Mists of Pandaria having peak class-design and the pruning was very minor. The former talent tree that got introduced in Cataclysm was a big part in the huge success of the Mists of Pandaria class-design in my opinion. In Legion classes felt very bad at the start but got better due to the Artifact & Legendaries over the course of the expansion.

Why do I think classes are currently boring?

I think a big part is that Blizzard changed the class-specific talent tree into a specialization-specific talent tree. Back in Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria & Warlords of Draenor every class had the same talent tree for each specialization. In Legion the specialization specific talent tree got introduced and left a negative impact on class-design. Due to the pruning most classes are baseline very weak and have very few abilities. Nowadays you have to “Bob the Builder” your own specializations with your talents. Here’s an example:

Mists of Pandaria Talent Tree (http://i.imgur.com/iyWth.png):

  • 15: You had a choice of different self-healing abilities to make your life easier. Dark Regeneration & Harvest Life were good active choices while Soul Leech was a passive talent.
  • 30: Several options for “Crowd Control” abilities.
  • 45: Three different survivability options.
  • 60: Unique utility options like a dispel or a additional movement ability
  • 75/90: Changed your playstyle but nothing that made or broke your class.

Now let’s take a look the the Battle for Azeroth Talent Tree (https://i.imgur.com/Lp019Sy.png):

  • 15: Damage enhancing abilities. None of them have a niche and Flashover is the winner in basically every bracket in this game.
  • 30: Both Shadowburn and Soul Fire used to be baseline abilities that got modified and turned into talents. Reverse Entropy is the only good talent for the whole duration for Battle for Azeroth in this row.
  • 45: Decision between movement & survivability. Warlocks do not possess any mobility as baseline, due to that a lot of players tend to pick Burning Rush. Dark Pact & Demon Skin are two very good survivability talents fighting with a movement spell.
  • 60: Three AoE abilities. Inferno is enhancing Rain of Fire and is basically useless. Fire and Brimstone used to be a former ability that got modified and turned into a talent. Cataclysm is the only useful talent in this row and is also being played for Single Target encounters.
  • 75: Two “Crowd Control” abilities paired with a movement ability that used to be baseline (Demonic Circle).
  • 90: Perfect example of Blizzards talent tree. They tried to design a single target, cleave & AoE ability. However Dark Soul: Instability is used all the time due to the other two talents being weak.

Let’s sum everything up: Nowadays you need to build your own class and movement/survivability options share the same talent row. The majority of your abilities got pruned completely, or a bad version of them is a talent. You have to actively decide whether you want to do single target, cleave or AoE damage. This is a huge reason why the current Mythic+ meta is so limited. Some specializations suffer so badly from this, that they’ll forever be bad in Mythic+. I’ll explain more about that at a later point.

Destruction Warlock is a good example. Back then you had Fire & Brimstone to permanently generate Soul Shards and spend them via Rain of Fire. You basically had a constant AoE rotation. Nowadays outside of Havoc you have no AoE ability and Soul Shard generator. Rain of Fire is the only option outside of your Summon Infernal to do AoE damage. It takes a considerate amount of time to gain the three Soul Shards. Abilities like Shadowburn or Demonic Circle are talents in the current state of the game so that you’re basically left with only the basic abilities.

The difference between the classes within the survivability/utility bracket is also enormous.

Blizzard has recently and in the past stated that classes were/are already perfect and don’t need any additional abilities. The only way to keep introducing new cool features is to remove old ones. In reality it turned out that we kept losing abilities and gained nothing in return. After Warlords of Draenor we haven’t really received any new abilities outside of the Artifact Weapon ability that also already vanished for most classes. We haven’t received a new talent row either since Warlords of Draenor. Here is a comparison of what I’ve gained as a Warlock and what I’ve lost:

Lost: Shadowburn (Talent), Demonic Circle (Talent), Fire & Brimstone (Talent), Dark Soul (Talent), Ember Tap, Fel Flame, Twilight Ward, Dark Intent, Curse of Elements, Exhaustion & Weakness, Demon & Fel Armor, Flames of Xoroth, Howling Fear & Soul Shatter.

Gained: Nothing

So as you can see I’ve lost 15 abilities in the last expansions. Some are still available as talents but that means something else lost it’s spot in the talent tree.

This really affects the current raiding & dungeon environment. Battle of Dazar’alor is heavily dominated by ranged classes while Mythic+ (including MDI) is heavily melee-favored. This is caused by several factors:

I’ll take Destruction Warlock again as an example: They’re one of the best classes for the current raid but quite weak for Mythic+. Especially in the higher keys.

Why is that? Usually people would say it’s a numbers issue but it isn’t. There is several specializations in the game that don’t have proper AoE abilities and/or utility. As Destruction Warlock my only AoE ability. It has a small radius and is placed on a specific spot. The moment a tank starts to move the enemies because of Sanguine or the general incoming damage I become useless. Especially in these heavily trash based dungeons it is important to have a good AoE toolkit like the majority of the melee classes like Outlaw Rogue, Unholy Death knight or Windwalker Monk. Specializations with the same issue: Enhancement Shaman, Balance Druid (Due to Starfall nerf), Fury Warrior & Arcane Mage.

The same issue is within the utility toolkits between classes. Let’s compare Warlocks with Rogues.

Warlock: Fear, Interrupt (24 seconds CD), Stun (1 minute CD), Darkfury (45 seconds CD), Purge, Soulstone, Demonic Gateway, Unending Resolve. vs.

Rogue: Interrupt (15 seconds CD), Gouge, Between the Eyes (Stun), Stealth, Cheap Shot (Stun), Sap, Shroud of Concealment, Frontloaded AoE, Crimson Vial, Feint, Blind, Distract, Vanish, Hook, Riposte & Tricks of the Trade

As you can see the classes are heavily imbalanced. Shamans are a great example looking at the MDI. They’re offering one of the best toolkits in the game but have no front loaded AoE for this heavily trash based dungeons and are basically a liability to pick.

How to fix that?

Mythic+ Specific Talent Tree: Maybe make a specific talent tree for Mythic+ dungeons similiar to the PvP one. I think this way you don't have to touch the game too much in terms of balancing and focus on the weaknesses of the classes.

Possible Talents are: Interrupt for Demonology Warlock AoE Filler ability for Destruction Warlock AoE Spender for Arcane Mage AoE Stun for DPS Warriors

The best thing would be obviously to balance the classes baseline and give them again a bigger toolkit. This idea is only as a Plan B fix thought out.

Buffs: Blizzard initially wanted to give every class a unique buff. They eventually scrapped the idea. That was a good decision in my mind because I think it wouldn’t have been impossible to balance them all properly. They ended up giving only five classes an exclusive buff which makes them basically a must-have in the raid and really popular in Mythic+ as well. How does that make any sense? A proper solution would be to keep five buffs in the game that several classes can offer. You could give Strength to Death knights & Warriors, Stamina to Druid & Priests etc. With this system you would have a lot more freedom in terms of class variety.

Mythic Plus: Mythic Plus was undisputedly one of the best features in Legion. In Battle for Azeroth it definitely has gotten worse. The only improve compared with Legion was that Tyrannical is not as deadly on higher keystones as it used to be.

So what is worse in this expansion?

Dungeons: The majority of the new dungeons are way too long and narrow-spaced. The average dungeon in this expansion takes around 35 minutes I’d say and there is no real short dungeon left. The trash is way stronger so you’re forced to pull smaller and every enemy has several abilities. That kinda forces you to have enough classes that can interrupt enemies and you can’t do crazy big pulls to gain a lot of time. So while in Legion dungeons like Arcway that could be easily 3-chested, dungeons like King’s Rest take the full duration. I think longer dungeons are getting boring and mentally exhausting on higher levels especially. Dungeons should have the length between Maw of Souls & Court of Stars in my opinion. People are fascinated by speed-running and like to see big pulls like Maw of Souls or even back in Mists of Pandaria.

Read:  There is a huge botting/hacking problem at the moment, and here is some potential evidence of it

Most dungeons are also really narrow-spaced and are basically forcing you to have a Rogue with Shroud of Concealment to not kill too many enemies. Dungeons should allow more freedom and variety in the routes. They shouldn’t be linear. I think a dungeon design like Eye of Azshara was really good. The only good dungeons in this expansion that come into my mind are Atal’dazar & Freehold.

Trash: The amount of trash needed in every dungeon is way to much. It heavily favors all classes with frontloaded AoE damage (majority of melees). Most of the trash has also so many abilities to interrupt that you’re basically forced to play at least two melees for the short interrupt cooldown. I think Motherload is a good example of a dungeon with way too much trashcount needed and heavily unbalanced enemies. You basically skip all trash after the second boss onwards.

New Dungeons: I think Blizzard should also try to release dungeons more often to bring in new flavour into Mythic+.

Shroud of Concealment: Like previously explained, Shroud of Concealment is basically a must have for the current dungeons and in the MDI most teams are even running with two Rogues. I’ve collected a few ideas on how to fix this ability:

Give Shroud a timer like “Battle Resurrection”. Reduce the duration of Shroud. Give Shroud a longer cooldown. Make Invisibility potions not share cooldown with DPS potion but give them a slightly longer cooldown than Shroud to make Rogue better than them.

Affixes: I think Affixes are a cool enhancement to the dungeon but Fortified and Tyrannical seem to be lacking any fun interaction. I think the majority of the playerbase disliked fighting dungeon bosses for 5 minutes. Fortified is also quite boring nowadays with the amount of trash needed. I think Blizzard should find a good sweet spot in terms of health points tuning and get rid of both of these Affixes.

Maybe introduce “positive Affixes” that actually help the player instead of only “evil” ones. So that every week you get a small buff as well.

Mythic+ Consumables: Currently it is incredible expensive to buy Potions and Scrolls for Mythic+. It might be a good idea to make consumables that are very cheap to make that only work in keystones?

Keystone Upgrades: Players should be able to make a active decision to choose between three different dungeons after completing a key. Being unlucky especially with high keys can be really frustrating and unrewarding.

Mythic+ Teleports: I think Blizzard should introduce something similar to the Challenge Mode Teleports. You should be able to teleport to your own keys location and maybe take everyone that is in a 10 yards radius with you. This should be on a 8 hours cooldown and if you complete a dungeon in-time it resets.

Mythic Speed Race Modes (Time Trials): There should be a option to play the Time Trials on the Live Servers. You should be able to Solo & Team Queue against others and gain MMR/Points like in PvP. I think many people prefer speed-running over pushing really high keys. Streamers could make community events with Wargames and create good publicity for the game.

Time Trials Weekend League: I think it would be a cool idea to introduce a Time Trials Weekend League. Every weekend teams can register ingame to participate in a tournament and Blizzard announces three different dungeons. The ten best teams in each dungeon get a dungeon specific title until that dungeon is again in the Weekend League rotation.

Title Examples: * Shrine of the Storms – Templar Deepshades * Freehold – Pirate Deepshades * Atal’dazar – Raptorlord Deepshades

Solo Challenges: The Green Fire Warlock Quest Line or Mage Tower Challenges were a huge success. You aren’t bound to any specific time and they outscale themselves after some time for less experienced players. Blizzard should introduce more of this and perhaps reward it with class-specific transmog sets like the Heritage Armor.

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Character Progression: Nowadays it feels like there is no proper character progression in the game anymore. Due to “Titanforging” it doesn’t really matter what content you play because you can easily end up with a very high item level. There is plenty of 410+ geared characters that didn’t manage to clear Heroic Battle of Dazar’alor. This causes also huge problems with the Group Finder. Loot is so easy to acquire that you can’t really take Item Level as a metric to rate players and people put requirements incredibly high to make sure their groups will be good due to many people performing way under their possibilities gear-wise. You can’t trust Item Level as indicator anymore and that has made forming PuG’s incredibly hard. This is also a reason why Raider.IO score has become so popular.

How to fix that? Blizzard should remove Titanforging but give people a goal again that is reachable. Many players get really frustrated because it’s impossible to get BiS gear. Gear should only be able to forge within +6-10 Item Level and have baseline sockets. This would also fix the endless World Quest & Mythic+ grind for specific trinkets.

Gear: I think gear nowadays is a huge problem. You’re permanently forced to play a different bracket that you don’t want to play. Battle of Dazar’alor has awful caster trinkets for example so you’re basically forced to run Mythic+ or PvP. Mythic+ players have the same issue with Azerite Armor.

The worst system is the PvP system. You have a random chance of getting a random item after each Arena/Battleground. There should be a system for PvP players to target specific items.

Trinkets: Battle of Dazar’alor was the best showcase of how bad trinkets are nowadays. Incandescent Sliver is heavily situational and the Conclave of the Chosen trinket is mediocre at best. The themed last boss trinkets of G’huun & Jaina Proudmore were incredibly weak and boring. It is not fun to shoot random spears or throw a banana at enemies. You’re basically forced to run Mythic+ or PvP as earlier mentioned. You want something you can play around with like the Mists of Pandaria trinkets.

Rings: Rings not having primary stats makes them really annoying. Sockets are worth around 15 Item Level and you’re basically forced to keep every ring in the game incase your Stat Weights change.

Personal Loot: Please make Master Loot an option for guilds. I think distributing loot as a team and giving the item to the person that benefits most is a beautiful feeling. It was originally introduced to stop split-raids but that hasn’t worked out. It is incredibly frustrating to loot an item you don’t need but can’t trade to someone because it’s your highest Item Level pieces and someone else could’ve used it.

Keep Personal Loot for PuGs though. It prevents “Ninja-Looting”.

Profession Gear: With the introduction of Personal Loot, guilds searched for more ways to trade loot. Profession gear having the same Item Level as Heroic ended up in good guilds learning professions, crafting the gear, equipping it and disenchanting it after, to be eligible to trade 400 Item Level pieces within the raid. The easiest way to fix that issue is to give profession equipment around 5 Item Level less on the item but to put a socket on them. This way they’re still stronger.

Buffs/Nerfs in Raids: Instead of permanently nerfing the raids and giving players the feeling they’re to bad for the raid, there should be something like Valor Point Upgrades again. This way players can improve their gear over time and get stronger to beat the bosses within the raid. It is a more fitting feeling for a MMORPG.

Reward System: Currently the rewarding system is a shambles. You can see that especially in the ever shrinking Rated Battleground Community. Here are the problems of each individual bracket:

Raids: I think the gear that you get is fine for raiding but every last boss should drop a mount or at least a toy that is unavailable as soon as Cutting Edge ends. So that PvE mounts are equally rare as Gladiator mounts.

The last boss should always drop a higher item level than the previous once baseline.

Mythic+: Mythic+ should reward more than 400 Item Level pieces and a bit of Azerite Power. There should be a currency or ranking system and at the end of a season you receive/can buy mounts, titles, toys, cosmetics etc.

Arena: I think after making Gladiator much more accessible, Blizzard should make two different versions of the Gladiator mount. I’ve thought of something like the Spectral Tiger. The normal Gladiators get a mount with barely any armor while #1 Gladiators get a mount that is fully armored.

Rated Battlegrounds: Blizzard has given the same title in this bracket since it’s been released. A top % player should at least be rewarded with something like “Dread Hero”. Basically the seasons name + Hero. Perhaps a Rated Battleground specific mount to put a little bit more spotlight on this bracket?

Hall of Fame: I think the Hall of Fame should only reward 100 guilds in total independent of their faction. It is currently very unfair for quite some Horde guilds to not receive the Famed Defender title even though they’re better than many Top 100 Alliance guilds but worse than the actual 100 on Horde side.

Character Improvements: Reforging should be something Blizzard should consider again.Getting an item with bad stats and not being able to do anything about it feels very frustrating. Reforging gave you the possibility to make a bad item a potential “small upgrade”.

There should also be more enchants back in the game. Gear feels really empty and I think it was always cool to enhance your equipment.

Read:  Class Events Project

Class-specific Sets: There is no variety in player appearance anymore since the removal of “Tier Sets”. Bringing in some cool class-themed sets as a reward for the earlier mentioned Solo challenges would be a great idea in my head.

Racials: I think Blizzard should remove all damage/survivability/utility racials. They should be completely cosmetic and players shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t play the “best” race for their class. I know the differences are really small but people care about them. Especially in the MDI Night elves are incredibly strong and basically make every class that can’t play them a liability. In tournament play they have to be deactivated.

Legendaries: I think Blizzard should bring back Legendaries like in Mists of Pandaria & Warlords of Draenor. They were unique and changed your playstyle every new step a little bit. The ring in Warlords of Draenor used to be a passive proc and later onwards it turned into a whole raid mechanic. You worked yourself towards a great item and the catch up system was really good as well.

I personally prefer the Legendaries out of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm the most but I see a problem with people getting poached from other guilds just because they have the Legendary and a whole guild loses it's progression.

Bonus Rolls: I think Bonus Rolls should be removed. The bosses drop plenty of loot and there is a lot of other ways to acquire loot. Obviously it’s a good feeling to loot an item out of them but it isn’t needed.

Weekly Mythic+ Chest/PvP Chest: We all know the feeling of looting a bad item in our weekly chest. Especially towards the end of a season when you have the majority of items on a good Item Level. I think there should be a system to target a specific armor type (trinket, ring, gloves) or a specific dungeon loot table.

Followers & Mission: Garrison, Shipyard and Followers were all great ideas but got boring rather quickly. Especially in Battle for Azeroth it feels like the missions are only there to give you a little bit of extra Azerite Power.

World Bosses: World Bosses should be an exciting event once or twice a month for a weekend but not every week with a boring enemy staying in one of the zones. Especially since their loot gets outdated very quickly and makes them kind of useless.

Riddles (The Hivemind): Riddles are always a great experience especially when the whole community is working together. Blizzard should introduce them more frequently.

Quest lines like Kua’fon are also great.

World Zones & World Quests: It still feels like World Quests are only a way to keep players busy instead of providing them entertaining content. World Quest rewards are usually pretty quickly outscaled and become useless/repetitive. Blizzard should fixate more on zones with proper story development.

Story Development (Molten Front & Suramar): I think zones like the Molten Front & Suramar were beautiful. They had great scenery, an intense story and great rewards. As a player you felt like you were working towards something and after a couple of weeks/months you’re getting rewarded with a cool mount/toy. There should be a zone like this in every patch to replace the majority of World Quests.

Island Expeditions: I think Islands could’ve been great but ended up being annoying. Blizzard basically forced players to farm Azerite Power there. Islands should’ve been only completely voluntarily for the people that wanted the mounts, toys & cosmetics. I do think the mounts deserve a higher drop chance though.

Warfronts: No save for this feature.

Professions: Back in the day it felt like professions were meaningful and important. Nowadays there is basically no profession that I can think of that is important to learn except for gold making. Professions should have cool bonuses like enchanters having access to secret Weapon Enchants (cosmetics) or blacksmiths being able to apply a better plating to their armor making it indestructible.

Auction House: The auction house User Interface should get a major rework to make it easier to use. Additionally I think the auction houses should be connected so that low populated servers don’t have crazy prices. The best german guild transferred servers because their auction house either didn’t have the items they needed for progression available or they were overpriced.

World PvP/Warmode: I think World PvP wasn’t as heavily anticipated as Blizzard expected it and they quickly gave Warmode a incentive to be used. Especially the 400 Item Level pieces Alliance got in the Heroic Battle of Dazar’alor week was crazy. Current World PvP is basically just raids camping single players and killing them. I think Warmode should be completely voluntarily and have no rewards. If it needs rewards to be activated it fails it’s purpose.

Server Phasing: In my opinion it is time to connect more servers together so that players interact more with each other and that zones aren’t always empty.

It’s also weird to sometimes be on a different shard than your own guildmate.

Mercenary Mode (Faction Issues): I know this sounds crazy but I think Blizzard should allow players to play with players of the opposite faction raids and Mythic+. The competitive raiding and Mythic+ scene is basically only Horde based and people have to decide if they wanna stay in their guild and will never be able to play proper Mythic+ or if they should transfer factions. On all servers but RP servers you should be able to opt into “Mercenary Mode”.

Communication with Blizzard: I feel like Blizzard has to increase the communication with the community. Many players get really frustrated which causes negative feelings towards Blizzard to increase. We are more or less clueless about what’s going to happen in the future and a good example was “Titan Residuum”.

Blizzard should listen more to feedback so that “Surrender to Madness” Shadow Priests will never happen to begin with. I know the Shaman community gives also a lot of helpful advice for class tuning but it seems to be ignored. They should talk more with the “pro players” of each bracket and with big community figures like Slootbag, Preach, Asmongold, Taliesin & Evitel. There is a lot of very knowledgeable people that could help to give advice. Blizzard shouldn’t straight up copy what these players tell them but take some impressions from it.

Improve (Polish) instead of bringing in new systems: I know new features are always needed to hype the community but I think Blizzard should start focusing again on polishing the features they have. Raiding, Mythic+, Arena & Rated Battlegrounds are pretty much unique to this game and they should focus more on them.

Systems like Artifact Weapons or Azerite Armor shouldn’t be removed after one expansion. They should be improved until they’re really good. Tier Sets also got changed each expansion a bit and ended up being one of the best features in this game. Give things time to develop and balance out.

Leveling: I agree that leveling is a big part in a MMORPG and WoW is probably the MMO with the best world and storylines but with so many expansions released it's really hard to get new characters up. Usually when players want to play a new character it's because of the end-game content and nowadays it takes so long to level a new character without spending money for a leveling boost. There should be a shortcut for players that have several max level characters in the current expansion.

What I am trying to say is that endgame content is what keeps the player in the game and should be easier accessible for players with several max level characters.

Breaks: I think a cool part about WoW was that you could do breaks back in the day and don't feel behind. Since Legion it feels like the game is always telling you to farm something and many players feel behind if they're doing breaks. Your guilds might get mad at you for not reaching a specific neck item level etc. I think in many other games pro's often do breaks for a short time to get a clear head and get the love for the game back. I think azerite power should work kinda like the PvP conquest system. You have every week a cap and can catch up to the latest cap at any given point in time. Most "casuals" don't do more anyway and for the more "hardcore" players it would be a welcomed change to not feel forced to play the game.

Community Aspect: I think that playing with friends or a guild was always a reason that kept me in the game. The social aspect of finding like-minded people and reaching my goal together was always one of the most important things for me. That's why I like playing a multi player game instead of a solo player game. Blizzard should focus more again on the communities and guild rather than the solo Group Finder play. Perhaps reward guild groops with more loot etc.

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