Class Dread in BfA

“All that attention to the perfect lighting, the perfect this, the perfect that, I find terribly annoying.”
Meryl Streep


Class Dread in BfA

It’s hard to complain about Legion. It was a very successful expansion. The patch pace was pretty good. Sadly Argus never was the sandbox that was the Timeless Isle. A ton of players are still on the Timeless Isle today, go visit; it is a really fun little zone.

It is kind of odd that no one that I’ve talked to or read about is excited about his character in BfA. Everyone seems to have a sort of dread that their character will be weak, vulnerable and soft. This isn’t good. If one class felt that way, maybe Affliction Warlocks, it would be typical but for my money it is everyone who plays the raid game or mythic plus game.

This is speculation but I wonder if the players who read up and pay attention to the forums and blue posts, us guys: don’t trust Watcher. We don’t believe it when he says “it is kind of fun to get a titanforged item randomly” when we feel that we will “keep running it over and over until we titanforge”.

Many theaters have a scene shop. Some of them are huge with a metal area, a wood area, tool sheds and a drop frame on the wall that goes up and down to paint back drops. I saw this new guy get hired to run the place and he said, “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything.” At great cost. Three years later, this guy was gone but the new new guy said the exact same thing, “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything.” And he moved all the stuff back to the original set-up. The lesson is that many bosses need to put their own stamp on the job.

My interest began with no flying in WoD. It was a good choice, the designers will tell you that the game looks better on the ground with a limited camera range. But, you don’t tell the director to stage Meryl Streep on a certain spot to make your scenery look good! We, the players, are the stars of this World of Warcraft and no flying ideas can get you fired.

Is “bring the class, not the player” a true design choice and idea or is it to counter Ghostcrawler with his “bring the player, not the class”? “Oh no, this is not how you set up a shop. We need to re-arrange everything”. At great cost.

And the above question will lead to more questions like why is grinding artifact power something in this game — is it a true design choice or something else? Before Legion, my healer would level up to raid power and then never do anything except raid. My healer never was killing mobs in the world yet has to do so now.

And, honestly, I’ll be there in Battle for Azeroth. It is a good game and I find it a lot of fun. I’ll go along with the design decisions including constant grinding because I like to raid and run mythic plus dungeons.

Does anyone else feel this way? That Watcher is not transparent but a smooth talker and this leads to the question on every design choice in the game; from grinding to class design to utility to “meaningful” game play? I don’t know, it doesn’t bother too much; just enough to write one blog post on it.

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7 thoughts on “Class Dread in BfA

  1. I am not really afraid of class changes – in fact, I welcome them 🙂 For example, I remember 3 iterations of Frost Mage gameplay. It was centered around freeze-and-shatter routine in Pandaria, changing to hurling a gapless torrent of ice and water in Draenor, to fishing out mighty procs and calculating moments to unleash icicles in Legion. Every style was highly satisfying.

    For those like me, staying devoted to the class (and spec), class changes don’t mean much. We may complain, but in the end of all nothing makes us switch to Fire or Arcane, or go Hunting/Roguing. For those chasing for numbers – as I observe, they are not really attached to the character, so they just pick the one with greater damage/healing/tanking.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I hope there is change to my main. My fear is it will continue down the design path started in Legion. I have followed the design of Shadowpriests since mid Wrath. While I was a mod at Shadowpriest.com, I had access to old forum posts, and saw there is always a level of table flipping. From reading years of postings, it seems clear that it’s a class that no two people can agree on how it should function. One thing for certain, is that there was always a high skill cap. Unfortunately for me, it felt in Legion that they raised the bar even further. And that’s just evolution of the game. I am an older player, I belong to an ever shrinking demographic. The game cannot be designed to keep me happy. At the end of the day it’s my choice to do my best, and do a lot of grumbling and talking to myself, or just walk away. With the current design, at my best I may be 70% of what I should be. If they continue with the design direction, which it appears they are at the moment, I may only be 60% or less. And that’s a point where I have to look, is the game worth the money every month, if it is no longer enjoyable to play.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fear of the unknown. Especially if you belong to a part of the player segment who wants to stay competitive.

    My own thoughts are this: Ion is first and foremost a lawyer. This is a very big reason for him having the position he has today, I think.
    It shows in every sentence he says, and in the way he carries himself. That is why, it is incredibly difficult for the audience to really “feel” his passion for WoW. So it never shines through.

    I’m not an Ion-basher, it’s just, these are facts, to me. His position is not an easy one to have at all, and I think he has greatly improved as well. It’s not easy trying to please every single player segment of WoW. And it’s not easy pretending to do it, because you have been told to sound convincing, without being, is the word, deceiving?

    As for the AP grind – I think it’s in the game to cater to those that want a sense of progress around the clock, playing 16 hours a day. It’s relatively new that Blizzard wants to cater this kind of player with a nonestop-forever moving finish goal line.

    It’s just a shame, that some of you, in particular those that raid on a more casual level (normal and HC, for example) feels stuck in the middle, because they cannot keep up with all the activities it now takes, outside of raids, to be competitive inside raids.

    This sounds like a rant. Hah. It’s not meant to sound this way, sorry 🙂

    Great post, “But, you don’t tell the director to stage Meryl Streep on a certain spot to make your scenery look good!”, brilliant. You know I love these posts of yours when you, can you say, draw parallels, in English, like that 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m sad with your thoughts on us men of the Law 😋
      I won’t say things like “oh it’s a noble and ancient profession”, but I will say this: lawyers are the ones who solve other people’s problems. So its a good background for Ion 🙂
      His law degree and practise may have put him on the company, but his current position was achieved by his own merit and skill, since he worked on several other positions (as one should: before becoming a Game Director, one should always have worked in several departments to have a greater knowledge as to how everything works).

      I think we never see his 100% passion because he has to be as neutral as possible. Indeed on the Q&As its very clear the man worked in litigation: almost every question is a conflict, and any decision or compromise shown will alienate half the player base, so one has to tiptoe around that stuff.

      And mechanics like the AP grind exist to prevent that those 16 hours a day players become much stronger and progress much further than the rest of us. If the whole expac content was available since day one, I bet with you that there would be people doing the possible and impossible to finish it as soon as possible (dont ask me why, personally I like to enjoy my game time and dont get the rush mentality). Gating certain things behind resources and the like is what stops those players from doing so.

      We cant forget that Blizzard sells games. And as a gamer since I was a kid, on every single game I bought, one of the main questions was “how many hours will I get out of this?”. And selling a brand new expac that hundreds and thousands of people will play through in a month is bad for business, and bad for those who dont have the same time or inclination and are way behind comparing to others. Gating things levels the playing field.

      Things change. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But we can always be sure of this: every single patch there are adjustments to classes. We are heard, and our well built feedback will always find a way.

      (Alunaria, we have a EU Blizzard gear store now. Celebrate with me :D)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Aw, not to worry, Lord; As I said, it sounded as a rant, but it was not my intention. I could never do what Ion does and I am fascinated by what it means, to hold power over the word, so to speak. 🙂

        Oh, I am fine with the “forced progression stop” too. I never run out of content anyway! Though the -send champions out- gating was story telling pausing done the wrong way, I think.

        Yes, I hear you. I guess it is a fine balance to walk; making content that gamers won’t burn through too fast, but also content, that they won’t burn out doing over and over, too.

        I KNOW! Gosh, I had to put a lot of restrains on myself not to go crazy shopping! Did you get anything yet!? 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • The champions thing, as I see it, has potential but the implementation is not well done. Storyline missions for champions just cause a break in the action when they take over a day. I wouldnt mind this if, for example, we got like tiny updates from them. How cool would it be if you sent champions to do a recon mission and got a message from them saying they had arrived and had seen this and that?

        As for the gear store, I had to stop myself from starting to order stuff xD
        I’m super glad, and they have drake plushies that are sold out in the US, but I need to control myself hehehe
        I’ll never have to deal with the robbery that was dealing with customs after ordering stuff from the US store ^^

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, that would be very cool, I agree 🙂

        Haha, me too. So much good stuff. I know. It ended up costing more in shipping and customs than the actual items. Such good news to avoid that.

        Liked by 1 person

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