World of Warcraft implements undocumented item level scaling in patch 7.2

The reward scaling in World of Warcraft has always been pretty straightforward. At the start of the expansion, everything at max level is a pretty close match for you; by the end of the expansion, all of that work you put into acquiring better items pays off because every enemy lies dead at your feet. It’s how things work. Sure, there are a larger number of things at your level in Legion due to scaling, but the way gear works remains constant. After all, if you made enemies scale with gear, you’d have no reason to actually get better gear, so you would… oh, wait, they actually did that with patch 7.2. Huh.

Yes, this is something players noticed, and according to Ion Hazzikostas on the forums it is completely intentional. The developer rationale is that it allows for creatures to scale more organically to various gear levels so that open-world enemies never became trivial or easy for players. The intent is for enemies to scale up slower than gear level (so gear still feels like a reward) but still scale with your power in terms of items.

So, get excited about the next set of world events! They promise to reward you with gear that makes everything else around you stronger as well, making the effort put into acquiring that gear a complete waste of time.

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35 Comments on "World of Warcraft implements undocumented item level scaling in patch 7.2"

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agemyth ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Gear still matters. This is the first expansion where the endgame world content is meant to stay relevant for the duration of the expansion. This is something they should have been able to foresee and just not have the power creep be as large and fast as it has been, but the core idea of getting gear and becoming more powerful is still a thing. Maybe it needs tweaks, but it is good for the health of the game, I think, if they want a healthy expansion cycle.

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Utakata
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agemyth ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

I’m late to the party, but your update is important. Thanks for sharing (hadn’t seen it yet myself).

Nick Martin
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Nick Martin

Everything they do to this game just continues to diminish my desire to play it. My sub runs out in eight days, and doubt I’ll log back in at this point.

borghive
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borghive

It really doesn’t resemble much of an MMORPG anymore, their crusade to cater to a mass audience has killed whatever RPG elements were left in the game over the last several expansions.

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Paragon Lost

The requirements for profession advancement and how artifacts work really killed the alt character progression. Hell the way Artifacts work killed alt specs as well. :(

threeknee
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threeknee

Really can’t help but cringe at the thought that gear progression is someone’s main motivation to play.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

I think wow gear progression have become out of hand with so many different modes… World quests, Normal dungeons, heroic dungeons, mythic dungeons, mythic+ dungeons, LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic …

All these are different difficulty modes which need to reward players the correct ilvl in order to “motivate” them to go for the next mode.. add to all these the patches which adds more ilvl to all the above..

The difference between the start of an expansion with the end is tremendous, so something must be done to make content stay “relevant” and challenging. But this is the wrong way to do it.

In my opinion, we need to make less difficulty modes and have a normal gear progression. Look at FFXIV for example. Dungeon player is 10-15 ilvl lower than the best raiders (just not as fast as the raider though, cause of the cap in tomes).

What FFXIV done is simple took the WotLK gear model (not saying copied, it is just similar) which also worked great for wow too. You run dungeons and you get a currency with a weekly limit. Then you can buy raid quality gear. Also reduce the raid modes to 3, LFR – Normal – Heroic. LFR have same gear with dungeons and work as intended to see the content (LFR also will drop the currency to buy normal raid gear).

In that way progression dont go out of hand, and there is also not huge gear gap between the playerbase. It worked in WotLK and is working in FFXIV too.

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Nicholas

I second this.

I stepped out of WoW around Nov last year I think and went back to FFXIV for a bit as well as some other stuff. Getting back into WoW this month and figuring out the gearing path hasn’t been clear at all.

I also think FFXIV looks to use new dungeons, raids, story quests, small side quests, and cosmetics/mounts as the carrot instead of iLvl.

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Ugh. Scaling (non-optional) is such a lazy dev tool. I hate it so much. Way to completely make levelling or gearing up irrelevant. So, what’s the carrot again?

budtoker420
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budtoker420

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Nicholas

I really feel like I remember Ion Hazzikostas talking about this during BlizzCon last year. I remember him pretty much saying the same line of “The intent is for enemies to scale up slower than gear level (so gear still feels like a reward) but still scale with your power in terms of items” verbatim. So in that regard I’m not surprised to hear that open world mobs are continuing to scale.

Sounds like other people are having a different experience than me though. Last night I was able to knock out 3 million AP farming and increased my iLvl from 850 to 860 for both DPS and Tank Specs on my Pali. I never really noticed an increase in difficulty and heck with my tank spec it feels I can pull eight mobs and not have to worry. For DPS I have been two-three shooting everything that isn’t elite so that hasn’t been a overall issue either. I have noticed that if I pull three plus mobs I need to POP cooldowns and actually do more than just spam two keys but I don’t view that as a negative thing.

Also once more people get flying this issue becomes a lot more moot I think. The impression I have is that getting flying is way easier than it was in WoD. For the part one achievement the only faction that I have had to work specifically on is the Wardens. The other four factions seemed to hit revered without me really doing anything. The Nightfallen felt like a grind but that was to get exalted. As for the Part Two achievement, need to double check but that sounds like maybe a hour of knocking out three demon invasions and then bam your done.

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chriskovo .

At this point all the managers need to be fired developing WOW. Im sick of the crap they are pulling between flight and now this crap. I played this game so I could feel like a god at the end of the game not to nearly dying to one trash mob at max level. These people have tainted all the fond memories I used to have of this game. These guys need to get fired or they just need to shut down wow at this point before its legacy is just gone.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

That last sentence tho.

comment image

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Rick Mills

I thought it was funny that they addressed the issue when they discovered people “removing” gear to make the mobs easier…

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Greaterdivinity

Remember guys and gals, they’ve dramatically improved their communication and are going to keep up the good work!

Or they’ll neglect to include a major change to the game in their patch notes, leaving players to figure it out on their own.

You know, or that. *sigh*

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Utakata

They didn’t even bother to run this through the PTR first. Or they would of caught the scaling issues before it became an embarrassment.

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Utakata

Edit/Update: Apparently it was on the PRT, it’s just Blizz didn’t communicate it there either. /bleh

Source: https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/17615271790?page=27#540

…err, just Copy & Paste after the “nofollow” thingy. (Wtf?)

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Ben Stone

I never understood the mentality of people thay want to faceroll everything because they got some charity epics or paid for gear runs. The same whining happened with GW2. I see it as a good thing, keeps open world content relevant.

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Utakata

From the link:

“Also to be clear, scrapping the entire system is certainly still an option.”

Yeah, I like that option too. The one considering of never implementing this in the first place would of been better though.

LazyLex
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LazyLex

Making boring content harder does not make the content any less boring… just more tiresome.

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Jeremiah Wagner

I find making boring content challenging makes it a lot more fun.

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Space Captain Zor

This is good news and bad news to me. Good news because maybe people will finally stop thinking they’re so star-spangled awesome just because they played the game enough to get gear upgrades that let them outclass all the PVE content around them. Newsflash: that’s not an actual accomplishment.

Bad news because that makes them get bored with PVE content being difficult and they’ll focus on the easy stuff, which is lower geared players in world PVP.

Yangers
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Yangers

So, how does this scaling work when players diff levels, attacking the same mob?

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Utakata

Same as it works for level scaling I guess.

It’s weird though…when the character you are levelling seems to be having an easier time with the mob sometimes than the max level player beside, lol.

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Fabian Leibundgut

had just a funny thought about the blizzard team sitting on their round table when one of them dropped this question leaving everyone in a deep thinking state, eyes half closed, leaving the room in silent for half a minute…

i guess it works just like ESO probably? you get adjusted to the mob’s level, not the mob will get adjusted to you. just a very wild guess of mine of course!

i still prefer the silent room situation though!

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Targeter

“They promise to reward you with gear that makes everything else around you stronger as well, making the effort put into acquiring that gear a complete waste of time.”

This statement as a microcosm of Legion is one of the reasons this expansion didn’t hold my interest for too long. Level-scaling in theory sounds great! But in reality, Blizzard tends to lean on the punishing side of scaling. IE, I’ve taken out Old Gods and demons by the score, but god forbid I run into a bear at less than 1/2 health. Granted my gear was good enough at the time to roflstomp most mobs, but if I get a little careless and overextended just a tad, the Blizzard Fun Police made sure to rectify that quickly. And oh god, those runbacks from the graveyards. Yikes!

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TheDonDude

I’ve bee out of the WoW game for a few months. Is the item scaling bad? From the article sounds like better gear still makes you better… just not as much as before.

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Jeremiah Wagner

Yep, Blizz gotta make sure they suck every last little taste of excitement out of the game. It almost feels like they have been purposely trying to ruin the game for years now. Probably just doing it to make sure sales are through the roof on their next mmo.

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Mark

And here I would think fighting enemies not being a snoozefest would add to the excitement, not remove it.

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Shiro Madoushi

How long until the first story about some top tier WoW player getting one-shot by a rat?

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Veldan

Now this would be funny, enemies scaling stronger than gear. “We expect you to become better at the game as you obtain better items, so enemies will scale accordingly”. The world would go mad…

miskav
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miskav

It’s currently “Bugged” according to what I’ve read.

Fully geared players getting killed in 3 hits by random mobs.

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Utakata

You know…if that’s true, repair bills scale with gear too. That’s kinda a double whammy. :(

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BDJ

WoW needs more challenging content other than mythics.

I can pulled 9-10 mobs just fine most of the time. I don’t want a Vanilla experience, where you can handle 1 but more than that and its a struggle, but somewhere in between would be fine.

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