World of Warcraft tackles addon toxicity, previews how you’re going to lose your artifact weapon

    
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A small, seemingly insignificant addition to Battle for Azeroth might have a positive effect on World of Warcraft’s modding community. Blizzard is adding a function that will allow reports on offensive behavior to be sent from within addons themselves, which finally allows the mod community a way to police its previously lawless empire.

The “SendAddonMessageLogged” function won’t be automatically instituted into every addon; mod creators have to enable and integrate it themselves. However, once it is functional, this tool can help players report toxic behavior that is taking place in mods right to Blizzard’s CS department.

In other news, with artifact weapons heading out the door with the upcoming expansion, the question of the hour is how Blizzard will handle the removal of these legendary items. Players on the public test realm got a look at the artifact retirement questline that will come with next month’s Patch 8.0, and if you’re totally fine being spoiled, you can peek at what it will entail over at Icy Veins.

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Utakata

I am curious to know what happens with Druid animal forms once the Artifact is neutered. Do they revert back to their original default forms? Or is their a mechanic that is saved so they have access to the different appearances account wide? And how would that work if that’s a yes to that?

…keep in mind, the Druid Artifact weapon for Ferral’s did not change appearances, rather the appearances of their unlocked Cat Forms, for example.

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Sally Bowls

My understanding atm:
Well, you Artifact is not completely neutered. It is still a high-iLevel weapon you will start out using, just without the cool extra features. So the druid who logs back in during prepatch should see no visible change and will use the artifact at the start of leveling to 120.

Once the someone has their new weapon-du-jour, they can transmog the artifact over that weapon. With druid that is what gets them the change appearances. The lastest update was in this week’s Q&A where they said artifact would work regardless of the weapon you had. I.e., Holy Pally could transmog their 2H healing mace artifact onto a sword&board.

As always, what I understand, what Blizzard intends and what Blizzard does can be three different things.

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Utakata

I think I get it. So thanks for explaining that then! :)

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Targeter

I can only imagine that ‘add-on toxicity’ must be related to some add-ons that are racist or cause things to play over comms? I dunno, I’m a bit stumped but I honestly don’t want to dig any deeper in fear that I’ll actually find what they’re talking about … and I won’t have enough mental bleach to erase it.

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Leiloni

I wasn’t sure what it was either considering I’ve used plenty of addons in WoW and wasn’t sure what it referred to. I clicked the link and apparently RP addons are a thing and this is where it stems from. Players can create their own “RP Profiles” in some of these addons, and since that type of content doesn’t exist within the game, it wasn’t previously accessible to Blizzard’s CS department. So this new function allows the addon authors to essentially make that data accessible to Blizzard after a player reports someone to CS via the addon.

But it seems they’re almost a blank canvas for players to write whatever they want – profanity which makes it hard for parents to control what their kids see (bc again, the addon is not Blizzard controlled, unlike chat channels which have profanity filters), harassing other players via someone’s own RP profile, apparently doxxing as well.

Dantos
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Dantos

Are they talking about things like gearscore?

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jay

I don’t understand the point of this addon reporting thing. What is toxicity within addons? How would that even come about? I have yet to see an addon that allows me to talk to other people with the same addon, although it could be possible there are such? Is that what this is for? o.O

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Sally Bowls

see an addon that allows me to talk to other people with the same addon,

Addons can have their own communication channel, although it is typically not used for chat-like functionality.
E.g., some addons will tell you it is out of date because they noticed a newer version of the addon in the channel. (Cause you really, really don’t want addons to have access to general URLs on the internet.)
In olden days, you could even get a gathering addon that you could have say “GuildieChris gathered Khorium in Netherstrom” and share the location for your gathering node location database.

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Hravik

Add-on toxicity? What the what? Am I missing something?

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Sally Bowls

Text in RP addons, see Leiloni above.

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David Harrison

Ok. Somebody help explain this to me as I missed this last WoW expansion.

Are they saying that the weapon you got in the last expansion and leveled up/skilled up (whatever you call it) through out that expansion is now being taken away? So, now everything you did in the last expansion is null and void. Am I understanding that correctly?

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Stuart Gibson

No different to any other expansion

borghive
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borghive

I think there is a big difference. They never created these huge involved systems before only to throw them away the next expansion.

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Targeter

Garrisons (and farms from Pandaria, thanks to Kiyoko Gustav for reminding me) say hello. Also, Wintergrasp to a lesser extent; as soon as Cataclysm launched, it was forgotten immediately and made irrelevant.

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David Harrison

I don’t have the experience in WoW to know, so correct me if I am wrong.

But… are we talking about forgotten immediately as in you pick up gear off of solo content in the first hour of playing the new expansion OR are you talking about you replace some of your Raid gear in the first Raid of the new expansion.

The first one to me is unacceptable of any MMORPG.

The second one is completely acceptable to me because I am using the Raid gear I earned in the previous expansion to earn the starting Raid gear in the new expansion.

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Targeter

Hahaha, welcome to WoW, brother. WoW is infamous for replacing end-game gear in the first hour of questing with green items. Recently, they’ve gotten a tad bit better about some items sticking around, but I guarantee that you will be replacing every single one of your raid items of Legion within the first 3-4 levels of BfA.

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styopa

I remember guildies nearly crying in guild teamspeak as they were replacing treasured hard-won raid purples from Naxx with blues from Hellfire Peninsula in the first hour. Hell, even some greens were worth considering, with the MASSIVE +sta that TBC added, and the stat-prioritization revamp that Hunters suffered.

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Leiloni

Your gear will be good for a few levels, but you’ll replace it with questing gear eventually. Playing through the expansion content will ready you for the new raids. It’s intended to ensure everyone is on an even playing field at the start of a new expansion. Otherwise you’d leave a lot of people behind. WoW is designed to be friendly to both hardcore and casual players.

Besides, what would be the point of all the new content if you didn’t have to play through it? Regular dungeons, heroic, mythic, regular tier raids, heroic, etc. You have tons of content to do, so why would you want to have such amazing gear that you could skip some of it simply because you raided in the previous expansion? They’re raising the level cap 10 levels. Of course you’ll need new gear lol.

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Sally Bowls

In addition to farms and garrisons, one could argue that reputations work the same way. That rep that was so important last expansion that you maxed it out probably has little use in this expansion.

And some gear is expansion-specific, e.g. the MoP loot-a-rang or argo- everything-toy only work in Pandaria.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Garrisons and farms could be ignored and many people did ignore them. They aren’t critical to the expansions. Artifacts, however, are the core of Legion. And your character was significantly gimped if you ignored them.

Heart of Azeroth will also be core to BfA. Having played the Beta, it looks to me that Blizz is attempting to correct some of the mistakes they made in Legion while creating new inequities. BfA is a cut and paste of Legion gameplay-wise. It’s another Artifact Power grind just like Legion, for equipment this time instead of a weapon. Unlike your Artifact, where you could eventually unlock all the perks, BfA introduces equipment with talents, like your character talents, where you have decide whether you want this perk or that one. Once you decide, you’re locked out of the others available in that tier. The skills are spec specific in some cases, so if you switch specs, your powered armor could become useless, depending on what talents you chose for it.

Couple this with the pruning of specs to make them less rounded and you’ve got exactly the same situation you had in Legion, the need to level up more than one piece, if you can find it. I started out in Beta as a Protection Paladin, but the gameplay is now so stilted and the DPS so non-existent, that I switched over to Retribution. While still pale in the DPS department (because, Paladin) I could at least get through the content without spending forever taking down mobs. I didn’t realize how bad the Prot would play until after I had chosen the first tier of talents, making the gear pretty useless for the Ret Pally.

I’m unenthusiastic about BfA.

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Gordi_the_mighti

Mostly yes. The physical weapon is still there. The items used on it to increase its item level are still usable and will increase the level. But all the traits that give bonuses (extra damege, healing, survivability) are gone.

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Rafael Pereira

Yes, correct. But that basically the point with WoW even when a patch is released. On legion itself the grind you had on the previous patch is now easy peasy on the new one… But it comes with a new grind that later on will be eased. What will remain from the artfacts are the transmogs you collected and achievements like the challenges. I quite proud of all the stuff I did with my warlock, but a bit saddened I probally not gonna make “ahead of the curve” for the last raid.

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Kiyoko Gustav

Yes you are understanding it correctly.

Blizzard has been saying even before Legion was released that our artifacts are bound to the Legion expansion only and would not be used in future expansions. The artifact weapons are Legion’s version of WoD Garrisons and Pandaria’s farms. They are not meant to last beyond a single expansion.

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David Harrison

Thanks for explaining that everyone.

That all being said, is there any reason for me to play through Legion now seeing as my efforts are essentially erased the second I step in to the BFA content when it comes out?

I know this seems normal to all of you that play WoW on a regular basis, but my main MMORPG for over 17 years is Everquest, and I am used to how what I gain in one expansion helps prepare me for the next expansion. You do replace things in the next expansion, but you don’t replace everything. Instead, you only replace an item here and an item there. For the most part, what you get in an expansion lasts you a good long while in to the next expansion.

So, the concept of losing the single most important item of the previous expansion the second the new expansion comes out to me is very shocking and alarming. It’s probably the norm for those who are used to playing WoW though.

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Ironweakness

If you want to play through the legion storyline, which is a good one, I wouldn’t let this deter you. During the leveling process you won’t be doing anything extra really to level up your weapon, it will happen passively from playing through the zones. And once you reach 110 you can either park your character there until the expansion or you can play through some of the post-launch story content, there are catch up mechanics that will help get your weapon up to speed quickly.

I think this is more of an issue for people who have played through the entirety of the expansion and have spent a large amount of gameplay time for the sole purpose of leveling the artifact weapon. For someone just now getting in to Legion, I don’t think you’ll have the same sense of attachment and investment between now and the launch of BfA.

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David Harrison

Thanks. That makes sense. I was looking forward to playing through Legion while waiting on BFA to come out.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

If you want to play allied races in BfA, you’ll need rep with Legion factions.

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Doubleplusgood

yes, the artifact weapon you spent so much time on will be taken away from you.
That is one of the reasons I did not purchase Legion. I did not want to spend a year of my life working on something to have it deleted after.
For everyone that says “its just like how you replace all your gear every expac” its not the same. You spent the entire expac leveling up the artifact weapon. The weapon had its own skill system, its on experience points. You had to collect artifact power. It was part of your character and could even be considered a character unto itself with the amount of time investment. It is like they are deleting part of your character.
And now, congrats! you get to do the grind all over again with a new artifact for the next expansion! which will also get taken away next year.
To me this is the antithesis of what an MMO should be, which is progression. Not deleting a chunk of your character and making you start over every expac.

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Leiloni

Personally I like it because it means I don’t have to no life it all year in order to compete with everyone else. I played Legion for a bit last year and just came back and that’s ok, because I can hop into BfA and be even with everyone else.

Right now I’m working on unlocking Void Elf and I can relax and do that without feeling like I have to rush to gear up in preparation for the expansion. It’s much more player friendly to have a reset like this.

Compare that to other games where all your progress is kept, and all it serves to do is further the power gap between players until the game isn’t fun anymore. You start to lose players once they realize they just can’t compete. It’s just not good for a game’s longevity.

borghive
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borghive

This has been their design ethos the last 2 expansions. They create these throw away systems that are basically just tied to the expansion they were released in. They exist to give max level characters this sense of fake progression really. I think, the thing they like about Garrisons, and now Artifact weapons, is that they can add an additional currency to grind at max level.

It’s bad design in my opinion, they should have modeled their artifact system after Lotro’s weapon systems, were you weapon carries over with you into new expansions, instead of just tossing it out. I’d like to add the Azerite gear coming in BFA is more of the same, except it is pretty lackluster compared to the character options in Legion. I feel like players are going to be bored to tears with this new system from what I experienced on the BFA beta.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Yup. This is one reason WoW is so splintered now and lacks cohesion. All these systems are expansion specific and nothing in any other part of the game relates to them. It’s like you’re playing a bunch of mini-MMOs instead of one big game. LOTRO isn’t like this. Neither is ESO.

borghive
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borghive

Lotro and ESO are great games because their expansions add content and systems to the game instead making older content obsolete as wells older
game systems.

I’ve pretty much given up on WoW these days. Legion was a lot of fun, but I think this is truly my last expansion. I’m just not the target audience anymore, which is fine, but they won’t be getting any more money from me.

I’d rather support games like ESO and Lotro despite their obvious flaws.

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Paragon Lost

Perfectly stated Borghive. It’s why so much of WOW means so little in my opinion. They throw out the baby with the bathwater in their design approach every expansion. :/ Hard for me to get invested in anything in WOW anymore because of their design approach.

It would be one thing to throw out mechanics that were bad or just didn’t work that they couldn’t see a way to improve, fix or build upon. It’s another thing entirely when every damn expansion they’re trying to figure out how to re-invent the wheel. :/

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Leiloni

Yes, with any new Blizzard expansion, gear is essentially reset. It’s a way to even the playing field and ensure players don’t have to play catch up.

Legendary gear also only lasts until level 115 before you can’t use it anymore. So you’ll start fresh with new gear.

There will be one Artifact piece that everyone has, but that’s new for this expansion. It’s going to be a neckpiece that has similar mechanics. There will also be a gear trait system tied to it as well.