World of Warcraft admits that it has a serious leveling problem

    
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World of Warcraft’s expansion pre-patch kind of broke a lot of stuff that the devs are frantically rushing around trying to fix. One of the worst issues right now is a noticeably slower pace of leveling and combat, which has led to player dissatisfaction and efforts by Blizzard to figure out and correct the issue.

“We are seeing the same sort of discrepancies that folks in this thread and others have pointed out, but still have yet to pinpoint the exact aspect of scaling that we failed to account for,” the studio said. “The current state is not the game experience we intended, and it’s something we will fix.”

Whether or not leveling gets fixed, Battle for Azeroth is coming next month no matter what, and players will only have a few weeks to blast through content if they want to get ready for the expansion’s first raid. Uldir goes live on September 4th, with the mythic version going live a week later and various wings opening up on the raid finder over the course of September and October.

Over at the MMO’s sister game Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard is bringing in another iconic Warcraft character to join the fray. Scarlet Monastery’s High Inquisitor Whitemane is going to cure the world of infection — and noobs of their delusions.

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Utakata

Update:

…for this who read this far back, this hotfix is just in!

“Creatures and NPCs

Melee and spell damage of creatures below level 100 reduced by up to 16%.
Health of creatures between levels 15-100 reduced by up to 24%.
Developers’ note: These changes are live in-game, however unit frames may not fully reflect the new health values until a subsequent companion hotfix that we plan to apply next week.”

Source: https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21973195#1

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Apparently they’ve hotfixed the HP and damage values of mobs below 100, which will be nice I guess. Ion also said they’ll be increasing XP for the 60-80 range, but it really should be all levels at this point.

One idea I saw on Reddit that I thought would be cool is changing Suramar to a 100-110 leveling zone. The zone’s got a pretty neat storyline, it’s fairly condensed, and it’d also help new players immediately work on some of the rep needed for unlocking nightborne and flying… rather than having to go back and do it later on. At this point it seems rather worthless as a 110 zone.

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Utakata

…oh, snap. You beat me to it! :(

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zeko_rena

I have had mixed results, I started a Nelf Warrior right after 8.0 dropped and it is certainly slower to level but I don’t mind.

What I have found odd is how random some of the mobs seem to have been adjusted, I was questing through Ashenvale and not having much issue until I got the quests related to the Furbolgs North of Ashenvale, for some reason they hit super ****ing hard.

It got to the point I had to stop, examine the mob make sure he was alone run in and come out with like 15% hp and I have all the BOA gear you can strap on except that Pirate Ring, and I am thinking to myself, how is a standard geared player supposed to do this.

Most everything else I can pull multiple and come out with 80% – 90% HP so I am not sure everything scaled well.

Also leveling fishing is a disaster, before 8.0 I got fishing to 160 on an alt in about 30 minutes, on this warrior in 8.0 I have spent about 2 hours fishing all up and am only at 143, and I have been doing fishing dailies on the Warrior as well lol

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

When I first saw the ilvl + stat squish, I was like “wow, I bet that suuuuuuucked to do.” The way they handled power increases up until this point was exponential by level…in groups of 10 (for each expansion). Meaning there was not much difference between 68-69, a bigger gap between 69-70, and a astronomical gap between 70-71. Normalizing that so it could be squished by a power of … what? 8x? was guaranteed to be a HUGE project.

It doesn’t surprise me that it isn’t perfect and there are issues with it. I bet it doesn’t surprise them either. If I had to guess, I would say that they saw the problems, but couldn’t figure out where the issue was in the insanely complex system. Which I think brings us to now. They likely have the same issue — they know something is off, but aren’t sure where.

Just my $0.02 from years in development

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NeoWolf

I would have said the issue is less the slow pace of levelling, which in and off itself is not really problematic and placed the blame instead, largely on the flawed game design which fostered the player mentality of believing the games only starts at level cap.

When the truth is end game is nothing more than a sham of endless repetition and gear grind in order to do more endless repetititon and gear grind… and so much so it spawned a generation of similarly flawed game designs with overreaching and ultimately disappointing end game experiences under the beleif that the real games begins at level cap..

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Andy McAdams

I can get on board with part of this. The years of unbalanced excessive focus on raiding, raiding and just raiding and bullocks to the rest of the game reinforced that idea, and constantly making the old content obsolete didn’t help at all. What I would love for them to do is find a blend of how FFXIV does dungeon runs, how GW2/ESO does level scaling and come up with something new that makes the whole effin game, end-game.

The gear treadmill has only really been successful for WoW and to a less extent FFXIV. Most of the other games relying solely on that have faded into obscurity.

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Minimalistway

My problem with current pace is the content more than XP gain, doing the same quests over and over is tedious, especially 60-80 zones, Outland and Northerend, the game does not provide enough ways to level, you have quests, dungeons, i don’t know if PVP provide a good way to level, i don’t like PVP anyway.

If they bring some of new systems from later expansion and add them to old world they can add few more ways to level.

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teppic

As someone who’s always levelling alts, I’ve played before and after the scaling, and before and after the squish. While levelling is certainly slower than it was at the start of Legion, this was by design — before you could one-(or two) shot everything, much of the time you could just dot/aoe everything around you and take no damage at all while they all dropped dead.

The claims of it being insanely slow are exaggerated. A lot of people just simply hate levelling, and admittedly with 110 levels, there’s quite a lot of it, but it’s nowhere near as bad as many are saying.

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Angel

How can you say it’s exaggerated when Ion himself said they did some testing and leveling is slower now and shouldn’t be as it is. They admitted it is a problem and that they are working on a fix.

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teppic

Perhaps read what I said more carefully, as I didn’t say there was no issue at all.

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Angel

I read what you wrote, and obviously the devs agree that it is slow and not exaggerated. If they felt the pace was being exaggerated then they wouldn’t be working on a fix.

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Dreema

I wouldn’t put much faith in the devs. After all, they’re about to launch BfA on us.

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Greaterdivinity

So…is for the actual MMO folks here…is the pre-expansion patch as much of as mess as I’ve been reading? Been hearing about underwhelming as hell story/events, the systems/feature changes aren’t terribly exciting (at least not yet), artifact weapons ending with a thud, and a whole host of other issues that usually take what is a buggy, horribly unbalanced (in the players favor) few weeks (month+) before an expansion where folks enjoy steamrolling current/old content with new tools.

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Ben Stone

Classes and content are being balanced, as would be expected after a massive stat and ilvl adjustment. Mostly exaggerated though. Argus is too tough, being tweaked down. Older mythic raids are too easy, not really being touched.

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Bannex

Imagine a product from blizzard that feels incredibly rushed and they didn’t stop to ask themselves “Is this fun?” That’s bfa.

Great animations, zones and classic carrot on stick loot system.

Terrible feeling changes for no reason that are either broken or severely underwhelming. Odd direction, rushed story, an underdeveloped unbalanced overt focus on pvp. Gutted classes that feel boring in some cases (shaman).

“We’ll fix it later” is the worst thing I’ve seen continually repeated by blizzard devs during this whole beta. I preordered, but if I could I would demand a refund and buy this when it’s on sale after they’ve “fixed” it.

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Dug From The Earth

Its a mess from the perspective of “This is Blizzard, who for the most part, seems to have more polish in their games than most”.

This patch simply was missing a lot of that polish.

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Greaterdivinity

Yeah, their push for a faster expansion vs. the 1 year content drought definitely seems to have hurt the quality of this pre-patch. It just blows my mind that they apparently didn’t do much real world testing for the current build to see how the changes impacted leveling etc…that and the fact that it’s been a week and they still don’t quite know what the issue is.

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Dug From The Earth

Ill tell you what happened

The guys who did the coding 13 years ago for the parts of the game that feel so broken, arent working for blizzard anymore. The programmers they have now have no idea about any of that legacy code, and are having to discover it all for the first time now that all these problems popped up when they changed things on a global scale.

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Greaterdivinity

It would shock me if their engineers didn’t have plenty of notes etc. and help bring on board new engineers to get them familiar with a lot of the legacy code, especially since much of that has likely been updated since 13 years ago.

I mean, what they’re still doing with an old, modified WC3 engine is impressive as hell. I can’t think of another engine that’s gone this long with just updates that’s added so much tech without completely breaking everything.

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Dug From The Earth

Im a developer by profession, ive worked for 3 pretty decent sized companies. In each one, there is always “old code” that is left from people who were there before you. Much if it IS heavily commented (where the devs write notes in the code itself telling you whats going on). Its those areas that arent however, that are main the problem. There is always some code that slipped through the cracks.

Hell, even documented code isnt much help when there are thousands of lines of code, and you dont know where exactly to look. If no one on the dev team knows that the original code for the Ragnaros fight pulled from the same code as the Molten Giants code, they might not know that changing the Giants would alternately affect Ragnaros. And if Ragnaros didnt have notes documenting this, because some dev did a bandaid fix to get it functional last minute, then the devs simply would not have any idea as to why it got borked.

They would literally need to go line by line through the code. And in WoW’s case… that would be a galactic task.

End note… your comment about WoW using a modified WC3 engine…. its true is spirit, but if you dont understand programming, its very easy to draw the wrong conclusion.

https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1099922-is-it-true-that-WoW-is-using-the-WC3-engine

Check out the post by Magneeeto in that thread. This is from 2012 too.

The WoW engine has undergone so many custom changes and new additions that nothing about it probably even remotely resembles anything from the original WC3 engine. At which point, as the link shows… its its own, unique engine now.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It mostly is yeah.

The first half of the horde story event is kind of a joke.. mostly flying around with some cutscenes that make Sylvanas look both incredibly evil and incredibly incompetent, and the rest of the horde (including our PCs) total hypocrites after their response to Garrosh back in MoP. The new Darkshore WQ rewards to help catch people up to ~210 ilvl are all recycled items we’ve gotten from the last two (three?) rounds of level boosts.. you’d think this was a studio of 10 people with the amount of corners these guys cut.

Like others mentioned, class balance is all over the place, which is to be expected. Shit deal for Shamans though, since they’re bottom of the barrel and get the “you’re not being touched until sometime post-launch” treatment that Warlocks had going into Legion. Not fun.

Artifacts already feel like an afterthought, due to how they were lore-nerfed server-side rather than through character quest completion. People just coming back after being gone for a while get to log in and just see these shit weapons equipped and wonder wtf happened to them. Same thing for folks leveling up new 100s. The whole thing was handled really poorly IMO.

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Rumm

On the class issue specifically – people forget that every class in the game underwent massive overhauls going into Legion, pruning away a huge number of abilities. The point was that our artifact passives and new ability would make up the difference, which they did IMO. Now, all those perks are gone but we’re still left with the bare bones version of the class, and Azerite traits don’t even come close to filling the gap.

The GCD change exacerbates a much greater design issue, with Blizzard seemingly having no foresight when dealing with artifacts and the accompanying class changes. The beta forums were almost completely negative feedback for every class and spec, but Blizzard plowed ahead anyways, begging the question of why even have a beta.

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kalech

Harder leveling wouldn’t really be a problem if there wasn’t 110 freaking levels to get through ._. I wish they could do a level squish without breaking half the game

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Oleg Chebeneev

*Blizzard employee admits