World of Warcraft works to improve warfronts and island expeditions while prepping for Patch 8.1

    
22
Set sail for bees.

With an awkward rollout of warfronts and underwhelming island expedition rewards, World of Warcraft needs all hands on deck these days to course-correct Battle for Azeroth. Blizzard is attempting such changes, according to last week’s dev AMA, including adding more warfronts to give increased access to the dual factions and making island expeditions more lucrative and enjoyable.

“Island expeditions represent a stab at an entirely new type of content,” said Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, “and we’re certainly planning continued improvements and refinement to the system over the rest of the expansion (as well as new locales with varied mechanics to explore). In particular, we want to add more new events to increase the variety of the experiences players have when jumping into expeditions, or running the same pool of islands repeatedly.”

If you want a shorter summary of the session, this player has you covered. Blizzard did say that it’s about ready to start testing Patch 8.1 “very soon” and will be talking about what that content update contains on a livestream this Tuesday, September 18th, on Twitch.

And this particular response to the AMA had several players chortling in amusement:

Source: Reddit
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Koshelkin

My bout with WOW’s newest expansion was rather quick, cancelled the 1 month sub a week before it ran out. It’s not that it’s bad, it actually is really, really good at times but it needs to be fleshed out and expanded upon to really justify the box price+ sub. I will come back later, though, so I don’t regret the purchase.

Grimalkin
Reader
Grimalkin

No amount of numbers juggling can fix fundamental design flaws.

Reader
Carebear

From a casual point of view:

1.Leveling
Quests are better than ever before. Nice little stories, nice cinematics, good atmosphere and landscapes. But the whole leveling feel a waste of time. No rewards at all. No new skill, no new feature unlock at x level, not even the old 1% crit talents. You also dont feel that you work toward a Goal, because quests does not even give reputation with factions, to lessen the endgame rep grind.

2.Endgame
Where are my legendaries? Seriously, this may sound ironic (Legendaries and casual) but it was actual a motivation for casuals to do the emisaries, to kill rares, to do invasions etc. Now there is nothing I am looking forward.

3.Reputations
Time gated rep grinds, for rank 3 recipes for useless professions. And of course the flying unlock, someday in the future…. not excited

4.Azerite Neck vs Artifact Weapon
At least in Legion I had a good weapon… and besides this, Artifact weapon traits were much more fun to get than Azerite traits… Artifact traits was changing your playstyle and enhanced your rotation. It was something you were looking forward to get.

5.Replayability
No new class! Not even a Class overhaul, to make them all feel new and make you wanna try them/play them. Add to this, my first point about boring leveling… and you get a very low score on replayability.

6.Garrison
I really miss my Garrison… Say what you want about WoD, Garrison was a nice addition for casuals to play with. All these followers, with all these different abilities and traits. Profession buildings, Mining/herb garden, transmog sets from War Mill or Salvage boxes…

7.BfA gear look
Now this is subjective and personal taste, but so far all new gear from BfA look awful :( And I ve seen them all one by one, on the collections panel…

TL;DR
If you are casual, all you have to do in the game is level 1 alliance and one horde to see the story… then probably wait for a year+ for 1-2 patches to release in case something change..

Reader
Songs for Children

Looks like I picked the right expansion to skip.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Neurotic

I don’t even know how to do the Island Expeditions. Is it a 120 thing? I’m still Kul’Tirasing at 114.

Eliot Lefebvre
Staff
Eliot Lefebvre

You’ll get to them very soon, it’s part of the overall war campaign.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Neurotic

Thanks, that’s good to know!

Reader
Dug From The Earth

2 of this expansions major features… both horrible let downs

Island Expeditions – No one actually does these beyond doing them to earn the weekly bonus (1500 rep, and 2500 AP). For most, thats about 5-7 times. The fact that blizzard (of all people) didnt add some sort of blatant and intentional grind system for doing these is a complete brain fart. You even can earn/find a new currency type by doing them THAT ISNT USED to buy anything anyone would care to grind for. No rep to grind, no vendor rewards. NADA. Blizzard failed at being Blizzard here, in a big way. And whats the deal with limiting the whole “Random island” to just 3 types a week? That defeats the freaking point of hyping “random islands”. They could have had a very dynamic and REWARDING gameplay mode that inspired repetitive play. Instead, we got something that most seem to dread simply having to do the 5-7 times a week, just to get the rep/AP bonus reward.

Warfronts – These are cool…. if only we could actually PLAY them. Timegates are awful. The fact that these are on a seeming twice a month reset is just a huge fail. Players actually WANT to do the warfront content… but they cant, because Blizzard said “Sorry, only one time per cycle”. People in my guild were commenting on how these felt a lot like Timeless Isles… which was one of the more fun aspects of Pandaria. Why couldnt they just but the replay value on the same cycle? Lower the drop rates, but at least let us PLAY the content more often. None of this once every 2-3 weeks crap. Again… new hyped content that simply fails at the implementation level due to how Blizzard decided to allow players to access said content.

So many blunders…. from a company the size of Blizzard, its really unacceptable. I dont care if they plan on improving them… they should have been better from the start. They have the resources and experience.

Reader
Carebear

No rep to grind, no vendor rewards. NADA

But…. then raiders would feel “forced” to do them… There is a reason why professions, Island expeditions and so many other features are “useless”… God forbid if the raider need to login to game 1 hour before raid instead of 5 minutes..

Reader
Dug From The Earth

There are plenty of “lower than raid tier” items you can “grind” for. These are great for people who want content other than raiding. Just look at the normal rep vendors, selling both a 320 and a 335 piece of gear each.

The vendors could also sell any number of things that have nothing to do with gear progression. Mini pets, mounts, cosmetics/transmog, etc etc.

I do see where you are going with your comment though, pointing the “Blizz caters to raiders” finger. Im not sure I 100% agree with that in this day and age of WoW anymore. I think the “im a hardcore raider, its all i do” have long since left wow… or at least the majority have. Most people in WoW who raid, also do a lot of the other wow based activities.

Reader
Tizmah

I recently came back to WoW with BFA after sticking with FFXIV so long and its formulaic bs. I don’t think WoW players realize how good they have it, but I just hear constant whining about this expansion. I’ve enjoyed it. But this whining I see I just can’t stand it. So I guess I’ll be heading back to GW2. Hopefully they aren’t crying as much.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Hyping “Cold Ice Cream” and then serving warm, melted ice cream soup IS a let down. Saying “At least you get soup, be happy, all we got over here was bread crumbs!” doesnt change the fact that what people wanted, they didnt get.

Reader
Tizmah

You should also not expect those who got breads crumbs to care about the complaints of people who get soup. ;’)

Reader
Carebear

oh really? you logged 10 days after months of absent and you concluded that game is fine? Maybe we should do the same…

Reader
Ironwu

Call me when, and IF, a truly Classic WoW is ever available. This WoW has become something I no longer wish to devote any time to.

Reader
athiev

Island expeditions are really the same as Pandaria scenarios. The only really “new” thing is the funny/derpy AI.

Still, the problem with islands is more complex than Hazzikostas lets on.

1) The game structure is yet another round of unstructured bar filling. Everybody loves that, I guess?

2) The main designed reward for participation is Azerite, but the Azerite system is badly designed and doesn’t feel rewarding.

3) The secondary reward for participation is the opportunity to buy not-very-fun consumables during your next island.

4) Adding more random events and different maps won’t do much for this content mode because players already don’t notice any of what’s there. The geography doesn’t create interesting choices or gameplay dynamics, different enemy types don’t change the feel of islands, and random bad guys landing in airships or whatever are just more generic mobs to grind up and clickies to activate.

If Hazzikostas is looking for a quick Band-aid that will route players into islands, letting them buy island pets, transmog, etc with doubloons would do it. It wouldn’t make people enjoy the game mode — that would require a significant new redesign. But it would at least get people in the door.

Reader
IronSalamander8 .

Well said.

I was really enjoying BfA at first but that enjoyment went off a cliff after hitting 120 and realizing how boring Azerite is as a system and how underwhelming the island expeditions are. Also I found that the expeditions, with their time pressure were actually slightly worse than most PuG dungeons where people want to move at lightspeed to get them done. With the additional inherent time crunch of the islands it only exacerbated this situation and the rewards weren’t worth it really.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Axlatl12

I will agree that Island Expeditions are lackluster, what saddens me is when I did the first 4-5 the first week when I hit lvl 120 they had the other rewards dropping(but the system for letting you know you got other rewards is poor) and the rewards were useful and a nice additional incentive, then someone hotfixed it so that nothing dropped but the dubloons and azerite which made it much more of a chore.

Now they have changed that back it is a bit more rewarding but still suffers from one of the main issue which is poor in game explanation of what you can get and letting you know what you have gotten. I mean my last run net me a scroll which didn’t give me a quest in my quest log and said I might want to show it to Brother Pike, I go see him and he has a blue question mark, I turn it in and it shows my reward as 2 gold….. turns out I also got 150 Storm Wake rep but if I hadn’t check my chat log I would never have known and been pissed with that reward not that I was thrilled with the reward but rep is nice and if they had been dropping for the last 3 weeks I would have appreciated it.

Anyhow I’m still having fun with BFA but Blizz has once again done a mostly bang up job with the expansion I’m over all having more fun than I can remember in Wow but they keep making relatively little mistakes on a surprising number of systems/items.

My main issue is the poor in game explanations of new systems and how/where to get and do stuff. On top of that they have done a poor job of explaining these items out of game and of making sure the 3rd party sites that do explain them are explaining them correctly….

It feels a bit like my job where everyone keeps telling management they need to improve communication yet they never do….

Reader
Ironwu

So true. My thinking is that there is really NOTHING new in BFA! Every system they have fielded in this expansion seems to be not much more than a previous system repackaged, and in a much less interesting way than the first time. For my money (and I do regret buying BFA), this is the absolute worst addition to the game that has been sold. Yes, even worse than Cataclysm. At least that expansion had some really new and innovative designs in it.

Eliot Lefebvre
Staff
Eliot Lefebvre

A less charitable summation would be “Island Expeditions are Pandaria scenarios without the parts that made those scenarios fun like rewards or lore or reason or speedy completion.”

Reader
athiev

Well, plus also scenarios were slightly more varied in terms of win conditions. But I’m trying to be nice/constructive, Eliot! Yeesh!!! :)

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Well said. A band-aid solution is not going to fix this or make most people happy.