World of Warcraft hotfixes out AFK Warfront players and dismisses Azerite armor complaints

What the snafu.

Don’t you hate when people show up for content in World of Warcraft but then promptly pop AFK and expect everyone else to do everything? Blizzard isn’t fond of it either, so players who do that in Warfronts can now expect to get a shiny new kick right out of the instance. It’s part of the most recent set of hotfixes, along with a few bug fixes and some adjustments to Coagulated Blood on the Raid Finder difficulty.

Meanwhile, Blizzard has heard common player complaints about the Azerite system and has responded with a shrug and a “well, too bad.” The full response is well worth reading, as it includes gems like not understanding the difference between “uninteresting” and “requires math to optimize,” or stating that the best fix for different traits being useful or useless at certain times is to carry around multiple sets. To pluck those particular quotes out for further analysis:

The point about traits being “useless and uninteresting” is interesting considering that you also make the point of “every gear change requires simming.” These two points are kind of at odds with each other. The way to solve the simming issue would be to make the traits more simplistic in nature. Similarly, making traits with more outside-the-box designs leads to more complicated questions of “is this better or not,” which in turn encourages more simming. Either way, it’s an interesting challenge, and one we’re taking to mind as we move forward with traits in future updates.

As to the point about reforging costs: these costs get so high because we want the behavior you’re describing — reforging constantly depending on what you’re doing — to be unsustainable. Our intention is that you either build out multiple sets of gear for different situations, or you lean towards traits that work in a variety of roles (even if they’re maybe not the absolute best for each in particular). We added the reforging system to help ease cases like, for example, a DPS who suddenly finds themselves needing to transition to being their guild’s main tank, not as a means for constantly re-adjusting traits like a second set of talent points. Maybe the current system isn’t achieving that, but if it isn’t, we’re likely to become MORE restrictive on reforging, not less.

Basically, if you were hoping for things to get better with Azerite armor, now is the time to stop hoping.


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Jo Watt

Right after seeing Azurite gear and the Heart of Azeroth necklace I immediately thought, “why didnt they just have the HoA neck piece reimbue our weapons with Azurite power and create all new talents and appearances.. the armor could still have had small fluff traits instead of relics again..” I mean when you really think about it those weapons are almost all huge symbols to the games lore.. why are we chucking it in the bank like its trash… anyways it’s nice to see other people have thought the same.

Jo Watt

After thinking about it more that would actually have made more sense, (imo).
Azeroth reimbues your weapons.
Maintains these amazing lore based weapons.
-New talents, abilities and appearances.
Azurite armor replaces relics.
-They increase your weapons ilvl and provide buffs to the talents/abilities.

Still maintains that Azurite is powerful and has meaning to being mined and worth fighting over.


If I was a developer I would do this and do it soon.
-Add a new ability or two for each class
-Create a real Talent Tree
-Create a real PvP Talent Tree
-Bring back Inscription the way it was intended
-Ixnay the Azeritey armortray
-Druid has four specs/ add one spec so all classes have four specs
-Go back to stats One Stat plus stamina equals boring as hell and very 1984ish
-Unlock all Races that I paid for thanks

BFA is hot garbage as it stands.


When you create a repetitive and boring gameplay and dont give your players the freedom to progress on their own way, then you will see afk people.

In today MMOs people are given to do a list of boring and repetitive tasks before they are able to do what they really wanna do to enjoy their game.

And for that reason they often try to find “ways” to complete the required task list with the least effort.. (bots, afk, etc).

Instead of hunting down the afk player, developer need to start analyzing why people use bots or be afk.

If they stop treat players like rats and try to put them on their wheel, they will see much less bots and afk people.

Ps. I am not afking warfronts… actually my sub ended while i was still 116 cause i couldnt bare to play more than 15-20 minutes play session.. (felt bored on that time and closed game).

Sally Bowls

BfA appears to not be getting the positive comments of Legion. And Bliz needs to deal with that. And obviously, the game would be much better if they did what I told them.

1) I don’t see an alternative to very simple gear (only main/only stat on gear, only iLevel matters, or out of game resources.
2) Az gear is not farmable, but none of the tier sets it replaces were farmable.
3) Az gear is available to the M+ folks, not just raiders
4) The unsaid point is that the purpose of multiple stats is to make some gear be worse than others.

Dug From The Earth

Blizz seems to be treating it like this:

“Oh, you say you arent having fun? Let us TELL you what fun is then so you can start having it.” … of course, ignoring all the many reasons why people are saying they arent having fun.


2) Az gear is not farmable, but none of the tier sets it replaces were farmable.

What do you mean? Az gear is very farmable , WQ’s and Warfront drop lots of Az gear. Am I misunderstanding your use of the term?

Sally Bowls

Not my term or gear or gameplay, this is from the elitist who are complaining. say “farmable” is 370+ gear that can be attempted more than once a day/lockout.

If they want 370-390 AZ gear, then that is from non-repeatable (once per week) content like WB, Raid, Mythic Cache, etc. WQ are not farmable, you can only do what is up and that is once; nor does it drop high enough gear to count. Similarly, WF are great for getting to 340 but not gear for those people. But if you want non-AZ gear, then you can run a dozen high-end mythic+ runs in a day.

Dug From The Earth

“like not understanding the difference between “uninteresting” and “requires math to optimize”

Right, because getting the math right, will suddenly make it interesting.

Blizzard has lost touch with the one element that made them Blizzard…. simply… They used to know what “fun” meant in a video game.


The azerite system is, in my opinion, the worst system they have ever introduced in any expansion. I dont understand how it got through the testing process.

Dug From The Earth

i find players who like world scaling (im one of them. It wasnt done perfectly, but I still like it), as well as players who liked the class crunches (fewer buttons to press).

I have yet to find someone who has put in enough time into BFA who actually likes the azerite system. No Steve, you just hit 110 and only got your first azerite piece. You dont count.

Danny Smith

Of course they dismiss it. To do otherwise would be to show the man behind the curtain. Azurite is a textbook case of what game development calls ‘The Illusion of Content’. You aren’t doing things to increase player power specifically but to increase a bar on the necklace that otherwise holds perks on gear hostage until you do.

Thats monumentally boring and i know “see what we can make a sub trap they are comfortable with” has been Blizzards MO since Warlords but it is what it is. Its grinding to unlock the actual stats on things you already rely on RNG to obtain to begin with. Setting aside the dull as dishwater actual traits that only compound it it is just a very very uninteresting system designed for player retention and not fun.

I imagine they just thought the drop off/disinterest would be negligible. The fact that they have now done a biannual pass -and a mount that totally wasn’t going to be a shrine of storms raid mount before this- to lock people in for a fiscal quarter suggests its not going as expected.

Dug From The Earth

Or more likely, the person in charge of creating this new system is doing everything in their power to make the “big wigs” think its a success, else they lose their job.

Each monday morning management meeting, if they show them enough pretty flow charts and power point slides showing things that make the people on top think everything is ok, is one more week they get to keep their job.

Meanwhile, im willing to bet that all the Blizzard employees at the bottom of the chain, many of which probably did the development work, probably think its an awful idea as well. But… well… the person on the bottom of the chain doesnt dare tell their bosses that their ideas are crap… because they dont want to lose their jobs either.

Ben Willows

The azurite trait system certainly looks like the baby of one of the devs. I honestly don’t understand why they didn’t try to roll the azureite trait system into the artifact weapon system. They could have added a system to customize the traits on our weapons, and offer us a chance to obtain more traits for our weapons. Throw in some more weapon skins and for the cherry on the top, make NPCs react to our weapons as we’re traveling through the lands.

The Mother will!… oh is that the Ashbringarrrrrgg…. [Burning noises intensify]

Loyal Patron
John Buczek

Kicking out AFKers from any group content is a good thing. That’s definitely an improvement.

As to the rest, I’ve dropped to a Filthy Casual since the end of LK. I don’t run a DPS meter, have Combat Text on at all, or show numbers on any bars on my screen. All those numbers are irrelevant to me now. And we’ve been having a blast in all the casual BfA content so far. Questing, Dungeons, LFR, WQ, Warfronts, even Island Expeditions. It’s all been a lot of fun. Sure, we’re still in the mid-20s for our Heart of Azeroth, but we’re only just over a month into the expansion. Why rush it? A lot of noise has been made about a lot of this stuff, and I acknowledge many of the issues, but I hear about a lot more people enjoying themselves than not.

neil shelton

For 50 bucks, you can get a ticket and play classic. Dont have to worry about azerite armour. Kek.

Adam Asbury

I’m a filthy casual, and play all 12 classes to max level. I don’t do any mythic dungeons or raiding, so most of these complaints, even if they’re valid, don’t really affect me as much as people that do. I do agree that azerite armor is just boring, especially compared to artifact weapons in Legion.

Most of the weapons in Legion gave you a new active ability as your first trait that changed your rotation and how they played. Azerite armor has zero active abilities. I understand that a few of those active abilities have been made baseline to the class or added as a talent, but not all. The ones added as a talent used to be basically baseline with the weapon, plus you got a talent.

Also, artifact weapons had much better traits that actually changed how you used abilities. Divine Storm for Ret Paladins moving forward comes to mind. Most of the azerite traits are simply generic and boring. Unfortunately, those are also usually the best traits when simmed.

I’m enjoying BFA as a whole given the way I play, but I acknowledge the flaws it has.

Dug From The Earth

Have you gotten to either of the following situations being a casual player yet?

1. You get a new higher level piece of Azerite gear, but your azerite level isnt high enough to use ANY of the powers on it yet?

2. You get a new piece of azerite gear, thats higher level, where you cant yet unlock the azerite powers, leaving your old, lower level piece of gear, as still being immensely better.

Both of these situations are just down right not fun, and dont just apply to non-casuals. Given, a casual wont encounter it nearly as often… but you should still be faced with this very unenjoyable situation.


Yeah…much of the classes feel bare bones after losing the artifact mechanics. And the current Azerite armor seems to merely play lip service to it. To which traits are easily lost again on the next upgrade. Nor are they easy to change if you are duel spec’ing without spamming valuable inventory space with extra relevant gear to switch too. To wit, there’s no magic or flow to current system, just annoyance and tedium …that only makes things seem “interesting” to a developer’s white board. But mostly impractical to the player.

…it’s too bad they just didn’t convert the whole Artifact Weapon experience to the Heart of Azeroth for this expansion. Now that would of been interesting and compelling.

Sally Bowls

Yes, fewer traits and them all on the necklace is a common suggestion and seems reasonable to me.