World of Warcraft details changes to cosmetic rewards from Island Expeditions in Tides of Vengeance

    
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A couple of weeks back, Blizzard announced that it would be simplifying the way that cosmetic items are rewarded in World of Warcraft’s Island Expeditions with the release of Tides of Vengeance, and today, Community Manager Kaivax stopped by the forums to give players some details on how the system will work going forward.

As it stands, the cosmetic rewards players can earn from a given expedition are determined by the creature-type of the island’s invaders — e.g., if the invaders are Hozen, then players have a chance to receive Hozen-themed cosmetic items. Moreover, the chance of receiving said cosmetic items is determined “by means of a hidden scorecard” that keeps track of players’ “efforts against anything on the island that [is] part of the invaders’ ecology,” meaning that players who were focused on getting the cosmetic items have often been at odds with players who just want to finish the expedition efficiently to earn as much Azerite as possible.

In Tides of Vengeance, however, “all players on an Expedition will have a chance to receive cosmetic rewards based on the island’s inhabitants, rather than which enemies were specifically defeated,” with higher difficulties providing greater chances for the cosmetic rewards to drop. In short, this means that players will no longer have to target specific enemies to increase their chances of getting the cosmetic drops, and “the most efficient way to receive cosmetic rewards will be whatever tactics cause you to complete the Island quickly, on the highest difficulty that you’re comfortable.” For the full details on the planned changes, you can check out Kaivax’s post on the game’s official forums.

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Randy Savage

Pig on a lipstick!

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thirtymil

So in essence it’s back to being all about the speed then. “Gogogo tank!” etc. I think there’s a reason why I spent all of tonight in Elder Scrolls Online instead.

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Dug From The Earth

Just because Zenimax doesnt come out and say it, dont fool yourself into thinking that WoW is the only mmorpg where efficient means “Doing it as fast as you can”

Since most mmorpgs are about loot drops (be it gear or mats), the simple truth is, the faster you can run something, the more efficient it is to farm what you are looking for.

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thirtymil

Oh, you’re right of course – in that in any game players will find the most efficient way to obtain what they want, especially when said games that take hundreds of hours.

I just don’t like seeing games actively designed around it. The comparison I’d draw as an example is between WoW and ESO’s seasonal events: ESO’s are mostly easily done on a single character in a fraction of the event’s running time. WoW’s often require flatout running on multiple alts to get some of the rewards.

In other words, if players want to do things efficiently, fine and fair play to them. If a game is designed to encourage that as the preferred method and anything else is seen as sub-optimal then that becomes a problem for other playstyles (like mine as I get older and slower, lol).

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Dug From The Earth

Wait… wut?

Are you referring to things like the Brewfest mount? Running that special once a day boss on every alt to increase your chances of getting it?

I guess you are right. WoW has TONS of cosmetic items (a lot more than ESO). Some of those uber rare ones are on a limited farm chance per character, so farming them with alts increases the drop chance.

Id still take that ANY day of the week over paying for crowns to unlock lootboxes in hopes of getting lucky with the RNG to get one.

Each game has its poison. Again, all im saying is that no one should fool themself into thinking their mmorpg is somehow not part of this “quicker = more efficient” farm cycle. If a game isnt dragging out the grind one way, its going to be dragging it out another.

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thirtymil

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there with your last sentence.

We’ve not only got to the stage where MMOs are focused on how to drag out the grind (rather than how to make the world wonderful enough to want to spend time in) but we’ve now got developers telling you that they’ve fixed the game so you can focus on efficiently tackling that grind.

That just all seems kind of… wrong… to me.

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mysecretid

Preach it, Reverend Thirty!

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thirtymil

Lol!

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Dug From The Earth

It is kind of wrong. Its not a game design mechanic that I prefer. I wish it would improve, but I dont think its something that will.

Companies will always shoot for the thing that earns them the most money with the least amount of effort… and for MMORPGs, its the grind.

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Bannex

After all these years I just can’t be bothered to play this game anymore.

I am officially done. This dev team is carbon copy of carbine. Smug, stupid and lazy. Why to kill a good ride guys!

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Cosmic Cleric

They’re desperately tweaking around the existing expansion design to get customers back, for sure. The problem though is the expansion design itself, it needs changing.

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Utakata

…terrible expansion. Especially when it started out so promising at first. /bleh

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mysecretid

Agreed, Uta. I loved it at first … but then it got suckier and suckier the further I went along.

I know Blizz won’t miss my sub money one bit, but I refuse to pay for something I actively dislike. I’ll come back when they find the fun again.

Cheers,

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Dug From The Earth

You can polish a turd (Mythbusters proved it), but doing so doesnt make it stop stinking.

So yeah, they need to toss that turd (current system) out, and try something new.

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Denice J. Cook

Well, all Activision games must “show growth,” and clearly Activision has whittled the Blizzard WoW dev team down to nothing over the past few years in a cost-cutting measure as well (this is evident by all the nerfs they’ve added to BfA to make all levels of WoW take longer to level in).

Allowing players to pay for their subs with in-game gold probably hasn’t helped matters, either.

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Dug From The Earth

Not disputing your Activision info… but just FYI… next patch (in a couple weeks) will dramatically reduced the xp needed to level. In some cases, by nearly half as much.

Players have complained for years that leveling was a joke in WoW. How you could power level through them super fast, that there was no challenge or anything.

So when they brought level scaling to the entire game, they adjusted the xp, slowing down the process, making fights tougher, and making the rate at which you could earn it (from even killing things) less. They did this largely because players were complaining about it being too easy

Now they are complaining about it taking too long

Did Blizzard over tune it? Probably… which is why they are adjusting it again to a more reasonable level.

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Venomlicious

Blizzard posted these about leveling not the players. They were making it look like people wanted to take longer to get where they wanted. I don’t know if you even play the game because everything in wow is about doing any raid and dungeon in like 20 seconds.

Maybe if people just sit back and think how stupid it sounds to go on a trip and slow your flight down to 25 hours when it use to take 6 hours. People need to wake up from the corporate mind control game. Just look at flight and the 6 million forum notes about how everyone quit or stopped playing over this time sink. Then look at the same 30 people that say i love to walk through Blizzards fun house of terrain that is a major time sink while greasing up their poop shoot so the big Blue pole goes in easy.

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Dug From The Earth

WoW isnt what dictates trying to do every raid and dungeon in 20 seconds.

Players are.

And not all players. Just those focused on maximum efficiency.

Blizzard has multiple times listened to the seeming majority and tried to add things that slow down this “20 second” process.

For example: Many dungeons (lower level) are not speed runs anymore. You cant just AoE your way through them. Not nearly as you could before. Many classes dont even get a spamable AOE attack until level 44+, and most AoE damage at that level is pretty pathetic. Gone are the days of the Tank pulling 30 enemies and then everyone AoE nuking them down in dungeons.

So no, everything in WoW isnt “do it in 20 seconds” Most things arent. Even the dumbed down easy mode content still takes time. IE: Looking For Raid, doing 1 raid wing (typically 3 bosses) will still take a solid 30 minutes IF you dont wipe. Now, thats no where near the 4 hours it would have taken to do 3 raids bosses in Vanilla, but at this point thats apples and oranges.

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Cosmic Cleric

That’s just it, with a RPG-type of MMO, “the journey IS the destination”, the leveling itself is a fun and recreational activity.

In fact, I could argue (especially so for this xpac) that you would not want to get to max level/end-game, as the design of the game at that point is unhealthy repetitive Vegas-style addicting gameplay.

But I do truly understand that for some, they just want to get to the destination, so the journey is a drag all of itself on their recreational time.

Though I do think, usually (and generalizing here so forgive if wrong) that people want to get to end-game as fast as they can, to be able to play with others, not so much for the actual end-game mechanisms. If I’m right, then I would suggest to Blizzard to change their end-game, and keep the accelerated leveling process.

YMMV, of course, and my $0.02, for what its worth.

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Danny Smith

But its still just grinding azurite to level up the neckpiece holding gear perks hostage. Are cosmetic shinys meant to make it fun and engaging?

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John Buczek

Since I don’t care at all about what level my necklace is at any given moment (it will level up as I play regardless) the ONLY reason I play Island Expeditions is for the cosmetics. I just hope the drop rate is increased. I’ve gotten a single Pet so far and that’s it.

Jellozz
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Jellozz

Islands aren’t even amazing for getting artifact power anyway. The weekly quest is only about 3k a week when you add in the power you get along the way, which is absolutely nothing. My neck is level 35 right now so each reset when the catch up kicks in I am in the 35k range to move up a level. 3k from islands is literally a drop in the bucket, it barely matters. The cosmetic rewards have always been the reason I do Islands.

I am looking forward to this change because in my experience pugs typically just run around like chickens with their head cut off and don’t focus down specific enemy types. Wish I could just queue alone really, I am at a point gear-wise where I can solo normal mode pulling tons of enemies at a time and I can solo heroic if I play it safe. If I could just get in there alone and focus on what I wanted to it’d be great.

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Dug From The Earth

Believe it or not, from day ONE, WoW has largely been about cosmetics. Running into Org or Stormwind and seeing that warrior standing there with those amazing shoulders and thinking “I want those, i dont even care about the stats, I just want to look amazing like that”

That has been a HUGE driving force for many players to continue playing the game….

… until this expansion… where much of that was lost.