World of Warcraft kicks off the last season of Battle for Azeroth item level increases

Incidentally, here's the ending of the raid cutscenes

    
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Just marking time after all.

We’re all still up to date on the fact thatย World of Warcraft’s Visions of N’zoth patch is a bit of a mess, right? Well, hopefully that will be somewhat mitigated by the launch of the latest PvE gear season, which brings with it a bump to the item levels of rewards, a new Mythic Keystone affix, and… oh, right, a new raid for players to take on, the one that’s the centerpiece of the entire patch. Right, that seems important.

Of course, the raid is only available in Normal and Heroic difficulties at the moment, so players who are waiting for Raid Finder difficulty will need to wait several more weeks for the slow rollout. Alternately, you could just watch the big cutscenes for the raid on YouTube just below the cut, since Blizzard has already put them out there. So perhaps you needn’t wait at all and can just go on not visiting the Waking City. It seems kind of creepy.

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styopa

I’m enjoying basically PLAYING it (mainly because I haven’t for a while) but I’m having some trouble understanding why many other people are. Is that weird?

First, I generally enjoy crafting as a thing in games. And in WoW today, generally the consensus is crafting is worthless busywork. Sure you can make $ as alchemy I guess? But leveling content is so flippin’ easy that nobody logically sees the value in grinding hours of crafting content, gathering, skilling up, etc so you can change time-to-kill for mobs from 5 seconds to 4.9.
Further, Blizz’s fragmenting of crafting into original, tbc/wotlk, panda, lod, legion, and bfa ‘segments’ means that they are truly and utterly irrelevant until the current content expansion. Why grind original blacksmithing 1-300 if a) by the time you’re 300 you’re well into tbc/wotlk content and drops far outlevel anything you could make, and b) you don’t need it to start the next tier anyway?

Second, so very much of the content in each expansion is ‘stretch’ content, ie implemented when the expansion was getting a little tired, and intended for this (tiny) fraction of level-capped (at the time) players pushing endgame and willing (apparently) to grind dailies, etc for that extra 10 ilvls. So this means (IMO) that roughly 1/3 of the content in each expansion are grind-ass dailies, time-gated time-wasters that give you nothing meaningful to your character because in about 20 minutes you’re going to hit the new expansion levels and green random drops will EASILY replace all the epicpurples you might gain. When shadow comes out, N’zoth will be a ghost town again.

Basically the only time I feel like I’m gaining anything of value, it’s pets or BoA items that mean all my toons get them. That’s good. In that sense, I will commend WoW for adding pet battles (something I used to deride as silly) – it’s honestly content that I plan to do mainly because it genuinely rewards me as a PLAYER for the time invested, for all my toons.

Other observations:
Legion crafting ‘learning’ quests – at least for blacksmithing – were kinda dumb. Requiring instance runs to skill up in crafting was REALLY dumb. The whole new
‘you sorta level up your skills, but not really unless you get world drops, and you sorta get plans but then get advancements to the crafting/gathering skills you have in tiers that save you mats, etc’ is IMO colossally fucking LAZY AS SHIT by the devs.
BfA crafting isn’t any better, altho I haven’t bothered to level it enough to see if they did the same thing at the top levels there.

The time-gated repgains to unlock allied races is pretty shitty and again just reflects pure laziness by the devs – they can’t be arsed to actually DEVELOP a reasonable time-investment (if they really want to make unlocks about epeen), just a handful of trivial tasks that get doled out like breadcrumbs.

I’m trying to unlock one of the legion races (and no, I’m not so feral about it that I’ll run an instance 88 times to unlock them RIGHT NOW so I’m doing dailies as I have time, and emissary/kirin tor stuff as available – it’s the only reason I’m bothering with argus content to level up my order hall to get rep-token missions…) and it’s going to be weeks. My understanding is the new allied races in BfA are similar. I genuinely fear that by the time I unlock it I’ll hate the grind so badly the new playable race won’t be “fun sweet!” but more like “oh look at this constant reminder of the drudgery I’m apparently willing to suffer”. :|

Having very mixed feelings about playing WoW for now.

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Rick Mills

Mostly agree, although I would throw the allied races in with your categorization of pet battles – the grind is just a grind, sure, but having a n alt to level up is just fun.

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Koshelkin

I didn’t have that much trouble to unlock the Nightborne and I also enjoyed doing the story bits in Suramar. I did this at the very tailend of Legion, shortly before BfA’s release and it’s probably the best time to be active in WoW anyway, right before the launch of the next expansion. The story is concluded(mostly), necessary grind has already been reduced(sometimes even to humane levels).

It’s all subjective of course.

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Ironwu

Yeah, I’m off of this hamster wheel of an MMO.

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Paragon Lost

My sub was going to renew Feb 25th, (tend to do the six month payment plan) I just logged in twenty minutes ago and canceled my subscription. I just can’t do it anymore, at least for the time being.

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Utakata

It sucks now that 415 items that drop now are shitty blues with a reset to 3 line of options on Azerite gear. I can understand them wanting to open up the level cap, but they shouldn’t be punishing players with iLevel’s below 415 with subpar nonsense. Just let us iLevel up with what we got in a more meaningful way.

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Utakata

“How’s that a hamster wheel, Uta?”

Err…well, it feels like I’m being pushed into one. And I’m pretty sure there are other examples of this feeling…that one came to mind. >.<

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Munchmeat2

There is very little player agency in the game anymore. As a PVPer, BFA required me to have to PVE in order to stay competitive. No other point in WoWs history cept maybe for Vanilla was this required to do so. PVE players even have it worse. They have a steady list of daily chores that are required of them in order to stay competitive.

These developers have lost their minds.

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Munchmeat2

Modern WoW is clearly not a traditional MMO anymore. I’d say it is a mash up of a lazy mobile game systems, AARPGs systems(Like Diablo or Path of Exiles) with a sprinkle of traditional MMo elements. I loathe what WoW turned into so much!

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Danny Smith

FFXIV: heres 58 minutes of cutscenes around the final battle with Emet-Selch

Blizzard: heres 27 seconds (now delisted from youtube because of its monumentally bad reception) to wrap up a confrontation 17 years in the making with a god

So which is the most likely option here?

1: Blizzard is running WoW on a much stricter budget and this is literally the best they can do with the time and resources given

2: This was made by a skeleton crew as the expansion was a critical dud and its mostly abandoned in favour of rushing out another retail box product to shelves as fast as possible

3: They don’t care because they know they can still make a profit off the down with the ship die hards by coasting on the absolute bare minimum

4: This is actually the best they could do/They thought this was good enough and after years of company wide brain drain this is the skill ceiling for the current WoW team.

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Ironwu

#5 All of the above!

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jealouspirate

The 8.3 ending cinematic does indeed completely suck, but 58 minutes of cutscenes? Honestly that sounds awful. When I play a game I want to play a game, not watch a movie.

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jealouspirate

Hey Eliot, now your emissaries are worth doing again!