WoW Factor: The stuff I’m genuinely excited for in World of Warcraft Shadowlands

    
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WoW Factor: The stuff I’m genuinely excited for in World of Warcraft Shadowlands

For the first time in the past three expansions, I am not in the beta for World of Warcraft’s next expansion. This is fine. It’s fine. I’m fine. As a result, all I can do in terms of evaluating the next expansion is look at systems already discussed and what has been previewed, and as I mentioned last week, my expectation without having played it is… well, it’s probably fine. It’s fine. This is fine. We’re fine. It’s fine. Just fine. It’s fine.

All else being equal, I am not tremendously hyped up a month out from launch (almost exactly, even), but there are some things that do at least look genuinely interesting and worthwhile. Sure, we’ve talked about a lot of the bad and baffling decisions that have been made with the expansion or the visible parts of its development, but today I want to highlight the things that at least are exciting to me. Your mileage may vary.

First and foremost, though, I want to establish a ground rule that is at least important to me: Nothing from the pre-patch is in here. I’ve already talked about the stuff there that I’m excited about, and honestly that’s going to be a thing no matter what. So character customization, new leveling, all that? Off the table. So what’s left? Enough stuff to fill out a column, thankfully.

Brust

Covenants are a cool idea

Every single expansion has featured multiple factions at endgame… in theory. In reality, sometimes these factions were there because the game’s mechanics required multiple factions (there was no reason to have a faction for each zone in Battle for Azeroth when they all have the same national allegiance), and frequently you ran into the core problem wherein not every faction actually mattered. Some just have more personal resonance than others, period end.

Covenants, if you strip away the mechanical stuff, have a compelling core right there. Instead of having the sprawling non-focus of all the factions from every expansion from The Burning Crusade onward, your endgame and zone focus allows you to pick out one faction and behave accordingly. No more helping the Argent Crusade or random Alliance chicanery when you have the Wyrmrest Accord to curry favor with, so to speak.

This also has the positive change that there are at least some variance points in the endgame. Nothing was more exhausting to me than logging in to Zandalar on a second Horde character to have the exact same tasks to undertake in the exact same fashion. Now, thankfully, there’s more space for alts to actually offer different experiences not solely based upon their classes. You could have two otherwise identical characters experiencing different content! Amazing!

It might be minor, and I freely admit that a good chunk of this is based on personal hangups. But this is what I’m excited about, after all. And as someone with a small army of alts, this matters a lot to me.

Spiraly

The Maw will need work, but I want to love it

Aside from Mechagon, the mid-expansion added zones have always been the most fun to play with in endgame WoW. I loved the Timeless Isle, had a blast on the Broken Shore and Argus, and even got some fun out of Tanaan Jungle and Nazjatar. The reason why isn’t hard to find, either; rather than treating this zone as basically similar to all the other zones but with a higher entry level, these zones assume you’re going in at max level and thus can have more mechanics going on from the start.

The Maw will probably not quite hit this goal right away. But that’s all right because it is aiming at that goal right away, and that alone means a lot. Much like Suramar, this is meant to be a dangerous zone wherein the villains are not interlopers or passive opponents but actively trying to get you the heck out of here forever. And as a part of that, this is going to have some mechanics you have to deal with above and beyond the usual mechanics of just questing and leveling.

I bring up Suramar as a point of comparison because that zone was also clearly meant to be about invading hostile territory… but while it could be difficult to navigate from time to time, the fact is that what you were actually doing in Suramar was basically just more questing and the same nonsense as you dealt with in every other zone. The mechanics were the same as always. The Maw is trying to be much more inimical from the word go, not just another quest hub to dither about within.

Whether or not this will work remains to be seen, of course. I fully expect this zone is going to need some aggressive balance changes once or twice before it really delivers on anything like its promise. But I’m looking forward to the zone itself in a way that rarely happens for zones added on launch.

To sink beneath.

Torghast is some good stuff

I love the idea of Horrifying Visions, but not the execution. The idea of challenging variable-size content that works solo or in a group? If it were happening somewhere other than the tail end of a horrid expansion and in the midst of a horrid tail-end patch, I would actually be really excited about this!

Thanks!

It’s a well-known fact that I have a soft spot for these sorts of gameplay modes, especially when it leans in on the stuff that Blizzard is actually good at by providing opportunities for weird, broken builds to cooperatively tear through things. (This is, for some reason, not what Blizzard thinks it’s good at.) If we’re going to be stuck getting things ported over from the Diablo franchise without much thought for the overall landscape, I’d prefer it would be more along these lines.

And tying Legendaries to this in a way that actually provides some player control instead of relying entirely upon random luck (the same luck, I might note, that never gave me a useful Legendary reward on my Shaman until the last patch of Legion)? I can support that. It’s a reward that’s meaningful without encouraging chain-running with a progression mindset. The fact that there are more cosmetics to uncover is just icing on the cake there.

Again, I have no doubt that some balance patches will be needed, that Torghast is going to have some very messy elements for the first couple months, and so forth. But it is a genuinely new sort of content that sounds like it at least tries for something better than the half-baked mire of Island Expeditions. Bring on the tower.

My thoughts that this expansion is overall going to be mostly just acceptably average doesn’t diminish these as positives. While the story is still likely to be a gigantic mess for no real reason and there are plenty of things that look half-baked or badly designed, these are things that I am at least predisposed to like. The rest… hopefully won’t be a glaring problem, at least.

Yes, that’s where my standards are right now for Shadowlands. Hey, it’s not my job to generate hype for this.

War never changes, but World of Warcraft does, with a decade of history and a huge footprint in the MMORPG industry. Join Eliot Lefebvre each week for a new installment of WoW Factor as he examines the enormous MMO, how it interacts with the larger world of online gaming, and what’s new in the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor.

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overbyte

I’m bang up for this expansion, from the prepatch new levelling experience to new customisation option to the covenants to torghast, I cannot wait. So much so that I’ve been hitting Feedly daily in the hope that the prepatch will have landed so I can start levelling a new monk main ready to dig into the bastion story for my first run. Bring. It. On.

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Bannex

Is it bad that the thing I’m genuinely excited for is exploring new locations? Other than that if anything gets me to keep playing it will be icing on the cake.

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Khrome

I *want* to like all of this, but after so many years i got tired of WoW introducing mechanics and systems in an expansion to just bury them with that expansion as soon as the next one hits.

Unless Blizzard grows a pair and introduces things which actually stay for the long haul i don’t see myself going back again. Otherwise i just *know* that *everything* you do between 50 and 60 will be completely removed in 2 years time. Covenant abilities look really cool now, but they’re going to get deleted with the next expansion :(

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Utakata

I personally reserve my judgement on this till I’ve played it. Though I’m not sure I am as enthusiastic about this expansion if the progression of my characters are stymied because I refuse to do the hardcore, cupcake stuff. I really hope that’s not the case as all.

HalLundy
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HalLundy

Level and stat squish are what i’m interested in the most.

Who knows, maybe next expansion we’ll even get talent trees back if they release TBC and it’s a hit (again).

One can dream.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

The level squish and the elimination of the Titanforging stuff has me coming back for the pre-patch when BfA hopefully becomes baseline. Titanforging was probably the key thing keeping me away, I hate double RNG.

I wanna get some of the allied races unlocked and make a troll paladin and get a holy Triceratops.

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Vincent Clark

First, I’d like to address the elephant in (my) the room. With today’s FF14 live letter announcement, it’s pretty clear that patch 5.35 will be releasing the same day/week as the pre-patch. Which really irks me.

That aside…I’ve done the leg work to get invested in this upcoming expansion by doing the grind for the Vulpera (x2 really, if you consider the Heritage glam set), but I have no intention to min/max anything. I just want to take in the story and try to connect to the game after many years of trying and walking away.

My fox dude is ready…if only the Blades of Gunnhildr, Resistance weapons, and Skysteel tools would stop calling out to me…

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rosieposie

If you ended up enjoying Torghast a great deal, would it be fair to say that you experienced a Torghasm?

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Bruno Brito

:C

>:C

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Rick Mills

This is good.
I haven’t put much thought into the RP aspect (or even just the game-play level of RP) of Covenants. It’s a good point and well worth considering, esp for one who, like you, likes alts.

Thx, Eliot!

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Bruno Brito

The covenant c0ncept is great. Honestly. It’s really good.

It’s being tied to mechanical features that hurts it. It should be cosmetic, visual. Every covenant should have all the skills with a different recolor and all you had to do was choose which two to equip for any given time.

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Kevin Smith

I think the whole idea of the different skills is to get away from everyone having the same things. That is part of what ruined the game in the first place. Everyone can do everything and have the same things. Your choice in the convenant should matter. They are trying to give people reasons to actually play the alts for a change. If people are choosing a conventant just because of the skills, that is a personal choice. All the min-maxers will pick the same ones no matter what which is sad, but they will do whatever meta is king any given day.

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Bruno Brito

They are trying to give people reasons to actually play the alts for a change.

There are other ways. Punishing you for choosing covenants is NOT good game design for a game that already changed how they behave with choice.

Blizzard is so detached from the world of RPGs that they think this make an iota of sense. It doesn’t. If this was Vanilla or TBC, i would have agreed with you. Since it’s not, and Retail WoW is totally about choosing the right talents and tools for the situation, then i’m disagreeing.

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Carebear

the thing is that they removed old talent trees with the excuse that “there wasnt a choice, there a was a cookie cutter build”. Do you think there will be a choice for covenant? Theorycrafters already found the best covenant for each class.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E1TxEKvH6LoCUwhG1-8QQ4CikblmHaaBp-Ozr9ugQHw/htmlview?pru=AAABdOtfg8M*Z76YhLhbyiMMxxsCY0UfGw#gid=0

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Bruno Brito

And i repeat: The problem with these covenants will be extremely apparent the moment any player choose to play several specs.

Good luck being a tank and a DPS when both need different covenants, AND some are downright BAD choices.

serhaza
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serhaza

People dont need to min-max everything unless mythic+ (15+) or mythic raiding.

Casuals dont need and should not care about.

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Bruno Brito

That’s terrible advice. WoW is balanced from top down and the game is designed by how the classes perform on those raid settings. It doesn’t change just because you change.

Reality is that you’ll be playing gimped if you end up on a class where your covenant doesn’t benefit EVERY SPEC. Sure, you can dungeon. Great. You can RDF. Cool.

Good luck not getting admonished for normal raids or PvP. ANY kind of PvP.

serhaza
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serhaza

But i run mythic , do my weekly pvp ranked bg and run heroic raids, as a healer. I never pick people using raider.io and its doable.

I’ll not go uper tier pvp, mythic keys 15+ and mythic raiding: i’ll need to mix-max and i dont want to mix-max.

I’m not gimped. I can pull the healing i need to cover my ilvl.

Idk how you play but i play without care about min-max (but i care about stats and build), my guild dont play meta and almost all pugs i run no one cares about meta ”min-max”.

And no, the game isnt balanced from top down. The game is balanced for mythic endgame and down tier (mythic keys 10 , normal and heroic raiding) is casual play.

Some (few) covenants abilities, indeed, can pull your dps 15% more but its tuning. The overall is usually 5%.

5% dps is one good trinket proc. Not incredible for casual pvp low ranked or heroic raiding mythic plus sub 10 (15 next season) play
.

Reader
Bruno Brito

But i run mythic , do my weekly pvp ranked bg and run heroic raids, as a healer. I never pick people using raider.io and its doable.

I’ll not go uper tier pvp, mythic keys 15+ and mythic raiding: i’ll need to mix-max and i dont want to mix-max.

I’m not gimped. I can pull the healing i need to cover my ilvl.

Change specs. Tell me if your covenant is as friendly as it is. I’m not saying covenants themselves are bad ideas. Tying abilities towards them are, because there ARE specific drawbacks and advantages that wull synergize differently from each spec.

And no, the game isnt balanced from top down. The game is balanced for mythic endgame and down tier (mythic keys 10 , normal and heroic raiding) is casual play.

The game is designed and balanced around raiding. Everything revolves around raiding. EVERYTHING. That’s why leveling ability progression doesn’t matter anymore, why you can 1v3 people depending on spec in PvP, and why people have the right to complain about a change that makes no sense on a numbers game.

IF WoW had any kind of endgame that favoured you playing housing, or crafting to the end, or soloing content only, i would be fine with these changes. But reality is, independent of what you choose to do, development goes towards raiding, and all you do is choose a difficulty slider on that specific activity.

Classes are designed around their roles in raids. You playing as a healer tells me you don’t change specs enough to actively feel the drawbacks of each different covenant.

serhaza
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serhaza

Uhn?

“The game is designed and balanced around raiding.”

Errrr, you can just run Mythic + and dont even step on raids….

You ”cant” play high end pvp without pve but you can play casual ranked without raid.

I cant get your point.

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Bruno Brito

Uhn?

“The game is designed and balanced around raiding.”

Errrr, you can just run Mythic + and dont even step on raids….

Yet your class balance will be based around high tiers of raiding, mythic and PvP.

You ”cant” play high end pvp without pve but you can play casual ranked without raid.

I cant get your point.

My point is: Ask anyone who had to play Enhancement Shaman in BfA, after losing what was several parts of their spec after Legion, if they’re interested in ANOTHER mechanic of borrowed power that makes their class function, instead of adding more.

You “can” play casual ranked, but you WILL get dumpstered by metagame, because that’s how the game works. WoW is a game of numbers, always has. It was always a game of Effective Health, DPS, controlled ambients and math on a void.

That’s my point. My point is that Casuals aren’t bad players. Casuals aren’t supposed to be picking subpar stuff, because WoW’s design for 2020 should NOT have subpar choices that punish you heavily for it. Casuals shouldn’t be punished in casual PvP or PvE getting DPS logged everytime because their DPS is suffering because of the “wrong” covenant.

And my solution is the same solution that Preach, Asmongold, Bellular, Savix, and several other high profile WoW players already gave: Don’t. Tie. Fucking. Abilities. Towards. A. Mechanic. That. Will. VANISH. NEXT. EXPANSION. Don’t tie abilities towards a fucking faction.

This is NOT RPG. And there’s no ammount of Ion’s bullshit contempt that will change that.

serhaza
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serhaza

” Ask anyone who had to play Enhancement Shaman in BfA, after losing what was several parts of their spec after Legion, if they’re interested in ANOTHER mechanic of borrowed power that makes their class function, instead of adding mor”

Its a design/tuning issue not ”min-max” issue.

“Don’t. Tie. Fucking. Abilities. Towards. A. Mechanic. That. Will. VANISH. NEXT. EXPANSION.”

Sure, i agree.

My point is: you dont need to min-max if you dont run high tier mythic.

I agree with everything else. A good trinket proc is usually 2-5% dps gain. Any “expansion only” mechanic should stay within the 2-5% dps (or healing or mitigation) gain.

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Bruno Brito

Its a design/tuning issue not ”min-max” issue.

Yeeeees. It’s a design issue. Because the class was badly designed and the Artifact weapon was designed to complement the class, instead of adding to it. Enhancement felt complete in Legion because it’s weapon was designed to complete it. BECAUSE THE CLASS WAS DESIGNED TO WORK ON A SPECIFIC ENVIROMENT.

My point is: you dont need to min-max if you dont run high tier mythic.

I agree with everything else. A good trinket proc is usually 2-5% dps gain. Any “expansion only” mechanic should stay within the 2-5% dps (or healing or mitigation) gain.

I’m going on a memory trip here: Did anyone in this site ever played Arena? Because when i was in Wrath, i wanted in, my friends did. You know the percentages? 80% of the arena players were Human. Guess why? I’ll give a hint: Every Man For Himself.

EMFH freed your trinket slot for a DPS/Burst trinked. It allowed you to burst better, which is MANDATORY in arenas. If you don’t have a Human, you need to carry a trinked, and you lose windows of burst. It skewed how the game was played.

Now, remember i said 80%? Yeah. Because, again: WoW is not GW2. WoW is not SWG, WoW is not DDO. WoW’s main focus is math, is RAIDING. Which means that when the top players do something, it’ll trickle down towards the main casual core of the game, because there is absolutely NOTHING ELSE TO DO. You don’t house, you don’t craft, you don’t character progress, you either worldquest, bg, raid, arena or transmog. And when the main core focus is based on NUMBERS, it’ll be spread towards the entire playerbase.

Again: There’s a reason why every highprofile youtuber like Asmon, Savix, Pilav, Bellular, Preach, etc, are against tying skills to Covenants. They are absolutely fine with you tying STORY to it. So am i.

Which by the way, shows how much contempt the WoW design team has for casual players: Story is absolutely ENOUGH for you to want to roll alts. You don’t need to sell power like a dope dealer to make player want to experience them. People loved Aldor and Scryers stuff, even tho the power they gave wasn’t that much.

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Utakata

“WoW is balanced from top down and the game is designed by how the classes perform on those raid settings.”

I’m not sure I could of nailed this in a nutshell better.

serhaza
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serhaza

Yes but if you play sub 10+ mythic dungeons or normal/heroic raids you dont need to min-max to finish content.

You dont need mythic raiding performance for heroic raiding.

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Bruno Brito

You dont need mythic raiding performance for heroic raiding.

Excuse to be subpar.

Yes but if you play sub 10+ mythic dungeons or normal/heroic raids you dont need to min-max to finish content.

Excuse to be subpar.

I’m going to repeat: WoW is a game of numbers. If you’re rolling to be subpar, you WILL be called on it, because the game favours that. Blame Blizzard for tailoring the game one ONE activity at endgame: Raiding.

The moment these idiots start actively developing open world content, housing, the capability of being a standalone crafter, and make Azeroth fell like, hah, i don’t know, a world, it’s the moment i’ll concede to you.

But as long as WoW is a game of endgame raiding, there will be a metagame, and everyone will follow it, even the casuals. Specially when some decisions actively hurt you.

I’m all for making WoW more broad, to all the gamers. I wanted them to do that ever since Wrath, which was where i was heavy invested in the game.

But just allowing everyone to experience the garbage they call endgame is not it. If their intention was to make Azeroth a World of Instances, they did it.

serhaza
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serhaza

“Excuse to be subpar.”

No. I do what i need to do. I’ll not min-max to carry people. There is NO NEED to min-max to play mythic+ (until 15) and normal/heroic raids.

“I’m going to repeat: WoW is a game of numbers. If you’re rolling to be subpar, you WILL be called on it, because the game favours that. Blame Blizzard for tailoring the game one ONE activity at endgame: Raiding.”

I’ll not be subpar cause i dont run keys 15+ or mythic raiding.

If you dont play top tier content you dont need to min-max.

Period.

“The moment these idiots start actively developing open world content, housing, the capability of being a standalone crafter, and make Azeroth fell like, hah, i don’t know, a world, it’s the moment i’ll concede to you.”

?

My only claim is: you dont need min-max for casual (normal and heroic raiding or sub 15 keys) play. All pugs run this content all the time and you can actually just search what people run within “low bracket” pve. There is no meta.

“Blame Blizzard for tailoring the game one ONE activity at endgame: Raiding.”

I play mythic+ and i’m happy. They nerfed loot (226 max) but only matters for mythic raiding. I dont want so i dont care.

“The moment these idiots start actively developing open world content, housing, the capability of being a standalone crafter, and make Azeroth fell like, hah, i don’t know, a world, it’s the moment i’ll concede to you.”

Nah. If someone want this kind of experience just play ESO or FFXIV. Leave WoW alone, lol.

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Bruno Brito

No. I do what i need to do. I’ll not min-max to carry people. There is NO NEED to min-max to play mythic+ (until 15) and normal/heroic raids.

S u b p a r.

I’ll not be subpar cause i dont run keys 15+ or mythic raiding.

If you dont play top tier content you dont need to min-max.

Period.

You WILL be subpar. You being able to clear content is irrelevant, You’ll be carried. Hell, i’m not even against having flavor builds and being able to do all content, but let’s not pretend WoW has flavor builds anymore. It never even did to an extent. This is not SWG where you build a Bounty Hunter Swordsman with a penchant for Cooking. This is WoW. You change your talents to suit the encounter best. See how this is extremely counterintuitive to locking you to bad choices?

?

My only claim is: you dont need min-max for casual (normal and heroic raiding or sub 15 keys) play. All pugs run this content all the time and you can actually just search what people run within “low bracket” pve. There is no meta.

There is a meta. You denying it won’t change it. There’s a meta for raids, for pvp, for arenas. There isn’t one for dungeons and raidfinder because fuck it. But the game is balanced around top tier raiding, so pretending it doesn’t affect you doesn’t make sense.

I play mythic+ and i’m happy. They nerfed loot (226 max) but only matters for mythic raiding. I dont want so i dont care.

Ok? That doesn’t change what i said, nor makes my point any less valid.

Nah. If someone want this kind of experience just play ESO or FFXIV. Leave WoW alone, lol.

“Leave WoW alone, lol”

Why should your experience be more valued than mine? I’m also a WoW player, one that paid religiously for the better part of almost ten years. Why should i not criticize and want the game, a mmoRPG, to actively improve?

If you wanna play World of Instances, be my guest. I don’t. I want this shit developed correctly, and i’m going to hell before letting a multibillion dollar company like Blizzard get away with this crap. Until they crash and burn, i’m calling it out.

serhaza
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serhaza

“Why should your experience be more valued than mine? ”

Lol? Its not ”mine” experience….its the casual experience. I’m a casual like…idk, 90% of the player base…

“You WILL be subpar. You being able to clear content is irrelevant, You’ll be carried.”

You know we can just open a normal entry lvl ilvl (430-32) log from Warcraft Logs?

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/zone/rankings/24/#bracket=1&difficulty=3&boss=2329

Lets focus on top dps within the 430-32 (ret pally).

First one was 50k dps but 2nd, 3rd and 4th all 27k.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/zone/rankings/24/#bracket=1&difficulty=3&boss=2329&class=Paladin&spec=Retribution

3rd and 4th with meta talents, 2nd with subpar talent (but fun, i use too): divine purpose.

All 3 with same Azerite power but from 8th (25k dps) to 2nd you will find (minor) deviant.

Its hard to find a 430 ivl full group normal but you can find something like above 430 and/or heroics.

You will find ret pally with focused beam (lol, dont even hit Top 3 essences..only 4th, on aoe)

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/yjVRQgwbLZNakXq1#fight=1&type=damage-done

You will find ret pally with mastery azerite power (not meta)

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/8CVKrAngTwzyjhBb#fight=1&type=damage-done

You will even find ret pally with Strife (lol…)

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/gWXkrCbGjMaN8QYZ#fight=1&type=damage-done

All top 3 dps on party.

You dont need to min-max when you do normal and heroic raids. You will not be carried if you know your class.

You need a functional build but you dont need a optimized (a.k.a min-max) build.

“If you wanna play World of Instances, be my guest. I don’t.”

So dont play?

” I want this shit developed correctly(..)”

Correctly for you, not for me.

“I’m also a WoW player, one that paid religiously for the better part of almost ten years.”

11 years here, but dont matter.

“Why should i not criticize and want the game, a mmoRPG, to actively improve?”

You can but will improve FOR YOU (not for me).

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Bruno Brito

Lol? Its not ”mine” experience….its the casual experience. I’m a casual like…idk, 90% of the player base…

Proof? Because i’m also casual and i’m saying my experience is different. Unless you PROVE that you speak for 90% of the playerbase, which you can’t, you’re only speaking for yourself.

And yes, i’m aware 90% of the playerbase is casual. It’s still a numbers game and several of them follow that. It was the same reason Blizzard got rid of Talent Trees.

You dont need to min-max when you do normal and heroic raids. You will not be carried if you know your class.

You need a functional build but you dont need a optimized (a.k.a min-max) build.

Sooooo? The class is still balanced around top down, because they need to account for any overperforming design issue. Nothing of what you said changes things.

And the 27k dps are being carried by the 50k dps. That’s exactly what CARRIED means. That’s being subpar. Do you understand words?

So dont play?

I don’t for a while now. Still, i can criticize. WoW is not DDO.

Correctly for you, not for me.

Yes, the new anonymous account. I’m sorry for not considering your feelings.

11 years here, but dont matter.

I call BS on that.

You can but will improve FOR YOU (not for me).

That’s garbage. You would enjoy the hell more of this game if you had a better open world experience. Your “casual” essay here only gives me the feeling that you do what you need to do and log off.

MMOs are not supposed to be raidlogging games. This is Blizzard. I expect more from them. I don’t really expect anything from you, so you may stop now.

serhaza
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serhaza

“Proof? Because i’m also casual and i’m saying my experience is different. Unless you PROVE that you speak for 90% of the playerbase, which you can’t, you’re only speaking for yourself.”

I’m not speaking for the 90% of the playerbase. I’m speaking that the playerbase still play the game and dont touch mtyhic raiding/high end keys.

We dont have exactly numbers but usually 5-10% of the playerbase have a mythic kill. We know this from wowprogression. Not possible anymore but no need to think that mythic raiding playberbase is bigger now.

I think its possible to get a good population from raider.io and answer this questions but..no need. Casuals usually dont mythic rainding.

You can use warcraftlogs to search azerite powers and essences.
People dont really use only the meta to raid, even in heroic. I cant say why people dont meta but i can say they dont only run meta builds.

“Sooooo?”

A ilvl 430-440 group doing normal raiding dont need min-max. They need a good build not the best build.

“And the 27k dps are being carried by the 50k dps.”

Yes, but you will find more 20-27 dps and within the ilvl group at top dps. Sure a 470 ilvl dps will do more dmg (with or without a meta build) but you will find a lot fo builds within the 20-27k dps bracket and you need 15-20k dps to beat N’zoth on normal.

If a player have 90% + uptime, no deaths and 25k dps i dont know why you think its a carry.

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“You would enjoy the hell more of this game if you had a better open world experience.”

“I don’t really expect anything from you”

“Your “casual” essay here only gives me the feeling that you do what you need to do and log off.”

I’m done with this chat. You know what is best for me and you know what i do ingame. No need to talk. Impolited people dont deserve attention.