World of Warcraft ‘experiments’ with raid rewards in preparation for Dragonflight

Now my stats are good!

It’s always a super-comforting happenstance when a game studio decides that it wants to wildly monkey with the current MMO to prepare for an upcoming expansion. That’s the situation that World of Warcraft raiders are heading into with Season 4, as Blizzard announced that it will be making some big changes with raid rewards as a testbed for Dragonflight.

“Season 4 presents a unique opportunity for us to try some experimental changes that might be too volatile for a regular season, but could still provide us with valuable data and feedback we can use to improve the game long-term,” the studio said.

So what are these changes? For starters, Blizzard will be introducing a vendor who will sell gear from Shadowlands raids for a special currency that can only be attained three times during the whole season. “This system initially came about to mitigate the rotational nature of Season 4’s raids,” the studio explained.

Another big change is that by participating in heroic or mythic difficulties, players will gain shards to upgrade any gear with the new Fated tag even if they don’t finish the whole instance. “We hope that this creates more value for simply killing bosses with your group, while also allowing those who dip their toes into higher difficulty,” said Blizzard.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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