Unpredictability and unaccomplishment - an opinion.

General
First of all, I want to mention that the game means a lot to me. It's an amazing setting with a huge lore behind, it's where I made my best memories, where I met several good friends, where I met the love of my life, and conquered great challenges.

However, I haven't quite been enjoying it as much as I used to.

To me, the problem now is gameplay design. I've found that there are two cores causes to this:

Unpredictability and a lack of feeling as though you accomplish something.

Time to fasten your seat belt and dig in or run away at first glance - this is going to be a long one.

Now let's start with unpredictability, or just a lack of clear borders, in some cases.

This matters because you need to know when you’ll be able to work towards your goal. It matters because it feels more interesting to have the option to work out an idea for what you, yourself, think might be best for your character/class, rather than relying on websites to do it for you. I've never been a theorycrafter myself, however I know this is the way my second half feels about it, and I agree that it shouldn’t be this much of a task.

This isn’t to say RNG isn’t good in some cases – like whether or not you get a piece of gear from that raid boss – just saying it shouldn’t be random whether or not you can do that raid this week, or whether he’ll have a chance to drop tango pants one week, pink bunny slippers the next and fruit loops the third.

Let’s take a few examples:

  • World quests. The reason dailies worked better than world quests is that they’re very clear and simple in their design. You can do them once per day, the gain is clear, the rewards obvious, and they’ll be there each day, without fail.
    Now world quests are a different story. You don’t know what you’re gonna get for doing it (these days, it’s next to nothing anyway though), or who you’re gonna do them for. You don’t know if they’ll be relevant to you when you get on or not, and you don’t know if you’re going to be spending a ton of time flying all over the place to avoid the worst ones, or if you’re going to be able to do them in a quick sweep.

    My own biggest beef with them is that I can’t just work for the faction I want to work for. I have to check each day whether or not I’ll actually be able to progress towards unlocking mah dark iron dorfs or not. Maybe I’ll only be able to once this week. Maybe it’ll be thrice. Maybe it'll be Sunday, maybe it'll be Monday. It’s just not clear. Paragon chests are similarly not very fun to work towards for this reason.

    Oh, and of course we have the obvious problem with the Alliance emissary rewards at the moment.
  • Theorycrafting. Simply too many factors to take into account by now – it has gone a little bit too far on this side. I’m not saying complexity is bad, it isn’t, but it doesn’t have to be chess game at the chess finals to figure out either. Azerite gear being the main culprit, since it adds a ton to this. However, take this with a grain of salt as I found the old theorycrafting complicated enough.
  • ”Bite-sized content”. This relates to things like heritage armour, race/class visual improvements and similar. The things is, I’d actually rather it takes a little longer before we get the stuff, but then have it be released for everyone at once. This way, you’re going to be excited to see what the other class/race has gotten, rather than disappointed it’s not yet your turn. This would also give Blizzard more time to listen to feedback on these things, (Assuming that’s still a thing they’d do), since they will be working on them for a while.
  • Now let's get to what I consider the most important thing, and which I saved for last for that reason - accomplishments.

    A game like WoW really needs accomplishments, it needs to make you feel like you did something, like you've progressed, achieved a goal.

    In the past, these things were clear, and they were everywhere. It could be clearing that one raid, getting a tier set, completing a quest line, leveling, and more.

    But these things are a little blurry where they shouldn't be these days. Here are my examples:

  • Titanforging/warforging. This means that once you get your full set of gear from a raid - you're just not done yet. There's more to do, still. The feeling of "I got all of it!" is washed a way a little. Not completely, but it just doesn't feel as good.

  • Too many and too easy difficulties. You've gotten through a dungeon on normal. You didn't really do much, you just shot the thing till it died. But you got through. Now you have to do that again on heroic, still not really doing anything. Now Mythic. You may have to pay a little more attention, but let's be honest, you don't really need to before you reach M+. However, once you actually reach M+ you might already have been through that dungeon on so many difficulties, two of them so very easy, that it just feels bad to wipe on that one boss. And when you get him, it's closer to "goddammit, finally." than "oh wow, we did it!"

    Raiding has the same problem, however I'd say LFR is the worst of it. Admittedly, I've tried to avoid doing it as much as I possibly could since it's release, but I've felt it. That lack of interest. The AFK'ing. And I think this has a similar effect on raids as it does on dungeons. It doesn't feel quite that epic to enter a raid when you just ran through it with no effort for easy gears.

    Two difficulties is one thing, assuming neither of them are trivial. Then the second one becomes what you do for an extra challenge, when you've already accomplished getting through the raid. Four however, where two of them are meaningless?

    And... Is heroic warfronts *really* the solution to warfronts being a guaranteed win?
  • Leveling. This mostly comes out of the new scaling deal for me. You don't really feel any stronger or any better with a few levels anymore. After all, that dude who is 40 levels ahead of you is just hitting the same damn thing you are. Of course, it's not like you felt amazingly powerful with a few levels in the past either - but at least they meant a little bit. Some things became easier to kill, some things were now killable
  • Artifact Power. This, this just doesn't have an end. You're never done, you will always have to work on this on the side just to be able to use some of the gear you get fully. It doesn't feel great. There's no moment of "I'm done! My artifact is fully empowered!". Arguably, there could be something to say for "Oooh, I've unlocked a new trait on my artifact!" but I feel this is outweighed by "Oh no, I need to get to level 27 to use my new chest piece properly".
  • These things combined make the game feel more bland, giving everything you or get have a bit less of an impact. WoW as it is now is complex, but it lacks milestones most of all... Among all of the other things that need fixing.

    So what would I like to see done about it?

    I’d like things simplified, I suppose. There are going to be a lot of suggestions to remove things. Sorry!

    Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • The removal of LFR. It doesn’t really add anything interesting to the game, and normal should be simple enough to do with the current group finding system.

  • Emissary choices. I’d like to choose which faction to work towards on a given day. This allows you to actively work towards what you want, rather than having to wait for the system to bless you with the correct emissary. On top of that I would’ve loved a choice of reward for the day too (cache, gold or AP) - but I could deal with that being random more than I can with the emissary.
  • The removal/merging of normal and/or heroic difficulty for dungeons. One less trivial, useless difficulty.
  • Lower the levels at which zones are scaling to in the 1-60 area. Does Westfall really need to be available to lv 60s? How about just 10-20, or 10-30? If at least less of them scale all the way to 60, there will still be a little bit of a sense of progression. The scaling system isn’t all bad – but leveling still needs to mean that you get too strong for something sometimes. You need to progress beyond something.
  • The removal of artifact and artifact power from the next expansion and onwards. It’s too late to do much about this one for BfA. The expansion has launched, and this is a part of it. But I would love to see it gone in the next.
  • Related content released together. Reworking class animations? Throw all of them out there at once! New costumisations? All of the races at once! I accept that this obviously would take longer. I don’t think this would apply to things like the warlock green fire quest. Classes can keep things unique to themselves without everyone needing something.
  • The removal of the titanforged/reforged system. Getting back that sense of having conquered a difficulty feels pretty great. If you want to redo it, there’s not reason you can’t go back and do it to help out your friends, or enjoy feeling superior in your now already geared stance. Personally I prefer the help-out-a-friend part, but if superiority floats your boat, sure!
  • Obviously something else could work in place of all of the stuff I’m calling for removals of. What exactly that would be, I’m not sure about.

    But all of this is just my opinion.
    What's yours?

    (Apologies if my English is messed up at some point, sometimes I miss a thing and the sentence ends up looking super strange.)
    06/11/2018 03:12Posted by Deliane
    Theorycrafting. Simply too many factors to take into account by now – it has gone a little bit too far on this side. I’m not saying complexity is bad, it isn’t, but it doesn’t have to be chess game at the chess finals to figure out either. Azerite gear being the main culprit, since it adds a ton to this. However, take this with a grain of salt as I found the old theorycrafting complicated enough.


    I disagree we dont have enough thoerycrafting anymore

    we dont have soft or hard caps

    we dont have CTC cap for tanks

    no spell hit or melee hit cap to aim for

    all we have to see is go for top 3 traits thats it if they dont have it on gear scrap/dis it .

    06/11/2018 03:12Posted by Deliane
    The removal of the titanforged/reforged system. Getting back that sense of having conquered a difficulty feels pretty great. If you want to redo it, there’s not reason you can’t go back and do it to help out your friends, or enjoy feeling superior in your now already geared stance. Personally I prefer the help-out-a-friend part, but if superiority floats your boat, sure!


    I rather keep them in but cap them like MoP and if you like add a currency like MOP to increase a piece by a further 10 .

    I agree a 340 piece should never ever forge to 385.

    06/11/2018 03:12Posted by Deliane
    (Apologies if my English is messed up at some point, sometimes I miss a thing and the sentence ends up looking super strange.)


    Your English is great and a well made post.

    06/11/2018 03:12Posted by Deliane
    The removal/merging of normal


    Normal is there for people lvling aswell so i would say remove Heroic and go from there .

    The removal of LFR. It doesn’t really add anything interesting to the game, and normal should be simple enough to do with the current group finding system.


    Is not going to happen and i wish people would stop asking for it or harping on about it without it harms nobody if TF/WF is under control .

    There is no game breaking trinkets in raids now ,no tier sets there is nothing to worry about to force raiders into LFR .
    Removing WF/TF would fix most of the problems.
    06/11/2018 06:01Posted by Sebarial
    Removing WF/TF would fix most of the problems.

    I wish it were that easy to fix.

    Titanforging and Azerite Armour are the current scapegoats, not because they're the core of the current discontent, but because they're easy to point to. I'm not defending either of them, but even if they were fixed to everyone's satisfaction tomorrow, would that make the game fun for all the people who are now inactive or unsubbed?

    Ion addressed the RNG question at Blizzcon. Sorta. I thought it was a weak answer, and failed to address the full scope of the unpredictability, but he did at least acknowledge it. Ion is very good at formulating ELI5 answers - which is a very useful skill - but there are times when talking to knowledgable audiences when he should stop restraining himself and get down to the nitty-gritty.

    As OP says, unpredictability is unsatisfying, and that goes beyond far beyond Titanforging.

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