progression philosophy

General
Inspired by a US post about ilvl scaling causing mobs to still die slowly, despite downing G'Huun.

It comes from the idea that even though we conquered titans, fel-infused gods and literally demon-titan as a group of 25 people we lost our weapons and suddenly kul'tiras beer-gluggin ruffians and deer are killing us.

Let's think about something for a moment.

> In vanilla we were scrubs and had to team up with 39 other people to down ragnaros. We got epics and raids only had 1 difficulty.

> In TBC the world mobs were alien or fel-infused which gave the excuse that these were inherently much stronger than the usual world mobs in vanilla. Makes sense, and it does for the raids too which also required 39 other people.

> Wotlk was battle hardened vikings, icy scourge and elementals, ancient dragons and crazy looking wolves. Again these mobs made sense to be stronger than TBC mobs, raids still required 39 other people.

You get the idea, although multiple raid difficulties were introduced there was still a pretty linear feeling of progression and to an extent made logic sense.

Then we become world champions, time travel, come back and get artifact weapons, down titans and the demonic legion with 24 other people and suddenly we're much weaker.

There's two sides to this, a technical one and a lore one.

We could say that the artifact weapon was so powerful tha it allowed us to defeat gods, titans and a legion invasion. Then we gave them uo and we're back to WotlK levels of power.

But the technical reason is a gameplay one, ilvl scaling to keep the world relevant and allow players to gain experience wherever they want. Unfortunately the leveling experience was only 2 days long so it didn't really matter but it leaves the whole continent feeling just as strong as when you first visited. Infact they're a little stronger.

So to sort this I think ilvl scaling tech shouldn't use ilvl as a scaling factor at all but instead simply use mob level as a scaling reference.

The difference here is that by using level instead of ilvl, we can significantly increase our power beyond our level cap and therefore anything else with a lower level or capped ilvl will seem weaker and weaker and be faster to defeat.

This keeps progression more linear and I also believe it would change the weirdness of being weaker as a lvl 120 compared to a 110. It'll also mean that lvl 39 twinks won't be killing max geared 120's.

Heck, it'll also mean 110's won't be killing 120's since ilvl is just a reference for gear progress but the stats actually contribute strength instead.
Secondly I want to add that lvl 110's currently have percentage stats at around 35-50% secondary stats. For example 35% haste, 60% crit etc...

It's odd how this scales currently, since we feel all powerful at last xpac end game but immediately weaker upon reading level cap now ending on 11% haste and 9% crit.

This is a serious technical problem to solve and the more I think of it the more I'm inclined to suggest that we think of something more future proof than a number squish which only seems to cause odd progression patterns and mess up the leveling experience.

We see now they've changed exp requirements which cause each level to be gained at about the same speed as the last.

It's all a bit weird if you ask me.

So instead of number squishing and false economy percentage shifts, could we:

> put world mobs scaling on level rather than ilvl

> make power progression a bit more linear by:

Allowing stats to simply add up a higher percentage.

So let's go back to the legion example: we ended with around 35% haste, so we keep that entering BFA and endup with around 65% haste by endgame, and then entries next xpac we endup on 90% haste.

I know this means spells, GCD and abilities all become insanely faster and stronger but a solution to this would be to use classic philosophy and bump cast times as the spells are more powerful, but also update and alter how abilities function based on the progression.

So an example is that by the end of BFA incinerate is no longer a small fireball, but instead now deals after burn damage, the animation is upgraded so it splits into three flames heading to the target that land with an explosion.

So what I'm saying is, keep numbers progressing in a linear, more static manner while evolving spell mechanics and animations as you bump up cast times to make up for the extra haste which is kept about the same due to the extra haste so it'll still be a 1.5 sec cast.

PROFESSION PROGRESSION

a quick simple idea to make them relevant: to allow for the collection of materials which let you bump your weapon or armor ilvl and even allow stat manipulation like an old reforge system.

Alchemy, enchanting, tailoring, leatherworking, blacksmithing and engineering can contribute to this as you could pick up essences, minerals and metal scraps to basically reinforce your armor and add spikes to weapons to improve their ability by very small numbers until you find new and more powerful armor like epics which are restricted to raids and ultra rare drops only, but the professions are there to bolster your greens and rare blues to get you ready for raiding.

LFR will only ever drop greens.

Titan forging removed.
The devs' philosopy is that power progression is no longer very important to this game. It's now a secondary nice-to-have.

It seems that hour to hour and day to day a lot of people don't feel it. That surprises me, but I'm used to being surprised that not everyone has the same responses I do.

They have removed much of the core point of the game, and left the form-filling and paperwork of ticking the system boxes, but they haven't replaced the core with anything. I wonder how much that affects the lack of enthusiasm many people are showing for BfA; it's noit a primary effect, and not easy to separate out, so it may not be getting the attention it would if it were easier to point a finget at, like Titanforging and Azerite.
This artificial progression concept by blizzard, not exactly sure when it started, probably Legion is depressing.

It's not fun, its not real, it's not needed.

If you are hardcore, you progress through raids, PvP rating, mythic plus.

If you are more into story, world content, whatever, there is no "progress" there, other than do all the quests, if you like that sort of thing.

But, blizzard though everyone should have "progress."

Its a flawed development path.
So an example is that by the end of BFA incinerate is no longer a small fireball, but instead now deals after burn damage, the animation is upgraded so it splits into three flames heading to the target that land with an explosion.


Yeah then next expansion it splits into 5 spells, and nukes whole continent.

Literally dumbest suggestions I have ever read.
09/11/2018 08:24Posted by Abacabb
So instead of number squishing and false economy percentage shifts, could we:

> put world mobs scaling on level rather than ilvl

> make power progression a bit more linear by:

Allowing stats to simply add up a higher percentage.


This subject has been on my mind for some time now. How to "reset" all that "overpower" when the next expansion comes out without a simple stat squish that just feels like the opposite of that progress we should be experiencing. And I thought...

What if instead of simply increasing level cap from 120 to 130, going for a stat squish and having only 10 levels to go through with the same gear we had at the end of previous expansion, they came up with something much more brootal, but that will for sure give us that sense of progress...

What if they came up with a story similar to what happened to Varian at some point, where at the end of the expac our caracter gets rekt so badly that he kind of "forgets" who he is... And wakes up naked, at lvl 20 with a wooden stick as weapon.

It gives so much freedom to the story, you could wake up as a prisoner... A slave... A farmer... A pirate... You name it. And from that point you start the recovery of your abilities, where you would gain 10 levels instead of one, all the way to max level, with a decreasing multiplier as you approach max level.

It is not incompatible with new content and new regions, but I feel like it may give a better sense of progress than seing your secondary stats melt as you reach max level... And again Blizz would get good opportunities story wise.

I think this would be more interesting than the classic +10 levels routine that has been going on for some time.
What if they came up with a story similar to what happened to Varian at some point, where at the end of the expac our caracter gets rekt so badly that he kind of "forgets" who he is... And wakes up naked, at lvl 20 with a wooden stick as weapon.


They are literally already doing this with artifact weapons/legendaries/azerite armor.

At next expansion you lose that OP gear and have a reasonable explanation on why your spells are different and why you are weaker.
Blizzard is aware of this and they said in a Q&A they don't know how to fix it.

09/11/2018 08:24Posted by Abacabb
Allowing stats to simply add up a higher percentage.


I don't know how something like haste would scale based on mob level, you use "power" in the general sense but didn't think much of the details. Also what's the difference between losing haste and having cast times increased as we level? or how would this work for autoattacks?
Wouldn't your solution be more akin to the scraped WoD passives? Wouldn't you feel cheated that your spells get automatically upgraded to a worse version?
Or if you manage to compensate enough in damage to make up for the cast time loss, wouldn't you reach astronomical damage and health numbers rather quickly?

My personally solution to mitigate this problem would be azerite-like gear, where we rely less on secondary stats and more on effects like the ones we see on current traits.
I get that we have to suspend our disbelief when it comes to our power levels in terms of lore. After all, in previous expansions we have defeated (possibly killed?) 2 Old Gods, killed a total of 25 dragons including 3 former dragonflight leaders (the strongest dragons of their colour), not to mention countless elemental lords. And yet each time a new expansion rolls around we struggle with a few measly animals.

In short, the lore is always going to cause problems when it comes to developing new content. There is simply only so far you can go and when you have saved the world multiple times, there's very little higher you can go.

I wouldn't mind being "reset" at the beginning of each expansion if there was a noticeable power growth inside the expansion, which right now there isn't. The only way I can tell that I'm getting stronger is by looking at a damage meter. Without that, I honestly couldn't tell the difference between where my character is now compared to when I first hit level 120.
Raid sizes hanged to 10 (Karazhan) & 25 (the rest) in TBC...
09/11/2018 11:39Posted by Trmon
So an example is that by the end of BFA incinerate is no longer a small fireball, but instead now deals after burn damage, the animation is upgraded so it splits into three flames heading to the target that land with an explosion.


Yeah then next expansion it splits into 5 spells, and nukes whole continent.

Literally dumbest suggestions I have ever read.


Doesn't need to be that way, seeing visually our spells evolve is a good indicator of progression and it's fun and pretty cool. By the end of the xpac, just as other here have suggested, we get kind of 'reset' in a way.

So whatever ability changes the devs want to make to classes, they can and the evolution begins again.

As for the other ideas though, I mean this is a very tricky problem to overcome since AZ gear has also contributed to the reason why we are weaker at level 120 than we were at 110.

I read a lot of how people preferred being the anonymous hero would starts out barely being able to hold a cup of coffee to growing, helping to defeat a dragon and being thanked by our leaders. Naturally we would be recognised for this and eventually achieve some kind of royalty hero status. To reset this they have thought of sending us back in time so we're anonymous again but messed it up by making us known immediately that we are Azerothian champions and we run our army and tell Khadgar what to do.

So now we're anonymous again but our leaders have a way of blabbing to forigeners that we are basically gods amongst men and we are to be treat as special leaders of our faction.

So I think a real solution lore-wise is to send us somewhere where our leaders can't go. It's too risky for them or something and we're sent in as a favor, completely anonymous to this alien land and it's inhabitants. We also never gain leader status with them, just a "wow I'm glad you were there to give me, the king of this land, a bit of a helping hand, not that I really needed it though" kind of recognition.

As for stats and development, how about with different continents come different rules of power? It gives the devs a lot of creative freedom to decide on how to change thing up so instead of haste being my strogesr stat, it's now actually versitility and mastery (or something new) so my playstyle and functions somewhat stay the same (depending on spell changes) entering into a new xpac but the stat bias has shifted so no matter what, my haste scales significantly less now than versa, and I learn as I go on that I have to build it a much as a can. With this and naturally slower casting, I would take less damage, heal more damage and we'd have to get some form of spell cast protection to prevent perpetual kicking and cast knock backs.

AlI think no matter what, each new xpac should offer each player a new or advanced playstyle to reflect an adaption to last expacs boss abilities as if we've "learned" their spells or styles. But also come up with not just serious lore reasons as to why we're lower in status or weaker, but comical ones too which we can laugh about like a previous suggestion.

The last boss.of last xpac was so brutal that after we defeated it, the area collapsed and we all fell in and broke our legs and our armor shattered to pieces, we couldn't fly away because there's no mounting indoors.

Or serious reason: last boss alters time or rips a hole in space where we are sent to a new land to explore but their nature rules contradicts ours and so our powers are less effective and we need to learn to adapt to their atmospheres to progress statistically stronger.

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