Patch 6.2.3 first thoughts

Blizz just announced the upcoming PTR for Patch 6.2.3. I only just saw it, so I doubt if I have any great insights, but here are my first thoughts.

To start off, what is going on with the project managers at Blizz, that a minor patch has more far-reaching changes than did the entire “major” patch 6.1.? Maybe they have their patch instruction book upside down or something, I don’t know, but my suspicion is that the terms “major” and “minor” now are just for convenience, they do not reflect any particular level of new tech or content. They called 6.1 a major patch even though they did not have anything major ready to implement, but the players were getting angry and they were bleeding subs in the thousands every day, so they took all the minutiae they had and called it a major patch. 6.2 probably qualified as a major patch, but by the standards set by 6.1, so did 6.2.2 and so does 6.2.3. However,  Blizz has declared there will be no more WoD patches after 6.2, so apparently that means they have to call everything a minor patch, regardless of how significant are the changes. Patches have become politically expedient first-aid measures.

Return of valor. The big news is valor is coming back. In some ways this is good, because it will give people a reason to run some of the already-stale content. It is a kind of a half-assed way to give players a sense of gear progression while they wait for Legion. Clearly, it is meant to encourage more people to return to LFR and to run random dungeons. One wonders just how bad those participation rates must be for Blizz to have taken this step. (Remember, come quarterly report time, one of the major metrics the Blizz execs are judged on is average active play time….)

On the other hand, it does not come close to fixing the main problem with gear this entire expansion — over-reliance on RNG and raiding in order to get any of it, and the double dice-roll gotcha of secondary stats. The fact remains, if you have lousy luck and cannot get the gear you need even at LFR or Normal levels, valor will not mean squat to you, since you will only be able to upgrade your crap gear. Dressing a pig up in a tuxedo and gold cuff links does not make him a dream date — it is still a pig. So in the end, if you cannot get the gear you need, I am not really sure how much of an incentive valor will be to continue running stale content.

I am not displeased about the return of valor, but given the way they have done it, all in all I would have preferred the return of reforging.

Higher level Baleful and Mythic dungeon gear. Again, I suppose this is a good idea. Certainly the difficulty of Mythic dungeons justifies more than the pretty stingy level gear we have been getting so far. And for most of us who rarely raid on an organized team any more, the possibility of level 725 gear from a Mythic dungeon is nothing to sneeze at. Still, it is RNG-dependent, so for some of us the idea is less exciting. I am not sure what the effect will be of increasing the possible Baleful gear level to 695, since you can already do that with one of the apexis-bought tokens.

Again, the horrible way Blizz has implemented secondary stats imbues the prospects of higher level useless gear with more frustration than incentive. They still just don’t get it.

Cross-realm mythic raiding and other stuff. Meh. I know the cross-realm thing is something the Mythic raiders have been asking for for a long time, so I am glad they are finally going to get it. But given that this entire expansion has been a raid team and guild killer, I can’t work up any interest in perks for the ever-dwindling 1%. Similarly, the fact that Blizz is going to offer a special quest for Heroic Archie kills mostly just makes me mad — they do everything possible to make robust guild membership difficult, they see that raid teams are disintegrating daily, they implement a monumentally frustrating and largely useless raid finder system, then they pass out special perks for Heroic final boss kills. It’s like saying to the majority of the player base, “Haha, we’ve made sure you will never get a chance at this, but look at what cool things we are giving to the elite, neener neener neener!”

Remember, Blizz execs get graded on how much time you spend in game. If you understand that, then the 6.2.3 changes make perfect sense.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

7 Responses to Patch 6.2.3 first thoughts

  1. Bodhi Rana says:

    Just before you mentioned reforging, I was already there. I miss it. I miss profession perks. BS/JC = EPIC TANK. Life Blood (or whatever the haste buff cool down was called) + tranquility = EPIC TREE. Skinning + LW = EPIC STABBY. Yes, it was a min/max tool of inconsequential meaning, but it was a flavor I enjoyed.

    • Bodhi Rana says:

      Life blood referring to the herbalism perk.

    • Fiannor says:

      I am with you. Profession perks were axed as a concession to the small percentage of high end raiders who claimed they were being penalized because certain professions had become almost a requirement for certain raid roles. So Blizz of course immediately jumped to change that. I guarantee over 90% of the player base paid no attention to it. It is a prime example — as is loss of Aspect of the Fox — of Blizz caving to the self-described “stars” of the game who bring in big endorsement money.

      Between loss of profession perks, making every profession available to every player via garrison huts, and gutting the whole concept of crafting by limiting crafted gear to 3 pieces and gating it behind cooldowns and excessively rare mats, Blizz effectively killed professions in WoD.

  2. Grumsta says:

    I do have concerns but largely I’m pleased with the 6.3 patch news (I’m calling it 6.3, because it bloody well actually is Blizz, okay?).

    It’s much like T2 – a reason for guilds like mine to get together and do stuff in small teams. Even if it’s just running heroic or mythic dungeons at least we’re doing something, having a laugh on voice comms, learning, and they’re much more interesting than doing T2 dailies over and over again, and for more reward.

    Our guild was really struggling to get to get enough folks together for HFC Normal runs so we’ve teamed up with another guild in the same position. But even now the only stuff anyone is there for is Tier set pieces and trinkets, it’s so disheartening downing a boss and all the loot going for DE because T2 gear with the right secondary stats is better.

    Now with 6.3 you’ll be able to run Mythic dungeons and get 725 gear: so what is Normal level for? Not gearing up for Heroic, that’s for sure. This patch could be the final nail for more casual raid guilds like ours. I keep reading posts saying that “we’re done with raiding in WoD”. Well we’re not! And neither are lots of others, and this won’t help the situation. I’m 12/13 Normal and 6/13 Heroic, we only have the first 6 bosses on farm in Heroic, we’re still learning because of constant player churn.

    Several classes don’t come alive until they have the 4 piece Tier set and trinket, so throwing 725 gear at them isn’t actually going to help that much. But eventually I suppose any team will be geared enough and have enough Rings to get through all the Normal bosses, especially with the recent nerfs.

    I hope Blizz allow *any* raid run to count towards Valour, otherwise we’re going to be forced to run LFR and Normal raids every week, plus as many dungeons as we can manage for better non-tier gear(!) and upgrades, and that definitely will burn us out.

    Monty Haul may be the death of us, or it could be our saviour. Hopefully the latter, and I am more hopeful than worried because this patch shows Blizzard are starting to act positively. Yeah they’re clearly panicking and throwing everything as many shiny things within arms reach as they can, but I’ll take that over what we saw in 6.0 and 6.1 any day.

    • Grumsta says:

      Typo: “we only have the first 6 bosses on farm in Heroic” should of course be “Normal”.

    • Fiannor says:

      Hmmmm, see when I read the Blizz announcement, I understood “Mythic dungeons” to mean just the 5-man instances, nothing to do with Mythic level raids. (The term “dungeon” has always been confusing to me, but I finally decided when Blizz uses it they mean the 5-mans. I could be completely wrong about this, however.) But my take was that valor was being re-introduced to shore up dismal participation in LFR and in the Mythic instances, especially during the bonus events for them, and that no valor would be awarded for any normal or higher raid.

      But I agree with you that 6.2.3 is a decent if desperate attempt to right some of the egregiously wrong designs of WoD. My hope is that the changes are being done this late in the expansion in order to field test some of them for incorporation into Legion, which would indicate Blizz really did learn a few lessons with the WoD debacle. Still their track record is not good on learning, so I will wait and see.

      My guild’s raid team just this week officially surrendered and gave up raiding “until Legion”. We could not field more than 6-8 on any given night, the Raid Leader seems to be more or less moving on with real life concerns, and he does not want to try the merge solution. Pugging was turning into an ordeal what with a high percentage of jerks and people with no business raiding, causing us to have to relist after every boss. And unless you are pugging only 1 or 2 spots, honestly the fun of playing with friends kind of disappears. We have had fewer than 10 raid nights since mid-March, and sadly never made it beyond Iskar Normal, never mind having anything on farm.

      At the start of this year, I was raiding 4 nights a week with two respectable raid teams, and I was close to burnout. WoD was instrumental in killing both of them, and now I am not raiding at all unless I join the pug ranks.

      Sic transit gloria mundi. 😐

  3. Pingback: Blizz logic — an oxymoron | Misdirections

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