It’s the little things

A couple of weeks ago in a tongue-in-cheek comment reply to a reader, I wrote that I had reached the “acceptance” phase in my grief over what I still consider to be Blizz’s destruction of the hunter class in WoW. I still bristle over the betrayal, but I finally realized they are not going to change it significantly, and I can either keep playing or quit. As I still enjoy the game itself, and as I am not willing to play a different class as a main character, that pretty much means I need to get on with virtual life. Doesn’t mean I won’t have some choice words for Blizz about it once in a while, just that it is not usually my main focus.

However, just like when you have a massive headache and consequently all of life’s normal little annoyances really really bother you, so too have I begun to notice a lot of annoying minor aspects of Legion. If I were not already cranky over the hunter thing, I probably would just take them in stride as part of a massive and therefore imperfect game. But the fact is, I am cranky and out of sorts over hunters, so these little annoyances grow in proportion.

Blizz cannot possibly repair the damage they have done to hunters, but here are some quality of life things that I think they can — and should — fix, if for no other reason than to make amends for the big things they screwed up in Legion.

Blood of Sargeras. This needs to be BoA. The fact that it is BoP means that it is yet another reminder of many of the major problems with Legion.

  • The huge time requirement levied on each character in Legion means that your main probably ends up with far more than can be used, while alts are starving for it. Yes, you can now trade it for mats — on my server that translates into something like 100-250 gold per Blood if you do a mat shuffle. This is not insignificant — although I would argue it is fairly low given the massive inflation in WoW economy in Legion — but the fact is, your alts do not need gold, they need Blood of Sargeras.
  • Blizz chose to make some professions winners and some losers in Legion. For example, if you have a skinner, you pretty much clean up on Blood of Sargeras. Blizz may claim that the drop rate is the same for skinning as for herb gathering or mining, and it may be, but the fact remains that you can do what amounts to mass skinning in a few minutes, whereas it takes hours to exploit the same number of herb or mining nodes. My main is in fact a skinner, and without even trying I have over 200 Bloods in the bank even after using a bunch early on for obliterum upgrades. Meanwhile, my poor engineer/enchanter can’t get enough for even one max crafted gear upgrade, and the same is true of most of my other alts.
  • This mat is an absolute requirement for upgrading crafted gear, both to make obliterum and to use it. It takes 2 Bloods just to use one obliterum. Almost always what that means for me is that my alts cannot gather sufficient Bloods for upgrades until they are well past the point when the upgraded gear is useful. This just serves to highlight the total failure of crafted gear in Legion, as far as I am concerned.

Obliterum. At a bare minimum, Blizz needs to allow this to be used on non-soulbound gear. Because as it stands now, it is almost useless as an upgrade mechanic. And while I am on the subject, let me just say I think the whole mechanic is one of the stupidest ideas Blizz has ever come up with, and honestly that’s a pretty high bar.

  • You can only apply it to soulbound gear. This means you cannot craft higher level gear and send it to an alt, nor can you sell it for decent gold. Effectively, armor crafters are nearly useless in Legion.
  • It requires Blood of Sargeras, both to make it and to use it. As I pointed out above, this effectively severely limits any alts getting significant crafted gear upgrades, until such time as the upgraded gear is useless to them. (Another example of Blizz being deliberately disingenuous to us. Remember their braying about “You can freely change to any spec in your class, no more 2-spec restrictions”? Yeah, right. And crafted gear — “You can equip as many pieces as you want”. Uh-huh.)
  • The quest line to unlock the forge is ridiculously expensive and annoying. I realize I may be an outlier, but I am so bad at pvp and I hate it so much, that I died on my main hunter 31 times just to finish the sewer part of that quest line. I suspect I am not unique in this. How is this fun? Because even when I finally did unlock the forge, I realized that it had almost no value to me going forward.
  • Obliterum can be bought and sold. However, the fact that you cannot use it without a stash of Blood of Sargeras means that it is of limited use to players looking for gear upgrades. Additionally, on my server it still goes for 3000-3500 gold each. Thus, even if you have the Bloods to do a full 10 upgrade to a single piece of gear, it will cost you upwards of 30,000 gold for just that single piece. Absolutely not worth it, especially since world quests award similar level gear for a LOT less effort and zero cost.

Weekly quests. This idea occurred to me last night, as I was trying to crank out another 20 world quests for one of my alts. Since Legion requires significantly more time on each character just to get to the same point most people are used to getting to, why not do a bit of pro-rating for the weekly quests? So, for example, if you don’t have the time to run 20 world quests on every max level character, why not award half the loot for running 10? Same for the Mythic and TW quests. I think this would actually encourage people to run these on more characters — and thus spend more time playing — because it would not seem like such an endless grind.

Talent swapping. OK, I probably should not get started on this, but here is another world-class stupid idea from Blizz. This kind of hit home to me last week on one of our raid nights. We had just finished Mythic Nythendra and had decided to try our luck at Ursoc. Knowing there was a ton of trash to be dealt with before moving to Ursoc, I spent a Tome of the Tranquil Mind to swap from Murder of Crows to Volley.

Only I did not get to use it, because we were immediately in combat. I had neglected to announce to the other 19 people that everyone needed to stop what they were doing so I could make a talent swap. I did say something, and the RL said they would stop after this bunch of mobs. We paused, I hit another Tome, and lo and behold a mob wandered near one of our players and I lost yet another Tome and still was unable to swap talents. At over 500g a pop this gets mighty annoying might fast.

Here’s the thing: I understand we have never been able to swap talents while in combat, no big deal. But this ridiculous doubling of  steps necessary to do it — open the talent table, find the tome, click the tome, click the talent — means we are now doubly penalized for swapping talents. And those extra steps can obviously preclude talent swapping in a group just when it is needed most, as my experience shows.

This comes at a time when Blizz is deliberately making us choose significant differences in talent lines for AoE or single target, and when they are mixing up these kinds of fights to extreme degrees. (Not even going to address the raid time lost when players without the expensive Tomes need to hearth to Dal, then get resummoned just so they can swap a talent.) Honestly, hunters aren’t even the worst affected by this — poor warlocks are way worse off.

Blizz has said they made a mistake in setting the price of the Tomes too high and they intend to try and fix it soon, but for me that does not answer the basic question: Why the hell did anyone think this was a good idea to begin with? What possible benefit to game play does this provide? And don’t tell me it was so that Inscriptionists could make money — Blizz had no compunctions about letting many professions become useless in Legion, why should Inscription be anything special?

I really need someone to explain this to me.

That stupid hunter eagle “perk”. As some of you may know, hunters can get access to a special set of flight points presumably serviced by the same eagle line that transports us to our class hall. As it turns out, this is less a perk than yet another punishment inflicted on hunters. These flight points are all located on extremely remote, high mountain peaks. And, while they are not tied in to the regular flight points, for some reason they are tied in when it comes to using your whistle. Thus, hunters often use the flight whistle only to be whisked off to a remote location of no use whatsoever, and are then forced to use a hearth of some sort or perform a fairly long and complex glide just to get back into the flight system.

Blizz, please do hunters the favor of pulling your head out of your ass and  fully integrate the eagle flight system into the regular one, or if that offends you too much, at least make it unresponsive to the whistle.

Hearthstone type access to class halls. A couple of classes — druids and monks come to mind, there may be some others — have the luxury of being able to transport themselves directly to their class hall no matter where they are. Less favored classes — for example warlocks and rogues — must first get themselves back to Dal, then wend their way to a sewer access and through some corridors and maybe even then through a portal — to get to their class halls.

This may be “immersive” or “fun” at first, but after a few times it is merely tedious and annoying. Blizz, we get it: there is a great story behind each and every class hall, but for crying out loud give all classes a garrison-type hearthstone to get there.

As I said at the start, none of these things is a show-stopper, they are all minor annoyances. But taken together and along with some of the really major Legion problems, they become constant irritations that detract significantly from the game. Seems like Blizz could fix them for us, and no, doing so will not “cost a tier”.

Anyone else have any quality of life annoyances in Legion?

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.

11 Responses to It’s the little things

  1. Marathal says:

    I was thoroughly bored with the design of the Priest Hall. You run in, it’s very, cathedral like in its layout. Then while I was bored one day I opened up the Warlock hall on an Alt. After 15 minutes of running around trying to find where things were I sent him back to his Garrison where he will live out his days never played. I have seen the Paladin Hall. It looks very secretive, and I am no fan of close quarters and needing to move in to almost first person shooter view just to move through it. Shaman are similar to Warlocks. They all may have Class fantasy, but certainly are not very intuitive for finding NPCs

    • Fiannor says:

      I completely agree. The class hall designs are generally bad, for the reasons you describe as well as for others. The first alt I leveled was my druid and still after a couple of months I flounder around trying to find stuff there. Horrible design, horrible user interface which as usual seems to be deliberately confusing. On top of that, I am still annoyed every time I go into the hunter hall and find ZERO PLACES to sit, even in the bar with cozy fire area, not to mention the bartender sells not beer or spirits, but MANA RESTORATION DRINKS. The whole design just screams “We totally ran out of time, so just throw anything in there, who cares if it seems appropriate or not.”

      • Marathal says:

        Oh don’t get me started on seating. We have two sets of chairs near the entrance. But you can’t sit in them. It’s like some religious penance thing. Oh there are some chairs. No no no. You cannot sit in them. They are representative of the labors you must endure on your journey.

  2. JC Sway says:

    My theory on why they did the tomes to change talents is simple: Mythic Plus dungeons. They wanted a time “penalty” for switching talents during a timed run. I have absolutely no evidence to support this idea, but I can’t fathom another reason for the change.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, this is the closest I have heard to a logical explanation, but I think the reality falls short. In fact, my experience has been that AoE is pretty much king in Mythic+, with almost no need to swap talents once embarked.

      I recall that this talent swap mechanic was introduced as a “tradeoff” after there was such an outcry about charging ever-increasing and significant amounts of gold every time a player performed a spec switch. In fact, at the time, it seemed like a suspiciously fast response on Blizz’s part, almost as if the spec swap cost was a red herring designed to make the actual planned talent swap seem more palatable. Like if you want your kids to eat their peas as part of supper, you first tell them the menu is liver and Brussels sprouts, then quickly “relent” and say ok we’ll have chicken nuggets and peas.

  3. Grumsta says:

    Agree 100% about the Class Hall access. It’s so simple for my Mage and DK, and utterly frustrating for my Priest.

    I just got an alt through opening the Obliterum forge. While it was much easier the second time around, and three of the four armour items I was able to purchase from guild mates, it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as a mechanic. Only crafted gear can go in the Forge…? M’kay.

    BoS is soulbound because Blizz needs us to play our alts like our mains to earn their stuff, end of story. I can’t see them changing their philosophy on that. The best sources for quick BoS are Herbs from rank 2, and Heroic dungeons. WQs are hit and miss as a source, but I grab them when I see them (as long as I don’t need to trade 10 Starlight Rose for one BoS……)

    The crafting economy is working to an extent, as people are buying gear to upgrade. In 7.0 and 7.1 it was a no-brainer to buy necks and one ring with your ideal secondary stats and then upgrade them. I’m making good regular gold by selling the Alchemy trinkets (they make on average about 1.4 Obliterum per trinket).

    My biggest gripe remains RNG, particularly for how it gates profession progress. My main who is a Herbalist still hasn’t hit rank 3 in all the herbs despite harvesting goodness knows how many nodes.

    • Fiannor says:

      RNG — probably also accounts for the fact that I have had several types of herbs at rank 2 now for a couple of months on my druid and have so far gotten a grand total of 1 BoS from it. For me, skinning is the most rewarding, probably because I can go to a WQ area where bears or falcosaurs or whatever are being killed, and get stacks of leather in a few minutes.

  4. My annoyance is simple. No straight lines — never in any zone can you just go from A to B. No Nagrand, no Tanaris, no relief.

  5. demonnick001 says:

    My annoyances this expansion align very closely with yours fiannor, but I do have one to add.

    As I’ve expressed in previous posts I am a very big fan of long grinds, especially when they result in an epic reward, and are not required to be completed to remain competitive. An example of this was the argent tournament grind in WOTLK, which resulted in some badass mounts/gear which would show off your achievement, but were completely optional.

    Legion has a really long grind in the form of Suramar, but its not really optional…so it doesn’t count in my mind. Legion, however, does have an additional long grind that is optional in the form of the Talons vengeance faction, which requires fairly extensive work just to unlock; but why the ?1#@ put an epic grind into the game that has absolutely nothing cool as a reward….I mean seriously, so disappointing. In this regard I share the same mentality that some things feel really rushed and uncompleted, as you touched on with the hunter hall. My biggest issue with Legion is with Blizzard releasing unfinished content into the game. If they are going to put something into the game they either need to release it in a finished state, or at least release a comment saying it will be added to.

    • Fiannor says:

      I had never really thought about this aspect, but you are right. It continually amazes me that Blizz stubbornly refuses to understand that many, many players actually enjoy putting in time and effort FOR A KNOWN AND COVETED REWARD. Instead, they move more and more towards a lottery system, or, as you point out, seemingly dead end quest lines that leave the player wondering, “That’s it??” Even if they are not actually dead ends, there is a letdown, as I thought there was for the Kara attunement, or for the Suramar addon that I guess was a buildup for NH.