Not impressed with 7.2

We have had a little over a week with 7.2 and I am extremely underwhelmed with it. If pushed to come up with one reason, I guess it would have to be that it is just more of the same bleak Legion never-ending grind. Some random thoughts and observations:

New artifact trait system. This just depresses me. For BM hunters the new traits are decidedly uninspired, and I think Blizz as usual took the lazy path by adding one more tick to the old 3-tick traits. Nothing about this system makes me excited to progress in it. There is no “WOOHOO” moment anywhere in the path — nearly everything is a dull unimaginative tiny increase to some boring passive trait. I do not deny some of them are useful, but the whole idea is just freaking boring. The snakes? Yeah, they are about as powerful as the old snake trap, which is to say useless.

Gazillions of AP. Yeah, see above. I get that we are now earning AP at a much greater rate, but there is something demoralizing when you get half a million and it barely nudges the little AP bar. And I just feel hopeless and beat down when I need tens of millions of AP in order to get that next boring uninspired .5% increase in some passive trait. I am starting to get quite sullen over the “bonus” AP events and mechanics, too, because I feel manipulated — like everything in the game is pushing me towards amassing AP.

What we have is an endless chase after in-game currency to buy tiny incremental power increases for a central piece of gear. There is no end to it, no achievement, no sense of accomplishment, no cool fun result. Even if someone could reach the final trait — and there will be people who do this — it is hopeless because Blizz will then add on more grinding just like they did after that 54th trait.

I am absolutely dumbfounded that Ion Hazzikostas and other devs can lecture us — with a straight face, mind you — about the evils of “grinding” for gear, and then hand us this, the greatest and most obnoxious gear grind the game has ever seen. In this, their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Broken Shore. Ugh. First, there is nothing aesthetically inviting about it, it is desolate and ugly. At least Timeless Isle and Tanaan Jungle had some decent artwork attached to them, some nice eye candy to reward you for all the time you spent there.

Second, it is chock full of invisible walls, dead ends, and obstacles to ground travel, making getting anywhere an exercise in annoyance. Add to that the fact there are only 3 flight points, and that there are armies of imps and other mobs that dog your every step no matter where you set foot, and you have a recipe for extreme frustration. And don’t forget, Blizz has kindly made these mobs scale to your gear level, so none of them are truly trivial.  I do not know if we will be able to fly in this zone if and when we ever are allowed to fly again, but I can tell you if I cannot fly there I will probably spend very little time there. It is just not fun.

Third, the daily quests. That is exactly the problem — they really are dailies, not world quests. Which means if you miss a day, you miss a lot of rep. There is no emissary, no skipping a day or two and catching up. This is exactly the situation Blizz said they did not want to repeat after the rep grinds of Mists — they did not want people to feel they had to log on and do the dailies every day or risk falling behind.

WTF, Blizz?

Fourth, those buildings. Their mediocre perks aside, this whole mechanic is going to get mighty old mighty fast for me. I am pretty sure that after we have had one of each type, I will deliberately withhold my war supplies and refuse to contribute them to a building I know will be destroyed in a couple of days. Just for spite, because it is a stupid mechanic.

Mage Tower challenge. Nope, just nope. For one thing, the unlocked BM artifact appearance is butt ugly. For another, as usual, there is no appearance change for Hati. Last but certainly not least, the challenge is stupid hard, designed for 1% or less of the elite, and at least thus far dependent on having equipped a couple of very specific legendaries. Oh, and it costs you currency to try it more than once, and it is designed to take many, many attempts to successfully complete. Oh, and just out of spite apparently, Blizz seems to have removed the Ignore Quest option, thus guaranteeing that big ass yellow quest marker will be there every time the Mage Tower is up.

So let’s see — spend currency to enter, spend hundreds or more likely thousands of gold in repairs, suffer huge and continuous frustration because Blizz wants 99% of players to fail, add additional difficulty because I am not one of the lucky few with the “right” legendaries, all for an ugly appearance for a weapon I always transmog anyway?

Not only no, but hell no.

Demonic invasions. I really thought these would be like the pre-Legion scenarios, which I found fun, quick, and even rewarding. Nope, definitely wrong on that one. They are nothing more than world quests in a certain zone, followed by a 3-person scenario. Oh, and of course you cannot get the scenario until you have knocked off most of the invasion quests for the zone. Got to keep those monthly hours up for Ion’s bonuses after all.

I did the first set of these — Aszuna — last night. Well, I say I did them but the truth is I did not compete the actual scenario because after 15 minutes of running back and forth between two sets of mobs and killing them over and over again, we finally got to Stage 2 of the scenario (no idea how many stages there are), but by that point it was time for our guild raid so I had to drop group. It’s certainly possible that in time we will learn the layout of these scenarios better, but my limited experience last night is that they are unimaginative, boring game play extenders.

By the time we got done with our raid, the invasion had disappeared. And of course since I did not complete the scenario, I assume I get no credit for completing one invasion. Thus, the next time the Aszuna one comes around I get to start all over again with the world quests.

The invasions spawn randomly in a zone for six hours, so even though this is a rather large window, it still means it will be possible for some players to have the bad luck to not be able to play while the invasions are active. I have no idea how often “randomly” is, but this seems designed once again to force players to keep checking the game and rearrange their schedules to log in when any needed invasions are active. I will do each of them once then pretty much ignore them, I think.

More hate for hunters. A couple of 7.2 developments are/were decidedly anti-hunter, and show once again that Blizz has no understanding of the downstream effects of their Brilliant Ideas, no one among the devs who has a clue how to play a hunter.

I am a BM hunter, not MM, but Blizz really screwed MM hunters at the start of 7.2. They initially set up the Unerring Arrow trait bonus as 10% per point, for a total of a 40% bonus for filling in all 4 points. This of course was very attractive to MM hunters, and many if not most of them immediately filled out this trait with their traded AP when 7.2 went live. Within 24 hours, however, Blizz nerfed the bonus from 10% down to 4%, more than halving it.

It is possible that 10% was too high, but why in the world would they wait until AFTER MM hunters had taken these points to nerf it so drastically? This is not something Blizz might have noticed and fixed on the PTR? Here are the optics for this: Blizz cares so little for hunters that they have no qualms about making them spend precious AP on a trait only to nerf it into oblivion once the AP is spent. No attempt to put themselves in the place of players agonizing over trait decisions, no notion of refunding the AP fully in light of the sudden reversal of value for the trait. And of course no official comment on it because, hey, who gives a damn about hunters, the throwaway class?

Blizz recently “improved” certain visual effects for some specs. Among these changes was one to Multishot for hunters. I have no idea what they thought they were doing, but the effect has been to render the shot far less useful than it was before the change. Specifically, in the old version the number of arrow or bullet representations were roughly equal to the number of targets you were hitting. In particular, it was very easy to see if you were targeting only two mobs or a single mob, in which case Multishot was probably not what you wanted to be using. But with the change, you no longer can tell if you have killed most of a pack and are down to one or two targets, since the representation now shows multiple tracers even with just one target. This can cause a net damage loss if applied over time, as Multishot is wasted on just a single target.

No idea if this was done on purpose, or if as usual Blizz failed to anticipate this complication. Did none of the dev hunters try the new graphic and see this? (Never mind, we know the answer.)

Are there some good things about 7.2? Of course there are — if nothing else, we are getting a bunch of new world quests and a story line extension. But for me, the never ending grind Blizz continues to foist on us — for profession recipes, AP, class hall quests, class hall research, champion gearing up, the eternal carrot of flying, etc. — outweighs most of the positive points. I am sick of garrisons class halls, sick of artifact weapons, sick of Legion’s insane “legendary” acquisition mechanics, sick of eternal grinding for

every.

single.

game.

activity.

Because, as we all know and have been told over and over again by the esteemed Game Director, grinding is a bad thing. Unless it serves Blizz’s bottom line and not players.

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.

10 Responses to Not impressed with 7.2

  1. Mobhunter says:

    This is spot on. I HATE THE NEW MULTISHOT GRAPHIC SO VERY, VERY MUCH!

    “Blizz recently “improved” certain visual effects for some specs. Among these changes was one to Multishot for hunters. I have no idea what they thought they were doing, but the effect has been to render the shot far less useful than it was before the change. Specifically, in the old version the number of arrow or bullet representations were roughly equal to the number of targets you were hitting. In particular, it was very easy to see if you were targeting only two mobs or a single mob, in which case Multishot was probably not what you wanted to be using. But with the change, you no longer can tell if you have killed most of a pack and are down to one or two targets, since the representation now shows multiple tracers even with just one target. This can cause a net damage loss if applied over time, as Multishot is wasted on just a single target.”

    I’m going to disagree about the look of the challenge mode weapons. I like them. I didn’t start the challenge this first time around. Mixture of real-life time issues and post-patch opportunities — read: grinding — but I’ll likely tackle it when the tower is again built. I don’t mind the tower rotation idea, but the challenge should not have been a part of it. It should have been a fourth area that remains once built. Until the majority of players either have the weapon skin or are convinced they won’t be able to obtain it, the mage tower will always receive the bulk of the turn-in love.

    I don’t like the island much either. If we are allowed to fly, that will help a lot. If not, I’ll also ignore it once I have my faction maxed.

    My guild is well and truly sick of the Nighthold. Indeed, we are at the point of stopping raiding until Tomb is out. That is like two months or so. Sad to lose that companionship, but if we don’t do it, the writing is on the wall that folks will head for the exits, of the guild and maybe the game. I don’t think Nighthold is a terrible raid, although Blizzard really needs to go back to shorter end-boss fights. (Wiping on Guldan in phase three only to have to repeat eight minutes of phases 1 and 2 again is the suck. Epic doesn’t have to be long.) With the endless grinding outside of raids adding to the ever-grinding of raids, something has to give.

    Thanks for writing.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I know a lot of players really like the appearances, enough to hang in there with the challenge until they get it. (Certainly enough people like it that the Mage Tower was the hands-down first choice for first building.) More power to them, and you, for going for it. Just a personal preference that for me does not even come close to justifying the time and effort and cost.

      My guild is also pretty sick of NH. We finished up heroic Gul’dan last week and are now going back and tackling more Mythic Emerald Nightmare, having abandoned it at 2/10 once NH came out. We will probably also farm NH a bit more for gear and possibly do normal alt runs, or fun runs for guildies who are not raiders. We are not really a mythic level raiding guild, but we may try a couple of the early NH bosses on mythic, though I doubt if we will get very far. It all depends on if we are able to field 20 raiders on raid nights, something that is usually a struggle, as we routinely end up with 15-18.

      Gul’dan was painful, especially because of the timing you described. I definitely agree that these overly long boss fights are terrible, mainly because the fail point is inevitably at the tail end. Certainly Blizz could design a boss fight with the fail point early — in fact they did it with Spellblade Aluriel, where the fail point for most raid teams is in phase 1 frost mechanics, and if you survive that then you have an excellent chance of downing the boss. We initially had a difficult time with Aluriel, too, but at least we could concentrate on improving our phase 1 play without getting beat down with fatigue just getting to that point wipe after wipe.

      • Blackhand from the 2nd raid in WoD was the epitome of a well balanced, well timed, challenging fight. Each phase moved quickly, each change was stark and changed the overall tone of the fight. Just tight, fast paced, and challenging.

      • Fiannor says:

        Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that one, but you’re right, it was a very well designed, fun fight.

  2. Marathal says:

    Initially I thought awesome, a 400% bonus for rank 26, but then I spent all of my points on two spots, and that 2.5 million I needed had jumped to 13 million needed. I know at some point I will max research and the rewards will seem crazy, they just moved the bar to compensate.

    • Fiannor says:

      I am at the 29million+ stage, and I have not even completed the new traits, to say nothing of going back and starting to fill in the star point in the old traits. So even maxing research is probably not going to make much if any difference.

      • Marathal says:

        I am guessing you are doing more than one spec. Yeah, even focusing on just one is painful.

  3. Grumsta says:

    “….unimaginative, boring game play extenders.” Sums up 7.2 so far very well indeed, sadly.

    I don’t have a lot of time to play at the moment which obviously doesn’t help, but even trying to “cherry pick” something fun to do to wind down for a couple of hours is a struggle.

    6.2 was a massive relief in WoD. 7.2 so far is a big disappointment.

    I believe people funded the Mage tower because they thought there’d be a big Rep buff from it? I’m frustrated at how little rep you get for handing in the Broken Shore “emissary”. I was expecting 1500, but it only rewards 150 rep. Gee whizz.

    I guess once you’ve completed the rep grind and four invasions on your main it’ll be a good time to switch to alts and get them levelled up and progressing through their profession grinds.

    • Fiannor says:

      I am not even sure I will finish the four invasions. Thus far we have had 3 invasions in North America. The first, Aszuna, started shortly after noon and was winding up by the time most people with jobs got home and could get started. The second, Val’sharah, was even earlier, over by 5 PM. I notice today there is a third in Stormheim, but it will end before noon.

      The whole mechanism for these invasions is clumsy and ill-conceived. True, they no longer are required for Pathfinder Part 2, but they still are an achievement people seek. To use RNG for achievement availability seems crazy to me, not least because it unfairly advantages a certain segment of the player population — those with massive amounts of free time who can afford to ignore real life in favor of a computer game. Those with jobs, school, or family — my bet is that this is the majority of WoW players — are left to scrabble for crumbs, hoping that eventually the invasions will unfold for them in the 2 hours they can play every night or every other night.

      Ion Hazzikostas, in commenting on the removal of invasions as a part of the Pathfinder Part 2 requirement, explained that Blizz was loathe to have the invasions up for longer than 6 hours, because they completely take over world quests for their zone, disadvantaging players who wanted to do WQs. First, apparently Blizz has no qualms about disadvantaging players who are seeking to complete the invasions achievement, so their delicate sensitivity to WQ seekers seems a bit contrived. But more to the point, why can’t both WQs and invasion quests coexist in a single zone? This just smacks of rushed, haphazard tech to me. In their zeal to prove that they can provide a continuous stream of “content” throughout an expansion, Blizz has clearly opted for quantity over any semblance of quality.

      • Grumsta says:

        I can’t understand why they didn’t just have the invasions running in one zone for a whole day. Once completed, the original WQs appear for you. There are enough zones to have three with active Emissary quests and another with an Invasion.

        As Blizz have changed the flying achievement but not the mechanism I deduce that Invasions aren’t changing any time soon.

        The pre-launch invasions had their issues, but on the whole they were a breath of fresh air after feeling cooped up in the Garrison for much of WoD.

        I was really looking forward to Legion invasions, and I hoped they’d be the main source of rep for the BS faction. Instead we get yet more RNG and timegating. Outside of raiding I’m finding Legion is providing more frustration than fun at the moment.

        Even if I do the invasions as they currently are it’ll just be to do the four for the achievement and then I doubt I’ll touch them again. A shame and a wasted opportunity.

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