Let’s talk AP

I don’t normally post on Tuesdays or Thursdays, but today I felt the need to comment. With the reset,  Blizz announced in the latest hotfixes that the cap on artifact knowledge (AK) will now be 40 instead of 50, the level it was set to at the beginning of 7.2. Their reasoning is worth quoting (emphasis mine):

Developers’ Notes: We raised the Knowledge cap from 40 to 50 very late in the 7.2 PTR cycle, out of an abundance of caution: We wanted to ensure that players of all playstyles, as well as alt characters, would view the Concordance trait as accessible. However, between the additional Artifact Power gains added in 7.2 and others that were hotfixed in after the patch released, we’re now well ahead of that mark. Knowledge 40 now seems more than sufficient for players to reach Concordance, and the prospect of months’ worth of additional Knowledge still left to research makes some players feel like their efforts in the interim aren’t meaningful. Therefore, we’re rolling the cap back to 40.

Just so we’re clear — Blizz claims they rolled back the cap out of concern that we would feel like we were doing an endless grind for something we might never attain.

Yes, they actually wrote that. With no apparent sense of irony, much less shame.

First, let’s translate their concern into what I suspect is really going on: Blizz has noticed a decline in the number of players chasing artifact power through world quests and mythic instances. They theorized, possibly correctly, that these players were instead stacking AK so that when they did start chasing AP again they could accumulate it faster. That is, if now it takes you a week of world quests and the odd instance or raid to get that next trait that costs 300 million or 600 million AP, or whatever level you are at, why not instead just keep working on AK and get to the point where you can get that next trait doing just one or two WQs?

If you are reaching your saturation point with Legion anyway and would just as soon spend less time playing, this strategy seems like one way to make that happen. All you have to do is use your mobile app to keep hitting your AK research button on time, take a break from WoW, and when you come back you can easily catch up on your AP and artifact traits with just a few world quests.

This, of course, hits Blizz where it hurts: the Monthly Active User metric. Clearly, they had to do something about this threat to their bottom line. And the solution is to cap AK so that players cannot stay away for very long and still be able to catch up.

See, in my fantasy world, Blizz would admit this and we would move on. Instead, they tell us how concerned they are about us having to grind endlessly for something we might perceive as unattainable. When in fact what they are concerned about is that some players might actually have found a way to ease the endless grind for artifact power and traits. That grind, of course, is not only good according to Blizz, but is one of the finest features of Legion.

Puh-leeze. Once again, Blizz has demonstrated, with this specious explanation, their total contempt for their player base, their corporate opinion that we are all a bunch of idiots who will believe anything they say.

For the record, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the rate at which I accumulate AP once I get my Concordance trait, because I don’t care if I get another tiny increase in artifact power or not. Ever. The implementation of endless artifact traits and endless AP to attain them is hands down the worst part of Legion, and for Blizz to claim that clicking a button to increase the rate at which we accumulate AP is a horrible grind they must save us from would be laughable if it were not so vastly hypocritical. I am insulted not by Blizz’s action but rather by their ridiculous lie about why they are doing it.


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.

9 Responses to Let’s talk AP

    • Marathal says:

      I had hoped that eventually I would hit the cap and that doing quests/missions would eventually get me there. They just took away what last motivation I had to max out the weapon. And I agree. All in the name of time played numbers.

      • Fiannor says:

        I am not sure at what point “massive” becomes “endless” in the AP chase, but one of my guildies just hit the 1 billion AP requirement for the next Concordance increment. I think that is close to endless, especially now that there will be significant decrease in the rate at which you max out AP awards. Now this guildie really wants to max out all possible traits on his artifact weapon, so the hotfix affects him more than it does people like me, who really are not interested in further minor increments for massive output.

  1. Marathal says:

    The difference between 40 at 4 million percent and 50, 55 million percent is that it will take 14 times longer. I would hope that along with adjusting the cap, they would also tweak the requirement.

  2. Grumsta says:

    Somebody did the maths. It’s hilarious.

    “See that Olympic size swimming pool? Here’s your thimble. Go!”

  3. So, by reducing AK to 40, they are slowing us down? That is absurd.

  4. gnomecore says:

    *shrug* I’m just happy that I will stop caring about AK knowledge 10 orders earlier. And once I have the trait 52, I will switch to investing in other specs (even if I don’t play some of them). This strategy played well before: I never invested AP beyond 35 traits (then cap), and once the new trait patterns hit us I was able to immediately do the new artifact quests for every spec and every class. No grind for me, AP comes naturally.

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