Yesterday I accomplished two tiny little milestones in Battle for Azeroth: my first Warfronts scenario, and finally clearing Normal Uldir.
I found the Warfronts scenario somewhat fun, but I fail to see what the long buildup has been about, and why the hype. I mean, it’s basically a standard Battleground with NPCs inside that give out quests and loot, right? Whoop-de-doo. Oh, and of course, no real Horde players, just simulated ones. For this, we waited for close to a month, and we have to have an endless loop of such a wait for the remainder of the expansion? Sorry, I don’t get it.
Oh, and while I am at it, what is up with the requirement to advance your mission table? In a bid to continue to justify the Blizz mobile app, BFA features what seems to be a completely irrelevant new version of the Garrison and Class Hall from the past two expansions. The Mission Table on board the ship in BFA has us sending minions out to complete missions that reward mostly useless “loot”. (We don’t even get to see them marching or sailing away, as we did for our Garrisons!) The only missions of value for me have been the handful that gave us additional flight points in Horde areas, and — for now — the faction rep rewards.
Anyway, as part of this continued sham activity, players can research ways to “upgrade” their Mission Table and get some perks in the game. This mechanic is a rework of the Class Hall upgrades from Legion, using the same interface and graphics but different perks. The next-to-last research level requires defeating two different bosses in a Warfront scenario. (It was three until a few days ago but was changed.)
Silly me, I thought, “Well, I can knock out both of these in the 6+ days we have in this phase of Warfronts.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I crack myself up. Nope, turns out there is only one main boss per Warfronts rotation, meaning it will be weeks before any Alliance can finish this 2-boss requirement. And, of course, once again we see the benefit Blizz gave to Horde players regarding this entire Warfronts thing…..
So, to sum up: Warfronts actual scenario is passingly fun, but all the hoopla surrounding it is stupid, and there seems to be no real innovation here as it is just a variation on BGs.
As I mentioned above, our team also finally cleared Normal Uldir last night. It has taken us longer than usual — mostly we clear a new Normal tier the first week and then move to Heroic progression. I don’t know that any of the bosses in Uldir are more difficult than usual, or that the tuning is too high, but I do think Blizz has gone off the deep end with the complexity of the mechanics. They have done this two ways. First, they have given us some mechanics that require a high degree of team coordination, and second they have piled such mechanics on top of each other and added regular fire-on-the-floor ones to make quantity into its own quality.
This structure has made Normal Uldir play more like a Heroic raid, in my opinion. There is just a ton of stuff going on for every boss, and much of it is the kind of thing that wipes a raid if one or two players make a small mistake. And it looks like this change to Normal has percolated down to LFR, where at least so far there seems to be no lessening of the killer wipe mechanics. For example, in MOTHER, the need for controlled numbers to cross the barrier remains, or it quickly overwhelms the healers. But in the one LFR I did, there were players happily dancing back and forth across the barrier, players deciding en masse to jump over, etc. I just think it is unrealistic for Blizz to assume there will be anything close to disciplined organization in what has become LFR mentality. (I can’t even imagine what a goat rope LFR G’huun will be if the orb mechanic remains.) Maybe they are done with LFR, and this is their way of making people abandon it.
The other fallout from this kitchen-sink approach to raid mechanics is, I think, a handicap of casting classes. Of course, I freely admit as a hunter I do not often consider the limitations of standing still to cast, but I do play other classes as alts. I honestly cannot imagine trying to play my Balance Druid in Uldir, with all the mechanics that require almost constant movement. I feel like it would be close to impossible to establish a reasonable rotation for most of the bosses. I know people who main long casters are far better than I am at managing movement, but it still seems to me that Blizz has done a real disservice to these players in Uldir.
With that, I have had a long week of wrestling with contractors for my construction project at home, and I am ready for a weekend. See you on the other side.