A streak of minor news considering each and every 9.1.5. feature, as well as announcement of PTR transpired this week throughout news sites.
Of course Blizzard gets a shitstorm here too, but for a change, a number of positive reactions as well. The improvement numbers are really great and address so many issues, from new cosmetics to game systems to modes of gameplay.
First of all, I want to commend the “developers are listening” thing. It really addresses many concerns and desires that players have expressed throughout the expansion course. While some of the features might fall into “too late” category, like skipping the Maw intro, at the same time people still have alts to develop (not me!) who met even these changes eagerly.
Second, with covid situation, working from home, and releasing the next patch PTR that soon – only 2 months into major patch – seems llike a good sign to me. Does it mean that content development was finally put on pre-epidemic rails?
Of course, the temptation is big to tie this to recent failures, like a lawsuit, streamers taking a part of fanbase to FFXIV, dismay about the major expansion story. But think about this: Blizzard was never too fast with implementing big changes, especially during covid.
A number of features, like Legion Timewalking, tuning legacy raids, tuning island expeditions, their borrowed power system changes is not something that could be cobbled in a month or two as a desperate attempt to throw a bone to the dog, as a sudden please-come-back idea that hit an authority or two on the head in the course of recent events.
No, it’s been stewing for a while, and frankly the complete list of changes is very impressive – it would fit any expansion, even as content filled as Legion, and met with eager. Just compare this to selfie camera/blood elf models that they didn’t manage in time Draenor patch, and you’ll see what I mean.
To me, the most important thing is Covenant swaps – and I mean cosmetics here. Rumor is, you’ll be able use mounts and appearances of all Covenants you’ve ever been to if you earned them. It does not affect my gameplay at all, because I got all armor types in all Covenants covered. But! Only recently I regretted I couldn’t do an “autumn” fae set for my night elf hunter Myde, because she works on Bastion chainmail.
If the said changes make it to the game as announced, by the end of expansion I’ll just do a merry Covenant hopping on all alts – probably in the last days of expansion when any borrowed systems, story, buildings and Renown levels would not matter the very least. Because by then I’ll have all Covenant sets unlocked at least once, and what’s left is to pledge to another Covenant to unlock this appearance for an alt, while at the same time keeping the older Covenant options.
Let’s take an example: Micromantica is Night Fae, and she earned the Fae sets. She now goes and pledges to Bastion, which has Bastion cloth sets previously learned by Jellica, and Micromantica immediately unlocks the Bastion sets for herself, while keeping the Fae outfits and mounts as a transmog option too! Queue pledging to Maldraxxus and Revendreth in the next 20 minutes. Result: Micromantica can now pick from Fae, Necro, Kyrian and Venthyr outfits in her transmog wardrobe, and ride everything from larions to gargoyles. At least this is what we have on paper, and this is amazing if it’s truly so.
I think everyone might find something for himself in this patch, and it’s truly well developed, addressing many concerns and aspects of the game.
Like I said, I do not think that this patch is an instinctive reaction to the events of the last month or two because of the amount of work, thought and decision making that had to be done to implement all this. My feeling is that Blizzard is healing – and by that I mean listening to players. I personally see this as a good sign.
And one last thing: when Blizzard does things right, they should get a pat on the head, a positive reinforcement from player base, not a grumpy/sarcastic backlash. Because I’ve seen all sorts of your normal shitstorm in the comments on social media – someone might cobble up a bingo game out of this.
My favorite is, of course “I unsubbed 5-10 years ago, and I came to say that the current game is shit and nothing will save it. Expansion X was the last valid expansion. I moved on from the shitty company and shitty MMO so much that I come to comment every piece of news about it every night”.
Dude. No one cares. You may stop playing, or take a break if you don’t like the current state of the game, but it’s your personal business no one needs to know about. You don’t say anything constructive that will help to make this game better. If you play and care, provide a constructive feedback (unsub being a form of it, too), express what features make you unhappy and what needs improvement. If you moved on – move on, don’t litter. You might track the news, but if you don’t play and experience the game yourself, you don’t have a say in the matter. The last expansion or patch you’re allowed to evaluate or comment about is the last one you played, it’s that simple.