Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Proposed Changes for Azerite Armor

As you know, I don't think Azerite Armor is a bad system. But a lot of the community seems to disagree. Here are some ideas for tweaks to smooth down the worst of the rough spots:
  • Reduce the Azerite level requirement of the first ring to 1. 
This would mean that the first ring is always unlocked. Since the majority of the Azerite armor's power is in the stats and first ring, it's pretty much always an upgrade. The inner rings can fill in as you upgrade your necklace, and give you small improvements as you play.
    • Set the reforge cost to a flat 100g. 
    Right now, the reforge cost starts at 5 gold, and doubles whenever you reforge. It goes back down after 3 days of not reforging. The intent is clearly to allow you to correct mistakes fairly easily, but dissuade you from constantly flipping the same piece of gear between specs.

    However, I think the hardcore are simply eating the cost of reforging, flipping between specs anyways, and then complaining about the costs on the forums. Setting the cost to 100g discourages casual reforging, but lets the hardcore be hardcore if they really want. 100g is cheap enough that an extra World Quest will cover the cost. This also simplifies reforging.
    • Add a chance to get Azerite Armor when doing a Mythic+ of a given level for the first time each week. 
    The way I envision this working is an extra loot roll, where you can only get Azerite armor. You get one loot roll for each "level" of Mythic+. For example, the first time you do a +7, you have a chance to get a normal Mythic 7 piece of gear, and you have an independent chance to get an i370 Azerite Armor. The second time you do a +7, even if it is a different instance, you only have the chance to get regular Mythic 7 gear.

    So this basically gives you 3 chances per week to get Azerite Armor of a given tier. For example, do a +7,  a +8, and a +9 to get i370 Azerite Armor. That's roughly comparable to a heroic raider's chance of getting a piece of Azerite Armor in a raid. But it keeps Azerite gear from being completely farmable and making Mythic+ mandatory. And since this is a separate roll on top of the current system, it doesn't reduce the amount of gear you get running Mythic+.

    It also minorly encourages doing a few different levels of keys, which I think is probably a good thing for the Mythic+ system.

    Those are the three changes I would have Blizzard implement. I don't think they help people who fundamentally oppose Azerite gear, but I do think they smooth out the most serious rough spots.


    1. One additional solution could be upgrading azerite pieces similarly to how Legion legendaries were upgraded:
      - you get set amounts of currency from each non-LFR raid boss kill, emissary cache, and weekly M+ chest (all non-farmable sources);
      - each time you get X amount of currency, you can upgrade any ilevel 340+ azerite piece (those with 4 rings) by 1 itemlevel, until current titanforged ceiling or,
      - alternatively, you can upgrade pieces by 15 itemlevels so that they coorespond to current itemlevel pattern (340-355-370-375), and the cost of each consequent upgrade rises exponentially.

      1. typo, should have been 340-355-370-385

      2. The one issue I see with that is that you have to farm the original i340 piece by running regular mythics. Then maybe keep a collection of all the i340 mythics, just like we had a collection of Legendaries in Legion.

        There are a lot of Azerite pieces, and I'm not really certain that's a viable ask.

        It also doesn't ask you to shift your Azerite gear as time passes. I think that's an important part of the Azerite system, as you get slightly different traits as you get gear up (for example, Uldir traits). Instead, you'll be using the same traits throughout the expansion. I think having the traits be less static as time passing is more interesting, even if it is less optimal.