One month in - BFA impressions

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One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Essa » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:03 pm

Hi Easians,

Just wondering what everybody's thinking of BFA now that we had some time to level and experience content. I'll start, and so far I'm preeeeeeetty underwhelmed:

- Class balance is non-existent. Especially in PvP.
- Island expeditions are bland, boring and utterly hopeless. "Each time is a new adventure", yeah, right. As one of the main gameplay features of BFA, in my opinion, it's a failure.
- Second new feature - Warfronts - well, we won't have access to it for another 10 days or so. Yes, you can go and farm silly dailies even now, but there's nothing new to it. From the vids I've seen, the actual scenario is a watered down, PvE-only "discount" old AV. Basically you can queue in, afk for ~20 minutes and get a piece of 340 loot. Not impressed.
- War campaign. It was moderately fun while it lasted, but actual pieces of content between the rep grinds are quite short.
- Rep grinds are excessive. Would be fine if it was account wide, but in current state I dread even thinking about changing mains in the near future.
- Gear catchup mechanics do not make any sense. It took 3 weeks of M0 grind to get 340+ geared, and they overwrite it already? This should've happened in 8.1, but definitely not now.
- Heart of Azeroth grind is extremely unrewarding and feels like a chore.
- Mission table completely gutted, but who really cares.
- I did like the dungeons, all are quite enjoyable, though few could employ a bit less trash mobs.
- Uldir is... okay-ish. Yes, we didn't see Ghuun yet, but in general - the raid is nothing to write home about.
- Zone stories are good. Although, Storm Valley felt like it was split right down the middle - right side got the story, and left side mostly some random crap. No idea about Horde zones.
- Art direction and score are great.

In a nutshell, so far BFA is quite a let down. I'm not quitting or anything, but 8.1 better bring something good to the table.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Erian » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:47 pm

I hate that it's become a full-time job just to gear up sufficiently for Normal. Instances are underwhelming, mostly just a movement check so far. Can't see me levelling many toons. Some of the levelling was horribly grindy and boring - kill 15 of those, then 6 of those, etc etc. Stormsong was especially awful. Usual weaknesses with only rich and mad willing to pay insane prices for herbs. Mission table a waste of time if one can't be bothered to grind war resources. Storyline usual nonsense.

I've levelled 120 monks hordeside and alliance side, casual raiding hordeside on one of them. All I can say is that alliance is lucky to have Boralus as a hub. The hub in Zandalar is awful beyond description: a 3D nightmare of stuff where the cooking trainer is a fp from cooking supplies, endless running up and down stairs, salvage yard a good 30 seconds riding away from the Inn (great Seal), and the mission table a fp and a long ride from the Great Seal. Plenty of comments about that on horde US forum if you care to look.
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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Rublupine » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:42 am

I think there are clearly some problems, Erian and Essa have named many.

But, I’m having fun (mostly). And the world is gorgeous as always. Balance plays nice at its core, some talents need attention.

Rep grinds have been a bit rough. Rep rewards don’t feel to have much longevity - entry for Normal, redundant for heroic.

Azerite gear feels contrived. How can a 340 feel like a downgrade to a 325... worried about raid versions of Azerite traits, we’ll see 370 being ignored for 340 until Hearts are levelled or weaker traits are buffed.

And, Azerite is locked in. Mythic+ upgrades mean what we have is here for the duration i’d Say. Maybe some new items patched in later on though.

Feels like Azerite has three jobs:
1- replace artifact weapons
2- replace legendaries
3- replace tier sets
That’s too many jobs to fill? I foresee a 4th Azerite slot along the way.

Balance is my core gripe.Azerite needs a major pass. Classes need a major pass.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by ArrZarr » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:01 am

1) Replace artifact weapons - Yeah, this is the expansion's character development but it's tied to throwaway pieces of gear this time around rather than an item you keep with you at all times (the neck is just a stat stick)
2) The legendary system should never have existed and not having legendaries is a nice change, especially with the prevention of swapping gear in M+
3) Replace tier sets - I prefer this system to tier sets as 4 of your items aren't locked down with badly statted rubbish and the vast majority of head/shoulder/chest pieces are Azerite anyway.

My complaint about the levelling is the opposite of Erian's - I think there are too many vehicle sections and the old style quests are far better.

The 5-man dungeons are really good. The bosses in there are where all the creativity seems to have gone (although Waycrest and Tol'Dagor suck on Sanguine)

Uldir... Not sure about this place yet. Hated it on the warrior, need to get a view from the DH before I definitely say that. MOTHER is one of the most annoying bosses I've seen in a while.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Lilpinkie » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:47 am

I found the leveling quite fun, gearing up was lots of fun, however, the gear catch up felt bad after running mythics to be raid ready. I'm really enjoying the dungeons and mythic plus again. The raid I'm not impressed with, I'd even go as far as saying I haven't enjoyed it so far, I don't think its anything to do with mechanics, but the feel of the place and the storyline feeling lacking. At least with Ten, I wanted to go clear it after the storyline in Val. The neck is ok, I don't feel like I have to go farm ap like I did with my weapon. Rep isn't too bad, with wq's, missons, emissaries, contracts etc. Overall I'm enjoying most things apart from the raid. Islands are awful and so boring, to the point I don't want to do them anymore.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Fungi » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:57 am

I haven't played for a while till BfA hit, so in that respect I have a little more patience with the game. So far I'm not more or less impressed than I was with Legion. The balance of the classes is pretty lopsided and even the difference between specs in a class is off, but that happens every expansion.

What's going to be an issue:
- Azerite needed for upgrading items. If I get a good Azerite head/chest/shoulder, I will not be enthousiastic because I will need to level my neck for 3 more levels and then 4 more after that to get the last trait. That beforelast trait is usually not even worth it as a DPS, so that's like 7 levels before I get my 5 iLvl upgrade. Whoop-tie-fucking-do.
- Worldquest grind. Reputation needed to unlock things. VERY MUCH GREAT FUN. Seriously.
- Professions aren't worth it it seems. Costs way too much (if you don't have a gathering prof) to get either JC or Alch to max and the rewards for it are meh.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Aleila » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:17 am

Got to agree with a lot of Essa's points - the new features have been pretty underwhelming, and the prospect of grinding Revered CoA rep on every alt isn't a pleasant one. Levelling, WQs, Island Expeditions, Warfronts... all felt very lukewarm very quickly. For me this has all been buoyed by the novelty of playing a fresh toon, alts might not be so lucky :roll:

Azerite traits need to offer more breathing room imo; right now many specs are in a position of Haves vs Have-Nots where someone at your ilvl can sim 10-20% higher just due to the strength of their azerite pieces.

On the plus side I think the new AP hits the right balance, where it somehow feels meaningful to acquire yet not worth your time to grind :D

Ultimately, I've found the new M+ and raid content is worth the price of admission alone. I like Uldir's aesthetic, quite a unique feel from my experience, and some interesting mechanics for the xpac's first raid. New dungeons are fun and varied and look set to keep us occupied for a long time, thanks to M+ magic.
Erian wrote:The hub in Zandalar is awful beyond description: a 3D nightmare of stuff
I still prefer the look and feel of Zuldazar, it's quite stunning. But it really is obnoxiously inconvenient :lol:
I'm still playing ranged DPS, it's just that my range has dropped to 8 yards

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Korchinks » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:57 am

I'm a week or two behind the curve but so far to me it's more of the same, some good things some bad, the usual really. I found the best way for me to play is not to do any pre-expac research and generally make mistakes (wrong areas, then realise I needed footholds etc.....) and get on with it. Things I've not done include but not limited to (Arathi/war fronts, expeditions beyond the initial quest, levelling professions).

Given the choice to no longer support older graphics cards I expected to be amazed by the 'new' graphics, but that's conspicuous only by it's absence.

Context is everything:

Vanilla of course is what got me hooked, BC was a treat, Wrath was a peak of enjoyment for me (I had more time to play too which probably helped) - I disliked Cataclysm, Pandaland continued the downward spiral (mostly through the excessive grinding and killed the enjoyment of alt levelling) although this was recognised by Blizz and it got better toward the end. WoD I literally just hid in my Garrison and plodded on casually with a decent level of enjoyment. I really enjoyed Legion only exception was that I wished I could of raided regularly.

When I look back at it like that and then look at where we are today, it's doesn't feel groundbreaking or very new, compared to Legion, it feels like a side step rather than progress. However, like sitting in your favourite chair, I feel comfortable and happy playing BFA.

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Mehetabel » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:20 am

Overall, I'm enjoying BfA. :D

1. I've found questing and storylines to be fun (granted, I haven't finished Stormsong yet but I do agree it seems the weakest zone). I've particularly loved Drustvar and Nazmir (on horde side). Zones are beautiful, as always.

2. I insanely love Boralus, the look, feel and layout of it! As Fagan mentioned once, it reminds us a lot of Ankh-Morpork from the Discworld books. There are so many hidden places to explore and I know I haven't seen the half of it yet. I also have maritime blood so I have a soft spot for anywhere that has a harbour and boats! Along similar lines, Freehold is like a huge version of Booty Bay (my favourite classic town) and I'm sad there is no way to become "friendly" there and use it as an actual town.

3. Professions are great now. Compared to the horror story that was leveling professions in Legion, BfA is fantastic. The separate expansion feature is a huge improvement and so is the lack of dungeon quests (which made professions on alts a nightmare in Legion). The scrap feature is also useful when you have crafting profs.

3. Dungeons seem fun and varied. Some interesting mechanics on some fights and I particularly like the silly stuff like the greased pig in Freehold. Uldir also looks promising from the brief look I've had and the videos I've watched.

4. I'm currently reserving judgement on the Warfronts. It potentially has the chance to be good and I like the general idea of it.

5. Reputation grinds have been a bit of a pain (and still are as I'm not exalted with anyone yet!).

6. Island Expeditions. Now I actually enjoy these and find them quite fun. However, I do have issues with a) having to queue at the table and not through group finder, b) the insanely low drop rates for EVERY possible reward, no matter which difficulty you're on and c) the fact that Blizz didn't really seem to have any idea what to do with doubloons (making the current drops purchaseable would make the islands more attractive, I think).

7. Achievements and secrets. Two of my favourite parts of the game. Lots of fun achieves across the zones plus the usual rares and treasures. There has been a couple of good secrets so far too. Really enjoyed getting the pet and the cosmetic belt [Waist of Time]. :lol:

8. Pets. My number one thing in game, obviously! :lol: It's been a bit of of hit and miss. Lots more new pets compared to Legion, which is good, but fewer wild pets. Blizz also seem to be trying to use pets to coerce players into various content. There are 28 pets from Island Expeditions, for example, with one of the worst drop rates in the history of pet collecting. They've also taken the new stance of only selling reputation pets for the pet currency instead of gold. Overall, 5000 pet charms are required to buy all vendor pets (Pet WQ's give around 12 - 19), many of which are also gated behind quest storylines, most likely to slow people down and keep them doing content for longer. Quite a lot of single faction pets too, requiring people to play both factions (that's something I do by choice anyway though). Overall, my only complaint is the drop rate for the islands. It's brutal.
Erian wrote:All I can say is that alliance is lucky to have Boralus as a hub. The hub in Zandalar is awful beyond description: a 3D nightmare of stuff where the cooking trainer is a fp from cooking supplies, endless running up and down stairs, salvage yard a good 30 seconds riding away from the Inn (great Seal), and the mission table a fp and a long ride from the Great Seal. Plenty of comments about that on horde US forum if you care to look.
I hate hate hate the horde hub!! I'm leveling my horde rogue at the moment and that place is an absolute NIGHTMARE!. Constantly getting lost, and like you said, everything sooo far apart. Did I mention how much I hate it there??

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Re: One month in - BFA impressions

Post by Essa » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:33 am

My main gripe is *inhales*:


Seriously though, I predict that they'll tie it to another new rep grind instead of an existing one. That'll really be a low blow.

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