What was Blizzard thinking?

I don’t play WoW for 5 years now. Sure I’ve learned about the new things, but the little changes eluded me. However Azuriel wrote two parts of using old methods to make gold in WoW. My initial idea was “I could do better” and convinced my GF who is still playing to utilize some forgotten alts to make gold.

You will hear about what was found, but that’s not the story here. That story started with a lvl 100 boost of a Highmountain Tauren bank alt. The boost was given free long ago and was not needed. So the lvl 20 tauren – who had no Highmountain questline whatsoever, was just dumped to Orgrimmar got the boost and completed the Legion intro questline (the one that ends with the death of the king and the coronation of Sylvanas). After that she went to the dark portal to do the Draenor intro quests to get her garrison.

Then came the surprise. Despite sporting in Legion gear and being lvl 100, the mobs died slowly. As you can see on the picture, the monster gets 2-400 damage from pets despite having 10000 HP. Sure, main abilities did more, but still the time to kill is around 20 seconds.

The monsters are also lvl 100, with the elites being lvl 102. How? When Draenor opened, people just left Pandaria as lvl 90. They sure didn’t face lvl 100 monsters!
It turned out, they still don’t. But the monsters automatically level scale. So despite being in an old content, the questing pace is normal. This is pants on head retarded. What’s the point of gear and level progression if the same monsters scale with you. Sure, there was always a threadmill in MMORPGs that you get better gear and levels just to face stronger monsters, but that gave a sense of progression. But this?! The Draenor questline took more time than the Legion. I’d say the monsters were even overtuned.

I have serious trouble understanding what Blizzard was expecting with this. Who they were trying to cater to? Who welcomed this change? I’ve never heard anyone saying “hey, old monsters I kill for some vanity achievement are too weak”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I personally disagree. I disagree with lot of things in WoW, hence I’m not playing. But I always understood why they did those things and who they catered to (always the morons and slackers). But I doubt that the M&S is celebrating that they have to slowly kill old monsters for their vanity nonsense.

This was just dumb.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

10 thoughts on “What was Blizzard thinking?”

  1. It’s quite bad these days. Blizzard listened to the people who cared about a more difficult leveling experience – “Oh no, the 8-year old quests have gone grey before I seen the map!” – and this is the result. It’s not as though there weren’t already mechanics by which players could choose their questing experience either, e.g. heirlooms for those that want everything done 50% faster. One size fits all. Even “better,” mobs continue scaling up at max level based on your ilevel. You will scale past them overall, but it still feels terrible.


  2. If you think this eliminates achievement from the process, you are correct 😀
    The long view on this would be complete elimination of levels as a concept in MMO.
    A rather wild experiment, to be sure. However, imagine how many MMO design problems would be solved if only Blizzard found a way to remove the idea of “level” from the player’s concept of “in-game achievement”.
    Too bad this little thing called “reality” is going to get in the way 🙂


  3. This one is easy: instead of funneling everyone through the same quest hubs while leveling, it is now non-lineair. Mostly to prevent choke points on launch, but also to make quest content and its rewards level appropriate no matter where you go. Note that gearing up eventually DOES mean you still outlevel the content; just not while leveling.


  4. I must say, though, the fact that Blizzard remains capable of such experiments is a very good thing to see indeed. They will probably fail, but WoW finally failing at this point is definitely not a bad thing 😀


  5. S0 how it actually works:
    Mobs scale in brackets, so basically all WoD mobs scale 90 to 100 (or 90 to 110 could be possible but I don’t think they did that). The goal is to allow you to level in any zone and not have you outscale the quests, so you can stick to a zone and complete the story if you so wish.
    Scaling is definitely not on point at times.

    Azuriel is conflating 2 different issues, namely level scaling and slower leveling. I agree with him on slower leveling, this was not needed and is annoying as fuck, personally I would prefer faster leveling. This is completely unrelated from level scaling though. Level scaling allows you to level whereever you want in your bracket, like Cataclysm and Pandaria zones both scale to 90, and I quite enjoyed being able to skip panda land. You still outgear mobs for achievements, since the scaling stops at a point, and you get massively increased damage to lower level mobs at max level.


  6. I hoped for a more intelligent post than echoing of WoW General Discussion forums.
    You didn’t mention the average ilvl of the character and the raid in Warlords of Draenor where items with a similar ilvl drop, so by locking XP and improving gear mobs will die faster.
    But, indeed, there’s a slight problem with the implementation of scaling – with “reasonable” gear for the character’s level(maybe the ilvl of items dropped 10 levels before) mobs need to die within 10 s, and “outstanding” gear (last raid in the previous expansion, with the character’s level not exceeding previous expansion) would allow defeating the NPCs in, for example, 3 s.


  7. I have serious trouble understanding what Blizzard was expecting with this.
    GW2 copycat. gw2 is the same from the start untill the end-game. the leveling is more or less a intro to the overall GW2 mantra/theme. not mobs level up but you downlevel to the zone (so do your stats)


  8. I love the new changes. They were probably aimed squarely at people like me, who actually like levelling and questing (world quests is also a very nice nod to us). While I appreciate that most people don’t want actual challenges while levelling (even if I do), the old system was ridiculous. Mobs oneshot, quests grey half a zone after they become available (often before you could progress through a zone to unlock said quests), just generally an entirely different experience to levelling through the latest expansion. Here’s some anecdotes on problems this fixed:

    – during WoD I levelled a monk, when I hit 80 I went to Vash’ir, because I love that zone (yes, I know lots of people hates it, but I’m not the only one that thinks it’s enchantlingly beautiful). I did not jump to the next zone when I hit 82, but just continued in Vash’ir to see the story again. I hit 85 at the start of abyssal depths (ie, I blew through the entire Cata level range in 2/3rds of a zone) and the “low level mobs” mechanic hit in and everything was oneshot. That’s actually more tedious than it was, because now I can’t make the mobs come to me anymore, I have to run over to every single one of them if I want to loot them. This is fixed by the new system, Vash’ir is relevant until 90 if I want to.

    – When Cata hit I made a Worgen fury warrior to test the new race and the new levelling experience. I started out in heirlooms, but dropped them because quests were grey halfway through a zone. In level appropriate greens I still oneshot everything, meaning that the core gameplay (chaining together a rotation) was missing, and I’m just a tourist running around. Finally I just put on all white gear. Now it felt about right, or at least a little.

    At some point max level wow was boring, so I made a new Death Knight to see the Wrath zones again. No heirlooms this time (I kept a set in my bags for dungeons, because otherwise I’d just run after the rest of the party wielding the equivalent of foam weapons). Still no rotation or anything, just a single Oblit or Scourge strike and anything died. So I dumped the questing greens and went back to the DK starter gear (not the blue gear from the DK zone, but the greens you get when you create the character). Halfway through Icecrown mobs stopped dying to a single gcd and I had something approaching gameplay again.

    When the new levelling system hit I made an Elkbear (Highmountain druid) and levelled it to ~63 (until I got to the Taun’ka, they just bore me to tears for some reason). I loved it. I found nothing that was similar to the complaints people spammed online, maybe they were talking about higher levels?

    There are corner cases, one of which you found, where the system bugs out. This may be because they wrote an algorithm to delevel things, instead of going over everything by hand. I believe that the max level for a zone is tuned around dungeon gear, or probably just gear from the next expac which means your character goes from good gear to crap the second you ding an even level. Maybe they should give you the “old content” buff when you should switch zones (60/80/90/100/110) – instagibbing everything is still better than spending a minute per mob, even for me.


  9. It could also be motivated by cash grab.

    Sure, the “I wanna level forever” crowd likes the consistent leveling experience given by the fact that you can’t out level leveling content… while leveling. Except of course, many will buy the heirlooms and complain anyway (lol.)

    But people interested in the end game will be annoyed, especially since classes change so often you need a damn stable of them just to have one you still like. The suits might be thinking: “These people can just buy a level up in the cash shop.”

    Of course, that will blow up in their face.


  10. Scaling zones were introduced with the beginning of Legion (to prevent chokepoints, as already mentioned) and were rather well recieved, as far as I know. People were suggesting to change old zones to the same scaling system for quite some time before the change was implemented. What noone asked for was the increase of exp required to level along with nerfs to heirlooms and the removal of existing ways to boost exp gain (e.g. https://www.wowhead.com/item=128312/elixir-of-the-rapid-mind).
    The overwhelming amount of complaints was aimed rather at this slower leveling speed than the loss of achievement by having enemies scale with your level. I’m not saying this new system is great, it has A TON of issues (itemization until level 80 being the biggest mess imaginable, messed up scaling making mobs suddenly op, new players without heirlooms having the worst leveling experience one can imagine). But personally I do enjoy the freedom of choice, where to level my alts, it allows me.


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