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Regional Flag“It’s Just a Cosmetic Appearance” 3Source
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Kittsuera
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#1 - 2017/03/02 04:59:00 AM
Because the first two hit cap.

1
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753260749?page=1

2
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753191060#post-1

Original post by Thanellious
Something’s been bothering me a little, lately, with both the most recent Q&A session and a couple of prior forum posts from Blizzard. Specifically, statements that have been made that imply the WoW team thinks unlocking appearances doesn’t really “count” as a form of progression when compared to the more “power-based” side of progression.

In other words – they seem to think that getting an ilvl920 trinket is much more important than unlocking an appearance to a player, with reasoning of “because of course it is.”

Now, of course the game needs power progression – this isn’t a complaint about raiding. But I’ve admittedly been a little surprised at how deeply the idea seems to be ingrained at Blizzard that people aren’t playing the game with customization-based rewards as their primary motivator.

Personally speaking, I haven’t raided “properly” since the Lich King version of Heroic Naxx(!). There are a few reasons for that, but one of the primary reasons is that I found raiding too unrewarding in the long term. The gear you spent 6 hours a night raiding for is close to worthless 6 months later – the “power” side of progression is very temporary.

And again, that’s just fine! But obviously I’m still playing the game. And if I had to pinpoint a specific reason I still play, character customization would have to be what comes out on top. I enjoy unlocking the armour and weapons I get to unlock, and the new account-wide system with Legion has been a huge boon.

The important thing about appearance unlocks, though – whether it’s armour, or mounts, or whatever else – is that they’re really the only PERMANENT progression in the game. Your Mythic Siege of Orgrimmar stats will only be useful for so long, but getting an appearance is something that can stay with your character long-term while still being useful.

Psychologically, that’s very important. It’s the difference (to some people) between something being “worth the time” and something being “not worth the time.”

So now, in Legion, we have the artefact system – a system that bothers me on a few important design-based levels:

* It’s very heavily luck-based
* It’s very heavily time-gated
* It’s very heavily time-limited
* It’s very heavily alt-unfriendly
* It single-handedly bucks the overall system of unlocks that’s been in place since Vanilla

That last one is really the important one.

Legion will be the first expansion where the MAJORITY of weapon item appearances won’t be (by all accounts – happy to get some clarification, of course) unlockable by players after the expansion ends. The end result of that choice – and that choice alone – is that it places a HUGE amount of time pressure on people who use unlocks as their primary gameplay motivation.

Speaking only for myself here - there hasn’t been a point in the game before where I’ve felt like I was truly up against it for time on every single character I have. There have been other time-critical things the game’s had (raid-based mounts, challenge modes, etc) – but they’ve always felt like a side activity.

In Legion, because unlocks are my primary motivation for playing alternate artefact appearances have had to become almost my entire gameplay focus – and the time pressure involved makes it feel utterly exhausting to the point where the design choices involved feel almost openly hostile. There’s no “it’ll be nice to get that item one day” – it needs to be done now, or never, in basically every case.

So here’s what I’d like to suggest:

* Rethink the “end of Legion” time limit on appearance unlocks. It’s just plain player-unfriendly, and it’s counter to the way the game has worked with every other post-expansion period (with very few exceptions).

* Treat most raid-based “dropped” appearance unlocks like post-expansion raid mounts have been treated in the last couple of expansions (~1% drop chance).

* Allow raid-quest-based appearances to be gained beyond Legion (consistent with most pre-Legion legendaries).

* Make time-unfriendly criteria for appearance unlocks (100 dungeons, 1000 kills, etc) account-wide. Having to run 1200 dungeons is going to be next to impossible for some people, but unlocking a hidden appearance for each class and then running 100 dungeons sounds both time-consuming and – dare I say it – not like the insane time-sink expectation it is now.

* Make Prestige-based PvP artefact appearances account-wide unlocks. Someone who gets max Prestige is unlikely to have been able to do a lot more in terms of appearance-hunting on alts. Let them unlock their appearances on every class they have the artefact for, because they’ve sunk the time appearance-hunting just as long as anybody – just with less appearances to show for it!

Obviously I understand that not everything needs to be available to every player – but these changes would go a long way towards making some of the expectations Legion is putting on players who use customization as a gameplay motivation don’t get outright burned out, while also still allowing some players to have “rare” looks as a reward for extra effort.

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Community Manager
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#61 - 2017/03/02 11:46:00 PM
Cap upped on this one. Sorry about the last two!

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Community Manager
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#739 - 2017/03/21 08:53:00 PM
Thanks for all your feedback so far here - it's been a great read to get us thinking about some of these things.

First, I'd like to reiterate that we have not made any final decisions on how appearance unlocks will work in a post-Legion world, so any thoughts, discussion, feedback, etc. on that is appreciated.

When thinking about the 'Balance of Power' quest line, the intention is for it to feel similar to the Legendary Ring or Cloak quest lines from the past couple of expansions insofar that neither one of those can be obtained today, and both were time-sensitive achievements to show you participated in that expansion content wholeheartedly. This content generally has a lot of warning up-front on its removal to give players time to complete the requirements, and that will be true here as well if and when that decision is made.

With Legion, we decided to go with a cosmetic reward instead of an item that augments your power (mainly to balance the feeling of being a much weaker raid spot candidate), but it should still be and feel like a reward for players who actively participate in organized raid content.

It's worth noting that we've been making improvements over the course of Legion to help alts with these appearances (e.g. bad luck protection). For the hidden appearances, this was added in patch 7.1.5, so it's also good to note that this was not a retroactive addition - if you are a Guardian Druid looking for your Ursoc drop, and you've killed him 20 times, but only 3 of those were post-7.1.5, you wouldn't have a total of 20 kills of bad luck protection currently.

I think it's important that these achievements and their rewards feel prestigious overall, especially since cosmetics rewards are by no means "mandatory". We do think it's fine that some of these rewards take a lot of effort to earn over all.

I'll continue to follow along with the conversation here, so feel free to keep the feedback coming.

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Community Manager
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#746 - 2017/03/21 09:03:00 PM
03/21/2017 02:01 PMPosted by Pouncey
03/21/2017 01:53 PMPosted by Ornyx
Thanks for all your feedback so far here - it's been a great read to get us thinking about some of these things.

First, I'd like to reiterate that we have not made any final decisions on how appearance unlocks will work in a post-Legion world, so any thoughts, discussion, feedback, etc. on that is appreciated.

When thinking about the 'Balance of Power' quest line, the intention is for it to feel similar to the Legendary Ring or Cloak quest lines from the past couple of expansions insofar that neither one of those can be obtained today, and both were time-sensitive achievements to show you participated in that expansion content wholeheartedly. This content generally has a lot of warning up-front on its removal to give players time to complete the requirements, and that will be true here as well if and when that decision is made.

With Legion, we decided to go with a cosmetic reward instead of an item that augments your power (mainly to balance the feeling of being a much weaker raid spot candidate), but it should still be and feel like a reward for players who actively participate in organized raid content.

It's worth noting that we've been making improvements over the course of Legion to help alts with these appearances (e.g. bad luck protection). For the hidden appearances, this was added in patch 7.1.5, so it's also good to note that this was not a retroactive addition - if you are a Guardian Druid looking for your Ursoc drop, and you've killed him 20 times, but only 3 of those were post-7.1.5, you wouldn't have a total of 20 kills of bad luck protection currently.

I think it's important that these achievements and their rewards feel prestigious overall, especially since cosmetics rewards are by no means "mandatory". We do think it's fine that some of these rewards take a lot of effort to earn over all.

I'll continue to follow along with the conversation here, so feel free to keep the feedback coming.


Are you guys aware that what pissed off a lot of people about MoP's cloak and WoD's ring questlines was that they were, in fact, limited-time events?
I'm aware, but saying "limited time" here makes it sound like you didn't have the entire course of an expansion to do it.

This conversation came up around the end of Warlords as well (and I'm sure it did with Mists, but I wasn't here then), but our view on it still stands that those who are engaged and active throughout the expansion in all of its aspects are the ones who have the easiest time earning these items. That's not something we see as a problem.

Edit: As said, we are aware of those with many alts, and it's something we are keeping a close eye on!

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Community Manager
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#1042 - 2017/03/23 12:41:00 AM
Let's try to avoid arguing with each other here. I know it's a decision with two very different views, but devolving into fights isn't going to help this discussion. Let's focus on maintaining some semblance of constructiveness here, whether that be criticisms or otherwise.

As said, and just to get the point across, we have not yet made any final decisions on the post-Legion status of these things yet. This kind of discussion is super helpful for both myself and the development team. and I'd love to keep this going. :)