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Devs Backtrack & Disable Further Artifact Traits in PvP

Posted by Suzie Ford on Jan 10, 2017  | Comments

Devs Backtrack & Disable Further Artifact Traits in PvP - MMORPG.com

The World of Warcraft team is on full defensive mode after the rocky deployment of patch 7.1.5 with its massive number of class / spec changes, legendary overhauls, secondary stats realignment and more. Patch notes sent out yesterday contained numerous errors and several alterations to systems and classes that had not been seen on the PTR. Community manager 'Ornyx' apologized for the patch notes disaster saying it would "NEVER happen again".

Working as hard and quickly as we can to get the patch notes corrected. Sorry.

— Josh Allen ???? (@devolore) January 9, 2017

We generally don't make promises but I can 100% promise this will not happen again.

— Josh Allen ???? (@devolore) January 10, 2017

If that wasn't enough to set the team back on its heels, today's deployment with the additional 35 Artifact Traits enabled caused a massive outcry from the PvP crowd. These alternative progression paths for PvP players have been disabled for the entirety of Season 2 and may be re-enabled in PvP Season 3.

Ornyx took to the World of Warcraft community site to provide a "mea culpa" from the development team:

When Artifact Knowledge levels were low at the beginning of the expansion, we deactivated the 35+ Artifact Traits in instanced PvP to avoid having large power gaps when compared to players who hadn't made much progress on their Artifact yet.

In Patch 7.1.5, we added several methods that allow players to catch up their Artifact progression very quickly. Brand new players can advance up to Artifact Knowledge level 15 without any research time, and existing players can mail Artifact Knowledge Compendiums to alts, which immediately bring them as high as level 20. At this point, the power gap between a player with 35+ traits in their Artifact and a player just starting out is significantly less of a concern, as the gap can be closed very rapidly. For those reasons, we felt that Patch 7.1.5 was the right time to re-open Artifact progression to PvPers who had already earned the first 34 traits.

However, we did not communicate this change (and its purpose) with enough advance notice to allow players to effectively prepare for it. Furthermore, while the improvements in Patch 7.1.5 make it much easier to unlock those final traits for new players or alternate characters, they weren't available until today. While we still believe activating these traits is the correct choice for World of Warcraft PvP, the middle of an ongoing season is not the right time to make this change.

As of a few minutes ago, we've applied a hotfix that once again disables the 35+ Artifact Traits in instanced PvP on North American and Oceanic servers. In other regions, this hotfix will be applied with the patch. The 35+ Artifact Traits will remain disabled for Legion PvP Season 2.

Once Season 3 begins, we'll re-enable them.

You can read PvP player reactions to the entire messy issue in this forum thread.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom
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