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Scaling Back the Power Gap by Nerfing AP Gains

Posted by Suzie Ford on Feb 16, 2017  | Comments

Scaling Back the Power Gap by Nerfing AP Gains - World of Warcraft - MMORPG.com

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has written a lengthy post on the World of Warcraft community forum to talk about missteps taken by the development team with regard to the final 20-point trait and the power gap it created between those players who had leveled an artifact to 54 and those who had not. The message is very clear: The team understands its mistakes and the fact that players who wished to compete in raiding guilds, felt obligated to grind AP to reach max level.

In an update coming soon to the PTR, a new system will be put in place to try to close the gap to ~1.5 - 3.0 and no more.

Instead, we are focusing on fixing the mistake of flat cost scaling at the end of the progression, and instead keeping the increases exponential throughout, while also strengthening Artifact Knowledge as a core pacing and catch-up mechanism. These changes should be visible in an upcoming PTR build. 

This is done with the primary goal of reducing the power gap based on time investment, while preserving Artifact Power as an endgame reward that everyone values. If the leaders in Artifact Power were only a few points ahead of a more typical player, rather than crossing the finish line when most were just leaving the starting blocks, players with less time to commit would not be as disadvantaged in competitive activities.

The second problem with our initial implementation was that repeatable sources of Artifact Power (Mythic Keystone dungeons in particular) dominated time-limited sources such as Emissary caches and raid bosses. The fact that a large portion of the community evaluates their Artifact Power needs using “Maw runs” as the unit of measurement is ample evidence of this failure. We very recently deployed a hotfix to increase AP earned from Nighthold in order to make raiding, with a weekly-lockout, better compare in efficiency to repeated Mythic Keystone runs. And in 7.2, we’re more thoroughly addressing this issue by adding a significant amount of AP to the weekly Mythic Keystone cache, while somewhat reducing (and normalizing based on instance length) the AP awarded by repeated runs. These changes are being made to narrow the gap in AP earning, and thus power, based on time investment.

The community that has responded to Watcher's post seems less-than-convinced that these ideas are the solution to the issue that has caused more than a few top Mythic raiding guilds to call it quits in the recent weeks, some even deciding to forego the current "Gul'Dan Kill" due to excessive fatigue.

You can read the full thread, and the community's response, on the World of Warcraft forum.

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