Look, I want to feel good about this expansion and I want to have a lot of hope for 8.1, because it’s becoming more and more apparent that the art team is pretty much carrying the entire team. And they’re just there to make money for Activision by milking a beloved IP, not create a world, so I’m leaving my expectations for 8.1 as low as humanly possible: if the patch notes aren’t in Chinese and I don’t have to give up my CC to apply the patch, I’ll be happy.
I’m not excited about anything but looking at the world without actually having to slog in it, and it makes me wonder if I would have been better off investing in the art book.
I’m not excited for new raids and instances because the class design and balance suck enough that it’s going to stomp out any joy I’m going to have with the learning process. I’m not excited to see what new properties are coming in M+ because it’s just going to be a cycle of ‘easy weeks’ and ‘no way in hell weeks’ because Blizzard can’t separate the traits in ways that don’t break peoples’ will to live. I’m not excited about the new gear because Azerite armor is utter crap when compared to the specialized nature of artifact weapons. I’m not excited with the clickbait storyline because it’s now approaching Jerry Springer-esque levels of shock value designed to see how much crap about Sylvanas I can swallow, and like the bunny with pancakes, I’m probably going to vomit when I find out what she did next, or maybe it’ll be Saurfang turning tail towards the Alliance, or maybe it’ll be how the Night Elves are getting worfed into next Tuesday. I’m not sure what’s next in the universal humiliation conga, but nobody on Azeroth is gaining anything that even resembles dignity. I’ve lost faith in the story-telling team to create anything that doesn’t involve using mass murder as a device and an emotional roller coaster designed to make us furious at our factions rather than proud of them.
Speaking of lost dignity, did I mention the broken promises behind the revamp of shaman and priests and how those vaunted “fix everything” solutions were a bunch of number tweaks that could have taken place within the first week because Blizzard can’t understand that turrets aren’t fun or viable, or maybe how prot warriors have needed Ignore Pain off the GCD since 8.0, yet they’re not going to see a fix for another three weeks while the Corgi Hallucinating glasses were hotfixed within hours because reasons? Or how DH continues to be the golden child of the devs? Or how after two years of completely tearing down the “simple, stupid, but popular” ranged SV build, the devs still haven’t been able to come up with a suitable replacement to what amounts to a four-button spec with a singular gameplay mechanic? Think I have any faith in the class devs who think they’re too good to take feedback and communication?
The new artwork, designs, and environments are the only thing I’m looking foward to, and the only black mark the art team is getting right now is the utter laziness behind the Nightborne, who are so ugly and lazily-slapped together that even the Nightborne NPCs don’t use Nightborne PC models. Right now, BFA is like this really pretty but vapid empty thing chained to an awful, ego-filled money-hungry mess that completely fails to live up to its promises, prides itself on its lack of understanding what makes things fun, gleefully lies about wanting to communicate with the player base by taking some sort of perverse joy out of maliciously misunderstanding the needs and wishes of its core audience, pissing them off and ‘owning them,’ then passive-aggressively blames the customer for not enjoying what is clearly a bad idea, then proceeds to fix it by giving us more of those bad ideas, wasting our time, money, patience, and good will, and continuing to not give a single solitary frag, just so long as they can complete their legacy when it’s very clear that a better job was done five years ago and they tore it all down ‘just because.’ My God, Battle for Azeroth is like the Melania Trump of expansions.
I dunno, maybe it’ll be better in 9.0 when the Horde goes through yet another warchief goes completely off the rails and the Alliance has to save the day…again. Whatever tired old setup served them so well in the glory days, I suppose.