Affixes are still unfun

[citation required]

I mean, aside from the part where I’m pretty sure almost all affixes can be translated into clear numbers in some way - the most impactful affixes (which is a reason why they activate at +2, reflect on score, and rotate weekly, and other affixes revolve around them) in the game currently are Tyrannical and Fortified, which are literally blanket numbers adjustments.

Not to mention that it’s pretty questionable to call several affixes “another level of difficulty”, or “another level of complexity”, given that they’re neither.

And not to not to mention that just because any X% of people like lazy design (whenever you get to citing that), would not change whether it is lazy design, or change the criticisms of said lazy design. AFter all, design that people supposedly enjoy can also be improved.


Go look at the amount of people playing M+, go look at the playerbase of other games that are adding affixes who are almost all saying they are looking forward to it, just pay attention to the people who actually play the game rather than people who just want to complain.

And they add more things into a dungeon, ergo making it more complex given you have more things you have to focus on and more things to take into account when running a dungeon. if you want to say its lazy game design then dont play that content is what it boils down to, but there are plenty of people who actually have valid criticisms and work with companies to try and make things better, rather than whining and seeking attention like certain people.

Usually players welcome affixes in an existing game to extend a positive experience they are already having. Affixes are a popular means to facilitate that end because of development cost/value and (in theory) some degree of compartmentalization of systems (the ability to switch/modify one side of the dungeons-affixes equation without affecting the other).

Pivoting for a second… in WOW there was a developmental paradime shift around WOD and I don’t want to go too far down that rabbit hole but as a result development became less about creating and nurturing a gaming experience and more about breaking down the game in to parts and seeking economically driven like outcomes, minimum development resources producing maximum game content.

The result of this is modern WOW content can be viewed as a collection of systems stacked on each other; base content, class design, reward systems, affixes etc. Each patch the layers/systems get a spin and where they land in relation to each other dictates a players experience and sometimes it aligns in to a really horrid experience, the type that has gamer’s asking “why would you ever design this?”

The answer is they didn’t because the type of game design player’s have in mind isn’t happening or at best is an after thought. The current paradime is driven by data analytics, validated by “meaningful choices” etc, the idea that providing a choice is in itself value, versus outcomes, etc . It’s problematic paradime!

To Bliz credit they are dealing with this better in DF. They are listening and seeking to improve things in real time. This is an improvement for sure but there is a constant feeling like the best version of the game is never now but 2-3 patches in the future.

Anyway the point of this long and somewhat convoluted post is that the affix system is not itself the problem. We could have had a completely different mechanism for extending the life of dungeons over the last 7 years and it would probably be facing the same issues affixes are having right now.

That is not to say there are not improvements to be made. I personally would love to see many things happen, many ideas explored, but it isn’t going to happen. There is a real disconnect between the way this stuff is being put together and the way the bulk of people play the game. Until there is a better alignment the same issues will keep reappearing.

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You mean the dwindling numbers of players…? Or the petitions to remove them? Or all the streamers of high end players, content creators and articles who have vehemently called them garbage/unfun and made a case for an overhaul?

Calling affixes loved is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read. At best, they’re barely tolerated.

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I like affixes and I wouldn’t even go that far. I can’t even recall a week in recent memory where at least one person I’m friends with didn’t groan at the combination.

Afflicted/incorporeal are almost at the doorstep of feeling rewarding to deal with, if they weren’t so class exclusive.
Even explosives would’ve been fun if the spawn rate was capped.

But loved?
“Oh boy, it’s spiteful this week! Can’t wait! Let’s gooo!” - no one ever.
Which is sad, because it’s like our expectations have dropped so low, we’ve forgot that a game absolutely should make players feel that way.

I feel like not enough people substantiate why they don’t like affixes, but I don’t mean to point fingers at anyone in particular. I find it hard to say affixes are guilty of anything unique, relative to mechanics inherent to the dungeon, especially right now. All of them have been made pretty simple and frictionless for the majority of players. The affixes fairly reflect situations you’d already find inside the dungeons and feel purely supplemental.

That being said, there’s definitely valid criticism toward them. I can understand why people would rather see dungeons made harder as a baseline instead of having the affix combinations; something I’ve seen suggested a few times now. I hesitate to call affixes in their current state “lazy,” per se, but there’s more to be done about the situation, for sure.

I think it’s also unfair to say people are merely attention seeking, I don’t think that’s been demonstrated here. If there’s one problem I’ve had in my experience in this thread, it’s the lack of charity toward others.

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I’m very torn on the design. I personally like both affixes, but I think I do dislike the heavy-handedness and would prefer all classes have fair ways to deal. I’d like more design in the realm of choice, especially since mythic plus is built entirely on replay value.

Haha, you’re not wrong. To be fair, I don’t think any of these are supposed to entice you to play, much like no boss or trash mechanic has ever been the specific reason I want to play the game. It’s always been very much, “what crap do I have to deal with this time?” The fun isn’t necessarily the mechanic, it’s more earning the success by engaging with the learning curve. At least, that’s how it’s been for me.

I think I disagree there. At least to my understanding the goal of affixes is supposed to be to add challenge and to add variety from week to week. And a lot of the affixes miss the mark at both of those objectives.
With volcanic and storming especially, a lot of the time there isn’t really any counterplay involved. With things like visual ground clutter and spell effects, or not having any real room to maneuver, you spend a lot of the time just having to soak them. I can not see how that brings flavour OR challenge. It’s just constant irritation for the sake of it.

Some seasonals in the past have done a great job of adding both challenge and making the dungeons more interesting and a lot of them were well loved. So we already know that affixes players look forward to engaging with is perfectly feasible.

But Blizzards “Random b****** go!” approach just adds very minute challenge and variety at a huge cost of enjoyment and player engagement and it’s just not worth it.

It’s absolutely not hard to make a game difficult. Any game designer can achieve that. Difficulty is irrelevant if no one wants to play your game in the first place though. It’s making a game hard in a way that players enjoy that takes skill and creativity from the designers.
And the fact that Blizzard have proven that they can do this but openly stated that they’re just simply choosing not to is why I call their design philosophy lazy. Because they know creative affixes take effort, not because “wE dOnT wAnT 13s tO feEl haRdEr thAn a 14”
Urgh, spare me Ion. You can tell you used to be an attorney.

There is way too much discussion in this thread about a feature that clearly needs to be removed entirely.

Nobody wants to play the Affixes. Everyone wants to play Dungeons.

Complexity should be more in class design and rotation execution, and less in the combat mechanics. This would reward long term players of a character, and it would make it easier to get into new content or different endgame pillars since the burden of knowledge would relate to the class and spec, which is a more transferrable skill.

The only thing I like about affixes is that they bring value to some otherwise underutilized abilities - but that can just be solved in the encounter design space, Once the encounter designers are not hamstrung by oppressive affix mechanics potentially ruining their plans.


Another valid reason I despise affixes. There’s always garbage interactions with preexisting mechanics.
The amount of times we’ve seen affixes adjusted with hot fixes due to this just shows how little they test anything and they’re just tossing affixes into the mix so they can call it a day.
There are barely enough dispels available to deal with the dispels required, let alone on afflicted weeks. Why on earth did Blizzard add such a long cooldown if they wanted the players to have to deal with this much dispelling?

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Affixes are garbage and they always have been. I never get any excitement from looking at what affixes are for a particular week, even if they’re easier ones. I don’t like them and I never have. The only affixes that are fun are good seasonals and blizzard hates those because making something fun goes against their philosophy I guess.


I’m with this guy.

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And where did I say that affixes were loved? I said people enjoyed them, which a lot of people do. If you are calling for balances to the game based around the top 1% of players then you understand nothing about game balances.

I agree there are definitely valid criticisms towards affixes and the specific affixes that are in game, I also agree there are valid criticisms towards the game as a whole, but if you cant actually substantiate an argument as to why you dont like them further than “lazy game design” then I think its time you just accept you dont like that form of content and move on, the game physically can’t be balanced around every single players wants, thats just the truth of mmo’s.

And I am more than willing to accept peoples criticisms towards the game but if you just keep repeating the same point without any thoughts added or just regurgitating “well high level players say this” then you should just stop playing for a while and actually take a step back and decide if the game is for you, its perfectly fine if the game is not for you, but dont try and make it everyone elses problem and basically say “the game isnt balanced around me so its bad”.

I think it’s fair to say they add extra variety & challenge; definitionally so. What I think you’re hitting at here, that I actually super agree with, is the absurdity of the floor devolving into a nearly unintelligible Jackson Pollock painting. At some points, the extremes are simply too much. I have a problem placing the blame squarely on the shoulder of affixes, since the dungeons are equally, if not more, guilty. A solution to this is simply a more focused design. You seem to want a better measure of obstacle; something more curated, or fair. Regardless of my taste for affixes as they stand, I support that.

This could be true. I actually look back fondly on the Obelisks from BFA and have been less enthused with seasonal affixes since their departure. However, did everyone find this fun? I’m sure we could look at the numbers and come to a conclusion based on metrics. Assuming more keys were run, you might insist on the seasonal affix being the primary reason for the greater success, but I don’t think it’d be that simple. Personally, I think the purportedly low participation in keystones is a symptom of greater issues because it seems to be so in other areas. That being said, we could see a more organized and supplementary challenge born from the ashes of seasonal affixes. Instead of mere combinations, we could have multiple, extra layers added that actually belong together or complement each other.

While supportive, I do have a problem with this. Enjoyment isn’t exactly measurable. Like, how do you even begin to gauge this? The closest measure is by majority, but that’s arguably the path that’s lead WoW one degree of separation from disaster. You’re absolutely right, in that it takes all the skill and creativity in the world to make fulfilling content, but the problem with your framing is that it’s solely up to the developers. Entertainment is derived, but it’s not quite inherent to content consumed. Just look at engagement with Dragonflight. For all intents and purposes, this expansion is a fine list of changes players have been asking for since modern WoW came into full swing with Legion, yet no one’s playing it. I’d wager this is more due to perception of the game and the company.

You can fairly say you, yourself, do not find affixes fun. You can say others reportedly do not find them fun, but this is hardly a consensus. Let’s not minimize the difficulty of acquiring the best information here. This is especially true when you take into account their process of design and how it relates to feedback from players. The lion’s share is built on a simulacrum of the playerbase from years ago because they’re engineering content in advance to keep their schedule; a necessity for keeping everyone content. This is why I hesitate to refer to their design as lazy. If the game was solely mythic plus, I’d be right there with you, but we both know there’s so much more going on.

Hang-ups aside, I agree with some of this and would also like to see improvements. I’d be foolish to say that affixes are at their peak as they are. Blizzard can always do better.

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I think people “say” they want the dungeons to be harder baseline and then will be the first crying about their bricked tyrannical key when they are stonewalled a boss.

I think people ought to engage in more introspection and come to a better understanding of why they feel the way they do. Not just regarding WoW, but in all aspects of their life. Part of this is removing yourself from the material causing you issues. That’s absolutely valid advice, which I echoed earlier in the thread.

Part of the problem is they just might not be able to fully articulate why they feel a certain way, but it’s still good for them to air it out. If they’re conceivably wrong, someone in our shoes can come along and give push back. This a valuable process. Even if we’re dealing with repetitive feedback, it gives a latecomer like me a chance to engage and see what I make of it. Perhaps other, better conclusions could be drawn. Either way, I think both sides could benefit from a little less obstinance, which seems to be the theme here.

Ah, jeez, you’re really making me ride the good faith line with that one. Undoubtedly, yeah, there would absolutely be people like that. I don’t think I get that feeling about anyone I’ve argued with in this thread, at least.

I think the core of that argument is ultimately cohesion. They want the mechanics to complement each other, rather than feel mashed together. I personally like the chaos of mythic plus, but I can understand why this would disturb someone who wants a more structured challenge. Though, I think there’s something to be said that people are pushing into the 30’s of keystones, despite the supposed unfairness of affixes. Is it really accurate to say the system is dysfunctional when people are achieving the same depths they always have? I’m sure someone would gleefully bring up the Exodia comp, but then we’re in the realm of class balance and away from affixes again. I don’t think the argument ever stays on affixes, despite everyone insisting they’re the problem. You might see people criticize single affixes, but they can never articulate what’s wrong with them as a category. There simply isn’t a principled argument there, except asking Blizzard to improve the system by virtue of always being able to do better.

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Ask yourself this.

Have you ever seen a content nerf that wasn’t praised?

Players will never stop asking for things to be nerfed.

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