There were a number of changes to Island Expeditions in the Tides of Vengeance content update. Now that they have been live for several weeks, we wanted to take a moment and get your thoughts on them. It can be about anything you have experienced but here are some questions to open things up: How have the changes felt? Have things improved? Has anything gotten worse? What rewards have you been getting?
If you haven’t tried Islands out at all since the latest content update, before commenting please go ahead and try out a few and let us know what you experienced.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and Happy New Year!
Only tried for one week on one character. I know it’s not much but 4 runs on heroic… first three runs only got the basic Azerite reward and the 4th got a quest and 10 dubloons.
After the first three runs being empty handed, I begrudgingly did the 4th. There’s still massive ratio strain with IE in that we’re doing a not fun activity for next to no reward. You should at least guarantee a small amount of dubloons every IE so it at least feels like we’re making progress towards something. Based on my very little experience and what I’m seeing online, pet/toy drop rates are still very low.
IMO you can keep the low drop rates but everything should also be up for purchase on the dubloon vendor and with a steady and predictable dubloon rate it’ll get more people to consistently do IE (e.g. keep them on a continuous reinforcement schedule instead of a very thin intermittent reinforcement schedule).
Now that I’ve gotten my 1000 pets by purchasing several IE pets from the AH, I have next to no desire to continue doing any IE because of how few and far between the rewards are.
Everything still does far too much damage, and too many mobs have too much random CC that is incredibly annoying. The enemy team seems far more persistent than they used to be, and there is no benefit to killing them multiple times they are just super annoying.
The rewards still don’t seem to be granted often enough. I admittedly avoid or do the bare minimum for islands because I don’t enjoy them but I don’t get the random drop stuff very often at all. It would be nice to see more stuff on the vendor.
A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS
Solo versions seem like it would be nice
I wish there were mini game type events scatted on the island, like Kirin Tor or the Brew Delivery thing we had on Broken Shore
I feel like overall isle expeditions are better. They are quick, relatively easier, although some mobs hit harder than they should like basilisks (on heroic they almost one shot me at ilvl 373). I have been having better luck getting toys and battle pets, but no luck on mounts yet. I still feel like the biggest problem with isles is that randomness of the awards. I feel like we should be able to work toward specific things we want like the parrot and dragon mounts, even if it costs a whole lot of doubloons, but still have an option of it dropping while we do isles. Treasure maps are suppose to help that in theory but It’s just still WAY too random to get things specific players want (maps I have only been getting gold, AP, or titan residue) , and I feel that’s still the achille’s heel of this design with isle expeditions, and I hope to see it addressed further either with an idea like mine or something similar. I wouldn’t mind seeing treasure maps have a higher chance of dropping those rare things too.
Islands would feel so much better if blizzard shifted the randomness of doubloons from either you get a bag of them or not to making them guaranteed, but making just the size random and the doubloon perk increasing the chance at more doubloons.
Secondly add more items to the vendor whether it’s the mounts or rep items whatever give us more of a purpose of something to target that isnt a water mount, it’s fine to keep the mounts as a random drop but atleast let them be targetable through the vendor to give the vendor more use.
Third, please let us queue for islands away from the table already this alone would be a nice change.
The rewards still feel kind of lackluster (just as an example I’ve ran 15 islands this week and gotten about 5 items.)
Another issue is the fact that they seem to scale with item level, so rather than it being fast/more fun with a group of friends, they’re increasingly frustrating unless you’re doing super coordinated pull the entire island + use the items to one shot the packs. (They really shouldn’t scale with avg item level in the group in the first place)
The rewards are still mostly pets and quest items for AP, it would still be nice to have some sort of way to “chase” an item you really want rather than hope for RNG to bless you with it or to just sell the other stuff you get for money to just buy it. Doesn’t feel rewarding at all.
After doing lots of Expeditions I only got some sugestions to make them a little bit more enjoyable.
Add a Diminishing Return to the Mobs and Enemy Faction NPCs, some times when you pull the Azerite Spiders and mess-up you get permanently disoriented because of the chain-cc they continously do. That is an small example but there is also other mobs than do that, Basilisks with their stun, Pigmies with their disorient, etc.
Dublons should be guaranteed on a victory, maybe a small nerf to quantity earned overall but you should get something else other than only Azerite on a win.
Rotate a vendor that sells Expedition-only drops, like the Ethereal from Legion. Maybe he sells some Toy and Transmog one day, the other he sells a Mount and something else, etc. Keep the other vendor, but that rotating vendor could be useful for people that get screwed by RNG.
Nerf the DK/Monk/Hunter Alliance Team, the DK is literaly the most annoying NPC, we just ignore him if he is attacking us after killing the other two because he self-heals a lot… literaly a lot.
I got nothing else to add other than they are really fun with the latest changes, but would love to see some of the things I just mentioned added or fixed.
I’ve gotten some green gear, some repeated cloth bracers, etc. A tad lame, imo.
Overall I understand the gameplay of the islands, but the reward structure has to change. You guys should’ve implemented an actual Reward Path to the island - I’m just a Shadow Priest trying to get a Twilight Drake mount, yet I have to pray heavily to the RNG gods of the isles to grant me a chance for the invasion, THEN a chance for the mount, and it’s all too random.
You see, with every island, there’s not a chance that I will get the reward I want - no, there’s just this big fat chance of being disappointed with the reward.
But, with a reward path implemented, I can work towards what I want. And no, the doubloons vendor isn’t it, because it has no reward that I want.
The scaling and difficulty seems to be way off. Being one shot for being rooted while standing in an aoe is silly.
Also whoever thought 5+ second stuns, disorients, fears, etc were okay, they aren’t. It’s a PvE experience and I prefer being able to play my character rather than die because I can’t do anything in a 12 second unavoidable blind.
Difficulty is bad, new design is fine, rewards are also fine.
They seem better but the enemy AI is just persistently annoying. The upgrades being gated behind islands also is quite annoying. Make it 3 instead of 5 and maybe consider making the upgrade requirements account wide. This is pretty bland content for the most part and with not much motivation to do them it seems like alts could be missing bfa upgrades (on the ship) just because it doesn’t seem worth it to run islands. AP this time around is not much of a motivation to run islands. Maybe instead of AP as a weekly you could have a choice of reward (AP, Gold, War Resources, Titan Residuum etc.) instead of a random war table mission.
Can you also look at how the enemy team AI acts? The insane amount of CC from them is just excessive. I understand this should be somewhat of a challenge but if I want PvP islands I would do PvP islands.
I’ve done more IEs than nearly everyone I know. I have all the doubloon purchasable pets and the albatross mount.
I hate that nothing I can do influences loot now. Your 8.1 changes were well intentioned but now there’s no feeling of “Oh! I see a Mogu, let me run over there and kill it so maybe I can get the mount!” now it’s just “Oh, there’s Mogu on this island.” and it doesn’t matter. It’s all just RNG on RNG on RNG.
I enjoyed getting my albatross because I earned it. I could see the progress being made as I saved up my coins. But bashing my head against the wall over and over and over for the past, what, four months hasn’t resulted in a quillen or parrot or bat. Just random pieces of transmog, banks full of pet duplicates, and a single mount.
I’ve basically moved on at this point. I do the minimum number I need per week to get the follower mission, am inevitately disappointed when it offers me a currency I don’t care for (residium? I don’t even care enough to look up the proper spelling) or 5k gold. And then I forget about the content for another week.
IEs are the most transparent skinner box I’ve seen this side of the Legion Paragon caches. Grind and grind and grind and grind and maybe one day you’ll get the thing you want. It’s one thing to go into fight Midnight in Kara and not get a mount. I knew what I was getting (or not getting) going in. It’s another thing entirely to load into an IE, end up in Verdant Wilds instead of the one I wanted and go “Oh, well, there aren’t any yeti or pirates or mogu or WHATEVER here to begin with. This is a complete waste of time.”
Why the heck can’t I just pick which island we go to? Why limit the random choice to 3 if you want randomness anyways? Why do I need to be at the stupid table to start an island?
oh, and my Vicious War Riverbeast is still missing its /mountspecial. I’m never giving up on that.
Cosmetic rewards: Would be nice to have some more rare transmogs and pets along side more common ones. Personally I used to sell them and make decent amount of gold when I got those rare rewards but now it feels like all cosmetic rewards are very common outside of mount ones.
Doubloons: These should really be consistent and less random.
AP rewards: More AP for completing weekly and maybe less AP for single island completion. Personally I would be fine if it took like 7 heroic islands for a weekly instead of 4 if the weekly gave considerably more AP and just spamming islands was less AP efficient.
Island tuning: There are a lot of telegraphed attacks which 1 shot most players and even close to 1 shot tanks. This would be fine if a lot of monsters in islands didn’t have 5-10 second roots that you can’t avoid or get out of. Being cced isn’t fun, being rooted by a giant crab and then swiped for half your HP is less fun.
Certain telegraphed attacks are very hard to see and are very quick from some invaders. For example certain telegraphed attacks are hard to see on the frost covered floor when frost elementals invade.
Casters and magic damage hurt too much compared to physical attacks. Some of the casts that hit really hard can’t even be interrupted.
Islands shouldn’t scale with average item level, or at the very least should scale at slower rate. This is an MMO-RPG with heavy focus on your character and its progression. As you get more gear you should feel stronger when doing all content. I think currently island ilvl scaling is too aggressive.
Without constant item level scaling. It would be okay if the base difficulty of islands went up with each raid tier / M+ season like Mythic 0 dungeons do. At least this way you feel stronger throughout the tier/season when doing islands.
Well, I feel like they’re still a chore you have to go through rather than something actually fun and engaging.
Island Expeditions would have been a fun experience from the start if it was focused on its PvP enviroment with solo Queues for it and whatnot, but it got wasted into a “world quest” side thing that you have to do once a week and be done with it, and these changes didn’t make it any different at all.
I have to admit though, that these changes indeed made Island Expeditions better, but they didn’t stop being a boring thing that you only do if you’re forced to, and the lack of weekly islands “world quest” for leveling alts made it so I don’t ever want to touch it if I don’t have to on my mains.
All-in-all I think a lot of potential was lost here, especially in the Solo Queue PvP department as Expeditions would’ve been a much fun and competitive game style that people could engage - Nobody is going to waste their time finding 2 other players to Queue for a casual match, but a lot of people would have queued for it solo if they could and if it was faster than Heroics.
I agree, they still don’t feel like proper content. Island expeditions are still boring and repetitive just like they were in 8.0. I’d love to offer some suggestions on how to improve them, but honestly i think the system is flawed to the core.