One of the major flaws of BfA has been the Heart of Azeroth necklace and the azerite power grind that has gone with it. There are many flawed elements of the Heart of Azeroth system as a whole, so I’m going to just make one suggestion here. Please put a “hard cap” on the neck right now.
For the current patch, I was able to push my neck to level 80 two days ago. This unlocked the final “trait” in the necklace’s “tree,” which got me 3% more stamina. It was a great feeling to get that done this early into the raid tier. I felt rewarded for putting that effort in, which is a normal part of an MMORPG. That being said, the neck continues to level now, even though there are no other things that appear in the neck’s “talent tree.” Rather, leveling up the neck now just rewards a little extra passive stats each time it levels.
Can the WoW team please just put a hard cap on the stupid neck, or at least seriously take this into consideration for the next expansion? I’m going to assume that WoW will (sadly) continue with the “constant power grind” iteration, which began in Legion with azerite power. As someone who tries to do my best to help our raid team and empower my character, there is a desire to work on something as long as it can be worked on. By not capping things like legendary weapons in Legion, and now the legendary neck in Battle for Azeroth, players have that nagging feeling that they need to keep working on the AP grind. This is so bad for the game and its players, specifically its raiders. It really cheapens the game.
This is an incredibly frustrating thing to deal with in a MMORPG since there are so many other things we could be doing to enjoy the game. Players should be able to reach a hard cap and then focus on other things, like doing keys with guildmates, farming things (gold, mounts, transmog), playing the auction house, or heaven forbid working on alts. What a novel idea…
If you want players to continue grinding away at their necks (or whatever it is), then build a more rewarding, interesting, and fun system that empowers characters a lot. This would truly reward people who put the work in. Don’t tune raid content around these higher-end gains, either - let the people who achieve them become more powerful for doing so, and let the raid content become easier, even if it’s meant to be difficult mythic raid content.
I understand that financial decisions play more of a leading role than ever and that Activision is trying to manipulate players into logging onto WoW more often to increase certain metrics. However, there are other ways to achieve this with WoW and games in general. This whole “infinite leveling” thing is really, really uninspired and disingenuous. It’s really shameful to be honest, and it does a disgrace to this game’s incredible history.