Stop Punishing Players Who Have Dual Roles

The tier bonuses switched when you changed specs. That’s pretty much what we’re asking to happen with Azerite Gear.

If you want to switch within a spec to account for ST vs MT fights - then sure charge them to reforge.

But otherwise, treat the bonus like the tier bonus and primary stat on trinkets/shields/etc.

It’s a minimal change that’s consistent with recent past - was a great feature - and provides influence for players to take on needed roles like tank/healer.

What is the benefit that is being sought after that warrants restricting role changes to help the community fill roles that are needed?

Yeah, I never said that they weren’t meant to be farmed. Cherry picking, indeed. All I said is that some gear changes to match your spec, and others don’t. It’s an inconsistency, and that’s something that you can’t argue away as illogical no matter how hard you try.

Only if you change them in rapid succession. I have most of the fishing achievements, I am patient. :slight_smile: I also just kept replacing gear for several weeks so it didn’t seem worth it to commit to anything. That said, obviously we agreed things felt a little rough and that’s why the new gear coming in Tides of Vengeance will be a bit different.

Not everything is meant to be the same system. This is a different system. Similar in some ways to powering up separate artifact weapons, but different. While I mentioned we could simplify gearing and take all thought out of it, having some complexity for people to figure out, organize, and decide what is best for them is probably a good thing.

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Translation: you gonna suffer even more in Tides of Vengeance, because new ring contains traits that only work for one spec.

The fact that you have to go to third party sites or use simc to figure out what trait is better isn’t complex enough for you?


Just want to drop in and mention, Legion artifacts were more interesting than the Heart of Azeroth. (The artifact system as a whole was more interesting) That Heart of Azeroth thing is literally just a giant stat stick.

What was up with not giving the thing a trait web like Artifacts? Or something the players could interact with.

The namesake of the Azerite system is disappointingly… inanimate.

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We tend to do different things from expansion to expansion. This results in some things being better than others but we tend to want to avoid feeling like “yup, this is the best and only way to do it” and then doing the same thing for the next decade.

I mean… there’s only like 200 people (literally… ~200 people) who do all the work to find out which traits are best.

Are you one of them?

If you don’t care about min/max’ing (most players dont bother), there’s no issue. If you do care, WoW is one of the best games for finding this type of information.

But please, continue to read those guides the theorycrafters write.

Agreed only until Artifact level 35 (or Conc. unlocked). After that, both are boring. Legion might be a bit better overall, but both systems are bland pretty quickly.

Hopefully some of the information in this thread helps form a plan for gathering and using the new gear when it’s out.

I feel like that’s going off the path a bit. I have been doing that for a long time due to trinkets, comparing set bonuses to item level, and deciding the value of secondary stats for each spec. How is this different for you now?

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The problem with the Azerite system is that it’s both too simple and too complicated at the same time without really having the positives of either approach.

Where the simplicity is to the detriment to the system: There are no interesting choices to be made in the outer ring because you’re locked into either a generic trait that is supposed to be beneficial for all situations (but a lot of the times isn’t) and one that is spec-specific. And the traits are all so passive with little active interaction with the core gameplay, so you don’t really FEEL any power increase or changes to playstyle in the same way a major artifact trait or a new talent would have, or even a tier set bonus or non-stat stick trinket. All things the Azerite system was apparently meant to replace in some capacity.

And here’s where it gets complicated: With all the outer ring (and on epic gear, second ring) traits out there with such passive effects, the eye test isn’t a reliable way to tell which performs or feels better. That means needing to consult third party sites or tools like SimCraft whenever you change a piece just to see if you need to switch equipment, need to sacrifice better ilevel for a top trait, etc. Like I’m stuck using 345 shoulders still because the higher ilevel stuff I’ve been able to get to drop sims worse because of bad traits. This is awful as I’m a heroic raider and the one pair of raid plate shoulders drops from a single boss. Which haven’t dropped for me on normal or heroic. Mythic+ is currently a giant crapshoot thanks to only piece of Azerite gear, maybe, coming from a weekly cache.

It’s a clunky, non-intuitive system that I think misses a lot of marks in terms of fun design. A lot of the issues are being addressed in 8.1, which will hopefully make the system itself a lot better. But there’s so much wrong with the system at a basic design level that I can’t see these fixes making the system something I’ll have fun with. At best, it will be something I can tolerate. And with the system as it is now, it makes me a lot less interested in playing outside of raid nights.


I know I’ve beat a dead horse with this one, but I might as throw my thoughts in the hat. The Season 2 (with the extra ring) Azerite-system will hurt dual/tri specs tremendously because the new outer ring has spec-specific traits, effectively meaning Azerite is locked to spec. Mages (and pures in general) frequently swap specs between fights. So you can pick Glacial Assault (Frost trait), but it’s simply going to be beat by a helm with a way lower ilvl as Fire or Arcane because of the missing trait. We currently do not have this problem because the raid trait is really good all-around, but there’s no generics in the new outer ring, just spec-specifics. A solution would be to let us save each set of traits to a given spec.

Disclaimer: I’ve talked about this probably like 3 or 4 times before, but I feel really strongly on this matter, moreso than any other aspect of Tides of Vengeance. I think the per spec thing would be appreciated. You can still have multiple sets of gear since that one piece won’t be BiS for all 3 mage specs anyway, but it would be a much appreciated stop-gap. The new ring is akin to weapon relics (just a tiny bit more flexible because of the respec option)


Before azerite armor existed I rarely needed that. I would just equip enough tier pieces that have better secondaries (I can look up that once) and have higher ilvl and be done till next tier. Now every time I get azerite piece, i’ve to figure out numerous combinations of traits and theirs impact on other equipped gear (trait stacking anyone?). It has never been more complex than it is now.

But this thread isn’t about complexity anyway. It’s about azerite armor being locked to one spec for no good reason at all. Blizzard yet to provide good reason for locking it to one spec…

Add azerite armor availability (high ilvl, 385 at this time) issue on top of this, and this becomes even bigger problem.


Yeah that’s basically what my post was echoing. BFA did well about removing the significant spec-specific barriers that Legion had (Legos, spec-specific AP, and relics), and I generally feel it’s better for the game to have any of those options available to you. However, this new ring of traits is a step back in the wrong direction, and I really think just allowing a different loadout per spec would be received very positively, and it wouldn’t eliminate the desire to collect multiple sets at all (BiS traits, AOE/ST, etc). I’m very much against having spec-specific barriers that dissuade you from playing all the specs that your class has to offer. Having those options available opens up several more ways to enjoy the game and to be a useful member of your raid team.

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i like the idea of being able to switch azerite traits more fluidly ; but i’m still gonna dislike DH tanks :wink:


Its not an inconsistency, its what makes gear different. The devs can choose to make different mechanics. There is no rule that states, all gearing options must behave the same.

Its almost like…it was done on purpose.

I think some of the issue is that you provided us with a new system that wasn’t tested nearly as much as it should have been, with a lot of feedback being ignored during beta.

We take said system and find we want to use it one way, but you are telling us that way is wrong. Use it our way.

We keep telling you it doesn’t feel good or fun to use it your way, you keep telling us that its our way for now. You make some tweaks with the purpose of supporting you way without really considering our way.

At this point Azerite armor feels like its someones pet project that they refuse to deviate from their vision of it. No matter how much that vision is disliked by the community.

Honestly, what would be the downside of letting us switch traits with specs? We would still try to farm the best piece of each spec if we are serious about playing them. It would just prevent the feeling of having a worthless piece in that slot until then.

What is the benefit from restricting azerite armor like it is currently? In its current form I have absolutely no desire to even try to farm it. I just choose not to play my offspecs because of it.

In my opinion you wanted the constant grind that the artifact weapon provided, which by itself isn’t a bad thing. What you missed was the end game, the goal at the end. Legion was like climbing a mountain, you could see the goal at the end. BfA is like being stuck in a hamster wheel.

Its the carrot on a stick approach, only you forgot the carrot.


Earlier you mentioned how this system is similar to the past where we had to have different sets for different roles (such as with tier sets being spec-specific) and asked how this feels different from that. That’s a valid question and I wanted to address it openly and honestly in hopes that it will be a bit clearer and maybe something can be fixed or, at the very least, we don’t have a repeat of this in the future.

I main a healer, I have since around ICC. It’s what I prefer doing most of the time, but I do enjoy the other roles. Both my main (this character, my monk) and one of my other 120s, a Paladin, is able to play all three roles, and it’s something I take advantage of. During Legion, I only really had to worry about swapping trinkets and legendaries, both of which I feel are entirely reasonable. My tier bonuses would swap automatically, my gear set would swap and I’d be good to go.

Now, I have to worry about:
Weapons, trinkets, head, shoulders, chest.

It’s basically doubled the slots that I need to adjust every time I choose to play a different role. Which means that I need to keep:
Head, shoulders, chest, trinket(s), weapon(s) for Mistweaver, Brewmaster, Windwalker.
Except it goes further. As a Mistweaver, traits that I use in mythic+ often aren’t nearly as good for raiding and vice versa. For example, I never really want to use the Essence Font trait in mythic+, but it’s good to have for raiding, which means if I want to perform optimally, I need to keep pieces with those traits available. Which means I also have another gear set to manage and keep updated.

This goes for basically every spec. I remember it being mentioned that it’s expected we’ll hold onto different sets to swap between for different encounters and situations, so now those of us who play all three specs have to keep sets for each of those different scenarios in addition to trinkets and weapons.

As someone else mentioned, this frustration is further exacerbated by the limitations on the availability of high ilevel azerite gear. If I get a 385, I have to either decide to use it for only a single spec in a single build, or I have to be willing to pay every single time I want to change the traits, and I have no guarantee when I’ll get another piece to help manage that.

Basically the issue is that if you want to play your character optimally, you have to hold on to so many pieces of gear. Getting an upgrade can start to feel like more of a chore and a burden when you have to go reforge other pieces so that you can move your replaced pieces to fit into different roles, and it’s incredibly frustrating when you get that first high ilvl piece (whether it be your first 340, 355, 370 or 385) and want to use it for your main spec, but it has traits that are optimal for your other, less played spec(s).

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent here, but bear with me. You know what’s frustrating as a healer? Seeing the Call to Arms bonus for random heroic or LFR, queueing to get the satchel and then… waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Despite the Call to Arms being active, you’re stuck in the queue for 10+ minute as a healer because there are no tanks queueing. The same goes for other roles, I’ve been stuck in queue for over 15 minutes as a tank before.

We’re seeing a real shortage of tanks and healers right now, and I can’t help but feel like this is being compounded by the frustration of azerite traits. People who would otherwise play multiple roles are being disincentivized or discouraged from doing so because it’s such a hassle to juggle all of these traits and sets. Maybe as a tank/DPS player you can get away with taking a generic trait in the outer ring, but not as a healer most times. The majority of those generic traits are damage based, or procs on damage done - difficult to consistently benefit from as a healer, unless you’re disc.

Not to mention, it’s really, really frustrating to get a few drops and have to go through each of your many gear sets and make sure every single one is set up correctly. It’s incredibly aggravating to be midway through a fight and realize that you have the wrong piece(s) equipped because you have so much to balance, so many items in your bags that it’s impossible to keep everything organized.

It feels bad this time because it feels arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive, and it’s exacerbated by the lack of availability of gear and high costs. I WANT to play multiple roles, but managing multiple sets for my main spec AND at least two more sets on a single character is frustrating and exhausting enough. Having to do so on multiple characters, I’m at the point where I just don’t want to do it anymore. And that hurts, because otherwise I really enjoy the game, I’m having fun. It just feels like the devs are actively trying to restrict me from fully enjoying the character I’m working on, and it’s leading to real discouragement and asking myself why continue if I’m just going to keep feeling this way.

I don’t mean to say that I’m quitting if this isn’t changed. But I don’t want to continue trying to balance 2+ sets for my main spec, at least 1 set each for my off specs, keeping every item in every gear set properly saved, finding the best or at least decent traits for each one, reforging potential upgrades for off spec sets when I replace a piece from my main spec and all of this stuff. So I’ve already started doing what I suspect most people have started doing and only play the role I want - which means that there’s yet another potential tank or DPS not queueing anymore, because this system is unfriendly to any who want to get the most out of their characters.

I know that most or all of this was true back in BC and Wrath and so on. But the game has come a long way since then, the developers put in the time and effort to create mechanics that allow bonuses to easily switch between specs. There’s a reason they did that, and it was well received by all. So throwing those mechanics out and saying “well, this is how it used to be” isn’t enough to convince me, nor the majority of the playerbase it seems, that I should continue putting in the effort.

I guess the best way to describe it is it feels like you guys just don’t want us to play more than one role, so you’ve made it as burdensome as possible to actively dissuade us.


It is an inconsistency when they state specifically how it’s intended for us to farm multiple sets when many items offer switching stats when you change your spec, thus negating the need for multiple sets in those armor slots.

Our main tank in our raid keeps switching spec from Tank to DPS to Tank before boss fights in Uldir to get some sort of buff. This doesn’t seem intended…

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First - thanks so much for communicating with us about this. Azerite gear in general has been such a huge issue since BfA launch - and the changes being made don’t ever seem to connect with what the players are trying to communicate. It’s great to have some dialogue to better understand the things us players may be missing and not comprehending.

The nature of the HoA and Azerite gear IS different - yes, and necessary for the basic architecture of how they work with the azerite gear. Having restrictions/punishment imposed on players that are willing to take on the healing/tanking roles is also different, but I don’t feel that it’s a necessary component to allow the azerite gear and HoA to work within it’s design.

Having traits switch when you change roles would still require thought and simming to figure out which combinations are better suited for particular content; some traits are better suited for AoE fights vs ST fight, for example.

Are you saying that the added complexity of having to balance random azerite pieces across multiple specs is the “benefit” and “fun” Blizzard sees as the exchange for the restrictions/costs to change roles?

I guess I see that more in line with having to wear a weighted vest to go out and do some weeding around the house. Having a variety of choices and some level of complexity is ok - but at some point it gets very draining; then you layer having to pay gold just to help your friends/guildees run content on top of that?

That’s not really an exchange of something good for something bad - is it? Maybe Blizzard see’s it that way - but could you help enlighten us to the benefit this is somehow providing? Because a lot of people, including myself, on this thread alone don’t really see that connection.


:face_with_raised_eyebrow: MoP talent trees?
(As an example of something I have long wished would get some major new iteration but sadly has not)

We went from the full trees pre-Cata> to the trimmed down trees in Cata > to the 3 choose 1 system in MoP.
And since that switch the largest change to the formula was… adding 1 additional row in WoD.
Legion. No additional row.
BFA. No additional row.

Saying “We want to do things differently from expansion to expansion” I get. I support. I enjoy.

It’s not like I expect or want a copy/paste of the artifact trait web to be placed on top of the Heart of Azeroth or any-and-every system invented down the line… but what we currently have is a void. Unfilled space.

Previously we got a point to spend every level for the post-max level progression system, Artifacts, in Legion. That felt really good.
It always felt like you were being rewarded when you managed another level. I got to do something every level. (While most exciting progressing through an only partially unlocked web, even at the end ticking off concordance every level was more stimulating than what we have currently) With BFA, while in my head I know every level increases the ilvl of the neck and that results in more of it’s secondaries than I had before. It just feels really… inanimate.

Some ranting on AP levels Empty levels, or streaks of empty levels, in BFA that come without Azerite power unlocks (This happens often) feel really really underwhelming. Negative even.

Earning Azerite level 17 in BFA should unlock something, right? Well… it depends on your current armor whether there is an unlock or not. If what you are wearing doesn’t have any unlocks for that specific level, nothing happens. That feels bad. And when level 18 also results in no unlocks?

This is an issue with the Heart of Azeroth system in BFA that comes from separating the thing you are progressing (Heart of Azeroth) from the rewards from progressing it (Azerite powers). The unlocks are independent of your current AP level. They are tied to the armor itself, not your progress through the system. So that next level could have a reward… or it could not.
Your closest reward could be just 1 levels away(!) one week, and then you replace those shoulders and suddenly the next unlock is pushed back. :expressionless:

The Azerite system is largely unfun to me. This comes from more than just one source.
From how the traits are handled on gear (the topic of the thread), the individual effects of the traits, and ultimately the way progression through the system works.

To remember, we lost tier sets moving into this expansion. This was supposed to fill that void?
I don’t feel it does.

We lost a lot moving from Legion to BFA. Legendaries, talents, Artifacts, abilities. And I don’t feel we have gained anything, through the Azerite system, significant enough to even come close to filling the many different voids that have been left.