World of Warcraft’s “corruption” system has been contentious since its implementation at the beginning of Patch 8.3 earlier this year due largely to how overpowered it makes pieces of gear and how random the drop rate for it is. Over the course of the tier, Blizzard has tried to respond to criticism from frustrated players who are upset about how difficult it is to get “corruption” items because of how important they are for players to maximize their character’s power.
This week, the developers went a step further in their quest to make itemized corruption more attainable by making it so that players can use an in-game grindable currency to obtain specific pieces of corruption. But you won’t hear any praise about that seemingly positive hotfix from Asmongold.
On his stream today, Asmongold walked through the changes that Blizzard is making and believed them to be no-brainer alterations. But as he continued to discuss with his chat, he made it clear that he wasn’t happy about what Blizzard was doing on multiple levels.
He found Blizzard’s constant small adjustments in the system over time, culminating in this larger change, to be disingenuous.
“It’s so incredibly manipulative,” Asmongold said. “Players are just letting it happen and being happy whenever Blizzard finally does the thing that they should have done from the beginning.”
The big issue for Asmongold is that he believes the system was flawed from the outset and Blizzard should have known that and made a system that didn’t need to be altered repeatedly throughout the course of the tier.
For Asmongold and many other WoW players who try to maximize their character’s power level by doing everything they can in the game to progress, the changes that Blizzard has made over the course of the tier to make it easier to obtain their best-in-slot corruption negates efforts that top players had already put into their character.
Effectively, if you spent the first few months of the tier maximizing your character’s odds of getting the best gear possible, other people who maybe haven’t been doing as much as you thus far in the tier will be able to catch up.
The end result for players who seek to “min-max” their characters is a feeling of wasted time. While you spent a small amount of time ahead of everyone who didn’t put in the same amount of work as you, all of the progress that you made can be done significantly more easily now.
“I really really don’t like it at all,” Asmongold said. “It makes me feel like my time is intentionally being wasted, and it makes me not want to play the game. That’s really the way it feels to me because if I know that the system is just going to be added later on in the future to make it easier, it just makes me not want to really care about my current progression… because I know that all I really have to do is just wait around.”
This isn’t the first time that Blizzard has made changes to a retail WoW system in a way that makes a player’s progression feel a little bit less fulfilling long-term. Following his initial reaction, Asmongold created a list of numerous instances in which changes were made to a WoW system that made character progression feel like wasted time or had obvious alternatives that were more player-friendly.
The list of around 10 different things in the past couple of expansions that Asmon believes were poorly managed by Blizzard included the Essences, Azerite gear, Titan Residuum, Legion legendaries, and paragon reputation rewards.
For Asmongold, the issue isn’t necessarily that Blizzard is making changes to its systems—the ability to make adjustments to please fans is critical for any developer. The problems come when changes follow a specific model that initially incentivizes hardcore players to do whatever it takes to reach an end-game achievement and then it’s adjusted to make that same level of accomplishment more easily accessible to other players.
Blizzard’s repeated use of that tactic makes some veteran players more apathetic toward striving for certain achievements in the game because they feel like they can probably just wait a couple of months until Blizzard makes it easier.
While it’s clear that many WoW players are excited about the new system that Blizzard is implementing for getting corruption, it’s fair to believe that many others might not be as happy that the difficulty of the game and gear acquisition can be so vastly distorted.