Can we all, including Blizzard, agree that players chose their covenants based on the numbers they can do with it and not it's look? Also we should agree that not only 1% players want to do the highest numbers possible.Oh, and the accessibility of aquirement cosmetics does not help picking inferior covenant.
I love how there isn't even a semblance of balance between #1 and #2 for anything except Sin Rogues, and only because Venthyr only just recently got buffed to be far and away the best option for that spec.
Please Blizzard Put out those convenants from PvP
This is pretty cool. Thanks
I really wish Blizzard understood that you shouldn't mix meaningful choices between aesthetical, moral, character based choices and performance based choices. It's a terrible design when you know you're gimping your character by going with a covenant choice that you like the aesthetics and lore of just like it's also a terrible design to have to log in every day in a covenant that you hate and makes you question why you even still play this game. Both choices make you feel a bit rubbish every time you play the game.
Well, lot of meaningful choices there....
To be honest, I like the idea behind covenants and the different powers they give. It'd make a lot of sense in a single player RBG, but in a MMORPG, it's a nightmare to play around with. I started out as a Night Fae warrior, and eventually changed to Kyrian because it was the "better option" in M+ and PvP. However, now that all of my covenant buildings are up and fully upgraded, I feel it almost "necessary" to change to either Night Fae or Venthyr to feel competitive, which is just a damn shame.In Legion, you only had to once again grind your "new" artifact up if you wanted to change spec.In BfA, you had to get 3 new azerite pieces if some new traits became the go-to.In Shadowlands, you don't have that same "downside" to changing, as you can get renown relatively fast. But you can't deny that it's annoying that you lose a lot of work by doing it. Teleportations? Gone. Mission Table followers? Back to level 1. Special buildings that have mounts, pets and cosmetics? Back to square one.Lorewise, it makes sense to have to start over in your new covenant, but god damn, is it annoying gameplay wise.
This is a great data dump. It’s clear they will be reworking the higher and lower populated covenants for the classes. Night fae is definitely going to have a nerf which will be sad since I main a Druid and enjoy nuking things with CtS
Balance Druid at 92% Night FaeHmmm.. seems fine to me, convoke the spirits is balanced, as all things should be
At this point I'd really like to know how the devs are thinking about the covenant system and the meaningful choice it was supposed to entail. Looking at the numbers above it becomes painfully obvious that the majority of players chose their covenant based on the ability/power it offers, and not based on aesthetics or RP-reasons. And the fact that data is taken from the armory (and not from raider.io or warcraftlogs) means that it's a quite wide sample and not only from people who have completed a +X key or killed X raid boss. Just simple max level characters, from all aspects of the game. So it's not "min-maxers" or "tryhards" that chose covenant based on power, it's pretty much everyone. Of course there's outliers with much spread distribution (sub rogue), but even there I'm thinking the reason is that the power each covenant offers isn't important enough to compel people to one specific covenant. So I really would love to hear the devs' thoughts (which I know won't happen).
Imagine not being a night fae druid.
i am a kyrian resto druid: ama
Popularity? Something is popular when you are free to choose (dunno if you get my point)... Covenants are anything but a free will choice, you get insta rejected if you are on the wrong covenant for your spec no matter how skilled you are, then you are forced to play the "right" covenant for your spec if you want to do some raid or + content.
Covenants are just one more feature with no purpose, they actually add way less variety of playstyle than talents. A low number of specs can have the luxury to choose between 2 or 3 covenants. The vast majority don't want to play with meme builds.
Very interesting article!
Druid NF and Paladin Kyrian needs to be slapped with a nerf. Kinda cringe all of their specs overwhelmingly choose the same covenant.
From top to bottom whilst there are some significant balancing issues with certain abilities, it is important to remember a few things (none of these justify or excuse them but facts are important to be stated for context):1. The game hasn't had a meaningful decision where you can align yourself with one faction or group since essentially the days of Burning Crusade. This is a positive in some aspects but it loses the meaningful aspects when you look at the game as a whole rather than on a per individual character level. Basically what the "popularity" above indicates that a large portion of the playerbase (not the majority, these two are different) align themselves with what other people decide is "best", without thinking just what makes them a meaningful decision for some players. To put it bluntly; if you aim to play at the highest level of the game, you are not part of the majority of the playerbase, heck even striving to do so puts you into a "top percentage" (what that percentage is, I don't know, I can only strapulate from data back during WotLK when dungeon finder was introduced that there's a whole playerbase that's largely ignored when talking raid design because they are casual players - the game is more accessable now but judging by a constant narrative where people are scared to do even Mythic dungeons, I do believe it is safe to assume that this portion of players are still very much so existant - those who simply play the game as a game and do not even care about sites such as WoWhead or the like; yes this is a bold assumption but nothing on display for the past few years have indicated this to not be the case).That has an interesting effect:Do the numbers above indicate popularity, strength, perceived popularity or perceived strength? Popularity and strength can be lumped together but generally speaking in game design, something only feels overbearing once it surpasses about a 60% margin (in the case here, it becomes more easily noticeable due to having 4 choices meaning that a secondary choice should have maybe half or a little above or below that to feel like it is still a fair choice, if we have 4 choices, 1 at 60% and another at 30% that leaves only 10% left for the two other choices - by and large, that's not what we see above except for...)2. In only 9 cases of specializations combined with a covenant choice do we see rates above 60% (for Night Fae which is the most popular candidate to use as a way to justify claims that the covenant system is utterly broken) out of 36 choices (4 of which are all druid which are all so far above that it is clear that they need to work on that due to it being SEVERELY overbearing, which means that we can remove druid completely out of this equation since they stand out so far and above every other option)All of this means that we have 5 cases out of 28 combinations which is not great but far from overbearingly terrible.This means that we can safely say one thing:If we want to claim that the covenant system is broken, balancing the abilities isn't the reason for it, it can be a contributor to it but it is nowhere near as significant as people make claims of it to be.Yes there's a lot of gameplay restrictions that this system introduces which has downsides but also upsides since it means that you feel more part of an actual group of people than you do otherwise. The Legion orderhalls faced the same criticism but it was largely something people accepted since there wasn't a choice, you had your class and your class orderhall; here you do have a choice and it is, realistically speaking, an actual choice.There are "numerically better options" but if you care about that then the covenant's aesthetics, storyline or even cosmetics are significantly less important to such an extent it can be made as a fair argument to be negligent for people when making their choice of covenant, introducing the whole "Order hall"-scenario again except this time due to having a choice that players feel is irrelevant, it promotes a bad faith argument.Are covenants broken? Arguably yesAre they broken to such an extent that they need fixing? Once again, arguably yesAre folks by and large making good faith arguments as to why they need fixing? Definitely notI only did this with Night Fae but you can extrapolate this to any of the covenants and you'll find a similar if not identical story with all of 'em.Do note that whilst I personally, for full disclosure, like the covenant system, I do agree it breaks the traditional gameplay flow that WoW has had for the past few years but... I would say that's not necessarily a bad thing. Having a choice that have some significance when you play your character adds a lot to it, even if it does end up with some really annoying situations at times (areas being blocked off, if you reset your progress you reset your "aesthetical" (mogs, pets, mounts, etc.) progress which whilst it doesn't have a direct impact on player character strength does still feel bad, etc.), I do believe that these slight and, in my opinion minor, restrictions add a lot more to the overall feel of the game than it subtracts from itBy and large, there are problems with covenants but... popularity and balance (beyond that of Druids which I already pointed out needs to be addressed HEAVILY!), there is no real overbearing aspect of the choice of covenants that breaks them, not by any significant measure. Yes there's other cases of "above 60%"-Covenant "choices" but they aren't actually that many and they aren't what people talk about. It is largely just folks complaining about Night Fae despite Night Fae being a good and fair choice in most regards, the problem isn't there but rather that some choices are horrendously low choices (see Paladin having about 3-4% across both Night Fae and Necrolords, that's an indication of a problem where increasing the amount of people playing Night Fae Paladins would be positive to the aspect of "overbearingness" that people complain about, which would go at a stark opposite of the general narrative that Druids have created ... because yes I do fundamentally that Convoke the Elements have fundamentally been the problem that's created this narrative in the first place, due to at worst for most classes Night Fae is a fairly decent choice regardless of your specilization whilst the other covenants have more specific situations in mind)At the end of the day, for the duration of Shadowlands, covenants are here to stay so having a good faith discussion about how to fix the issues that do exist is time better spent than trying to put blame where blame isn't due(And once again, just to reiterate, I believe covenants are good for the game (much like how I loved the Orderhalls) but they are going to have to continue to balance them out in ways that feel good for players but that's going to be incredibly difficult due to how much focus is spent on bad faith arguments - there are problems and they need to be addressed, which they are addressing by increasing anima gains and other such things, but the idea that it isn't a choice... it has some merit to it, but not as significant of it as people make it out to be, so to fix the actual problems (including some of the overbearing examples of choice being absent), it is better to look at how to equalize things rather than to put blame where blame is, once again, not due)Have a good day
maybe they'll do some balancing before season 2.. what with how wow is an esports game now and wont be balanced once a season starts ya know wink wink ehh