The reason for this is that the Pre-patch for Battle for Azeroth, which came out a few days ago, has caused a whole lot of disgruntlement among players, with bugs plaguing several areas of the game. Players have also been quick to point out a couple of “hidden” changes that were not in the patch notes.
A Reddit thread has consolidated a slew of the problems, with the poster Solacespecs also pointing out that “All in all, I get it — there will always be bugs“, but expresses his disappointment nonetheless.
This is by no means the first time a large update or expansion has caused a bit of mayhem in World of Warcraft (I have dark memories of getting stuck on wyverns in the Horde Garrison in Warlords of Draenor). You could say it’s almost become a tradition to see the game go a little nuts before it gets fine again.
Perhaps the most glaring lack is that of the new Communities feature, which lets you create and join several communities, separate from guilds. Being too broken, it was removed.
Another significant perpetrator in the pre-patch is the stat-squish, lowering all damage numbers in the game across the board. Many things have gone wrong with this, such as mobs taking longer to kill, making leveling a chore, or some bosses killing players in one hit.
In the Q&A, Ion Hazzikostas said that things will get smoother in the very near future, as hundreds of bugs are fixed every day. Unfortunately, this can’t be said for what seem to be intentional changes, such as removing World Quest Group Finder, an addon which let you quickly find groups when entering a World Quest area. For a game that is all about playing with other people, players’ confusion is apparent.
But with all this doom and gloom, let’s not forget that bugs can be hilarious. Here are some favorites:
Blizzard also decided to change what you get when you are a subscriber. Now, anyone with a subscription gets upgraded to the current expansion, Legion (access to Battle for Azeroth will still require the one time purchase). As a result, the Battle Chest, which contained all the expansions, is now gone for good. This is a relief for anyone who was considering picking the game up but was daunted by having to purchase six expansions.
Although it’s easy to take the pre-patch as a bad sign for the launch of Battle for Azeroth, Hazzikostas says that the expansion pre-patches exist as a kind of buffer for the expansion. Anyone playing the 8.0 pre-patch is also technically running the expansion, meaning that any issues can be smoothed out before launch. While that remains to be seen, the current torrent of bugs are continuously being fixed.
I personally don’t mind the bugs. I enjoy the ride because I know it won’t last more than a couple of days. On the other hand, I’m disappointed by ostensibly intentional changes. The leveling being slower after the stat squish is only compounded by how much slower it became after the zone-scaling update, and with Allied Races being introduced to funnel players back into the leveling grind, it starts to look less and less like coincidence and more like an artificial way to keep players in the game longer. Hopefully, I’m just crazy though!