In this week’s World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Q&A, game director Ion Hazzikostas spoke about how the upcoming Tides of Vengeance patch will handle older Azerite traits. While the development team had originally stated that it would not be retiring old traits, Hazzikostas announced that there has been a shift in philosophy.
About halfway through the Q&A, a viewer said they were concerned about how few and far between the new, more interesting Azerite traits will be when simply thrown into the existing pool. Hazzikostas delved into why the team has decided to replace existing traits, as well as the kind of traits that players should expect to go away.
“We are also going to be retiring and, in fact, replacing some specific traits across various specs,” said Hazzikostas. “There have been unpopular, less successful designs. There are some that we’ve looked at that weren’t particularly popular and were down to tuning. We could just fix the numbers, and it would be fine. There are others where it was too simple — frankly, a bit on the boring side — or there wasn’t an adequate tuning nob to make it powerful enough to be desirable without breaking some aspect of the class or rotation. So we’re just going to retire those, and introduce new ones in their place.”
While it’s not entirely clear how this will work, Hazzikostas seems to be suggesting that, when patch 8.1 is released, players will find new traits on their already existing gear. This news comes after a recent update to the public test realm for 8.1, which adds far more complex and interesting Azerite traits to some classes.
The Azerite trait system referenced here is new to Battle for Azeroth and offers unique ability enhancers on individual armor pieces. These traits are unlocked by gaining a separate kind of experience called Artifact Power, which imbues these traits and allows players to select new, more powerful ones as they level up.
Unfortunately, these traits don’t work particularly well at all, and have been a major problem since Battle for Azeroth’s launch. Hopefully, these new traits coming in Tides of Vengeance will be enough to fix the system for most players; especially once they replace existing traits.
World of Warcraft patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, is expected to release later this year, likely after BlizzCon. More announcements regarding World of Warcraft and its future will be announced at Blizzards annual fan convention, which takes place this year Nov. 2 and 3.