World of Warcraft

Asmongold warns Shadowlands spell changes could "ruin" World of Warcraft

by Isaac McIntyre

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World of Warcraft guru and popular Twitch star Asmongold has opened fire at Blizzard over their decision to re-add “spell variance” to the MMORPG ahead of the Shadowlands release date, warning that it could “ruin” the franchise.

Randomness in WoW has often been a sticking point for hardcore fans of the long-running fantasy franchise. Blizzard are big fans of added variance in spells and actions. Their card game Hearthstone is built around it ⁠— and believe it promotes “dynamic” moments in battles and raids. Most players, on the other hand, despise any and all ‘RNG’ elements.

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New concerns are being now raised after Blizzard, who originally promised they would cut back on the coin-flip mechanics in Shadowlands, backflipped on that and unveiled a new “spell variance” plan for WoW’s eighth expansion.

The devs wrote in a July 22 beta update they would be re-adding “variance on damaging and healing” spells after the Shadowlands release date. The actual variance, they continued, would be “small, almost negligible."

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Blizzard Entertainment
Shadowlands - and its cataclysmic Sylvanas-led storyline - isn't far off now.

Asmongold, who was sent the update during his Twitch stream, admitted he was “incredibly worried” about Blizzard's 'obsession' with random damage. If the devs aren’t careful, he continued, they could “ruin” retail World of Warcraft forever.

“This would be fine in a vacuum, but it’s not,” Asmongold said. The issue, he explained, is the devs are trying to stop players mathematically simulating characters in an effort to maximize potential output.

“It’s a problem… in the context of them doing as much as they can to… muddy the waters and make it harder for World of Warcraft players to sim. Blizzard has identified both simming and theorycrafting as a problem… but it isn’t a problem for the player base, only the devs.”

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Asmon continued, stating that it's a big issue because it shows Blizzard still hasn’t found a way to add what fans want. “They don’t understand… if the devs are trying to overcome different obstacles to the players, they make the game worse.”

This isn’t the first time the Twitch star has lashed out over Blizzard’s “incessant” RNG attempts either. In May he dubbed the Battle for Azeroth corruption mechanic “incredibly manipulative” and called for its removal.

“I really, really don’t like it at all,” the WoW personality said when the now-removed coin-flip damage mechanic was first introduced. “It makes me not want to play the game… all it does is take away caring about your current progression.”

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Soon after Asmon’s last ‘RNG’ barrage, Blizzard admitted they had made a mistake in adding “corruption” in BFA’s fourth season. It looks like they may have quietly reversed that decision in the build-up to the Shadowlands release date, however.

Shadowlands is locked in for a 2020 release, in one of the final months of the year.
Blizzard Entertainment
Shadowlands is locked in for a 2020 release, in one of the final months of the year.

Outside of the surprise spell mechanic change, Asmongold ⁠— who is one of, if not the most influential figurehead in the WoW community ⁠— has been relatively positive about the new expansion’s impending release later this year.

He admitted “it looks so much better than BFA looked at this stage, and… even better than Legion too. Honestly, honestly! Better than Warlords [of Draenor] too. I’m really excited to see what they’re going to do going forward.”

World of Warcraft director Ion Hazzikostas has also been drumming up hype for the upcoming expansion, suggesting it will be the “best time to start playing World of Warcraft since all the way back in 2004.” High praise from both!