World of Warcraft patch 7.3.5 introduced a slightly slower, more interesting leveling experience through the old world. But since Blizzard introduced patch 8.0 two weeks ago, players have been struggling to level through the old content effectively.
With 8.0, Blizzard introduced World of Warcraft’s second ever stat squish — where all the numbers in the game are lowered across the board for clarity. While it may make the game easier to read, it has caused some serious in-game problems. Since the patch, Blizzard has been throwing out hotfixes each day, fixing things that the stat squish either forgot to alter or simply broke.
According to Blizzard, it’s taking players about 15 percent longer per level to take a character from 60-80, with other slowdowns throughout the entire 1-110 journey. 15 percent may not sound like much, but it adds up over the course of 20 levels.
While the problem is still ongoing, game director Ion Hazzikostas — known as Watcher on the forums — has posted a comment detailing Blizzard’s battle plan, and issuing an apology to players.
“We are seeing the same sort of discrepancies that folks in this thread and others have pointed out,” said Hazzikostas. “But we still have yet to pinpoint the exact aspect of scaling that we failed to account for. We want to understand why the numbers are off and fix the underlying cause: Were stats on gear reduced too much? Some aspect of creature armor or other combat calculations? Are our baseline values accurate, but the shape of the scaling curve wrong such that it’s particularly far off the mark in the 60-80 range?
“We would prefer a targeted solution versus just applying a band-aid fix that could mask deeper issues that could cause problems down the line, but at some point it’s not fair to give you a degraded experience for the sake of that investigation, so we’ll likely go ahead with a blanket health reduction in the near future while we continue to investigate. Either way, the current state is not the game experience we intended, and it’s something we will fix.”
The post goes on to specifically address the issues players are finding between levels 60-80, when the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions become available to play. The team intends to increase experience gained at these levels, which should completely remove the 15 percent alteration added in patch 8.0.
Update (7/31): Blizzard has released a new hotfix that lowers the required amount of experience per level in the journey from 40-100. While many of the levels have had small adjustments, the problem area of 60-80 has been reduced by about 14 percent.
Blizzard has noted that, in some cases, the required experience number displayed may be different from the actual number required. The team promised that this bug would be fixed in the next hotfix.
This new hotfix is paired with one from last week, which lowered the amount of health and damage dealt by monsters under level 100.