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News > WoWSep 25, 2017 4:00 pm CT

Orynx offers even more clarification on the Netherlight Crucible

The Netherlight Crucible has been a controversial addition to the game, to say the least. It’s not very intuitive and early PTR builds were plagued with misinformation due to how the Netherlight Crucible’s data showed up in the game files. If you don’t know how it works, we have a quick guide.

Players have been discussing the Netherlight Crucible at length since it appeared on the PTR and even more after it went live with patch 7.3. It’s hard not to compare it to much more popular Reforging system in Cataclysm that was removed an expansion later, though Blizzard has repeatedly tried to reiterate how unlike the system is to Reforging. Ornyx came into a discussion on Blizzard’s forums, in response to players’ concerns, to clarify design choices and reasons why the Netherlight Crucible works the way it does.

Originally Posted by Ornyx (Official Post)

Hey guys!

We’ve been seeing a lot of discussion going back and forth on the Crucible lately, so we’ve had some conversations with the development team and I wanted to pop in and share a few points that came out of it.

Regarding comparisons to Reforging – Reforging was always a simple, mechanical choice. Players were, at the end of the day, simply replacing their worst stats with best stats on every item that didn’t already have your best stats up to a mechanical limit. The Crucible, by comparison, is only affecting a small subset of items and presents much more varied situations than say “change 30 Hit Chance into Haste”.

We’ve also seen a bit of discussion around players desiring the ability to respec the Traits that are locked on the second and third tiers of relics. We feel that the ability to respect Traits would lead to players picking traits based on perfect optimization for any given situation, which could lead to players leaving a raid to change to AoE-centric traits for the next fight during raid progression. While we feel that’s a nuisance in itself, this would also make the system feel like a watered-down version of talent rows, and would undermine the choice that is made when selecting your Relic Traits.

That being said, Relics are items and will be replaced; we do expect players to make choices and experiment with this system. Since there is still new content ahead of us in Antorus, better Relics will be available and players who make choices they may not like now will have the opportunity to get new Relics before long with a potentially new set of Trait choices.

As a note, we are also fine with the current state that Relics Soulbind on inspection in the Crucible. We believe the alternative of everyone porting in and out of the raid to pass the relic around and see who it’s best for is far, far worse. Players are smart and will be able to make educated decisions based on the information that’s available to them. As I said, we do expect experimentation however.

A final note: I saw the post on Reddit laying out three choices for Relics, asking players which one they would pick –

Relic A : 930 Ilvl BiS main trait, 3rd BiS bonus trait, but forces worst tier 2 crucible trait
Relic B : 915 ilvl BiS main and bonus trait and 2nd BiS crucible tier 2 trait
Relic C : 940 ilvl 2nd and 4th BiS traits and BiS crucible tier 2 trait.

The poster responded by saying the only way to know is to sim it. If you’re generally a player who simulates gear upgrades to make decisions, you’re probably going to do that anyway, and that’s fine. If you’re a player going off basic guidelines such as “I play a fire mage so I want Critical Strike” you will get by as you always do in this situation and pick what you think is best for your particular class or spec.

Thanks for all the feedback on the topic so far, I’ll be on the lookout for future discussions, as always.

Ornyx’s post doesn’t really seem to address players’ concerns so much as it attempts to explain and justify why Blizzard made things this way. Unfortunately players don’t really like this tactic and it leads to them feeling like devs aren’t listening, which we saw when Blizzard originally did not plan to add flying to Warlords of Draenor. Reforging was not the complicated system Blizzard keeps painting it as, whereas the Netherlight Crucible seems to be layered in RNG. The Netherlight Crucible was a good idea in theory, but in reality it’s very convoluted and almost seems like its punishing players with the amount of RNG involved. The playerbase is clearly dissatisfied with how it works and hopefully Blizzard takes the many pages of feedback into account.

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