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Discussion > WoWJun 18, 2018 8:00 am CT

Why does Battle for Azeroth need a stat squish?

The way gear is in the game now, I’m utterly disconnected from it. People in raids are routinely pulling 1.7 million damage per second or better, with bursts of 20 or 30 million DPS happening. These are numbers that leave me completely detached from what I’m doing. Hitting an Execute for six million damage and then hitting another, because the first one didn’t kill the thing I’m hitting, it’s just too much for me to feel like I’m playing WoW anymore. It feels like the old days of tabletop RIFTS games.

Now, we just had an item squish back in Warlords of Draenor, so it’s fair to ask did we need another one two expansions later? But let’s look at where gear is now: it’s capping out around ilevel 1000 for legendary items and 970 or so Mythic raid gear. We have millions of health now.

I understand it’s just math, but it’s bizarre when someone is complaining that a person in their raid’s DPS is low and they’re doing 1.4 million DPS. Leaving aside all the technical reasons it might be a good idea to rein stats in, I just feel lacking in investment at this point. Maybe it’s just me, but as long as balance changes are made so that I can keep soloing older content, I’m okay with the itemization changes coming in Battle for Azeroth. Right now those changes aren’t in the beta, because I went to try and kill Ordos and he stomped me into the ground. But if they are implemented, I have no difficulty here.

Yes, it means older raid gear will become useless fairly quickly — but all that stuff has basically been relegated to cosmetic appearances for a while now. This doesn’t change that. But the same big numbers that leave me cold might be another player’s favorite part.

One thing that’s clear: an item squish can have its own psychological effects as well as practical ones. There’s no arguing that we didn’t feel weaker going into Warlords, even though our power level didn’t significantly change.

But is an item squish the answer to keeping the game’s crazy numbers in check? And do they need to be kept in check? What would you prefer, if not an item squish?

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