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Discussion > WoWSep 17, 2020 8:00 am CT

How much do you care about Covenant balance?

I’ve seen people discussing Covenants in World of Warcraft‘s upcoming Shadowlands expansion and how they don’t feel like they can choose one based on the aesthetics or storytelling — the fact that the Covenants add real, tangible power to a character means that they will always be subject to balance issues. This makes sense to me. Looking back on the Class Order Halls from Legion, they delivered a lot of story but there wasn’t a real feeling of being forced to choose one — even if you could argue that a Death Knight was a better tank than a Warrior, it wasn’t the Class Order Hall that made them so. But the Covenants are decoupled from class choice and they provide specific abilities, so the choice you make in what Covenant affects how you’ll play your character.

I don’t personally care, but I absolutely understand why this is a really tough choice for some players.

For myself, I’ll be choosing Ardenweald and the Night Fae first, then Bastion and the Kyrian, and then Maldraxxus. I have almost zero interest in Revendreth and the Venthyr — I might not even play that Covenant’s story. But for me, I’m at a place where the story is more important than character power, and that place is casual play. I am not currently a dedicated DPS raider or a MT for a raid. If I were, then I’d have a different set of priorities — I’d have to make choices for my character based on the group weal for my raid. If a Covenant offered a far superior DPS or tanking choice, I’d be hard pressed not to take it.

That’s why the whole idea of Covenants as a story choice is hard to reconcile with Covenants as a character progression and power delivery system. Both sides are important, and individual players will have different approaches to these choices — it’s going to take a lot of work on Blizzard’s end to reconcile the two and for a lot of players so far that doesn’t seem like it’s been achieved by the design. There’s a reason so many players were talking about pulling the ripcord on Covenants — we all remember Azerite Armor and how it felt like Blizzard expected too much from it as a system.

But again, for me, this choice is purely an RP one, and it’s one I’ve already made for most of my alts. It’s easy mode for me. What do you think? Are you worried you’ll need to choose a Covenant you don’t want in order to get the abilities you’ll need to optimize for your role? Or are you purely focused on the story? Maybe both? Let us know what you think about Covenants and player choice.

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