The Torghast Changes of 9.1 – Or, Blizzard Doesn’t Know How To Give Us What We Want

Torghast has a checkered history in its already-short existence of being highly polarizing and controversial. To some players, it is a decent-enough roguelike that has some fun elements but never quite gets to a destination resembling something finished, and for others, it is a dull slog through uninspired ICC-alike environments with unfun gameplay, randomness layered on, and uninspired powers that add small amounts of power but can often feel make-or-break.

Through the iterative process of Shadowlands, they’ve already changed it drastically from alpha to beta to live to 9.1. Early on, the vision was Blizzard’s entirely – difficult runs, grouping encouraged, with a limited number of tries that were unlocked by acquiring keys through other content. It had difficulty modes more akin to the rest of the game. The tuning was bad, and the vision was sort of unfocused and weird, which is quite telling of modern Blizzard, in a way. The focus was on the gameplay, and the core was still sort of there, but the tuning pushed players to group and the difficulty came down over time. The rest of the Torghast vision was what most people hate about modern Blizzard – timegating mechanics, limited access to a resource most players would want and need for high-level content, and a forced vision of play – not player-originated social tension, but game-forced social tension. With keys on the line, failure carried a risk both individually but socially.

In a rare moment of player responsiveness, Blizzard adjusted much of the tuning and mechanics to what we got at launch – keys were gone, run limits were gone, and the tuning was scaled such that the average Torghast run was doable solo for a reasonably-skilled player, with groups making things substantially easier. Anima Powers remain sort of meh for many specs, and can complicate things for undertuned specs, but generally, Torghast was made doable and sort of tolerable by adjusting the tuning, reducing the timegating, and removing most of the social tension that came from outside of the actual run itself.

At present, Torghast remains contentious because, well, it just isn’t that much fun. At its best, it ends up being something more of a dull roguelike – powers that don’t change that much without synergistic powers also being picked up, iffy balancing that highlights and exacerbates spec balance discrepancies, and map layouts made of overused chunks of theme maps that can quickly be recognized. The average 6-floor Torghast run also doesn’t give enough chances to feel super powerful, because you can’t stack enough anima powers up to really get to the fun, and the powers are also built around some target of balancing, which means almost every Torghast run feels kind of samey, unless you get a crazy anima power like the Cilice of Denathrius, which unlocks some really powerful play.

My personal opinion on Torghast is sort of softer than it was a few months ago, in that it largely isn’t something I do unless I need to on an alt or new character. I steamroll two layer 8 runs quickly on my DH just in case the balancing of legendaries changes again (I already needed a new one to start of 9.0.5 because of the tuning), but I usually just run it on my focused alt – right now, my Druid.

I think that Torghast can be fun, but what I like about it is the use of fun specs that already play well in that kind of design, like Havoc DH, being able to pick up tons of extra offensive power and blow things up. Most of my guildies call it “Boreghast” and I think even that is starting to rub off on me. I find it okay, but rarely would say I really enjoy it. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t find it engaging, if that makes sense?

So with the changes coming in 9.1 now on the PTR, it’s worth evaluating the changes, because I think they are demonstrative of a very bad trend for Blizzard – responding to feedback from players in the most ham-fisted, clumsy way possible. What do I mean? Well…

Torghast? More Like Scoreghast

Because of the lore implications of players killing the Tarragrue inside the new raid, Torghast no longer has the ender of runs patrolling once the death timer runs out. To replace the pressure the Tarragrue and death counter provided, there is instead a scoring system in place. To reach maximum points, you need to complete the whole run – exploring the full extent of each floor, breaking all the urns, clicking all the souls, and killing all the enemies. At the same time, you need to beat the “par time” for a given layer, meaning there is a timer pressure intended to keep you moving. There is a final modifier for time spent “empowered,” which is a new buff you can gain for a Score Streak – which you can reach by killing enemies, breaking urns, and releasing souls in rapid succession until the bar that is now part of the Torghast UI fills past a line provided. Slowing down prior to filling the line will cause the bar to deplete, so that adds more timer pressure.

The scoring system means that there is less death pressure, but far more time pressure. In current Torghast, the winning approach is to complete the run with as little risk as possible, meaning that on undergeared or undertuned characters, the goal is to find your way to the endboss with as little combat along the way as possible. Maybe you break some jars, find some anima powers, do the quests – but overall, when I’ve done Torghast with people, most players rarely look around the floor. They try to find the boss and once the boss is visible, beeline to it, kill it, ascend. The scoring system is going to change that, because while you might think the incentive is speed, the problem is that it is a compromise position of the two. You need to be fast enough to keep to the par time and maximize Score Streaks, but also thorough enough to clear a majority of enemies, urns, and souls out of the run. If you hate exploring, you have to explore, and if you hate rushing through to the finish line, you’re going to be made to do things at least slightly faster.

Score Streaks, Torments, and Talents?

As mentioned above, the pillar of the new gameplay of Torghast is Scoring, and the Score Streak mechanic. Basically, you gain movement speed and Haste for clearing through much of Torghast quickly, with the goal being to keep a steady pace through the run to maintain a Score Streak and the Empowerment buff, which then affects your score at the end of the run by giving you points for the percentage of the run you kept Empowerment active for. Dying resets your score streak, and periods of inactivity also deplete it slowly. Your goal is to fill the bar all the way past the marker for Empowerment, and then keep it past that mark for as long as possible. Currently, the design is still somewhat inelegant – the “trap room” design, the long bridge covered in swinging axes, flame pots, and shooty traps, has almost no actual objectives and so no way to get to a Score Streak, as an example.

Torments are also being redesigned. Instead of being a fixed thing that exists per instance type and layer, you’ll be stuck with between 0-6 torments, with the scaling kicking in very slowly for the existing layers and ramping to 1 added per layer with each of the new layers. Instead of being something that grows over the run, they’ll be there from the beginning. There is a way to reduce the number of active torments, which we’ll discuss momentarily. The torments are all new, with some sort of based on existing torments, but most having more of a Mythic Plus affix styling – much more impactful and therefore bothersome. They range from basic (15% increased magic or physical damage done, which now also buffs players!) up to highly annoying challenges (Thanatophobia, which makes you horrified and lose control for 3 seconds when brought below 40% health). As a design, I find these better than the existing torments slightly, but then the challenge of multiple of these stacking up feels kind of bad. The only thing I can hope for with this design is that the stacking of Torments is designed and tuned like Mythic Plus affixes and not just random, so that there is at least a sort of predictability to them.

Lastly for this point, let’s talk about The Box of Many Things.

In Battle for Azeroth’s Horrific Visions, there were two things that made runs more bearable week to week – the increasing Sanity drain resistance you gained from Ashjra’kamas and the talent tree from MOTHER. In 9.1, Torghast is getting an analog to the latter, with The Box of Many Things. Basically, it’s talents. It’s just…talents. They only work inside Torghast, and you gain them by acquiring Tower Knowledge, which you get from…running Torghast. A pretty mediocre run (Wowhead’s example was 3-starring a layer 8) gives a small amount of Tower Knowledge, in the Wowhead example, 41, and trait cost seems to be a moving target, but currently, the cap for the currency is set to 2 million on PTR, so…yeah. The traits add a lot of additional powerups to players and seem to move some aspects of self-sufficiency away from being Anima Powers and towards being traits. The tree (or grid, realistically, since it seems you will eventually have all traits) is full of basic buffs – a bunch that empower the Empowered buff, some self-healing and other self-sustain options, damage reductions, the ability to reduce the number of Torments on a run by up to 2, and tons of other tweaks, including the ability to reroll Anima Power orbs a limited number of times per run and access to a new floor, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

These systems are interesting, but maybe not particularly good – a point I’ll address to conclude this post.

The Floors Are Less, Unless…

A Torghast run will now be 5 floors.

For most players, this will be a welcome bit of news, and the pattern basically just cuts out one floor of enemies – you go two floors, get the broker floor on 3, 1 floor, and lastly broker plus boss on 5. By cutting one of the harder floors from the run, players will have less time spent in Torghast on average, and I think that is a net positive.

However…there is a catch.

The Box of Many Things contains a single-point trait for the Adamant Vaults. With this trait unlocked, if you happen to reach a 5-star rating for the run, the ending portal will instead move on to a two-floor bonus section. The new floor 6 on-offer here uses a new tileset and new enemies, but feels very much like a standard Torghast floor of today. The 7th floor, however, offers an additional broker and a new, unique boss. This boss currently has a placeholder reward, so it is difficult to gauge, but hopefully (hopefully) this boss is worth the effort.

5-starring a Torghast run under the new system is somewhat difficult and will be something less-geared players will need to work towards, especially on the new layers. The Adamant Vaults applies to any layer, so you can get to it from an existing Torghast layer without much difficulty, but reach 5-stars for the higher current layers as well as the new ones will require a lot of extra oomph in your run, as you’ll need to completely explore the zone, free pretty much all the souls and break all the urns while maintaining a score streak a pretty high amount of time in order to reach that rating.

New Legendary Ranks Require New Torghast LayersBut There Is Catchup (Sort Of)

In a move sure to displease the non-fans of Torghast, upgrading to rank 5 or 6 (the two new legendary ranks on offer) requires Soul Cinders, the new currency, and currently, it is only obtainable on layers 9-12 of Torghast. The model remains similar otherwise, in that running straight to a layer 12 means you get all the prior rewards, so the full slate of Soul Ash and Soul Cinders will be yours once you can run a 12. Logically, it follows that this would be the case, given Blizzard’s propensity for trying to prevent pre-farming of currency.

There is some small good news, however. In the newest build, there is now an Heirloom item called Packaged Soul Ash, which allows you to buy the item and mail it to another character on your account. This costs 1,500 Soul Ash and gives 1,300 on use, meaning there is a cost to it, but for a fresh level 60 alt or a desire to quickly ramp a new BiS legendary on your main, you can quickly get there by mailing Soul Ash across characters to get a Rank 4, at least. 5 and 6 – those will remain gated to that individual character’s ability to progress Torghast, for now at least.

Lastly, if you’ve progressed the 9.0 Torghast story on at least one character, you can skip past it all (including the Twisting Corridors step for the Anduin quest) on alts and launch right into 9.1, working towards the talent unlocks, new layers, and more.

My Overall Impressions

I’m of two minds about these changes, which I have taken care to only minimally spoil throughout the post.

Firstly, the negative – I am not a huge fan of the changes yet because they sort of prod at the things I liked about Torghast in 9.0. Being able to explore, to take your time, moving deliberately and slowly on alts to find a way through – I loved that about Torghast and I hate that it is largely gone in the new version. The score system does reward thorough exploration, but there are now two forms of timer pressure in the par time and score streak systems that will force you to stay moving. It also removes the ability to briefly AFK for a bathroom break or such in the middle of a run, because you’ll likely lose Empowerment and your score streak for it.

I think stacking systems on top of Torghast seems like a very modern Blizzard-y way to handle player feedback, but it doesn’t feel great (as is indeed common for other times when Blizzard has done this). As it stands now, you have Torghast upgrades from 9.0 and Ve’nari, you have The Box of Many Things, you have Torments, you have Blessings, you have scores, and it all just sort of coalesces in this weird, unfulfilling way. Instead of smoothing and streamlining, the answer Blizzard has taken is what most people express distaste or outright hatred of – stacking and stockpiling temporary, throwaway systems on top instead of addressing the underlying issues that players actually have. In fact, it actually seems like each solution was individually concocted in isolation – players say they hate the death timer, so we’ll remove it, but we also want to keep some form of performance metric in, so here’s scoring. Okay, scoring on its own is fine, but players also want more meaningful Anima Powers – so we’ll give you a reroll option, but then tie it to an advancement tree that also absorbs some basic survivability powers to make them a passive baseline.

Basically, the whole thing is a fucking mess, to be frank – if you’ve been playing 9.0 and keeping up, Torghast is going to change so completely as a system in 9.1 that having that knowledge is going to be pointless.

On the positive side however, I do find some things I like. A scoring system and par times are interesting concepts and I think offer something to work towards as a goal, even if I find the manner in which this has been added to be fundamentally awful. Again, it brushes up against the problem the game has with timer pressure in a mode like Mythic Plus, but also makes it sort of essential to all players for the pursuit of legendary items, which means there will be some bitterness coming. The talent tree idea of the Box of Many Things is genuinely something I like in isolation – having baseline increases to power is great and the idea that you can chip away at Torghast to build up a base level of competency at it makes sense from a lore perspective and a gameplay perspective, and the talent design is good for baseline powers, although slightly dull in terms of the actual fun on-offer. Being able to reroll a bad anima orb is a great idea and one thing I think the mode needed right from the start. Lastly, expanding the rewards with achievements for ratings tied to a mount and pet is cool, as it gives a sort of rewards plateau that one can chase.

Heirloom Soul Ash, conversion rate loss and all, is a welcome change and the sort of quality of life thing I wish had been there from the beginning. This will likely be a future topic, but I think that Blizzard has a self-sabotaging tendency to try and keep things strictly gated and on-rails to begin with, when stuff like this could have been in on day 1. So I get to make a better legendary sooner – so what? I’d have to play, level, gear, and maintain an alt or a stable of characters to make that work – and that is more time in the game, more play on my own terms, and more engagement. They should do it with Soul Cinders now, but they absolutely won’t because they’re awful at listening to that feedback, regardless of who shares it.

My Beef With New Torghast and Blizzard’s Design Methodology

Overall, here’s my thing – you could give players a lot of what they want out of Torghast by tweaking the existing design, instead of a massive overhaul and system-layering. I’d tackle it with a focus on 3 P’s – power, potential, and playability. What do I mean with these?

Power: Torghast is at its best when it is broken AF. Let players pick 2 Anima Powers from an orb. Let them have 18 powers per floor. Make each power increase DPS or healing by 100% instead of 5-10%. If you want this to be fun, engaging gameplay, make it fucking broken (in a good way). If I do 2,000 DPS in the open world and can barely sustain my health bar through an elite fight, then by the end of floor 1 in a Torghast run, I should be doing 20k DPS and able to full heal on a relatively short cooldown. Why? The play space that allows is far more inviting, and allows genuinely different gameplay. Torghast right now is just a shitty dungeon where I gain 300% total power after an hour of smashing jars, but very little about it plays differently than any other mode of content in the game. There is space to do more here – if you’re going to limit legendary currency acquisition, fine, then I should be able to have ridiculous fun while I do it. Balance? Who gives a shit? I don’t care if classes are balanced in Torghast, because it shouldn’t matter (provided everyone is capable of doing it successfully), full stop. Make Havoc DH Chaos Strike into a cleave. Let casters run and cast. Give me bonus spells for my class that do dumb things, like a Druid being able to cat form and pounce on up to 10 targets in sequence for 1,000% weapon damage and a bleed for the same damage over 10 seconds, or a Priest who can summon a line AoE of angels that sweep a room doing like 10x spellpower in damage to enemies and healing to allies. Who fucking cares if Torghast is broken? Let it be, because contained brokenness is fun.

The challenge can be in number of enemies or how I decide to pull, or that enemies keep spawning until I reach the end of a floor. If I have 100x my normal player power, then you can throw crazy challenges that keep me playing my way. The Torghast of today is sterile and doesn’t feel like the Jailer’s home base – it’s a sparsely-populated space with basic foes I’ve seen hundreds of times already in the 7 months Shadowlands has been out.

Potential: Making Torghast into a thing you run two separate times for the same basic reward is, in a word, stupid. Why is that the design? In a 6-floor run, there’s rarely enough anima power options for me to build a meaningful, synergistic loadout. Instead, I pick all offensive powers (on my DH when I can blitz through it because I’m 221 item level haha try and fucking stop me, Jailer) or a mix (on all my alts who are plateaued at 195-200 item level oh god please don’t hurt me) and I might get one meaningful combo setup, like a mix of Eye Beams powers on my DH or all the fun Shadow Word: Pain powers for my priest.

A guildie proposed this when the topic came up in Discord today, so I can’t claim credit for it, but I found it agreeable – why not make every Torghast run a Twisting Corridors style, 10+ floor affair? Sure, on paper and with the current design as the point of reference, it sounds kind of bad – but let’s flesh that out. What if you keep going until you are killed, by use of ramping difficulty, such that a run basically has a fixed timer before danger comes to play? You get so many more floors of Anima Powers, so many more combinations, and if they’re hyper-powerful as I asked for above, then you’re multiplying in power with each new floor. What if instead of looting Phantasma, you loot Soul Ash/Cinders as you go, so that you’re constantly acquiring what you’re there for, and then the vendor can offer a number of random orbs of Anima Powers (which you can reroll) so that you can have some bad-luck protection?

From a lore perspective, Torghast should be dangerous, but a 6-floor run rarely shows that, and the average run is about to be 5 floors! From a gameplay perspective, 6 floors never gives enough Anima Powers to be really thrilling – the end result is a sort of meh gameplay where you might get a thrilling combo or something interesting, but more often you get just a random mish-mash of powers and the run is over before you have a combo running or can build something truly great. The potential of larger combinations, more powers offering greater customization, and a run where the difficulty scales up more, making each power more meaningful and those strong combo builds more important – that adds so much to the gameplay.

Playability: The above points about anima powers and the flow of Torghast are a part of this as well, so let’s take a high-level view of what I would envision my dream Torghast as. Torghast should be a fun space with a strong lore hook of danger, but through the efforts of the Brokers, the Covenants, and the Runecarver, we have some help through Anima Powers – strong, overwhelming bits of power that are tied to the anima hoards pushed into the Maw by Sire Denathrius, such that when we leave the tower, our link to these powers is severed. Our efforts to push into the tower are limited in scope, as the Jailer’s most powerful servants join his seemingly-unending army of Death inside, meaning that eventually, we will find an enemy who can end us. Our goal is to reclaim the soul energies of those lost forever to the torments of the Tower – and all of the Jailer’s servants stationed here have some of it on them.

From a lore perspective and a gameplay perspective, our hooks are built. What’s the game flow?

On a weekly basis, you can run Torghast as much as you want (as is the case today) and on an adjustable difficulty settings (I would reuse Normal/Heroic/Mythic here, but that’s just me and the Layers system works fine enough). On an account basis, you can bank Soul Ash and Cinders, which are stored at an account level – no mailing back and forth, no need to buy Heirloom item caches, with maybe a weekly cap at the account level. It is up to you to determine how you want to farm these – do you use your main for all of it? Do you run all your alts through individually? That choice is yours.

The gameplay would then aim to make it something you want to do through a mix of incredibly strong Anima Powers with higher frequency of acquisition, more enemies to fight so you have this feeling of being a conquering hero in a wave of evil, and with stronger bosses. Tuning in here can be buckwild because it doesn’t matter – when you leave, you lose the powers, so if you’re doing 1 million DPS single target against a boss in this version of Torghast, that’s fine – because it doesn’t materially affect anything outside of the tower. Scaling can work for 1-5 players just the same as today. As for the Anima Powers and options, there should be more options per orb, no single-choice orbs, and rerolling should be a base ability, with either a time-based cooldown or an objective-based one (clear a floor, kill a rare or boss, etc). There should be a range of rewards outside of the legendary currency – armor cosmetics, mounts, pets, titles, different achievements, maybe even Anima Powers that reward unique ability customization akin to Warlock green fire – call it a stabilized anima power or something and have it be a thing you can take to the Runecarver to have him lock in for you. In my head, you could even still use Tower Knowledge as a system and have talents just like we’ll be seeing in 9.1 – let us build up more passive, baseline power to take in as our familiarity with the Tower grows.

In terms of layouts, I’ve always thought Torghast should be fully random and have way more tilesets – if it is the chamber of torment for the Jailer’s choice victims, there’s no need for every floor to be a network of hallways sometimes broken up with larger chambers or natural incursions of rock and magma. Instead, why not go way crazy – let Teldrassil be a floor, like the whole zone, used to torment the souls of Night Elves killed in the burning. You could even get meta – imagine a floor that looks like Icecrown Citadel (ok, that doesn’t take much imagination!) but where the enemies are all player models on Invincible, which only spawns if you don’t have the mount! You could do something like that with all kinds of different stuff – any dungeon or raid mount could have a torment floor designed to pick on you, the player, specifically, sort of a fourth wall break. Hell, you could do transmog floors where enemies all wear class sets you don’t have yet, or where all the enemies look like rare pets. You could do mazes, actual Twisting Corridors with shifting layouts and puzzles – all kinds of imaginative stuff is there. To be fair, I don’t know how much of what I just put would be fully doable (or, for example, how you’d resolve a conflict in a group of players where 1 person has Invincible but the others don’t!), but I think that time spent iterating on such concepts would be valuable in the finished product.

Lastly, I think some of the existing systems, both of today and 9.1, are fine and could belong in such a mode of play. I mentioned the Tower Knowledge system above because I don’t hate it – I think some of the things tied to it are unnecessarily gated in this way, but it’s fine. Likewise, I think the new 9.1 Torments system is also fine, because modifiers like that change the character of a run a lot, and when paired with the maps and anima powers of my dreams, that could still be a lot of fun. Defensive anima powers and self-sustain focused traits are all good in my book, but I think there should be fewer instances of having to make a choice between the fun offensive power and the utilitarian defensive power that actually works better for you at the point in the gear and skill curves you are. One way I would propose to work around that is to make the act of picking up an Anima Power orb itself bestow defensive power – instead of being able to choose 15% bonus health as a trait, each Anima orb picked up could offer 15% bonus health, a 1-5% damage reduction, and even also add healing equal to a percentage of your total health per second or per 5 seconds, and maybe even also some sort of bonus like overhealing from said trait converting to an absorb shield with a cap. Defense does have a place but I think making it a choice means it is either overvalued or undertuned, depending on the class, spec, gear level, and experience of the player.

Even the Soul Remnants system would have a place here. I would propose that it offer a 1% increase to base stats but also secondary stats, so that the anima power selections that remain are game-changers or drastically more powerful. On some runs, I might take 3-4 secondary stat boost powers today, but those powers don’t feel amazing – they’re just kind of a blind amplification of my damage/healing/self-sustain. Merging those in with Soul Remnants would keep those worth getting – and, to my point with Anima Powers in general, these could also be boosted a ton. Why not 3% all stats? Why not 5%, 10%, 15% per soul? As long as we don’t hit the point where the servers are dying to doing all the math needed in a Torghast run, 1% is rookie numbers, and we’ve gotta pump that shit up!

All of this ties in to that Playability theme, and why is that? In my mind, the only character whose legendaries really matter to my day-to-day gameplay is my raiding main. I like having good legendaries on alts, yes, but if you gave me the system of my dreams today, I’d want to play on all of my level 60 characters. Why? Because it would be fun. We’ve hit on this topic a lot with Blizzard and their systems, and this is where we bring it full circle.

Torghast’s biggest sin isn’t that it’s unbalanced, or feels mandatory to progression, or even that it has dull, ICC-lite environments where the biggest change often feels like lighting colors. No. To me, the biggest sin of Torghast is that it often isn’t fun. At the time I was doing Twisting Corridors, I wrote about the Cilice of Denathrius run because while I was enjoying Torghast (so I thought), it was already a sort of formless mass of time in HD remaster ICC, slaying high-poly mini-Lich Kings for scrapings of ash. The Cilice run was worth documenting because it was meaningfully fun, and stuck with me in a way that the rest of Torghast just…doesn’t. But that was one random power at the perfect moment of a long run, the odds of which are minute at best.

Torghast is boring. It just is. It wants to be a roguelike but Blizzard doesn’t have the staff that can rip-off something they love in a good way anymore, so it just falls too far short of the lofty heights of a Hades or the like. Blizzard’s response to player feedback is to microtarget individual failings (the death counter, anima power RNG) but to do that in the most Blizzard way possible – by adding new systems for each that overcomplicate what should be a very simple core mode of play and turn it into something that requires introductory quests and explanatory quests alongside patch survival guide videos and layers of explainers. No one in the fanbase is asking for scores, streaks, or other Guitar Hero-inspired bullshit – we, generally, just want a competently-built roguelite mode that respects our time and creates a fun experience for the number of times we’ll have to repeat it for the expansion. That isn’t even to say I hate what I see – I can piece together a vision of something resembling fun, but it is through oh-so-many layers of cruft that just don’t need to be there!

I appreciate that Blizzard is trying, or at least, trying to pretend they’re trying. But, I mean, this is the same trap they’ve fallen into for years. Warfronts in BfA were meh so they added world quests and Heroic mode and these layers of stuff when I think most people just wanted the world gameplay and the scenario to be more fulfilling and to also maybe sometimes have PvP. Islands were meh in BfA, so they added rotating enemy types and events alongside currency for caches, but most people just wanted some challenge and the ability to target rewards.

And now, here we are again, with what should be a simple set of Torghast tweaks being overcomplicated.

Time and time again, Blizzard responds to feedback in a sort of ham-fisted, overly clumsy way that requires more explanation and change management than just giving us what we want, and at some point it seems kind of moronic. You could, you know, just like, give us what we want? Not everything needs 3 systems and 4 layers of depth. Sometimes we just want fun gameplay with goals to plan towards. Is that too much to ask?

It seems like maybe it is, sadly.


3 thoughts on “The Torghast Changes of 9.1 – Or, Blizzard Doesn’t Know How To Give Us What We Want

  1. Amen. You pretty much layed out all the problems and improvements that could shape a tolerable experience.

    To me, I understand now, exactly the powers make it super boring and tedious – or rather the lack of combinations. Who cares if my Balance druid needs now one less spell cast until entering the Eclipse state, or a mage has 0,3 sec speed improvement to Firebolt or Frostbolt? It simply makes the boss beatable, but the core of gameplay stays the same.

    Out of my gazillion runs I managed to get only a couple of combinations worth mentioning. One, when havoc DH finished the boss exclusively by spamming endless and super powerful Fel Rush. Two, when my Holy Priest killed a boss by Psychic Scream alone, accumulating the time of fear, damage it resists until broken and acquiring a super powerful Psychic Scream DoT woven into it. And this is all. All the other runs… well, you get a flat damage output and resistance – and buffs to your totally useless covenant abilities.

    Long story short, I’m done with torghast – hopefully until the end of expansion. I would replace legendaries to higher ilvl common items without a blink of an eye, and no mount or pet would make it worth re-runs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kneejerk reaction to the post’s title was “Blizz doesn’t care what we want” … case in point: conduit energy, player/guild housing, and dance studio.

    After taking a few deep breaths and having my morning coffee, I still believe that. However, It’s now being said from a calm state. I do like the “skip the drudgery” option that skips multiple trips to torghast. Though, when it comes at the expense of nearly a full legendary’s worth of soul ash, I’m not sure how I feel about that skip. I’d rather see a “hey I’ve seen this quest line before … let’s split the difference and send me on a quest where I do both wings of torghast and afterwards you reward me with the lump sum of soul ash that I’d have received from running it a gazillion times because you forgot I already did all this. Or hell, I’d be okay with time-gating it to 4 wings over 2 weeks.”

    I would love to see an option for “Hey I’ve done this cov quest line on other armor classes. Let’s skip to the end of the campaign quests, unlock the armor-type-specific xmogs from the questline (the only reason I’m doing this again anyways) and if there’s any armor that I want because it’s an upgrade (or could be an upgrade by spending anima on it), I’ll buy it. I’ll just earn renown through the catch up mechanic which is very well done.” With the exception of Venthyr (which I’ve done once) I’ve done each covenant campaign at least two times, and I plan on a full roster of every armor type per covenant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Done it many times, never got past a certain point in the endless run, have not been in there in months. All it seem to me is an internal desire to make it a competition feature that they can utilize. Adding in the testing element of buffs available for them to analyze before tossing into live, it feels like a melting pot of ideas with no clear direction. I won’t go back, even if the lore demands it.

    Liked by 1 person

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