WoW: Dragonflight’s New Simple Upgrade System Causes Confusion with Complex Cheat Sheets

Blizzard’s attempt to simplify gear upgrading in World of Warcraft seems to have left some players confounded.

The new system:

The Dragonflight’s Embers of Neltharion update introduced a more universal gear upgrade system, which replaces one-off systems like the old Valor system that was used exclusively to upgrade Mythic+ gear. The new system makes it so PvE gear earned from raids, the open world, and Mythic+ dungeons can be upgraded using currencies called Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests. Flightstones are earned from just about any endgame activity and are fairly straightforward. However, the complexity of the system increased with the introduction of multiple types of crests, crest fragments, and sub-divisions of gear that dictate how powerful a particular piece of gear can become, depending on the difficulty of the content the gear was acquired from. It requires different types of crests to be upgraded.

The confusion:

The new upgrade system has left some players scratching their heads and consulting some complicated-looking charts in order to grasp it. That has led to confused players attempting to help their fellow gamers make sense of it all in the form of various different flow charts and “cheat sheets,” like the one from Reddit user ernest314. Additionally, another chart from user ChiefSach breaks it down in a different way.

Players’ opinion:

At present, reactions from players are mixed. Some seem to be fine with the system, stating that it isn’t all that complicated. In contrast, others seem to find it far more confusing than what came before. However, Blizzard seems open to feedback. In a blog post, the company acknowledged the system is a work-in-progress, and that it was designed specifically for Dragonflight Season 2. Over the course of the season, the system will be evaluated and the team will decide whether to keep it going forward. According to Blizzard, what will happen to the system “depends on how players interact with and react to the system.”

  • WoW: Dragonflight Season 2, which introduces a new Mythic+ dungeon rotation, raid, and PvP season, kicks off May 9.
  • The game’s 10.1 update arrived May 2 and introduced a new underground dragonriding zone, additional story content, and the long-awaited ability to create cross-faction guilds.
  • Though Dragonflight has failed to sell as well as some of the MMO’s previous expansions, Activision-Blizzard stated in a recent earnings report that player retention numbers are much higher in the West compared to previous expansions, in part due to Blizzard “delivering more content faster than ever before.”
  • WoW: Dragonflight’s 10.1 update is the first of two major updates planned for 2023.

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