Recently, World of Warcraft underwent one of the most massive changes it’s ever undergone. With the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands prepatch now live on the retail servers, the game is changed more now than ever before.
The main thing changing the landscape of the title is the leveling squish. Rather than increase the level cap as they have in every expansion previous to Shadowlands, the upcoming expansion caused the developers to reduce the maximum level.
Where 120 was once the max level that players could accomplish, now 60 is the maximum level. At the moment, 50 is the highest obtainable level, as the prepatch gave the squish with the expansion itself adding the 60-cap.
With so much changed, everything had to adjust with the game. Everything in every previous expansion included had to be knocked down with the squish to keep things level – nothing could be skipped.
Unfortunately, a few things have continued to have unforeseen consequences. In the upcoming patch, Blizzard aims to fix one of the more egregious issues that players have been “exploiting” to be more powerful.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) October 20, 2020
In the Burning Crusade expansion from 2005, players are able to obtain powerful gems to put in their gear from boss drops. These gems fit into socketable gear and provide bonuses to stats, both secondary and primary.
It seems that Blizzard failed to properly reduce their power, though, as players were managing to obtain much larger power spikes from socketing their gear. Blizzard has caught on and intends to fix the issue in an upcoming weekly reset patch.
This is far from the only issue similar to this, though. The Crusader enchant, for example, has been giving players a massive power boost as well. Players are also gaining a massive bonus from stat-bonus food in Mists of Pandaria, and many are seeing extra performance from other expansion recipes as well.
The issue at hand seems to be that the squish just couldn’t account for every last source of power. The developers have their hands full seeking out each and every unintended consequence of the squish to nerf them down to normal.
As the prepatch continues, we still don’t have a clue as to when World of Warcraft: Shadowlands proper will drop, only being told that it will come sometime this year. Players can only hope that Blizzard is able to catch as many of these mistakes as possible to make sure there isn’t some enormous power imbalance when the expansion finally drops.