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My 10(ish) days of non-professional, home iPad-only life

I dropped off my MacBook for a battery replacement, and due to parts shipping and whatnot, I was Mac-less for almost two weeks. I figured I would take that time to see what an iPad-only life would be like.
For context, I have a conventional five-day workweek, and I do not bring work home. Any computing done at home is for entertainment or personal education needs and wants.
I thought a bit about how to organize my thoughts, and in the end, decided to have sections dedicated to different categories of apps and activities. Since I leave my work at home, there is a greater focus on entertainment, which comprises of gaming and media consumption. Another common theme in my impressions will be how I have been able to consume my own offline content. I am not subscribed to anything at the moment, but I do have a standing trial offer for Apple TV+ (which I should probably activate soon).

External hardware

My oft-used accessories with my MacBook:
  • Elecom DEFT Pro trackball (Seven buttons; can be connected via Bluetooth, dongle wireless, micro-USB wired)
  • Western Digital 4TB MyPassport HDD (contains all my media - videos, ebooks, comics, music)
  • 8bitdo SN30Pro+ controller
  • A generic USB 3.0 4-port powered hub
  • HyperDrive GEN2 12-port USB-C hub/dock (detailed specs)
My iPad gear:
  • iPad Air 3rd generation (running iOS 13.6.1)
  • Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard
  • Lighting to USB 3 Camera Adapter
  • Apple Pencil 1st generation
Compatible accessories:
  • Elecom trackball: mostly no. The iPad says it paired successfully with Bluetooth, but there is no mouse movement whatsoever. In wired mode or dongle wireless mode, pointer movement, left/right clicks and four-way wheel manipulation is possible, but no customizations (this model has 7 buttons in total). 5 buttons all register as left click, 1 as right click, and 1 doesn’t even register at all. If you’d like to use a trackball with the iPad, don’t bother looking at models with more than two buttons.
  • WD 4TB: mostly yes. My HDD was already formatted as exFAT to begin with, and I don’t have access to another PC to reformat a spare USB flash disk or SD card as FAT32 or NTFS to check for compatibility. Therefore, it remains to be seen as to whether you can immediately use a hard drive the moment you buy it and open the packaging. Also, it cannot be bus-powered, and requires a powered hub.
  • SN30Pro+: Yes. Because of the multi faced nature of the controller, there are a few more steps you need to get through before it’s paired. You can refer to this link to learn more about pairing it: https://mikeknoop.com/8bitdo-ios13/ And as a bonus, the controller will connect with a USB-A to USB-C cable!
  • USB 3.0 hub: Yes. Nothing much to say here - plugging in devices in whatever port worked. Any power issues that may arise due to too many power-hungry devices would be prevalent regardless of whether you’re connecting the hub to a Mac, PC, iPad, etc.
HyperDrive compatibility: partial and it needs to be powered.
What works:
  • Micro SD/SD. Not simultaneously, but this could be a dock issue. When it works, though, Photos doesn’t open up automatically like in past iOS versions, which I kinda prefer personally.
  • USB ports
  • 3.5mm headphone jack. Side note: a TRRS jack (mic/headphone combo) had issues with making a solid connection on the dock.
  • Ethernet. interestingly, when the iPad recognizes an Ethernet NIC, the wireless symbol does not show up next to the battery indicator.
What doesn’t work: HDMI out. I connected the other side to a 720p Samsung TV, but there was no signal whatsoever. This might be a USB-A limitation, so no fault on the hardware.
Unknown: DisplayPort, because I don’t have a DP-capable monitor, but I’m willing to bet that it won’t work since HDMI won’t work.
Overall, as far as hardware is concerned, the iPad is great for the lowest common denominator. Anything that is not part of the “standard” - that is, the extra button or two on a midrange mouse, the software macro keys on an extended keyboard, etc. - is likely not to be recognized and will be a waste. I imagine Apple-branded devices may be the exception.

Productivity and/or studies

One of my favorite features here is how, app dependent, keyboard shortcuts pop up when you hold the Command key for a few seconds. This is quite handy when you would rather not have to remove your hands in the middle of typing something. It was also nice to see that a lot of shortcuts have remained the same on iOS apps.
But on the topic of keyboard shortcuts, I miss being able to create or modify them for each app. For example, on Evernote for Mac, Command-T triggers a new tab, but I had no use for that function, so I remapped it to strikethrough.
Keyboard observations aside and going back to the iPad, I’ve come to fully realize that an iPad Air is way too small for split screen if you use the Apple Pencil to scribble notes. Half an iPad Air’s screen is roughly equivalent to an A6 sheet, and for me personally, that isn’t big enough to scribble lecture notes down.
This will be highly dependent on the nature of whatever class you’re taking, but the roundabout that worked for me was to use my iPhone to stream the lecture material, while using my iPad to scribble away. The visual wasn’t anything “intense,” like an instructor using a blackboard - rather, it was the equivalent of a fancy PowerPoint presentation with an audio overlay, so this roundabout did not bother me that much. YMMV.

Entertainment - audio

When the iPad has not been synced with a computer running iTunes, or if there is no active subscription to Apple Music, Spotify or any other music streaming service, the iPad is a very poor jukebox out of the box. And in the case of the iPad Air, the speakers on the single side do not help matters. I imagine my experience would have been better had I opted for the iPad Pro, or waited for the (expected) Air 4th generation.
Without any third-party apps, you can use Files to individually tap on a song and listen to it until it’s over, and then you’ll need to manually tap on another song to get it playing. It probably goes without saying that there aren’t any extra features you’d usually expect from a music app like EQ, playlists, and all that. Not great for listening to most music, but good enough for podcasts or recordings of spoken material. And Files will play music in the background.
Foobar2000, VOX, VLC: Cannot access local drives from within the app, but I’ve noticed that you can force audio to play via these apps by tap-holding on at least VLC; a list of random audio and video files pop up.
NPlayer, Flacbox, Evermusic, Wave : So, these can access the external drive. The biggest thing to note here is that the music will not play straight from the hard drive; you need to import the files to the iPad’s internal storage. There’s also no way to one-tap-add folders if you decide to copy over everything.
That said, I did notice a common pattern with these four apps above. They all use the Files interface to access the drives, and this made me wonder whether it’s an iOS limitation that the developers have no way getting around.
Now...buying music from a store that isn’t iTunes is another can of worms. I came across a game soundtrack I really liked on BandCamp and bought it. The buying process was fine; it’s like buying something from Amazon. Actually consuming the music? Hahahahahaha.
This is BandCamp-specific. If you’re using Safari, the website doesn’t let you download the music directly. Instead, you have to download BandCamp’s app, make an account and stream it that way. The other alternative is to use a browser that allows you to change the user agent (once again, iCab comes to rescue here), change the user agent to something like Safari Mac or any other Mac/PC-based user agent and then get the straight download link. From there, you unzip the album, and start listening.
But here’s the kicker: you cannot add these songs into your stock music app. Unless you migrate your entire collection to one of the third-party apps listed above or an NAS, your music collection is fragmented.
This has made me seriously consider giving up the usage of iTunes on my Mac or any other future computer going forward. On the one hand, it’s great that I can make all the Smart Playlists I want with all kinds of conditions, and they are seamlessly synced with my iPhone. I haven’t jumped on the streaming subscription bandwagon because I’m happy with my collection, and there’s plenty of music that I can never remember everything. On the other hand, all that is useless when I don’t have a Mac or PC at hand. I’ve been reliant on using Smart Playlists to automatically rotate through my collection by using play counts and dates last played, but again, what good is all this without a conventional computer?

Entertainment - video

With video, things are much more like what you’d expect from a Mac or Windows system. You tap on a video file in Files, and depending on the file type, either play it directly, or open up another app. MP4 files will open directly in Files, and MKV won’t.
For MKV, I use Infuse. It supports built-in subtitles, enabling or disabling them, as well as multiple audio tracks. If I were to be nitpicky, the only extra feature I’d want is the ability to add multiple files simultaneously to a playlist...but I’m starting to notice a pattern here in conjunction with the music apps.
As for online videos, it is very disappointing that Safari does not allow users to disable Fullscreen Video API on iOS 13. In other words, you don’t get the built-in play/pause and 15-second back/forward controls anymore unless a website allows it. This indeed makes fast-forwarding and rewinding much more of a chore, and on some poorly designed webpages, those buttons are tiny. And to add insult to injury, I can’t use the arrow keys on my Combo Touch keyboard to fast-forward or rewind, either.
One of the solutions found online is to use a Shortcut to force a video to show those controls in full-screen. For me, I have a second browser (iCab), with its user agent set to iPhone, and by doing this, I get the older, more usable controls. This is pretty much my video browser. The downside of iCab is that ad blocking has to be done in-app, and I’m still working on getting all ads blocked; some still get past.
Once again, though, if you had to jump through hoops to download and listen to music, well, these hoops become rings of fire and the platforms are narrower with spikes on both sides when it comes to downloading most videos. Short of being given a straight-up .mp4 link, it’s just plain impossible to download videos, regardless of legitimacy (unless it’s from Amazon or iTunes). And good luck ripping that DVD or Blu-Ray you bought off the shelves.

Entertainment - reading

I’m sure this has been mentioned a lot already, but thanks to the versatility of orientations, the iPad is definitely the superior reading experience compared to a Mac. Sure, if you have the right monitor, you can rotate it 90 degrees and read there, but you can’t just pick up a monitor from the desk and bring it to your sofa or bed.
Chunky is a great CBCBZ-supporting app, with support for right-to-left and left-to-right reading as well as auto-double-page when reading in landscape mode. It also can access files locally, but the file has to be copied over into the app.

Gaming

I’ve touched on the SN30PRO+ controller earlier above. I imagine that it will be easier to pair a DualShock 4 or XBox controller since Apple openly supports those, and the extra gaming features coming in iOS 14 will only enhance the experience further.
As for the actual games, this one is going to be the most subjective of them all, and I also imagine the least fleshed out in my post since I do not subscribe to Apple Arcade or any other game streaming service.
As most enthusiast users may know, for almost as long as iOS has publicly existed, gaming has been a source of much controversy and discussion, what with predatory micro-transactions to Fortnite/Epic. There is also the issue of whether iOS can ever be a “true” gaming platform because of the App Store economics and the prevalent notion that mobile apps are not “real” apps.
In my case, I very much doubt I will treat my iPad as my **primary** gaming machine by any stretch. I still like my Marios, Zeldas, Resident Evils and Halos, and while there are quite a number of games that started off as console or PC games on the iPad now, of which I dare say a fair number has been ported efficiently (Sega AGES, Star Wars KOTOR, Marathon trilogy, Castlevania SOTN, Final Fantasy 1-7 come to mind), I feel that overall, they aren’t exactly the gaming experiences I get from my Switch. I don’t say this purely out of merely looking at the App Store offerings; I have spent at LEAST a couple hundred dollars on premium, single-payment games or games with episodic content as IAP since the release of iOS 4, so I have at least SOME personal experience to go by.
Furthermore, retro enthusiasts will be the most hamstrung when using an iPad. Apple won’t allow emulators on the App Store, so you’ll need to go the builds.io route or re-sideload emulators from a Mac or PC every week. Or jailbreak.
Having said all that, I’m quite sure that for others with different gaming tastes, gaming on the iPad will be the smallest of issues. More than anything else, taste is truly subjective.

Life management

This is my catch-all term for things like managing personal photos, scheduling appointments, to-do lists, grocery lists, etc. Overall, I see general parity between iOS and desktops, and iOS would have the edge if portability is important.
Photos: since I pay 99 cents for more iCloud space, and I’ve backed up my photos to iCloud besides my external hard drive, photo management is pretty straightforward. I don’t have much to say here.
Appointments and errands: Shortly after dropping off my MacBook, I downloaded Agenda for making shopping lists and keeping track of appointments. I found that the combination of notes and to-do lists makes it more convenient to have dates and details in one place; it’s as if the stock Notes app had Reminder features. That said, there’s also a Mac version that I’ll give a shot at once I get my MacBook back.
Date tracker: Besides life-related milestones and anniversaries, we all have a lot of non-holiday, arbitrary dates to keep track of, such as date of purchase for tracking warranties, or the last time you cleaned out the cat litter box. I’ve always used spreadsheets for long-term things like warranties, and for more frequent things like the aforementioned kitty litter, an app called “Days Ago” on my iPhone, which seems to be unavailable for purchase anymore.
I find that after some initial setup by establishing that a column will be nothing but dates, Numbers can be surprisingly easy to use for this. When not using a physical keyboard, you can tap an empty cell, and in the pop-up keyboard, there’s a big fat button that says “today.”
Journaling: I have a grandfathered account on Day One after they went subscription-only. There doesn’t seem to be any major difference between the Mac and iOS versions.

File management

This is where I see the most glaring of issues. Files being a poor substitute for FindeExplorer is a given and plenty has been said about this, so I’ll skip it.
Firstly, there is no option of safe removal of external drives. On my Mac, when I disconnect the hard drive without a second thought, it takes a good while for it to be mounted again, and sometimes I need to go to Disk Utility to bring it back. I notice this on my iPad as well, but there isn’t an option to unmount a drive first before physically removing it from my hub.
Secondly, say goodbye to local iPad backups. It’s iCloud backup or no backup, and it ain’t no Time Machine (as Apple points out here). There’s no concept of system images like Time Machine, and if you’ve held off on app updates because the new updates take away features or make extreme changes, well, that’s out of your hands.
That might be fine just for the iPad, but what about your external drive with your documents and stuff? The only roundabout I see to this if you’re going iPad-only is to purchase a NAS and set up Backblaze or another backup service that way..and I’m not sure whether a NAS is a mainstream-friendly option yet.

Final thoughts

Using the iPad, I came to realize that what constitutes "mainstream tech" has changed. When external hard drives became regular stock at everyday retailers like Target, Wal-Mart or their equivalents in other parts of the world, and not just tech specialty shops, I thought that was the point when Macs and PCs truly became mainstream, household items.
Now, it's online and the cloud. iOS devices are closely tied with iCloud. Android devices make it easy to upload files to Google Drive. Microsoft provides one-touch access to OneDrive when you install Windows. Dropbox provides an online, platform-agnostic intangible flash drive. You don’t have to buy boxed software and CDs that often, but you go to the App Store or the developer’s store page and download the software and provided codes that way.
So the answer to Apple's question of "what is a computer?" is "the gateway to the cloud." Whether the content is yours or not, they are now in the cloud, and you use the iPhone, the iPad and the Apple Watch to bring everything to your fingertips. This is Apple’s vision of a computer: a smarter terminal to the digital world.
If you’re like me and coming from years, if not a couple decades of desktop OS paradigms, there’s a big question of “how much of these so-called inconveniences are the iPad’s fault, and how much of them are because I’m inflexible and too set in my ways?” Maybe I’m just too set in my ways and not open to change...or maybe the iOS paradigm is just not right in more than one way.
As I adjusted and/or came up with workarounds, I am reminded of one of Buddhism’s tenets: desire leads to suffering. My desire to approach the iPad with OS X in mind has led to “suffering” (I use that term as an analogy; I would not say that I suffered any kind of mental anguish or anything like that during the past two weeks). Probably the most stress-free way to enjoy an iPad is to adhere to Apple’s dogma, embrace iCloud fully, do away with dongles and enjoy your services (Apple Music or Spotify, etc. for music, Apple TV or Netflix, etc. for shows, whatever).
For me personally, unless there are other OS changes in the pipeline, I feel I will always have some kind of a conventional personal computer, be it a Mac or something running Windows, in my digital life. My digital life collection is something I cannot easily give up, at least not yet.
To finish this off, if you’re one of those people who have fully ditched your older computer and transitioned to iOS-only with next to no issues, more power to you, and I mean that with absolute sincerity. You have an all-in-one device with unparalleled manufacturer support, battery life, portability and (model-dependent) wireless connectivity.
tl;dr: iOS is not optimal for managing offline, local files.
submitted by Makegooduseof to ipad

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Blizzard still doesn't understand their Covenant system issue and are digging in their heels.

Blue post link:
https://www.wowhead.com/bluetracker?topic=638371®ion=us
I'd like to preface this post by saying that I am in the beta, and I've been testing since early on in beta, so I actually have experience with the system.
From the post, which we will take point by point:
Covenants are the centerpiece of Shadowlands and have been the subject of passionate discourse across the community over the past weeks, which has been mirrored by discussion and debate within our team. From the system’s first conception, selecting a covenant was crafted to be a weighty decision, shaping a character’s abilities, cosmetic rewards, and access to endgame story arcs and sanctum systems. A weighty decision almost by definition comes with some amount of stress, whether anxiety about making the “wrong” choice, or just evaluating various pros and cons and wishing there were a way to just get the best of all worlds.
Two big issues here. First, Covenant powers are a borrowed power system, which is the problem. If Covenants had zero impact to player power, and instead were just picking which weekly event you did and the look of your legendary armor, that would be one thing. But each covenant has a covenant ability (for a total of 4) and a class-specific ability, each of which gets various mileage that heavily depends on what content you're engaging in. And, for certain classes, the choice is very clear to simply stay away from certain Covenants entirely, since the Covenant class ability for that class is straight up terrible. There is absolutely a right choice or wrong choice right now. If the system was going to launch in a static state, however, that may not matter... the problem is that Blizzard has stated their goal is for there to be "no wrong choice" for Covenants, meaning they're planning on changing these abilities later on... which means your correct choice now could become an incorrect choice later. For the vast majority of classes, there is a correct Covenant choice, and there are no pros and cons to evaluate. You'll take the Covenant that gives the most overall throughput and just deal with it in those situations where that class ability is sub-optimal.
The net result here is that classes with weak AoE cannot really choose to take a Covenant ability that supplements them with some on-demand burst AoE because that's only good for M+, so it will just be making the choice of most single-target throughput, which will relegate classes without good AoE damage to dumpster-tier for M+ groups.
In designing this system, we’ve done what we can to minimize the burden of regret. Those measures should be fully enabled by next week’s Beta release. While picking a covenant at the end of your journey to max level is a weighty choice, it is not a permanent one. If you find that, whatever the reason, you are unhappy with your initial covenant pick at level 60, you need only return to Oribos and you can immediately switch to a different one. Now, if you later wish to rejoin a covenant that you have left, that is slightly more involved: There is a path to redemption consisting of a series of two weekly quests to atone for breaking your vow and to rededicate yourself to that covenant’s cause. These quests are now available for testing in Beta; they are still being tuned, but the intent is that they are largely ceremonial rather than feeling like an arduous grind.
This paragraph essentially sums up their misunderstanding of why people are critical of this system. NOTHING about the storyline reinforces the idea that choosing a Covenant is a weighty choice. There is no in-game reason for this to happen. You help all of the Covenants on the way to 60, and then the Covenants are all working together to try to figure out what's happening with the Jailer and the Maw. There is no friction between the Covenants in-game. I'm not clear on whether this is a two-week window to change covenants or if they can be changed every week, but it actually doesn't really matter. The issue here is that, for any given class, there is a best covenant class ability for each type of content, and locking that covenant class ability behind a 1-week or 2-week arbitrary cooldown actually makes me resent paying to play the game. What is the logic behind not allowing me to take the Kyrian abiilty for M+, Necrolord for raiding, and Night Fae for PvP? How does that make the game better? Who is asking for this? Especially because if I make the wrong decision, I potentially lose my M+ spot or raid spot for the week or potentially 2 weeks. How is this making the game more fun? If you want to use Covenants to reinforce the RPG parts of WoW, then remove player power from them, because unless those things are decoupled, you're sacrificing the MMO part of WoW for the sake of reinforcing the RPG part... only not really because, spoiler, THE COVENANTS ARE ALL COOPERATING WITH EACH OTHER, which from a narrative perspective, undermines the whole idea of dedicating oneself to a single Covenant.
We have also taken steps to ensure that a player who switches covenants, as well as one who reaches max level later on in the expansion, never feels permanently behind as a result. Renown measures the strength of a player’s connection to their covenant and is the main vehicle for unlocking additional Soulbind powers and various covenant perks and rewards. Players primarily earn Renown via weekly quests to gather anima from across the Shadowlands, and to rescue souls from the Maw and restore them to their rightful place in the covenant. If a player has missed any of those quests, however, they will find that they can earn Renown directly through a range of activities such as dungeons, world quests, and PvP, until they are fully caught up. This system will be functional on Beta in the coming weeks.
This is just basically saying "you can catch up". Again, not the core of the problem. Not even close.
In short, a player who regrets their covenant choice, and who wants to change their mind, should be able to do so straightforwardly at any point during the expansion, and will be able to reach a state with no long-term drawbacks or disadvantages compared to someone who had been in that covenant all along.
Yes, it's straightforward to change. The problem isn't the hurdle I have to jump over. It's that I'm only allowed to jump over the hurdle on an arbitrary timer for the sake of... something.
We’ve also heard from many players who, rather than being worried about regretting their choice, would prefer that they not have to choose at all; they have advocated that we offer a way to switch among the various active abilities offered by covenants without friction. But these covenant systems are thoroughly intertwined: Covenant abilities are often modified by covenant-specific conduits and soulbinds; most of those soulbinds in turn are unlocked through covenant-specific narrative campaigns. Granting access to one of these without the others would lead to an incomplete or confusing result. In short, pulling on that thread (or cord, as it were) would unravel the entire fabric of the system. Even so, we would embrace the work required to rebuild the covenant system along those lines if we agreed that it would be an improvement, but we ultimately do not share that view.
This is some /SelfAwareWolves level stuff right here. Yes, we would rather not make a choice at all because making a semi-permanent choice for a borrowed power system that's literally more difficult to change than my characters gender, race, or server is ludicrous.
Before starting an arena match, engaging a raid boss, or entering a dungeon, a character in Shadowlands can change their specialization, talents (and PvP talents if appropriate), legendary item, other equipment, active soulbind, and chosen path within that soulbind. When it comes to customizing your “loadout” – the set of tools you’re going to take into a given encounter – WoW offers more options than ever before, and you can almost entirely reshape your character on the fly to suit the moment. But as malleable as those choices are, none of them, other than perhaps your specialization, defines your character – they aren’t who you are, but rather what you happen to be doing at any given moment.
The impact this is actually going to have? If you main Warlock and want to push Arena rating and also do raiding and M+, you're going to need 2 max-level Warlocks. For Druids it's even worse.
Rather than add yet another layer to that decision matrix, we’re trying to do something different here, and let players more meaningfully define their character’s identity and set themselves apart from others who play the same class. And that identity entails a blend of aesthetic preference, narrative experience, and mechanical strengths and weaknesses. From the earliest sketched designs of the covenant system, our goal was for the answer to “what do you play?” in Shadowlands to be “Kyrian paladin” or “Venthyr paladin” rather than just “paladin.” And given the central role of combat and power progression to World of Warcraft as a whole, achieving that goal for most players requires that there be player power implications to covenant choice.
Playing a Kyrian Paladin vs Venthyr Paladin isn't a choice that anyone's excited to make, because the power is going away at the end of the expansion. It's a giant who cares. Except, of course, the Paladin who chooses Kyrian and then gets turned down for M+ groups for a whole week while they're on Covenant cooldown because they're not Venthyr.
None of this is to say that development on covenants and their powers is finished, or that we are not open to further changes. Far from it. We understand that when we offer a choice between competing packages of strengths and weaknesses, if we’re not careful, especially given social and community pressures, weaknesses can easily overshadow strengths. The satisfaction of having an edge in one type of content doesn’t make up for the frustration of being excluded entirely from participating in another. But while tearing down the entire system may seem to some like the simplest way to avoid that pitfall, we’re committed to working with the community to ensure that players feel viable regardless of their covenant choice.
The problem is that Blizzard has been handed, on a silver platter, the ideal solution: decouple player power from Covenants. The feedback has been consistent since Covenant class abilities were brought up. It's terrible design on its face. It doesn't require testing anymore than jamming your fist into a blender requires testing. We know it's a bad system already. We're giving the feedback that the system is bad. Blizzard needs to answer the question: who from the player base that actually knows what they're talking about is asking for the system as it is today? Who thinks that this iteration is the ideal?
If you really want to go Kyrian on your rogue, but can’t justify it because every guide currently says that the Necrolords’ Serrated Bone Spike is too good to pass up, or if an otherwise appealing covenant has benefits that seem irrelevant in PvP, those are exactly the sorts of imbalance we want to fix, and your feedback is essential to that process. In the coming weeks, we’ll be doing numerical tuning, making changes to underlying ability designs when needed, and potentially leveraging covenant-specific conduits if a covenant needs some targeted shoring up to ensure that they’re viable in a particular type of content. As our combat team shifts its focus primarily to tuning, we’ll be rolling those changes out to Beta servers ASAP for further testing and iteration.
Here's the problem: Blizzard's track record of actually fixing this stuff is awful, and what's worse, they wait until patches to fix it. They don't do iterative balancing, they simply allow things to be ludicrously out of balance until the next 9.x.0 or 9.x.5 patch. There will be no more than 7 balancing passes after release: 9.0.5, 9.1.0, 9.1.5, 9.2.0, 9.2.5, 9.3.0, and 9.3.5. So with this incredibly convoluted and complicated system, on top of which they will undoubtedly pile additional convolution and complication (look at Legion and BfA as historical examples), they get 7 chances to get it right. And if you're one of those classes whose balance issues don't get addressed until 9.2.5? Well, have fun not having fun for a year+. They cant want to fix things in one hand, and they can keep collecting your sub fee in the other. Guess which one fills up faster?
This isn't a philosophical difference. It's piss-poor game design, just like Legion legendaries before Legion launch and BfA Azerite armor was before BfA launch. The players know what they're talking about. We play this game WAY MORE than the designers and devs. No one is asking for player power and Covenants to be attached at the hip. You have the power to change the system, and this sunk cost fallacy arguing that "the system will unravel if we give players what they want" is both a cop-out and the reason that you actually needed to execute on the feedback far earlier. Players don't want to be condescended to and told "no no, once you actually play it it'll be fine", because we've been down that path before. It's time to stop mucking about and simply pull the damn ripcord.
submitted by amalgamemnon to wow