If you thought to yourself a few weeks ago, "The choice of pact won't be that important, it's all still alpha," you'll have been disabused of your faith when you see the list of bonuses for the four pacts in the Shadowlands dungeons.

As we reported more than four months ago, it's obviously not a good idea to link the choice of pact with character power


Now the developers have gone one better and given each pact in two of the eight Shadowlands dungeons features that look like this, for example:

Necrolords Bonuses in Plague Fall

  • There are several slime enemies in the dungeon that Necrolords can use the special ability Fleshforms on after they die, stealing the enemies' passive buff. For three minutes at a time, they provide Congealed Contagion, Rapid Infection, or Corrosive Gunk to all players within ten meters. However, only one of the buffs can be active at a time.

As a follower of the Necrolords in this dungeon, you will occasionally give the party 25% speed, 25% damage reduction, or an additional damage effect in the form of a DoT for three minutes. So optionally, you'll sometimes walk around with a three-minute combat rush. The other pact bonuses in dungeons are similarly powerful and make the instance much easier.

So if you want to complete high keystones in time, it's best to have a Necrolord with you. There are two problems with this system:

  • Group composition for the M+ meta becomes even more straitjacketed. Groups are looking for specific pact followers for specific dungeons. If the Necrolord pact abilities are only good for a handful of classes, only certain classes will be found.
  • On the other hand, fixed M+ groups find themselves forced to use different pacts. Because ideally, you want to have players with four different pacts for all dungeons. Having more Necrolords in the Necrolord dungeon doesn't improve the pact bonus you can unlock there.
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This may sound like typical tryhard whining to some ears, but even those who solo every WoW ID in search of only halfway high keystones find time and again that this tryhard metagame has become entrenched even among the great mass of players.

So in addition to the class/spec choice, the oh-so-meaningful Raider.io score, and the appropriate pact skill, the pact also plays a crucial choice when signing up for specific instances. Even if you clear all these hurdles, the group leader may say "Sorry, we already have a Necrolord in the group. "

For the average player, the dungeon bonuses make it even more difficult to choose the right pact skill, which will probably accompany them throughout the expansion. Since the developers keep preaching the two words "Meaningful choices" in regards to the pacts in every interview and update, we also don't see the scenario where the pact bonuses are particularly weakened.

From my point of view, the only scenario on how to save this homemade balance disaster is to implement even more of these bonuses. Yes, that sounds counterproductive to any balance attempt at first, but then it makes the game "broken" or unpredictable in a way like the spoilage effects did at the end of BfA. Then the twilight devastation from the tank procts and makes all other damage distributors look old in the damage meter. But that doesn't matter, because other classes can do crazy things with their corruption effects in other situations (cue Infinite Stars). This would then also silence the so-called tryhards at least to some extent, because they will probably put up with it.

I would be interested in your opinion: Is even more uniqueness of the pacts good? Does the balancing not matter? Is the tryhard whining too loud? Write us in the comments.

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