Corrupted Items Details and Feedback

The most recent PTR build introduced an early version of our Corrupted Items system, and we’d like to highlight a few aspects of how the Corruption system works, and our goals as we iterate on it.

How Corruption Works

Items from Ny’alotha, Mythic Keystone dungeons in Season 4, BfA PvP Season 4, the Heroic Darkshore Warfront, and other new sources of loot that are updated with Season 4 will not be able to Warforge or Titanforge. Items from older content will retain an effective “ceiling” of item level 455, as they do today.

There will be a chance for these new items to be Corrupted by N’Zoth. A Corrupted item has a powerful beneficial property, similar to many of the Benthic effects seen in Nazjatar, but has a new detrimental stat: Corruption. Items can have varying levels of Corruption, with the amount of Corruption present correlating directly with the power of the beneficial upside (for example: an item might give 4% Critical Strike damage and 10 Corruption, or 6% Critical Strike damage and 15 Corruption).

Corruption represents the influence of N’Zoth, which will have negative effects on the wearer. As Corruption increases, a series of drawbacks are activated. You might remember how Corruption worked on the Cho’gall encounter back in Bastion of Twilight – that was a source of inspiration here. The drawbacks currently on the PTR are works-in-progress and not-yet-tuned, and we have changes already implemented in the next PTR build. Our general intent is for low Corruption to activate a minor effect that most people can play around without too much difficulty, medium levels of Corruption to activate a couple more effects that have a higher skill cap (nd may be more situational in where and when someone can handle having them active), and high levels of Corruption to be prohibitive, and virtually never worth it.

Gear that makes your character worse when you equip it doesn’t sound terribly appealing, but fortunately there will be a few ways of dealing with Corruption. The legendary cloak that players will earn from Wrathion early on in Visions of N’Zoth will negate some Corruption, and can be upgraded through entering and completing Horrific Visions to provide even more of a bulwark against Corruption.

Early on, we expect that players might wear one or maybe two pieces of Corrupted gear at a time. Later on, three or four pieces might be manageable. The vast majority of the gear players wear, even later on, will not be Corrupted. And these perks aren’t planned to be slot-restricted, so if there’s a specific power you want, there should never be a concern that your item needs to roll with that affix to be useful.

We also never want an item that would otherwise be an upgrade to feel unusable as a result of being Corrupted, so any Corrupted items can be taken to the Heart Forge and purified without restriction . If you get that trinket you’ve been hoping for, but it’s Corrupted with a beneficial effect you don’t like, or wearing it would push you above a Corruption threshold you’re comfortable with, just purify the item and carry on.

Itemization Philosophy

With itemization, we’re always looking for opportunities to create moments of excitement and choices and options to customize your gameplay to suit your playstyle and the content you choose to play. Warforging created some of this by allowing useful rewards to come from a wide range of content, and ensuring that there was almost always at least the chance of an upgrade from any repeat boss kill or other source of loot. However, as we’ve seen and heard clearly in feedback over the past years, it has also brought significant downsides: Progression feels less rewarding, as players killing a raid boss on a new difficulty for the first time often disenchant much of the loot because they have equal or better Warforged items from lower difficulties or other sources. In addition, the feeling that a given item could have Warforged more and been even better can leave a sense of disappointment at what should have been a clear reward moment. And the sense that these systems are out of players’ direct control makes it harder to work towards a clear goal or state of completion.

The Corruption system isn’t a permanent addition to World of Warcraft, but it is an extension of the theme of N’Zoth’s pervasive and growing influence over Azeroth. As we explore this over the course of the PTR, we’d love to hear feedback about the initial round of powers showing up on items, Corruption drawbacks that may be excessively punitive, and the system as a whole.

Please feel free to reply with your feedback here in this thread. Thank you very much!


Well, here’s my feedback.

Scrap it.

Admit you made a mistake and move on. When people asked for no Titanforging, they asked for no Titanforging, not a weird system where there’s a chance that your item can get corrupted, and then a chance of that corrupted item having the affix you want, then a chance of the affix you wanted to be the correct level of the affix.

It’s ridiculous and is far too much.

Scrap the system, bring in Valor and introduce a 2/2 upgrade system with a +3 or +4 or w/e, to allow players to progress their characters long term by 6-8 Item Levels, still keep the Effort:Reward gaps which are important, and one of the biggest problems of Titanforging. If you must, introduce an RNG way of having your items pre-upgraded to save you a couple hundred valor.

Implement a hard weekly valor cap, allow 4-5 upgrades per week (2-3 items) bim bam bosh doneso.


i will never equip a corrupted item on my chars! NEVER!
I purified instant all corrupted items.
i dont play a hero that hurts other people!



Being someone who only does M+ (and the X/X HC raid in the first 2 IDs) on a high tier I’m really scared about that system because it will mean that my gear will always be 15 ilvl behind mythic raiders. I didn’t care about the RNG nature of titanforging and I don’t care about the even more RNG of corrupting items what I do care about though is: Please don’t force me to mythic raid only to have a chance to have competetive gear… please don’t force player to play content they don’t like. That’s 8.2 essence grind all over again (no not everyone wanted to play PvP just go get their BIS essence…).
Give people the opprtunity to progress in a way they like.

I can’t stress it enough: Don’t make people mythic raid only to get EVEN CLOSE to being geared within the top 5% range (as of right now a non mythic raider is only bottlenecked by the lack of max ilvl weapon and off-hand which is already bad enough but manageable).


While thematically cool, this system feels very over-engineered and convoluted.

The two problems TF had were 1) “too powerful items from random content” and 2) “too many random rolls to decide the item powerlevel”.

While this system solves the first, it doesn’t solve the second problem. In addition, it also manages to add a completely new problem to the mix; “negative traits on items”, and this does not feel good. Loot should never be detrimental. A random upgrade that has negative effect is a very strange concept. Imagine if hotels and flights would “randomly upgrade” you to a seat/room that was worse than the one you had?

It’s also not easy to know, what the actual powerlevel of an Corrupted item is and to make that decision (weighing it against the negative effects) will require third-party websites and simulations. This is a clear design failure and I have hard time believing this is in-line with your overall design goals.

Removing TF, keeping WF and potentially addin 1-2 purchaseable +5 ilvl upgrades (in the style we had in Mists of Pandaria) was all you really had to do. Elegant, simple and reasonably deterministic system.


I think this system might be a good alternative to titanforging if the bonuses are tuned correctly. No effect should be tuned that it is better then equiping an item with like 10 or 15 ilvl higher.
If the effect on rank 3 is worth like 6 ilvl that would be a nice balance and higher content would reward you better which is something you planned to achieve with the removal of titanforging.

If the items are worth more though i have some concerns to the balance for pvp and roles.
For example a melee will have a harder time with kiting the corruption add or moving out of the zones then a hunter for example. Either there should be class sepcific or role specific corruption negative effects or you need to tune up the corruption gains for those roles that can deal with those easier.
For pvp i beg you that you strictly disable the corruption bonuses. It is already hard to get gear except of Pve and with that system you’d have to spam m+ to get some proper corruption items.


I already have players that were eagerly waiting for next patch that have informed me on reading about this corruption and the farming linked to it that they will stop playing.

In a nutshell, this sucks.

Adding nasty effects and requiring players to actually nerf themselves to equip stuff is not fun.

Imagine I am lucky and get 3 pieces of great gear with great bonuses and corrupted: I cant equip one because of the corruption. Does that feel good: no. So your solution is to go clean it and remove the bonus and corruption: still not feeling good.

I have played this game for 15 years. I have always wondered why you guys are trying hard to avoid design choices that were good and you destroyed.

Being able to upgrade gear twice was great.
Limiting titanforge proc to 2 upgrade of +5ilvl is enough
or Adding a flavor potential beneficial item proc (savor of azeroth) would be ok.

But this system of corruption, tied to farming non stop to reduce it and a cloak with bad itemisation to alievate its bad design is what I would call a game killer.

BFA is the worse expansion ever and this would definitely seal it. Whoever comes up with these ideas need to go back to basics where wow was much simpler. Look at TBC, WOTLK itemisation, no need to make things more complicated than that, people liked it then. numbers dont lie.


I just thought farming ~1000 pearls for my Hunter’s benthic boots with a socket was RNG. But the corrupion system beats even that.
I really loose interrest in my alts and the game - benthic RNG, essences farm, AP, titanforging, weekly chest RNG and so on.
It ´s just grind, rng, grind, rng … as others have pointed out: a +5/+10 warforge system would be enough. The system was good in MoP.
Why invest so much development time for a feature no one asked for? It’s not fun to play with a high corruption-crippled character. But you need to, because these items are BiS and outperform any other item.
This will need so much tweaking & fixing again, when the devs couldn’t even balance essences. For most classes pvp essences are BiS in pve - awesome mechanics!


Scrap it…

This system is just moer RNG. This is not what the community asked for as a replacement for TF. In the end, it seems you thought of something that you knew people wouldn’t like, but ensured there was a way to opt out (Cleansing Corrupted Gear). This essentially makes it so you didn’t give us anything at all. Yet at the same time, you give something to the crazy players that just like to min/max and the players that love that lootbox feeling.

It’s sad that you think RNG is the only way to keep people playing. Yes the times in gaming have changed, players of many different genres love their lootbox fixes, however WoW is not like them, and you have a wonderfully diverese player base, which contains some real vets of gaming. My point is that you should have focused more on class design if you wanted to keep your sub numbers up. Think of MoP where class design was probably the best it had been in the game ever. People played for love of the actual gameplay. It should always be this way.

Now unfortuanetly, you give little attention to classes, and you know its boring, so instead you give us RNG on top of RNG on top of RNG. Except this time it’s RNG on top of RNG on top of RNG, with a dash of high chance of death…


Completely agree, i played enough raiding before, and wont play again. It’s make no sense to play m+ w/o mythic raiding for me with this system right now. If it doesnt change, i’ll definitely skip next season.


i think this seem really cool! DO NOT SCRAP IT. i understand the need to rethink a system so integrated will effect people, whatever you do. This seem like a good first step, and whatever happens with this system, and its flaws will help make the next system. (But as a guild officer, please let us cleanse an item with a toy, consumable or something, we don’t want people to leave a raid to cleanse an item, then to get summoned back after every boss. )

things i might se as a pain tho, and the basis of people outcry; getting the corruption you WANT vs how many are practically useless for you. (as in getting a master% all sources for my fury warrior as i stack crit and haste.)

but then again all sources haste, crit and crit damage is the only ones im interested in. (crit in all honesty tho)

ALSO, what happanes to the “random” socets? leech? avoidance? are these things gone as well then? id say thars good!, but id love for blizz to add these effects to some of the items for flavour then instead. Leech always feels like a nice bonus


exactly that!
MoP long term progression was by far the best system we had


Before gear had to xforge. Now it has to corrupt, then it has to roll correct effect then it has to have desired corruption value and strenght of the positive effect. That’s a very bad system. Gearing should be finite and reliable, something you can work for, not rolling rng after rng (plus corruption
is making 8.3 daily content even more mandatory instead of optional). Lear from Classic.


Completely agree, i played enough raiding before, and wont play again. It’s make no sense to play m+ w/o mythic raiding for me with this system right now. If it doesnt change, i’ll definitely skip next season.


My feedback:

  1. Remove random sockets, add fix sockets to loot (maybe remove some of the secondary stats in exchange). Sockets make low ilvl gear desired over high ilvl gear. (eg. On a cloak or ring, for certain classes it can bring over 30ilvl power!!!) Still my 415 socket rings are better than the mythic 445 ones without socket. Waiting for an unrealistically low chance upgrade is not fun.

  2. Remove random corruption stat, make it static corresponding to the bonus type. eg.: crit damage bonus is always -10, crit stat increase is always -5…

  3. Remove random tiers, the strength of the effect can be based on the ilvl, but shouldn’t scale too much. eg. 5%, 5.5%, 6%

PEOPLE HATE RANDOMNESS, this is not Diablo where we can farm all day for a loot, we get one or two chances weekly. Just reduce the random factor by a whole lot.



Hit the nail on the head my friend. Bravo!

I honestly think this is a great idea. Everyone keeps being elitist and undecided. In the end, we should be playing this game for fun.

The items do not have drawbacks, the bonuses do. The items can be cleansed and then that’s that. If you want even more powerful items, you have to play into the expansion’s theme, and sacrifice yourself a bit. Even though, I’m pretty sure most of these effects will be pretty easy to deal with by the low end players by the time they get live. High end players should rejoice they have an extra level of tactics/hardness to deal with. That’s why they are on that level.

I feel like players who actually like the game don’t express themselves that much, and the game starts being molded around the toxic ones’ comments. I understand the problems of trying to please everyone, but I also think some of you should just shut up and play the game, because if you’re still here, b*tching about it, that means you still play. So just enjoy rather than this.

Devs keep doing what you do, I enjoy all the stuff that’s added to the game, because, in the end it’s more to do in the game that I love. Please keep making this game awesome and keep being awesome!

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There is no excitement in this much rng, only frustration. And there are no choices either since you have to wear what you get by rng not by your choice.


No clue what Corruption can do, but this sounds like a PuG-nightmare. Some random d00d wearing 5 of those pieces ending up in him constantly dying?


Just as much if not more players that don’t like the game don’t express themselves either. They either play disgruntly, moan to their guildies or quit. Don’t be delusional in thinking that because you dont hear them, they are happy. Basic analysis will tell you that if most people are whining on forums then most people are probably pissed in game too.

No one has been ‘elitist and undecided’ with the amount of retarded RNG in this game. Most don’t like it. Not the way it is now anyway.