Recently Blizzard shared their new idea for a revamped party system that is aimed at increasing interaction between players who have characters at dramatically different levels. With the patch 7.3.5, Azeroth became more accessible and it seems like the developers are trying to increase the freedom to allow you to play with friends more. This is what Blizzard officially announced in a post:
“During this PTR we’re experimenting with a new mode that makes it easier for players in a party to do quests and play together: Party Sync. When players activate Party Sync, everyone in the party becomes aligned to the same quest state, including phases. By mousing over a quest in your tracker, you can see who is on the quest, what their progress is, and who’s ready to turn in the quest. There’s something else we’re going to try out on the PTR, a “replay” quest feature. This will allow players who have already completed certain quests to replay those quests with their friends for rewards that are appropriate to their current level, regardless of the original level of the quest.
We’re also relaxing level restrictions on queueing for instanced content with your friends. This allows lower-level players to queue for content in their level range, and higher-level players can choose to join them by having their level scaled down while they’re in the instance. This feature will be available for dungeon instances for PTR Week 1, with PvP instances being flagged in the following weeks. Please note that unlike Timewalking, when your level is scaled down via Party Sync you will temporarily lose access to abilities and powers (such as Azerite traits) with requirements that exceed your reduced level.”
Now there is a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with the update on trackers. This is a good addition just by itself as it is sometimes hard to track of the people in your party even if you’re on the same group so it’s a very welcome feature. The phasing alignment sounds really good on paper but time will show how they will solve issues like War Mode, which player’s phase will be the base phase etc.
The replay feature sounds amazing as it is a major incentive for the higher level player to play with the lower level character and receive a fitting reward for their time. Again this brings issues about the general reward system and whether the items will be balanced when the higher level player returns to their original path and whether the max level players get rewards at all, if so, to which extend?
Lower level queuing is also a very welcome addition, not many pitfalls to expect here as Blizzard is already experienced with this part considering Timewalking events and the scaling that came with the patch 7.3.5.
Lastly there is the issue about losing abilities. Apparently when your level goes down, so does your abilities and you lose your high level abilities until you’re out of party sync. While reading the post by Blizzard, personally I was worried about the abilities so this comes as a relief for me. The fact that the skills get scaled down as well shows that they are trying their best to make this feature as balanced as possible to make it a fun experience for everyone involved.
Do you think you’ll use the party sync feature? Maybe to help a new player or simply to lure a friend into Azeroth?