Wolcen's launch was a bit of a disaster, but the action RPG has been getting better with each weekly update. Today's 1.0.5 patch, for example, addresses an impressive number of bugs, broken skills, and glitches—but not everyone is super happy about it.
The biggest change in patch 1.0.5 is the removal of an unintended glitch which let players upgrade Unique items to Legendaries. Like a lot of ARPGs, Wolcen groups items by rarity and overall power into different tiers but also has a special category reserved for items that are hand-crafted by the developers and not simply the result of some algorithm. Called Uniques, these items often open up novel play styles, like Zephyron, a two-handed sword which lets players use lightning spells even though both hands are holding the sword.
As prominent Path of Exile ZiggyD explains in a video on the subject, the problem with Uniques is that they just aren't all that powerful and can't keep pace with weapons found in Wolcen's expansive endgame. Then players discovered that they could upgrade Uniques using one of Wolcen's endgame crafting methods and turn them into vastly more powerful Legendary items, giving them even more randomized stats and the option to adjust different bonuses (or get rid of nasty drawbacks). As ZiggyD says, it "opened up a whole new dimension of gearing."
The problem was that upgrading Uniques to Legendaries wasn't supposed to be possible and could easily be used to create some incredibly overpowered characters. Today's patch reverts those upgraded Uniques to their original forms, but Wolcen's developers aren't opposed to adding the feature in the future, after they've had a chance to properly balance it. "We are definitely not against implementing it as a feature in the future, we find the possibilities that it offers interesting, but we want to spend time in designing it so the system works and is properly integrated with the rest of the game," reads the patch notes.
It's a sensible response, but I can see why players are a little discouraged. Since launch, Wolcen has suffered from tons of glitches and broken skills—most of which are frustrating rather than fun—so taking away one of the bugs players actually enjoy is a little frustrating. Still, Wolcen's developers are making impressive progress on addressing its issues.
Patch 1.0.5 fixes a large number of outright broken skills and nerfs a few that were way too powerful, including the infamous Bleeding Edge skill, which players were using to obliterate Wolcen's toughest bosses in seconds. Like any patch that's heavy on nerfs, players are upset to see their once-powerful characters diminished. Already the subreddit and forums have a growing share of complaints, with many pointing out how other abilities and passive skills still need fixing.
It seems like Wolcen still has a long road ahead of it until it's anywhere near stable and balanced, but the last few patches are promising. Maybe one day Wolcen will join the pantheon of games that were a bit shit at release but gradually improved over time.