Recent Tradechat had some things to say about what's wrong with Artifact Power. I don't follow her all that closely but generally enjoy her vids. This video is worthwhile for the rant about AP items (which she HATES - I sort of dislike them but sympathize heavily). The items all have different names, don't stack, have inconsistent behavior, are not interruptable, and it's just freakin' dumb to have to (remember to) change specs, stand around clicking a bunch of items and watching cast bars, then spec back in order to continue.
[ETA: OK I just watched the bloopers, which I skipped the first time and I'm laughing so hard I am crying actual tears.]
- Total AP needed varies a huge amount because two-spec classes vs four-spec classes (or one spec - do hunters, warlocks, and mages ever seriously switch specs, or is it just flavor/preference?).
- AP currently rewards time spent much more than skill. People who don't get to play their regular spec in raid (usually excess tanks and healers) are at a big disadvantage because their off-spec weapon is far below the curve in AP, unless you're the sort that can grind AP many hours/day.
- Imbalanced AP runs counter to the overall Blizzard philosophy of allowing people to play two specs in a reasonable manner. This particularly hurts new tanks and healers who mostly want to (need to) level in DPS spec and need AP in that weapon but want to be tanking or healing in end-game content. It's harder to do that when you come into heroics and mythics with an underpowered weapon. I'm feeling this myself as I'm leveling Shurten now. Mostly I want to raid-heal (or at least mythic-heal) with him but if I don't spend AP on my DPS weapon the content is going to be more grindy. It's not an insurmountable challenge, just a flaw in the system-as-implemented.
- Artifact Knowledge both doesn't scale well with the needed AP for the last set of traits and is also highly penalized for missing a few days. I feel like the phone app helps that and there are supposed to be new catch-up mechanics coming so maybe this will be less of an issue soon.
- AK and AP are very alt-unfriendly. She suggests making AK account-wide, which doesn't feel like it would unbalance things terribly but I haven't mathed it out.
- It would be nice to be able to set your AP spec the way you set your loot spec. That would save a TON of pointless clicking around. At least the weapon auto-equips on spec change, but still.
- the lack of a confirm is uniquely bad. The game gives you confirms and undos for many things (remember how bad it used to be before you couldn't buy back from merchants or undo an accidental disenchant) but the only "undo" for AP is so insanely expensive it's nohow worthwhile since it's not actually an undo, it's "spend all the points you saved up for your next trait" instead.
In some ways this is a "now" problem and nobody will care when everyone is capped. Except maybe more traits are coming? I don't know how to read those tea leaves. Either way it's kind of a pain for the moment.