Friday, 19 October 2012
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
Was there ever a greater sin against the English Language than Rod Stewart's 1978 "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy". It looks like the title was written by the Leet generation, no doubt they can convey the same message in 4 or 5 characters today.
Today's topic is Reputation and mandatory content as discussed in WoW Insider. The same messages seem to pop up all the time, "It's only a game", "I need that item so that I can Raid". As always it is about instant and excessive consumption (does anybody remember LFR Dragon Soul - I beat Deathwing what is next?). The Godmother yesterday argued that she wants the Reputation Grind to take longer, and for anybody who attempted the original Timbermaw or Wintersaber rep grinds you will appreciate the true dedication that this game used to attract.
The Hard Core Raiders, could argue that they were forced to endure 5 levels of questing and grinding to get to the next tier of end game content. PvPers have the choice to twink or move up 5 levels to where the lambs will be available for the slaughter.
XP and questing is the main object of the game, and Raiding, PvP, Crafting, Farming, Dailies and Pet Battles are the things to keep us occupied before they can progress the story further in another 2 years time.
In Cataclysm the reputation grinds allowed us to purchase Head and Shoulder Enchants, Blue entry level Dungeon gear and some mounts and vanity pets. Most people would have outgeared the rewards before they achieved exalted status. In my opinion the same is likely to happen again. The answer is to have short reputation grinds for lower level gear or longer reputation grinds for higher level gear. Gated content and rewards, will always result in people choosing the easiest path.
Blizzard's main aim is to allow you to do the content that you want to do. This resulted in Valor points being available for doing Daily quests, but counter to this argument was the removal of Tabard rep gains for doing Heroic Dungeons. The obvious answer is to continue the rep gains from instances but reduce the amount of rep for each Boss kill, making the time and effort similar for comparable rewards. If there is no quick or easy solution to gaining rep, then people will do the game play that they want to, unless there is a restriction to amount they can earn in a day or week, if there is not a limit then a lot of people will do both.
Blizzard has adopted different parenting schemes during the life cycle of World of Warcraft, sometimes they allow the player to play as much as they want, and other times they tighten up the amount of access to the content a player can achieve and how quickly they can consume it. Weekly Valor caps are one method and raid locks is another way to provide parental controls, without these safeguards some people would raid 7 days a week and grind dailies in between. When dailies where first introduced during TBC, there was originally a cap on the number of dailies that could be completed, which was originally set at 10 then 25 and recently removed completely. I don't think I have ever managed 25 dailies and so to me it is slightly alien concept of why Blizzard needed to remove it. I personally think it might eventually lead to early burnout and daily fatigue. Rohan at Blessing of Kings, discusses the principle of optional, and states that raiders will view aspects of the game as being necessary or useless. Necessary items must be gained immediately to gain any additional benefit to their core activity of Raiding.
Getting ready for Mists of Pandaria, I spent hours preparing my characters for the expansion, that when it finally arrived I had no additional time or energy to devote to marathon levelling sessions, not that my family situation allows for that kind of behaviour. I spent 3 weeks levelling to 90 and felt completely in the slow lane, I was embarrassed as a blogger but not as a gamer. Speeding through content will merely hastened the disappointment and fatigue at some point during the expansion. Each raid tier leads to gear and stat inflation, and that all important item today, will be vendor trash tomorrow.