Friday, October 09, 2015

The World is Not Enough

Put that building THERE... what do you mean, no? ^^ 

Levelling multiple alts in Draenor really exposes the issues this Expansion creates for players who don't mainline one character. Despite the assertions from Blizzard that the Garrison would not be mandatory, the 'concept' becomes almost impossible to ignore especially for those who want to level faster. It provides a pretty inescapable mechanic for those who won't be able to gear in Raiding content: to not take advantage of the downtime most alts will weather to have free items waiting for you on your return? You'd be dumb not to be doing this 'grind' and so there's then the need to pick up Followers, and begin their gearing... and it is not as if you can ignore these things when you see how brutal the 6.2 'end game zone' is for anyone who's not in plate or mail, or rocking a pet class. That's probably the biggest use for the Barracks and a Bodyguard too, and so (yet again) the notion of 'convenience' becomes an essential part of your process, and that's wrong.

All of this is just making me feel that to get the most out of the game with an alt, there really is only one way to play.


The problem is, of course, your alts aren't meant to do End Game except in a Raid. When Blizzard consider alts, I think most of the time they imagine someone with a Raiding Main who rolled some other classes to help out when someone couldn't make the progression fights. It is abundantly apparent they don't grasp the emotional attachment many have to the process of developing multiple characters, despite the fact they keep introducing new classes for people to play. It is as if the notion of having just one favourite pervades everything that is planned in the game: it doesn't matter how awful the levelling experience is, you'll only do it once anyway so it doesn't matter, and because you just want Alts to raid with we'll introduce the 90 Boost and you can skip all the crap to just start End Game. Of all the lessons that need to be learnt from Warlords, the importance of alts is crucial to many people's game play experience.

It's odd, when you watch Developers expound over concepts in gaming that clearly matter to them, how the principles are lofty and aspired to but in practice the reality often doesn't hold up across the widest range of gaming consumers. I don't think for a moment that Blizzard suspected how much of a millstone Garrison mechanics would become to some, how reducing the places that people could congregate and indeed wanted to use would have such and adverse affect not simply on player happiness, but the retention of subs as a result. Because when you're in the middle of a storm that rages around you, things look different. Speaking from personal experience I know how great it would be to have Garrisons working for me across all my family, but the time to make that happen is incredibly prohibitive, and herein lies the bigger issue. Wanting to play an alt depends on having time to do so. Giving EVERYBODY a Garrison was a fatal mistake Blizzard was warned about by many, but deliberately chose to ignore.

Extra Garrison Followers? CHECK :D

The reason, I think, is that Blizzard decided people would do the work, and so this has been the case for many, but not for everyone. I know the gold millionaires from this system, I've seen their spreadsheet and their graphs to prove that yes, if you play the game obsessively in any capacity, you will always end up at an advantage. But for most there is no desire to do this, the cyclical nature of sub gain and loss a true testament to how MMO's are now played in passing by the majority and kept alive by the same core of committed players. The key for any developer therefore should be how to retain more at the core and lose less to the seasons, and in this game that means finding a way to make all the stuff that's not Raiding more interesting and repeatable. because for everyone who'll buy the upcoming L100 boost (it's Soon (TM), people) there's at least one person who'll be levelling the old fashioned way. In Draenor, that's becoming less and less attractive with every repetition I do. Even with potions and easy XP, this has stopped being fun, and now it's becoming a chore.

Of course, not knowing anything about new process means that when we finally do see what's in store, there'll be a whole unique timescale to accommodate in terms of learning and understanding what's been presented. For those of us who are traditionally slow learners, this is something generating some nervousness. I have to hope Blizzard truly have learned their lessons from Warlords, and that what we get isn't just the company ignoring the good that they've created in the last few years and desperately attempting to throw everything at the Broken Isles and hoping some of it sticks. Sometimes it isn't about offering something for everybody, it's finding the right elements that appeal to a wider range of tastes. The levelling experience from 90-100 had a huge amount going for it, but after seven runs, there are holes that could be filled with other things.

It's not simply variety, after all.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Things We Do For Love

Seriously, WHERE IS MY HAIR? ^^ 

In the name of Science, I went on Sunday to see just how ridiculous it is to grind Sha'tari Skyguard Defense Reputation. Many people have complained to me how pointlessly stupid this faction is, but actually? I'm going to disagree. I actually had quite an enjoyable time conducting my research, mostly because of Comedy Bodyguard Delvar Ironfist, the place I picked, and the fact that actually I really enjoy mindless grinding. Yup, that's me, over there, piling up Dinosaur Bones or doing Circuits of Disappointment, and with the addition of a Darkmoon Top Hat? So much the better.

Achievement is relative.

I did an hour deliberately, the session shows my total time online however, which was 92 minutes. In the 60 I farmed, I managed just over 2500 rep, which although won't break any records, means I can work out exactly how long it would take to hit Exalted at that rate. The problem is, of course, that the hats won't last beyond the Faire's duration and so probably just under 2500 an hour is what I can expect. Which, if truth be told, is perfectly reasonable when I choose only to do this in one hour bursts. Any more and my brain explodes. So this, with everything else, can be put on the To Do List, with a reasonable time-frame for conclusion.

Plate is for wusses ^^

Of course, the real reward I want is on Page Two, as is often the case, but the mount will be mine (oh yes) along with the one from Lucky Coins and the one from fishing in the Garrison and all those others... it just needs planning. Which I'm doing, because keeping my mind occupied is exactly what needs to be done right now.

If it matters enough to someone, they'll get the job done. That's the same with this Reputation, and indeed everything else besides.

The End

Everything comes to an end. That's just the way the world works. Great bands come and go, websites rise and fall, the world is a constant stream of alteration and continuation. And in all of this, many of us strive for meaning where often none can actually be found. What we always forget, above everything else, is that the subtlety of true understanding is almost inevitably lost in the moment.

After ten years, a lot has changed in my World of Warcraft.

Patterns everywhere :D

I've begun to see patterns that I'd missed over the years: the limits of my graphics card, the holes in the game world, the things that are missing and aren't spoken about by others. It stops being about what I know and more about what I don't get told, and the more this happens the stronger becomes the desire to not be the person to fill in the gaps. I can join the dots in my head and it doesn't need to be uttered any more, because that can be somebody else's job to decide is important and not mine. All that bothers me now is what happens next, and until someone decides to come and present that information to me? I have nothing to say.

The only journey that matters is yours.

Please don't ask me to pass comment on other people's decisions. Please stop assuming I'm some guru on what will happen to this game. I don't know everything, I'd have to Google most things just like you would, and nobody should ever want to sit and spout knowledge in such a way that they end up being called 'an authority' because nobody ever ends up knowing everything, that's stupid. I'd like just for once to have some opinions that I don't need to share, or even expound with people, because in the end you don't want to know what I think 24/7, that's unhealthy. Make your own decisions, draw your own conclusions, but if you decide to stand up and pronounce them as fact? That's beyond foolish. If you choose to believe other people's assertions without the true grasp of all the facts? You have only yourself to blame when reality finally tempers them in a different light.

Because in the end, the love you take is equal to the love the love you make.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

GUEST POST :: Let's Remove LFR

It's always the DPS, right? ^^ 

For this morning's Guest Post I'd like to thank @Marathal_2_0 for his contribution on why it may finally be time to remove LFR from the game. If you'd like to read his blog, you can find it here. Mara's been one of my most committed supporters in recent times and I'd like to thank him for the post and for just being there when I need a voice of sanity. Without further ado, time to hand the Blog over to him:

Let's Remove LFR

Before everyone grabs their pitchforks, tar, and feathers and runs me out of town on a rail let me clarify.

In the current game design it is fairly simple to equip yourself with gear more than sufficient to solo the majority of current outdoor content.  There are only a handful of Rare creatures outside of Tanaan Jungle that will give a solo player a hard time or are near impossible.  I have to say that this change has been very welcome to me. Currently, I am sitting at an iLvL of 699, one more piece from Kazzak may put me at 700 or higher. Looking at the suggested content for me to improve myself further would require running Heroic Raids. So part of the issue in the past, having to run LFR or Normal to improve your gear so that you could feel powerful and go about doing things on your own has been taken off the table. You no longer "have to" run LFR or even run Normal raids, unless you are looking at having Raid Tier sets of gear.

I am sure that Blizzard has the metrics on what percentage participate in LFR/Normal/Heroic/Mythic as current tier content, also what percentage uses LFR to advance to higher levels of difficulty.  What I would suggest is what ever the percentage of the player base, beyond LFR, should represent the percentage of the content that encompasses.  If 30% are actually involved in Raiding then 70% of the overall end game content should be outside of the raids. Having LFR as a means to justify having raids may have seemed like a great idea four years ago, but we have all seen the problems. From the high end raiders feeling like they had to run LFR, to your average player being encouraged to acquire a Legendary item, being coerced into running it so many times they learn to loathe the raid itself and that attitude reflects in how they behave.

We are at a point where many are working on 2nd, 3rd, 4th or more alts, trying to get them to 100 asap, working to have them geared so that come next year they will have their small army ready to go if needed. I have become so numb to the experience that even doing one full clear of everything, just to see the story and have the achievement, really does not matter any more.  I have waited 90 minutes in a queue for the final boss, have fought through many wipes, have read all the criticisms that it takes 8 to 10 stacks in order for groups to possible down him.  Having the final cinematic released removed even that motivation. The decision to stagger the release for this final tier took too long for me. Where I might have had the urge to run a full clear 2-3 weeks after everything was opened, waiting as long as I had to just left me with time to acquire gear in other ways, to where I do not need to even set foot into a raid.

I feel raiding is a part of the game that has an appeal to many players. However, the focus of trying to get as many as possible into current tiers of raiding is forcing too many into content they are not prepared for, nor do they really want to be there. Remove the everyone gets a Legendary, remove LFR, keep the gearing model developed in Tanaan. And lastly, do not remove the possibility of mount or pet drops with an Ahead of the Curve cut off date. We will get there, we will do it in our own time if you give us the chance, and keep the motivation to do so.

The Calm before the Storm

And another one's gone, another one's gone... 

This week's been hard going.

It's tough when you know your favourite thing's got something new in development, but you can't see what it is yet. I remember as a kid wanting to know about TV shows and what happened next, and the real understanding I didn't get to find that out until they aired. There as no Internet to speculate with back then, and my friends weren't interested in the same shows I was. Come to think of it, they weren't really my friends either, but that's a blog for another day. There's simply a recognition that eventually, news happens, and when it does I'd better be bloody ready to drop everything to cover it.

Yup, I'm here.

I'm not alone either, there's others with me. Lots of you, I've seen the frustration and annoyance. Of course, a lot of people simply go off and play something else, or another Blizzard game, this migration is well-known even by the company itself. What worries me is that they may have started accepting this as part and parcel of the game's development cycle, and to me that's just wrong. You don't let people go like this, you should be encouraging them to stay, making them want to play and take part in what is a living, breathing experience for some of us. Except I get not everybody feels things the way I do. That's probably best for everybody, if truth be told.

This is now done. YAY.

All I can do now is set myself reasonably-acceptable goals and try and stick with them. Getting alts to 100. Finishing achievements. Investing time to make gold. There's really not much else to be done with the tasks of personal development, and so Mogging will take front and centre for the next few days, as there's a bunch of you guys wanting work from me, and that's something I really enjoy. I'm grateful for those offering Guest Posts to keep me going in the lean times, and there's another one coming shortly from another of my long-term readership. If you want to be a part of this, you know where to find me, and it will be gratefully received, just because it shows that this is about Community and not simply me rehashing the same topics time and again.

You only sing when you're building ^^

There is stuff to say and do, and I do have some informative and articulate stuff to share, but for now just know that I'm waiting here, like the rest of you, and however frustrating it might be, I'm not going anywhere. Sorry, you people who now can't comment about my stuff without actually having a recognised online presence, but hey. This way, you have to work to abuse me, and that's never a bad thing, right?

So, where was I?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Getting Away With It

It seems that most of the loot from Pit of Saron and some of The Frozen Halls zone drops had their sell price reduced by 90%, along with the removal of sockets (but not the socket bonus) from some items like Polished Mirror Helm. 

Normally, I'd not give something like this little piece from MMO any more time than usual, but nerfing the vendor prices of dropped weapons anywhere immediately gives me pause for thought. Because this means that Blizzard could be watching what's being sold and acting accordingly to nix the prices.

One of my oldest screenshots.

The Pit is the only grinding spot for the Battered Hilt, your entry into the suitably epic questline to obtain your own Quel'delar (Hunter weapon used here for demonstration porpoises.) The Pit's also a decent place to grind Frostweave, which without a Tailor (Northern Cloth Scavenging) can often get quite soul-destroying. The fact Blizzard have nerfed it suggestes to me it could be being botted quite heavily, which was the reason why chests were eventually removed from Outland Heroic instances a while back. In fact, it's the reason why chests have stopped being a feature in most places pre-Wrath, because Blizzard feels that free gold's just not something they can afford to leave lying around for Bots to pick up. However, this development is of slight concern, because this is the first time in a while we've seen vendor prices altered, and certainly this move being effectively a stealth nerf should have alarm bells ringing.

I say this because I spend quite a lot of time in Dragon Soul making a good living, and if Wrath dungeons are being targeted, Cataclysm may be next in line.

It could finally be coming.

The fact there's not been a massive outcry on this could be for many reasons. Maybe it is down to the change not affecting anyone I know, and (presumably) only the botters whose software targets the same programme to strip instances of anything worthwhile. However there's a lot of us farming the Legacy content, and to lose that income prior to an Expansion could be a hit many won't be happy to accommodate. More importantly still this could mark the start of a sea-change on Blizzard's part, that the decision's been made to reduce the availability of easy gold to drive players into buying in-game tokens. There is of course also the possibility as this happened post-patch that it could have been an honest mistake, but I don't think that is necessarily the case. The loss of sockets from certain items says to me that this could well have been a quick and dirty nerf that was only corrected when someone noticed. Now I've mentioned all this in a Blog Post? Maybe we'll get clarification on what actually happened. That's often how these things work, after all.

There is one other option to be considered too: these dungeons could be next up for being Timewalked, or they could have a relevance to the Legion campaign, and this is why the changes have taken place. I'm trying not to do speculation too much right now however, and we'll just have to wait and see if this move is a precursor to anything more drastic. For now, I'll be running my weekly Circuit of Disappointment with a particularly critical eye in the weeks that follow, because I've always wondered how long the party would last. Blizzard are under no obligation to keep me in free money any more, after all.

GUEST POST :: How I Became Queen

Making faces at the competition? CHECK! 

It's time for another Guest Post, and this time I'd like to welcome The Gold Queen to the Blog. She's a prolific Gold earner, with a vast following and some pretty solid tips on how to make your money in Azeroth. I asked her how she got started in game, and here's her answer. ENJOY.


The Name “The Gold Queen”

I love the sarcasm and the fake arrogance of naming myself as queen. The name comes from a single day in 2010 when I discovered after a long day at the Auction House that I owned ¼ of all the value of that AH. I was explaining this to my young son with autism who exclaimed “wow Mummy you're like the queen of gold!” I loved his innocence and pride, and I took the name for my gold making blog that I was starting. There's a massive difference between arrogance and justified humble pride. The name TGQ plays on this.

Gold making is about marching to your own drum. Rebelling against the prescribed routes to the top (pve, pvp) and finding your own way to success. Anyone who has ever been poor and seen someone able to afford a purchase they can't, will know the envy. It's similar to when I was starting to play WoW and saw someone with their first loot from Molten Core, and I didn't have it. Playing the gold market is a way of staying at the top of the game.

Not a Gold Farmer

I'm shocked at the way players have reclaimed the name 'farmer' from Chinese gold sellers. In my experience, it is a term of derision and abuse, almost as bad as hacker and scammer. I'm the total opposite of that, being careful to make sure that my work in the AH is about creating, helping, being part of the community by trading goods into more useful items and charging fairly for the work.

I got into gold making in a small way back in Vanilla, killing mobs at Tyr's Hand. But it wasn't until The Burning Crusade and then Wrath of the Lich King that I got into gold making in a big way. In vanilla World of Warcraft, levelling and raiding was a big achievement. As guild leader of the biggest guild on Bronzebeard EU, we celebrated my level 60 with a mount parade and then a naked raid on Orgrimmar. PvP was limited to a few odd people who spent all day in Alterac Valley, or post-raid duels outside Ironforge.

I started making gold seriously after the Illidan kill in Black Temple. I had completed all pve content. Then I spent some time with an alt doing pvp and geared it fully. I turned to gold making to fill in my time.

Playing the Gold Game.

I found an untapped game where I could use intelligence and quick thinking instead of having to rely on a raid team or having to destroy the opposition. I was second on my server to afford the Travellers Mammoth, but only by a few hours. Inspired, I set about buying a second mammoth for my bank alt, much to the irritation of the other level 80s who couldn't afford one for their main.

Unlike pve or pvp, the more I learned about gold making, the more I discovered was left to learn. Once you kill the latest, largest, freshest mythic boss, you know the tactics, and you're done. But if you make one sale in the Auction House, you make only one sale. In the Auction House, you're competing with other players, who are adapting as fast as you are. You think you've learned something awesome the first time you buy something on the AH and then resell it there for more gold.  Then you realise that this is called flipping and that can be done on many other markets. And that there are markets, and you can create a list of things to buy for resale. When you learn that, you discover they're called Snatch Lists and that people actually publish lists of them. And then you learn about addons and automating these snatch lists, buying low, selling high.

Deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole you go. The gold making community, together, are helping and competing and encouraging each other to go deeper and further. This is because our competition is ourselves. We're not depending on new raid content, or rated battleground groups. The better gold makers don't even care that garrisons are virtually giving away gold to everyone and anyone, and that professions have been given the same treatment by Blizzard that I usually give to my 3-ply Charmin. We've been adapting every expansion and patch since forever, and don't rely on cut and paste routes and methods, instead trying out new things ourselves and enjoying the hunt.

Maybe gold making isn't the endgame for you. Maybe you're bored with raids, and annoyed with arenas. There are other ways to play the game, make your own measure of success. Roleplay. Own a massive stable of battle pets. Level an army of alts. Earn Travel Azeroth taking screenies or movies.

It's your game. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Simple Things

Not drowning to increase DPS, sorry. 

We're at the point in the Expansion where complaining about stuff that is just wrong is not actually likely to get anything done about it, because it's that point in an Expansion. This means that my irritation that my Rune of Power will often appear up walls and underwater is going to fall on deaf ears, because if I'd have wanted that altered I'd have needed to raise the ticket around about 6.1. Except, I wasn't playing alts back then because there was too much to do on my Main. Oh, it is a fickle game we play, I know. It's that moment when you bring your Barracks back to level Bodyguards and you remember that Delvar Ironfist uses Thassarian's voice set and that whole copy/paste thing really winds me up again.

Oh, and don't get me started about him staying mounted, especially indoors ^^


This is normally the point where some well-meaning soul will turn up and say 'well, if you're not enjoying things then it's time to play something else' and I'll effectively lose my rag and rage at how this game is still full of stupid bugs and mistakes and has been since Launch, and if I want to play in it (and I really do because I'd like all my characters at 100 before Legion) then I should just shut up and get on with it. Which, as it happens, I am. Mage is now geared to the same standard my two new Hunters are and it took her 36 hours, whereas they were at it for over a week. As soon as the next Hunter levels (probably an hour after I've written this), she'll be geared into the 640's thanks to me getting my finger out and Timewalking before she hit 100 and instead of spending the badges I've waited until she maxxes to do so most efficiently.

The thing is, I can do this dance in my sleep now. What I lack is immersion. I just want to make sure Blizzard are clear on what's missing for next time, that's all.

Darkmoon Hats are coming.

I also know that this week I need to be buying Darkmoon Hats and grinding Sha'Tari Defense rep. I get if I want to level a bodyguard this is a good combination to be exploiting. I can min/max casual content from here to Christmas but you know I'd rather not be doing that, even I think that maybe it's time for a change. Sure, once Hallow's End appears there'll be a brief distraction but after that? I'd like some new content, please, and I don't count Flying to collect new Pets or Toys as content.

If you're not going to do that? Then maybe you could spare an hour for someone to sort out the issues with the existing gubbins now. Just a thought.

Nobody Does it Better

This place was once a home. 

I can't shake the feeling that Draenor has been let down by Blizzard in this Expansion.

Somewhere along the line, in the process of the pre-development of the zone, I can't help but sense that something fundamental happened inside the Company. I have no idea what this was, but the effect is only now becoming clear to me in what I see left behind in a Continent that promised so much and seems to have delivered so little. I'm only discovering just how richly painted this world is after it's already had time called on it, unearthing areas of beauty and cleverness that have up until now just not been apparent, because there were no signposts to take me there. Normally the richness of Blizzard's backdrops is supported by a strong backbone of Lore and participation, but this time that connection simply doesn't exist.

It is as if Blizzard just forgot that to play in a place successfully, one needs to live and enjoy what that means on a regular basis.

The focus on individual needs is not healthy in an MMO.

Part of the problem with this, I feel, is the current obsession with the player as 'hero' and that making events revolve around them is actually not healthy. The concept of the Garrison of course has done nothing to help this cause: that we are part of a world, yes, but without others within that? Things just don't work as well. One only has to look at events such as Brewfest to understand why focuses for group content outside of organised instances is so important. When I think of what might have happened if the faction hubs in Frostfire and Shadowmoon had been capitalised on? So much of what could have come after would have been given a framework to hang on. Instead Blizzard decided that the artwork Garrisons needed was simply easier to duplicate, and that people would want to hang out in these places because everyone wanted to be a Commander. As everyone now acknowledges this was not the case, one wonders why we're being sold Class Order Halls as a better alternative.

In some ways, I can see why Blizzard choose to say silent in the run up to Blizzcon this time around.

Each new start is more hollow than the previous.

What is becoming increasingly apparent as I level each alt to 100 is that the end game now, to all intent and purpose, is simply an exercise in gearing. In fairness that's been the way since Cataclysm, and I have to go back to Wrath to experience a place where End Game did not solely revolve around gear as the be all and end all. Now we are presented with options that, in the main, have only one reward for a player, and there is no real impetus to learn or improve. In fact, watching how Flying pretty much renders all of the end game content trivial? I find myself wondering whether Blizzard will require a complete rethink of this part of game play for casual participants. Offering additional uses for currency is all well and good, but keeping the same repetitive actions not simply relevant but enjoyable may now need more than simply opening up a new zone and tweaking some spawn timers.

Oh, and for the record, eSports are not the only answer to keep people distracted.

Helping my husband get Flying = win.

Ironically for me the most enjoyment I've had in all the time I've been in Draenor has been helping my husband grind for his wings, because it's been the first time I've truly played co-operatively for several months. The Timewalking stuff has been great for levelling the alts, but the real joy is lost now when all I have to look forward to is the same sequences over and over, without any true variety or excitement. I think Blizzard have grasped this, in fairness, which is why you'll see quest sequences for Professions and every new Class Spec. Except, will these actually be variety or will it be the same copy/paste mentality that has pervaded Draenor? Only time will tell, and again I'm starting another week knowing that there's no news on the game and little chance of that changing in the future.

I for one would really like to know what Blizzard have in mind, sooner rather than later.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Every Kind of People

My daughter summed this week up better than I ever could somewhere near the end of it:

Warcraft's a brilliant waste of time right up until the moment you involve anyone else in the equation. The introduction of random is where everything stands and falls. Suddenly, your gaming experience requires conscience. Some people justify that and themselves in amazing ways, but the fact remains that they're absolutely right and correct in doing so. That people feel the need to do this to begin with? Tells you more about the person than it ever will about their ability to actually play.

Those are the ones you want to be friends with.


There's still no news: yeah, there's all that eSports mullarchy in Prague, but you and I both know this is a smokescreen, flimflam, simple displacement activity to cover the point that actually, Blizzard need to take every day they can with Warcraft out of the spotlight. I got irritated last week doing TMZ when a news article suggested homogenisation of class abilities what was what needs to be 'fixed' to make Warcraft better again: I've got a list of changes longer than my arm that I feel could legitimately be thrown into the mix and used as fuel for that particular fire. The fact that in two days I've polarised my readership over the suggestion they might think about extra effort? None of this matters one iota. You could rebrand the entire game with a My Little Pony skin set and frankly, same reaction. The game's not the problem, the people are.

And that's why Azeroth is so bloody fantastic to begin with.

Pie Charts are also AWESOME.

For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, there are people like Kamalia and commenters like Sprowt who come to the table with reason and common sense and paint the picture between me at the obsessive compulsive end and the people who are now suggesting I need to adjust my grip on reality. That's because life is about all this variance, but when it comes to the 1's and 0's of a video game, where drop priorities are decided on a roll of a dice? There's often just black and white to consider, and while real life gives you that shading, gaming more often than not doesn't even bother. 1% is just that, and if you wipe at 200k health because someone didn't flask? DOOM. Yeah, of course in 5 mans it doesn't matter nearly as much, but the speed at which you can then rofflestomp the content to get onto the next thing is still a compelling argument. Except for me now, what imposing this on myself has done is make me realise that I stopped working to be a better person in Azeroth. I've gotten lazy. Once upon a time I didn't think twice about preparation and now, the game largely negates that need outside truly formal content.

That's what happens when you say things are too complicated, and the game gets trivialised.

If nobody's looking, does anybody care?

What matters, in the end, is how you feel. I spent a couple of hours yesterday fishing on alts, tending neglected skills, clearing out bags and organising so that when I play these new 100's, there is at least the notion of care. Each one matters and if I play them, that should reflect in my effort. That's what's missing: the repetitive nature of gearing takes away the notion that each toon was made individually, that they mattered to me as a player. Having an association with the virtual 'lives' I tend means that actually, they do matter more than maybe even I'm prepared to publicly admit. That's why people like me wrest over the minutiae of how the game plays out, because everything matters. I see you people who don't feel like this, but trying to convince me that you're 'right'? Try catching smoke instead, my friends. This is how I rationalise my gaming experience.

Insert Interstellar philosophy here.

You other people are right too. It's not that I don't want to listen, it's me knowing that if I do, you'll make me sad and depressed and angry that what I think is right is not how the World actually works for everybody else. That's how you feel too, right? Yup, that's how the Real World works. So, you pays your sub fee and you takes your choice, and life goes on.

That's why the World of Warcraft works best when the biggest number of people are happy.