Thursday, August 09, 2012

Why Can't You Just Be Happy?

Is there a reason you're FORCING us to do daily quests for rep instead of allowing us to CHOOSE to grind the rep in dungeons? 

Essentially because dungeons already reward loot from bosses and valor. Letting them also provide faction seems extraneous. Why not just increase the boss drops or give you more valor to let you buy stuff?

Here's how we got there though:
  • BC had an extensive attunement system. (I'm not passing judgment on that system because I kind of liked it myself.)
  • As part of that system, you were required to acquire a lot of reputation with different factions, which you achieved primarily by running dungeons over and over. This meant you might have a dude that needed to run Shadow Labs 3 more times while someone else needed Mechanar or Botanica.
  • To solve that problem, we let players wear tabards so they could earn whatever faction they wanted while running dungeons.
  • This made things much more convenient for players, arguably too convenient. The factions themselves sort of lost their identity. They were just different bars to fill. Also, sometimes by the time you hit Exalted or Revered with a given faction, you already had better gear from running the dungeon so much.
  • In Mists, we want to provide players alternative content to running dungeons. The dungeons are still there, but even with 6 new and 3 redone dungeons, you're ready for something else after a while.
  • Part of that something else are the Elder faction quests, such as Klaxxi and Shado-Pan. We put as much work into these quest chains as we did the level-up zone quests. The stories evolve and new branches unlock. You earn faction by doing these quests and can also earn valor to layer on top of what you're earning from dungeons, or even in lieu of dungeons if you just don't have enough time or aren't interested in a dungeon at that moment.
  • As I said above, I know not everyone loves questing. (For that matter not everyone loves mount collection or pet battles or achievements or raiding). Strictly speaking, you don't have to do the factions to progress your characters, but we figure a lot of players will.

I have been accused of cynicism many times in the past (and within the last 24 hours, as it happens) which has been borne of many years playing this game and watching just about everything come and go. I was that woman running around Felwood for whipper root tubers. I've ground Winterspring rep the hard way. I've killed countless races, sometimes more than once (Netherwing, I'm looking at you) to fill that bar to maximum. Don't get me started with Ogri'lar or the Brood of Norzdormu either... if there's a rep grind out there, I've done it. Nothing scares me.

After seven years, nothing surprises me either. Some people frankly are never EVER going to be happy.

The fact that someone has worked out that to get a piece of armour will take thirty hours 'work' comes as no surprise, if I'm honest. Some people are not happy unless a) they have something to calculate and b) as a result, something to complain about. I see people on Twitter this morning worrying about Valor Points, that it will be a 'slog' to get gear to raid quickly in. I remember when it took a week to get an epic item, if I was lucky. That's 168 hours for ONE ITEM, folks, and then I had to save up DKP to boot. I know it is not exactly a direct comparison but placing timescales on gear acquisition like this is twofold: Blizzard are, I suspect, going to want to extend the shelf life of the new content as long as possible. That is going to mean 'spanners' in the works, this time from the first hurdle. I suspect this is why the changes have been included to high level Pet Battles and the levelling curve have become apparent recently on beta. This stuff needs to last longer than a month for those whose idea of gameplay is pushing their head as hard as possible onto the keyboard and not stopping until they've facerolled everything that moves.

This is, in a sense, a return to gated content (imagine a wooden gate with a self-operated lock :P), except the onus is now on the more casual player. It makes perfect sense to boot as that person is the majority of Blizzard's audience. Professions will require you to have reputation that you can't simply go and slog out with multiple dungeons. Placing a time constraint means the world won't be flooded with 1001 Jewelcrafting Mounts in the first month, and I for one think this is a good thing. It is also going to force people to make some serious choices as to where they go first to 'enhance' their gear: suddenly its not going to be about webpages gathering the best 'cookie cutter' specs but the best paths via reputation to items. You'll be looking for the quickest way to run your dailies in the fastest time possible, and suddenly the emphasis shifts from theory-crafting to time management. I am going to LOVE this, possibly more than I have at any point in my affair with Warcraft, because what I get the most pleasure out of is about to be come a way of life for a generation of people who think that simply running dungeons and selling their spare VP gains on the AH constitutes acceptable use of time.

These changes are going to hurt for a lot of people: Blizzard is right, it has been far too easy for far too long to simply 'grind' via the medium of dungeons. Restricting this in the early days gives them a chance to extend the longevity of their work (which I think will be a key factor, I am sick of the number of times I've heard 'dungeon grinding is boring' once everyone has what they want from them) and it will force people to not simply make choices concerning how they spend their time but where. Hardcore raiders will still be able to raid, casuals can still faff (you good people know who you are) and for everyone inbetween... well, it is likely to go one of two ways. I'm hoping that those people who enjoy moaning will at least give the new content a chance. Blizzard will be hoping that they buy the game and then sign up for the Annual Pass BEFORE they get bored and walk away, and if it's going to take a couple of months to get what you want as opposed to a couple of weeks at previous expansion's standard, they might well get their wish.

In the end, some people will just never be happy. IF enough people share this view then this could be the last expansion Warcraft ever releases. We just won't know until late September... ^^


spinksville said...

I agree, and I think this will give the game more longevity. People who hate grinding probably are in the wrong genre anyway with MMOs, plus I don't feel that being induced to relentlessly grind dungeons was ever good for the LFD community.

Greygamer said...

To be honest, I would rather do content I can do at a time and pace of my own choosing than have to suffer the entitled whining of random strangers.
So I am happy with this development.

TheGrumpyElf said...

I personally love the return of faction reputation taking more than one day to get to exalted.

It never made sense to put on a tabard and get reputation for something you were going to do anyway.

Sure, there should be additional ways to get reputation besides dailies, but it seems to be a work in progress. They noticed the mistake they made with reputation in cataclysm and they are attempting to fix it.

As I said, I welcome this change with open arms. It makes gaining reputation something to do once again instead of just remembering to change your tabard when you got exalted to another one. That was such horrible design.

Cain said...

It all depends on how long the reputation takes. I am assuming it will be in line with some of the other redone reputation grinds and not some of the old school rep grinds. I am the type that tries to max every rep if I can so if it takes a long time per reputation and there are a lot of reputations then I'll get very bored. Especially if I then need to do it on every character in order to level professions. I killed furbolgs till I was blue in the face at 60, and then saw the redone wintersaber quest line that just took a few weeks of dailies. So long as it's more similar to the latter I'll be happy with it.

Durgan said...

If you only play this game once or twice a week as I do, when the friends you play with can play every day, this change sucks. If there is anything important behind the reputation walls, I'll be so far behind it won't be worth playing the game. The game just isn't good enough for me to play it solo. The Firelands dailies knocked me out of the game once already. It looks like it wants to continue that tradition.

Rush said...

I'm in love with this system. The combination of rep-based dailies and valor points required for rewards provides the gates necessary to keep me from falling too far behind. And as the rep gear is higher item level than LFR drops (and thus requires) means that it will continue to be a means of progression until early into patch 5.1 as it will help you gear into the next tier of LFR.

Grimmtooth said...

+1 Insightful

Again, it looks like they're choosing not to cater to the people that insist on blasting through things so fast that all they're left with is complaints at how easy it all was. I ... just don't understand why one would want to hurry though something or avoid it altogether in the first place. It'll be fun to step into a new raid. But I'm smelling the roses on the way.

Xelophant said...

Just from being on the beta the past few days I've been doing pet battles in between waiting on others to get ready for the next dungeon or while others are setting up. It's definitely going to be my new past time. I can't imagine how much else I'll be able to do with everything they are adding in the new continent. I'm truly looking forward to it.

NetherLands said...

Right with Durgan, Daillies are a horrible way of gating. It gets even worse with alts.

Don't take me wrong, I liked old Winterspring, Timbermaw, Thorium etc. and did them on multiple characters as I like Crafting, so I have nothing against things taking a long-time investment - but let ME decide when and how I put in my X hrs/days to get the Rep, and not 5-10 minutes/day for x weeks.

In my opinion the Cenarion Circle type of grinds were the best: turn-ins, Rep/outdoor mob, Rep/raid mob (if so inclined), and Quests, with Cenarion Circle being the best because it doesn't have that annoying 'these mobs give till Honored; these Turn-ins are allowed till Friendly' etc. annoying bookkeeping.

That way several roads lead to the same result, giving player choices.

Instead, Ghostcrawler is yet again playing the game for us with this 'only dailies' policy.

Cain said...

If it is going to be dailies for months, then I would much prefer they turn them into weekly quests with just more of them. They added the idea of getting your daily dungeons out of the way all in one sitting, yet pvp daily bg and this idea of quests is still log in every single day. Let me sit down on a saturday and knock out a whole bunch instead of worrying about missing days.