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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

You've Got a Friend

I have no friends. I JUST RECRUIT MYSELF.

I've spent a lot of the last week dragging friends and guildies through dungeons. YES HEROICS, the five man staple, where random really can mean doing the same instance three times in a  row incase you forgot how to do the bosses as soon as you left. I've also realised a lot of things about the use of such places for gearing, how random numbers really aren't the way forward for certain tasks in game, and how playing alone makes you forget just how enjoyable group activities can be even when they don't actually go as planned. The key to all of this, of course, is the introduction of other people, and the constant reminder that if you're going to play Warcraft, doing it on your own is not the preferable state. Of course, you can play it on your own, but that's only good for some things...

Before I tackle my Heroic gripes (and there are several) let us turn to the one about the Mage that walked into a LFR Pinnacle of Storms... stop me if you've heard this one before...

No, this isn't one of those apocryphal stories Bloggers make up on a Slow News Day. Our Fire Mage was clearly adept not only at prospecting, but DoT-ing bosses simultaneously. I watched the chat window fill with his spoils and realised that if I didn't have that indicator I'd be no wiser as to what he was doing, so did it really matter? He wasn't being obnoxious or (more importantly) pulling his weight, so really he'd not be a problem to leave in the group. However, another player (I didn't check if he was #2 on the meters ^^) decided we needed rid of him and as soon as one dissenting voice stood up, his time was done. When asked, I decided that 'taking the piss' was probably the best reason I could find for kicking him: he was probably on Facebook and Twitter simultaneously, putting us lesser multi-taskers to shame. The moral of the story is simple: it doesn't matter how good you are, if you don't turn up and give the task 100% attention, people will complain. Especially if you're better than they are ^^

Of course, when you can pick your playing companions, such issues are never a concern. However, that's just about all the choice you get in Heroics, thanks to the joy of the RNG. It means an often frustrating night watching bosses drop nothing your gearing compadres can use, and an almost constant slew of DE's (if you're lucky enough to have one in your group.) As a result, I think it might be time to apply the same set of rules that have been attached to Heroic Scenarios: first complete run of the day awards you *something* useful so at least you feel you're moving forward. If I were a generous soul I'd say we needed some random-statted Trinkets to go in such bags, as these slots seem to be the single biggest issue I've encountered in getting people geared for the LFR 'production line' I'm not expecting individual loot bags for Heroics, don't worry Blizz, but I really think there needs to be a carrot inserted into the equation.

Finally, and this is perhaps the most important point, having helped people start their gear adventure after an absence, the path to upgrading needs to be so much more clear than it currently is. A couple of blog posts as we approach each new patch is all well and good for those of us who read such things as part of a daily routine, but there are so many other people who don't and might waste Valor at this late stage on lower level gear without even being aware that the higher items exist. There is not sign in game that indicates such a thing, after all. Come to think of it, there are no signs ANYWHERE in game. Oooooh I think I just worked out a way to utilise the Heroes Call boards in the Capitol Cities for max level players:

All you need to know is here :D

Let's use the Heroes Call Board to tell people the following: click on it as a max level 90 and the following is an option to 'read':


This poster 'changes' with each patch, and everyone has NO EXCUSE as to what is current gear and where you can find it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind explaining to Guildies every day where they can get stuff, but this is probably a FAR simpler method...


TheGrumpyElf said...

I must have had to explain where to buy the PvP gear a thousand times already this expansion. Where to buy the valor gear almost as much. People at least stumbled across that when on the isle even if by accident.

Blizzard does need to add something to the game for the people that do not read information outside of it. Which actually is the vast majority of the player base.

I like your idea. Plain, simple, easy.

Now we would only need to answer where is the call (command) board a thousands times.

Jonathan said...

The best ideas are often the simplest, and this one is ace. Could even add it as a quest on the call board immediately after a patch, or have it appear in your mailbox.

It all comes back to a point you've made before; there need to be more pointers in-game on how to be a good/decent/honest/etc. player.