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Friday, September 13, 2013

Everything Must Go

Haven't we met before?

This post is not going to be popular.

I returned from taking my daughter to school this morning to find a BT Engineer at work outside my house. 30 minutes later, the Internet had been restored. Two and a bit hours after that, I find myself wondering if maybe I'd missed a memo. I was logged into 5.4, but something didn't seem right.

Something appears to be malfunctioning with my game experience.

I arrived on the Timeless Isle to almost get killed by a bunch of rampaging Turtles that had been tagged by someone else. I kindly helped them dispatch the group and found I'd tagged one that was at least mine. From that, my new LW recipe dropped. Things went pretty much downhill from that point onwards.

Inflation. It's an expensive game.

Looting said mob gave me Timeless Coins. Skinning them gave me more. After a while I wondered if I looked at certain mobs funny whether they'd drop Coins too: after all they're lying around in piles on the ground and hidden in every nook and cranny. Beasts have swallowed hundreds of them, sometimes thousands. All I can assume is that inflation is rampant on a place closed off from civilisation for 10,000 years. Yes, that must be the explanation. Looking at the Vendors, once I'd located them, made me realise that even if these coins flow like water, this isn't going to be a done deal. Yes, there will still be grinding, but when pretty much everything on the Island is skinnable I don't even have to kill anything to make money. I just follow people round who do. Job's a good 'un!

Then I found a chest, and my first piece of bind to Battle Net armour, and it was like another massive floodgate opening. In the time I was online (just under 2 hours) I collected FOURTEEN pieces of armour. Yes, that's ONE-FOUR. Not all of it was mail, there was a good smattering of plate and leather too, only one bit of cloth, but no matter. It almost made me glad I'd not bothered to level all my alts to 90 before 5.4 because if I had I might feel a tad aggrieved right now that Easy Mode just got unlocked and the Epics are flowing like water. Of course because they're BoA it's all your loot, but I can't help but feel that no good will come of this. Part of my brain, the massively cynical portion, wonders if they had a meeting for 5.4 before it was instigated and had a whiteboard where the Devs wrote down all the things they'd done wrong in the game this time around, and right at the top, in capital letters, someone wrote 'GIVE ALTS FREE STUFF TO MAKE MAINS FEEL BETTER.'

Yes, this stuff is only 496, but that level would allow me to, under current circumstances, ding 90, equip pretty much completely in Timeless Isle Epics, and stroll into the ToT LFR queue. Job dun. Why do I feel that's not right?

Why is it that I am sitting here deliberately looking at the utterly massive and hassle-free Island of Loot and wondering what the catch is?

No good will ever come of free Epics. Trust me Dragon, I know.

Part of me doesn't understand why all this has to be done this way. Why couldn't have professions been given better options with recipes and material distribution so we could make our 496 epics more easily and sell them rather than simply picking them up off the ground in a new mythical location? Was it really necessary to stick ALL the fun stuff in yet another hub for 'convenience' when there's AGAIN AN ENTIRE WORLD out there that no-one will see now because everyone is crammed into the same tiny space? Is it really the purpose of 'free' questing just to make everyone obsess about the same X number of items that are cool and give funky effects, but then find they have no-where to store anything? Is this just a case of sticking a Band Aid over the issues that still remain a problem, distracting everyone with massive piles of free stuff in the meantime and hoping we all forget what remains to be dealt with?

The island where you exchange coins for treasure.

I know, I sound like the Ranty Woman in the supermarket who's moaning about how much better things were in the Old Days. You know, when Legendaries actually meant something and not everybody had them, and they required PROPER HARD WORK. Back then it was nearly a YEAR before I saw an epic item. Yes, it's a Free Island of great awesome stuff that pretend not to be quests but still need you to kill stuff to get reputation and rewards. It's the only place most people will see outside an Instance queue until the next expansion rolls around. It is a beautifully-constructed place where everyone can find something to make them happy, but still remains a quest hub. Whatever Blizzard call it, just because you don't have a bunch of exclamation marks to guide you, the effect is the same. What does not seem to be learnt, at least yet, is that it is distracting people with gear and 'fun' trinkets is not the only way to solve the problem of player burnout and dissatisfaction. Like most kids, distractions are only good for the short term.

Maybe that's all this is ever meant to be, if truth be told.


neowolf2 said...

They may be trying to make it easy for alts to catch up, but the legendary quest chain works against that. Soon, no one is going to be wanting to invite people without the LQC rewards to Flex or beyond. How do the pity epics help, then?

River said...

I am a PvP player and the Timless Isle is pretty much useless to me except on my offspecs I use to farm. Like my Prot/Holy Pally. Holy is my PvP spec,and Prot is just my farming spec. So I don't mind free epics, but overall it's really doesn't do much for me.

Bob Flintston said...

This is middle of the expansion Gear reset and thanks for reminding us that this is possibly all a little too easy.

Blizzard have a history of swinging wildly between ideas, like lets give the player so much to do that he/she will only play one character. When most of the player base is still at 85 then give huge incentives for everyone to level new characters.

The one advantage I can see is that for the first time in this expansion, I can finally create a second set of gear for an off spec Alt.

Yippee I can heal at last.

Good post by the way "The island where you exchange coins for treasure. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG." is pure comedy gold.

Erinys said...

I have similar thoughts, especially since I don't even need to take my alts to the Timeless Isle to get them gear..

That said, I do like the sheer quantity of pets and vanity items just wish it was a bit more structured and had proper quest chains rather than rambling around killing stuff to see what you get.