your experience may vary.
Rewards are a tricky beast. You want to encourage people to play your game, but there has to be a level of engagement and effort in order not to make that effort seem trivial, or boredom will quickly set in. Warcraft has several issues to address, the main one being there isn't just one 'game' being played: we have the PvE and PvP Experiences, the gold-making 'game' as well as Battle Pets and Achievements. That's lots of boxes to tick simultaneously, and what has been the norm up to this point is a separation of rewards on a section-by-section basis with only minimal linkage. Of all the elements in-game, Rewards are probably the ones that would benefit the most from being linked to the entire game and not simply sections.
It really is time to wipe the currency slate clean and standardise the system for the entire game, from L1 to cap, and across all facets of the experience.
|Suck it up, guys, and start again.|
My currency options shouldn't need a scroll bar. Everything I can use should sit happily on one pane, and be clearly defined. I'll grant the system for PvP and PvE are sound here, no need to remove Justice/Valor and Honor/Conquest, but it's time to start racking those up as soon as you begin the game at L1, and NOT JUST FROM GROUP PLAY. If we are to keep these as the defacto standards for Gear Rewards, they need to come from everything, including specific quests to encourage people to experience the World as well as the Instance. Scaling works on every level, after all, so start people off small. Make end of questing zone bosses drop Justice as well as gear, so there is no penalty to not taking the LFG route whilst levelling. Give people a JP reward for making their own group too, and maybe provide a set of scaleable rewards that will work from 1-60, then 60-70, 70-80, 80-85 and 85-90. There then has to be a replacement and depreciation, but it makes sense in the larger framework of the game's Expansions.
Refining Miscellaneous is a little harder, because it links into areas that are a) Expansion specific and b) show the first experiments with the variable Currency idea.... and then we get to Pandaria and we see just how that has defined what we've done in the last year. Thematically the convention is sound but the number of changes have been confusing and difficult to keep up with. Frankly, this all needs to go, because once we hit the next expansion no-one may hang around long enough to care what Charm or Rune they need, they're too busy focussing on the End Game. The question is, how do you simplify this when you're linking everything into the previous Expansions with the JP/HP 'model'?
Well, that's pretty simple. There are a number of things we'll need:
- A basic 'item' that drops from every mob we kill from Level One, that has no actual use until you get to the most current Expansion (what Lesser Charms are now)
- A Token to use in Raid Instances for bonus rolls
- A specific Currency peculiar to the particular Patch we find ourselves in (Timeless coins, in this case)
|Too many coins. Inflation is not the answer.|
We can go back and apply this model to older Expansions too: that would mean the Argent Tournament would be our Patch-specific currency, as would the Marks of the World Tree. The problem comes is when people stockpile these items and those items end up having a residual value at a later date. Is it fair to wipe the slate clean and start again? Would it be simpler to just use the same patch-specific currency for EVERY Patch and change prices based on current levels of 'inflation'? You know, I think it would be, and I'd like to see all our old zone currencies converted to the same basic 'thing' which can be used on a patch by patch basis. Earning it in older expansions is far slower than in new ones, but you could still do it if you wished. It would just simplify the equation, and keeping the names the same would mean new players didn't get confused. Therefore, I propose the following as our new Universal Rewards System:
- Justice/Valor for PvE gear
Earnt from levelling, end of Quest Zone 'encounters' which reward blue items currently, plus Instanced Encounters.
- Honor/Conquest for PvP gear
Earnt from levelling, and Battlegrounds/Arenas, plus Rated Battlegrounds.
- Universal Currency A (equivalent of Lesser Charms currently)
Let's call them Heroes Rewards.
Drop from any World Mobs From L1, rewards from Pet Battles.
- Token B (like Runes/Seals)
Additional 'bonus roll' loot chance from Instances, also available to purchase from L1, purchased with Universal Currency A.
- Professions Tokens
Replaces Cookery Tokens, used to but stuff that isn't just Cookery recipes and therefore has a use outside just the one profession.
Note here there is NO Patch-specific currency. Heroes Rewards fills the void. If you want to use a gate mechanic to buy things, don't keep introducing a new one every time we have a new Patch, it just confuses the issue. Make it like Dinosaur Bones that don't count as money but fill up bags and encourage people to shift the items themselves. Convert all Patch-Specific things to Heroes Rewards before we start again and amend all the prices accordingly. Make that useful from the first time you level a character too, so people become familiar with its use. Yeah, and you need to bite the bullet, accept that people have massive stockpiles of older Cookery tokens, and just remove them and hang the consequences. We get a Valor wipe at the end of each Expansion for a good reason. Make it the same with Professions Tokens but give people a chance before hand to buy some cool stuff they couldn't before. You know, like you're doing with the Recruit a Friend stuff :P
|One token to USE FOR THIS ALL. GO ON YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.|
As it stands, rewarding players is considerably easier than it used to be, but there's still a great deal of confusion, especially in this Expansion. The building blocks are here to finally streamline the system and introduce a measure of consistency from the first time you roll a character. I hope if Blizzard are thinking of a universal make-over, this issue is front and centre in proceedings.
Any thing that makes life simpler after all can only be a Good Thing (TM.)