Friday, May 10, 2013

Better the Devil You Know

It's a Bug hovering in mid-air. WHAT OF IT?

I reckon we've got two weeks or so before 5.3 hits, which is unfortunate because I won't be by a PC on the 29th May (c'est la vie.) Considering the number of 'be prepared, a new patch is coming' blog posts currently emerging from Blizzard HQ, regardless of release date it is probably an idea to begin girding your loins. Probably the most significant change is the 33% reduction of XP required to go from 85-90: if you didn't know it already, Blizzard is telling you its okay to level your alts. However, don't buy your Heirlooms now, because prices for all of those drop once 5.3 goes live, and they'll cost you a whopping 60% less than currently.

The important changes (PvP gear gubbins, PvE gear gubbins) had already been covered in two Blizzard blogs (yes I even linked for you!). We're here to worry about the other, far more important stuff. As the PTR Patch Notes were updated on the 7th, I reckon using this as a basis is fairly sound, but like all things in life key elements may vanish without trace and reappear down the back of the sofa several weeks, months or even years after release (depending on your cleaning schedules...)

Brawler’s Guild Updates

Test your might against two new tiers of bosses in the Brawl’gar Arena in Orgrimmar or Bizmo’s Brawl Pub in Stormwind.

If you've not yet purchased a Brawler's Guild invite, this is the time to go familiarise yourself with the Black Market Auction House. Unless everyone else on your server is reading this Blog, you'll be able to buy an invite for 1000g with very little likelyhood anyone will outbid you. Trust me on this.

The only interesting thing is a Parrot. Discuss.

As things are also likely to get busy again once the new Patch arrives (plus the fact I believe there's a mount to be had for getting to the top of the pile, quite apart from the 'Brawler' title) should you decide to begin this journey, now is probably a good time to do so.

Hunters now have 50 pet stable slots, up from 20.

This one's just for the Hunters, obviously. Make a list of which pets you want to tame. I'd suggest Petopia as a starting point.

Pet Battles
Bonus damage has been added to many basic abilities, at the cost of slightly reduced accuracy. Check out the blog: Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in Patch 5.3 for additional information.
Pet Battle Duels are now available in all dungeons and raids. Enjoy!

Pet Battles in the wild and duels are now viewable by other players in the world.

Hit Chance is now displayed for all abilities.

There's a ton of Pet Battle changes this time around, so if you like your devil in the details, go read them now. The most important change, by a country mile, is this: Battle pets' recent ability loadouts will now be saved when pets are swapped in and out of battle slots. This is more than likely going to mess with your addons, so you'll probably want to make sure a) they're updated (but NOT YET ONLY ON PATCH DAY) and b) possibly disabled when you first load your game.

You'll also find a new pet to catch in Icecrown (possibly, not sure they've actually been seen on the PTR yet) and the Isle of Thunder, new instance pets in ToT, Karazhan, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern. Money-making possibilities emerge as Tiny Carp not only become tradeable, but can be caught more than once.

There's also been a pretty-much complete rethink of the way Pet Battle Quests work:

  • A new achievement and reward has been added for characters that complete every Pet Battle daily quest in a single day.

  • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles.  Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.

  • Beasts of Fable daily quest has been broken into three separate chapters. Players can now choose to do any or all of the chapters each day.  Rewards have been modified to include a new consumable that will boost battle pet XP for a limited time.

  • All Pet Battle daily quests on Pandaria, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamer quests will now award experience, valor, and Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

  • All Pet Battle quests will now award experience.

  • Increased the difficulty of elite pets on the Beasts of Fable quest.

  • A new weekly quest for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles has been added.

Suffice it to say, if you have an alt at 85 who you're intending to take to 90 and you'd like a change of pace from quests and dungeons, levelling pets is going to become a pretty decent way of supplementing your XP for the journey. Time to visit the Pet Trainer in Stormwind or Orgrimmar!

There are no Giant Robots in 5.3. BOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay, that's the pets sorted. Next up, those pesky Loot Bags of Average:

Loot Specialization

Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that's currently active. There's a Blog for this as well.
Treasures of the Thunder King, Amber Encased Treasure Pouch, Cache of Mogu Riches, and Dividends of the Everlasting Spring now have a small chance to award a larger than usual amount of gold.

Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player.

Needless to say, people will still moan. Only when loot bags award 1000g and a free Battle pet on EVERY ROLL will they be happy, but only til they own all the pets and can't sell the others on the AH. THEN the idea will be rubbish.

Herbalists of low skill can now pick herbs in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield an herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.

Miners of low skill can now mine mineral deposits in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield a miner will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.


No love for large piles. We R Dissapoint :(

Deliberate shun aside, there is one more change that is small, but might be significant in the long term:
Minimum level requirement to enter and equip items found in the following dungeons via Dungeon Finder have been adjusted.

Gate of the Setting Sun is now available in Normal difficulty, and accessible to level 89 characters.
Grim Batol is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
Lost City of the Tol'vir is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
Magisters' Terrace is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
The Mechanar is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.

This is, of course, meant to help you transition from one expansion to another without significant degrees of hassle. Part of me hopes it might mark a willingness to return to the Dungeon Experience as a whole and improve not simply the loot but the path for levelling sub 85. If you look at how many people quest in relation to those who level via LFD, I'm thinking that there's a lot of people not being adequately served. I'd still like to see the chance to grab Heirloom-style items that scale as you level (maybe from the reward bags) but I'm guessing the tech to make those happen isn't something Blizzard feel the need to utilise at this stage More's the pity.

You should have a good few weeks to gird your loins before all of this becomes Lore, but a bit of planning never hurt anyone. Consider yourself warned!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Son Rising

All this AND Grisly Trophies? Yes please!

Yesterday, Blizzard admitted something I've known since February. A few people unsubbed from the game. However, one very important person in this household has returned, which has come as something of a surprise. Our 12 year old's been an avid gamer for a while now: Roblox, Runescape, an Xbox and PS3 Master but nothing that required the level of effort that Warcraft demands. He's had an account for some time, we just let it lapse. Last week, out of the blue, he asked me to reinstall the client. Since then there has been a level of application that I've not seen on any game for some time. I'm wondering if I missed a Memo somewhere... ^^

Last night, as a result, Mr Alt and me took him to a Cataclysm instance. His Death Knight had been L82 for quite some time, but as he hit 83 via questing, we had the option to take him from Deepholm where he was and run him around The Stonecore. Added bonus for P was the Grisly Trophies (relevant level mobs!1!!1!) but I was there, purely and simply, to garner him a ton of XP and some quest rewards. Absolutely the last thing I was expecting to drop from Slabhide did.

Stick a Flake in that roll STAT!

My son passed without a word, despite a real desire to own a Dragon of his own. He is well aware of Mum's obsessive farming of instances for mounts, but it was still wonderful when he thought of me. Needless to say, there was running around the Conservatory (possibly with a shirt over my head, I couldn't possibly comment.) I suspect there will be an CoT Strat and OS3D run before the weekend to reward him for his thoughtfulness (as those two dragon mounts are easy enough to nab.) However, with that roll, I'm betting my luck for the rest of the year might already have been used up, so taking him to the Vortex Pinnacle should be utterly safe and yield no surprises...

Big spear. Wee Dwarf woman.

I'm still working on Living Steel transmutes for the first Engineering mount (whilst also faffing with Jeeves mats on the new Engi to boot) so this is a very pleasant bonus. Next up, seeing if I can get the Blue Proto Drake to appear in Utguard Pinnacle... ^^

Generals and Majors

"Ultimately the problem is not the Guilds themselves, but what people do IN the Guilds. This interaction thing isn't the fault of the Guild per se, but the people who run them.".

And I don't think this is correct. I always thought that given the rules of the game of World of Warcraft, the people who run guilds in most cases are acting perfectly rational in making their guilds relatively exclusive and running them more like a military organization than a social club

It is not very often that I can start a Blog post by quoting myself in someone else's context. However Tobold's Blog had some stuff to say on the WoW Insider Community Topic I posted earlier in the week. His experience is clearly of Warcraft guilds that work in pretty much the exact opposite fashion to the Guild I've been a part of and run since Vanilla.

So I wouldn't say that the interaction is "the fault of the people who run the guilds". The people who run the guilds are asking relatively basic questions of essentially "why would I want this guy to be in my guild?", and if game mechanics tell them that having "Mr. Nice Guy" in their guild is likely to be more of a hassle than it is worth, they decide accordingly.

And here I believe we have the basic diversion of opinion: basing recruiting decisions on game mechanics.

It makes a lot of sense to exclude people that, as a GM, you know will not fit into your Guild's make up. It is pretty easy to grasp a potential 'troublemaker' however even before they step into any content, if you take the time to do the groundwork beforehand. A decent Application, for instance, with questions aimed at identifying whether the person would be a good 'social' fit for your Guild, can go a lot towards easily recognising anyone that might be an issue. The fact remains that the content, however you choose to interact with it, can often end up as secondary to the social interactions in many guilds. Tobold's assertion that 'the only secondary function left for guilds is providing a separate chat channel for some socializing' is undoubtedly correct in its most basic sense, but the number of people from Guilds booking tickets to travel as 'groups' to Blizzcon this year indicates to me there's a lot more social to this equation than first meets the eye.

Warcraft, despite reports that might indicate the contrary, still has a sizeable playerbase. The bigger your audience gets, the larger is the possibility for diversification. That means there is room in the world for the All Druid Guild (waves at @Monsterdruid) or the L19 Gnome Death Squad Guild, where people can simply ignore the game mechanics altogether if they choose. In those cases, it is absolutely the responsibility of the people running the 'Fringe' Guild to ensure people are aware of their particular set of guild rules and are prepared to follow to them well before the actual business of gameplay is considered. Although I am sure many of these guilds run with an even stricter criteria than 'normal' Guilds (I bet military organisation is a tame metaphor) I'd say educating people as to how their particular Universe operates is a serious consideration in the process.

Tobold also mentions the levelling guild option:

Sometimes you here people advertising a "leveling guild", but those never work, because the game isn't designed to give an advantage to organized teams for leveling over people playing solo.

The sale of L25 Guilds on our server would indicate that a Levelling PERKS Guild has a great deal of advantages: increased XP, faster travel times, extra materials from gathering. With the added cash advantages a L25 Guild gets from completing dungeons (for instance) it would make a lot of sense for a GM to 'organise' groups of people until those Perks are complete to make cash.

I will agree that the 'hoops' people put in place to restrict Guild membership are often fairly rigid and restrictive, and are often there for a very good reason, but I don't agree that that is the fault of the Game's own mechanics. Often those are of secondary importance to the social considerations occurring outside the game or via other social networking platforms. For instance, I've seen a Guild born on Twitter this week that has clearly very little current interest in game mechanics and is all about 'friends levelling together.' Now, whether in time such players do encounter restrictions and are forced to redefine their criteria is open to discussion. The fact remains that there is a lot of evolutionary process in a game coming up for a decade old, that the game itself could become secondary to the things that happen 'around' it.

My original point remains however: those people who run Guilds act as ambassadors to the 'new' player. They have the opportunity to 'take a chance' on said rookies, but too often they become inclusive, not simply because of the restrictions placed on them by Blizzard, but their own prejudices. When you consider this in the wider context, I think those people who run such organisations have some important issues to consider.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


:O. Just :O

Sometimes I get that feeling I KNOW is just me THINKING that certain people read my blog. I'm sure that's not the case, because these people I am sure have far better things to do with their time than hang around here. However, when I read Tweets like this, I wonder.

I also breathe a sad sigh when I read Ghostcrawler say stuff like this.

I remember when my daughter asked me if the Tooth Fairy was real. I found myself not wanting to lie, but at the same time I felt obliged to not be 'the person' who ruined the magic for her (again, don't ask.) So my answer was as diplomatic as it could be: if she believed the Tooth Fairy was real, that was all that really mattered. I appear to have adopted this position with the 'bring the player, not the class' statement. I'd like to think it doesn't represent simply 'stacking buffs' to beat things, but as it was so long ago the iconic phrase was coined, I have no idea. That's the problem with being around (in many cases) longer than the people actually making the game.

It occurred to me after reading this I should probably go do some research on the truth.

Often, a phrase like this does get taken way out of context. I decided I'd go see if I could work out what it meant 'back in the day' and there seems to be a fair bit of consistency on that position, thanks to the wonder that is the Internets. I'll take this definition from a 2009 WoW Insider article:

You have heard Blizzard's motto for raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, "bring the player not the class." The intent is to steer away from strict raid composition and shake things up. Encounters are being designed so that no one single class is necessary, although the 25-man Razuvious fight currently requires at least one priest, preferably two or three, with at least one specced shadow. Classes are being designed so that many necessary buffs, such as Replenishment, can be acquired through a variety of classes, rather than just one.

The rigidity that came with Sunwell is one of the reasons that development has taken this direction. The motto sparked high hopes, and not all players are convinced that the implementation has been successful.

Okay: a move from strict requirements. More class 'utility', better spread of abilities. This makes sense. What still doesn't ring true is the 'bring the player' part, and why I should consider that to have very little bearing on abilities and more on bringing a individual's flair to the table. Then I find this post, also from WoW Insider:

How is this going to change in Wrath? Ghostcrawler made another rather long post yesterday on raid stacking, and this is the essence of what he said:
  • We want to limit the power of stacking raid buffs, like we limited the power of stacking consumables earlier.
  • "We want the challenge of the encounter to be the fight itself, not collecting all of the buffs and debuffs you need to succeed." They don't want to nerf buffs, but they want them to be "less of a burden."
  • Therefore, for most buffs, there will be multiple classes that can provide that buff, and they won't stack. For instance, you can get your magic vulnerability debuff either from Warlocks or from Death Knights; those two abilities will not stack with each other.
The ultimate goal of this is to cause raid leaders to want to bring players they like, or good players, and not feel like they have to bring certain classes to get certain buffs and debuffs; and also to help class balance. Of course, they recognize that certain guilds are going to strictly min/max in any case, but the idea is that the benefits of a few classes shouldn't be so overwhelming that you feel like you have to bring five of them.

Sadly, the link for the original post is so old it no longer exists on the Warcraft Forums. Fortunately, the Internets triumph again in my searching, and I found Ghostcrawler's original post copied and pasted in the Maintankadin Forums. Lo and behold, my memory has not failed me:

Because some of the buffs scale so well and have so much synergy with other classes, you may sometimes feel that you should pass over a really skilled player in order to pick up a buff that will bring more to you group. We'd rather get back to bringing good players or, gasp, even your friends.

So, this is what we find: Yes, the original remit for 'bring the player, not the class' was indeed about not having to stack classes to make your boss die. However, and this is the key (at least for me) you were looking at the person playing as well as the skills they bought to the table. It isn't about the names, it is the people behind them that matter. Back then (and this is only Wrath, so that's two expansions ago, though it may as well be a lifetime) the mantra remained the same:
The goal is to get more people into raids and to let you bring the people you want.

The problem with more choice however is more complexity. It is very clear from a number of discussions both here on the Blog and on Twitter that there are people who do not wish the option to be able to play multiple specs, because that choice in itself is a poisoned chalice. Just because you have three specs doesn't mean you'll want to play them, and people may expect you to be able to do so because they can.

I am reminded of a particular Guildie at this juncture, long since gone, who loved to play their class a particular way. We did our best to accommodate him, but over time it became apparent that he was beginning to hold back our progress. As a GM, it is incredibly difficult to balance the needs of 10/25 disparate individuals, and many people would argue that trying is counter-productive, that there should be an agreed common goal and that everyone strives for that. This Guildie is why I wrote Guild Rules, after years of not needing them. When we asked him to reconsider his position, and that he was holding the rest of the team back, he told me we should be going at the speed of the slowest player to begin with.

His point was entirely valid.

The problem with choice is manyfold: the biggest one is that no two people's choices are likely to be the same. As someone from WoW Insider pointed out on Twitter in the midst of a particular heated argument on the subject, such passion is a reason in itself for never implementing tri-specs ever. People may love the idea of being able to choose their own destinies, but only to a point. Too much choice ultimately stops being fun for many, because it places them in positions out of their control. However long this argument rumbles on, the point I'd like to make before I stop is that the past is an important tool in defining the outcomes of the future. The basic principle of 'bring the player, not the class' was indeed just that, to get the skilled players into the equation. Giving choice to them would, at least for me, be pretty much a no-brainer.

Next time, Mr Street, make sure you don't leave stuff in the PTR pushes you don't want people to see ^^

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Design for Life

All this and Living Steel... ^^

Yesterday (MONDAY) was a Public Holiday in the UK, which meant I got one of the few legitimate excuses in the year to stick #TEAMFAFF front and centre. My plan was simple: finally get the Mogging Hunter maxxed in Engineering so I could make one of the two mounts I've wanted since the Expansion launched. It did take all day, but I finally got there. On the way, I realised a few things, none of which are tied up with the actual process itself. This has been the easiest level I've ever done, truth be told, and that's because for the first time ever I actually USED A GUIDE.

Mats still a pain. First job today...

I had several reasons for wanting to use the Mogging Hunter to Engineer (GOBLIN GLIDER BEATS ALL TRANSPORT *cough*) which only vaguely included the fact I had 18 Spirits of Harmony in her bags unused. I have the skill maxxed on the Rogue, but at 86 I'd need to farm a fair bit, so if I was going to make a Blingtron this seemed the easier option. That was the last thing I crafted last night: I also engineered myself a Mailbox (1hr cooldown, most excellent when farming) and a Pandarian Wormhole Generator (15 minute cooldown!) Getting the Jeeves Schematic to drop (Library Guardians, Ulduar) was the most work I had to do at any point, it must be said. It took about an hour of continuous farming at 502 skill before the thing dropped. Yes, I KNOW I have a Yak with a repair dude but it occurs to me that if I'm going to be a proper farming machine, I should have him for inside instances :p

The Blingtron was the biggest short-term desire, I will be honest, once I discovered it drops the recipe for the High Society Top Hat if you're a Tailor and some fantastic shades if you are a jewelcrafter. This means that, every day from now on, I'll drop the Bling in Halfhill where the Mage currently resides and cross my fingers. Yes, I KNOW how low the drop rate is. You are aware how the RNG hates me.

You live in hope.

I fail at Farming. This does not bode well for more Spirits...

The entire 'levelling a profession' thing still remains largely unfit for purpose, I've decided. I'm not sure that the new Cookery 'model' is the way to go, or indeed the 'just use one raw material' route that's been utilised for Blacksmithing, because the problem ultimately is the sheer amount of stuff you need for anything older than the current content. By far the easiest 'leg' of the level is 525-600 because of the level-ups and the materials needed. Knowing how easy (in relative terms) it is to grab Spirits as you level, I'd say that if we could apply that model back to all of the previous zones... because part of me doesn't like the reliance of a character in Pandaria to accomplish this. I appreciate the fact it encourages people to buy the Expansion (well DUH) but I still maintain that having something to do as well as Pet Battle, Dungeons and quests as you level is important. The biggest issue is, of course, that all your gear is very quickly useless as you level if you're crafting.

How hard would it be to make core pieces that increased stats with level from Professions? I mean, really? One piece of gear every 10 levels. XP bonus on all of them. Soulbound so you couldn't swap them between characters. Imagine Heirlooms, but not BoA (maybe simply requiring you to keep the skill at a certain level.) You could have Trinkets too, specifically made by each Profession.

Yeah, I know. never going to happen... but despite all of this, I did rather enjoy yesterday's 'task', which ended up as far less faffing than I'd originally envisaged and quite a bit of focussed, hard work. This should be great news for all of you considering levelling this in the future because I'll guarantee that now I've done the hard work Blizzard will announce in 5.4 the entire things going to get massively streamlined...

Monday, May 06, 2013

All Together Now

The last time I used this song as a Blog title I got my first block on Twitter. I have left The Farm behind and gone all Old Skool on your behinds as a result. Let's see how I manage this time...


WoW Insider appear to have launched a Community Blog Topic. Friday's question was simply this: What if WoW didn't have Guilds? I thought I'd have a crack, until I grasped that my first answer isn't much of a post-creator. I have to be honest.

If there were no Guilds, I'd not be here blogging to begin with.

Pretty much the ONLY reason I've remained playing for as long as I have is my Guild. Love or hate the constant workload and problematic moments, the good has VASTLY outweighed the bad. Without a Guild, none of that would have happened, and I'd feel no obligation to remain about. However, if you were to say to me tomorrow that there'd be no Guilds, my opinion would probably be a little different, because (as the person who inspired this post says) Guilds can be quite inclusive places if you're on the outside:

All they (guilds) really do is subdivide the community into a bunch of exclusive groups that only interact with outsiders when they have to and regard them as little more than nuisances.

This is a very fair point, but I'd say the problem isn't exclusivity. Ultimately the problem is not the Guilds themselves, but what people do IN the Guilds. This interaction thing isn't the fault of the Guild per se, but the people who run them. This game is built around the basic principle of gathering a group of individuals to beat a number of pre-set tasks. That means finding a common level of ability that not simply allows people to complete those tasks, but do so as a cohesive unit. That's a pretty tall order when people in said Guilds may never have met each other before. All in all, it's a pretty steep learning curve for some, even worse if you happen to be on the outside looking in.

Taking away Guilds, I have to say, would go one of two ways. We'd either a) adapt or b) die. You could get flowery about it, and come up with loads of pros and cons for each, but the basic fact remains, that if people wanted to play this game, they'd find a way if the system got pulled out from under us tomorrow. If the game had started without Guilds, I doubt we'd even be here how, regardless of my feelings on the matter. What is one of Blizzard's outstanding strengths is the sense of community it has fostered, and without Guilds that wouldn't be nearly as strong as it is now. I think Guilds have contributed to the longevity of the game, and I think there are plenty that have never functioned as exclusive groups at any point. If you find yourself in a situation where you don't like your home, other Servers (and Guilds) are available. The problem comes, of course, with the fact it costs money in most cases to transfer.

I have to PAY to move all this Junk? ^^

I've heard many, many people call for the Region-Wide (or even Worldwide) Guild to be an option in game. This would work as I believe it does in Guild Wars 2 where you can join a Guild regardless of your location. The logistics of doing this are probably nightmarish in the extreme on a global stage, but being able to have a server that ignored EU Server boundaries could have a lot going for it. This would allow people to remain on low-population servers for some things but still raid/dungeon with people regardless of location, and that could only be a good thing in the long term. So yes, I'm saying that I think we need more Guilds, because no Guilds would only mean that those people playing would have a harder time and frankly that's an option most people would probably fail to accommodate. I mean, look at social networking before Warcraft was around, and now.

We could all blame Mark Zuckerberg, if all else failed.

I find it hard to imagine Warcraft WITHOUT Guilds. If they didn't exist, there'd just be something with another name that did the same task. I think that maybe it is time for Blizzard to rethink Guild coverage... but the fact remains I'm only here because of the Guild system.I simply can't imagine the game without them.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Every Day is Like Sunday

I understand that many people would like new dungeons and we've addressed this a few times now, but at this point in time, we're not adding them. We have a lot of other things that we're putting efforts into that we think will be great additions to the game. Again, we're not ready to talk about those just yet, but once we can share that information with you all, we will. For now, we wanted to share a bit more about what the new Scenarios will bring.

Bringing up kids can often be a fairly thankless task. Inevitably there comes a phase where 'no' stops being the cue for your child to just walk away from the bad thing they're doing and keep going, because they've grasped the notion of self-awareness. Why bother not doing that thing that they're enjoying, because parents aren't going to punish them... but it gets better. That new bike you'd like? Why not try asking a bazillion times for that, at every opportunity you get, and see if eventually you can wear down your mum/dad/carer's resistance and they agree, just for a quiet life?

I get the distinct impression some people are getting this way every time Blizzard says 'there are no more five mans in this expansion, so stop asking for them.'

Dungeons are a massive use of Dev-hours. We only got two new ones in Cataclysm because they were re-purposed from instances that already existed. That's not happening this time around because it makes more sense to leave them as solo 'challenges' and stick Battle Pets in them (you KNOW this is what's going to happen with every raid from now on, so get ready.) As has been pointed out here, there and indeed everywhere, Scenarios need very little work. It's existing landmass. It's instanced. It's doable in the three month window of a patch. Of course the Devs are going to choose that over a new instance from the ground up.

What Blizzard have failed to grasp with this change is that routine is something that matters to many more people than they realised.

Most kids appreciate a routine: after all, this is one of the reasons schools do what they do. Set time for things, repetition making learning easier. In a game that's run for this long we're also ingrained with a sense of that: always gonna be a Big Bad at the end, gonna need to jump through these hoops to get this reward... except that's not been the case for a lot of things this time around. Many, MANY things have changed between Cataclysm and here, perhaps more so than between any other Expansion. For those of us who struggled to cope with life after L60 the first time around, adapting to change has become as much a part of the landscape as taking comfort in the familiar. Dungeons were (and still are) a security blanket for a LOT of people, and I think Blizzard may have failed to factor this into the changes.

However many times you ask, however, Blizzard as parents are standing firm: heels are being dug in and the mantra is repeated: 'You'll get your Dungeons, but you will have to wait.' Trouble is, most people's ability to wait is, let's face it, no better than an eight year old's.  It also becomes a stick to beat Ghostcrawler (or indeed anyone else) with, as if the lack of dungeons is suddenly the reason why their game experience is devalued. Ghostcrawler summed up the Dev view on this pretty well yesterday, as it happens:

Distracting you with bigger shinies = win.

If you didn't know it already, you need to be in LFR. It's the big toy that Blizzard bought for you when you moaned you wanted it for months and BY ELUNE you will play on it every day, whether you like it or not. Then you will learn to be careful what you ask for, because when you get it and it's not what you thought it would be you're going to either learn to love or hate it.

Again, after the conversations of the last few days, we find choice is the key in this line of thinking. If you choose not to run LFR you are at a distinct disadvantage? No, that's why you'll be running Heroic Scenarios, because you get loot AND points. Some might argue it's like offering a child carrots or peas when all they want is chips, but that would be unfair, but for some people chips have become their current obsession. It's not been the same since we were told there would be no chips. I LIKE chips. My friends in The Old Republic have chips, why can't I have some...? The main point to grasp in all of this is simple. Blizzard are your parents: they listen to everything that you say, but they choose to act on the things that are in their best interest. Sometimes that means you're never getting chips. C'est la vie.

In the end however, you will get your potato fix in the next Expansion, which could be far closer than anyone realises, because there's a good chance it's going to turn up in lovely shiny wrapping paper at Blizzcon, all ready to go. With the speed things have been moving I'd not be surprised to find everything already in place for that too, so maybe you shouldn't think your parents Blizzard are a bunch of old meanies to begin with, when they're simply saving all the good stuff for a special occasion. However, whatever goodies you are promised, some people will never be happy, and for them I suspect that the lack of five mans will be just another reason to throw their toys out fo the pram and wander off looking for something else to do. To them, I have one thing to say.

Other potato products are available.