Thursday, February 27, 2014

WARLORDS :: Into the Valley

An interesting development...

It's not often I get stopped in my tracks by a Tweet, but it happened this morning. The OP, who's thread is referred to in the first message, is asking Blizzard not to call time on Challenge Modes because he has medical issues and has been unable to complete them. I'm suspecting he, and indeed everyone else, was not perhaps expecting the answer that Bashiok gave: vanity rewards will have a shorter shelf life in Warlords than they already do. That means if you wish to complete these challenges, the timer will be on, in more ways than one.

It makes perfect sense of course: items devalue over time if the content for which they are rewarded for becomes trivialised. This could be said to be true for all number of Raid Achievements for instance: getting my Skelly Dragon for Icecrown Raider may have made me insanely happy but, unless you're looking at timestamps, it now puts me on an equal footing to all those people who did it when the content was a challenge. That, I know, isn't really fair, and deep down I understand those people who say that all this old stuff should be scraped away from the game so that no-one else can achieve it. Now, whether the above statement means we'll lose all that in Warlords is probably open to some interpretation, but it has to be noted that if Blizzard do go back and remove everything from Vanilla, it would make completing achievements like Mount Parade for new players considerably more taxing. There are an AWFUL lot of mounts that are locked into old Instances, for example. Remove those, and life could get really funky indeed.

Not on time. Could this now stop?

Reading between the lines of Bashiok's post, I'm *hoping* they're going to draw a line in the sand starting with Warlords, because that gives everyone a fair crack of the whip. Having seen that Blizzard are reiterating you'll still need Cloud Serpent rep to buy the Mounts in Pandaria I sense there may not be the desire to go back and remove items, but you never know until the Expansion's in your hands. However, if you are one of those people who's spent over 200 trips trying to snag Anzu's mount (waves at J) without success, this might be of some concern until we have some definitive confirmation either way. The fact remains, mounts that are rewarded for doing something at a particular level of difficulty have been massively trivialised, and that's really not the way it should be.

There is also one other point to be made here: once retired, I hope any skin that was associated with gaming endeavour is NEVER then sold on, in ANY form, in a Blizzard in-game shop. Just because.

WTB Klaaxi Mount, PST.

I have to say, even though Challenge Modes fill an entire section of my Achievements pane, I don't have any regrets about only attempting them briefly: I simply don't have the time available to complete something for a set of rewards which were completely cosmetic. The mount wasn't even an incentive either, and part of me did think that if they were left in the game I could just go back in Warlords and polish them off. For me, at least, removing them isn't a real inconvenience, just one less mount I could conceivably own (like the PvP ones with titles attached, I'll never have them so I won't miss them.) However, Challenge Modes look set to change in Warlords with ACTUAL USEFUL REWARDS which would then make them a good use of time and effort. If this means I won something for doing that, I reckon I'd want to make sure no-one else got that ever again too. BECAUSE THEN ITS GENUINE EXCHANGE FOR MY EFFORT.

I'm really sorry about the guy who's not well and is going to miss his Challenge Mode gear, but rest assured there'll be something along soon to make up for it. After all, this is only a game, and the spoils simply pixels. Giving something a value is a far more important lesson than simply gifting people an easy reward, even if it may not see that way in the short term. One might argue that this should have happened a long time ago in Azeroth, but we live and learn.

If you want your Challenge Golds from Pandaria, time to get moving.


dobablo said...

It is disapointing that they are closing he MoP challenge modes. Of all the content, I'd of thought they would be most open to scaling between levels and remain challenging at higher levels. (Although I can understand locking the competative aspect of it when extra abilities/talents become available).

Calexa said...

I sure hope they will never ever get rid of the old achievements (and its titles and mounts and stuff). It is a great part of what I enjoy about WoW, especially as I only started half a year ago. There's still so much I want to see and do and all those achievements provide me with a great guideline as to what I can still do and where I could go next.
Granted, I could do all that without the titles and mounts, but they are still a nice way of saying "You've been doing this & that for a while now, here get something as a reward."
Older Content may be trivial with MoP gear, but there's still work involved to get those special achievements. It's not like you could do them all in one afternoon (at least I can't).
Long story short, I think getting rid of those old achievements/mounts/titles reduces the value of all that old content altogether to the point where a newcomer (like me) has little reason to go back there and not just rush to max level.
On a side note, I really disliked outleveling every zone pre MoP to the point where I was done with an expansion after doing only 2-3 zones. Give me a "reduce xp by 50%" option ^^

Andy Farrell said...

I wonder if it'd be worth putting restrictions on old achievements (like the ICC skele-drakes) similar to Herald of the Titans: you must be no higher than the appropriate level, and only be wearing gear obtainable at the time it was relevant.

Erinys said...

I've always been fine with other people having the same toys as me. For example I got the Ironbound Proto-drake when Ulduar was current content but someone going in now and rolling through the place like I'm planning on doing on my new Druid for a hat and picking up the mount on the way doesn't bother me in the slightest. Spike the Protodrake might be one of my favourite mounts but him having a legion of siblings out there doesn't detract him or the memories he holds.

My other half though has the opposite opinion. Lyli suggests that perhaps items should stay but that there is a visual difference, i.e. in terms of the ironbound drake, there wouldn't be the blue sigils if someone got it outside the relevant expansion/patch.

I agree that this is likely to push people into doing things like the challenge modes which is a good idea. I know I might be more interested in trying them, knowing that they will only be obtainable for short period.

Bartosz Szafarz said...

Another tweet from Bashiok that didn't get mentioned here: "Well, let's not get cray. We're not overhauling rewards as a whole. Just some specific "I was there" moments"

Please stop overreacting with suddenly suggesting they're gonna remove all vanilla rewards. This is just gonna concern current challenging content, like CMs were. For example I asked yesterday Holinka if tyrannical PvP gear, which is currently not craftable nor obtainable, will be available again, and he said it will be. So don't suddenly go from "we will increase amount" to "we will remove". That's not the same.

Bartosz Szafarz said...

I post again, (I don't see edit option) to just let know that I got the latter part of the article, where things get nuanced and more supportive of blizz efforts ;) But you know how the gossip works, someone even starts suggesting that old content rewards will be gone, based on (quite unfounded imho) speculation, and crazy WoW people start considering a blizz-approved fact.