Thursday, May 08, 2014

Spirits in the Material World

Oh aye?

It was, on consideration, probably inevitable that this was going to happen. This new spell has appeared on the 5.4.8 PTR overnight, which is undoubtedly linked to the 'Legendary' Trial of the Black Prince Questline. What isn't as yet clear (and I'll bet you 10g there'll be a Blizzard Blog on this) is what 'increased' actually means in terms of rates or indeed where these items actually drop from. There's also an accompanying spell which the smart posters on Wowhead are already suggesting will only be relevant whilst the Test of Valor component of the quest is active:

You wish this was permanent.

However, as Mr Alt remarked this morning as he passed me and saw my subject matter for the day:

'Where's the spell to trivialise the PvP Component of the Questline?'

Whichever way you look at it, however, this quest isn't nearly as legendary as it was when we began the Expansion.

It's a load of rubbish. NO, IT IS.

Ask 100 people why they play this game, and you're likely to get as many different responses in return. Question those same people whether what they can offer in terms of healing, tank ability or damage matters or not and there'll be far fewer responses. Yes, for most people playing being able to contribute really is an issue. That means having this cloak, which is legendary to add kudos to the wearer, is something everyone should really want to posses going into the NEXT expansion, if only because it will make the process of levelling easier as a result. It maintains all those key factors on paper that make it seem as if the process of obtaining it matters, that this is still a Legendary Journey, but in the end it's just another questline and another farm, which Blizzard is further trivialising to incentivise players to take part whilst there's no new content. There, I said it.

However, when all is said and done, that's the game at the end of every Expansion anyway.

No actually YOU'RE LATE, I was early *pout*

If you've been here since Launch Day 1, and many of us have, your perception of this whole shebang is considerably different from the slackers who pitched up a month ago players who decided to experience the content now. It is difficult to tell if there are indeed people arriving this late in the day too, as the sub figures Blizzard released on Tuesday tell us 200,000 already took their toys and wandered off in Q1. However, when you can boast one million people have bought your Expansion pre-order, sight unseen, it probably doesn't matter what you do with the existing content to begin with. The more likely explanation for this introduction of the two new buffs to the PTR is to allow players with multiple alts a far easier time of it doing what is considered by many one of the most time consuming elements of the process. However, until the PvP portion gets trivialised (or indeed removed) this won't be enough for many, myself included.

I'll stick with one cloak and be happy, thanks very much.

In the end, it boils down to understanding why you're playing the game. Gear has always mattered, despite however many people will tell you this is not the case. Being powerful also matters, and the legendary bestows on it's owner a boost in power that cannot currently be ignored. A year down the road however? Pointless. Trivial. A way to keep people engaged in content and at their computers whilst Blizzard design the next part of journey. However, the colour and the name did once have a significance, but that seems to have been largely forgotten with this particular item. I'm looking forward to the day when I can take this off and throw it away, because I will... assuming of course Blizzard don't concoct some cunning plan to make it relevant again. Yeah, I know.

Needless to say, people will still farm in Warlords for Thunderfury or the Thori'dal for some time to come. I'm doubting anyone will do that for the Pandaria Cloak...


Andy Farrell said...

Maybe these spells/buffs/whatevs will actually motivate me enough to go for a cloak after all :O

Glyneth said...

This could also be for alts. I know many people who don't bother to get a cloak on more than one (or MAYBE 2) characters; now they might have better incentive.

I have 7 cloaks (finished 7th this past Tuesday, in fact), mainly because I've been unemployed for a year and a third, and I don't mind running LFRs (on Tuesdays in the US mainly, if I can manage it). I have 2 more alliance who are on valor, but they don't have a huge supportive guild to help them run heroic scenarios (they're in a huge guild, but I can't find anyone to run hscenarios with), so one has languished at valor for about 8 months, and the other got to that part about a month ago.

Honestly, I dread running the BG part on them.

marathalbt said...

So, basically they are making the legendary cloak just a quest reward. Pretty much guaranteed drop for a BoA if you can get a Garrosh kill.


I am thrilled I go my cloak, but now it feels even less special. Think I will give pursuing anymore a long thought before doing again.

Brunold said...

Since I had some time to think about it: WoD-pre-orderers mostly are people who are already playing. Therefore most certainly they have a cloak on their main. WoD won't be out before autumn, which means, we've a lot of time to farm the cloak and even by now he's become quite mandatory for raids (so I heared). And to their credit, recently Blizzard has come to a position, where they sort of make mandatory, unfunny stuff as short as possible. I tend to think, that's a good position.

Also, the Legendary in MoP always was intended to be your weapon against Garrosh and since Garrosh's now on our doorstep, letting players get it quickly is kind of a logical decision. Furthermore the Legendary seems to offer a really big chunk of expansion-preparing content and making that part of gameplay more accessible is also a direction Blizzard recently chose.

The only real obstacle in getting a Legendary besides being lucky in getting drops, which is a bad lockout, were the challenges and these have been significantly marginalized with the better gear of 5.4.

Although I think, these are surprisingly good arguments for the changes to come, there are other things to consider:

A Legendary was awesome. It had unique bonuses which added a lot of fun to the game, very much like set-bonuses. But in WoD, we'll start with 7 million players having a Legendary and that's not good. I don't want to say, I'm special, nor would I throw my cloak away, but we're much more likely to get used to having a Legendary and to expect these fun-bonuses on quest-greens or something. And of course, the gaining of a Legendary itself should be of an epic scale. There was epicness in the animated scenes of Wrathion. I mean, we DIDN'T HAVE CUTSCENES. There was stuff happening and we could walk around, turn our head to someone new speaking, instead of waiting for the camera to do its job.

I heard people saying, any value the Legendary had, was gone now, when they discovered that everyone, who did the quest from the start of MoP to patch 5.4, would get a Legendary. I don't know, to me there still was value in doing it. But now I'm sitting here, writing stuff that sounds very familiar, about Legendarys that loose its meaningfulness. Why should I be more right than friends of mine back in Octobre 2012?

And we shouldn't forget, a lot of people got their cloaks on 11 or even more toons on day one of SoO.