I posted a Tweet last night without context. I'd like to come back to it this morning:
This was made in response to a raft of comments (Twitter and US Beta Forums) regarding Blizzard's stance on 'mob tapping': you know, when someone hits a mob before you do and it goes grey, which means they get the kill and you don't. Here's the Official Response on the current state of play from Watcher, and it makes a lot of sense in an overall context. You ought to work for your loot, most of the *important* mobs are tag-free anyway and Blizzard has a lot of systems in play to allow mobs to spawn faster or 'more dynamically' (depending on how you define this) However, the problem for many people isn't the griefing or the possibility for exploitation, it is their own computers that let them down, and it has absolutely nothing to do with any notions of asocial or antisocial behaviour.
As an example, let's talk about the starting quest for your Garrison in Shadowmoon.
I've done the foundation quest a fair few times now on both sides of the Faction fence and on every occasion its been an inconvenience. The mobs I've killed drop little or nothing of value, but they are inherently persistent and the spawn rates are frankly stupid. There's either no mobs or I've killed the eight I need before I've cut down the regulation number of trees. In all honestly, if these mobs are being used as a 'gate' for me to establish my presence they're doing their job, but it might just be an idea to remove them altogether and just make do the logging quest, because those are items shared with everyone else anyway, and the time taken to do that quest is me moving on foot.
Ironically the reticence on Blizzard's part to not make all mobs taggable seems to be tied up with the fact that this encourages people to group for World content, except it doesn't, in probably 80% of cases people don't give a flying fish about anything but themselves. I'll tell you exactly what happens in all the other times:
- I get a group invite from someone I don't know, refusing to explain why.
- If I accept the invite no-one talks to each other until the person that made the group gets the prerequisite number of kills.
- If I'm lucky, they then thank me before they leave, with me no closer to the competed total.
Of course I could stand up for myself and insist that we finish the group for everyone, and I'm betting this is exactly what Blizzard hope the 'decent' people will do in situations like this, that self-policing will encourage the process of making the Gaming World a better place. Ironically, in the days of Vanilla this is exactly what used to happen on my Server. I made many of my friends in exactly this way, randomly questing in parts of the world, and meeting people along the way. We'd group and talk, and we'd forge friendships that still exist today.
Ten years on, a lot has changed in the gaming world, but people still resent the need to group with strangers to finish their content. Maybe it is because Blizzard keep giving them reasons to play alone in so many other places that they've gotten used to doing that as a preference.
It is very easy to solo everything these days, so much so that Blizzard actively encourage this in Legacy content. This playstyle doesn't need any help, and it can be done at any hour of the day or night, and it allows the game to maintain a measure of longevity that it would never otherwise possess. Ironically with your Garrison you are given a number of buffs which make playing solo possible against increasingly harder mobs to boot, but still Blizzard politely insist you have to wait for a mob spawn or ask for a group in the world. If you were in an instance everyone tags everything, and this seems to be the direction Blizzard wants to push players anyway. Why therefore do we need to keep this 'soft gating' as a standard? Mostly because Mobs Give XP and ironically, this is the oldest method of all to keep players from getting to the cap in less than a day from launch.
After all, the last Realm First on my server didn't quest their way to maximum XP, they killed the same mobs over and over again to reach 90. If everything was tag free, a VAST amount of content would become pretty much pointless overnight. As a result, I'd not expect Blizzard's stance to change any time soon.
|Some things never change.|
My problem is simple: there are too many mixed messages currently on how people should play and what ought to be encouraged to do in game. The biggest one is the most concerning: Blizzard have made clear that unless grouping players take the EXACT same set of quests (and place identical buildings) as each other when levelling Warlords Garrisons, specific content is likely not to be available to all players when grouped. The way this part of the game has been constructed appears to actively discourage the group mentality in favour of individual flexibility, and if this is the case then telling people they ought to group for mob kills is... well, ridiculous. I think it may be time to consider a consistent approach to gameplay that either pushes people to group from Level One or pushes the focus to individual choice and not forced utility.
More than that, it is high time that players were made to be more accountable for their actions and not less. That doesn't need to happen in optional group content, it needs to be stricter when grouping is mandatory. How we fix this problem however... that's a blog post for another morning.