I mentioned to Cassie in passing today that one of the surprises in Patch 5.1 was that Ghost Iron Ore and all Herb spawns had their respawn rates cut in half. Why? Apparently, because the resources were too abundant. If the resources are scarcer and players have to work harder to get them we’ll value them more, and they (and they’re crafted items) will be worth more on the Auction House.
Her reply? “Sometimes I think Blizzard hates the players.”*
I can see her point. I personally thought the respawns were originally too generous… and I was grateful, because I don’t exist to play “WoW Tycoon”, I play WoW, the game that has an auction house in it where I can share shit I get with other players for cash, and if there is something I’d like I can maybe go find it there too.
Since I don’t play the game to amass vast quantities of gold, I make sure I’ve got characters that can go out and get the stuff I need to satisfy my wants. You know, like Herbalists and Alchemists and Enchanters and all that stuff. Self-sufficient. So long as I can get enough of the base resources to satisfy my own needs, fine.
It’s about time investment, though. I invest my time in leveling a character now so I have the capability to make stuff, so in the future I can spend teeny amounts of time getting a few mats and making what I ened on the spot instead of having to always be working to get gold to buy stuff on the AH.
Change things so it takes tons of time to get those mats, fighting other farming players for hours to get the scant few resources it takes to make a couple flasks, and it flips things around.
Likewise, they changed the conversion rate for Spirits of Harmony from 1 Spirit to 3 Golden Lotus, to 1 Spirit for two GL. I’m not trying to corner the AH market, so whatever. As long as I can still get what I need to make weekly flasks with my little farm, it’s all good.
It does mean that the amount of time it takes us, the players, to accomplish the same tasks has increased. So why do it?
If I were to settle into a “me me me” point of view, then it would be a sign Blizzard hates us, the players. They made it harder and take more time, so thus they’re out to ruin our fun. Right?
It’s nice that people can make WoW Tycoon a game in and of itself… but I don’t feel that we need to really care if people aren’t getting the prices from their ore or herbs that they want. If the inscription market doesn’t make you thousands of gold, I really don’t give a shit. That’s not the game I care about or respect. So how dare you change things to cater to them! Let them make real money in the real world with those skills if that’s what they like!
Or… maybe there’s a different point of view. A view that embraces more than just me. Possibly?
I don’t see it and other things Blizzard does as signs they hate the players. I see it as signs they are still looking for ways to please more types of playstyles.
I think they are still growing, and in this case are trying to identify all the different playstyles that attract paying monthly players, and then add content that will reward them and keep them coming back.
The Black Market Auction House, canes and monocles and other items… these are things that acknowledge the existence of playing the WoW market as a real ‘thing’, so let’s go all the way to making the game economy an official, and rewarding, part of the game.
Just because I don’t care about it doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile part of the game, right? PvP isn’t my thing, and they’ve done amazing stuff with integrating it into the game.
How long did those of us who like all the casual stuff in game rail at how the designers seemed solely focused on raider content? Oh waaa, it’s all about the raiders, why can’t we get class quests or something for us casuals to do?
Shit, we got that in spades, didn’t we? Look around you, and there is so much to do the game is bursting with content for players of all playstyles. Including raiding for non-raiders!
PvP content, raiding content, social and collecting and game economy and fashion and soloing and now even stage productions, fighting while we watch!
They didn’t ignore the plight of casual players for content, did they? It just took time, exactly as they told us it would.
“The things we are working on to make the game better now you won’t see for years.”
They tell us these things, and looking back, can we agree they weren’t kidding around?
And now, they’re clearly paying attention to the desires of those who make the Auction House and game economy their playstyle, and despite it meaning it’ll be a teeny bit harder for me to go out and get my own mats when I want them, to me it means the opposite of “Blizzard hates the players”.
It looks to me like Blizzard is trying to see what people like to do in the game, and then accommodate those desires. ALL of those desires. A massive balancing act, trying to make all of the people happy all of the time.
That’s pretty amazing. Doomed to fail? Heck, let’s find out. I’m enjoying the ride anyway.
They’re even going back to the “let’s make class quests because they’re fun” well, with the Warlocks.
Pet battles, mounts to collect, pets as drops from old raids, old raids modified to change mechanics that required multiple people to now be (potentially) soloable, a Brawlers Guild that is all about a solo player going against NPC challenges before a live audience…
Blizzard takes a lot of abuse, but when you come right down to it, they’re doing an amazing job.
One thing I like is how they’re experimenting more with small changes that add up to big content for players.
Have you seen the little items you can buy with the new Commendations that drop from mobs you kill doing dailies? You can buy traps. You take a trap, and it gives you a daily quest. You can go out and farm some materials to make an animal trap. Then, you trap the animal in the wild. You take the animal and turn it in at a big arena with animal cages. You or anyone that sees the animal in a cage can ask to fight it. And those are some tough critters! Crabs, Tigers and Cranes, and they are serious badasses designed to be easy for a party of five, but good luck soloing one.
Here’s a hint; stand on top of the tiger. If you back off to range, he’ll leap on you and one shot your ass. Melee Hunters up!
It’s just a little thing, but it’s an activity that you can choose to do every day that takes time, is diverting and different, the trap quests act as dailies for 5 valor and 2 Lesser tokens, and when you’re done, you or anyone else can fight the beasts and get a quest on completion that gives you more faction rep. And like with other boss kills from quests in the game, you don’t all have to be in the same group. If you take part in the kill, just jump in and assist one in progress, you get credit. And like I said, when it’s dead, your first critter kill of the day gives you a nice quest to turn in for added rep with the new faction.
I tested it. It’s only the first animal kill. Just saying.
Blizzard does things sometimes that seem to be huge pains in the ass, or make life more annoying, or whatever. But sometimes, you look at it a different way, and you can see that it may be annoying to my playstyle, but it makes someone else’s more interesting.
Let’s not be the raider that hated on casuals for wanting stuff to do. Or the casuals that hated on PvP.
I personally am eager to get a Brawler Invite. I’ll wait until I can afford one on the BMAH, but I was in the Brawlers Guild arena watching today, and it was very cool.
I enjoyed watching other players square off against opponents, and I can ABSOLUTELY see spending an evening kicking back, relaxing, having a few beers and watching the fights while waiting for my turn in the ring.
This Brawlers Guild thing really is going to add a new dimension to the game… exhibition. You are going into your fight knowing you are being watched, and judged. Will you get stage fright? Will the crowd jeer you?
Today I saw a Druid fight a penguin in Bear form, running and jogging around, almost jigging and it looked like it was all to put on an exciting show. I’ll grant you, someone in the crowd was /yelling “GO GO GO HAPPYFEET”, but it was still fun.
I can see a developing new playstyle, people playing to the crowd, tweaking their costumes for the show (transmogs are awesome now that we can be performers on stage, amiright?), dancing around and doing emotes to give the live audience something to FRAPS or screenshot for later.
Players, we who are about to /dance while kiting green slime salute you!
I feel as though the seeds for amazing things were sown in the expansion, and we’re still just seeing them start to blossom.
It’s just too damn early to pass final judgment on these things. Or to get all cranky.*sentence take out of context may not represent Cassie’s actual thoughts about Blizzard.