We're the players, not the enemy!

This isn’t a rant, no it’s not. I’m in a good mood, a playful mood. I am!

I think this needs to be said, though. I’ve been consistently tweaked by this issue for a long time, and I think once I get it out, I can move past it.

Yo, Blizz!

Hey, love the game, keep it up, way to go, know wut I mean?

Yeah, about this whole stat thing.

Do you think you could, like, take a break on the stat complexity thing? Just for a little? And while you’re at it, make stuff in harder content better than the stuff that came before?

Hey, it’s cool, I know you guys want us to stay challenged, stay excited. I gotcha. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say nah more.

But, you know, it’s just an idea and all, call me crazy, call me kooky but…

How about you focus on keeping us excited and engaged with the content we’re playing in?

I love the game as much as anyone, but come on.

The game is cool as it is. You don’t need to feel like you have to artificially raise the difficulty by making the stat system clear as mud, and by constantly, intentionally, endlessly jerking around what stats are better than which in a fight of what duration under what conditions just to increase the challenge… blech!

Have fun making the encounters fun. Knock yourself out with challenging content. Force people to follow a progression that requires them to get solid upgrades from one stage before going on to the next.

This Ulduar thing? Rock on. Love ya, babe.

Just stop making the gear, the loot, that shiny old bling all confusing and silly.

You design the gear. You assign the stats. And you decide what drops it where.

You have the power!

You are the mighty Cthulhu, and we are the investigators that, let me be honest, are failing our SAN checks here.

You don’t have to punish us, the players, for having gear you feel is too powerful for where we’re at progression-wise. You put it where we found it, we didn’t hack your server.

And if everyone uses the same axe because it’s just that good?

It’s not a problem. There is nothing that says that we need 5 weapons of equal value, but with wildly different stats, just so you can feel good about itemization, or feel that those graphics models get used.

If we have a single item that we find, through our research and study, is best in slot… it’s cool. You didn’t fail. Because no matter what you do, no matter how screwed up and confusing you try and make the stats… someone will wade through the formula, figure out a stat weighting system, and publish a gear list… and something will be sitting at the top as best in slot, even if you do everything in your power to make stuff evenly weighted and hard to define.

It’s cool. It’s just the way we are. You give us a challenge, and we will try and figure out the best avenue of approach to overcome it, and part of that is a defined gear list. With something perched at the top.

Change the stats, add more stats, all that does is change whats at the top of the list… and annoys the people that worked damn hard to get to the top of the last list and spent all their DKP.

So stop the craziness, drop the crap stats and weird itemization, distribute it evenly among the tiers of progression, okay stuff at bottom, good stuff in middle, best stuff at top,  and let us struggle to get it.

We’ll do our part. We’ll play the game, and have a great time doing it.

And when we down a boss in new content that is a little harder than the content we had been doing before, I assure you, no really, I swear to God, when the loot drops and it’s clearly a little better than the loot from the content we had done before…

…we promise we won’t feel cheated.

No, really, it’s cool.

Having Ulduar drop better loot than Naxx, it’s okay with us. Fights are harder than Naxx, so having the loot be better sounds spiffy. We won’t mind.

See, right now, and maybe you haven’t noticed this, but the thing of it is, there are so many stats, and the way those stats are distributed amongst the itemization is so wonky, that it really is damn hard to look at two pieces of gear side by side and tell by a glance whether you just got an upgrade.

I don’t know about you folks up there in Developer Heaven, but when us player folks down a boss, loot drops, someone rolls on it and wins it, and then says, “Oh dang guys, I just checked my spreadsheet, and that item wasn’t really an upgrade, I’d gain 24 Crit Rating but lose 16 Armor Pen and 12 Haste Rating, and that works out to a loss of 34.7 DPS over a 4 minute fight, sorry…”

Well, that sucks. In a lot of ways.

Us players, we’re simple folks at heart.

Yes, many of us love the complexity of the fights, of working out the math of what is better than what, of making gear lists and figuring out tactical manuevers…

But everyone loves to get an upgrade. And nobody likes to take down the hardest fight yet ever, and then have everyone pass because the loot is inferior to what they got on a much easier fight.

I don’t personally know a single person that likes the current murky, vague ‘is this damn thing an upgrade or isn’t it, lemme check my notes’ nature of itemization.

Maybe they’re out there. I can’t speak for everyone. And some folks like fish flavored ice cream, too. Some people are just plain crazy.

Just from me, though, come on, guys. Work with us, okay?

We’re not your enemy, we WANT your game to rock! If we didn’t, we wouldn’t pay you for the priviledge of playing it, okay?

Come on, we love you, so why all the abuse?

17 thoughts on “We're the players, not the enemy!

  1. Just was browsing your site and saw this and I want to say….

    Well said! I get a headache thinking about playing my alts.. changing specs, gear. So armor is no longer the defensive stat in pve.. defense is. Nor is it in pvp.. resis is.. You need hit not just spell power or ap and you also need expertise.

    Dual specs woulda been so much more fun if I didn’t have to swap a set out to go from healing to dps as a caster.. say on my druid or priest. On my paladin sure.. I don’t expect to go ret in my holy set. It just gets old worrying about every little stat on all my chars. I am very very happy about dual specs.. not the cost lol.. for all my many alts. But things get so complicated sometimes heh. I agree with the poster who says “Make people theorycraft obsessively about their loot and DPS until their eyes cross”.

    Maybe I need to stick to one character…sigh.


  2. What I always found strange is that even with RatingBuster calculating the composite stat differences for me, taking talents into account etc., I often found that the few seconds between ML links the items and starts the rolls is still not enough time for me to really tell which of two items with the same ilevel is better. Of course, I could research possible drops beforehand, but, frankly, I like the surprise and I never grind for specific gear.


  3. Well said and wholeheartedly agreed with… I’ve received several Ulduar souvenirs now, but I’ve kept every piece I’ve replaced and switch back to them because it is so difficult to determine which is better (or better put, the new stuff may be fantastic once it is part of a set of all new stuff, but in the changing gears between sets it doesn’t work or doesn’t seem to work, or just doesn’t feel like an upgrade)

    Thanks for the outlet… 😉


  4. [snark]That’s Blizzard’s excuse for content. Make people theorycraft obsessively about their loot and DPS until their eyes cross, and they are too busy to notice flaws in the game, or that their progress is measurably slower as time goes on.[/snark]

    Agreed on the article, BBB. Complexity isn’t content, especially arbitrary changes to the underlying structure of the game. Teaching your players one thing, letting them play with it for a while, then changing it on them is simply bad game design. (Or Silent Hill, but they are *trying* to mess with your expectations because that’s what those horror games do.) It’s like arbitrarily changing the meaning of words in a language. (And yes, I’m still miffed that “thong” and “gay” have picked up rather different meanings since my youth.)


  5. what bugs me personally is one of the points you mentioned and sometimes it doesn’t even take much spreadsheeting and theorycrafting to get to that point… you finally kill that boss in Ulduar – hurrah! you look at the loot. you compare it to the loot you still have way back from Naxx. and you pass, because that drop that you just got? not as good. and then there are those couple of items that everyone is fighting for, because they are just so damn perfect – they work for half of your raid. /shudder. and then few weeks later – that item that everyone wanted and a few payed through the roof for? barely viable. and those couple of drops you sharded because no one wanted them, even for free? the holy grail.

    a bit of complexity is nice…as long as you don’t keep changing the rules every couple of weeks, fer crist’s sake! I wouldn’t mind juggling so many stats as much if the worth of them didn’t fluctuate so much from hotfix to hotfix. one day – you are avoiding armor penetration like a plague – next day its practically your primary stat. one day you’re stacking agility because it shows to be better – next day you see your dps drop because surprise, surprise – attack power scales better now.



  6. Full, wholehearted agreement. I play the game to play the game. Some theorycrafting is tolerable, but I refuse to bother with graphs and spreadsheets and all that bull. The difficulty should be in the CONTENT, not in digging through obscure nonsense to figure out whether an item is an upgrade or not. Even as someone who doesn’t really care much for loot, it’s much more satisfying to see a new boss die, look at its drops and immediately see something would be an upgrade.

    Now I’m far from hardcore, more very casual as a raider (bear tank) so I can afford to give spreadsheets the middle finger. But I wonder — do the more “hardcore” people actually enjoy this nonsense? Brooding over stats for hours to sqeeze out 0.01% more DPS or TPS or HPS? Spraining their brains on mathematical formulas?


  7. Not only are you plain simple right here, also that was a gret read to get into the day 🙂

    Wish I could be happy about Ulduar Tank-Drops with my Warrior, but it’s a little confusing to have tanking-gloves who spend points on ArP while I have to keep a +def trinket around to stay crit immune


  8. Bravo Bear Bravo!!!

    The gear issues are really bugging me at the moment. Half my bags are full of different gear depending on the content. It gives me a headache.


  9. It *was* STR in 3.0. Now it’s AGI. Before 3.0 it was AGI. I wish Blizz would make up their minds. -.-


  10. You should see the crying from the Holy Paladins. The spreadsheets say that Crit >>>> Mp5, so the hardcore Paladins HATE Mp5. I’m not even sure HATE is a strong enough word. I see posts all the time from these “leet” Paladins where they brag about having less than 80 Mp5 on their gear – while they sport a 45% crit rate and 25k mana.

    Yet my Naxx + Ulduar geared Paladin has sometihng around 250 Mp5 and a paltry 30% and 21k mana. And still I pull my weight. And still I don’t go OOM. And still I fight with overheal because my heals are so damn powerful (god forbid I actually CRIT).

    I think that in 95% of cases – it doesn’t really matter. Blizzard designs these instances with a certain amount of HPS and DPS and TPS in mind. And then they give you ways to get there. You can min/max and eek every last bit of DPS or HPS or TPS out of your gear (pulling your hair out along the way), or you can take the gear that is available and STILL get there.

    I will say, though, that I’m still confused on my Druid. I am told that Strength is the best stat, but everything I see is loaded with Agility. Oh well. Guess I’ll just have gobs of AGI instead of gobs of STR. 🙂


  11. Diablo2 had a very wierd following for the longest time. I mean, i get it, run around, get loot, no problem. But after you’ve played the game all the way through once, why would you do it again in a harder mode then again in a yet harder mode.

    Anyway…as a hunter i fully agree. I give up and use Pawn when i can, but idk if that’s even right for me. usually I look at the ilvl and figure its an upgrade somehow…And I am not a stupid person, with a PhD i should be able to figure this stuff out, but at some point i think ‘eh, just a game’ and use whatever.


  12. God Ratters, don’t even joke about the RNG.

    I don’t know if you ever played Diablo 2, but the RNG on that could be a brutal bastard. NO known drops, everything random, always praying for something useful to pop up.

    I’m going to *ahem* rat out Melpo, but I remember that he actually found a program somewhere that let him modify the game files for Diablo 2 so that, in single player mode only, he could apply an RNG buster to gear in his saved game, find something that would actually match stats he wanted, and then give it to his character.

    Me, I just played it a few times through with different characters, weeped at never getting drops I actually wanted, and moved on.

    I can’t count how many hours I spent going back and forth to the vendor in the hopes that the RNG had popped something I WANTED into his inventory for a bloody change.



  13. I don’t think them Blizz developers bothers checkin’ things in spreadsheets. Mebbe mathifications makes they’s heads hurt too, or mebbe they just like using RNGs fer ta do the designings.

    Me, I just go with whatever looks the most badass.


  14. I’m with you! But there are some players who adore crazy complexity (I remember this from GURPS) – the only weird thing is Blizzard not giving them the actual numbers so they can do their own spreadsheets etc.


  15. Agreed 100%!!!

    Also Blizz, you need to add the stats we actually need at level cap. Come on now, Warlock gear without hit when I need a hit cap of 446?!?! Work with me here!

    Hit > Haste for Affliction warlocks, just sayin


Comments are closed.