Is the End Game that important?

First let me say that I am amazed that I have not seen the critics like I have in years past decrying handing out unearned gear.  Cries of stop handing out unearned Epics, you’re catering to the Casuals.  Perhaps no one has picked up on it, maybe it’s because they are Blue Text items.

So, has the End Game, become so important, that they are now throwing gear at people in order to give them the tools to run the content?  Has the bar to raid been raised so high that it has come to this point?  Was the decision to rely on gear improvements to make fights easier been so wrong in place of a Nerf that it has come to this.

Ok, enough suspense.  Lets get to the gist of the topic.

Timewalker dungeons.  This week we saw patch 6.2.2

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Yeah, everyone pay attention to being able to fly now.  Don’t look behind the curtain over here where we are in a panic because we see a problem.  Running your first Timewalker Dungeon this weekend will award you a quest turn in for 500 tokens.  Running it twice will award about 50 tokens, 5 times there is a quest reward of a piece of loot, I am guessing at 675 iLvL.  Now a few weeks ago you could get some 650 gear, not bad.  A decent jump to someone catching up or gearing an Alt. But now I see something very disturbing.  At the vendor there is a slew of 675 Blue Gear for 50 Tokens each.  So with 2 dungeon runs you could conceivably purchase 11 pieces of 675 gear.  11.  Pretty much every gear slot in 675 for running 2 Timewalker dungeons.

Wow.  Last month you could run many and get a decent amount of 650 gear, you could do content in Tannan for 650, possibly a rare 675 Epic, and if you farmed enough, upgrade to 695.  So what is next up for the Timewalking dungeons, in 2 months will we see it raised to 695?  4 months from now when the expansion is winding down it raised to 715?  Higher?  Are they so desperate to get people to raid the End Game, that they are now just throwing gear at people for next to no effort.  It says a lot to me as a player that has a limited schedule and tries to improve myself and work for all I have achieved to see how easily they are just handing out gear.  I have not even completed a full set of Hellfire LFR and already out gear Normal gear drops.  I would need to run Heroic content to improve more.  It really shows to at least me, the sad state that raiding has become, the decision that eventually your gear will improve to defeat the content.

Maybe people have gotten tired of the endless fight.  The hundreds of wipes to get a fight down before moving to the next, the weeks of working only to have time run out and a new tier release.  Maybe it is just me.  Maybe I am reading too much into it.  But all I recall is years of complaints about people working for weeks collecting Justice or Valor to buy that one piece of gear, that it was being handed to them, to now an hour and a half to two hours rewarding you with so much 675 gear that I have to wonder,

why-1

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#183

For lack of a snappy click bait title.

I had a guild comment directed at me.  There was talk that we needed a couple DPS able to pull over 30k, and I mentioned “Well, that rules me out”  and had a reply, “Oh yeah because you were considering raiding”  And that kind of hit home.  I really have been trying to find a reason to get into raiding.  I cannot even get myself to jump into LFR like I have so many times in the past.  I have been trying to figure out why it just has no appeal.  Why don’t I want to be in there fighting the bad guys.  I think in part it is because we are being lead there to do it.  The Legendary quest lines, that started in MoP, and now are fully a part of WoD.  If you want to have this “Legendary” item, you will need to run at the very least LFR, multiple times to collect things.  And I feel that is part of the problem, I am not Pavlov’s dog.  Someone decided that a good arbitrary number is to require you to do something X amount of times to achieve a result.  It is taking the dreaded gathering quest, go collect 15 Boars ears, to it’s highest level of drudgery, run LFR to collect 30 items, or 900, or any other number, but in a nutshell, about 15 times, give or take.  The phylosophy, if we give them a reward to run it they will, is a bit flawed.  This is not Field of Dreams.  In Wrath, we all wanted to get the Lich King.  He was the bad guy that needed to be defeated.

No longer am I encouraged to step up to fight the bad guys to win the day, to right a wrong, to champion a cause.  I am being guided to running content for a thing.  And it is not even something so rare that you know it will require a great investment of time to acquire.  It is just a generic reward that has a fancy color and good stats on it, that just about everyone has at some level of completion.  It has no real purpose other than being a big carrot dangled in front of you as incentive to run content.  Ever look and wonder about the Legendary color choice?

carrots

 

Now, also I saw this this morning

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I remember the early days of playing, being level 40 and seeing World Defense saying a town was being attacked, rushing to a flight plan to try to fight off the invaders, trying to fight those that were a skull level to me, being defeated so many times.  But I did it.  Time and time again, I knew some day I would be 80 and would be one of the ones that fought back and won the day.  And then I was, and I was half way decent, and would rush all over the world to jump in to defend.  Somewhere along the way it changed, the abilities increased, the gap between your average player and those more experienced were always there, but gear was more of a factor, so I ran BG’s, I geared for PvP, I gemed heavy in resilience and could hold my own, but then it got even more complex, more of a niche that you had to practice at, not so much a modified way of fighting in a raid or dungeon, but more CC, more of a specific way to play or defend, and the skill set required escaped me.  Once you got to a certain point in a season, those that focused on PvP over PvE would have the gear and experience in playing a certain way, and could easily beat someone just getting into it.

So I hung it up, and walked away.  Much like I have done recently for raiding, for different reasons, the fights are not engaging, mechanics are so unforgiving, even on what many consider to be the simplest levels of difficulty.  There is a vast difference in the skill required to raid now, over what we had 4 years ago.  We allow add on programs to aide us in tracking the multitude of spells and abilities cast by Bosses, and not only ourselves but other members of our raid group.  Sometime around Heart of Fear it all went to pot for me.  Playing at the lowest settings possible, still only having 10 FPS if I was lucky just made keeping track of all going on to overwhelming.  Do I think if I had a newer more powerful computer that it would be better or easier for me?  Absolutely not.  I would just install what ever programs I needed to do the fight for me.  When you play as I have learned to, you learn to anticipate certain parts of the fights so that slow reaction speed allows you to be ready.  When things get mixed up, like the trains having multiple patterns, it becomes an exercise in frustration.  When gear has been taken out of the equation, I out gear all but Heroic and higher content, just by spending a few weeks running around Tannan for 45-60 minutes a day, what is left is doing the fight to see the fight.  When you realize there is nothing really special about the fight, what other reason is there to do it.  An achievement?  Getting a special mount for completing a meta?  There has been missing the story behind it all.  Guldan?  Oh yeah that guy that pops up every so often and we see the cinematic released well prior to even having the content available to us, and now we find out 9, 10 months prior to the release of the next, that we don’t get him.  Imagine reading War Crimes, but starting with the last chapter of the book. Kind of ruins the whole thing.

Something has been lost in recent years.  Maybe it was when I finally caught up to everyone else, the chase to catch up, see things when they were new, finally revealed to me that running things when they were older did not make them any less special, they had flaws in them that were never fixed when current.  Seeing things now, as they are released does not give it a higher value.  It is what we make of it.  If I have more enjoyment doing a raid with friends that is 3 years old, and just overpowering mechanics, compared to wiping 80, 100, 150 times learning a fight, does that mean I am less of a player?  I don’t think so.  Doing current may have a great appeal to many, going into 25 man heroic Throne of 4 winds by myself and defeating all 4 bosses is fun for me.  And I think that is the key element.  Doing something that is fun for me.  Not feeling obligated to do things because it is current.

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/2 you win

Last night I really did not feel like doing much in game, so I hung out in town, listened to old 80’s music and spent some time reading General and Trade Chat.  I reported so many people for spamming, language, and derogatory guild names, people making comments looking for a fight, people using racial slurs, and it really saddened me to think that these are the people that make up even a small portion of our dwindling population.  All servers have them, some worse than others.  I have seen comments from people that overall our joint server is very tame compared to many others.  I finally just gave up.  I logged out early without a word, and called it a night.

This morning as I drove to work I thought about all I had read, the years of reporting, and how it never seems to get any better.  I don’t mind the old X-Box jokes, to the Thunderfury spam.  It is part of the culture of the game.  But the need to push the limits, the need to try to create guild names that are just so over the top offensive that the person that created it should feel embarrassed they even thought to create it.

So I am giving up on you General and Trade chat.  I am walking away.

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There comes a time when you just have to let the ship sink and take all those that have made it the way it is, drown together.  Maybe they will realize that all they have to talk to is those like themselves and decide to change.  I highly doubt it.  For what ever reason, boredom, lack of a challenge, or just because they feel they can do what they want behind the privacy of a computer screen, they can have it.  They win.

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I am not your father, I am certainly not your mom.  I am an adult, I have played video games for longer than many of you have been alive.  We all share the same sandbox, but since you are determined to keep peeing in it and taking a crap in the sand, then I am choosing to get out to sit on the grass and enjoy the sunshine, even if it is by myself.  You want to have free speech in a video game?  You want to be as much of an ass as you wish you could be in real life?  Then knock your socks off skippy, you have won.  You get the prize of being able to say anything you feel like, and there won’t be anyone there to listen to you.

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edit.

 

There is something to keep in mind also.  We all have limits.  I am coming very near mine with the manner in which many feel they can act, and not just in the chat channels, but also the behaviors of people in LFR, Dungeons, and the Forums.  I am one of the most patient and calmest person you would ever meet.  I will walk away from everything before I let anger get the better of me.

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Oh irony, you’re a subtle one aren’t you. 

Reading some comments about raiders and PvPers and having to do quests to get flying and it occurred to me I was on the opposite fence in a slightly similar instance a year ago.

When they said at a certain date, you could no longer get the mount from killing Garrosh, I was on the side of those I know that had tried and worked so hard for months to get there, that were pugging group after group at the end to try to get it. And the statement was made, you had to work for it. If you really wanted it, you had plenty of time. Stop asking to be given something you didn’t work to get.

And now I see the other side. I did the work to get what I needed to do for flying. And there are people on the other side of the coin now. Raiders and those that PvP saying it is unfair they need to do content they have no interest in. Now granted. We are talking about 1 mount, vs being able to fly. But we are also talking about an activity that many knocked out very quickly.

I don’t know how I feel about this. For a PvP realm having world flying is a big thing. For the person that just sits in town and Queue’s for arena and BG’s maybe not so much.

I look at the minimal effort I put in to get what I need, the less than an hour a day, and look at comments made to me over the years about raiding only a few hours a week, and realize. Everyone has a different take on what they consider being a time sink as it were.

While I am tempted to take the stand of “You want the reward, do the work” that has been tossed at me in the past, I do see it from the other perspective now. I get it.

I just hope in the future, some restraint in comments is used by others when they are the ones with the thing, and I am the one without.

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Need to hear your Wonderous Stories

I told myself to write today about doing repetitive content, multiple levels of Dungeons, Raids, etc, and why somethings work for me but not others

And that is a key.  The desire to hear the Wonderous Story.  We have gotten too far into a habit of race to get to cap, into the dungeons for gear, into the raids for gear, on to the next expansion, always chasing gear, the story has taken a back seat to getting us in to the end game as fast as possible.

"WHY" 3D text surrounded by question marks. Part of a series.

“WHY” 3D text surrounded by question marks. Part of a series.

Oh sure there is an underlying story line, but do we even pay attention any more?  We place so much value on being number 1, on being the first to kill X boss, to race through a dungeon and get the fastest time to get a gold medal, to get things done in a current tier before the next drops, to pull as much of an area as possible to kill everything so that we can get on to the next.

Why, when there is so much wonderful music in WoW, are there not little isolated areas that are just peaceful and serene where you can stop and listen.

The Storyline Add On popped up in my timeline the other day, and while I am never one to add more add on programs to my stretched to the limit PC, this one caught my eye.

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And I have to say I like it. It is a reason for me to stop for a moment and actually read the quest.  Because it is being told to me.  Not just a click accept.  And it had me contemplating why I really have not felt the desire to run dungeons and raids like I have in the past.  Because there is not a compelling reason too.   We outstrip any rewards from doing them over and over, to be honest a few weeks in Tannan Jungle has me in gear beyond a reward from even doing Normal level Raids, let alone doing any Dungeons.

What has happened?  Where is that desire to run them over and over, 20, 30, 40 times.  And I think its the story.  They try to place quest drops in, but in random groups, there is never the time to stop to pick up that one item in a room to the side with a few adds to defeat, all anyone wants is to skip as much as possible and move to the next, cough Everbloom, cough.

Why not a quest, where you are told, when you reach the end hero, use this item to summon me and I we will investigate this hidden room talked about in the scroll you brought to me, and after you finish the dungeon, you go back with the NPC to discover some part of the story, some hidden treasure, something.  Some reason to go back in, to uncover some hidden thing, no more, take this quest go kill dungeon boss, come back and get a reward.

It has just become an exercise in how much, and how fast can you kill all the things.  And then we get bored.  The whole story should unfold though the entire expansion, not just a linear progression, level to cap, dungeon raid.  The tale should ever be present, there should be a reason to go back, a desire to do it again.

There needs to be a Wonderous story.

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Some days.

Yesterday CM Lore and it appears others were set loose from the cages as it were and took to Twitter.  In reply to one post I made this comment,

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12 hours later and I am still getting notifications I am tagged in.  Some comments of a tone I feel is responsible, to many outright torch waving burn all the things.  If you want to create an atmosphere where CM’s just really don’t want to deal with being treated like sub humans, just go on, keep badgering them in the way you see fit.  If you wish to make a point about why you feel something is wrong, using Twitter is not the answer.  Take to the blogs, or the forums, outline why you have an issue, and don’t just wave a flag proclaiming FOR REASONS!!

Last year, I made a comment directed at Ghostcrawler, and it quickly spiraled into accusations that I was demanding a thing.  Also, how dare I try to speak to a Blue.  As a result of all of it, and the feeling that I had about it all, I just deleted my Twitter account.  Looking back, I should have stayed and just moved on.  There are days when I say things and people laugh, or agree, even disagree, that I am proud of, because in some way I have had a positive impact on something.  Then there are days like last night where I am almost willing to go so far to say as I am ashamed at the way this community of players treat other human beings.

Do I have criticisms of the current expansion?  Certainly I do.  Probably quite a few things that to many are absolutely fine.  Do I try to  express an opinion?  Yes I do.  But I try to do so without using hate to fuel my responses.  I try to do what they ask us to do.  Outline why.  Expressing a dislike for aspects of a game because of feelings can be difficult.  But if you do, please try to show some respect.  You want to be able to talk to these people that quite honestly have jobs to do that do not involve talking to you on Twitter.  That they take some time during the day, or evening to interact with players, places them above a great many other games in my book.

Pretty much ask yourself, would I talk this way to a parent, or grandparent?  Would you expect them to reply in kind?

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here I sit

i sit

Here I sit.

On a Saturday evening, in my now 698 gear.  I have exhausted all Tannan upgrades, I have used my Alt Inscriptionist to make the final level up to my Trinket to make it 715.  There is nothing I really need any more.  If I want to get any better gear, my option is Heroic raiding.  I cannot even motivate myself to run the second and third wings of LFR now open to me, let alone the fourth.  What has happened to this game I love so much.  Why do I find myself here alone in my Garrison town hall.

Here I sit

A player that has done so much in game, has tried his hand at everything it has to offer.  Has the expansion been that bad?  No not really.  Yeah it has some major flaws, but still there is much that can be done.  It’s not a lack of flying, or things to do.  I feel like it has become almost stagnant in the course of action we seem to repeat year after year.  Level to cap, run heroic dungeons, raid or PvP, rinse repeat.

So here I sit.

Writing about my thoughts, thinking of what Legion has in store.  I wont roll a demon hunter.  Just not my style of playing.  I tried a Monk, but it was just not me.  I am a Shadowpriest.  It is the one class that felt right to me to play.  I like to think I play it well, even though I am sure there are many others that would think me a scrub.  I am probably good enough to hold a spot on most normal/heroic raid teams.  But this last expansion and a half.  Some time during Heart of Fear, my perspective changed.  I did not like the direction the encounters were being designed.  It was just too much to process mentally.

So here I sit.

I still play every day, even though I may only send out followers to handle missions, I make bags to sell, I help out people in the guild when I can, I sometimes venture out to solo older raids where there is a chance for a mount, even though I know it may take more attempts than most people would ever be willing to try.  I still can find things in the game to do, but the more current things seem to have lost a lot of their luster.

So here I sit.
Not alone per-say, I can see guild chat scrolling by, the comments in General and Trade, the bad jokes, the attempts to troll people.  I don’t really talk much, but I do try to watch what is said, I try to catch that one person asking for help, the new player looking for a guild to call home, people trying to do something old to many, yet they have never seen or done.  I try to answer questions privately, try to offer advice or tips.  I sometimes just make pieces of gear for people not expecting anything in return, just because I hope that it might make someones evening a little better.

So here I sit.

I have tried going back to Ashran, to try to get back into some PvP, to work at replacing the gear I have disenchanted.  To get back into the game.  GOing in, being added to a group scattered all over, riding to find a bunch actually trying to work as a team, coming face to face with not 1, not 2, but 10 or more opposing players, quickly finding myself in a graveyard, having to wait out getting back into the fight because they are camping it and killing people as soon as they rez, finally getting back, racing down roads, only to be cut down again.  No.  It is not a sandbox I wish to play in.  I use to love PvP, could spend hours in random battlegrounds, would be a part of the crowd waiting to gain entry to Wintergrasp, would answer the call for more people in Tol Barad.  But things change.

So here I sit.

Our desires change, the goals we have for ourselves, what we wish would happen.  THe game has gone on for so many years, Orcs vs Humans, Alliance vs Horde.  It has gotten old.  I see we may have a chance to work together, at least as members of the same class, I have hopes of maybe a neutral faction, one that is welcome in all cities, one that can work for either side to win the big battle.  To finally say I am tired of not only you killing me, but of those times I get lucky and am the one killing you.  It gives me no satisfaction knowing that the person on the other side of the monitor is having the same feeling as I am, that maybe they are not good enough.  Or worse, that they feel it necessary to seek out other people to hurt, so that they can feel better.

So here I sit,

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even though there are times I don’t feel I fit.

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