A way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression
Today we see the 6.2.3 content patch. And there are two things that stand out to me. Two things I perceive as showing favor to a select group. Maybe I am wrong, at the very least I know this is the way it has always been.
I know that guilds have always sold runs for end game content at a high level, be it by people paying large sums of gold in game, or going to guild web sites and clicking on that “Other means” link that invariably lets you know that if you have cash, something can be worked out. It is a violation of the ToS to pay for, or charge real money to do content. It has always been done, people have always run the risk of having their account banned temporarily, even the loss of achievements and titles and gear. As long as there is some form of content with a reward, people will take what risks they feel may be worth it to have a reward. Like I said, I know this has been this way for many many years.
Except now it is different. Now you can log into the BNet store, purchase a few game time tokens, and list them on the AH of the server of the guild doing the runs and pay for it in gold. And it is absolutely fine with Blizzard. They are the ones circumventing their own rules to allow for a practice that has always been there. When you look at what is changing in the game today, the Grove Warden mount, and Mythic cross realm raids. Who will benefit from this the most.
High level guilds that have already completed raids, are either on break, or off doing other things, now have two opportunities to build up their guild cash leading into the next expansion. Now I will say, I have seen the postings for #FriendshipMoose. and that is an admirable thing that someone is proposing and willing to help organize. It may be a few months before runs actually start. Many people will of course have to have the mount ASAP, so if they are not a part of a guild already farming Heroic content, they will find a group advertising runs for 200,000g or more, even hinting that you can buy a run for real money if you visit their web site. I have even seen a post on my own server forums for runs 200k if you swap gold on their server, 250k if they have to roll a character on yours. They are making Mythic runs cross realm, people will buy these also, perhaps not as many as have in the past, but now that you do not need to transfer your character to another server it is just offering guilds that Blizzard still needs to be in the game an incentive to stay.
I will not be paying for a run. I will not be asking friends for a spot to get one as a favor. Even if my guild manages to advance into heroics, and does get Archimond down in the time limit, I probably won’t be there. No. It is a reward for people that have put in the work to get it. If they choose once again to place a mount at the end of the game, with the caveat, get it while content is current before it is gone, I will not be giving validation to the behavior. Trying to push me to keep up with advanced release schedules, go go go, get this tier done because the next is imminent. I will not do it any more. I kept general pace with Pandaria, I have kept up with Draenor, and what do I have as a reward? near a year of nothing current to do that is new. Just more variations of existing content with a higher level of difficulty. Or I have 10 years of older content I can do back and do on my own or with a few people.
Why would I do older content when it is old? Because the rewards are still there. The achievements for doing crazy things most people would never attempt except if they were a part of a high progression guild that was bored and looking for a challenge. All of Wrath, we see meta achievements for mounts, and people still do the content, people run Firelands because there are rewards, Throne of the Four Winds, Onyxia, Stratholme, I could list many many more. There are rewards there for putting in the time to get them. What happens when you remove the rewards? People walk away when they run out of reasons to stay.
I don’t care if I get some mount or special title or a really awesome piece of gear a year, 2 years after it is current. It matters to me that I did the work, even if I do it 10, 20, 30 levels higher than when it was current. I went in there and did the fights, maybe by myself, maybe with 19/24 other people and facerolled it. I said last time when they took out the mount for defeating Hellscream that I felt it was wrong. And I caught a lot of grief for saying it. So much so that I left Twitter for a few months. And yet here I am again saying it. Except now we have the added validation that it is ok to pay money for something as long as you are purchasing the gold from Blizzard. A person that focuses on making gold could come up with 200k in a couple of months, and I am sure there are a great many people sitting on multiple millions looking for something to spend it on. But for me it comes down to is it worth it to me. Will having it make me feel good about the manner I got it.
I did the work last year on Siege. I was a part of a group that worked their way through the entire instance over 4 weeks. I did the work and got it before the cut off. I was lucky. I know many were not. And I saw a few leave the game in because of it. Personally I feel trying to push people to do content at a pace determined by a small percentage is forcing people to just not care or try. I hope many lessons were learned in Warlords. I hope things change. Because I personally will not change the values I have to accommodate getting a thing.