To the Ground Baby

Instead of actually fighting the botting problem Blizzard cave in and nerf instance farming instead!!

 

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Blizzard and The Genius Scheme

You gotta admire those folks at Blizz HQ for their sheer cheek. Here’s the deal:

1) Blizzard introduce paid instant level 90
2) Hence admitting that their own leveling game is broken
3) Get you the subscriber to pay to skip the broken bit!!
4) Profit

Inspired

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Time to go swimming with some Super Loose Women

If you yawned your way through yet another evening of wow then perhaps its time for a little therapy User Friendly style!!

 

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FOTM Syndrome

Let’s clear something up here. In this computerized world today there are some enormously complicated algorithms which actually dictate online behaviour to an extent that many ‘normal’ people do not realize just how much they are affected by them. Such algorithms could easily be evolved to match class behaviours in wow, yes all 33 of them. Go to elitist jerks or any other number of websites with people who have nothing better to do with their lives and you will see that such behaviours  can be predicted, modeled and balanced to the nth degree.

 

Here however is the problem. Take 2 brilliant  chess players, imagine they are evenly matched in every way. Then given the same parameters for every game they will always draw (leaving aside human factors such as being more tired than your opponent). Now from a gaming point of view, where twitch reflexes are not part of the specification, for example wow, we have a situation where drawing game after game ( I give you the occasional win) ain’t exactly sexy.

 

So every patch the developers deliberately overpower a couple of classes or specs to promote fotm syndrome. It keeps people playing, its pretty simple really. In an enormously complicated game like wow, real balance is actually counterproductive if you study demographics. Fotm is frustrating if you care about your class, but in the scheme of things it has kept a lot of players interested and playing far longer than would have been the case in a truly balanced situation. If you really think about this you will admit it is true, at least most of you will.

 

So to my point. Stop the qq and reroll fotm. Or of course you could    /quit  ;)

 

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The Players that WOW Forgot

Hi

It seems that nothing can stop the slow demise of Wow. When you have diehard fans celebrating the mere loss of 100,00 players directly after one of the biggest giveaway patches in mmo history (5.4) you can deduce objectively that the game is in serious trouble and it is now apparent that nothing is working to restore this most entertaining of pastimes to its former glory, the ship is just sinking a little more slowly than it was. Pandaria or Pandora as I like to call it, was a decent expansion, appalling in terms of pvp, adventurous in terms of pve. In terms of real raiding anyway (hc) no-one could really argue that game is tougher than it has ever been. I personally hated the expansion with a passion but I can also understand the appeal it holds for certain types of people.

We have a situation now where all elements of the game are far more accessible now than they have ever been at any other time since the game was released yet the game is slowly bleeding to death. The developers, regularly accused of being lazy and incapable of even handedness have been working overtime and there has been a steady flow of new features, some good, others not so good. I would like to examine here, some of the reasons behind the decline of the game:

The game is old

Taken from http://www.tomsguide.com you can click here to read the argument. Yes the game is old, so is football, chess and any number of other games you care to mention. In video game terms Minecraft is immensely popular yet has graphics that belong back in the 90′s. Mechanically wow is very sound, the gameplay is still immediately addictive and interaction with your character still works better for me than any other game I have tried in the genre. Yes there are games out there with far better graphics but you need a mean machine to run them if you want better than 5 frames per second. I also happen to think of graphics in the same terms as having a beautiful wife who sucks in bed. Eye candy grows old very quickly if there is nothing of any substance behind the look. Lots of players have left to try other games, many of them came back, lots after a one night stand :) I don’t buy this argument but accept that it has to be a factor for some.

The game costs too much

This will obviously heavily depend upon where you come from. I will say this though, most wow players who are active, probably average at least 6 – 8 hours per week. That’s 30 odd hours of entertainment for roughly 10 euros or 30 cents an hour. Wow is probably the cheapest from of entertainment on earth, you can play as long or as little as you like. When times get hard the first thing people cut back on is their ‘luxuries’ usually starting with the most expensive first. Sure some people will have stopped subbing for this reason, I however thing the impact would be largely negligible.

The player base has changed, grown up

I really don’t believe it has all that much. What I think has really changed is the focus of the developers. To give an example, back when I was raiding in Vanilla/TBC there were very few teenagers in our raid groups. By far the biggest group of players were very much in the same mold as me, working, with a family + hobbies. We all used to find the time and thoroughly enjoy the game. Its easy to see how much things have changed by the huge number of young people now playing. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it has led the developers to change the way the game is played to the point where I just plain don’t like it anymore. Am I the only one? I really don’t think so.

The song remains the same

I used to play in a band with a very talented songwriter. The trouble is that we would all learn one of his songs, fall in love with it, only for him to come along to the next rehearsal and change it all around. He would enthuse about how much he had ‘improved’ the song but most times he had changed the things we had grown to love in the first place. Streamlining, dumbing down, homogenizing, subtracting and removing complexity and diversity are all examples of this. If you are fairly new to the game its easy to take them in your stride because you lack baggage. For vets the constant changes become very difficult to live with after some time. I accept there will also be plenty of vets that can live with the changes but to give an example. I used to know well over a hundred people as friends on my server (Shadowsong) Not a single one of them still plays the game and Shadowsong is lucky to have a total of 100 players online at any one time.

The Disenfranchized

For a change to be effective it really has to attract more players to the game than it loses. There have been no changes recently which have achieved this, indeed many of the changes made have led people to quit the game. My main reason for giving up wow is simply because the game is no longer worth the effort, everything you strive to achieve is virtually given away when the next patch arrives. I was fine with it at the end of an expansion but a gear reset every 4 months just reinforces the ‘hamster on a wheel’ effect and causes burnout much faster than was previously the case. Back in the day very few people played for loot, lots of people played for fun, prestige and server reputation. In this day and age it seems that people are loot obsessed and don’t give a fig for server reputation or anything else for that matter. This, for me is what constitutes a toxic player base. I used to play for the people I had made friends with, the devs have taken the game in a direction where friends are probably an inconvenience.

Legacy Servers

There is much more I could say but to the point. There have probably been more than 100 million people who have tried wow at some point. That’s an astonishing figure. We would do well to accept that the majority of players who have left have done so for the reasons illustrated above. I believe there is a huge ‘silent majority’ of players who would come back to the kind of game we used to have. It is no longer possible, in real terms for wow to revert in such a way therefore legacy servers or another developer with the balls to develop a game especially for the demographic described above would seem the answer. We know that developers are like sheep following after the dollars predicted by their focus groups but sooner or later a developer will realize that their is still a massive market out there. The players that wow forgot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SME

Social Media Exchange has many similarities with wow especially when it comes to mindless clicking, which lets face it constitutes a good 98% of the wow “experience” in this day and age. If you want to get some lead back in that pencil might I suggest either a course in SME or Feenix :)  One of the better private servers out there.

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If WOW no Float the Boat!!

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Levelling Fixed

Levelling used to be one of the aspects of wow that I enjoyed most, not only for the fun and challenge offered but also for the opportunity to meet and form lasting gaming relationships with other players. Challenging levelling can only be found through self gimping techniques aka “The Iron Man” and although some relationships are occasionally formed it would seem to be a far rarer occurance than was previously the case.

Hence, it would appear, levelling has lost much of its former magic, is seen as being increasingly irrelevant and is I would contend, seen as merely an obstacle that must be overcome in order to reach the real game. Whereas, in times past it was the tool upon which whole communities were built. If wow is ever to regain a semblance of its former glory then Blizzard must address the parlous state of the levelling game. For if you allow the roots to wither, the tree will surely die.

Next is a list of suggestions I would like to be considered which could breathe new life into this ailing giant:

1) Leave LFD and all of the current framework intact
2) Introduce another pathway for levelling based on challenge mode technology
3) Make challenge mode versions of current levelling dungeons
4) Allow players to scale up and down to the level of the selected dungeon. This will allow guildies and friends to play in a way that is currently impossible
5)Make grouping in this way very rewarding. I’m talking in excess of 5 times the xp you would get for a normal dungeon. Scaled to your real level of course
6) Establish a link between end game and levelling. Make justice points, rep tokens and valor obtainable by earning achievements and feats of strength that can only be found in these dungeons
7) Establish a link between levelling and proffesions. Make certain rare recipes drop from bosses only within such dungeons and add a multiplier to skills gained within the instance

This is just to get the ball rolling and only touches one one important aspect. I am certain there are tons of other good ideas out there.

Link me Baby

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The Real Monkey Runs

Xp could be awesome with the right group. Spawn rates are unbelievable so you basically never stop pulling and don’t really have to run far at all. Warlocks are brilliant at this, better than Hunters I just don’t have time to level one. Awesome for gold especially those 409 blues that sell so well.

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Monkey Runs

Forget monkey runs, since the nerf they are hardly worth it anymore. This is much more effective, a level every couple of hours or so, and as a bonus you will probably earn around 10k gold per hour. Server dependant.

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