Your mileage may vary – catching up

In the last few weeks, there were many things that came into game that turned the WoW community upside down and created almost as much controversy and hatred and drama as the famous Retribution nerfs early in Wrath (Dunno why I wrote Cataclysm before). The topics for the first Your Mileage May Vary, a series of general WoW related opinions will be: Microtransactions, Mohawks, Megafast cooking leveling (I just had to make it three M’s, don’t ask) and Free epics.

Well, I am already late to stir the waters now, but still, I want to say how I feel about it. Let’s start with the first thing that came… microtransactions…

MICROTRANSACTIONS

With the release of Blizzard Pet shop, the community got crazy and upset about “how can they?!?” sell in-game items for money, and that microtransactions will ruin WoW. Well, I for one am totally in favour of microtransactions of this kind. And let me tell you why:

  1. Microtransactions in World of Warcraft exist for a long, long time. Character transfers, name change, sex change, faction change, race change. All of these things weren’t imaginable before they were launched. Yes, you may now object that these are not microtransactions. Well, let’s look what the great tome of knowledge has to say to it; Wikipedia defines microtransactions as “sales of virtual goods”. So yeah, you got me there! None of the above are goods, right? Well, read on – “Virtual goods may be classified as services instead of goods”. Spot on, eh? So, we can agree now, that microtransactions existed in World of Warcraft way before Pet Shop was introduced.
  2. Anything you can buy offline won’t actually help you in game. You may look prettier, bulkier, get tail or long beard. You can get two cute pets if you like. But nothing of these will give you any real advantage over other players. And don’t give me the crap of race-changing for PvP supremacy – anyone can always reroll if it’s worth more than 20 EUR to you. And pets counting towards achievement? Come on, like there isn’t already gazillion of pets to get.
  3. “Blizzard will start selling lootzors nao!” – they won’t. It would absolutely negate everything they did in game up to date. Yes, they might be “catering for casuals” and giving out “free epics” for basic badges, but for that they actually want you to be in the game and play it to get the gear. Pay them monthly fee to get your epics. If you are very grudgey hater – the capitalists want to milk you till you drop dead. Now think, pumpkinhead, if they sold you “OP purples” for money, why the hell would you log into game at all? It would be against their own best interest.

Now, with respect to all above – I can imagine the collection of online store will grow. More pets, mounts, maybe even clothing will be available. I can even go as far as imagining old, maybe stat-less armor sets will be sold (when they really feel like they have to milk most of us before they shut it down for good). But hell, let it come. I am playing the game because I want to. I am paying my monthly fee because I want to play. If I didn’t, if the situation was too much for me to take, I’d quit. And substituted with different MMO. I didn’t.

I love microtransactions by the way. I am the kind of person that has to try everything out. I tried faction change the day it went out and got rid of my warrior just to toy with the feature. I sexchanged my paladin to female dorf and then back when everyone else did. I looked at the sum I paid for microtransactions in my WoW life… you don’t want to know. Oh and back on topic, I got Pandaren Monk. Yeah, go ahead and hate me!!!

My personal Blueberry rating of this feature – 80%. Good idea, can turn out both good or bad in the long run.

MOHAWK GRENADE CAMPAIGN

I hate it. Simple as that. I hate it even more than arenas. Not just the Mohawk grenade – I am loosing my sanity and nerves every holiday event that provides other players with a way to toy with my character. From Pumpkin heads, through Winter Costumes to Bunny Ears. I hate them all. I might be too protective about my toons, but I absolutely believe the saying (and 10 points to whoever guesses the author right), that my freedom ends where other person’s freedom starts. I believe you it is uber funny to run around and toss this crap on other people. Just maybe, maybe, think if it is as much fun for them. It is not for me.

Once during Hallow’s end, last year it was methinks, I just dropped out from raid because my buddies were spamming me with pumpkin heads and wands. Yes, it pissed me THAT much. I asked few times nicely to stop it, but as presumed, it only encouraged them. Till I really couldn’t bear it and logged.

For this I really dislike the new ad. First, as Larísa has said nicely here (and I suggest you go read it before you read on here) it feels totally disconnected from the game. I’ve played WoW for quite some time, but I can’t imagine how this ad can be possibly related to this game. I understand Mr. T. is THE BLOKE and it’s catchy (luckily, although European, as boy I knew what A-Team is so I knew Mr. T. as well) and I kinda liked the first “What’s your game” ad series. But this, this is taking it too far for me. I can say, seeing this as newbie back then and actually getting the impression the game is about running around grenading people, I am not sure I’d go and bought it.

Combine those two points and you get the only rating I can give this – 10%. Just for trying to continue a popular campaign and well, starring Mr. T.

MEGAFAST COOKING LEVELING

I was quite surprised when I read it over at MMO-Champion. Surprised, that’s it. Nothing less, nothing more. I am not one of those that whine and bitch how Blizz is making it easy for new players, giving out “hard earned tier models” for free (while the key word here is “models”) and all that crap. So what? Rahana’s cooking was at amazing 10/75 before Thanksgiving. Now I am ready for the last 300 push and I love it. I was thinking for last month about leveling at least cooking (Fishing is just too much for me) and this, this saved me whole lot of time.  And time is of the essence. I actually suspect that most of these whiners are kids that go to school and have nothing to do all day (not implying they are no-lifers, god forbid); I don’t have the time to hunt for wolves and their meet for 4 hours each day. I come home from work, cook, search the web a bit, finish of work I took home, log into game just about to raid and then get my 5 hours of sleep. Get up in the morning, get actually some sleep the other day, rinse and repeat. And people should realize that the community got older too. I started playing on Uni, now I have job. Many more around have kids and families nowadays.

There are things that shouldn’t be nerfed and there are things that can. The tedious grinds like fishing and cooking are, definitely belong to the latter. And you got e-rage for having it to do the “hard” way? Now I am telling you to get a life. And perspective. Really. PIXELS. Spell with me P-I-X-E-L-S. Nothing more.

Blueberry rating – directly benefiting Rahana and all my other alts. Loving it. 90% – and it’d be 110% if it was for fishing too.

FREE EPICS

Rahana is an alt that totally took advantage of badge system. Do I need to say more then? The problem I see there is not in accessing the epics to newbies, but in the players themselves. I am happy I can gear my alts quickly – but then again I am not the type of person to hit 80, grab my BoE greens and hit heroics like a hero (can that be classified as a pun?). I would do some groupies for blues, maybe normal ToC and I am as well confident enough to say my performance in blues would be better than many other’s in epics. What a douche am I, huh? But I will repeat it again – the idea behind accessing gear to new players  and alts is not a bad thing. It’s what the community does with it. We got two types of negative impacts – first being  the “omg I don’t look unique enough for massive e-peen” which you surprisingly don’t see from Ensidia or Method or any other top guild players, and then the phenomenon of  “I has epics, I has pwn!” of others. Confidence is good thing. Healthy confidence is even better.

It’s not the badge system that makes people play bad. It’s people that play bad. And well, if I should get a 14K hp mage that barely does 700dps for heroic, I would preffer 18K hp mage that does 900dps due to all shiny purchased epics. Don’t ya?

The proper evaluation of the system would take too much space and to be honest, all ways already said. As someone with no loot-epeen needs whatsoever and someone with countless alts – 100% is my rating.

The questions of the day  are: What do you think about microtransactions? Nerfing profession leveling? Easy-to-get epics? And the most important question – how much is too much?

About Rahana

Long time player, former hardcore now casual raider. Talks into everything, does not pay attention to exact theorycraft numbers. View all posts by Rahana

4 responses to “Your mileage may vary – catching up

  • drug

    Honestly, I don’t care about blizzard making the game more accessible or even gear making very easily obtainable. After all, everyone with an alt profits.

    I also see the point of everyone, who is annoyed by people who would want their gear to represent their raid progression, in the lines of “omg crybaby it’s just pixels!”

    Well, I’m one of those crybabies. I don’t mind that very casual players can sport good gear. I think that’s great. It helps them get into the raiding game. But there are two things that bug me:

    1. Visual uniformity: In BC, people with T6 shoulders were proud to wear them. Many toons looked where different from each other. Now, we have two kinds of people: 80′s in questing greens and 80′s in epics. And everyone looks exactly the same. It’s nearly as boring as looking at the walls of ToC 3-4 nights a week.

    2. Loss of attachment to my gear: The turnover of gear is just a tad bit too high for my taste. I dont enjoy getting new gear as much as I used to. I lost the sense of pride I had for a piece of armor I had in BC, a piece I was waiting months to get. Now, I’m changing gear like underwear.

  • Rahana

    Yes Drug, the visual uniformity bugs me as well. There is hardly anything unique looking nowadays and worst thing is, it could be really, really easily settled to a degree. By not having just two colours by model (and colours oftentimes close to each other), but having 4 distinctively different colourings for each “tier set”. Or maybe five, but that is pushing it. You’d have normal tier, hardmode normal, normal heroic, hardmode heroic and well, the random off-set drops that use same model as tier. In the end – everyone of said class would wear same model, but the colours would represent how or where you got it. I am not saying it is the ultimate solution, because it isn’t, but it totaly helps.

    The sentiment about loss of attachment of your gear… I recall in TBC, my paladin downed Mother Shah with T4 shoulders (hit on gear! yay!) and the chest from heroic MgT. Hell, the MgT chest got replaced not sooner than with T6 chest.

    To conclude this – it’s one of the things that bug me about wotlk the most – it seems like Blizzard got lazy. Recycled, recoloured content, absolutely identic 10 and 25 raids. Pretty much no change of scenery.

  • Shawn

    What do you think about microtransactions?
    – bring it on. It’s vanity items and harmless so it’s rad for folks who want to buy them, and harmless for those who don’t.

    Nerfing profession leveling?
    – Boo, hiss. Way to take an absurdly easy game and make it absurdly easier. We all burn through every piece of content, faction, skill, etc much faster than there is content to amuse us. So by all means make that problem worse. Blizzard is doing a very weak job of offering us engaging systems that last more than an afternoon.

    Easy-to-get epics?
    – I’m a hypocrit on this one. Because my tiny guild can only do 5 mans I benefit from the current badge system. It does feel a bit like food stamps though.

    And the most important question – how much is too much?
    – About that much. Give or take.

  • Ateve

    I agree with you on the microtransactions, its been around for a long time, its just now there is something tangable to let others know you are using them. End of the day, these things have no effect on gameplay, so I don’t really care. I may switch servers to avoid the leveling process, but nothing else.

    I’m surprised at how easy they made leveling cooking, but that said they need to go through the profs and ease up certain areas (like 270-300 for any crafting skill). Having to farm rare drops from forgotten content shouldn’t be nessessary, its not fun. Ya you can buy it off the AH, but there’s never much and its always expensive.

    And Epics…. I’m an altaholic, so I like being able to grind heroics for epics. Personally it just brings player skill to the forefront. I recently installed GearScore out of curiosity, I left it because it’s easy to see which dps are going to be more fragile and I need to watch out for or when a dps severely outgears the tank and may pull aggro. What amazes me is that you can run a heroic with 3k(blues), 3.5k, and 4.5k(basically all the eoc gear) GS dps and have them all within 10% of each other in total dps.

    And I’ll echo a point you made on a previous post, just because you’re pugging a heroic with shiney emblem gear (or offspec loot no one wanted) doesn’t mean you don’t have to gem or enchant it. Seriously, rare gems are uber cheap, just fill the damn slots.

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