Time Sinks, World Bosses, Disapointment and Danny Glover   23 comments

We are now into our third/fourth week of MoP and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about things. The expansion is gorgeous, but I’m still a bit sad that I’ve been so busy doing “WoW Chores” that I’ve hardly had a minute to actually stop and smell the cherry blossoms.

Time Sinks
Let me start today’s rant with time sinks.

There are…so many of them. But I think the ones that bother me the most are dailys and valor point grinding. I hate the fact that to be the best player I can be for my raid team I am condemning myself to things that I quite honestly despise doing. I absolutely loathe the fact that every night, to do my part, I have to log in and do my “chores” before I’m allowed to play. I hate that I have to fly out the Town Long Steppes and visit the Shado-Pan. I hate that I have to ferret out where the August Celestials need my help. And most of all I hate that these miserable things take up time in game that I could use to do things I actually want to be doing. I hate that I feel compelled to grind out reputation in a slow, arduous, and cumbersome process. I hate that I feel like I’m letting my team down if I don’t do this every day.

I’m sure someone is going to read this, and feel the urge to comment “well, you don’t have to do them”. Sure, you are right. I don’t have to do them. I also don’t have to do the dishes in my house, or dust, or run the vacuum. But I’m doing myself (and a team I’ve committed to) a huge disservice if I don’t. And you can’t take that fact away, no matter how you look at it.

Which I suppose brings me to my next point: Valor Point accumulation at this juncture is just stupid. Did you know that you acquire more Valor Points right now from running Looking for Raid than you do actually raiding? I’m dead serious. How completely messed up is that? How do I earn more valor points for an hour of my time than I do for the effort I put in the other three nights a week that I raid? There is something inherently wrong with this fact.

The other thing that completely chaps my hide is that if I want to cap my valor points each week, I am required to spend more time outside of raids than I do in raids to do so. I know, I know – you don’t have to cap your valor points, Beru. But sadly, that isn’t a true statement until there isn’t a single item left for me to purchase that would upgrade my gear, and subsequently my performance, even if it is by the tiniest margin. Until that time hits, I’m a slave to the Blizzard grind machine – and with each daily I feel my desire to continue playing and my resolve to push this grind out falling away. I become irritable, cranky and hate my time in game. And to me, that just seems…wrong from something that is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby. I’m seriously torn between wanting to do what is best for my team and wanting to do what is best for my sanity and enjoyment of the game. Both have negative results to the other, which means there is no win/win here.

I think that I can truthfully say that in my eight years of playing WoW this has been the least enjoyable gear grind for me and that speaks volumes. To know that I’d rather farm Night Dragon’s Breath and Dreamfoil for hours to prepare for raids than deal with one more daily tells me that something has gone seriously wrong. (Why yes, I did just say that MoP is more grindy than Vanilla!).

Anyhow – hate dailys, hate VP. Moving on…

World Bosses

Where to start with this…

We currently have two world bosses. One on a 20ish minute spawn time, and one on a 2-3 day spawn time. Both are ridiculously easy, both have valuable loot – except that the one on the longer spawn time has more valuable loot at this juncture in the game. My complaint is with the latter boss.

The underlying problem with the current design of the second world boss is that it doesn’t require a full raid to tag the boss, there are no repercussions for grave yard zerging the boss, and it requires little (or no) coordination to kill it. As such, the first person to tag the boss that has a tank, healer and a couple of DPS using bobbing birds while they are AFK will obtain the kill, provided that within the next few minutes a full raid can be organized. It isn’t a test of skill under pressure, or any skill at all. It is simply who has more people online at the time and who can get to the boss faster. Once you tag it, if you are a half competent group, you will kill it. Which is a serious design flaw for a “unfair” world boss.

Galleon isn’t like Azuregos, Kazzak, Doomwhatever or even the green dragons. With those bosses if you weren’t prepared, with a full team, to pull the boss you wiped. If you didn’t have the DPS, Healing or Tanking ability to handle the encounter, you wiped. If you didn’t know what you were doing, or were sloppy, you wiped. This meant that you had to put more effort into the boss than simply tagging it first, and gave guilds who didn’t get the tag a shot at the boss if the original group who pulled him failed to execute or pulled prematurely. But having a boss with an excellent loot table, where the only challenge is tagging it first and subsequently watching him shit out high iLevel loot for very little work, just seems wrong – both in concept and from a risk/reward factor. I don’t know about you, but I certainly remember having to actually work for world boss kills every other expansion, and sitting around waiting and watching with bated breath to see if the group who beat us to the pull would wipe, allowing us a chance.

The way the spawn timer on the boss is designed, coupled with the ease of killing the boss, generally puts bi-coastal guilds and people who actually have to spend their days working (rather than playing WoW) at a fairly serious disadvantage for obtaining a kill (or even a tag). Which wouldn’t be a huge deal, other than the fact that the boss holds gear at an iLevel that is greater than what is available normally via raiding at this juncture. The fact that the boss is on such a long respawn timer that it is very easy for a guild that has people at home all day to just keep the boss on lock down is hugely problematic.

Honestly, if this is the design, then the boss that is meant to be “competitive” should have a loot table that doesn’t affect progression – or should at the very least be a challenge to kill so that simply getting the tag doesn’t mean you are entitled to free loot. Toss some awesome mounts, pets, vanity items on the boss to still make it desirable to kill – but leave gear off of his loot table.

My feelings on world bosses segues well into my next thought:

Disappointment

I hate un-nessecary competition. It adds un-needed stress, takes a lot of fun out of the game, and shows a side of people that often times betrays your original opinions of them. I’ve stated some of my opinions on this many times when discussing how foolish I feel rankings are. Unfortunately, world bosses do not disappoint in the above, and often times highlight that gentleman’s rules (like taking turns on world boss pulls…when actually having a strategy mattered) no longer exist.

I’m going to use a personal experience here, because my disappointment is personal.

The last time Galleon spawned on our server, we had someone right there the minute he spawned and rushed to get a raid formed and out there. We were the first people at the boss – but we made the egregious error of waiting for “more people” to get there before pulling. In a split second, we lost the tag to a guild on our server that has largely been keeping the boss locked down.

Now, as this happened, several members of my guild – who may, or may not, have more information than I have, took out their tinfoil hats and hypothesized that the reason this guild pulled the boss out from under us was because it is their intent to lock it down so that no one else on the server can have access to his loot. Knowing this guild, knowing several members of this guild, having helped this guild, I defended them. There is no way that they would do that just to prevent other people from having access to this loot, I said. They are good people, I said. People I consider friends, I said.

I was disappointed that my guild would believe that others are capable of such malicious thinking and would do something so…underhanded. Especially when the other party was a group of people I liked and wanted to see succeed.

But then I, personally, saw some things that lead me to believe that my guildmates were, in fact, correct in their theories. This other guild was no longer playing a gentleman’s game. They really were keeping a world boss on lock down to prevent anyone else from killing it, and not only that they were being nasty and malicious about it. It became clear that their goal was to win, at any cost, regardless of anything else. And I was saddened. This was not the guild I remembered them to be – the founder of the guild, who was someone I considered a friend, would never have condoned such behavior. Things have clearly changed. And my disappointment shifted from my guildmates and grew as I realized that I had apparently misjudged this group of people. People that I had offered advice to when they asked. People that I stepped in and helped when they needed it. People that I thought I knew, and an environment I thought I remembered. How could I have been so wrong? So blind? Did they really change from the people I knew and respected, all because they wanted to prove themselves better in a game we aren’t even playing?

And because of what? Some arbitrary number on a board?

Needless to say, my opinions have been betrayed, and I feel an overwhelming sadness and disappointment as a result. That a bunch of purple pixels on a screen and an arbitrary number can create people you struggle to recognize from those you greatly respected. And I won’t lie; I also felt a bit of embarrassment that I could have been so naïve as to think that everyone plays by the same book of standards. I suppose it is an antiquated notion that no longer fits into this new world of success being judged simply by a number.

Danny Glover

You have probably been wondering what Danny Glover has to do with all of this.

You see, Lethal Weapon is one of my favorite movies. And as I’ve been bemoaning much of the above with a friend, we’ve been going back and forth jokingly using a line that Danny Glover states many times throughout the series: “I’m too old for this shit”.

But even though we are mostly just joking, I couldn’t help but wonder if there isn’t a lot of truth to that. Am I the one that’s outgrowing this new daily filled, cut throat world where success is more important than anything else? Am I the one that’s changed? Are these new grievances simply because I’ve become old, cranky and stubborn? Are treating people with respect and being graceful concepts that are of a generation that is a minority in today’s game?

I’m not really sure that I have answers for those questions, and I don’t know if I ever will. But I do know that I am growing less tolerant of things that I disagree with daily. And I know that if there is a larger focus on what is rewarding and fun that my patience is likely going to tire out much faster.

Perhaps the simple answer is that I am getting too old for this shit. Right now all I have is my passion for the game, and if my passion every runs out, I think you’ll likely find me quietly sleeping on an island in Nagrand.

Posted October 17, 2012 by Beruthiel in /rant, Brain Dump

23 responses to “Time Sinks, World Bosses, Disapointment and Danny Glover

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  1. Part of me believes that this is all a sick joke on Blizzard’s part – they see how much people were obsessing over the ideal talent point spread, so they reduced the options for which talents you could take and made it so you could change essentially after every fight. They see how much people were agonizing over each little stat value and weight and then created that impossible to farm or make food to give you that extra bump of 25 whole stats if you want them. I feel like they’re saying “Fine, you guys want to be ‘the best’ and you want to agonize over this crap, we’ll give you something to agonize about.”

    I’m certainly not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, because you have every right to do the things you mentioned above. What I am saying is that maybe the definition of what being prepared means and what the definition of being a raider is has changed to the point where we don’t need to do these things to be taken seriously or to raid at all. Unless you’re reaching a gear check or a point where you physically cannot take the boss because you’re low on DPS or healing, then I can see the need to grind out some more rep to get better gear and such. But if you’re killing things, who cares if it’s behind 275 other guilds or if you ranked on World of Logs while you did it? The point is that you’re doing it and I feel like it’s high time that we moved in that direction.

    I think maybe Blizzard realizes that their main fan base, the people who have stuck with them since the beginning, or hell, even came on board during Wrath or Cata have other things to do than this – this grind, this annoyance, etc. So they have given you the option to do those things, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to in order to raid or do whatever else you love to do. We set those expectations for ourselves and those we run with. Blizzard doesn’t.

    I realize I kind of got a bit disjointed here, but in closing I think your unhappiness is palpable and that’s one thing I always admired about you, Beru. You keep that smile on your face when the rest of us Downers say “Fuck it” and would take to sniping people or doing otherwise unpleasant things just to feel some amount of joy again and you’re losing that smile about you. I would hate to see you permanently lose it over something as so not worth it as all of this.

    Take care of yourself.

    *hugs*

    • I think I agree a bit with your tinfoil hat theories!

      I do think part of it was perhaps to teach us a lesson, but I’m not entirely sure the lesson was well received :)

  2. Very well stated on all points. There’s a lot left out in terms of manners in the gaming community. Don’t want to beat the dead horse on that but an overwhelming feeling of “I will beat you” overcomes any honor left. Whether it’s world bosses or whatever. I swear I am the only person on my server who will not steal quest items from someone fighting a mob on top of them. It’s inconsiderate and rude.

    • Yup, I’m with you there. I have had members of my own guild steal daily quest items out from under me – and when I mention it they only ever say “oh sorry, I didn’t realise it was you” – which to me is entirely inconsequential! Whoever it was, a guildie or not, it is rude to take something that it is obvious someone else is trying to get to.

      • I agree!

        Although sometimes I will admit that I didn’t realize someone was killing something trying to get at an item :( but I do make a point of trying to be a considerate quester. Unless you’ve done something dickish to me, then my gloves come off, and I WILL follow yo around for fifteen minutes tagging all your shit so that you learn a lesson! (Or I’m wasting my time, but at least I feel better).

    • Unfortunately, I think ranking sites have done nothing but deteriorate much of the community. I miss the days where the game was more insular, and the only “competition” most people cared about was that on your server.

  3. Pingback: Millya of Pandaria « Manalicious

  4. Agreed, on so many counts!

    Galleon seems to bring out the worst in people on my server as well.

    I am a bad raider. I really like raiding. I love that moment when the group all comes together and takes down the boss we’ve been working on. I love thinking about tactics and seeing people get better at working together and running out of the fire.

    But after the first few days of GL dailies I knew it was going to drive me away from WoW if I tried to keep that up, so here I am. I also get discouraged by the Perverse Number Generator not dropping gear I need to get beyond being another mediocre player. I suck at WoW.

    I’m sure there are people that like this design. I’ve seen people defend the rep grind model, so they must have fun doing those dailies all day every day. People are different, I get that. Some people actually like leveling! But when what I like to do is locked behind stuff I find tedious and maddening, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.

    • I think if Galleon’s loot table wasn’t how it was, it would be a million times better. Or if he were actually hard to kill. Hopefully Blizzard learns from this mistake!

  5. I’m sorry I stopped reading right after you mentioned “I also don’t have to do the dishes in my house, or dust, or run the vacuum.”..it’s a /Video Game/.. I understand attempting to optimize, but really comon? No matter what you say, you /aren’t/ forced to do them everyday unless you’re impateint. Being forced to like being forced to do the dishes? No clean dishes create fungus and health hazards, dust can irritate lungs and cause nasty caughing..Vaccum can be the same thing. You’re talking about RL things against a computer game where as Blizzard has stated, the dailies are *optional*. You can go in with 463 gear all around, along with some crafted. If luck isn’t on your side for that, you can work on levleing cooking..hell you get like atleast a stack and a few extra of a feast from leveling say Way of the Oven. Farm for some herbs, gather supplies for other people to make stuff..or just take a break and relax. There are other things to do in the game, and you don’t need to do dailies every single day unless you want a consistent progress. Please don’t compare stuff on a Video Game to actual RL housework.

    • Sorry, I stopped reading your comment at the point you indicated you didn’t read all of my post :P

      Not really, I’m not rude enough not to finish your comment before posting a reply.

      I feel you took my example a little too literally. As I was referring to dailys as “chores” I utilized real chores as an example. Granted, you may well never want to come to my house , as I am not the best house keeper. Mostly because I hate…oh right, chores! I do them because I have to, quite similarly to dailys.

  6. “I am growing less tolerant of things that I disagree with *daily*”
    Oh, I see what you did there :P
    In all seriousness: VP generation really just needs to get buffed, especially considering that justice points are worth virtually nothing after a few weeks of gearing.

    • I could not agree with this more! I am already dreading my weekend and having to grind out more VP to cap this week :(

      I will admit that I skipped the fishing dailys last night, because I was too tired to do them, even though it means it is 15 vp I will have to get elsewhere.

  7. The point of having so many timesinks is that there is supposed to be a whole new expansion worth of things to do, for the “average” player. Each of these timesinks is designed to help your gear and progress over time. That the cutting-edge guilds want to be able to max out all of that advantage in the first couple of weeks is fine, and to be expected. But the level of commitment required to do that is supposed to be crazy.

    Complaining that “doing things faster than the content is designed for, takes too much commitment” just seems like you’ve missed the point.
    And no. It’s not like doing your household chores. Your house will be gross if you don’t clean it, that’s why you clean it. You won’t suffer if you don’t do dailies. You won’t get the marginal benefit – that’s not the same thing.

    • I would agree with you…if so much wasn’t locked behind reps that required to to grind dailys to access them. That fact lane throws out the “it’s meant to take a long time”. I could see that argument for things like tillers, anglers, lore walker and cloud serpent things. But not for dailys that are holding patterns, enchants and VP gear behind them.

      As for the chore bit, as I stated above, I feel you may have taken that a touch to literally.

  8. I have to shake my head, can Blizzard really do anything right, first it’s “omg I have nothing to do” now its “omg i have too much to do” you will not be doing these dailies in a few weeks.

    Most of the rewards are at honored or revered, Exalted gets you mounts etc. Only 1 or 2 epics I have gotten (i am ilvl 47)have been from factions the rest from world bosses / LFR or raiding

  9. As Rohan has talked about in his post, it’s the crossing of the streams that is the problem. A group pve player should do group pve content in order to progress at group pve. A solo pve player should do solo pve content to progress. They need to move Valor point gear back to a neutral vendor and increase the rate at which you gain valor so that no matter what type of content you prefer (group pve or solo pve) you can easily cap in roughly the same amount of time as the seven heroics during Cata took.

    All of the people disagreeing with you and saying it’s optional have obviously never been in a competitive raid guild where the other people in your team are expecting things of you.

    I personally like having the different reputations to grind. I’ve always enjoyed picking a reputation to work on and slowly getting it done on the side. I almost always will finish most reps they add into the game. That’s not the problem, the problem is tying the reps to group pve. Put the rewards on a neutral vendor and just have the currency gained by doing different things. Then it is optional and people that really like reputations can do it that way. People that like raiding can do it their way.

  10. I see this design as spreading out progression groups. Other things being equal, those guilds that have players who are committed enough to grind these dailies every day will progress marginally faster. Those struggling to beat the “chore boss” will take a little longer to reach the same point. What I hear is that you want to have that commitment but that its being seriously tested. That’s a hard place to be. On the other hand, I think server firsts should be hard. Being at the top of the raiding game should require a lot of effort.

    For me, my enjoyment is more important than progression. I’d rather poke my eyes out than sign up to do dailies every day and that means I’m not part of the HM raid group. That’s a trade-off I’m happy to make.

  11. you are so correct on every point Beru. I now call wow my second job. I absolutely cannot wait to get this horrible grind over with. It’s especially harsh coming from GW2 which does everything right. If GW2 had end game I’d cancel wow in a second. Oh well, at least the daily grind will end eventually.

  12. Don’t you dare think you are the problem here Beru! Are you ‘to old’ for fun? Absolutely not! Most of the comments on this post agree with you, tons of well articulated bloggers agree with you and thousands of posts on the official Blizz forums agree with you. Blizz overdid the daily grind this time around. The gating and grinds were way overdone and to many options were cut out (for instance, they could’ve kept the tabards for rep but capped the amount of rep you could get from dungeons per week so that if you wanted to do it that way you could).

    We play this game for fun. If a good chunk of the playerbase isn’t having fun then Blizz is what is wrong here, not us.

  13. I completely agree Beru. I, too, find myself grumpy at “having” to do my WoW chores or getting to the end of an evening’s play and finding all I’ve done is dailies. For me, the solution has been to back off on the dailies and chores and take a more leisurely pace. Fortunately for me, the group I raid with is not uber and we just do it for fun and personal challenge (well, I do anyway). But now my biggest fear is that by taking my time with the grind I will miss out on seeing raiding content when it’s un-nerfed and at level. I’m afraid that by the time we’re ready to raid we’ll be too far behind. And my particular group does need the boost that better (grindy) gear brings. Yes, I know nerfs can generally be turned off but it’s hard to get 9 other people to agree to do it. So my very favorite part of WoW, raiding challenging content with a group of friends, may completely disappear. (Commenters – please don’t tell me to find a different raiding group. On a backwater realm the choices are slim. I have chosen a fun, adult, non-blaming, no-drama group over the opposite. But that has meant choosing to raid at a slower pace.)

  14. g

  15. Your section on time sinks completely mirrors my current feelings toward the game. The other night I honestly stopped mid-daily and asked myself: why? I figured millions of other players are grinding away, the problem is just me. However reading the forums and other posts like this one just cement the fact that the current state of the game just is not fun. I understand putting in effort to prepare for raiding but at the moment it really does feel like chores are getting in the way of me enjoying the game. I already told my raid leader that I was on the brink of quitting and because of that I won’t be bothered making the highest level raid food and will be cutting down my playing time significantly.

    This expansion is a beautiful success but I haven’t been able to fully appreciate it because I’ve been to busy doing dailies.

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