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.
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…
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:
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.
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.