Friday, June 26, 2009

BoE, badge loot and digging holes

I am honestly surprised by the huge amount of counterarguments on my post about the new welfare epics. They are various, but all come down to two basic arguments:
  • The badge loot is not welfare as the recipient have to work for it, maybe even harder than a raider. (true in some sense, I rather spend 3 hours attempting Steelbraker, than grinding 5 mans)
  • The badge loot is necessary as new players and real casuals cannot gear up. (more or less "the poor cannot help himself, we must help him" socialist crap)
The first argument is true in some way. Actually that's exactly Keynes suggested against unemployment during the Great (in two years "Small") Depression: "pay people to dig holes and other people to bury them". Too bad that there was no WoW back then. The government could pay subscription for the unemployed and pay them money for AoE-ing down 5-mans.

We all feel (= can't prove) that paying people for a completely pointless work is pointless. It's actually welfare (government payment for nothing), with the difference that the recipient looks like a worker, so it might annoy the real workers less. Actually the recipient of the wage for pointless work differs from the pure welfare recipient:
  • He has to suffer the hard labor instead of sitting at home drinking. So when a real job opportunity comes, he is more likely to take it as even mopping floors is more fun than digging holes.
  • He retains his basic working skills like listening to the manager, coming in time, not being stoned or sky high, not causing drama (anyone find this list familiar from somewhere?)
Still, the work itself is not contributing to the GDP of the country, so while digging holes is better than giving out money, it's really a last resort. The question is: "is the current WoW content is in a such desperate situation that people should be rewarded for a completely pointless and stupid activity?"

To answer that, we first have to somehow define GDP in a video game environment. It's not that hard as it looks. The (so called) Great Depression ended with World War II, because in wartime there is a very simple way to organize the economic efforts: moar weponz! The people of Azeroth are in war with the forces of the Lich King and some annoying Old God who had no better time to take over his prison. Everything you've done from your first lvl1 boar lead you to the battle against the baddies busy destroying the people of Azeroth. Even the PvP is a preparation for it, as the Argent Tournament starting quest says: "the time has come for heroes fighting under all banners to test their blades against one another in preparation for facing our mutual enemy".

There is one "purpose" among the people of Azeroth: defeating the top evil available according the storyline. Of course not everyone can be top raiders. In the WWII, not everyone were warriors of the front. There was a huge economy behind them. Just years after the (so called) Great Depression when millions couldn't find work, there was such a need for workforce, that the women were recruited for factory work in a society where previously vast majority of them were doing housework only.

So there would be a way to change the environment to let everyone who bothers to log in be part of the common effort against the Lich King. Weapons, armor and equipment could be produced. The change would only need to remove all badge loot and the badges themselves. Instead the drop chances of runed orbs could be increased.
  • Coliseum bosses: 5-8 orbs
  • Ulduar 25 hard modes: 3-5 orbs
  • Ulduar 25 bosses: 1-3 orbs each
  • Naxx25, Maly10/25, Emalon25, Sarth+1, Ulduar10 bosses: 1-2 orbs
  • Naxx10, Archavon, Sarth+0: 50% droprate
  • 5 man bosses: 2% droprate
  • random mobs dropping relics of Ulduar: 0.01-0.02% droprate
There could be BoE items available for all slots, all classes, all specs using orbs and large amount of high level cloths, titanium, arctic fur and of course about 20 eternal something.

This way anyone could gear up, as the ilvl 226 would be available. Anyone could grind up the materials for them. The big difference would be that while doing so, he would be a useful part of the society. He would grind one kind of materials (for example skins), selling the surplus and buying other materials (and crafting services) from others.

Why would it be much better than badge loot?
  • It would be a living economy of players. Badge loot is almost solo play. You are payed by an NPC, disregarding the needs of other players. In a BoE economy, the price of different items would depend on the demand and supply generated by players.
  • As raiding would be the most effective way of getting orbs, it would be properly rewarded. Raiders could live on selling orbs, starter raiders would rather wipe in Naxx than grinding
  • Non-raiders would be rightfully feel included as they could see their "made by XX" craft on the server-firstkill guys
  • It would teach people to take low-end jobs if no other opportunity is available.
  • Raiding T7 would still worth it, so beginner or real casual (little playtime) skilled people would be rewarded for organizing and running a T7 raid.

PS: if you are claiming that "5-man grinding badge gear is useful as they become more geared so ready to raid" I must ask, "who are you fooling?". Of course there can be raiders filling the last missing spot. A few of the grinders will be new players gearing up. Some PvP-ers will collect some pieces into missing slots. But 95% of the badge gear will never see good use. With crafted BoE, at least half of the effort of the grinders would be useful (not the half that goes into their gear of course)

And as always: only raiders and PvP-ers need gear. Anything else (RP, casual questing...) can be done in blues perfectly. Without the real intent to go raid (I mean spamming guilds with applies) or without the real intent to do serious PvP (creating team, play 20+/week) someone does not need any epics. If he "needs" gear, he is a social and wants the gear to show it to peers.

39 comments:

Niax said...

The only thing that would have to be solved before such a system could work are the Goldsellers.
With such a system goldsellers make it possible for M&S to gear up easily...

Other than that, good post!

Thunderhorns said...

The question is not "Does it expand WoW's GDP?".

The question Blizzard is asking is "Will it expand Blizzard's bottomline?"

If the answer to that question is yes, then Blizzard has succeeded. You're looking at "welfare epics" from a player's perspective rather than Blizzard's perspective.

If you were Blizzard, do think providing more carrots at the end of sticks is a good thing to keep your playerbase playing?

I would say yes.

And does it really hurt your hardcore raiders?

I would say no. They will still be doing things and getting loot most other players have no access to.

I kind of like that they are reducing the number of people needed. It's a huge pain to find 25 people to do a dungeon. And they made 10 man hardmode so that you practically need 25 man gear to do it, which is annoying.

Keep shrinking it down Blizzard. I like working with 5 or 10 good friends who are also good players versus the pain of trying to manage 25 personalities, half of them people I don't even like.

It's a game. Keep making it so we people who like smaller scale raids and content can keep being challenged, getting good gear, and having fun with friends. That'll keep the game strong.

This isn't a job. Don't try to make it into one.

Reader from France. said...

Well, THIS would give serious leverage to the crafters and economy-players !

Interesting idea none the less.

And congratulations on your blog, gotta love to start the day with a little bit of cinism :)

Cameron Baillie said...

@thunderhorns: I remember the pain of 40mans so even 25mans seem like a joke for me as you can fill a pug of it. Good luck trying to pug a 40man.

@goblin: isn't another way to look at badge loot that its a way to gear raiders faster as well? you can gear a raider in the instance bashing your head against the wall of new content whilst gearing at a continuous rate through dailies and so on. This is a game and although people are exploiting the economy of the game for profit its not what this game is supposed to be about and at the end of the day blizzards commitment is to content and not to making goblins money :)

mute said...

The whole issue is directly related to the famous statement:

Capitalism creates problems and tries to solve those problems within capitalism again.

Did I expect something different from WoW? Honestly no. The basic instincts that WoW pushes is very much similar with what humanity is being pushed/pushing itself to in real life.

And now you're discussing about "welfare", "M&S", "loot". Solely the terms of discussion explains the nature of the discussion and where it has been created: In the system itself.

You should understand that this system (WoW) naturally creates these problems. These are the consequences of the system but it's safe to say that without these consequences, the system wouldn't exist either.

Anonymous said...

The problem with digging holes is I'm not sure Michael Jackson is biodegradable.

More seriously, Blizzard didn't get raiding right this expansion, there's no guilds stuck in Naxx , every guild is in Ulduar to some extent and all looking for good geared players to help them. Any new player who comes along is a poor position.

I don't think 5man dungeons should award any tier gear,it's pretty stupid.

Anonymous said...

"The badge loot is necessary as new players and real casuals cannot gear up. (more or less "the poor cannot help himself, we must help him" socialist crap)"

You forget to elaborate why that is "socialist crap". The gap between new 80s and endgame-raiders is becoming bigger an bigger. New 80s have a hard time finding even 5mans because of elitist that require raid-gear for 5mans.

I can't believe that you actually want millions of people to grind for your economy just so the raiders can happily raid. This is a game for crying out loud.

Jorad said...

It's quite strange, at first you recognize that make-work programs like digging holes don't resolve the depression, because nothing useful is produced and then you say that WW2 fixed it?
The biggest make-work program ever? It's even worse for the economy than digging holes, because you are actively destroying economic resources like material and of course labor.
The statistics just look funny because all the planes and bombs and weapons build were included in the GDP figures. People had work, ok, but no wealth was produced.

spinksville said...

Interestingly, there are more crafting recipes going into patch 3.2. There will be epic gems, gem transmutes for alchemists, new (hopefully BoE) recipes for all the other crafting professions, so I think we may see a kick start to the economy, pretty much as you say.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the grinders will grind one way or another since they are good for nothing else. I just say let them grind something useful.

@Jorad: during digging holes, no VALUE was produced. During the WWII effort the valuable service was produced: "Hitler don't enslave you and your family". People were ready to pay for this service either with buying war bonds or even with volunteering to the army.

Sven said...

A good suggestion, Gevlon. Reworking the non-raiding rewards to bind people more into the economy and server community would be a significant advance.

I'm curious, though. You seem to be proposing a development that helps society at the expense of reducing individualism. Isn't that a bit, well, "social"?

rapidresponceunit said...

Does anybody have any self worth anymore? So what that I worked my ass off for the items I have, when someone people get theirs practically free, that makes me feel good about myself. So what that benefit leeches get money for doing nothing, while I work for mine, that makes me feel good about myself.

What’s wrong with you people.

/stomps feet “It’s not fair”

The most important stat in my gear is how much effort I put into getting it, now how many other people got it too.

Carra said...

I have no problems with giving out gear to 5 men players, they have to do a ton of instances to get it.

Blizzard must have been thinking of a way to keep the 5 men players playing. They can either put in some effort and add new 5 men instances with new gear. Or do the easy thing: add new gear to the old instances. Even lamer, add badges. An hour of programming work to fix their loot tables and they keep playing. Brilliant.

Dropping those orbed runes will not have the effect that players will keep playing five mens. Seeing how raiding will create a lot more badges they'll just have go farm enough gold to get these runes.

During the WWII effort the valuable service was produced: "Hitler don't enslave you and your family".
I don't get this entence. Hitler enslaved tons of people. Forced labor in concentration camps. Forced labor for prisoners of war. Forced labor for people in eastern Europe. 12 million people were forced to help in the economy. And quite a few had to work until death.

Gevlon said...

@Carra: the sentence was about the US and UK efforts. People were personally motivated by avoiding the same fate you told. (SU is different, since Stalin had his own methods of motivation)

Jorad said...

But I still don't understand what that has to do with escaping the depression.
Yes, you avoid being conquered by some madmen (for the UK at least), but that doesn't improve the economy by itself. That only happened after the war.
If you measure the health of the economy by the avergae living standard, then it was even worse during the war even in America.
If you only measure it by "people have something to do/have something important to do", then the socialist countries had healthy economies all the time.

Sven said...

@Carra

"Seeing how raiding will create a lot more badges they'll just have go farm enough gold to get these runes."

Perhaps that's the point. More gold = richer goblins!

Anonymous said...

Same as with yesterday's post, Gevlon just creates a thesis (casuals are losers or whatever), then assembles a construct of "arguments" to support it. The "facts" used aren't even quoted right, e.g. the Great Depression ended more than half a decade before World War II and the war was in no way the reason it ended.

p.s. I find it funny and sad at the same time that someone who bought his way into high end raiding instead of getting there of his own merit foams at the mouth at "slackers" who are not good enough for a high end raiding guild. If it weren't for the virtual gold you made, you probably weren't in Ulduar today.

Kevin said...

The whole problem with your analogy is that raiding itself is just hole digging. No activity in WoW is productive. We clear Ulduar (dig the hole) and the server resets (fills the hole back in) ad infinitum. Raiding is the ultimate make-work application.

So why is it that in your mind one kind of make-work is more important than another? Given that both activities are a drain on the WoW economy, shouldn't you be opposed to both raiding and 5 mans?

SiderisAnon said...

The question is: "is the current WoW content is in a such desperate situation that people should be rewarded for a completely pointless and stupid activity?"

While I love your blog and check for new posts daily, I have to say that you have missed a fundamental point of World of Warcraft and continue to miss that point over and over. EVERYTHING in WoW is a "completely pointless and stupid activity" when you get right down to it. Why do people level? So they can raid, apparently. Why do they raid? Well, I can't actually answer that as the idea of running the same content over and over again three nights a week strikes me as so mind numbing that I've never bothered to seek out a raiding guild.

WoW is a video game that people play because they enjoy some portion of it. You play because you enjoy making money. I play because I enjoy the adventuring and leveling. Others play because the enjoy raiding. Some people even enjoy fishing. However, in the end, it's all just a pointless activity involving pixels that we do because we enjoy it.

WoW isn't life, it isn't work, and it sure isn't as serious as people take it. WoW is just a game. You play it because you enjoy it, not because you have to.

Anonymous said...

From what i can see the coliseum will not drop runed orbs, it will drop Conquerers? orbs instead. So the new recipies will depend on raiders to supply - at least initially.

Kali said...

Listen to yourself Gevlon. This is a video game. "Useful" to the WoW economy or whatever is meaningless. "Welfare epics?" That term is popular and also meaningless and idiotic. Then there are "workers" and "real workers." WTF is that? The difference between "workers" and "real workers" is all in your mind because, in reality, WOW doesn't even need an economy, much less "workers" in the economic sense. No one is forced to do anything. There are no costs to being "poor" in WoW or a non-raider or whatever unless one values epeen.

Your arguments appear to me to simply be aimed at justifying the particular way that you approach the game as a superior way to play. You think that all the little people who don't play as you think is best should be given something "productive" to do. God help us all if you ever achieve a position of real power in the real world.

the1jeffy said...

Once again, the badge system does not effect raiders badly in any way. This is simply because WoW has no system of work = wealth. Blizzard codes wealth.

An asshat M&S in T8.25 helm is still a fire-dancing idiot in a shiney hat. WoW is about perceived value, ONLY. Gevlon sees more value in a robust economy. Raiders see value in their epeen. Social players see value in friendly chat time and dailies. Blizzard sees value in their cash. So far, everyone wins.

The raiders complaining about this change made the same fuss when the Badge of Justice system was introduced. They are still playing and paying. So evidently, the the are whiney impotent arserags, and the casual/social people actualy DO something to chage it by canceling their accounts, with, "No Free Epixx" in the reason field.

In theory, your ideas are sound, but in practice, the HC raiders lost this fight in what, 2.2? Over a year ago? Unfortunately, the M&S outnumber us, Gev. And since we all pay the same, Blizz is doing the goblin thing by maximizing their profits.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you defined GDP for wow correctly. There are 3 ways of making money:

1) killing monsters
2) Doing quests
3) selling to the vendor.

Anything you sell to a player only moves the money around. It doesn't produce money.

So if you aren't doing one of the 3 above you aren't contributing to the GDP of wow.

And contrary to popular believe a guy that farms 500 badges is contributing to the GDP by killing stuff.

I think you are making the assumption that the economy must fuel the story line's goal. Its independent of the story. You can kill thousands of helboars and contribute to the economy.

Wooly said...

Well.. This is exactly what I commented a few days ago. Make the high level BoE craftables cheaper to make (either less mats, or more available mats), and more types available. Progressed can earn money by making it, lowers have to work hard to get 'm, but they are available to them, and buying them benifits the more progressed. Perfect world.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

The badge gear that we're talking about people getting is only going to be entry-level stuff in 3.2. It'll take newcomers (who might be M&S, or alts, or re-rollers) months to get enough badges to get the BiS 226 stuff, get into Ulduar, and finish their 226 set. Forget getting 239-level stuff from hard-modes.

And by that time, progression raiders will be wearing ilvl 245 (25-man Coliseum) or ilvl 258 (25-man Grand Coliseum). The difference between progression raiders and "M&S" in terms of gear quality will be larger then as it is now (226/239 vs 213/219).

In terms of prestige, I think it's safe to say that my 2 pieces of T6 on my leveling shaman are now worthless in that respect, and T7.5 is even not taken seriously. By the time the "useless M&S" get to more than 2 pieces of T8.5, you'll be in 2pT9*.

Your suggested drop numbers suck. It's more efficient to Frost Mage AoE a billion pieces of trash in Storm Peaks than to run 5-man Heroics or Naxx10. A 50% droprate on an item the whole raid wants mean I get 1 runed orb every 20 bosses. At 6 orbs/item, it'll take 6 weeks to get the orbs for a 226 item, and you'd need a dozen items. At that point, it takes a few months of running Heroics, 10s, and 25s to get Coliseum ready, which is even slower than the current system.

However, I will say that I generally like the idea of having all players participating economically.

* - Because Coliseum is gated, there's potentially a 2-3 week gap at the start where this might not be true (though to catch you, said M&S would have to clear every Heroic every day, and 10-man and 25-man). But in the long-run (6+ weeks into 3.2), it's true.

Redbowl(US-Draka) said...

Gevlon,

I think you miss the most important part.

Who cares if the M&S get T8/T9...eventually. A shitty player is still gonna be a shitty player, and while you are doing hard mode in the Coliseum, or fighting Arthas, they will still be doing 5mans in their epic gear. It really doesn't affect you at all, as they are not actually taking any of your wealth. They didn't provide a value before, why should now be different?

Unless your only concern is AFKing in front of the Dal bank with your best gear on to show off, but that doesn't seem like your style.

p.s. I've posted under my toon name and server name so you can see, I'm not you, but I am far from a M&S.

Dozenz said...

There is one "purpose" among the people of Azeroth: defeating the top evil available according the storyline.

Really? I thought the "one purpose" of WoW was to have the rarest, highest ilevel gear available. At least thats what Gevlon and others who hate the "welfare epics" seem to think, or else they would not care.

Honestly, if preparing for Arthas is the goal, than this change makes sense lorewise.

Thrall: "Everybody, we need to prepare for war against Arthas. We need everybody willing to fight and we need to gear you up. Oh but we only want people who can convince 24 other people to help. I don't care if we're short warriros and you're one of the best in the game, if you don't have 24 friends we'd rather handicap ourselves in the fight that could end the world than offer ways you can help."

From an economic standpoint it makes no sense for the vendors. "Sorry man, I only accept Conquest tokens. What? Would I want to have more people wanting to buy stuff from me? Nah what do you take me for, a Goblin? My goal is not to increase my personal wealth of conquets tokens."


Also think about this. What if Gevlon's experiment was a failure, in that no high end guild cared for the gold? Well he'd be pretty SoL on getting into any non-M&S Ulduar guild.

No high end guild would take him based on his gear. Only M&S guilds who are wiping on Flame and are only 2/14 for Ulduar would accept him. That's not saying Gevlon is a bad player, but his gear would not get him into a guild that he wants to be in.

Would Elmblem gear have gotten him...maybe not the top progression guild, but for his current guild probably accepted ina trial run.

In the eyes of a raider, Gevlon has just as many "Welfare Epics" as the Emblem grinder. Gevlon grindd his goald and purchased his...I mean continues to purchase his....while non-raiders will grind
heroics and PUGs to purchase theirs.

althalas said...

the whole economy argument is fatally flawed with the badge loot. Yiou forget that Blizzard is doing this to achieve a stated gol. That goal is that as many people that want to can see all the raid content.

This is thier way of doing that. There is no economy. Blizzard is controlling the "jobs" to achieve certian state in a game.

In addition there is a player retention asspect to this. Raiders like myslef in Ulduar litterally have no reason to log in and do anything other than run ulduar, or play an alt.

Ulduar is a 3-4 day hting if you are a dedicated raider.

If you are playing an alt you run intto the problem that a lot of the peopel do not want to run the instances you need to gear up. This is not welfare, they are driving other players into the instances.

This serves 2 purposes. It solves the problem of players getting groups for instances. And it gives the highewr geared people things do outside of the raids.

Both of these feed into player retention. Alts and newer 80s can actually do the instances they want, and the high geared players have more to do, staving off burnout and boredom.

Brian said...

I really like the epic BOE idea, it has a lot of benefits for players of every level. However, these comparisons between "real life welfare" and "welfare epics" are increasingly missing the mark. The problem with real life welfare is that it only creates the illusion of helping the poor out. Increased welfare doesn't make getting money any easier, it just becomes easier for someone receiving welfare...and actually HARDER for people not receiving welfare. You aren't fixing the system that way, you're just putting a band-aid on the problem. That isn't an absolute argument against welfare, it has its place, it's just something real life welfare systems need to be aware of.

In WoW, on the other hand, changes like this really do alter the fundamental rules in WoW. If gear is easier to obtain, it's easier for everyone. Blizzard isn't giving Conquest Badges out to people by taking them away from the hardcore raiders, there are just going to be more badges. It's not even like printing more money in real life, because the cost of badge items is fixed, there will be no inflation in the badge cost of gear. Blizzard is able to change things that would never work in real life.

Now what WILL happen is that the relative value of conquest (and valor, for that matter) badge gear will go way down. And more importantly, the value of raiders that are just "well geared" will go down as well. And this is a really good thing. No longer will raid leaders have to put up with annoying or bad players in good gear, since "good gear" won't be hard to find. If you are a whiny troublemaker who yells at the healers and creates drama, you will no longer be saved by your RL not being able to find another well geared mage/rogue/whatever. And most importantly, "bad" players with good items no longer have a reason to feel superior.

That is, I think, the primary driver behind the complaints about the badge changes. Not that Gevlon and everyone else complaining are bad players, but gear has been a great metric for comparing yourself to others. Skill is a much harder to quantify metric, and as a result people are less willing to use it.

Sven said...

@Brian

"And more importantly, the value of raiders that are just "well geared" will go down as well."

An interesting point. If personal reputation is increased in importance relative to gear, it will have all sorts of additional consequences, e.g.

"Yes, I know Alan is well geared, but Bob is close and and he could be bothered to show up for the last guild meeting."

It actually raises the value of "socials" relative to "hardcores". I'm starting to understand all the nerd rage now...

Green Armadillo said...

"Non-raiders would be rightfully feel included as they could see their "made by XX" craft on the server-firstkill guys"

This would never happen under the current way Blizzard does its tradeskills. The best recipes all drop in raids, and every raider is obligated to max two professions for self-only benefits. Effectively, non-raiders would need to buy the only scarce material from raiders and then pay raiders for either the combine or the recipe (the latter being unlikely - any recipe rare enough that a non-raider could make a profit off of buying it and selling combines wouldn't go up on the market). You might as well cut out the middle man and just flag more raid drops as BOE.

I do think this idea has some potential, if you were willing to blow up the entire WoW crafting system and start over from scratch with a more challenging crafting system that stands apart from PVE progression. If you make a system where max-level crafting ability is difficult to obtain, not required for PVE progression, and therefore rare, there would be more of a legitimate niche for elite-level crafting. The chances of that happening in the fifth or later years of World of Warcraft are pretty slim.

Finally, as others have noted, greater access to BOE's might have odd effects on the applicant pool for raid guilds. Players who are effective Goblins would have a significant gear advantage over players who are less effective at making a profit. Like the changes to the badge system, both give raid-quality loot for non-raid activities.

Krytus said...

I don’t understand why so many raiders are crying for the welfare epics. As I see, making 5m dungeons and raids drop conquest emblems is actually beneficial for the raiding guilds.

If you are a M&S, you have reached a point that you have nothing else to do. If you try to run some heroics or you will usually find yourself with the same kind of people: M&S, casuals, Alts or new 80’s. The raiders usually don’t run heroics because there’s no reward in doing them. Same thing happens with Naxx. So, without the gear you can’t go leech an Ulduar run… And clearly you NEED EPIXLOL XD to show off! You will start thinking about quitting WoW…

No, wait! I don’t want those people leaving WoW! Why? Because I share my expenses with that people (WoW subscription fee). If that entire crew leaves WoW, Blizzard would need to cut their expenses too. That means less content or an increase in the subscription fee. So, make them dig the holes!

You are missing one point: WoW doesn’t pay them to work. Actually is the other way round, they are paying WoW so they can look like a real worker.

-“The big difference would be that while doing so, he would be a useful part of the society”.- If you had followed my previous statement you will find that just by staying in WoW they are doing something beneficial for community. It doesn’t make a lot of difference if they stay grinding eternals or grinding heroics.

There is also not a big difference for the raiders if Blizzard brings welfare epics to the game as a BOE item or as emblem loot. Either way you would need to “work” to get the required currency (Grind heroics, or grind some gold).

The BOE approach is beneficial for a goblin because the AH transactions would increase. The emblem approach is more beneficial for the raider because there is no extra work besides raiding to get the loot.

Finally I just want to send you my best wishes, you witty, greedy SOB! Love to start the day with controversial intelligent reading.

Joanna said...

Well, in the end Blizzard wins. I have a level 80 rogue in full t7.5s who I was satisfied with enough and didn't want to raid/gear up anymore.

Now that I can gear my rogue in tier 8 stuff while at the same time NOT taking my shadow priest out of high-end raiding... well Blizzard will get a few more $15/month payments from me.

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking of it this way. So if Blizz's strategy was to make more money (DUH), then yes, bravo to Blizzard.

Bent said...

Joanna is right on the money. You do make money by leaving the majority of your subscribers stuck you in tier 7.5 with nothing to do.

Assuming in the majority of subscribers have a toon guildless or in a guild that doesn't touch Ulduar or raid at all.

Copernicus said...

There is a very valid reason for non raiders to get better gear: so they can kill mobs in 3 hits instead of 5. This ups their productivity in whatever activity they are trying to accomplish, whether it be herb gathering, eternal farming, or helping their friends in five mans.

Carl Lewis said...

The badge loot isn't welfare because it isn't welfare. Welfare is the state distributing resources as it sees fit, which traditionally denotes the redistribution of resources from one group to another to the rich (Farm subsidies, Tariffs, Tax deductions, Municipal Bonds) and the Poor (WICC, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security). I understand some of these agencies might be foreign but I know of no European counterparts. Blizzard isn't redistributing anything here just expanding access to gear. Couldn't the same be said about Crafted gear how comes there's no complaint about crafted epics? (maybe there was in the past but I haven't been here that long).

The comparison to welfare is a false one anyway. The Correlation doesn't even fit.

Whatever problem elites have is an emotional one not a logical one, and is based upon prejudice against players who don't play the same way elites do. An excellent historical correlation that another poster hinted at is reconstruction.
After Blacks Achieved Freedom (after a toon hits 80) a minority finds himself unable to compete and make money the same way his white counter parts can (Can't raid the same way people who have been 80 because they don't have the right gear) and the skills to obtain gainful employment (education). So blacks formed their own schools but lack the resources to teach as effectively as white schools(form social guilds but don't raid regularly enough don't have the time to raid like hardcore guilds) so the State (blizzard) orders all schools receiving federal funds to admit black students giving them access to an education they were denied because of the color of their skin. (creates access to gear where before access was denied becasue the new 80 isn't geared enough and can't get into higher raids, and pugging Naxx is painfully slow when you're trying to get gear). The reaction is one of out rage for Whites who are already established and have the skills (the gear) that inferior humans get the same access to an education (that inferior players get access to the same gear as them). As a result there were lynchings, murders, bombings so on and so forth. Now under geared players can become better geared by putting the time or showing superior skill that's really difficult if you don't have the time to raid 9 hours a week. Gear in a way Correlates to both race ( the way someone looks) and education (your perceived effectiveness in play) However, just because you have the gear doesn't mean you can play similarly just because you have the education doesn't mean you know shit. so there are some difference with my analogy but I think it fits better than one of welfare.

I also take issue with the Idea that Raiding Ulduar is more meaning full than running 5 mans It depends on who's playing right? If 5 mans are currently pointless, doesn't the badge change make them more meaningful and isn't that good? You also are missing the point of the game. It's not to battle the Lich King it's to get the most people playing the game Blizzard can.

You're Using a Made up measure to place value of the game. because Orbs are as fiat as gold and silver, considering that blizzard can increase their supply by a keystroke. In order to value the game we need a fixed measure. The only fixed measure uncontrolled by anyone is the amount of players playing. Blizzard cannot increase the numbers of playing (they can decrease them but that's less money) anymore than you can decrease the amount of players playing. Blizzard wants accounts more people playing means more players playing with each other which is no consequence to a bunch of elites who only want to play with themselves.

This is good for goblins since it creates a more robust economy.

Patch 3.2 is a change TO the game not IN the game. It's a change to make the game more attractive, to make more money, I don't see how any opposition to the patch makes economic sense both in game and RL.

Copernicus said...

"The comparison to welfare is a false one anyway. The Correlation doesn't even fit." -- Carl Lewis

It's called a strawman arguement. You hold up a change, idea, person and compare it to something everyone connects to a negative feeling, which attempts to transfer the feeling to the initial thing. They don't really have to connect, as long as the strong feeling is there.


However, I'm thinking that Gevlon heard his guildmates calling these welfare epics, and with his limited grasp of english, took it as a literal meaning. However, welfare also has the meaning of cheap or easy to obtain.

PvP gear used to be called Welfare Epics because it was easier to get than epics via raiding.

I may be spitting into the wind, but it makes a lot more sense than comparing this to an actual welfare system.

Anonymous said...

Slightly unrelated, but I would like to hear your oppinion on this at some point in the future.

You dislike Welfare because everyone can fight/work for themselves. But what about those where we all have to agree that they can't? Cripples, sick people, autism or other debiliating problems. Should they get welfare? Should we leave them to die? Should their relatives be burdened with them?

Jack said...

Your argument hinges on the premise that somehow M&S getting shiny purples through 5 mans is bad, or devalues the shiny purple gear of skilled raiders. I think this premise is false.

In the past gear has been what has denoted skill and prowess among players and raiders in wow. "OMG S4 shoulders, he must be good!" and "OMG full Sunwell epix, hes leet!" were common and to some extent justifiable comments. Say what you will, but sunwell was hard and I dare you to say that 2250 was or is easy to obtain in arena.

Now real distinction is gained through achievements and their corresponding dates. The sooner you get Three Lights in the Darkness the better you are, presumably. Judging people by what they achieve and when they achieved it (particularly in relation to nerfs to raid content) are what distinguish between pretty good, M&S and elite raiders, not gear.

So again, since anyone can get T7.5 and T8.5 through VoA pugs, and because pugs farm the keepers on my server weekly, where is the harm in giving out gear for badges? And since no one seems to have a problem with the existence of VoA and with the difficulty level of the keeper bosses, why should we then be angry about the change to badge loot?

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