Monday, June 22, 2009

Casuals?

Player vs developer found this gem in the 3.2 patchnotes: "Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism."





So let's see how can we gear up a restodruid from Naxx10 and Archavon:
Yep, you see it. Except for 2 slots, you can fully gear a resto druid to Ulduar25 hard mode ready without doing any content requesting more than facerolling.

"Helping casuals to be competitive" you may say. However this nice set needs 555 badges. That's a lot of badges, even for an active HC raider. How on Earth could a casual player hoard 555 badges? And above all: why would he do that? What's the point? Is T8.5 headpiece needed for the Argent Tournament?

I think the insane number of badges proves that this has nothing to do with casuals, people who play rarely and in their own pace.

This is directly to reward socials: M&S who are online a lot. They want to look good in the eyes of peers. They want Ulduar gear with skills insufficient to get past the iron dwarfs before FL.

The "casual" is the same in WoW as the "poor who is poor because of things out of his control" in the real world. A strawman argument used to justify giving rewards to the lazy and dumb.

Should we personally care about this "improvement"? No. Despite his good gear, the social still can't do anything, and only another social would care about the gear he shows off in Dalaran. The achievements will tell that he is useless, despite his equal gear. Actually it will have a benefit, as these beings will not try to get into raiding guilds, as they could get their "lewt" without any skill or effort, only by time. (socials have lot of that, as they are usually not affected by such time consuming activities as learning or working)

What does this thing prove? That Blizzard targets his game on on the mindless socials. Why is it important? Because it tells something about the World: if you want good money, don't produce good quality stuff. Produce stuff that the socials use to increase their perceived coolness.

What's the funny thing in all this? That the social pays for nothing. For farming 555 badges, he will get an awesome gear... that is exactly the same as the gear of every second guy in Dalaran. They will all look the same. Too bad that the social hates few things more than being like the other guy. He wants to be special. Well, good luck with that :-)

PS: I really wish the green slimes of Naxxramas had their own youtube channel. After the "socials go farm badges" rage starts, they could post awesome videos every day.

36 comments:

Wulfy said...

Hi,

Good points about socials. But blizzard thrives on that undesirable social class because there are many of them and they have (RL) money.

What do you, in your gobliny expertise see as good market for that demographic. I am thinking consumables, but because socials suck and tend to be carried they hardly bother with consumables.

Maybe mediocre gems and glyphs.

spinksville said...

You can do better than that with the resto druid. Some raid gear is BoE so you could buy it from the auction house.

(I know this because my resto druid just hit 80 so I'm planning it at the moment.)

spinksville said...

eg. for the weapon use the titansteel guardian and for the trinket use je'tse's bell

spinksville said...

Argh sorry for extra posts, I'm half asleep. I don't think the patch is about socials so much as it is about making it easy for raiders to gear up their alts. It's an alt patch.

Archangel said...

Same as Spinksville. This is for alts and I might add the offspec too.

Tristan said...

Heh... seriously dude you always make me smile. Nowhere else do I get to read a Libertarian commentary on WoW. You got a unique niche there bud.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the exact opposite - this hurts M&S, and actually does more to keep them out of raids than it does to help them. Let's look at two cases:

Case 1 is the decent, but ungeared, raider. Either he re-rolled, or he joined recently, or he's only just started raiding. EIther way, he's either in a "fierndly casual guild", or he's doing fail-PUGs in Naxx every week. He's a mix of ilvl 200 and ilvl 213. This change lets him run Heroics for gear with the other decent players in his predicament (and he's got them all on his friends list) or raider alts, or even raiders he knows who're on a badge-run. Now that he's got 213/226 gear, he can app to a Ulduar guild, or maybe even a Coliseum guild. It gets these decent-to-good players out of fail-PUG Naxx runs, and keeps them from helping M&S get farther than they otherwise would in Naxx.

Case 2 is the guy he's replacing. The under-performing "dies in fires" guy. The M&S who somehow got into the guild and into the raid. He's still in the raid because come start time, you've only got 25 guys for 25 slots, so it's him or a PUGger. He doesn't gem, doesn't enchant, doesn't read strats, but there isn't a surplus of progression-geared people looking for a raid to join, so he's in by default. Then 3.2 hits. It won't be an immediate change, but 3-4 weeks after 3.2 goes live, you'll see more and more people who are Ulduar-ready and within spitting distance of Coliseum-ready who are looking for raids to join. People who DO gem, who DO enchant, who read the strats, and who don't stand in the fire. Suddenly, Mr Geared Slacker has to fight for his raid spot, and he's gonna either shape up or get the boot.

The bottom line is that this change makes pre-Coliseum gear easier to get, and so makes having a head-start in gearing less important than overall skill. Anything which buffs the importance of skill, as this change does (by relatively de-valuing gear), hurts M&S.

chaoskas said...

Well, I am quite happy that they changed the System of Emblems and now everyone get the "best" gear.

I am happy because I have a lot of alts and enjoy the benefits of dualspec. But now I have less time and can't find a raid to clear Naxx25 or Ulduar on a weekly basis (well, I could but this would mean RL divorce and this is definitly not an option).

So I play a heroic or two and after serveral month I get the piece of equipment I truly want. I just hate to go heroics for some specific item and it will not drop once (I was Heroic CoT4 ~30 times and I haven't seen the shield drop once). By now I am after the warrior T7(,5) shoulders just for the look but without Naxx25 it is impossible to get the emblems. I am happy someday it will be possible, so I am saving my emblems for now :) (this reminds me to check if this will be possible ^^)

Kevan Smith said...

I know this is a place for you to honestly express your opinion, but maybe you should take more of a P.T. Barnum view of things: There's a sucker born every minute. I think all the people you label 'socials' and 'M&S' are really people you should aim at to get their gold into your pockets. Now THAT'S goblin!

Carra said...

If anything, this gives people a reason to do the "old content" again. And people who aren't good enough to do Ulduar have something to do again.

It's a smart move to keep those who would hook of at a lack of content they can do. But it does feel like a desperate one.

Michael said...

Those badges will also drop from heroics so those people you are talking about, don't even have to be able to handle Naxx10 or VOA.

Topher/Menglor said...

I dont understand why some people are so harsh on the Socials.

who cares that you worked hard on your gear and got it first?

Think about it though, 555 badges, how many weeks of full clears do you have to do , to get that many badges? that sounds more hardcore then Social group if you ask me.

While your already off in the next level in content.

Why are you worried about what someone else has anyway?

OMG! UBRS and LBRS is too easy, they are getting gear that took me 3 years to get! (sounds ridiculous no?)


IMO, the real benefit here is the hard core players, with everyone coming and going, once 3.3 hits, who is going to want to run Naxx, Ulduarr ... to gear up replacements?

Not me!

outdps said...

Don't forget- they're making this change after they introduce tier 9. Real raiders will still be in better gear than them, but it will only be 1 tier more.

Anonymous said...

I think this has less to do with helping M&S look cool in Dalaran than with giving people a reason to run old content again.

I like it because I can get those one or two pieces of gear that have refused to drop for me or gear up my offspec without killing my dkp.

Having said that, I'd still prefer to see new content. New 5mans and heroics that would drop the new badges. Something we haven't run dozens of times before.

Wooly said...

I don't like this part of the patch either. Had a big discussion in /2 about it, where of course I was "retarded" and "noob" (words that always say more about their user btw), according to the M&S for saying that this only makes slacking pay off (very short version of real discussion). In the end the M&S didn't really have an argument except for "needing" good gear too. The reason being wanting to fail at Ulduar just as well as they are doing in Naxx now. They tried the argument that it would make naxx doable for them, but why even bother that if you don't need the gear anymore. It's senseless greed, or relocating failure location at best.

All previous comments on how it's not helping M&S but raiders make no sense to me at all. True pro's may have alts, but if you shouldn't need such good gear for alts unless these are important raiding alternatives (let's just say you have a healer and a tank char). But even if you have both, this kind of makes you a jack-of-all-traders: a non optimal player for each class. Making you less pro. Simply explained: when you raid with char A, you're missing out gear for char B and vice versa. Even when getting gear can be done faster, that rule still applies. So the fact remains that only pure specialisation works best, a bit like talent trees f.e.. This might apply when you're the guilds best and waiting for the rest to gear up, but in that case badges aren't needed anyway. I've got alts too, but unless I actualy switch mains, I'll never take them instead of my main char.

IMHO, the pattern drops from Ulduar are the best solution for gearing up alts & M&S. This way the raiders are in control where the loot ends up, and can make money with it selling those to the M&S. Let the M&S at least grind their asses of for good gear, that'll toughen 'm up a bit at least, and might turn 'm into better players in the process. I do agree that the mats requirements for those items are insane, making this not a real option right now. I wish they toned down those requirements a bit, that would make everybody happy.

So, no, this part of the patch is purely for the M&S. Those guys want... no wait.. "NEED, QQ" better gear too, but in reality only to "prance around like a (useless) overstuffed peacock" --Dalliah the Doomsayer.

Dave said...

This sounds exactly like 2.4 when great gear came to the Isle vendor. I used it as a chance to reroll from a class I didn't like (warlock) to my new one (druid)... farmed the shit out of heroics and got 500 badges in 2 weeks in order to get all the bear and all the cat gear. This allowed me to swap mains in my BT guild due to having on-par stats.

It's not just a social thing.

Dozenz said...

Item levels 200-213 are not Ulduar level gear.

So....only 6 slots are Ulduar level.

The remaining 11 slots are Naxx 10-25 geared.

This is when the current gear is one step beyond Ulduar.

This allows casuals, or non-raiders to at least be invited to current content.

As you have pointed out before, not all casuals are M&S. There will be some really good players who may have taken a break sometime in their Naxx progression. I know they're good and would gladly replace a better geared stupid player in my raid for one of them, but their gear is just too low...instead of saying "go PUG Naxx 25 some more...than PUG Ulduar some before I can take you" I can now say "spend a couple weeks getting tokens and we will replace Bob the geared slacker for you".

This allows him to reach that minimum requirement to be invited a lot faster.


Also, while "casuals" may spend more time in game than the "hardcore", does not mean they will be geared out in tokens after a day or two. Casuals spend msot of their time outside of instances, or at least outside of end game instances (you will see them in non-heroics or even a low level like RFC helping a friend out).

But this will still allow casuals to slowly keep upgrading or progressing their toons, and can allow them oppurtunities to get into progression content through PUGs.

In my opinion this rewards the hardcore raiders much more than the casuals. And something WoW should have always had in place with their token system.

FYI, no weapons and no BiS items will be able to be purchased.

Brian said...

The more I think about this change, the more I think the players who are REALLY targeted by it are the "gear = skill" players. We've all met them, the people who are terrible raiders, but demand to get into runs ahead of other people because of gear. Of course the fact that terrible raiders HAVE good gear at all means gear has already been cheapened, but this new change will make it much more explicit. As another commentator pointed out, this means having decent gear won't save a bad player from getting replaced...since EVERYONE will have decent gear.

Blizzard didn't put in the change to stick it to Mr. L33t Gearz though, but they didn't do it for the reason Gevlon stated either. As more and more endgame content is released, new players and alts will have a harder time getting the gear required for the next tier of raiding. As all the good raiders move on to the next level of content, people who weren't geared for it by that point for whatever reason will end up even farther behind as they try to PUG older content for gear. And not all of these people will be "M&S", alts and new players will face the same problem.

By allowing emblem farming from older content, it effectively means people can skip a lot of content while gearing up. Hit 80, run heroics and Naxx-10...get gear good enough for T9 content. There's no "Emblem of Skill" to give you the SKILLS for T9 content, but at least it's easier for people in this situation to compete for spots with folks who were carried through Naxx-25 back when there was nothing better to do.

The comparison to real life poor people doesn't quite work out, because there is little penalty for trying to become rich after others have already started the process. Not so with gearing up in WoW. And in any case, gear isn't the end goal, seeing content is. And all the gear in the world won't make bad players any better...it will just mean that SKILL is the deciding factor, not gear.

Flavah said...

hmm a post about selling ur runed orbs before it's to late and everyone can get for emblems might come in place? :)

moszedobrybiznes said...

Good post. Thanks for differentiating between casuals and terribads hiding behind the "casual" nameplate.

I am a casual. I play very little, 2-3 evenings on a good week. With my casual guild I did however down 11/14 bosses in Ulduar10. Now, Ulduar 10 is *a bit* harder than your average Naxx25 or any Wotlk 5-man. (and miles easier than pre-nerf SSC et al.). The gear I'm getting from there is way worse than the Conquest loot (Uld10 doesn't drop Conquest badges in normal modes). If I decide to go after the Conquest gear (which I will have to, not to fail in Colliseum), this will happen at the expense of my progress.

Only the terribads who have loads of time are actually happy about their free loot. They don't need progress, they don't really need the gear but they want to look pretty in Dalaran. I believe its a retarded idea, giving Triumph badges for dailies and Conquest for mindless farming. That's just wrong and stupid. Who in their right mind would choose to wipe on Mirmiron all evening if they can go Violet Hold, UK and UP half the time to get 15 or so shiny badges.

Yaggle said...

Don't forget that casuals are not necessarily socials. There are casuals who will never even know what a badge is, let alone grind out a bazillion of them so they can gear for Ulduar and torment the skilled players.

Anonymous said...

lol. Gevlon you are acting like a social. Here is a quote from th is post: "Too bad that the social hates few things more than being like the other guy. He wants to be special."

It sounds to me that Gevlon and most of the posters here want to be special and not allow others easier access to be special.

Viewing the world in black and white or absolute terms even in a virtual world is not good. Assume that there are only 3 categories M&S, social, player. Hardly anyone would qualify as a player in absolutes. I think even gevlon is social, at least if he wants to keep his gf. And when you are starting out you are an M&S. The first time you do a heroic are you a good player, no. The first time you do a raid are you good, no. If you piss everyone off in your group do you get invited back, not likely without a bribe.

imo this change is good. Why? because it makes it easier for players that want to improve to improve. If there is someone that wants to raid now they can gear up easier with out spending 5k/week like gevlon.

While gear is not everything in wow, if you are undergeared you have no chance. Skill != gear, and Skill without gear also doesn't work.

I think the complainers simply don't want competition and want blizzard to do something about it rather than being a goblin and adapting.

Notmyrealname said...

I haven't played in months, but this development shouldn't be surprising to anyone. This is just another way for Blizz to convince the part of its subscriber base that is incapable of participating in higher level content that they should continue playing by providing them with a gear progression path.

It isn't about being "fair" or sustaining the ego of those who "worked" to get gear that is soon to be made much more available. Those suckers are going to keep playing & paying anyway so they can progress into the next content tier.

Anonymous said...

@ ZacharyPruckowski - spot on. It's about the alts, and gearing up new players.

@Flavah - Gelvon isn't posting money-making tips anymore. This is just a rant blog now.

While the hard-core "serious" folk rant about this change, it will help level the playing field again. Skill will show through, as the gear should be much closer. Try gearing up an alt right now. It's a pain.

highlatencylife said...

I find this news exciting, because there's opportunities to make gold, new gear, mean gems sell, threads sell, enchants sell, more people raiding they'll need more consumables.

I'm drooling just thinking about it. I'm going to start stocking now.

Dan said...

@ZacharyPruckowski

Thank you very much for stating exactly what needed to be said. That is precisely my reaction to all T7 and T8 content dropping Conquest - to help get people like myself and Gev who were STUCK in M&S guilds have a fair chance at guilds who don't allow M&S. Problem was in TBC not enough gear was offered by the 2.4 badge vendor to really make a difference on an app to a T5-6 guild; allowing someone to choose whatever gear (s)he needs off of any currently existing badge vendor (which is a LOT more than was offered in TBC) including tiered pieces (which you could not get via badges in TBC) would in essence leave the person short a weapon and perhaps one trinket (a Darkmoon card is good or even amongst best in slot for some classes).

Hatch said...

"something about the World: if you want good money, don't produce good quality stuff. Produce stuff that the socials use to increase their perceived coolness."


Yep.

Carl Lewis said...

I would Fancy my self a very good player and Top DPS charts in whatever raid/pug/ or what have you. Personally I like the change. First of all there is a new content generally unattainable for the hard core raider to get too, T9/T9.5, with its own separate tier equivalent badge gear and badges.
Second I am an officer of a social guild and I like my guildies. They are a good players willing to listen to criticism and improve, but frankly the game just isn't that important to us that we are going to take anyone shit, so I can get those one or two last pieces of gear. But the main reason I like this change is because there will be a substantial increase in demand for item enhancement and their respective mats. Which is the market I dabble in. Increasing the rate at which gear is changing increases use of dust and crystals and gems, which will increase ore and skinning demand which will increase the amount of slobs supplying me with my base mats. As some have astutely pointed out there's a hi probablity that this will push fail raiders out of raids and keep them running heroics. Lets say the opposite is true and you get more M&S raiding regularly. This will most likely increase herbalism demand as well. Also it makes it easier to gear alts which will double maybe triple demand over night. This is a good dynamic patch, except for hunter nerfs. (just my QQ)

I think one should look at it as a Blizzard stimmulus patch, they just removed barriers of entry to raiding and will increases consumption of gear and all thing incident to new gear. With all the re-gemming of gear and respecing from getting one piece at a time the possibilities look very bright to me.

We Fly Spitfires said...

Socials aren't the problem, it's Blizzard plain and simple. Regardless of their motivation, they are the ones who deciding to alter the game in the way they are. You can't blame the innocent player for their acts.

Brian said...

@We Fly Spitfires:

Blizzard isn't "the problem" either, because "the problem" is largely based on the perception of a relatively small group of players. It's true this time, and it's true every time Blizzard implements any change. It's not always the same group of players, but there is always SOME group that ends up being vocally opposed to whatever Blizzard is doing.

Except from a business and practical standpoint, Blizzard really SHOULDN'T base game design around a vocal minority. They should instead look at the big picture of how the game as a whole is working.

Look at Gevlon's complaint here...that the new change will result in "casuals" with tons of time to farm 5-man instances getting decent gear. Despite the fact that this won't change HIS game experience at all, for some reason it pisses him off. Fair enough...but should Blizzard really design WoW around that kind of thing? I can see the argument with gameplay nerfs, since they directly affect the enjoyment some people get from the game. But complaints about the gear OTHER people can get? That just seems like ranting for the sake of ranting, which is not really a good thing to base design decisions on.

Wrathskellar said...

I think Zach Prukowski hit the nail on the head. In addition to letting M&S who only do Heroics to have access to higher gear, this helps the Hardcore raider. A hardcore player will run every heroic everyday and get plenty of gear for their healer alt they leveled when someone in guild left the game without waiting for drops on Naxx25 fail-PUGs.

And BTW as long as we are being philosophical, who cares if socials have "no reason" to earn high level gear? Hardcores don't have a real reason to either when you come down to it. Its a game. People do what they think is fun in it. Why do hardcores "need it"? To feed their family? To pay the mortage? No, because it allows you to do the next level of content easier and allows you to sit on your new rusted protodrake over the dalaran bank. If you were truly different from the socials, you would shun the spotlight and handicap yourself. "Lets see if we can do this Yogg wearing only naxx 10 gear guys!" Otherwise you are only doing all of this to look good in the eyes of your peers - just like the socials you talk down about. Frankly I dont see much of a difference. And dont think I'm pissy because I'm a social. I raid Ulduar, I just dont take myself that seriously.

RFairney said...

Raiders will use EPIC gems

Casuals will settle for the rare ones, and will eat up the supplies that JC have left over before moving over to epics.

Daniel said...

I am a casual player, not by choice, my job has a rotating shift schedule so on any given day im either working until 11pm, or have to wake up around 430 am, sometimes both. I work six days a week consistently and my one day off is wednesday. Because of this I cannot be in any kind of organized raiding guild, and for the most part cannot make pugs. I can occasionally get in on a VoA and some of the other very quick smaller raids. Because of this I play mostly to PvP, but I'm not one of the people that just hops in and makes gladiator, so the inability to raid is a HUGE detriment to my ability to do well in arenas because of how god awful my gear is.

This change is great for players like me, I can jump into the occasional heroic and such, bank up gear, and eventually have a somewhat respectable set that will let me perform better in arenas(hopefully lol)

gnomeaggedon said...

I think something to consider is that this benefits casuals with time... which by my definition isn't really casual, it's non-raiding.

As a casual, with 1 night play time per week, this change will in some ways hold me back.

As it is now people ask if you are "geared" before taking you in a PuG.

Now they will be looking at my gear wondering while its only 200 with the odd 213.

Am I fussed... no. At least this way I can suppliment my gear with something a bit better meaning the instances and raids will be easier & thus more fun... and hell, maybe I will get to see some new content sooner... just not if I am inspected.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Didn't we sort of have this system in BC? There was only one kind of badge, and you could get a significant amount of raid-ready gear by blasting heroics (granted, heroics were tougher back then).

In the end, it was still obvious who was skilled and respectable. Raiders who get bosses to drop will have the better gear (and now, we can spam the achievements in trade as well).

Gaelex said...

You are wrong, the badge system has one purpose and only one: make the M&S pay more play time, giving them a goal achievable with little intellect, but foot work.
Blizzard is about getting the monthly subscription, not doing good deeds.

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