Greedy Goblin

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lilypad on the island

My girlfriend didn’t follow me to EVE and play very little with it, merely skill updates. She still plays WoW. She started a paladin tank alt recently, Lilypad.

The current patch non-raiding content is on some new island. There you must kill elite creatures for quests and for rep. Obviously, such activity is best done in group, probably that was the purpose of the developers. Yet I saw poor Lilypad slowly killing them alone. So I suggested her to form a group from the people present on the island. She did but it didn’t go well at all. To be exact, she got nothing but repair bill and to finish the quest, she had to quit the group and return solo questing.

What? The content that seems to encourage grouping is best done solo? No, when she had guildmates and people she knew online, they could farm them very fast. The problem is that the random guy is simply worse than nothing. We are beyond the “poor player needs help” doctrine. The constant nerfs and catering to the lowest common denominator in WoW decreased the mentioned lowest common denominator to the point where they have negative value, you are faster alone than with them. These idiots run around like chickens, pull everything that moves and wipe the group. First I thought they are griefers, but they continued to do it when kicked from group and couldn’t grief anyone but themselves.

They are simply very bad players who are nothing but burden to any team they join. The game developer keep them progressing via freebies and handouts. However even I don’t think that anyone can be this bad. I mean they are, but surely not because they couldn’t be better. Even a mildly mentally retarded patient can learn to “not click on anything which has no skull icon on it”. These players simply never had to learn anything.

Blizzard nerfed the once great WoW because they wanted it to be a “social game”, where people can play with their friends regardless of their abilities. Instead they got the most anti-social game where people solo or join automated queues and play together without saying a word or even caring for the name of each other. “tank pls pull fstr” is the most human interaction you can get. The only place where people actually talk is the raiding guild where players do the only remaining hard content.

Let this be a reminder to all game developers who think it’s a good idea to dumb down their game to allow lazy and dumb people win.

The moron of the day was watching dscan to prevent anyone being ganked around him:
Watching Directional Scan indeed alert you of incoming hostiles. However it doesn't help if you just chat but don't warp off, as he recognized it himself with his third line.

The daily anti-tears are small gestures of gratitude for my relentless work to teach the miners how to fit their ships:


Jackthemaniac said...

I've played Guild Wars 2 when I had time for MMOs, a couple months ago. Right now, I don't have much time, so I don't play. I'll go back to it eventually. It's a fun game.

Anyway, I've never had an issue with Guild Wars 2. People communicate in dungeons. Some are pretty hard at that. It's very different from WoW. It's hard to tell if people are morons or slackers. They can't afford to be bad.

Unlike in WoW, if you rush, you die. There are no healers, you need to keep yourself alive. If you run out of HP, you start bleeding out. Party members can revive you during this period of time, but bleeding out repetitively makes you bleed out faster and faster. So people can't slack off. No blaming someone else.

Average players might have moved to it. When I look at MMO champion forums and Blizzard forums, I see a lot of rationalizing. This goes for Diablo 3, too.

Blizzard has moved from making good games to making mediocre games. Nothing good will come of them, this is why I won't buy anything that comes out. Even the storyline were retconned to something entirely different that what the original writers would have intended. If Blizzard North did Diablo 3, it would not have been like it is.

Some people say the new main designer for Diablo 3 will save it. He won't. It's rotten at it's core, removing the AH won't change that. The list is too long, but bad map randomization, assets loading problems, poor characters, poor skill system.

Blizzard will die when WoW dies. They've made too many bad choices.

Elder Scrolls online looks appealing so far. If it's like Skyrim Online, it'll be good enough. They must avoid Guild Wars 2's mistakes - auto attacking, and it must have more immersion, more roleplay possibilities/elements.

Anonymous said...

Lazy people = customers.

people losing all the time = reduction in customers.

Your arguments are predicated that games are about how much effort and how smart you as a player are.

But in fact games are a business. All that matters, The ONLY thing that matters tot he developers in fact, is how many people are paying subscriptions/buying premium content etc. The game is just a vehicle for that. If dumbing the game down to the point where idiots can win equals an increase in revenue then it is not only the right decision for the developers, it is the only one.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the problem is that Blizzard had more customers when the content was hard.

Robert Wiersema said...

I recently returned to World of Warcraft so I can punch Garrosh in the face (As a Horde member, he's always seriously pissed me off). As of my return my approach to the game is completely solo.

I queue up for LFR, but as you said, there's no real interaction there. I am leveling a DK just so I can solo old raids for their rare drops and achievement points. I've managed to rope a few of my friends in for that specific purpose, but none of us are under the illusion that we'll be doing any new content with a competent group. Better just to over-level and gimmick the old content with the 3 of us. We might do some heroic scenarios with 3, but challenge modes are still not possible without 2 more competent players.

It's never going to happen...

maxim said...

The idea of games is to have fun. Game designers are paid for by people having fun. If people don't have fun - game designers don't get paid.

It so happens that most people have fun being stupid and pulling everything in sight. Being efficient is fun, but it takes an acquired taste.

When i say "most people", i mean an order of magnitude larger amount of people. Possibly close to two orders of magnitude.

Games en masse will never specifically cater to smart effective people. The only way that could happen is if smart and effective people were shelling out 10x dough, compared to the random noob. However, then it becomes pay-to-win, killing the very basis for enjoyment of game by smart and effective people.

TLDR: morons and slackers and spendy. Smart and effective are cheapskates and, from purely goblinish point of view, can largely go to hell.

Lucas Kell said...

"the problem is that Blizzard had more customers when the content was hard."
WoW has never been hard, not from day 1. It's designed so kids can play it, which is why it comes with parental controls and the like.
They are losing players because their game is old and doesn't evovle beyond the grind. All MMOs that refuse to evolve will inevitably suffer a population drop. WoW has however managed to maintain it's position at the top of the subscription MMO ladder for far longer than most however, so they can't be doing everything wrong.
When I played I didn't really have any issue with other players. sure some were pretty bad and would leeeeroooyyy into stuff angd get everyone killed, but WoW was junk food rather than a game to really care about progress. You don't lose anything for dying so it was not too much of a worry.

If you play it super seriously though, I can see why it would be disappointing.

Anonymous said...

I've experienced people that are a drain on groups in all online games. It has nothing to do with WoW's dumbing down (which I'd argue has been limitted since Mist's release as the end-game non-raid content is progressively getting less raid frindly). There have been a couple of painful groups I've joined on the Isle, but the majority, especially the ones where I can show a bit of leadership, are a significant net gain.

The issue on the Timeless Isle is excerbated because
i) High mob density + powerful attacks require vastly increased situational awareness.
2) Lots of players alts they've not played in ages because they just got shiney new gear for them.

Woody said...

97 percent of the customers were not doing hard content.

As blizzard said, Wrath had the one off benefit of everyone grinding out silly achievements. Meanwhile Ulduar was a failure due to low participation levels.

maxim said...

@Anonymous: the problem is that Blizzard had more customers when the content was hard.

Coincidence does not imply casuality.
They might have lost even more customers if content stayed hard.
I doubt i'd even bother with MoP if it promised to be another TBC. Had quite enough TBC for one lifetime.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon - yes so they had more when it was hard. But you cannot attribute the fall off in users to the simplification of the game. That would be a correlation/causation fallacy.

More likely if they had left the game alone they would have even less subscribers than they did when they decided to dumb it right down.

The hardcore players have left, leaving only those desperate hangers on and idiots.

Anonymous said...

correlation (hard content, many players) is not causalation.

Duke of O said...

I had to laugh at this post about poor Lilypad's misadventures, because we have all been there. Plus no one writes as caustically as Gevlon about "morons and slackers."

The good players are still in WoW though, except they're probably either i) clearing Heroic raids; or ii) setting realm/world records for Challenge dungeons; or iii) achieving high rankings in Arena/Rated BGs, or competing in regional/world tournaments for money. Once Jack the Maniac achieves any of the three above then I'll accept his argument that WoW requires no skill and only average players play WoW. Until then, I'll keep it under advisement.

I can't be bothered digging through your posts to find it Gevlon, but didn't you once say that there were EVE players dumber than WoW ones? WoW is an order of magnitude bigger than any of its rivals, which means the number of people who are at the bottom of the bell curve are proportionally larger, and hence there are more chances of meeting them.

I'm not arguing that entry level WoW content isn't easy. It is. But there are also challenges and fierce competition if you bother to look for them. There is still "hard" content, and if you don't think Heroic raids, Challenge dungeons and Arenas/Rated BGs are difficult, then prove it to the world, and complete any of these three challenges. Clear a Heroic raid. Set a realm record for a Challenge dungeon. Get a 2k rating in any Arena bracket or in Rated BGs. These are not trivial achievements, and I wager you will get all the challenge you want and more if you try.

JackTheManiac said...

@Duke of O

I did not say that only average players played WoW. Of course, there are still pro players who do World Firsts.

When I said "Averages players might have moved to it", "it" refered to Guild Wars 2.

Is WoW a hard game? No.

They segregated the different activities. Questing. Raiding. PvP. Challenges, I believe? Dailies. Achievements are by categories, most of the non-raiding are grinds.

The only hard parts, are PvP and raiding. PvP 1v1 might the hardest thing in game. Raids can't be soloed, because that would make them too easy.

I find the argument "until you cleared heroic hard mode raids, finish number 1 in an international arena tournament and become number 1 in heroic challenges, you have no right to say WoW is easy" funny. You could have a pro come tell you he did those, these three aspects still would be hard.

Raiding isn't really hard. I would easily do them by myself it they were designed for solo clear, or had a heroic very hard mode solo mode. Bring it on.

The problem with WoW, that's not in GW2, is that in WoW you depend on your group, who surely contain people who afford to slack off and make it hard on the healer. In GW2, staying alive is your responsability alone. People slack much less than in WoW. I have yet to meet a player who slacked off in Guild Wars 2.

The "it's a business" argument is ridiculous. You make a game to make money, that's a given. When you start giving up quality to try and get more and more people, that's greed. And by trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.

Anonymous said...

i think she actually might enjoy eve, if you'd let her chose her own path through new eden.

maxim said...

<< The "it's a business" argument is ridiculous. You make a game to make money, that's a given. When you start giving up quality to try and get more and more people, that's greed. And by trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. >>

There is a ceiling above which quality cannot be improved without getting really lucky with truly unconventional ideas. "cannot-be-controlled" kind of lucky, which is impossible to include in any kind of planning.

Furthermore, no activity that is intended to be "just fun" stays relevant forever. People get bored, get burned out, move on. Only way an activity can stay relevant forever is if it becomes more than just fun, and that understanding of "more than just fun" somehow gets passed through generation of participants. Classic sports achieved it en masse. Computer games only had niche local successes so far.

A game like WoW cannot be maintained on niche local success. Both the expenditures and investment expectations are simply too big. It needs to constantly maintain a large playerbase. Sure enough, there are people to whom WoW became more than just a game (and these people constitute the bulk of "hard content" clearers nowadays), but there is simply not nearly enough of them to maintain WoW business model.

Hence, WoW business model changed away from "hard molten core" towards something that is interesting to more people.