Greedy Goblin

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekend minipost: scavenger nerf incoming

While CCP hired an economist to take care of the game economy, Blizzard clearly sent random programmers to do the job, so the game economy is a mess. The nerfs and buffs to contain the situation aren't in the 10-20% range, but multiple or divide previous values by 3-5, like when they realized that an enchant will cost more than an epic item and decreased the crystal requirement from 15 to 4.

One of their messup is the "scavenger" follower, who increases the reward of missions for garrison resources. For some reason they didn't consider stacking. For example the biggest resource mission rewards 175 resources, which is a lot, since a resource-gathering building gets 180 in 24 hours. Well, with scavengers, getting enough resources can be trivialized:

PS: this can be done with "epic mount" followers too, turning a 1-day long mission into a 3 hours mission.


blachawk said...

Your recent WoW posts seem very shortsighted.

Scavengers are very good followers to have in the early game. If you lucked out (as I did) and got two or more scavengers very quickly, you were able to level your garrison up very quickly to level 3. Without scavengers, you're looking at about a week or two longer to develop the garrison.

However, in the long run, a glut of resources has a negligible effect. Once your garrison is fully upgraded, garrison resources have almost no use at all. You can't trade them, and the only way to dump them is via the war mill or the trading post. In the best possible circumstance, that reward of 1225 resources equates to 61 draenic dust (currently the most economical resource to trade for - on my server anyway). That comes out to about 360 gold.

I don't think the economy is going to explode. There are far more valuable mission rewards available.

I do agree that certain design decisions were not analyzed properly. 15 crystals is, at a minimum, 7 days worth of cooldowns. In most cases, epic gear only requires 5 days of cooldowns and utilizes far cheaper inputs.

I'm not a Blizzard apologist, but I will say that it was impossible to study prices during the beta. Every character started with 10k gold. If you wanted more, all you had to do was create more characters. True Iron ore was selling for something like 300-400 gold each.

This expansion has definitely been Blizzard's sloppiest in many regards. There are more bugs than I can recall since vanilla.

blachawk said...

P.S. -

A nerf to scavenger stacking is definitely possible, but I think it's unlikely given Blizzard's habit of pandering to the lowest common denominator. If there is a nerf, I think it will be accompanied by a buff to passive resource generation.

Gevlon said...

@Blackhawk: analyzing the economy is so trivial that you did it in your comment without even thinking about it: time. The only question the dev has to ask to measure a feature:
- how much garrison time to create X?
- how much farming time (active player time) to create X?

Also, there is no possible excuse for me being BS without mining and still having excess ore from my garrison mine.

The usage of garrison resources:
- war mill (120/day)
- having a lvl 99 follower to create lot of missions (each mission is 10-20 resources). Lowbie missions create equal salvage to top level missions (another stupid)
- seals of tempered fate: 300 garrison resources or 500 gold. Granted, the best is probably honor which can be gained AFK

Finally, you can just deactivate the unneeded scavengers and grab another follower.

Anonymous said...

- having a lvl 99 follower to create lot of missions (each mission is 10-20 resources). Lowbie missions create equal salvage to top level missions (another stupid)

That has changed: Low level missions only get the Salvage Yard level 1 bags and level 100 missions get a guaranteed bag (with he current level of your Salvage Yard).

See here:

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

I haven't been able to log onto wow in over a week. Not because I literally can't, as in, for lack of time... but because I can't bring myself to do it.

Blizzard has jumped the shark on this one. I don't know what they're collectively on, but they have forgotten the prime equation of on line game economies: TIME = MONEY.

Free level 90s for people already at max level? I don't have a problem with that, as long as the prime equation is followed... I.E. Only one of them can be making money at a time. Even with getting an extra cooldown per alt, you still had to go farm up the precursor mats, and even then... the number of craftable armor pieces has been historically limited to 2.

This Garrison implementation totally blows that out of the water. Crafted gear may be expensive NOW, but as soon as the Garrisons start churning them out like so many third world sweatshops, prices will drop to the floor and there will be no reason for the majority of raid guilds to exist. This process started with Celestials / Ordos passing out gear like candy, and now the job will be finished by epic crafted gear from factory farms.

Raiding will go bye bye when Blizzard stops wasting time on raid dungeons when the user base that wants them drops to 1%.

This is not accidental, this is not incompetence. This is design intent. All they had to do to NOT have Garrisons turn into alt factory farms is put all the alts in the same Garrison. That would not have solved the "Crafted epics killed the Raiders" song, as the garrison would still be a factory farm, but at least each player would be limited to ONE of them.

It's a triple blow... factory farms on all alts, Crafting professions now craft top gear at level 1, and the precursor mats are super easy to farm/buy.

Might as well eliminate the subscription price, as well... because WOW is moving to the free to play model.

I predict the next step will be to "refund" the subscription price each month in item shop purchases, where you will be able to buy... wait for it... followers! And vanity shit for your Garrison. Then when that works, phase out the subscriptions entirely.

Anonymous said...

@Iene of Kul Tiras:

the number of craftable armor pieces has been historically limited to 2.

I don't know what history you are referring to, but I have ran around with almost full sets of gear bought/traded solely with cooldowns, the shadowcloth set in TBC for example. Or nature resistance gear in AQ40, fire in BWL and MC, arcane in Karazhan to name some. The new thing in WoD is that the number of craftable items one can equip is limited.

As for gold, I have, except when I freshly dinged 60 and could not purchase the fastest riding skill, never seen the need for any gold aquiring schemes. Since the resistance gear was dropped, there is, exept for vanity items, no need for any amount of gold. I must have around 100k spread over several characters, but there is not one thing I could do more/better if I had 10-fold this amount.

Anonymous said...

@ Iiene of Kul Tiras

Care to explain how crafted epics which you cannot wear more than 3 at a time are making raids obsolete?

Also, upgrading them to level 3 is fucking expensive because farming Savage Blood is a pain in the ass.

Anonymous said...

@Iiene of Kul Tiras

How equipping a maximum of THREE crafted pieces will cause "majority of raid guilds to exist". It's not like you can deck yourself in full crafted 650+ gear just with garrisons.

If anything, epics handed from CMs and BOEs are a bigger threat than that.

maxim said...

@"Garrison resources useless endgame"

Garrison resources are useful for buying raiding loot tokens. If you can scrounge up 3500 a week, you won't need to spend anything else on those.

Also we don't know what additions Blizz is planning to make to Garrison, having a resource stockpile can be unexceptionally good for various things.

A different problem with Scavengers is that they are making resource-generating buildings pointless beyond the earliest stages of development. I scrapped my Lumber Mill pretty much as soon as i got its final unique benefit - the tree follower :(

I had a 175 resource mission at some point, but none of my scavengers had enough ilvl to do it :(. In order to reliably get 1k+ gRes from missions like these, you need a decently filled scavenger roster, well invested with ilvls.

That being said, this is a minor factor, as Scavengers are still exceptionally good at scavenging any mission that is ilvl615 or lower. Even with less than perfect scaveger cadre, an average player will literally have more garrison resources than he is able to spend.

maxim said...

I don't think Scavenger is going to get nerfed.

If i made balance decisions on this, i'd make it impossible to roll a follower that has both a resource/exp-getting trait and an Epic Mount together

Gevlon said...

To add to the problem: most traits are situational and needless. I mean if the followers have the right abilities, they can take down a mission with 100% chance, making the traits like "Orcslayer" or "Dwarfenborn" wasted. These talents are only useful if the group misses abilities. This case they provide +5% chance to win.

Scavenger and Epic Mount on the other hand are very powerful. While Scavenger maxes out (you won't need more resources after a point), but Epic Mount stacks and always helps (if missions are shorter, the same followers can complete multiple missions).

I guess 20 weeks from now all my followers who aren't working in buildings will be replaced by Inn-born Epic Mounts.

Anonymous said...

One more thing that you missed.

Mission success chance is multiplicative, not linear.

In the screenshot you showed us, the chance for success is not 65%, it is ~ 42.2%

Gevlon said...

That's highly debated and there is no offical source or serious research.

I believe that the chance is 65% and the individual monster attacks are just cosmetic.