Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 8, 2016

What will someone's grandmother do in the next 5 minutes

The "casual gaming" and "everyone is a hero" nonsense comes not only from the greed of the suits. It comes from the failure of developers to plan explicitly for both good and bad players. Game design-wise it's irrelevant if the bad player is a moron, a slacker, a newbie or simply play too little to have meaningful experience. He is bad in the game and most of the time, stays bad.

When you design a game, you ask the question: what will the player do in the next 10 seconds? Typically: kill a monster. What will he do in the next 5 minutes? Completes the quest. What will he do in the next hour? Completes the dungeon or zone. What will he do today? Get an upgrade. The default answers were true in BC for the good player. For the bad player, it was "nothing meaningful". If you sucked in BC, you could level up slower, get the 5-man upgrades, maybe even kill a few bosses in Karazhan, but then the game was over. Simply there was nothing else to do. Some leveled alts, others quit. The suits came and saw all these unsubscribing players and said "they unsubscribe when they can't progress anymore, make sure they can progress!" - and WotLK was born. The rest is sad history.

When at the end of Lich King the house was on fire as good players quit in legions, the devs came up with another "brilliant" idea: let "someone's grandmother" do the same things, just on a lower difficulty. Since players optimize, this lower difficulty must give out lower rewards. Since the next tier is tuned for the gear of the good players, the bad players had to get catchup gear every patch, since the previous tier LFR wasn't enough. Result: the game was reseted every 3 months, persistence went out of the window.

The blame is never on the suits. You must understand that the suit is not a moral actor, nor a decision maker. He is like the architect in the Matrix: a sophisticated, but still intelligence-less program trying to balance the equation. They evolved for one purpose: increase performance of a company. And they do, for a few quarters. It's the job of the visionary to make sure that his creation is not an error to be optimized out.

The solution is not stomping your staff to the ground and yell "noobs shall not pass". The problem is that player skill is a continuum so nerfing "just a little bit" will get you new players, so you don't really know where to stomp your staff. The only Nash-equilibrium here in the eternal battle against suits is "everyone's invited", aka suits win (have you noticed that suits always win? It's not by mistake.) The proper solution is everyone's invited to play and designing the game from the scratch for both good and bad players. How to do it well? Let's look at the real world! Does Adam's grandmother tries to compete with Adam in his job? No. Does Adam's grandmother performs some easy version mock of Adam's job? No! She tends her garden, picks up Adam's kids from school and cooks dinner for them while Adam and his wife are working. She also takes them for two weeks while Adam and his wife are on vacation to be man and woman again and not just dad and mom.

To design a good game, the bad players must have their own things to do, which are valuable on their own, but not the same as the things of the good players. EVE planned it right: miners and ratters filling the war chest for PvP-ers. Then they ruined it by allowing enough multiboxing and botting that the PvP-ers could support themselves from second accounts. I published a version of such asymmetric gameplay in my Knights vs Demons idea, but the original EVE idea and other approaches are also good. The point is that to design your game around the idead that bad players have different and relevant things to do, not just "get gud or gtfo" nor "easy mode of the same".

It is very important to point out that the "grandma's playground" isn't a ghetto just to keep her among the customers like pet battles in WoW. The problem with isolated playgrounds is sooner or later the suit will notice that playground A has more players than B and relocate resources to developing A. Remember "why should we develop content for 1%" quotes! Grandma's playground must be a meaningful part of the game where she positively interact with Adam and Adam gladly exchanges the Sword of Uberness for the Grandma's basket because with the basket he can get another sword faster than by keeping his sword.

Why is it crucially important that the rewards are exchanged between players of the various playgrounds? Because only that can guarantee that the competitive game is competitive at all as players ultimately compete for the rewards. Even if the game has challenging content, it's irrelevant if the rewards are available with easier content. I don't question that mythic raiding is hard. But I do question that mythic raiders are the best, simply because many players don't bother with mythic raiding, since the same rewards will be dropped by the first murlock 2 months later. Similarly, I didn't participate in BDO endgame, since I could get everything without even being in a guild. If the only way to get ilvl X is raiding in mythic or trading it with a mythic raider, than everyone would agree that mythic raiders are the best.

A related topic: why do I play no single player games? In order to a game be challenging, you must have opponents to compare your performance with. Otherwise you can make yourself believe (and devs would love to make you believe) that you are awesome for mediocre performance. People praise Dark Souls, but is that game really challenging or just they are noobs? (or maybe the game is hard, but not challenging, like tossing 10x heads in a row)

Theoretically you can make challenging single player games where player performance is compared on uploaded toplists, but such games are easy to hack. Only server-side decision making can guarantee fair competition, and if already all decisions are made by the server, there is no reason not to be multi-player.

35 comments:

Samus said...

"bad players must have their own things to do, which are valuable on their own, but not the same as the things of the good players"

I definitely agree with this, but some of your supporting statements are incorrect.

"When at the end of Lich King the house was on fire as good players quit in legions"

WoW subscribers peaked at the beginning of Cataclysm, only after that did they start to go down for the first time. Even at the end of WotLK, subscribers were increasing. You may say, "well the GOOD players were quitting," but the "suits" don't care about that. No one at Blizzard was panicking at that time.

"The suits came and saw all these unsubscribing players and said "they unsubscribe when they can't progress anymore, make sure they can progress!""

That is pretty much exactly the opposite of what happened. The suits saw that raiders stay subscribed for much longer, so they tried to make everyone a raider. This involved making all other content trivial enough to breeze through in a few weeks to make everyone, no matter how bad, "ready to raid." Except casuals hate raiding, and they can't do it. A few weeks in they hit a brick wall and can't kill any bosses. The next patch comes, new gear is gifted to them, and now they can't kill any of the new raid bosses. The old bosses are now pointless as LFR for tier 11 gives better gear than actual tier 10 raids. So the casuals don't progress at all, they just wait for each patch to be gifted gear. That's boring, so that's when they started to quit.

Naice Rucima said...

"People praise Dark Souls, but is that game really challenging or just they are noobs? (or maybe the game is hard, but not challenging, like tossing 10x heads in a row)"

Dark Souls is challenging, not really hard. If you're not a good player but you don't give up easily you can progress through the game, albeit slower than someone who has good analysis of the boss patterns and who plays with an optimised build. The game also has one of the best PVP out there.

Steel H. said...

Again I must disagree when it comes to WOW, at least partially. Sure, the Activision suits sucked legend, but you must take into account that Blizzard is George Lucas, as I mentioned earlier. They succeeded due to the things they didn't do and despite the things they did. Think about this, Rob Pardo wanted LFG tool in Vanilla at launch. The devs described their original vision as taking a world and making it more like a game. This shallow, arcadey, immersion lacking experience that we've had since Cata has always been what they really envisioned (much like the crappy prequels were always what Lucas wanted to do). They just didn't know how to make it at the start, and didn't know how much to break with existing genre conventions. In time, they did, slowly, and you've been witness to it.

Cathfaern said...

"When at the end of Lich King the house was on fire as good players quit in legions, the devs came up with another "brilliant" idea: let "someone's grandmother" do the same things, just on a lower difficulty. Since players optimize, this lower difficulty must give out lower rewards. Since the next tier is tuned for the gear of the good players, the bad players had to get catchup gear every patch, since the previous tier LFR wasn't enough."
Uhm lower difficulty was introduced by the Wrath of the Lich King with idea that every raid should have a 10 man version. With the Trial of crusades (it's about the middle of the expansion) was introduced the "normal" and "heroic" difficult. Cataclysm only did that the 10 man and 25 man version gives the same loot.
Also LFR was introduced only at the end of Cataclysm (with the last raid tier).

Andreas Moog said...

WOTLK saw a steady rise in subscriber numbers because for the first time in MMO history you didn't have to be a poop-socker to do endgame content. LFD meant an end to hours of "LF1M tank Heroic $whatever, ready to summon", it meant that everyone could participate - and it eliminated the gearscore idiots. Normal raids meant that even people who didn't have a printed copy of EJ next to their PC could do a couple bosses, the batches meant that everyone could (eventually) get a "good" piece of gear. All that saw more people interested in playing Wow.

Then came the worst expansion that ever saw the light of day, Cataclysm. Sure, the revamp of old-world questing was much needed, but the over-tuned launch dungeons took the fun out of LFD and the comments from the toxic "hardcore" filth helped push many "normal" people out. The people who held out were rewarded with 2 troll 5-mans that became boring extremely quick. LFR was introduced, but it was too little too late.

Pandaria was, after a rought start, on a good way to bring back the "causals". LFR, quick dungeons, amazing scenery - and then they destroyed it with 14 months of siege of orgrimmar.

WoD offered an awesome leveling experience, but the endgame was totally boring because again Blizzard listened to the loudest whiners - the so called hardcore: No tier in LFR, no badges to get "better" gear, nothing at all to keep the "casuals" interested.

With Legion they seem to have learned. The 5-Mans are quick and fun, Mythic+ offers a progression path outside of organized raiding, world quests are cool and good and a reason to get out in the world. I really hope that this time blizzard stops listening to the hardcore crowd - the game surely deserves it.

Anonymous said...

The suits came and saw all these unsubscribing players and said "they unsubscribe when they can't progress anymore, make sure they can progress!"

what? BC? http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/5225-WoW-Down-to-5-5-Million-Subscribers-Warcraft-Movie-Trailer-at-Blizzcon-WoW-Down-to-5-5-Million-Subscribers-Warcraft-Movie-Trailer-at-Blizzcon

where do suits see unsubs? please explain in detail with sources.

The blame is never on the suits.

lead dev makes the product great or break. For me wow went down the drain rapidly after Tigole left. He wasn't the best but still good enough. I don't know the real reasons why he left. maybe it where suits maybe something else. who knows. the only thing I know is that wow was lost without him. the same with CCP_seagul ever since she got onto the lead dev position EVE rapidly went down the drain. Sure this position can't be the only factor but in nearly every software, in the end a product succeeds or breaks on that position.

single player no competition
man. do you even game? didn't you beat your siblings in consoles? Here knock yourself out with the SDA rules https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/Rules and main site http://speeddemosarchive.com/

you want a challenge and competition that largely relys on your trading skills play POE and first kill any endgame boss on HC within season. the season started a couple days ago. Or try it next season (couple of months, plenty of time to get good and know the economy)

Gevlon said...

Are some people blind? You keep linking the WoW subscription graph that shows steady growth in BC and Vanilla, Plateu in WotLK and downhill from there. Sure, WotLK end was a bit higher than BC end, but the BC growth was gone years ago. Anyone with brain should see that BC was better numbers than WotLK.

Now it's a valid question if Cata was WotLK-clone the plateu would stay or didn't. I believe it didn't, because WotLK plateu wasn't a plateu, but a mix of two graphs: the MMO players constantly leaving and lolkids picked up.

Lolkids are bad audience for an MMO, because they constantly want new content instead of trying to min-max existing (no launch peak on BC and WotLK but there was in Panda and even bigger in WoD). They are also bad because they want fake prestige instead of carving true for themselves. They joined WotLK because now they could be as cool as the raiders. When the raiders left and WoW became a curseword among gamers, they left too, because it was no longer "cool".

Cathfaern said...

Vanilla had more (rapid) growth than BC. So if you look at this way BC was already a decline.

Anonymous said...

"Lolkids are bad audience for an MMO, because they constantly want new content "

Which part of an MMO-Audience doesn't want new content? Do you honestly think that Hardcore raiders are going to constantly farm a top tier raid, if there is never going to be more challenging content than the current raid?

Anonymous said...

End of WotlK was peak of subscriptions as others already mentioned. The percentage of "good" players is arguable, I don't think you have source to back that up. Besides, game does not need good players to be good itself.

Also, BC wasn't that hard as you try to describe it. There were still things to do apart from raiding such as trading and pvp, things that haven't changed much. You don't need to be good in pvp and still have fun and reason to log in regularly.

99smite said...

While I would not contradict your claim that a good multiplayer game should have different kind of activities for different kind of players, I disagree with the notion that pvp players were elite or better players than others. That is not the case and has been proven, even by you for EVE. A lot of players do alright in pvp, but they are too stupid, unskilled, bored to organise an income source to fund their pvp activities. If your pvp activity is a negative income source, then you are bad at pvp or the pvp mechanics are designed so that pvp should not be an income source.

It is like trading and makin trillions of ISK and giving welfare charity to people who are unsuccessful in funding their ships for any sustained pvp activity. The trader is bad at pvp (and we could discuss for weeks whether trading is pvp or not, I say it is not as there is no risk of losing isk, except for misclicking, but that goes for any other activity as well...) and the pvp'er is bad in any other activity...

This is why it does not make sense to compare performances in a sandbox, except similar activities...

Comparing the pvp performance of a trader or an industrialist will not tell you how well they perform in their own niche.

BDO did it well, as they had different rankings of different activities.

The problem today is not that games as such are badly designed, there are still awesome games out, look at MINECRAFT, ARK, etc... The problem is that "suits" want a game to be played by trillions of people, which is ridiculous. As you said in posts before, the most sustainable income source is a game, where 100k players pay a decent sum of money regularly, rather than a game which 1M players play f2p with some whales occasionally spending huge amounts. It may cointradict your liberal beliefs, but from the perspective of a game dev aka emnployee of a game developping company, the best course of action would be, if the employees were the shareholders as well and if the management decisions were based on sustainability rather than short term performance.

This is , btw, and you have already pointed that out in an older post, the root of many crisises in the past. Advisors get paid huge sums for optimizing short term performance that totally destroy long term results. Which is why payment agreements must not be based on short term effects.

But that is another story and a long and complicated one...

Anonymous said...

The suits came and saw all these unsubscribing players and said "they unsubscribe when they can't progress anymore, make sure they can progress!" - and WotLK was born.

Indeed. I unsubed right after patchnotes came for WotLK. A Game that throws out the gameplay, I couldnot support that so I left and never came back. after WoD I stoped looking into wow expansion, I really don't care anymore. WOW was a great game and had one great expansion. good memories! The rest is failcascade. They don't show sub numbers anymore ... but you can somewhat guestimate on Activision/bliz Quarterly Results

Antze said...

@Gevlon: "Lolkids are bad audience for an MMO, because they constantly want new content"

Finally someone mentions that wanting new content can be bad (no sarcasm here). I'd really appreciate if you made this thought into a post eventually.

I now read the commenter above who advertises how Legion is good, think for a moment about resubscribing to WoW, to see the cool 5 mans and a the awesome Mythic+ progression path, then understand that I will not. I won't even start progressing on Mythic+, not even because Legion is one-button toy, but because if I started, in a month it would be obsoleted, moved out of fashion or even removed from the game by new, more cool Mythic+++ dungeons.

You can't finish content in those games, because NEW CONTENT. Shiny!

For some reason, if you watch a good movie and there's no sequel yet, you just watch other movies. Or read books. Or go skiing. But if a lolkid is bored with the current expansion, it's a global catastrophe. Argh.

Gevlon said...

@Cathfaern: I do say BC was already a decline. It's ultimate sin was the "first orc give better gear than Vanilla bosses". The Fel Orcs should have given ilvl 61 and tuned to players who just finished Silithus without a single piece of raid gear. Vanilla raiders could breeze through leveling and start raiding (what they wanted anyway).

@Anon: of course everyone prefers new content. But core MMO players are fine/content increasing their PVP rating or bosskill count (bosses should be tuned that only World top 100 finish it before the new raid). Lolkids quit in the second there is no new shiny they can grab with zero effort.

@99smite: I've never claimed that EVE PvP players were elite. I claim that they were better than a missioner or miner who did activities that could be done by bots - and were often done by bots.

BDO did NOT do it well with different rankings, since it made players who played different, unconnected games on the server.

Shareholders need to invest money. Devs can't throw in $100M. Even if you give part of their salary in shares (as it's often done), they won't be significant shareholders.

Theodora Dunkelmauer said...

@Gevlon: Dark soul is challenging by today standard, so not "nintendo hard". But most importantly, it's the right kind of challenge.

At no point in the game did I feel cheated by the dev or unlucky. Nor did I feel you needed to know a whole level in advance to pass it
( And I actually passed some on the first try ). Even grinding isn't really a game changer, what really count is how you play. So yes, it was
a magic experience as it's one of the rare today's game that give you the feeling of advancing, not as a character, but as a player. When you
clear out a new level, it isn't because you got some better gear, got a critical at the right time, or such, it's because you brought the appropriate gears,
dodged with the right timing, managed your blocks and stamina, attacked without opening yourself.

And that's what make Dark Soul magical, it isn't just challenge for the sake of challenge, it's challenge made the right way. Sure you could grind
for hours to get a small buff but ultimately, if you play well, you can finish the game at a mere level 30. ( While you can easily get your character above 100)

Theodora Dunkelmauer said...

I should have said that in my previous post, but well, forgot.

Another point that make Dark Soul so efficient for me is the near absolute lack of randomness. The only random element of the game I can think of is the trash's loot.

There is no parry / dodge / block %, you actually have to do it. No hit %, your attack got to connect. No critical, no glancing blow, so if you fail, you can't blame the dices, it's your own fault.

It make things a lot more interesting to me.

And of all the games I played so far, the only one that got active tanking right.

Samus said...

I think your original statement is true, that you don't want to put hardcore and casual players together. WotLK was fine because they didn't really play together. By the time the dungeon finder was added, the tank was decked out in raid gear and could solo the instance anyway. It didn't matter if the DPS never CC'd any adds, or if they stood in the fire, or even if their DPS sucked. The tank soloed the dungeon and the others ran along behind looting. No one really talked or interacted in any meaningful way.

And then Cataclysm came, and the dungeons were hard again. Those tanks needed the DPS to pull their weight, and they couldn't. The casuals were mad about the "toxic jerk" hardcore players, and mad that they were struggling so much after they were so awesome in WotLK dungeons! Of course they weren't, they were just as unskilled then but it didn't matter.

Remember, the biggest key to WoW's popularity was convincing players "you are skilled!" even when they weren't. Cata was the first time it was thrown in their face that they weren't skilled enough, both with the harder dungeons and even more with raiding. Wipe after wipe told them "you are not skilled!" And so they quit.

Gevlon said...

@Samus: but to convince M&S that they aren't skilled, the game itself must have a good name. If everyone says "lol WoW", than being skilled in WoW has no "coolness"

Antze said...

@Gevlon: "first orc give better gear than Vanilla bosses"

It wasn't this way in TBC, as far as I remember. Vanilla raids provided better gear than 61 level quest rewards, the latter were outmatching only Vanilla dungeon loot. Still, level 65 greens were outmatching old raiding gear, and in the end, old raiding gear was totally useless for TBC raids, so there was a problem, but it was less important. Old raiding gear could be still worn as status symbols, and actually it was still quite hard to get even being level 70 with TBC gear.

Therefore, TBC gear reset didn't completely devalue veterans' earnings - only a bit. With WotLK and especially later expansions devaluing became absolute.

Gevlon said...

@Antze: the problem wasn't devaluing PAST earnings. It was making the old content obsolete (someone starting in BC went to BC content on lvl 58 skipping all lvl 60 old zones, dungeons and raids. This was the doctrine that only latest content matters, so people ran out of things to do. Also, the expectation came that if you just wait, you get it for free/just skip it. Had they not gone this way, a newbie starting playing WoW would have thousands of hours of content BEFORE hitting 110 instead of 5-10 hours.

maxim said...

-- Job differentiation --
Your Knights vs Demons idea doesn't work, because of the "vs" bit.
The idea of having new players do roles that the older players would appreciate is actually a good one, but it can't work if the old players are antagonistic with the new ones.

As often is the case, RL does offer an example of giving separate roles to both the kids and the oldies. In a farm setting, it doesn't take much effort or knowledge or anything to watch the sheep (and call an adult if something bad happens), which is why this duty is one of the first duties given to actual real-world kids on a farm. They can get the job done almost as good as any adult would, and they free up adults to do other jobs only adults can.

The issue in games is, of course, fun. Why would an "adult" player give up an activity that is fun for some "kid"? And why would the "kid" feel any desire to grow if what he is doing is already fun to begin with?

-- Dark Souls --
The challenge of Dark Souls is less of a mental challenge and more of a physical one. To the point where being able to completely abandon your mental idea of an optimal play in the face of a hard situation is actually an advantage.

Mechanically, the challenge of Dark Souls lies in the fact that it is the kind of third-berson hack-and-slash that first allows you to first build a set of reflexes and then puts you in game situations where they no longer work, thus forcing you to step up or abandon the game.

The original has a few balance issues (specifically, katanas and spells in pve, and greatswords in pvp). When using these, you run into a noticeably smaller amount of walls that force you to readjust your playstyle. However, being a single player game, Dark Souls has the luxury of allowing the player to handicap himself with "naked" builds, unupgraged weapons, Calamity Ring and the like.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: you are in a serious mistake using the terms "new and older" players. There are just good and bad players. While there is a correlation, it's weak enough to be ignored.

The Knights vs Demons idea is built around that 90% of the players will be Knights NOT just because that's easier, but because it's more social. Demons are purposefully made anti-social and loner to only attract killers.

Why would the good players give tasks to bad ones? Because they simply have to choose between activities as they don't have time for both. If raiding needs consumables, would you farm them yourself or would you raid and let someone else do it for you? Of course this needs a design that makes it impossible for even a 16/7 nolifer to complete everything.

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation. In FFXIV it's been noticed that JP servers consistently beat NA servers at endgame content, and westerners have a reputation of being bad players. I've been told on JP servers there is more of what you describe, everyone will find their personal skill level and happily settle there, possibly this is due to the Japanese culture. Western players with their belief "everyone individual a snowflake entitled to rise to the top" in fact becomes detrimental to overall performance.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
I accept that using the terms "new" and "old" carries meanings different from originally intended. In my defense, I don't have any other useful shorthands, and i don't want to use the loaded terms "noob" and "gosu" (does anyone outside SC2 scene even know "gosu"?).

Your serious mistake in Knights vs Demons concept is that there is a strong correlation between good players and killers (as far as i can tell, this is probably carried over from your opinion that nobody who cares about anything social can possibly be good). There are plenty of idiot killers and there are plenty of people who are both good and social.

It has been my experience in MMOs that you can't just "give tasks" for unfun stuff and expect them to be done. You actually need some social incentives in place, first.
This didn't use to be the case in older MMOs, where players expected some unfun stuff to happen and were more willing to do group contributions for delayed (possibly, indefinitely) rewards.

maxim said...

+1 for latest anon. Individualism does have a track record of shooting itself in the foot.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: killers have to be better players, since their playstyle forces them to outsmart human opponents, while non-killers have the option to simply grind mindless NPCs. I'm not saying that all killers are geniuses, but they are definitely better than the "press any key to be a unique hero who saves the world" class players.

Who said that the "grandma"'s task need to be less fun? I said less rewarding. For example questing in WoW is considered fun, so "grandma" could get NPC reputation for the guild (or rep tokens to trade) by questing that raiders can use to get NPC services. Actually, the good player's task can be less fun, since good players are more likely find their own fun by experiencing flow. No sane man would say "trying the same boss 100x is fun", yet raiders do that and you can hear their overjoyed screams when they finally down the boss. So:
- good player: hard and rewarding but likely repetitive or "camping" content
- bad player: easy and lore-full, tasks, full of variety and new stuff, but not really rewarding.

Anonymous said...

@Maxim

The japanese are not individualist, on the contrary. Individualism is "not giving a damn about others". The japanese try not to be a deadweight on others, out of concern for others. They give a damn.

That is a Japanese citizen (my teacher)'s opinion. That is what I've been told.

Of course it is simplified. Honne, tatemae, all that jazz.

Anonymous said...

Anon 08 September, 2016 15:52
yes, when they play they fully commit at least this is true for koreans and japanese. though this is slowly changing. still westerners do really suck, so much so that it is the running theme of the Purepwnage movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4682866/. The retired teh_pwnerer comes back from his drug induced docile state and shows the world that they all suck with winning lol worlds and his team DDoS - Da Destroyers of Suck.
The old web series should be still there on youtube it covers the elitist spirit of gamers in perfectly silly way. Also rewatching this, shows how fast stuff changes, I highly doubt that alot of todays "gamers" can relate.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say... Individualism is described as such:

"advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualism

Japanese value the group (social order) more than the individual.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
You are both assuming that "press any key to be unique hero" people are not trying to optimise their play (and therefore become better players), while killers are not just dumbly spamming a single i-win button that just happens to work against people who didn't learn about PvP mechanics due to simply having other things to do.

Back in vanilla WoW a lot of mages had a 1-shot macro (ZHC-ToEP-AP-PoM-Pyro), but that didn't make them into players of any sort of caliber.

If an easier task is more fun, you will find that more people in the game gravitate towards doing that task at the expense of a harder task. Path of least resistance etc.

For me, trying out the same boss in TBC was the most fun i had in the game ever, because i was genuinely interested in perfecting every single step of the dance, and my ability to dance further impacted the damage output of all other mages present (through improved Scorch). The reason i couldn't quite get into WotLK and essentially left before it was done was because there simply wasn't a boss that engaged me on the level of Leotheras the Blind or Archimonde.

So, i am reluctant to dismiss people saying that "trying the same boss 100 times is fun" as "crazy". To me, this rather depends on the mechanics of a boss in question.

Also, "full of variety and new stuff" is a reward in itself. Often a much more powerful reward in the long term than new loot. So good players will also want to do those easy and lore-full tasks.

Azuriel said...

@Gevlon [...] a newbie starting playing WoW would have thousands of hours of content BEFORE hitting 110 instead of 5-10 hours.

And that newbie would be thousands of hours removed from anything resembling a multiplayer game. That is precisely why old content is obsoleted: to get players to where other players are. It's 2016 and nobody is going to spend 5 hours in /Trade looking for a group for Scarlet Monastery.

Giannis said...

"many players don't bother with mythic raiding, since the same rewards will be dropped by the first murlock 2 months later."

Thats the real issue...everything has lost value because of these catch up mechanics... I don't bother anymore with gearing in hard content, because I know that I will work hard for something that will be free in 2-3 months..

In the same way I don't ever spend gold for gear... I only spend for fluff (mounts, transmogs) which their value will stay "forever".

I am not even a hardcore player.. In TBC I only managed to do SSC and TK, but I never complained that I could not do Black temple and sunwell.. I really dont understand why people want to do every content no matter what...

Even passing outside of Black temple was a moment of awe back then.. I had the feeling that this is a very dangerous place that I cannot be there.. that created immersion. Imagine if in TBC everyone killed illidan.. some would kill the "retarded Illidan", other the "Calm illidan" then some people the "angry illidan" and finally a select few would kill the "uber awesome illidan"..

so what? is this a good content? I don't ever want to kill the retarded illidan... because not only I will not feel that I have accomplished anything, but will also destroy the image of illidan as a "uber bad guy".

I did enjoy leveling in wow though.. I like it when it was a journey that lasted for long. Also there was a game economy back then, before they added the sunwell dailies.. you needed to farm and trade to make gold.. every piece of loot was valuable.. even in the starting areas..

Nevermind, I am stopping here cause I will write more than gevlon post... :)

Gevlon said...

@maxim: someone who was aware of ANY macro was probably top 20% knowledgable player. You always forget the spirit cloth warrior, the naked dancer on the postbox and the masses who couldn't afford an epic mount and envied the warlocks because they get one for "free" (after an extremely long questline).

I never said that those who try the same boss 100x are crazy. The point is that good players can only improve if they do content that they can't complete instantly. My idea is to reward "grandma" with colorful and fun content but with limited (though not obsolete) reward while good players get hard but less colorful content.

@Azuriel: and what stops players do multiplayer on lower levels in the age of cross real LFG. I never said that Scarlet Monastery should be Mythic level hard. But should be there.

@Giannis: same here. I didn't do BT (before last month meganerfs) and it was epic BECAUSE I couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

FFXIV has a system where when using the dungeon finder to find a group, your level is synced to the dungeon's level, and any skills gained at a later level are temporarily locked while in the dungeon.

Furthermore, high level player get tokens for doing the "random dungeon roulette" (roulettes, actually), which ensures that lowbies get players either way to do the dungeon with them. So the lowbie queues for a specific dungeon, and he gets players from the roulette to fill in the rest. Those players get better rewards.

This ensures all story dungeons are able to be ran, regardless of game age. For now.

maxim said...

@Gevlon

There were plenty of killers who just ran around without any macros, too. Rogues, most prominently, who came with built-in stealth that didn't really make the rogue a better player, but rather required the target to be able to deal with it.

I would agree that knowing any macro at all would put you in top 20% of the players. But knowing the optimal levelling route or an addon to track mining resources, or any other non-killer no-skill gimmick would do the same. So this doesn't prove that killers are necessarily more intelligent in general, compared to other player types.

WoW has already given all the nice and colorful content with largely meaningless (read - not best in slot) rewards to "grandmas". The result is that raids are mostly sapped of all character. The last raid i cared about at all was Ulduar, precisely because it had some nice and colorful content that required effort to access.