Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My (non-existent) WoW future

I barely played WoW since I started EVE online. Time fades bad memories and places nostalgic light to the good ones. While I was parsing old posts, the pictures of firstkills felt bittersweet: it were all highlights of my WoW gaming, successes of my adventures. I was expecting to return to Mists of Pandaria.

Preparing to Mists of Pandaria, my girlfirend found a nice questline to free a little creature. The last step leads you to Zul'Gurub "heroic" (this word in WoW means that while you can solo it, it's faster in group). So after long months of inactivity we queued to a dungeon group to kill Bloodlord Mandokir. The "heroes of Azeroth" prevailed over the evil troll:

Needless to say that the #2 paladin was the tank. And no, the mage is not a freshly dinged alt, she has near-top level gear, and even some enchants and gems. Including a strength gem.

I know that the EVE playerbase isn't better. Retard fit killmails are all-over the place, even on titans. CCP had to buff the mining barges because the morons couldn't fit tanking items. But in EVE at least you can kill, scam and exploit them. In WoW you must help them to get rewards.

I don't care how great features, lore, graphics Blizzard created for MoP. There is nothing that can make me to be in the same groups as these disgusting failures. I'll play only with my guild, (The Pug, Agamaggan-EU), if there is no guild group, I won't play. Feel free to join if you want to experience MoP content without having to boost complete morons.

This little "heroic" shown how deep the game I once played with enthusiasm sank. The whole Mists of Pandaria setting is completely aiming for small children and 80 IQ "adults". Woot kung-fu pandas! Also, the game was further simplified to avoid the pictured creatures fail harder. Talent system removed, several spells removed, simplified. You can practically faceroll and do OK-ish performance. The new endgame, the "challenge mode" make character building completely irrelevant as gear will be normalized. Coupled with the simplified spell and talent system, in MoP there will only be dance, it will be like Super Mario.

Blizzard isn't evil or lowly, they merely go where the money is. If the largest reachable paying customer demographics is total morons, then they make game for total morons. If you aren't retarded, you aren't in the target audience. I am not always sure that EVE is different, but at least there is hope for it, since it allows us to be hostile to the morons, we aren't forced to feed them.

PS. Just received this video talking about the same entitled demographics. I can't believe that someone dared to say this in public. I'd totally vote for the guy, despite all his flaws, just for this one speech. (Unfortunately for him, I'm not in his country)

Tuesday morning report: 152.9B (5.5 spent on main accounts, 3.6 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.6 on Rorqual, 2.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Avatar, 17.4 sent as gift)


Balkoth said...

"Talent system removed"

How do you figure?

You know how much choice I had in the old system? 2 points worth.

You know what the best option for that was? 4% less spell damage. Er...huzzah. That's interesting.

With the current system, I usually have at least two viable options per tier that, especially on two tiers, drastically change the priority system/rotation.

How is that "removed" compared to "Eh, I guess 4% less spell damage?"

Azuriel said...

And how many M&S are you boosting with your 20b donations?

Anonymous said...

Failing to take advantage of the morons, or worse, turning them against you with careless words, makes you yourself a moron. Mittens just facerolled his way through the election.

Anonymous said...

Even while raiding nerfed content (DS heroic) it is helpful to change 1-3 talents before each bossfights.
The last time i changed talents in the old talent system was for madness heroic pre-nerf. Otherwise each class had their standard-talents which you could look up on the internet. There was no thinking involved. So, in my opinion, the new talent systems need more knowledge, there are almost no no-brain talents.

For the Damage Done statistic it would be helpful to note, that the new tank model need a little fixing. Tanks get a buff to do more damage if they get hit. This buff was coupled to their hp. No there is no limit for this buff and so tank damage skyrocket. 20k DPS is nothing for a tank at the actual state.

Steel H. said...

Sadly, he wasn't in "public", he was at a private fundraiser, speaking off the cuff. Also sadly, he may have just lost the election.

Anonymous said...

Tobold liked the old system because it gave morons the opportunity to fail.

I am looking forward to Mists, purely because they are diversifying content. Avoiding LFG is easier than ever.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the packaging (OMG pandas) fool you - look at the actual changes and you'll see that Blizzard is redesigning WoW to make it much more accessible to people who cannot commit to a certain timetable in advance or to long stretches of gaming at a time.

And if you knew anything about gamers then you'd be well aware that this perfectly describes the 30+ crowd - has a professional life, is married, has children, social obligations, other hobbies, ... significant disposable income(!) and keeps MMOs around as a guilty pleasure but can no longer commit the same hours as he/she used to in college.

Old-style raiding works great for the kids (who have more time than anything else, most notably more time than money) but doesn't work at all for adults who actually have a life - they want WoW in handy half-an-hour chunks and are willing to pay for it (collectors' editions, pets, TCG mounts, ...).

[00:44:42] CCP Zinfandel > Some people treat EVE Online not as a video game but as a hobby. They enjoy investing in their hobby and find that it makes them feel more connected with their hobby. We want to support that for those players who want it.

^ this guy puts his money where his mouth is and bought a Spectral Tiger TGC mount for at least $500 via Ebay.

The "we want EVE to be a high value hobby comparable to golf, fashion, ..." strategy is not as ridiculous as some players made it out to be (but imo it is at least 10 years early).

CCP's grave mistake approached this issue in the wrong order - if you want to future-proof your game against demographical change and "cheap" competition you first have to accommodate adult players with a busy life through game mechanics and then you can start to sell them $80 monocles.

Someone who plays EVE for only half an hour at a time can either engage in mindless PvE (mission, mining) or go solo roaming (most likely without getting a single kill).

The only activities Mr. Busy Adult can engage in are isk-making activities!
The only thing he has no shortage of is real-life money to buy PLEX/ISK with!
What an absurdity!

The signature feature of EVE (large-scale fleet battles in an emergent context of player politics) requires at least 3-4 hours at a time - during which you have to listen on comms and can't go afk for 10 minutes to change your baby's diapers.

In contrast to CCP Blizzard is working hard to make their signature feature (raiding) available to a very busy audience by the introduction of LFR - which cuts the raids into handy slices, removes the need to do extensive research on tactics, rotations (priority systems^^), talent builds, ... and is tuned so you don't have to feel guilty if you have to go afk half-way through the fight.

Once Blizzard feels that they got the future-proofing of gameplay right, the monetization will follow.

Anonymous said...

one more thing (in addition to my "Blizzard is targeting 30+ with the new direction WoW is taking" post):

No 13 year-old boy is going to admit that he thinks pandas are cute, funny, ...

When I was 13 (10 years ago) the cool kids didn't play with plush pets and dolls - they played the uncensored (US) versions of the latest & most gory first-person shooters to impress their peers.

"I play WoW because it has pandas and farmville" would be a social death-sentence in that age-group.
Nobody is as concerned about looking tough as teenage boy.

So either Blizzard is targeting a primary school audience with WoW (how likely is it that they get access to mom's credit card to buy a sparkling mount?) or they target an audience that is mature enough not to care what other people think.

(my dad is turning 60 next month, very successful in his profession and just bought a ridiculously expensive collectors' edition of Prince Valiant comics; my mom nearly went crazy but he just said "I don't have to prove anything to anyone and I liked them in my youth").

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you know that politicians lie, and this one lies like all the time?

What he means is not:
take away entitlements

What he means is:
take away everything he can get away with and give it to people who are already rich, some by work/genius others by birth. That is like the guy who got is gladiotar account of his older brother complaining about the scrubs getting epics for Battlegrounds.

Gevlon said...

@Steel: if you speak not to your family or your lawyer, you are speaking in public.

@Anonymous: no 13 old boys shall admit that they find pandas funny. They are here for the "hardcore raids" and "owning in PvP".

30+ professionals may have no time but have their brain. They will be aware that their performance is sub-par and they could go AFK with the same result. What would keep them playing?

This demographics could be caught by casual side-activities like picking herbs for the guildbank.

Debra Tao said...

The video with Mitt Romney just shows that this guy despise 47% of the people in the US... nothing more. He has nothing, no independants studies, no rationnal facts to support what he says.

If this kind of video can convince you to vote for him then you are definitely not 'rationnal'

Anonymous said...

So, damage done in the whole dundgeon is now an indicator of prowess? or is anyone surprised the tank had the second highest damage done in total?
I am not.
OTH I am even surprised you didnt get trolled by those guys, when i saw the server they were in I imediatly thought you were going to complain about them doing the most idiotic shit possible and then just burping "LOL" at you so they could get a reaction out it.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I am way beyond trying to argue with these scum. We simply dropped group after Bloodlord Mandokir, leaving these shameful creatures.

Antivyris said...

Just to put a bit of perspective on this. This is actually very typical right now, the whole playing style of most classes got turned upside down. Especially arcane mages. They do not even have the talent yet that 'defines' their playstyle. I've rarely met one that could put numbers since the recent patch, since they went from being a two-button-champion to actually needing to use a priority system.

Also, the enhancement shaman, while having a decent gear level, has blue weapons, his dps was accurate for his gear. As for the strength gems, his other gear has int gems, looks like he pulled the bonehead alt move, and left his strength gems in his bags on his mage. I've done this, but usually you catch it fast and just feel bad for wasting a red gems.

For a 353 instance, that's actually not horrible DPS. Common 'bad' dps in there is 5-6k, which still happens when you get a particularly shining example of fail. I think your lack of perspective from inactivity might be coloring your perception here.

Oh, and to slightly turn around your argument slightly, rather than saying Blizzard is catering to the M&S, you could also make the argument that for non-raid levels of gameplay blizzard is designing it to not allow M&S to stop you from enjoying it. In EVE, enough M&S and your roam is pretty much toast.

Anonymous said...

Actually, leeching happens much less than you think in RL, simply because it's not possible.
400$/month in food stamps will not keep anyone afloat.

For how Romney's statistic is ridiculous:

Also, somehow you think that someone worth $250M, founded in purely private equity, with astounding privilege and inheritance, who has basically done nothing his whole life, and still pays 13% tax, is not a leech?

Being able to make a profit of buying a company and then running it down the drain is about as bad as you can get.

Kind of like if your under-tank DPSs were the only ones who got loot.

Anonymous said...

Without disputing your theme, there are some technical issues. You were in a level 85 dungeon that gives out 353 gear as opposed to the vendor 373 gear that one can buy next week or the 378 gear that drop from current heroics (HoT) Who runs pointless content? So I would not expect a lot from them.

And talents may feel different, but they are actually more interesting / sophisticated than the previous system. Before you just looked up the talent spec once. Now you may want different specs on different bosses.

Are you trolling us on challenge mode? For one thing, it is FOTM in MMO design (GW2, Trion was investigating it but backed off.) More importantly, it removes grinding for gear from the game. While a L4 mission runner in EVE is near guaranteed ISK every hour, no amount of gear will change your performance on challenge mode. And there are leaderboards. Challenge mode is by far and away the most Gevlon feature ever in WoW: non-grindable, skill only performance numerically evaluated and ranked against other humans. TBH, there is nothing in EVE that comes close to being that judgmental.

Actually, many specs got more complicated with more DoTs and C/Ds to manage. And spells were added as well as removed.

Klurg said...

I really like Anonymous's (Don't let the packaging...) comment above. As a 30-something professional, I certainly have more money than time. In EVE, I'm having trouble figuring out my place-- I can make ISK and do some fairly dull missions, but that's about it, given my usually limited & irregular playtime.

In WoW, LFR & LFD are a boon to the casual player. True, one is frequently matched with the dregs, but my interest in those situations is seeing content, grinding for something, and performing against my own personal benchmarks-- I don't actually care about how the M&S do, as long as they meet the very low minimal standard for an LFD group and we clear content.

Want more challenge in WoW? Regular and then heroic raiding. I've done many pre-nerf heroics and had a blast with a good group of like-minded internet friends. However, the time cost is much greater-- preparation, scheduling and commitment. Gevlon's PuG experiment was a clever, less time intensive alternative, but also achieved less than a competent, committed raid team. EVE has similar outlets with similar costs.

My point is, for players interested success in more challenging pvp or pve experience, EVE or WoW, the cost is time, commitment, and... socialization. To participate in the more challenging activities, you need a competent and committed group. If your time or interest in working in a regular group are limited, your experience will be limited. That might even be a definition of an MMO.

Yes, both of these games will provide content for the casual and even M&S, as their subscriptions pay the bills for CCP & Blizzard. What mystifies me is why so many bloggers care about the M&S/ casual/ carebear aspect of these games. Do what you enjoy based on the time & commitment you have available and to hell with everyone else.

Andru said...

Romney is propped up by literally insane people. Cutting entitlements aside, he is not oposed to an escalation of a wsr in the middle east for religious reasons. And even if he were just playing the religious electorate, that still does not make a nuclear war any more desireable.

The right in the USA is at this point, utterly fucked. The economic policies that they may have, good or bad, are tied in with batshit insane ideas about what civil liberties are, a willingnes to pander to fundamentalist Christianity, and a devotion to picking fights and finding wars.

Cutting entitlements... Then what? Sending the mony into another war? Oh dear.

Phelps said...

Gevlon, we would be glad to have you here. We naturalize hundreds of citizens a day.

And Steel, he won the election a long time ago. No one who is undecided at this point will disagree with him, which is academic since they'll never notice that he said it. Mother Jones is only read by the hardest of the hard corps. You're as likely to sway an undecided from there as Gevlon is to educate the M&S from his blog.

Chaos Engineer said...

And Steel, he won the election a long time ago. No one who is undecided at this point will disagree with him, which is academic since they'll never notice that he said it. Mother Jones is only read by the hardest of the hard corps. is a good place to get accurate polling results from the US Presidential race.

The Romney quote being discussed is a little bit tricky to parse. The key to understanding American politics is there's still a huge amount of racial resentment that mostly goes under the radar. ("The government wants to take money away from reg'lar folks like me and give it to Those People") Tapping into this is called the Southern Strategy and it's been a road to victory in past elections, but it's starting to become more difficult to use because of changing demographics.

Romney's mistake was that he blurted out the number "47%", which doesn't make sense in the context of racial resentment, but does make sense in the context of class resentment. Which means that some of Romney's supporters are potentially going to say, "Wait a minute! Did he say that I'm just as bad as Those People? What nerve! Are there any (white) third-party candidates I can vote for?" This could easily cost Romney another 2-3 points on Election Day.'re right that Mother Jones did break the scoop, but it's been all over the US media, to the point where it's hard to miss, and it looks like it's going to hang around for a few days. It fits in with the established narrative of Romney as "stuck-up rich guy who thinks he's better than you." so it's got some staying power.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @9:17: in particular, time is the problem for the older MMOs. It's not only demographics but also competition. I know people who have left WoW for WoT because of time constraints and wanting to log in, play for 30 minutes and leave. The special snowflakes of EVE resist any convenience. 45 minute travel times are key to segregating markets and to a lesser extent (jumpclones) battles/empires. But it is such an outdated concept with today's expectations and certainly designed to not appeal to professionals. Even the lol-gf pvpers in EVE are realizing you can finish your LoL/WoT game before your roam can find a [what we consider pointless] fight.

Playing casually (bad) and casually playing are not the same thing. TotalBiscuit used a definition of hardcore as someone who would rearrange their RL for their game. I lot of older games are big on that (WoW raids, EVE fleets, CTAs) and they are losing out to the competition with 30+ professionals.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Regarding the Romney speech, the problem is that the 47% number is simply not true. Not sure how it was arrived at, but it obviously includes the elderly who are on social security, a system they have PAID INTO all their lives, so they are not living on the dole by taking this money.

He is obviously just pandering to the wealthy donors he is speaking in front of.

Bobbins said...

Reminds me of this famous Malthusian commentator commenting on sending the poor to an institution called the poor house
'If they would rather die (than go to the poor house) they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population'

Sadly the commentator had a dramatic change of heart shortly afterwards but I see the sentiment is still alive today.

Phelps said...

The 47% number is the amount of the US population that pays zero income tax (and a large, large part of them actually receive money back from Earned Income Credit, aka welfare.)

Kristophr said...

Balkoth: They removed it.

The must have talent trees are now automatically selected for the person as they level.

The remaining talents are are a choice of 4 out of 12 choices, that do not effect DPS much. They are mostly chrome, except for a few that can have situational advantages.

A player can pick 4 at random, and still have the potential to do the same DSP.

The three main glyphs have slightly more effect, but not enough to make that much difference.

Admittedly, the original system only sorted out the people that couldn't google up specs from those who could ... still a low threshold.

Kristophr said...

Eaten by a Grue:

Those same elderly who paid into the system all their lives also voted for people who promised them they could give everyone free stuff while not raising their taxes.

It should not come as a shock that the people they elected had to raid every dime the elderly entrusted to them to do this.

The chickens have come home to roost.

100% confiscation of all wealth owned by the wealthiest 10% won't run this country for an entire year ... and there will be no one left to loot from the next year.

Anonymous said...

"For how Romney's statistic is ridiculous:

Also, somehow you think that someone worth $250M, founded in purely private equity, with astounding privilege and inheritance, who has basically done nothing his whole life, and still pays 13% tax, is not a leech?

Being able to make a profit of buying a company and then running it down the drain is about as bad as you can get."

This post made me laugh for how completely wrong it is. First off, quoting former Enron adviser Paul Krugman kills your credibility right there. Second, stating that Romney "has done basically nothing his whole life" is just nonsense. The guy has worked his whole life at real jobs, which is something the incumbent cannot claim. Bain Capital, while it of course has some misses mixed in, is truly an American success story and Mitt and his friends did that. Millions of jobs and billions of dollars of value created out of reclamation projects. The incumbent...taught Con Law? Organized some community events? Spent the rest of his life running for this office or that and voting "present" so he wouldn't offend?

Mitt's statements on that video are off the cuff but honest and factual - there is a large chunk of this country he cannot reach as voters simply b/c he's not a democrat. Likewise, there is a significant portion of this country Obama cannot reach simply b/c he is a democrat. Mitt was outlining for donors his strategy to win over the small group in the middle. Every candidate for president has probably had this same conversation with different bullet points with their inner circle. In today's Gotcha! media world, it ends up on YouTube. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

@grue - For better and worse, Social Security is a social program that is not that related to your contributions. Someone who is being paid more than their actuarial contributions is "on the dole" or "deservedly receiving tax dollars" depending on phrasing.

Antivyris said...

Wish that were true with social security. Unfortunately, since they put it in the general fund, it is basically unfunded and does actually come from taX payer money at this point.

Ulsaki said...

Someone sent me a scroll of resurrection recently so I played WoW again for the first time in 20 months. I've got some enjoyment out of my 2 weeks of free playtime but I'm not prepared to sink so much money into MoP to come back when I know it's ultimately going to be more of the same, and when I can buy a game that I permanently own and for cheaper.

Combine that with what seems to be a fairly weak overarching story and I have no real desire to return.

I actually think that the changes to the talent/spec system are quite good, and have made for far more varied playstyles than before.

The previous talent trees were not interesting just because someone could fail at it. Someone could fail at adding 1+1, but that doesn't make it an interesting or difficult challenge. It's a basic task with no choice involved, and if you can't do it then you're an idiot.

As a PvE frost mage, my rotation is now actually far more complicated than before, and I don't miss a bunch of spells being made spec specific. Just because I have more free space on my bars it doesn't mean the game has been dumbed down. There was a lot of clutter the game had accumulated over the years, and streamlining some of it was in no way a bad thing.

I've also found the new glyph choices to involve actual choice instead of there being an obvious right answer. I'm sure someone will come along and work out mathematically which one offers 0.01% more DPS, but I would say there appears to be more freedom than before.

WoW has many problems, but I don't think the recent system changes are part of them.

Péter Zoltán said...

Yes, 9:17 anon is really good comment.

However, there is definitely a niche market here. I think a lot of those "30s professionals" want to play something challenging or meaningful in their 30-60 minutes. This is what no MMO could offer so far. I'm just hoping that WoW challenge modes will be such thing.
I'm one of those guys, I cannot raid on schedule but I'm not satisfied with the shitty LFD/LFR because these are not challenging nor meaningful.
Being grouped with idiots is not fun.
I tried WoT but that game is horrible after a while if you play solo. The matchmaker basically pins your winrate around 50% and T6+ requires astronomical amounts of grinding. (measured on a casual scale)
EVE needs way more time than a casual can put in.
Rest of the MMO market are either grindy as hell or boring and weak wow clones.

Chewy said...

Gevlon - Long time since I've read your blog but I'm glad to see you remain true to your ideals.

I think you'd make a good republican politician but that wouldn't make Romney any better.