WoW expansion: raiding isn’t an investment

If this is true it’s great, because it could lead to a “paradigm shift”. I saw it at FoH’s, here the quotes from Blizzard CMs:

Eyonix: The advantage for players in current tier-3 will be having a bit of an easier time leveling through the initial content. After that, the current tiers won’t really qualify or be comparable as end-game loot.

Leveling-up gear will begin to replace current end-game raiding gear.

Let me mock myself and say that: I had anticipated this already a few days after the expansion was announced, in October:

The rise of the level cap is a quick “fix”, both in the sense of game-drug and as a functional and effective way to give back to the players that experience that they loved along the way and that faded when they hit the top, when they had to adapt their habits to the bigger raids and guilds. It works basically like the nostalgia. It’s like if you are warped back ten levels without even remembering to have gone through them and have to repeat the experience like if it was the first time. In this genre the possibility to refresh the sense of awe and achievement is definitely something precious and satisfying for the players. So: why not?

While we can argue whether the current content will go or not right in the toilet, what is sure is that the current *progress* will.

We could assume that the players will retain their current gear for most of the hike to 70 but if this is true Blizzard would lose one of the strongest “fun” points: the sense of achievement. In the current game levelling is fun because you acquire new skills, spend talent points, get access to the mount and acquire progessively and constantly new gear. If the next 10 levels become just a grind with each level just giving out higher stats and nothing else, the “magic” would vanish easily and the expansion would finally feel rather dull. A game where you retain the same sword for 10 levels is a game that isn’t fun. So what could happen? Where is the line that will part the brand new level 60 character ready to move to 70 and those other players that have been at 60 for more than one year and collected all sort of powerful items? From my point of view the expansion will HAVE TO replace the gear for *all* the players.

Tobold was also right:

But a raised level cap also would have downsides. Most importantly you basically lose all motivation to continue playing your level 60 from now to the release date of the expansion. The way the game works now, you level from 1 to 60 at a pretty steady rate, and then you get stuck at 60. Your only way to advance further before the cap is raised is improving your equipment, which is relatively slow. To get the best level 60 equipment, an immense effort is required, organizing raid groups of up to 40 players for a tiny chance of finding something you need. Raise the level cap, and the reward for all that effort will become pretty much meaningless. The epic level 60 equipment from Molten Core will be considered as junk at level 70. Whether you did Molten Core fifty times or never will not make much of a difference on the power of your character at level 70. Oh, and if you continued questing at level 60, you will have “lost” all the experience rewards from those quests, and will wish you had waited until the cap was raised.

So it’s actually quite good. I support that choice.

The real problem is now the one I outlined in that old link. Hello mudflation? We continue to repeat that the production of content is the bigger problem today, and still we erode the little content there is through the unscrupulous use of mudflation.

People complain now about the lack of endgame content. In fact the devs are buying time by adding those endless grinds. Now, instead of expanding, they are resetting all that work.

Then people also talk about creating techniques or systems for player-created or auto-generated content. We don’t really need those. We just need to unfuck the model that is used right now and that is, honestly, just terrible.

So that we can at least valorize the content that we can make.

In short, Blizzard has still to figure out things on two important fronts:
– How to recycle the current endgame content so that it doesn’t get pushed/mudflated out of the game.
– Figure out a more fun, involving and accessible (inclusive instead of exclusive) endgame at level 70.

Samflam: Kinda makes me wonder why I am bothering raiding at all right now.

Because it’s fun!1!!

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