I already wrote my conclusions here, before the discussion even started. The future of this genre will be for those who can provide concrete answers to these problems.
(about the distinction between “casuals” and “hardcore”)
This dev is, as nearly as I can tell, exactly right: WoW has essentially two sorts of players.
Wrong. WoW CREATES those two sorts of player. That’s a huge difference.
The content defines how you play, not the other way around.
– If the “content” requires eight hours of continuous gameplay, only those players who can afford that will find that content accessible.
– If the “content” requires you to have 200+ fire resist to hope to win an encounter, only those players who have access to it will be allowed in.
There aren’t gaps between the players if not those that Blizzard GENERATED.
Want another example?
How many people here would be interested in 40 person raid content if they could get the same spoils in a much smaller group that would likely contain a higher proportion of agreeable personailities? There’s probably somebody, but then there’s apparently people who get off on having their genitals tortured with woodworking tools too.
So the reason to have the greater rewards for the biggest raids is because, guess what? Without those rewards noone would bother raiding. How funny.
Where are these “types of players” that love so much raiding to the point of doing it even if the mobs dropped jack shit?
The “wrong” part with raiding is not because it’s wrong to have big PvE encounters in a game. But it’s when these raids become mandatory to compete and be part of a guild. The need to “catch up” or be left out from the game. Getting excluded. The social outcast.
The game “continues” in that direction, but at some point you crash against a wall that is not “permeable” for too many players. Those casual players that made this game so successful.
I’ve seen the MAJORITY of the guilds on my server collapse and get cannibalized by bigger guilds because that’s where the artificial appeal of the game is and what it demands, whether you like it or not. Or you adapt to this situation and are able to satisfy those requirements of time commitment and able to join the catass guilds, or you are out and are left watching. Those players will be encouraged to leave a guild if you cannot offer them access to the same uber stuff and remain in the game.
I’m sure that the great majority of the players would like better to stay in their smaller groups and guilds and play with their friends. To find that type of game “viable” instead of ridiculed by the insane, exponential power creep that sets differences of “second citizenship”.
I really don’t know why it’s unreasonable to reward raids in other, different ways instead of through just highly unbalanced power differential that consequently becomes YET ANOTHER accessibility barrier to the content.
The problem IS NOT because there’s this type of content available. Noone would complain about this.
The problem IS when this content becomes selective and mandatory.
One (selective) destroys the guilds and an healthy social fabric, the other (mandatory) destroys the balance and the natural competitiveness of a MMO.
So cancel your account, build a bridge, and get over it. Or keep playing and admit that no matter how much you complain, Blizzard has their claws into you well and good.
If I didn’t care I wouldn’t write about it.
If I write about it it’s because things could be better and I have a passion for this genre as a whole. So its problems are what interests me and what I care writing about.
It’s what will drive things forward, so it’s what MATTERS discussing.
As simple as that.
Guilds get destroyed and gobbled up in every online community I’ve ever been in. I don’t see how that speaks for a maligned system.
Because here we have something specific and the design of the game directly affecting these guilds. *Actively* affecting this.
Most of the uber guilds are tightly locked. Even if you eventually have the time availability to join these raids you would still find rather hard to join one of these guilds.
It’s again because the content shapes the guilds. If you can support a 40-man raid, all the players ABOVE or BELOW that threshold are left out. If you don’t keep up with the “pace” of your guild you’ll get excluded because your gear won’t be able to compete with the gear of those who were able to be in 100% of the raids instead of 25%. So there’s the greed for loot. The NEED for loot.
Because if you don’t catch up and start winning the rolls (or pile up DKP or whatever catass point system is your guild using), you’ll get excluded again. Other lucky or with more time available players will get better loot than you and will replace you in those raids.
There’s a continue process of selection and exclusion. And this is BECAUSE of the design of the game.
I don’t think you did an adequate job rebutting Rywill’s conclusions, either Hrose. Like Dannimal said, FFXI doesn’t sound so different from WoW. I’ve heard that they have plenty of mind numbing raid content as well.
I never said that FFXI is a better game or that doesn’t have that type of raid content.
I just brought an example about PLENTY OF CONTENT (two whole expansions) that focuses of interesting, supposedly fun, consequent missions and *whole zones* that aren’t there to make you insanely stronger.
You do them because they are fun, challenging and because there’s a sense of progression coming from the storyline. You DON’T DO THEM because they hand out exponentially more powerful loot.
The point is: raid content can be challenging, fun and interesting WITHOUT this power creep huge unbalance. And WITHOUT creating this huge gap between the two “types” of players.
Again it’s the game that encourages this alienation of the community in two distinct groups.
Blizzard Guy Exec: Congratulations, team, you now have over 5.5 million paying subscribers worldwide. WoW is, by far, the most successful US-launched (and perhaps worldwide) MMO by a huge margin! And subscriptions aren’t going anywhere but up by our numbers – you’ve managed to grow the genre and the industry by creating what may be (arguably) the most important PC game ever made. What are you going to do now?
Blizzard Designer: Let’s throw our whole game design out the window and change everything! Forget this “high end” content crap, what people OBVIOUSLY want is low-end content. Forget the fact that they’re rewarding us hand over fist based on our design that puts hard-won loot at a premium.
Yes, because we all know how those 5.5 millions are there because of the raid content.
I believe that the success of the game is IN SPITE of the raid content and generally awful endgame content. Not thanks to it.
What about handing out good loot as the result of FUN content?
Because till today the alternative to raiding has been about grinding stuff to death.
But you can reverse the question: why the hell we *cannot* have the best loot from content that is accessible and challenging for everyone? What are the reasons preventing this to happen?
Because there must be reasons, right?
Oddly, the game already does this for me. So whose definition of “fun” do we use, then? (or, fuck, whose definition of “good”? There’s plenty of “good” loot available in places other than MC and ZG, y’know.)
“Good” as “comparable”.
The “fun” is easily defined by content. If removing the carrot from the raids would make the players STOP to raid completely (despite this content was available) would mean that “raiding” is unfun. As simple as that.
“Fun” means that you do something because you enjoy doing it. Not because it is mandatory to be somewhere else. It’s again the example of the “journey” compared to the “destination”. Which is the same shit we are repeating from 10 years. So I don’t think I need to explain the basics all over again.
The point is. Raid content can be FUN. I have fun doing it to an extent. Arguably the catass guilds get loot WHILE having fun.
The point is that this doesn’t translates to the casual players. Instead of giving them fun, playable content, they just slap in a pointless faction grind: “kill this worm one million of times”.
As I wrote other times on this forum the problem isn’t that there aren’t alternate advancement paths, but that these paths suck. They are terrible. One player enduring one of these factional grind would need his brain examined. Not rewarded.
Challenging for everyone and accessible to everyone. Accessibility and challenge are, in fact, conjugate variables. The more challenging something is, by definition, the harder it is to do.
No. Because once again “challenging” =! requiring better gear.
Gear in WoW is yet another barrier between the players and the content.
Which is exactly the fundamental point that generated all this discussion.