It Was a Stupid Idea Then and It’s Still Stupid

Further proof that World of Warcraft is EverQuest in a shiny wrapper … take a look at a partial list of the items available in the Ahn’Qiraj instances. See the books, codices and tomes? Weee, upgraded spells and skills are buried in an instance! Hurray.

Because that was such a fabulous idea in EQ, it’s bound to be just as popular in Warcraft. O_O

You may now disavow yourself of these notions:

– You don’t HAVE to go to AQ if you don’t want to or if you’re not interested in the other loots. Eventually, your guild, your prospective guild and even PuGs will insist you have your upgrades. They, we, will choose someone with upgrades over you.

– Your present level 60 spells/skills are good enough. They were, now they’re not.

– Your guild didn’t have to lock up AQ loot with DKP. Ok, you don’t HAVE to lock it up, but you really don’t want some knucklehead guild applicant walking away with a spell your number one [insert class] still needs.

– You can just buy the upgraded spells/skills on the Auction House later. Ya, MUCH LATER and after guilds have outfitted their members. Even then, the price will be sky high. Enjoy.

Harsh? Yes. Unfair? Yes. Stupid? Yes.

Listen. I don’t make the rules, I just have to live with ’em. That was the writing on the wall in EQ, that will be the writing on the wall in Warcraft.

It won’t matter that we’ve killed stuff without the upgrades, every one of our guildmembers will want these — to the tune of 3 upgrades per member. For the most part, we’ll be disenchanting the equipment and farming the upgraded books. De-fucking-lightful.

Coming soon to a guild near you: Loot Drama^10.

18 thoughts on “It Was a Stupid Idea Then and It’s Still Stupid

  1. Cry more n00b. 😉

    Seriously though, I understand where you’re coming from but I don’t really see the big problem here.

    1. Melee classes scale very well with high-end loot. Casters not so much. I see nothing wrong with the idea of rewarding casters equally well for raiding. Upgrading spells for casters is the closest thing you can get to upgrading weapons for melee classes.

    2. What exactly is the difference between a Warrior not having the “Great Sword of Buggery 41” and a Mage not having “Arcane Missile Rank 9”? You make it sound like the spell thing was virtual equivalent to Jim Crow.

    3. By the time even a sizable number of players will have these spells, they’ll be out of date. AQ isn’t even open yet on most servers. By the time raid guilds have AQ on farm mode, the expansion will make these spells useless.

  2. Concerning DDO….. I was in the closed beta. I was fun for…. oh…. 10 seconds. The graphics are pretty and the sound is nice but it didn’t grab me.

  3. Aren’t you making my case for me, Kranky? Raid guilds have no problem with this, other than the inevitable drama, who gets first, etc. My guild, other than the raid leadership being PISSED at yet another instance we HAVE to farm and monitor loot distribution for, our members will have all their upgrades as soon as we can milk AQ dry.

    What about the unguilded, the soloers, the PuGers (who will get ninja’d hardc0re), and others that don’t care to raid or don’t have 2-hour blocks of time for it? Now they can’t even have all their spells/skills unless they can buy off the AH.

    Every time I see spells/skills locked up in a raid area, I always figure now there’s some designers who were out of ideas.

  4. Look, you’re still making this totally arbitrary differentiation between spell upgrades and equipment upgrades. Again, why? If it’s ok that a Warrior can get a 20% DPS upgrade from some BWL über weapon, then why’s it so bad when a caster gets a 8-20% spell upgrade? What makes “skills” so special when compared to equipment?

    You don’t _have_ to farm anything. There were guilds capable of farming BWL in one session before AQ was even released. You certainly don’t need these spells in order to beat any content currently available in the game.

    With the expansion on the horizon, I can very well imagine that many people simply won’t bother farming these spell upgrades. You’ll get more powerful spell upgrades for free as soon as the level cap is raised.

    And that’s why I don’t even see any proble with PuGers. PuGers will prolly never get teh phat lewts but they WILL get even bigger spell upgrades with the expansion. It’s only a temporary problem, if you can even call it a problem.

  5. actually the spellbooks for the most part serve a different end than what you imply Foton.
    As you surely know not every spell received it’s final rank at lvl 60. Which unfortunatly made some spells inferior to other spells (fireball vs Frostbolt e.g.).
    Now with these books all spells are one the same level (itemlevel) and will only be differentiated by their secondary effects and design ideas behind them.

    Do i think it is stupid to lock it up in an Instance? Yes. Personally i think Blizzard should have just put new ranks at the trainer for the spells which received their last upgrade at 56 or 58 and be done with after that.

    Krankykraut: You most likely missed the fact that meele spells (like backstab) get upgraded as well (though some of those upgrades really aren’t worth getting… backstab e.g. is a completly useless upgrade)

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  7. You need to have a good look at the spell/skill upgrades. Most melee upgrades are rather tiny.

    There is also another point we’ve all missed so far: selling these spells to the lvl 60 strat/scholo/UBRS/DM crowd would make these instances too easy.

    A raid guild is most likely decked out in epic gear of at least MC or ZG quality. They have a ton of dmg items, high DPS weapons, plus the secondary AP/Crit increases through the massive stat upgrades that epic armor provides. The base damage is only one part of the calculation.

    So while a new spell rank might be a great upgrade for someone who’s just starting with UBRS and Strat, it’s actually not that much of an upgrade for hardcore raiders.

    A MC/ZG equipped Mage likely has a couple of hundred points in dmg and both trinkets (TOeP, ZHC). Upgrading his Fireball’s or Frostbolt’s base damage would prolly only constitute a minor relative upgrade of his total damage output. It wouldn’t make much of a difference against BWL raid mobs.

    Upgrading the base damage of a a green/blue UBRS PuGer on the other hand would be a significant upgrade that could potentially trivialze the content.

  8. KrankyKraut,

    You are correct in what you are saying. Are you a Raider yourself?

    Anyway I feel you are not, at least to my understanding, discussing what Foton’s argument or thoughts on this matter are. I see him saying that when a company starts putting items and content in places where over 50% of the players can’t get them, they are hurting themselves and other players. (Btw, saying 50% is being VERRRRRRRY lenient on who can get AQ items.)

    Let’s see if quotes work or if I can use them correctly:

    You don’t _have_ to farm anything. There were guilds capable of farming BWL in one session before AQ was even released. You certainly don’t need these spells in order to beat any content currently available in the game.

    I’m not sure if we’re playing the same game. Items are everything. Sure, it may not make THAT big a difference in PVE battles, but when the WARcraft part of the game kicks in, anyone loaded with epics will wipe the floor with the regular green/blue player. If the game is supposed to be about PVP, why make the best items not available for the majority of your players. (No one has an I WIN button, but having Epics make an insane amount of difference in PVP situations.)

    The expansion will make areas like MC, ZG, and higher-end content available to those Foton are speaking of, but then the higher ups will have more Raider only toys to play with.

    Back to Foton’s point though: Why is Blizzard going down the same road as EQ in content and items? Aren’t there more creative and better ways of putting this kind of content into the game? (I have no ideas myself. Then again, I’m not paid to come up with these ideas either.)


  9. I’ll tell you why WoW is turning into World of Raidcraft. The original designers of the game all got paid bigger bucks jump ship for Guildwars. To replace them, they hired ex-EQ’ers. Apparently these dev’s learned nothing from driving EQ into the ground.

    Blizz needs to whip out big time dollars to get their original designers back. That or they could rename Ironforge to “Plane of Knowledge” so people aren’t so confused….

  10. Well, it’s more like the design at the cap doesn’t support the expansion of casual content mainly because of other systems like the itemization. They need to distinguish the rewards, ie: situational itemization so the devs can implement more casual content and allow all players to progress via items, but at the same time keeping those “raiding” rewards lucrative and entice casual players into participating in 20-40 player content.

    I can use the same example with the spell drops in high end dungeons that Foton addressed above, if you make them situational, you can come up with some fucked up shit that would be a lot of fun instead of the standard incremental shit you have now and casuals won’t have to stress about getting their “core” spells with a 40 man crew so they can do their own content. The downside is with softcaps and making more items situational you sort of penalize the hardcore rewards and a lot of the smarter catasses will be pissed off about the artificial barrier, but if they spend most of their time raiding and killing the big shit, fuck it. They can always have both anyway.

    Do you want WoW to be like Guildwars? If you want to play Guildwars go play Guildwars or you can wait for Hellgate: London.

  11. I couldn’t actually tell you if I’d want WoW to be more like Guildwars because I haven’t played Guildwars. I can say that WoW would be a much better game if the life post-60 were more like the life pre-60. As a “retired” raider though, I can tell you that once you hit 60, it’s game over unless you like to raid. Or maybe you could turn pro as a gold farmer, because if I’m whispering “ni hao” you couldn’t tell me from the real pro’s. I can also tell you that gold farming for equipment is a mind numbingly dull way to live.

    I’m retired from raiding because PoP turned me into a bitter old cynic. I know why you guys raid, it’s all about the loot, and I mean ALL about the loot. Your not exited about doing your 1000’th run through MC, but your new recruits need phat lewts. So you drag yourself (and your other vets) through three more hours of the same crap you’ve done for 6 months. Heck, some of your vets are so bored their writing blogs to pass the time.

    Yet whenever someone suggests that raid style loot be gained from non-raid sources it’s still high treason against the gods. “Don’t those clueless newbs know that if no loot dropped on the raids, nobody would raid?” Well that’s kindof our point. Since raiding is a game mechanic that requires incentive to prop it up it’s a bad play mechanic.

    No matter what your current style of play is, the first MMO that comes up with an end game that’s “fun” will make all others (including WoW) obsolete. As for how a developer would do that, our best guess is simply “make it more like it was when we we’re newbs”…

  12. Many people dislike raid-centric end-game content. Hell, even I do. I burn out fast. But unless someone can come up with a good alternative that isn’t PvP, I find it rather useless to complain about it.

    I disagree that WoW would be a better game if the life post-60 was more like life pre-60 because I don’t feel like grinding ogres day after day – or even worse, running 100 shitty collection quests that drive you insane. Fuck soloing.

    Yes, certainly you need phat lewts as an incentive for raiding but that doesn’t make raiding a game mechanic that is worse than some other play style. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t do group or solo content if there wasn’t an incentive either. Would you?

  13. The whole journey of a character is primarily based on incentives after the initial hook wanes, WoW did a great job by making goals accessible in short bursts, etc. Incentives prop up and support most of the motive behind item centric worlds and achiever playtypes. The basic rags to riches concept.

    When players reach a cap in their overall progression they face an invisible wall, the ultimate cockblock. Well I’ve made it this far, now what? I’m screwed because I don’t raid and the other systems to keep me occupied at this point in my progression are boring.

    Removing or branching out exclusive incentives obtained in the raid structure isn’t a good solution, but that’s just me, in fact, I haven’t raided in over a year so I don’t think I would miss that structure at all, but the world would just end up being like a throw-away single player experience in the end without these systems supporting retention, players will still hit those invisible walls if all high-end loot is obtained by the same type of structured content players churned through during 1-60. We could always go back and point the blame on two developers who played EQ.

    Other thoughts:

    If the leveling curve were tuned in upwards to at least 25 days played it would have helped, the content was in place to support a longer leveling curve. The current average is 15-18 days played for begiginners, the current time investment is based off empirical data collected by playon.

    AA system in EverQuest was a great way for non raiders to progress their incentives after hitting the wall (still boring) even if it bridged the gap between raiders and non further than it should have.

    PvP is a great retention system if implemented correctly, World of Warcraft’s pvp system is poorly designed.

  14. Good points about their being “carrot’s on a stick” in single and group content. Like you guys, I don’t believe you should always solo in an MMO. Problem is, group content blows chunks in the endgame too. Only when 40 players get together do you have any hope of bettering your character.

    What’s really missing in the end game is the short term goals that keep you motivated. These were provided by items and dinging levels. EQ solved the “level cap” problem with AA’s Krones mentioned. Really what they did was “secretly” remove the level cap.

    So is that the answer? Should we nuke the level cap and let people grind it up? What about another good EQ invention, LDoN? These were group missions you had to use some skill (not much though) to successfully complete. You were even ranked against other players by win % and total wins, so there was a scoreboard.

    With a scoreboard go bragging rights, and we all love the bragging rights. See, there’s ideas out there, too bad the people that are paid to think about this stuff have quit trying…

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  16. it is the fate of all mmos to become so broken they are beyond repair

    you can thank money for this

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