Incentives and Planning

First I want to say that I have been playing EVE-Online a lot the past week or 2 and when I am on World of Warcraft I am usually not playing on Elune like I was normally. I have rolled a few Horde on Proudmore server and I am enjoying the change for the time being.

I have been trying to figure out why I am enjoying playing Horde as it does not further one of my goals that I have set for myself. I Want 1 80 of each of the original 9 classes before the next expansion. I would also like a level cap Death Knight but I am not going to worry so much about that, there are plenty of them out there already.

I think what has really killed my interest in Elune at the moment are several key reasons.

  1. You can only level through the same content so many times before want to knock yourself unconscious to stop the mind numbing pain.
  2. I use to really enjoy Wintergrasp from time to time. Now with the super improved tenacity it basically guarantees WG will exchange hands each and every time.
  3. Because WG changes hands so often planning on running instances for Stone Keeper Shards is impossible.
  4. I need more Heirloom items to speed through the pain of leveling.
  5. When for some miracle I am able to get a group together for an instance on Elune, it must be before 8:00PM EST otherwise have a nice 20 minute romp of running through the instance portal 500 times getting the new instances can not be launched message.

Ok what does all of this have in common. Well each and every problem is related to a short sighted plan by Blizzard not accepting their own popularity.

The game had initial growing pains due to an unexpected growth in player numbers. Now in Wrath dungeons are relatively popular the heroics are though but not torturous, QQ more hardcore whiners. Some of us just want to have fun and occasionally get something worthwhile from it.

Wintergrasp had a great amount of promise however it failed due to a problem that is a plague of all MMOs. What do you do when you have 100+ players in one small area. This is not a new problem and there are not many solutions the only one at the moment is really to throw more hardware at the problem.

For example for those that may not understand this problem, say each players action is 1 byte if information.

#players player data total server download per player total download from server
2 2 2 4
3 3 3 9
4 4 4 16
10 10 10 100
100 100 100 10000
200 200 200 40000
1000 1000 1000 1000000

Now realistically for positioning in a 3d game and other graphic state information I would not be surprised if each action was on the order of 100 bytes per interaction considering each positional element is most likely 2-4 bytes and there are 3 of them. Plus all of the state information of which action, item Etc. So per server Blizzard has to have a pretty heft pipe to the players just to do even the most basic actions. There are many ways to optimize this and I am sure Blizz is doing everything they can. By over simplifying the situation the numbers may get a little inflated as well.

So the fix is in for Wintergrasp de-incentivize the event and spread people out across the area to lessen the blow. The problem is that there is still only one way to win get the orb and or keep the other team from getting it. Because of the one victory point there will always be a lot of lag in Wintergrasp if it is even remotely popular.

So how does this lower my interest in playing on Elune. Well if I need to get another 200-600 stone keeper shards and I can only get 30 a week from Wintergrasp and there is no way to actually schedule an instance to get them from bosses then I will do something more fun.

What really needs to happen is that there needs to be multiple ways to get the Heirloom items. Yes I know they can come from Heroic badges at 40 per item. That is 8-10 heroic runs and the risk versus reward even with the better tuned heroics in WotLK is just not worth it.  When you factor in time to run the heroic and repair bill if you don’t run it perfectly.

I did a very long analysis of TBC time versus reward and posted in on the forums ages ago. Compared to Vanilla and TBC, WotLK has many improvements to the reward system and how to get gear. It still has a ways to go to have truly separate paths of progression.  One path which has always been the red headed step child of progression tradeskills suck for decent gear.  All craftsmen are essentially screwed when it comes to worthwhile gear.  Now this is an overreaction to the tailoring sets that were “too good” only by raider QQ standards in TBC, considering the time involved it you did not by materials and farmed everything yourself, even then they were not that cheap if you had to farm all of the gold either.

So for the time being I am just playing what interests me at any given time. For the most part this is going to be EVE-Online and leveling Horde characters most likely until about level 35-40 when leveling becomes a major pain in the ass again. Even if it is with quests I have only done maybe once on my 46 Forsaken warrior.

I still think the idea I posted over a year ago on the WoW forums is the better plan than Heirloom. I will get to BoA BS in another post. For each level cap character on an account all other non level cap characters gain a flat X% per character XP bonus before rested XP. That way those of us that have leveled so many times in the past can get through the pain all the faster. Hell I would pay $10 more a month to get an XP bonus if I could. I mean for all levels not just 1-60 I already tried the RaF program.

Oh I almost forgot what I hope Blizzard does in the near future to help elevate some of the instance issues that occur on Elune. Split that battle group or all of them so that the average number of players per battle group is half of the current density. I only say this because I remember somewhere ages ago on the wow forums there were Blue posts that hinted that each Instance server cluster is shared within a battle group. I think this came about when the moved the battlegrounds to a battle group set up. Since each battleground runs on the instance servers as well.

Posted in World of Warcraft