Survey on Solving Problems of Experience Disparity with Layered Progression Model
Disclaimer: Fellow World of Warcraft players, this is a survey I’m conducting for an academic work, where I’m proposing solutions for solving player interaction problems in Online gaming and World of Warcraft is my designated case study where the audience is assumed to have limited knowledge of the game.
While answering the survey, it is advised to mark non-paired three options, out of the six.
These surveys will be kept open for two weeks, in addition to your votes, I would appreciate your constructive criticism on the work, problem definitions and suggested solutions.
Suggested Solution: Layered Progression Model
Modification of a layered dungeon progression model is suggested. In particular, entry of instances using LFD will require the completion of an instance of a lower level difficulty dungeon, in particular, as low as dungeons that are available by default upon reaching the highest point before gear progression in the game where the end-game is unveiled. Moreover, finishing every layer of difficulty will reward the player with ways to obtain an extra item that is rewarded for that difficulty to help them progress faster while teaching them how to play.
• Feasibility: The solutions suggested should be applicable to the game’s available system as modifications that their effectiveness can be observed due to changes impacting players and the gameplay alike.
• Sustainability: As the game progresses through major changes every 6 to 10 months, the solutions should be still effective with minor modifications done.
• Acceptability: The suggested solutions should be acceptable by the development team and the majority of the playerbase as being game changing rather than being game-breaking.
To implement that, I think you may need to rework the entire dungeon system to suit that type of change. For example, the difficulty of successive dungeons has to increase gradually, or involve more mechanics, and/or reward more gold/reuptation/items. The one-extra-item-per-layer incentive isn't enough to justify the limitations this type of system places on the player base as far as range of dungeons to play upon hitting max-level. Now I'd consider developing the model a bit before presenting it again (if this is a continuing process). For example, do we have a selection of dungeons in every layer or is it a strict single-dungeon progression? Does the difficulty increase? Does the gear become better? Do the mechanics start off being simple and end up being more complicated? And so on.
One problem I see from the get-go is that, even if you establish some sort of layered progression model, making it mandatory would probably not sit well with a good deal of the player base; some of them just appreciate the challenge and want the range from the get-go. You'd have to rework the reward mechanics so that it makes sense for the progression to move that way. Someone may also argue that as the players level, the new dungeons (pre-max level) are already accomplishing the layered progression effect so that players are supposedly prepared for all the max-level ones by the time they hit the level cap. Not to mention norman and heroic difficulties also somewhat bottles progression.
However, as I have stated for surveying purposes I have assumed an audience with little knowledge of the game to sustain a healthy level of abstraction. Hence, I wouldn't scare people away with a wall of text.
For the time being I want you to take it for granted that all the layers have a selection of dungeons to tackle and their completion rewards both JP and gear of equivalent in degree of what you would obtain from that difficulty.
The acceptability condition varies on whether who is climbing it, and it is an issue that I am not able to tackle. This solely due to player's desire to get the most appealing of spoils. Furthermore, I should remind you that the requirements are there for LFR and LFD access.