WARNING: This is not a MoP QQ thread!
DISCLOSURE: I am a MoP fanboy!
OPINION: This is not a factual post, it is my personal opinion. *gasp!*
MOAR CAPS AND BOLD FONT: If you are still reading this, you have a longer attention span than the vast majority of the WoW community – congratulations.
The below is my analysis of why I think some people are frustrated with the MoP experience so far. Despite MoP being visually stunning, choc-full-o-content, and -- in my opinion – a huge success so far, I can understand why some people are frustrated. I, too, was frustrated at first, but after I did some thinking I changed my tune. Hopefully, this post will help some others with their frustration. Ssshhhhhh, little one, it will be OK.
In general, I think there are six main issues with why people have been frustrated to date:
1. The daily questing blues: Content gating via reputation grinds and feeling forced to do “filler” content
2. Structure of the MoP tabard system
3. Disconnect between content progression and rewards
4. Structure of the MoP JP/VP system
5. Content overload
6. Keeping up with the Joneses
I will now go into some more detail on each of the above six points:
The daily questing blues: Content gating via reputation grinds and feeling forced to do “filler” content
By “blues” I don’t mean the ilvl 458 gear you get from rep vendors after reaching Honored. No, by “blues” I mean, “I got the blues.” Let’s take a poll: Who LOVES daily questing? *quick scan* Oh, wow! So I guess no one loves daily questing – shocker! Personally, I am not a daily questing fan, and I know a lot of others are in the same boat. I know there are a lot of other folks out there that don’t mind the daily questing grind – but I think it’s safe to say no one LOVES it. People don’t buy WoW and say, “Gee golly! I can’t wait to start them swell daily quests!” Doesn’t happen. Daily quests are no more than content filler – things you do when you are in a que or you are that guy who just loves to do everything in the game possible. However, in MoP, you can’t do a lot of that other content unless you do LOTS of daily quests – for LOTS of days in a row – using LOTS of your playtime grinding out dailies. Blizz has gated much of the more fun and exciting MoP content via rep grinds – which you can only progress via daily quests. While the rep grinds are “technically” skippable, and not “technically” mandatory, they certainly remove a lot of RNG and make it quicker than alternative ways of achieving the same goal. So, while you are not “forced” to do them, it is the most efficient choice. This sucks. No one wants to grind out so many dailies for so long. Especially the god awful Golden Lotus grind starting at 0/3,000 Neutral – which you do NEED to grind to unlock August Celestials. People are upset because they are feeling “forced” to spend a lot of their playtime doing filler content. I get it, I am not a huge fan of it – but it will eventually pass. Hang in there! Once you unlock them shiny ilvl 489 phats it will be worth it – trust me! But, I think Blizz could have found a more interesting and fun way to gate content.
Structure of the MoP tabard system
Haters: “SO WHAT! WE’VE BEEN DOING DAILY QUESTS FOR LIKE SIX YEARS NOW! WHY IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT?!!??!?!?!?!” *calms himself down by counting his number of Exalted reps aloud*
Me: “But what about the tabards!”
Yes, kind Sirs and Madams, we are no strangers to rep grinds OR daily quests. They have been a big part of the game for like, I dunno, a billion years or something. But now in MoP, when the rep grinds are so critical to accessing the cool content, we do not get the benefit of gaining said rep via wearing that faction’s tabard whilst slaying bad guys in dungeons. Gone are the days when we could simply equip the tabard, join the LFD que, and watch that purdy green bar fill up as you yelled at the tank for sucking – Ahhhhh… the good ol’ days! Because of this, the content-filler daily quests are the only route to achieving the requisite reputation with all of the MoP factions. Again, reinforcing the feeling of being “forced”. That ain’t cool, Blizz. All daily quests and no fun makes me a dull boy.
Disconnect between content progression and rewards
“Yes!!!! OMG!!!! I MADE IT! I got Honored with [insert MoP faction here]!!!!” *quickly runs to rep vendor and right clicks* “What can I get… what can I…” *ilvl 458 blue gear* “Wtf.”
So you worked hard to get to Honored with that faction. Now it’s time to go get the reward! What’s that?! You don’t need that ilvl 458 blue item because your ilvl 463 item from a heroic dungeon is better? That sucks. You put all that time and work in, and you get a crappy thing you can’t use. Its demoralizing when that happens. Being rewarded for slugging through content is at the heart of why WoW and any other RPG exist! When the reward sucks, it makes the progression suck. When Blizz suggest strongly (i.e. forces) you to do dailies, and you don’t get any valuable reward for hitting a big milestone, that sucks. I can understand why people get frustrated.
Structure of the MoP JP/VP system
This happened to me the other day… I hit lvl 90 while doing some of the Klaxxi quests in Dread Wastes. Soon after, I realized I was like 2,000 rep from Honored. So, I start doing my Klaxxis dailies. As soon as I go over to the rep vendor for my very first MoP epic (which happens to be ilvl 489 and will go a long way to helping me meet the ilvl requirement for LFR – score!), I realize I have a laughable 350 VP. My necklace costs 1,250 VP, or something meaningfully far, far away from where I am. Ok, so I say to myself, “Well, looks like it’s time to hit-up some heroics!” *”I” > que for random MoP heroic > look at Valor reward for completing instance > freak out* Wtf! I only get 30 Valor for doing AN ENTIRE INSTANCE!!! I used to get 150 Valor! So then I look at how much Valor I get for a Scenario: 30 Valor. Hrm. I get that Heroics are SUPPOSTED to be easy, but they are technically more challenging than a Scenario, and therefore should reward more.
No problem, I’ll just do daily quests to meet my Valor requirement. What’s that!? I get FIVE FREAKING VALOR PER QUEST!? I am not a rocket surgeon, but I am pretty sure that means I have to do daily quests for the rest of my adult life to meet my Valor cap for the week!!!
Well, at least there’s LFR! *go to que up for LFR* “You suck and do not meet the ilvl requirement for LFR… loser.” Ok, it doesn’t actually say that, but that’s what it feels like.
So, I only have 3 options to gain Valor: heroics, scenarios, and dailies. The most Valor I can gain at a time is 30. FML. It will take me WEEKS just to get my first ilvl 489 necklace from a rep that I was able to hit Honored with just a few hours after hitting 90. That system sucks, and the JP system is even more messed up – so I won’t go into detail. This is a huge barrier for a lot of people that play, and might be the most frustrating out of everything.
This next one kind of relates to the above. I am prevented from moving forward to LFR and potentially other raiding because my gear sucks, but now I have to do A MILLION THINGS to advance. For people with ADD, this is a problem. You have several choices to gain Valor, ty Blizz!, but they are all equally inefficient – no thx Blizz!. I don’t know if I should be running heroics, just doing dailies, or mindlessly running scenarios! I have not done the math (again, because I am not a rocket surgeon), but my guess is that running scenarios until you are blue in the face in the most efficient way to gain Valor sub ilvl 460. While I am a fan of scenarios, I don’t want to exclusively do them because I also want to be making progress on my rep grinds. But, I also need to gear-up with ilvl 463 blues in the meantime, so I also have to do heroics! GAH! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO!
I get that can feel frustrating. Don’t you?
Keeping up with the Joneses
Lastly, it is frustrating when you have to deal with all of the above and then you see a guy passing over your head while you are doing dailies on his shiny, new cloud serpent mount. “WTF! HOW DID HE GET THAT SO FAST?!?!?!” One of the great things about playing an MMO like WoW is the competitive aspect. You want to be good, even better than the guy sitting next to you AFK at the bank. This wouldn’t be a problem if you were playing a single player MMO, but in WoW, it fuels your inner competitive fire. It sucks when you feel like you are being forced into a frustrating situation (see all of the above) and on top of that someone else has already unlocked 99% of the content because he/she doesn’t work and has played near non-stop since MoP launch. That sucks, and it is frustrating.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Enjoy the content, you certainly did not have it in Cata. It will all be worth it when you get past the first few critical daily grinds, my friends!