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  1. #1

    Legendary Questline - Business-focused design?

    I've been thinking a lot about the legendary questline in MoP, specifically the pros and cons for such a system. Mostly, I've been finding it quite ironic that the most casual-friendly legendary item ever can actually be detrimental to one particular group of casuals: those returning late in the expansion who hadn't played much of the expansion previously.

    As a previously hardcore raider myself (in Cata), I skipped most of Mists because (1) I didn't particularly care for the theme of the expansion and (2) I was busy IRL. Having come back to the game a few weeks ago, I have noticed that not having a legendary cloak makes finding groups and a guild particularly difficult (most guilds/groups say outright not to bother applying without a cloak). While still not as high of a hurdle to jump as in vanilla/TBC (expansios with essentially no late-expac catch up mechanics), it feels much more time consuming to "catch up" now compared to e.g. late WOTLK or Cata. In Wrath I took 5 alts through normal ICC and got geared easily, finding pugs was no problem. Now even Flex groups often want 545+ ilvl which you basically need to do flex+ to even achieve, lol.

    Point being: the legendary questline seems to make one thing very important: playing the entire expansion. Players who do not play the entire expansion (or at least play a few weeks each time a major patch hits) are the ones who fall behind. My though is: this seems like an interesting business decision to keep people subbed for the expansion, and "punish" players who would not play and just come back at the end.


    Does anyone else wonder if this was part of the decision-making process for the questline? I don't necessarily offer this question with positive or negative connotations. I just find it interesting, mainly.

  2. #2
    High Overlord Vexxie's Avatar
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    I can certainly see where you are coming from. I feel that giving players this quest line kept a decent number of people around knowing that they would get a legendary out of it. I honestly think it was the wrong decision for the game in terms of game play but it was a smart move for Blizzard to keep people sucked in. I quit when I had completed the second part on 2-3 characters. I came back after SoO came out and well, I'm miles behind and if I could go back I would probably have stayed subbed to complete it as it's just so strong.

    I do believe that they mentioned there would not be a similar quest chain in WoD and they would be bringing back individual based legendaries, hopefully tied directly to Mythic only. It was mentioned in one of the Blizzcon panels if I remember correctly.

  3. #3
    It took me 2 weeks for each of the raid collection parts for my alt to get the cloak, on my main, when the content was current, took most of the duration of the tier to collect the items. Longest part now is the 3k valor, and i think that used to be 6k. The cloak isn't just handed to you when you hit 90 and run a few dungeons, but its not hard to get either. They have provided a lot of catch up mechanics to make it more friendly to returning/new players. I think that the way it is now, is just because all of the current players would feel cheated if it was any easier to come by. Its not a matter if "punishing" players who weren't here. its a matter of not ticking off the players who were and had to earn it the long way.

    Although, the cloak is basically required for heroic raiding, it shouldn't be for flex. Tools like open raid should allow people coming back to get into a flex group. The groups that are asking for 545+ for flex are just too afraid of failure and are looking for a quick clear to do it with less. Those groups are also aware that by asking for 545+ they are looking for people who have been working on normals (or heroics) but just haven't gotten all of their drops yet and that is exactly who they want in their group.

  4. #4
    I don't really miss the time when only gms/officers could have the legendary...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lei View Post
    I don't really miss the time when only gms/officers could have the legendary...
    I understand. This post is more about asking "Do you think that motivating people to stay subbed for a larger portion of the expansion was a factor in deciding to go for this type of legendary acquisition?"

    I can see how some of my original post certainly seems like I'm complaining about the legendary, but that's honestly just how I talk. I tend to always sound criticizing even though I'm really just looking to hear opinions.

  6. #6
    This all depends on the assumption that your average player actually cares much at all about the legendary quest line. Personally I didn't give two craps about it through most of the expansion, but decided to do it since I didn't have anything better to do on WoW the last few months. It took me one lockout to get done with Part I, three weeks to get done with Part II, two for Part III and then two to complete Part IV and get the cloak (just earlier this morning, actually). So all in all, it took two months to complete the cloak on my Paladin from start to finish, which actually is just as much time if not less than it took to make any of the Cataclysm or WotLK legendary items.

    The theory about it being a business model also fails for the fact that they've made it increasingly easier to complete and catch up over time. They increased the chance for sigils to drop, then made Secrets and Runestones drop in the first two wings of SoO, as well. They also reduced Part II from 4,000 VP to 3,000 VP and made the quest guy 3-mannable and extremely forgiving compared to what he was before.

    Players playing catch up or who aren't committed to a raid don't "need" this cloak, just like no one "needed" the legendaries form WotlK or Cata. And if you were late to the party getting those? You took several months trying to hobble together a raid and lead it on a weekly basis in hopes of obtaining it. Yet, it takes less amount of time to create the cloak in a catch-up vacuum than it did for the Legendary's post-BC predecessors; and, its even available to the non-raid committed player. Truthfully, anyone who would complain about the time it takes to catch up and complete these cloaks only serve as further proof as to why Blizzard did away with things like separate 10 and 25-man lockouts: Because as long as something is there, many players will decide that they "need" to do them and obligate themselves to it.
    Last edited by Sakashima; 2013-11-20 at 05:30 AM.

  7. #7
    It only takes 2 months to get the cloak, wouldn't call this a huge way to catch up if you compare this to the 9 months it took most of us to get it.

    I totally understand it sucks to catch up to that, but Blizzard can't please everyone.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Spotnick View Post
    It only takes 2 months to get the cloak...
    It takes 2 month of full-clearing LFR each week. That can ruin one's experience pretty easy. It's tedious, grind-like and outright annoying because of 90% of LFR population.
    LFR is much worse of a catch-up than any heroic dungeons was for anyone that wants to actualy catch up and raid, not to raid-with-bad-while-catching-up.

  9. #9
    Before Mists, that returning casual (indeed even a returning full time raider) would have had either 0 or just a smidgen over that chance of a legendary. Why would a guild let someone that has just come back get the shiny shiny when there will no doubt be people that have stuck around in line before them.

    With the cloak (which I do not have btw...just laziness really ), that returning player, whatever their skill level or time available can at least work towards it, albeit long after others got theirs.

    No, it's not the only way to go about it, but it certainly does not penalise people any more (and imo actually less so) than the pre-Mists legendary systems.

    WoD will likely bring something new again. I think they even mentioned at Blizzcon that there might be a quest line shiny for people to work on, but also drops (Classic/BC) or old style shiny quest lines (ala Wrath/Cata), but obviously no proper data on that yet

  10. #10
    Legendary! Raiju's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Effbee View Post
    but it certainly does not penalise people any more (and imo actually less so) than the pre-Mists legendary systems.
    How? The only way the old system penalised you more is if you were the only viable legendary user. If others could work on the legendary while you were unsubbed you had 0 detriment to your team. Now if you come back you are a detriment due to missing 15-20% of your dps until you spam LFR enough times to get an arbitrary numbers increase.

    The gem and cloak combined are also one of, if not THE strongest legendary we've seen. Never have you been so penalised as this expansion, and I hope they scrap the "everyone who suffers through LFR gets a legendary" concept completely next expansion. Unfortunately that seems unlikely right now. At least make it not such a huge damage increase (sub 10%, maybe even sub 5%).
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    which is kind of like saying "of COURSE you can't see the unicorns, unicorns are invisible, silly."

  11. #11
    I am Murloc! Descense's Avatar
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    Well from a biznis standpoint they made this quest so long and anoying to expand the game artificially and last it much longer while cuting costs. More players being forced to do this quests the longer they are subbed. More subs = more happy investors. This is why the sub numbers only fall down for 100k.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Raiju View Post
    . Never have you been so penalised as this expansion, and I hope they scrap the "everyone who suffers through LFR gets a legendary" concept completely next expansion. Unfortunately that seems unlikely right now. At least make it not such a huge damage increase (sub 10%, maybe even sub 5%).

    or u know do just u know ? farm normals/hcs for the drops - liek most of raiders who got cloaks did - ye radical idea i know -_-

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by unlightable View Post
    It takes 2 month of full-clearing LFR each week. That can ruin one's experience pretty easy.
    As a returning player you need gear anyways, right? All the items are dropping from SoO LFR. And from the 2 months, 3 weeks is the valor quest. You can cap valor in many different ways.
    LFR is not my fav. thing to get some gear for alts either, but you just simply can not do anything else (without some luck and getting boosted in flex/alt normals). If it's possible, I hate Timeless Isle's Burden lottery even more.
    Last edited by Lei; 2013-11-20 at 09:56 AM.

  14. #14
    Well to be honest it's been made terribly easier for players who were late to get the cloak now than it was for players who started it from the beginning. You can do the current raids for gear + all the drops needed for the quest, you don't even need to step foot in MSV anymore.
    Plus, with Timeless Isle, you can easily get 535 gear, then upgrade it. You don't even need Flex to obtain 540. Most of my alts who haven't even been to SoO LFR have 510+ just from the isle.

    Overall, it's really not difficult to catch up.

    Now, yes, you need to do the expansion (sort of) but why is that a bad thing? They learn from their mistakes (for example, how little, very little people even entered Naxx let alone people who did KJ) and they made the great decision of adding a questline that engaged the entire content they worked on.
    I personally enjoy the direction they headed with the legendaries. For me as a casual player and someone who's never really raided hardcore, it felt very epic completing the quests and feeling like I finally accomplished something. It also felt amazing to have a legendary while it was relevant, which I hadn't had before.

    Tl;dr: It's not too hard to catch up!
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  15. #15
    Obviously it was, the VP achievement requirement kind of proved that.

    But I suppose it didn't matter much anyway as we all benefitted from it (aside form the butthurt elitist HC raiders ofc).

  16. #16
    Legendary! Raiju's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    or u know do just u know ? farm normals/hcs for the drops - liek most of raiders who got cloaks did - ye radical idea i know -_-
    I came back in 5.2, having to do MSV/HOF/TOES for weeks, then get 6k valor (finishing when they announced the change to 3k a couple weeks later), then start doing ToT even though due to a 2 night a week (5-6 hour) schedule we would not clear norm every week due to trying heroics. That meant I had to do ToT LFR as well.

    Or yknow, I could have not bothered and be doing 20% less dps the first month of 5.4. I only just finished my cloak in time for 5.4 due to a lucky week on runestones as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    which is kind of like saying "of COURSE you can't see the unicorns, unicorns are invisible, silly."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Life View Post
    Point being: the legendary questline seems to make one thing very important: playing the entire expansion. Players who do not play the entire expansion (or at least play a few weeks each time a major patch hits) are the ones who fall behind. My though is: this seems like an interesting business decision to keep people subbed for the expansion, and "punish" players who would not play and just come back at the end.
    Complete nonsense. Do you really think that anyone thinks that far ahead at the beginning of an expansion? Oh, I should stay subbed because of a legendary quest with a reward that is unknown to me at this point that will otherwise prevent me from getting into PUGs during the last patch of the expansion.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Life View Post
    While still not as high of a hurdle to jump as in vanilla/TBC (expansios with essentially no late-expac catch up mechanics), it feels much more time consuming to "catch up" now compared to e.g. late WOTLK or Cata.
    In TBC there was no need to "catch up" because all the content was active all the time. No matter at what point you got into the game, you could find a Kara guild to start raiding with. Catching up is one of the weaknesses of the current model where there is only one tier of content active at any time.

    Now even Flex groups often want 545+ ilvl which you basically need to do flex+ to even achieve, lol.
    It's always been like that, "I need raid gear to be able to raid, lol". There's nothing nefarious about it, most people just want to get their raiding done as quickly and efficiently as possible and therefore want a geared group. They have no obligation to carry latecomers to gear.

    Does anyone else wonder if this was part of the decision-making process for the questline?
    It probably was an idea to try to keep people subscribed, however, as usual they end up just screwing themselves over badly trying to fix things that don't need fixing. The real problem is that WoW is not attracting new players, and this mechanic makes that even harder.

  19. #19
    If you played at least a bit in MoP you should have part 1 and 2 completed. Part 3 and 4 can be completed in about 4 weeks time, that doesnt seem too long to me, you will need those 3-4 resets to gather some flex gear anyway before you can apply.

    You cant be afk a full expansion, then return, and expect to raid heroic raid content the next day. If this would be possible it would diminish all the accomplishments and effort of those that did earn rewards troughout the expansion. Some catch up mechanics are okay, but if catching up becomes too easy it diminishes the importance of raiding and playing the game, which is bad. In my mind a month or two months to catch up to players who are more then a year ahead of you doesnt seem unfair at all.

  20. #20
    I think it was a business focused decision and quite successful: apparently, MoP lost 100k subscribers. That's a lot but still a lot less than I expected and than we saw during Cata. I think the legendary quest chain kept people regularly logging on and running LFR in particular across each patch. Yes, it disadvantages late comers but typically it won't be a decisive disadvantage. The non-raiders can slowly catch up if they want or just skip it. The raiders can still raid without the legendary in most contexts (I know my server is terribly short of raiders, so lack of a legendary would not be an obstacle to joining a raid team).

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