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  1. #461
    I don't understand how they can focus on "balancing" as the have said is extremely important and hand out so many options at the same time, they are making balancing a nightmare. imho even currrent simple 3 choice talents breaks the game.

  2. #462
    Quote Originally Posted by chyide View Post
    Like 98-99% of your DPS will come from your class+spec abilities and their interactions with legendaries, not your 30s-2minute cooldown covenant abilities. There really is no reason for *anyone* to be upset. I was bothered at first because the ability I want isn't the covenant I want, but then that's the choice isn't it? Do I care about the aesthetic more or how I play my character more? I like that choice, it isn't that bad.
    What your assumptions are based on?

    In the history of WoW there was never an active bonus talent gained from other sourxe than your own character that was doing almost no dmg.

    It is completely opposite. Most of your dmg is coming from borrowed powers, like covenants.

  3. #463
    Quote Originally Posted by HCLM View Post
    What your assumptions are based on?

    In the history of WoW there was never an active bonus talent gained from other sourxe than your own character that was doing almost no dmg.

    It is completely opposite. Most of your dmg is coming from borrowed powers, like covenants.
    I've been playing it for quite some time now: in this expansion, borrowed power comes from 1. legendaries (which you will be getting earlier than in any expansion history) and 2. interaction between your class+specialization abilities and covenant soulbinds (each covenant has 3 very competitive options and swapping between them is easy), the actual covenant abilities themselves (both the covenant ability and class ability) are pure flare. Basically, no matter which covenant you choose, you can select one of the three soulbinds that best meets your needs for the content you are doing at that time and you will always be working towards your legendaries. In other words, the real DPS modifiers are available to everyone, because the actual covenant ability is extremely insignificant.

  4. #464
    Quote Originally Posted by chyide View Post
    Like 98-99% of your DPS will come from your class+spec abilities and their interactions with legendaries, not your 30s-2minute cooldown covenant abilities. There really is no reason for *anyone* to be upset. I was bothered at first because the ability I want isn't the covenant I want, but then that's the choice isn't it? Do I care about the aesthetic more or how I play my character more? I like that choice, it isn't that bad.
    Lol. You haven’t seen the warlock necrolord’s spell then.

  5. #465
    Hmm, followed the whole discussion. Everything is said on the first 5 pages. The fact that most of it repeats 10 pages again, just shows up how many ppl got why this system will fail.

    The interview itself was all ok. The complete god damn nature of this stuff is simply that everyone and their grandma understand that this system is not good for the game. and even Ion showed this between the lines (i.e. the self countering Legion statement ppl mentioned here).

    But on the same time Ion obviously can not say „but this system caters more towards playtime and share holders, thats why we stick with it“.

    So, thats that. Its simple a natural problem. All is said here and in the interview. It will happen and Blizz make their profit they calculated or have to learn that it costs em more in player loss than it was worth. Time will tell. But i for myself will not go with em.

  6. #466
    Quote Originally Posted by Elim Garak View Post
    Next expansion announced:
    1. Covenants 2.0 - called Clubs, exp theme - Dance The Evil Away
    L
    M
    A
    O

    good one

  7. #467
    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    Hmm, followed the whole discussion. Everything is said on the first 5 pages. The fact that most of it repeats 10 pages again, just shows up how many ppl got why this system will fail.

    The interview itself was all ok. The complete god damn nature of this stuff is simply that everyone and their grandma understand that this system is not good for the game. and even Ion showed this between the lines (i.e. the self countering Legion statement ppl mentioned here).

    But on the same time Ion obviously can not say „but this system caters more towards playtime and share holders, thats why we stick with it“.

    So, thats that. Its simple a natural problem. All is said here and in the interview. It will happen and Blizz make their profit they calculated or have to learn that it costs em more in player loss than it was worth. Time will tell. But i for myself will not go with em.
    How does this system cater to shareholders exactly? People who play alts will play, people who don't-won't.

  8. #468
    Bloodsail Admiral Srg56's Avatar
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    A twenty four page circle jerk by people whose jobs don't depend on the game not failing. Ion slowly but surely dug himself in a hole deeper than he is tall all these years with catering only to the meta slave crowd who care for little else than comparing parses. Honestly it's pretty funny watching him try to steer the game away from convenience and back into the direction of a RPG. The funniest part is that he's speaking one language, and his detractors are speaking another thus both sides are talking past each other.

    One side wants to follow the number crunchers at the top of the e-peen pyramid and mash their keyboards better than the other SoBs while the other side is increasingly desperate watching the sub numbers fall year over year, and knows they have to make drastic changes to appeal to players who don't take the game nearly as seriously as the keyboard commandos.
    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute scroll through twitter." - Winston Churchill

  9. #469
    Quote Originally Posted by Cazze View Post
    How does this system cater to shareholders exactly? People who play alts will play, people who don't-won't.
    when you think for yourself for a while, why they have all this „systems“ and take a deep look/think about the actual game design of the last few xpacs, or when you alternatively read the last 10 pages, you will find the answer to your question easily.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    A twenty four page circle jerk by people whose jobs don't depend on the game not failing. Ion slowly but surely dug himself in a hole deeper than he is tall all these years with catering only to the meta slave crowd who care for little else than comparing parses. Honestly it's pretty funny watching him try to steer the game away from convenience and back into the direction of a RPG. The funniest part is that he's speaking one language, and his detractors are speaking another thus both sides are talking past each other.

    One side wants to follow the number crunchers at the top of the e-peen pyramid and mash their keyboards better than the other SoBs while the other side is increasingly desperate watching the sub numbers fall year over year, and knows they have to make drastic changes to appeal to players who don't take the game nearly as seriously as the keyboard commandos.
    just 2 quick things here

    1) i am VERY unsure the motivation behind Ions descissions are based on what you think they are. but i am not Ion.

    2) they allowed wow and his crowd to become that epeen game in the first place. they even supported it over years. so, what is really your argument here?

  10. #470
    Bloodsail Admiral Srg56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    just 2 quick things here

    1) i am VERY unsure the motivation behind Ions descissions are based on what you think they are. but i am not Ion.
    Neither am i. However, it requires little insight into the matter to realize that his main mission is keeping the ship afloat.
    Of course the changes will increase the time required to get anything done in the game. How can this come as a surprise to anyone who has played MMORPGs for more than a few days? The genre is built, literally, from the ground up to suck up your time. They can do anything in the game world and yet choose to make you do repetitive tasks in order to increase the value of virtual numbers over long periods of time. Sure, you can build a community, meet new people, even make friends, but at the end of the day they need to keep you paying for months for all of this to be possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    2) they allowed wow and his crowd to become that epeen game in the first place. they even supported it over years. so, what is really your argument here?
    There is none. You are repeating what i've already said, albeit in fewer words. It's their fault for pandering to only one part of their playerbase, and the game's sub numbers and thus profits have suffered thanks to those short sighted decisions they've been making for years.

    Now they're trying to slow everything down and put barriers to content up, just like in the "good ol' days" but the most vocal part of the playerbase isn't having it. It really feels like watching Oz desperately try to misdirect your attention away from the old man behind the curtain, but you've long stopped paying attention to all the noise and lights show and are talking directly to the man, asking for him to tone down the fireworks, because you're a bit tired and want to take a nap.

    The magic is long gone, isn't it? We're all cynical boys and girls who want Santa to just give us our presents and fuck off quickly.
    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute scroll through twitter." - Winston Churchill

  11. #471
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    One side wants to follow the number crunchers at the top of the e-peen pyramid and mash their keyboards better than the other SoBs while the other side is increasingly desperate watching the sub numbers fall year over year, and knows they have to make drastic changes to appeal to players who don't take the game nearly as seriously as the keyboard commandos.
    I really have a strong dislike towards this take and it's far from the only one who has voiced this.

    It has been repeated countless times, but i'll say it again: It was Blizzard that removed a lot of RPG aspects from the game.
    Not by player demand, but in order to increase accessability of the game.

    I am a hardcore raider, i started to play this game ~15 years ago not to crunch numbers or min/max it to the brim, i enjoyed it because i liked the game and its RPG aspects (among other things).

    A major reason why i've started to get more invested into raiding is pretty simple:
    1.I like raiding
    2.It awards the best loot
    3.I like being challenged in video games

    These things were (at least at the time) not necessarily at odds with the RPG aspects of the game.
    Yet over the years, Blizzard has streamlined the game in order to make it more accessible and less time consuming, primarily at the expense of aspects that i consider crucial to MMORPG's.

    While this bothered me, at least Blizzard stepped up their game on the gameplay front, Classes became overall better / more fun to play (putting the more controversial Legion reworks aside).
    Their encounters became also better, you will not find a raider who will seriously say a bad word about the Wotlk - WoD era as far as encounters are concerned (though some fuckups such DS did exist).

    At this point, most of the RPG that i once liked in WoW is pretty much gone, yet the gameplay won me over and kept me playing.

    I for example, don't consider automated queueing system a very "RPG" experience, yet go on and suggest the removal of LFR, you will have the usual suspects reminding you that the majority of players don't raid above LFR.
    (Mind you, Ion even admitted in this interview that those automated queueing system removed friction that were actually good for the game)

    I don't consider the seasonal approach of WoW very "RPG", it doesn't make sense that i log onto my character one day and the same activity that i did the day before now suddenly awards +15 - 30 higher Ilvl just because a new "season" rolled out.

    I don't consider a chest which contains uber loot spawning inside a capital once per week very "RPG".

    Will this change in Shadowlands? Most likely, it will not.
    And some people will very likely say to some of the things listed above: But i don't want that (or want to keep it).

    And are those people "better" than those "evil min/max'ers" in that aspect?
    I don't think so, they want to see these not so much rpg Elements because they enjoy them.

    If Blizzard wants me to enjoy WoW as an RPG, then the games needs to change in a lot more ways than bringing back "meaningful choice" on a gameplay level (in a rather convoluted fashion i might add).
    Classic has reminded me that i don't need a game that's super convenient towards hardcore players, but also needs so much more than putting the boulders in the way for those people.

  12. #472
    Bloodsail Admiral Srg56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kralljin View Post
    /snip
    I read all of your post, believe me. What i read was contradictory.

    In the first half of the post you say that you view the erasure of the RPG part of the game in a negative light, but in the last two sentences you reverse that position completely.
    If your ingame choices aren't limited, the one who makes the choices becomes your raid leader. If your ingame choices are limited by the game in the first place, then you are the alpha and omega of your playstyle.

    You've enumerated some aspects of the game which you consider (i do too) less RPG-like. However they are simply shortcuts to content, most of them anyway. The LFR button is a shortcut. The bump in ilvls with each season is a shortcut. The magical chest containing loot that should normally be in a raid or dungeon, again a shortcut, because it's a bonus which reduces the time required to advance to the end of the game's ultimate goal which is player power.

    All of them are shortcuts, which as you say, were implemented to facilitate access to a, at the end of the day, leisure activity. But they aren't part of the core RPG experience. For it to be a core RPG experience, it has to do with the role that you play in the game's world. You're an orc shaman or a human paladin, who is part of a storyline and lore, which you as a player supposedly enjoy and care about.

    Should the aspects related to the lore and story that you care about end there? Faction/race/class? What about the rest of the game? We can question the story's direction all we want, but that's another aspect altogether. There is a story and your character, willingly or not, is pushed by destiny to take part in this adventure. The Game Master, if you'd like, has set the game table and invited you to play, for the low price of 39.99$.

    But you do get my point, right? It feels like everyone is looking at this as a math problem more than a video game. You've said it yourself. You're a raider and want a challenge. But what exactly do you mean by "challenge"? The bosses are made to be beaten. This isn't putting people into space we're talking about here.
    Are you the one doing the number crunching every season to find the BiS? If that's the case, then you're not playing the video game. You're just solving problems that others created to make money.

    Everyone laments the loss of "something" when looking back at how things used to be for this game. Were you happier back then when you didn't know what to do in the game, or are you happier now, that you know exactly what to do?
    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute scroll through twitter." - Winston Churchill

  13. #473
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    I read all of your post, believe me. What i read was contradictory.
    It's not, the point is that Blizzard removed most RPG aspects on their own accord, my source of enjoyment of the game simply shifted.

    Now Blizzard makes a halfassed attempt at restoring that, despite the fact that those removed or neutered aspects aren't being touched while it really fucks over the part where i now draw my enjoyment from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    If your ingame choices aren't limited, the one who makes the choices becomes your raid leader. If your ingame choices are limited by the game in the first place, then you are the alpha and omega of your playstyle.
    And where does being the "alpha of your playstyle" ensure a raidslot?

    Being #1 on a terrible spec doesn't benefit the raid at large, it only benefits your own ego.

    The power of being invited still lies with the raid leader, if you play a class / spec / covenant that is overall subpar, they can still decline or bench you.
    You don't "break the Meta" being putting up more hurdles on respeccing, that's just a lie.

    This *might* only work in something akin to Friend and Family guilds, but guess what, Blizzard has changed the game that people no longer need guilds (Unless you want to, ironically, raid Mythic).
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    The LFR button is a shortcut.
    It's not, it further cultivated the idea that you don't have to deal with other people to play the game and other players are easily disposeable, which is bad for an MMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    The bump in ilvls with each season is a shortcut. The magical chest containing loot that should normally be in a raid or dungeon, again a shortcut, because it's a bonus which reduces the time required to advance to the end of the game's ultimate goal which is player power.
    Reducing it down to "it's just shortcuts" shows your lack of understanding.

    Linear Progression is the key word, where not just the <current tier> matters but the majority of the expansion, it makes the world feel bigger and adds depth to loot itself.
    The world simply feels bigger when you can look towards more than just a single raid for upgrades and the world feeling bigger is very much a positive thing for an RPG.

    Nowadays it's just "doesn't matter, i'll replace it next tier anyway".

    Items used to have variety of stats, for better or worse, but at least not every item was: Primary Stat + Stamina; 1.Secondary stat 2.Secondary stat
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    It feels like everyone is looking at this as a math problem more than a video game.
    Because the numbers influence how you interact with a given content...?

    Like, how things are tuned makes a huge difference how people perceive things.
    Video games are to some extent interactive math problems, because the combat is entirely based on Math.
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    You've said it yourself. You're a raider and want a challenge. But what exactly do you mean by "challenge"? The bosses are made to be beaten. This isn't putting people into space we're talking about here.
    Is this something that seriously requires an explanation?
    I apologize for sounding condescending but is the concept of people wanting a challenge in video games that alien to you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    Are you the one doing the number crunching every season to find the BiS? If that's the case, then you're not playing the video game. You're just solving problems that others created to make money.
    I'm really starting to believe that your definition of Video Game is "interactive movie".

    Some video games are basically interactive puzzles, that still makes them video games.

    Some people just find it entertaining to improve themselves, find ways to do things more efficiently, compete with others, and that this appeals to some people should be more than obvious.
    Last edited by Kralljin; 2020-07-23 at 07:39 PM.

  14. #474
    Quote Originally Posted by chyide View Post
    Like 98-99% of your DPS will come from your class+spec abilities and their interactions with legendaries, not your 30s-2minute cooldown covenant abilities. There really is no reason for *anyone* to be upset. I was bothered at first because the ability I want isn't the covenant I want, but then that's the choice isn't it? Do I care about the aesthetic more or how I play my character more? I like that choice, it isn't that bad.
    When you're doing hard content, 1-2% is what makes the difference.

  15. #475
    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    when you think for yourself for a while, why they have all this „systems“ and take a deep look/think about the actual game design of the last few xpacs, or when you alternatively read the last 10 pages, you will find the answer to your question easily.

    If the answer is so easy, why do you beat around the bush on it? Can't you explain yourself? Or you are too edgy for that?

  16. #476
    Quote Originally Posted by Srg56 View Post
    I read all of your post, believe me. What i read was contradictory.

    In the first half of the post you say that you view the erasure of the RPG part of the game in a negative light, but in the last two sentences you reverse that position completely.
    If your ingame choices aren't limited, the one who makes the choices becomes your raid leader. If your ingame choices are limited by the game in the first place, then you are the alpha and omega of your playstyle.

    You've enumerated some aspects of the game which you consider (i do too) less RPG-like. However they are simply shortcuts to content, most of them anyway. The LFR button is a shortcut. The bump in ilvls with each season is a shortcut. The magical chest containing loot that should normally be in a raid or dungeon, again a shortcut, because it's a bonus which reduces the time required to advance to the end of the game's ultimate goal which is player power.

    All of them are shortcuts, which as you say, were implemented to facilitate access to a, at the end of the day, leisure activity. But they aren't part of the core RPG experience. For it to be a core RPG experience, it has to do with the role that you play in the game's world. You're an orc shaman or a human paladin, who is part of a storyline and lore, which you as a player supposedly enjoy and care about.

    Should the aspects related to the lore and story that you care about end there? Faction/race/class? What about the rest of the game? We can question the story's direction all we want, but that's another aspect altogether. There is a story and your character, willingly or not, is pushed by destiny to take part in this adventure. The Game Master, if you'd like, has set the game table and invited you to play, for the low price of 39.99$.

    But you do get my point, right? It feels like everyone is looking at this as a math problem more than a video game. You've said it yourself. You're a raider and want a challenge. But what exactly do you mean by "challenge"? The bosses are made to be beaten. This isn't putting people into space we're talking about here.
    Are you the one doing the number crunching every season to find the BiS? If that's the case, then you're not playing the video game. You're just solving problems that others created to make money.

    Everyone laments the loss of "something" when looking back at how things used to be for this game. Were you happier back then when you didn't know what to do in the game, or are you happier now, that you know exactly what to do?
    I think this is too glib a take on the optimisation issue.

    Players optimise for different reasons. WoW is a multiplayer game, with systems that anticipate and facilitate grouping with random strangers. If I am playing with my friends, or my guildies in a casual guild, I have a social bond with these people. If I run an M+ or a raid with them, our mutual objective, informed by that bond, is often going to be [enjoy the company of friends participating a grouped activity], and clearing the content is probably going to be secondary to that goal. Neither I, nor my group members, mind too much whether we deplete a key, or wipe. The expectation is only that I make a meaningful effort to be good company.

    This dynamic changes when I use LFG to find a group of complete strangers. I don't know these people, and they don't know me. Our mutual objective is going to be to [clear this content]. The expectation, then, is that I make a meaningful effort to contribute to the success of the group, to avoid wasting our people's time, which I should value on par with my own.

    Of course, if I were LFGing for a m+, I might very well not care whether we [clear this content] with 2 minutes to spare, or 20 minutes to spare; and being confident that I am a good player, I might be confident that I am well above the bar for clearing this content without the best gear, or optimal talents, or the meta covenant. Good enough is good enough.

    But looking at this from a LFG group leader's perspective, they don't know any of that. The only information they know about me is my name, my server, my class, my r.io score, and likely my spec and covenant. They don't know if I'm a good player who clears content despite not adhering to the meta, or if I'm a bad player who clears content because I adhere to the meta. Having no good way of finding out that information, they're always going to pick the player who adheres to the meta.

    In turn, that means I, as someone who LFGs, also has to adhere to the meta if I want to maximise my chances of being invited to groups. This isn't elitism, or people being assholes - it's just a natural consequence of how these systems are set up. If your gameplay experience is 99% playing with friends, or guildies, then of course you don't have to optimise. But that's not true for the sizeable constituency of players who play with, and who enjoy the convenience of playing with, strangers. Nor is it incompatible to be someone who enjoys both playing with friends on a casual basis, but who also enjoys playing with strangers for the convenience, or for the opportunity to compete against others.

    There are also players who enjoy optimising for its own sake. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to WoW, or multiplayer games in general. In Baldur's Gate, people care about, and enjoy, playing finely tuned Kensai/Mages wielding Celestial Fury despite there being no competitive element whatsoever. For these players, who also make up a sizeable constituency of the playerbase, optimisation is fun, and systems are a fun, ever-changing puzzle to be solved.

    The fact that you don't consider optimisation fun doesn't invalidate their mindset, the same way as it would be ridiculous for such a player to criticise you for being focused on the softer RPG elements of the game. They are also playing a video game for fun - their preferences just differ from your own.

    I feel that some players, who are irritated at the introduction of systems like LFG, who dislike the fact that players are, essentially, faceless and interchangeable (and this is certainly not the case for all such players), support the covenant system simply because it is, purportedly, an attempt to redress the balance the other way (because, of course, it's far too late to remove systems like LFG without causing a furore which would dwarf the argument on covenants). My issue with this is that, in practice, it won't actually achieve its objective of making the game feel more like an RPG, and nor will it meaningfully change how prevalent optimisation is in the community. Instead, as far as I can see, it's just going to make one subset of players extremely incensed, without any long-term, meaningful benefit to the game experience as a whole.

  17. #477
    Quote Originally Posted by Cazze View Post
    If the answer is so easy, why do you beat around the bush on it? Can't you explain yourself? Or you are too edgy for that?
    ofc i can. i am just too lazy to tell ppl like you, that are also too lazy to read my first post 2-3 posts above, or read any of the last 10 pages. why should i do your work ?

    but to answer it:

    its simply a natural problem that blizz earns more money by using this systems. the times are over when a game must be solely good and the best game made the most money. invest much and gain much. this no longer works today. with cost effective development, smart cash grab systems and clever carrot on a stick systems you simply make more money than with 100.000 more customers.

    so Blizz will do what they did the last few xpacs, even when they loose players (and even this is not sure). they make simply more profit with this type of game design. i work in this industry for 20 years as a lead dev and i see it everyday. so Ion „want“ to cater as much as possible to the „Preach“ type of players/customers (players with same opinion as Preach showed the last year and in interview). Ofc Ion understand this all, he played wow long enough for himself, and he ofc dont wanna fear that „Preach“ crowd. But on the same time he can not simply say: „Sorry Bro, Management and Data say so. so we must drive away from the type of game design you want/expect, because of most $$$“.

    So he will answer, as always, with his well rounded lawyers statements. Ion is 100% diplomacy here. Thats why Blizz keeps him since years in this position. From a customers perspective (as you can read in this thread) he is horrible. But from a Blizz point of view (based on data and facts like 90% of their customers never settled a foot in any forum) he do a fantastic job.

    You have to realize that the whole mmoc/Preach/Youtube crowd is a super tiny minority in terms of numbers of customers for blizz. Even when on mmoc are 10.000 ppl (its not even the half in reality) this is not even 1 or 2 percent of Blizzards customers. They analyze data, look at their whole customer base and do whats making them the most money. And in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 this is not the same game design, that a small minority here expect, just because game was designed another way somewhere in the past.

    That said, there cant be another result that the one we have seen in the interview. The goal of Preach and some ppl here on mmoc (including me) is simply not the same goal Blizz have. Its just a natural thing.
    Last edited by Niwes; 2020-07-25 at 10:30 AM.

  18. #478
    Bloodsail Admiral Srg56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demeisen View Post
    This dynamic changes when I use LFG to find a group of complete strangers. I don't know these people, and they don't know me. Our mutual objective is going to be to [clear this content]. The expectation, then, is that I make a meaningful effort to contribute to the success of the group, to avoid wasting our people's time, which I should value on par with my own.

    Of course, if I were LFGing for a m+, I might very well not care whether we [clear this content] with 2 minutes to spare, or 20 minutes to spare; and being confident that I am a good player, I might be confident that I am well above the bar for clearing this content without the best gear, or optimal talents, or the meta covenant. Good enough is good enough.
    This may be an underhanded way for blizzard to rekindle interest in casual guilds/groups of friends. That aside, i have to assume that some won't play the meta at all, and will choose covenants based on anything else but the meta. Is it possible that such a group will find this type of content that limits your choice and provides identity more interesting than your regular "grind the rep, grind the gear, mash keys, kill raid bosses" that we've had for years? I guess it doesn't matter since, as you've written later in your reply, that way of enjoying the game is just as valid as any other, which is true.

    Where i'm trying to get to is: will there be a majority of players who find this type of departure from the formula compelling, or not? The game isn't what it used to be from a business PoV, and there is a case to be made for the idea that the watering down of barriers, identity and community has led to the game's current state. Certainly, the success of Classic has shown that this idea isn't 100% without merit and that there is an audience for less competitive, less complex and less meta-abiding content. It may be the case that now, after almost a year of Classic, the Shadowlands expansion and maybe even future expansions will take inspiration from older ideas from the last decade which some say are the foundation of the game's past successes.

    We don't know the numbers for BfA or Classic. What if they aren't that different? Admittedly, BfA is almost at the end of it's lifespan, and Classic is at half but surely if Classic has anything close to the numbers that BfA currently has you have to admit that some design decisions which are probably frequently discussed at length on this website have alienated a larger share of WoW's historic playerbase than the developers themselves expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demeisen View Post
    But looking at this from a LFG group leader's perspective, they don't know any of that. The only information they know about me is my name, my server, my class, my r.io score, and likely my spec and covenant. They don't know if I'm a good player who clears content despite not adhering to the meta, or if I'm a bad player who clears content because I adhere to the meta. Having no good way of finding out that information, they're always going to pick the player who adheres to the meta.
    Initially i wanted to group this paragraph with the above, but there is something to be said here. Ignoring the borderline sociopathic behavior described, this doesn't account for player choice. Covenant choice isn't just a flask or talent choice or correctly gemmed/enchanted gear piece. It's a whole class hall or more, if data mining is to be believed. Aren't people just going to tell this group leader to fuck off? or find another? or lead themselves? You are assuming too much, and i feel, projecting your value systems on others.

    Edit: The only solution for the issue you brought up is inviting friends or players you trust. This anonymous party grouping is probably the worst offender in degenerating the game experience.

    I've seen the pragmatic argument of "how are they going to balance content if some players do 25-30% more damage and healing than others?" - isn't that a step back to the older designs employed in the past? Instances and raids aren't as tightly tuned, and allow for greater variance in playstyles and even allow for sub optimal players who just want to have fun with their friends instead of compete with parses internationally. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? I can already hear the gnashing of teeth.(not yours necessarily)

    Quote Originally Posted by Demeisen View Post
    In turn, that means I, as someone who LFGs, also has to adhere to the meta if I want to maximize my chances of being invited to groups. This isn't elitism, or people being assholes - it's just a natural consequence of how these systems are set up. If your gameplay experience is 99% playing with friends, or guildies, then of course you don't have to optimize. But that's not true for the sizable constituency of players who play with, and who enjoy the convenience of playing with, strangers. Nor is it incompatible to be someone who enjoys both playing with friends on a casual basis, but who also enjoys playing with strangers for the convenience, or for the opportunity to compete against others.
    There is something to be said about competition. It has it's place. Don't know if the best place for it is a random number generation based game which advantages heavy time investment. Back in Wrath, i got The Turning Tide before any other casters on the server. I sure showed them who was the best.

    Mind you, i don't roll my eyes when i see "televised" competitions of guilds in Mythic+ or anything else. It's just that i see it firstly as a way to create publicity, and secondly to see who chose the best classes and talents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demeisen View Post
    There are also players who enjoy optimising for its own sake. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to WoW, or multiplayer games in general. In Baldur's Gate, people care about, and enjoy, playing finely tuned Kensai/Mages wielding Celestial Fury despite there being no competitive element whatsoever. For these players, who also make up a sizable constituency of the playerbase, optimization is fun, and systems are a fun, ever-changing puzzle to be solved.

    The fact that you don't consider optimisation fun doesn't invalidate their mindset, the same way as it would be ridiculous for such a player to criticise you for being focused on the softer RPG elements of the game. They are also playing a video game for fun - their preferences just differ from your own.
    Agreed. But in the end, it comes down to a matter of numbers. Server communities got axed in the past to make more money from server transfers. Ingame reward systems such as mounts again, took the axe in the service of paid mounts off of the in-game store. The time may have come for the endgame min-max players, who by no fault of their own, have taken the game in a direction that has proven less profitable than expected in the long run. I'd add to this the arena crowd, who again i have to stress by no fault of their own, have contributed to the destruction of class identity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demeisen View Post
    I feel that some players, who are irritated at the introduction of systems like LFG, who dislike the fact that players are, essentially, faceless and interchangeable (and this is certainly not the case for all such players), support the covenant system simply because it is, purportedly, an attempt to redress the balance the other way (because, of course, it's far too late to remove systems like LFG without causing a furore which would dwarf the argument on covenants). My issue with this is that, in practice, it won't actually achieve its objective of making the game feel more like an RPG, and nor will it meaningfully change how prevalent optimization is in the community. Instead, as far as I can see, it's just going to make one subset of players extremely incensed, without any long-term, meaningful benefit to the game experience as a whole.
    I won't lie and say that i don't miss the days of meeting people and finishing a dungeon with one or two more added to the friends list, because i do, and i feel that with new systems such as this, there is a chance to sabotage this borderline sociopathic, mercenary and exploitative type of behavior that some employ in their mighty quest for epic loot. It leaves the community barren of social connections, empowers toxic behaviors and in the long run, it discourages new players from remaining in the game. There's a reason why Eve online, which is older than WoW, still struggles with getting a measly 100k concurrent players after more than 17 years despite heavy investments in new player experience and even going free2play. It's very foundations are built on discouraging new players by devouring them for the fun of the old guard.

    Do you think a new player who chose, say, a druid and then went with the night fae because they liked it best, will be more or less inclined to remain a subscriber after they're called names and kicked from the group because they do 5% less damage or healing or they don't have that talent which makes a group of mobs easier to bypass or kill?

    I've said my piece. Having fun with new players you've met is one hundred times better than checking icy veins or whatever and kicking anyone who doesn't goose step rhythmically enough to their song.
    Last edited by Srg56; 2020-07-26 at 04:06 PM.
    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute scroll through twitter." - Winston Churchill

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