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  1. #1

    What do players mean by "mandatory" content?

    So many people have complained that Legion had "mandatory" AP grinds, and same with BFA and Shadowlands, and Shadowlands had the "mandatory" Torghast runs.

    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?

  2. #2
    Yeah… “in order to remain competitive “

  3. #3
    "Mandatory" in that sense means "required to keep your character current/competitive" but in reality the only mandatory things in WoW are those that are self-imposed. Too many people (try to) play like they are doing Cutting Edge progression and end up classifying anything related to player power as "mandatory" or a "grind".
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    So many people have complained that Legion had "mandatory" AP grinds, and same with BFA and Shadowlands, and Shadowlands had the "mandatory" Torghast runs.

    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?
    What they mean by that is.

    If you are a raider or pushing M+ you want to min/max. So a week off would put you behind the rest of the group. By 1-5% sometimes more. So you would be the drag.. the one they need to carry. The one to slow them down.

    So you wanted max AP or other unlocks. To not be that player..

    Why should we have you for progress night when you are behind? Let's use that other player who stayed on top.

    Once anything is just farm it's only for logs/time. The faster you get it done the faster you could call it a night..

    It's fun doing the same raid the first 5 times but after that you do it for the guild/group. That 1 upgrade.. but you also want it to be fast. So you can do other stuff pvp/M+ push arch hunt. Mount hunt etc.

  5. #5
    Mandatory Content is basically something that you "Need to do", that does not fall into the things you like to do ingame, to be successfull and/or competetive in the Gameplay loop you enjoy.

    On your Examples:
    I dont really agree much with the AP grinds beeing "Mandatory", as you generally have gotten enough AP, (though thats just my Opinion).
    The Torghast however was Mandatory as the Raid and Dungeon Content was Tuned around having those Legendaries that you unlocked/crafted with the Torghast runs.
    No sane Raidgroup would´ve taken someone without their Legendaries, nor would they be able to fullfill the role they had in the Raid/Dungeon.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Xecetoz View Post
    If you are a raider or pushing M+ you want to min/max. So a week off would put you behind the rest of the group. By 1-5% sometimes more. So you would be the drag.. the one they need to carry. The one to slow them down.
    And this is the thing I disagree a bit in terms of AP Grind. Many people who complained about Mandatory AP Grind never even performed within these Margins that it would´ve made a difference.
    Last edited by LanToaster; 2023-11-28 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Usually its trivial content outside of where you are skill wise. A raider or mythic plus player is never going to be engaged in torghast or world quests but they are given some special bullshit currency unobtainable from anywhere else to make them go.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?
    Has nothing to do with addiction.

    Tor Ghast was a good example but also a weak argument cause it was really a 15min thing every Wednesday, but so was the other quests with the weekly unlock, making the whole thing a 2 hour requirement for a few weeks.

    People just dont remember similar things, but they think they had the "choice" then, dailies in MoP/Dailies before that, and Legion campaign locked behind "80 drops in raid" at some point and so on.

    Its just how things are introduced, apparently, time gating in MoP/WoD/Legion with "Bring me back 6 weeks worth of LFR drops to get your reward" is okay.

    Bring me back "15mins of a Torghast run for 2 weeks" for a Legendary, is not okay.

    There is also the secondary complain of AP in Legion, every week you had some big sources that eventually would unlock a point or two in the Artifact, reflecting to damage increase, while the tryhard min-maxers would farm the shit out of WQs/M+ to get AP over and over for that small increase every week.

    As example at patch 7.0.5 they added the new 20% Stamina/20% damage nodes that could only be obtained after the initial 35 points, same time they nerfed The Emerald Nightmare a lot, so a ton of guilds magically progressed the last month way faster.

    Even despite being 4 months after and catch up mechanics and basically passively if you did the weeklies you would be at 35 points, there were still lots of complains about it.

    Again none of the complains made sense, most of the unlocks for the last 10 years are literally the passive things you are supposed to be doing every week, but apparently as i said earlier before.

    "Do 2 hour of weeklies" is bad, do "15 hours of LFR wipes cause everyone is shit to get the quest reward" is okay.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by potis View Post
    "Do 2 hour of weeklies" is bad, do "15 hours of LFR wipes cause everyone is shit to get the quest reward" is okay.
    Firstly, everyone got mad about the timegating of the legendary ring. That was never considered ok.

    Secondly, the guys who are mad about Torghast didn't run LFR, they just cleared the raid on whatever difficulty was appropriate to them, which they were going to do anyway. Torghast was an additional piece of content that you "had" to do to get your legendaries in order to perform well in the content you wanted to do.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?
    There's a reason it's often put in quotation marks.

    Obviously no one is holding a gun to their heads. It's not mandatory in the sense that you have no choice at all, in any way.

    It's "mandatory" in the sense that if you want to stay current and competitive on your character, this is something you'll have to do. Even if you don't enjoy it. That's not an uncommon phenomenon in all sorts of areas of life, where you may not want to do something but you do it anyway because if you don't, you'll suffer some detrimental effects from competition or lack of advancement or whatever else. That doesn't mean you have to do it in the sense of having a gun to your head, it just means that if you don't, you lose out on other things you may want.

    If you don't care about being competitive in the game, then "mandatory" content doesn't matter. But that means accepting certain detriments, like people wondering in SL why you aren't wearing any legendaries or whatever. Sure you can choose to just not do Torghast and just not get any legendaries. Just as everyone else can choose not to invite you into their group to go run a dungeon as a consequence of that. If you want to run with them, you'll have to work to get up to par and compete - and then something like Torghast becomes "mandatory", because it's the only way to get those legendaries. You have a choice whether or not you care about getting legendaries, but once you decide you do want to get them, you don't have a choice as to how to get them - you'll have to run Torghast, and it becomes "mandatory" content.

    Remember that this is a game played together with other people, and that means cooperation. In cooperation, everyone gives a little gets a little. You can't just go in there selfishly, doing only what you want and in the way you want to, and expect other people to just accept that. You're imposing on their time. Which means you enter into an obligation to respect that time, and therefore bring a certain amount of effort to the table. That doesn't mean you have a gun to your head - after all, nothing forces you to play with other people. But if you choose to play with others, you assume certain obligations. If you don't want those obligations, you can always choose not to play with others. That's how it works. You don't get to choose benefits but avoid obligations.

    That being said, what those obligations are is contingent on the design of the game, and that's why people are laying it at the feet of Blizzard to not have "mandatory" content - because while they are willing to assume the obligations of group play in principle, what those obligations look like in detail depends on what Blizzard has designed the content as. Something like Torghast is a different form of obligation than just, say, having a certain ilvl - that's a goal that can be achieved in a number of ways, whereas legendaries in SL only had one source: Torghast. That, in general, was people's problem with borrowed power: it made specific things "mandatory" rather than just having a "mandatory" general goal that could be achieved in a number of ways. That felt restrictive and controlling of player choice and activity, "forcing" you to do certain things. They've eased up on that since DF, but the idea of certain obligations remains - if you want to play with other people, they will have certain expectations of you that you need to fulfil if indeed you want to play with them. If that's not something you're interested, you can always choose not to play with them in the first place.
    Last edited by Biomega; 2023-11-28 at 04:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    The only thing "mandatory" in WoW is leveling, in order to get to endgame.
    Then, depending on the avenue of endgame you choose, the only other thing that is "mandatory" is gearing to meet that level of content's challenge.
    Everything else is purely 100% optional.
    If you don't care about endgame, then the only mandatory thing in your world is, well, logging in?

  11. #11
    They mean anything that can boost you DPS by 0.000001%
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    So many people have complained that Legion had "mandatory" AP grinds, and same with BFA and Shadowlands, and Shadowlands had the "mandatory" Torghast runs.

    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?
    If you want to play in a guild, with other people. Your expected to respect eachothers time, and this means that all content that can be done to improve your character should be done, hence it becomes mandatory.

  13. #13
    Most content isn't mandatory it's just advantageous to do it, so anyone wanting to be cutting edge (High M+ / Mythic gamers) have to do it to remain competitive with their peers. Obviously this is an extreme statement and not wholly true, you can sometimes take it slow(er) than other players and keep relatively up to where you're still in pretty good shape. But a lot of these types of individuals lack self control or feel pressured by the mere existence of additional things to do that makes them more powerful, even if it means grinding for 40 hours for negligible gains.

    Anyone not doing those things are just wanting to be as performant as possible (which is totally fine), but unless the current Heroic tier is really beating your ass and you need that extra DPS / survivability, it's a nice to have not a need to have. Anyone who does Normal / LFR raiding, lower level M+'s and heroic dungeons should be disregarded when it comes to 'mandatory grinds' (Meaning: You can grind if you want, but don't act like it's needed for your skill level).

    But there ARE issues where the grinds exist. Torghast was required, but it shouldn't have been. It was grindy, and that's ok, but it was the only avenue available to get your legendary stuff. There was no point to this - it's like dragonriding being forced on players for a whole year. It's one thing to push players into something new to make them try it out - I think that's totally fine, it's not a big deal if you gotta do new stuff for a week or so to progress traditionally. But after said week, stuff should open up to you so that your alts and your main can explore other avenues to keep your gearing process going.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Fitsu View Post
    If you want to play in a guild, with other people. Your expected to respect eachothers time, and this means that all content that can be done to improve your character should be done, hence it becomes mandatory.
    Ironically the best way to respect each others time would be to do the opposite - nobody does the grind.
    Works of course only in premade with people good enough that they dont need the gear carry.

  15. #15
    The Lightbringer Sanguinerd's Avatar
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    If nearly 20 years of WoW have taught me anything, everything people claim is mandatory has been player-created and isn't really mandatory nor necessary what-so-ever.
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  16. #16
    obviously taken completely literally no content is mandatory, but different players will have different opinions on exactly what it means in this context
    most would probably agree though that it could be summed up as content that is necessary to play through, even though it is not enjoyable, to get to or be competitive in the content they do find enjoyable
    for some this will mean getting a high enough gear level to play in their preferred content
    for others it will be content that must be played through to get further in the story or to complete their achievements/transmogs/collections/etc

    most players don't mind having to do a little bit of less enjoyable content to get to the stuff they enjoy. whether it's That One Level, the plot induced stupidity of trusting an obviously evil character (anyone remember the Gribbler?) or the annoying little minigame that pops up now and then, they've long been something gamers have to put up with

    the argument though is that there can now be too much of the bad with too little reward. personally I think there have certainly been some elements well worth complaint (mission tables are an obvious example, in WoD, Legion and BFA they were necessary to continue the main campaign) but it's not as simple as "this content bad, this content good". even using the example of mission tables, some people loved them. pick whatever example you like of 'hated' content and somebody will enjoy it. so that makes it harder for developers. if they separate them all completely we'd end up with several separate games, one for pvp, one for pve, one for pet battles... but there's a lot of people who enjoy the whole, the ability to flit between those different modes and it's healthy for us to sometimes be pushed a little out of our comfort zone just to find out if we would actually enjoy something

    Shadowlands was easily the most heavily criticised expansion since WoD but it did do some things right. although the mission table was back (and made more irritating with extra, needless complexity) it was possible to fully experience the storylines without touching it. progress!

    pet battles, ever since their introduction, have remained purely a completely optional side feature that don't connect to the story and don't offer much in the way of rewards outside of pet collecting. you can get a little bit of rep and xp here and there, nothing overwhelming

    for a long time it was hotly debated whether players who preferred pvp or pve had to go further out of their comfort zone than the others. any time a best in slot item for one had to be obtained from the other it would cause an uproar. as far as I've noticed, this doesn't happen so much now

  17. #17
    Yeah it's a bit weird. I loved Legion in part because when everyone else called AP "mandatory", I recognized what an exponential curve is and just sort of grinded it until I didn't want to anymore and waited.

    I don't even know what Classic was doing where they gated people from raiding unless they hoarded an obscene number of buffs and then just sat on them until raid time. It was demonstrated in the first week that the raids were easy enough for people who weren't even 60 yet and didn't have a full raid group to do them so IDK. If the reasoning was "well I just don't have TIME anymore as an adult to deal with PUGs wiping" (which sounds reasonable on its surface) I don't know how they find time to trek across the world hoarding buffs or do mythic raiding in retail when lower level difficulty content exists.

    I still find it so funny how Classic actually had to be modified specifically to control for players insisting it on playing it in the worst way possible with that whole buff saver item.
    Last edited by Powerogue; 2023-11-28 at 05:57 PM.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Viratan View Post
    So many people have complained that Legion had "mandatory" AP grinds, and same with BFA and Shadowlands, and Shadowlands had the "mandatory" Torghast runs.

    What do they mean by "mandatory"? Are they so addicted that they feel too compelled to play the game and not capable of logging off?
    My super generic definition - Content that is NOT the primary content you are interested in that is viewed as necessary by the community (or hard enforcements of requirements by the game) that does the content you are interested in.

    Hard requirements are things like Level Cap, ilvl requirements to enter LFR/LFD, Attunements. These are 100% non-negotiable to participate in content by design. Some people like these, some don't, but they're actual, real requirements to participate in some activities. You can't raid or play Heroic or harder dungeons if you aren't at Level Cap. You can't queue for LFD/LFR without a minimum ilvl. Etc.

    Soft/Community requirements -
    What this looks like - John wants to play M+, he literally does not care about any other game-play. The greater M+ community views X PVP trinket as a necessity for invites. John can't get reliable invites without playing PVP to get that X Trinket. PVP is mandatory for John. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that the content is impossible without that trinket. It doesn't matter if the trinket is required to complete the content or not, what matters is that the COMMUNITY views the trinket as required and gatekeeps based on the trinket.

    What this looks like - Thirty wants to raid as my primary activity. Some weeks i literally only have time to raid, and nothing else. Thirty tries to find a consistent raid team. Thirty finds raid team, raid team says "M+ & WQ content is optional, but you have to have to maintain maximum available AP level each week". The only way to maintain maximum available AP each week is to engage in M+ & WQ each week. Now M+ & WQ are required for me to raid with that team. (Obviously, not a good fit for me).


    So, what factors contribute to the community viewing content as mandatory?

    My read on this, having played off and on since Wrath.
    1) If content offers guaranteed upgrades - AP grinds, Valor/Justice grinds back in the day, where you could eventually earn enough to purchase current season/tier loot off of vendors, Rep grinds that offer early upgrades - It is often viewed as mandatory by the greater community
    2) If content offers significantly quicker gear upgrades vs the intended content - I.e. Doing 4 Mythic dungeons on Dungeon week results in a HC ilvl reward. If this quest is offered before a guild is progressing into Heroic raids, that guild will strongly suggest that members finish the weekly quest. Not doing so will result in a player having 1 less HC ilvl item than the rest of the team (bad luck aside).
    3) Make or break items, like legendaries, which can be achieved outside of the intended activity - Legendaries in Legion, Legendaries in SL, Tier sets, etc.

    Now, none of these are BAD things, in themselves, the problem is when one route or another is significantly easier/faster/more reliable than the other routes. If doing Mission Table quests every day would get me a guaranteed Mythic item in 4 weeks, and my guild won't even have started Mythic for 12 weeks, those mission tables become really important for our eventual progression. If those tables only offered HC ilvl items, and my raid normally starts Hc on week 3 (We take a while to get through HC), then doing those daily table quests is important for the first few weeks, but it tapers off pretty quickly.

    The balance of competing interests is really important. In general, a player should have to spend about the same time investment at the same difficulty level across content to earn the same ilvl reward, all things being equal.

    So, if it takes my guild 4 hours to full clear Normal, and the formula is roughly 9 (bosses) * 5% (just making a number up for drop rate for a specific player) * 4 (items per boss) = That results in roughly 1.8 items per player per full clear. Obviously then you have to factor in loot rolls and the like. But let's use that 1.8 items per player as a starting point. My contention is that it should take roughly 4 hours in PVP to earn 1.8 items, 4 hours in M+ to earn 1.8 items, etc. This will still result in a slight advantage for content made for smaller groups, like M+ or Delves, since the added difficulty of team play is removed. But you have a balancing point to start with. If it takes 4 hours to earn 1.8 items from raid, and only 3 hours to earn 1.8 items from M+, that's a very significant advantage for M+, which will affect player behavior.

    There are more factors, like spamability vs lockouts, individual skill, etc. that have to be considered, but it can be done.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguinerd View Post
    If nearly 20 years of WoW have taught me anything, everything people claim is mandatory has been player-created and isn't really mandatory nor necessary what-so-ever.
    That goes for everything in life though. Is it mandatory to shower, clean your house, wash your clothes and have social skills to live? Nope. Is it mandatory for getting a girlfriend? Probably not, but it will make it easier. Do you want a girlfriend who showers and wears makeup? Weeell then those things probably start becoming non-negotiable.

    Everyone with an IQ above lukewarm water knows that "mandatory" in this context doesnt mean the same is "you have to eat food or you will die." What's mandatory is decided by what you want to do and at what level.

    Let's consider 2 players on a raidteam.
    John is 20, unemployed and plays wow 60 hours a week. He needs 2 items from the HC raid.
    Bob is 42 with 3 kids and a job. He has 10 hours a week to play, which he spends mostly raiding which he loves. Every single item in HC is an upgrade for him.
    A boss needs every player to do 100K dps to kill it. John does 135K while Bob does 65K, so they kill the boss. Bob has a lucky night and wins the roll on the rare trinket that John also needed. Is this fair to John?

    What if the guildmaster said "Okay Bob, if you want to continue raiding with us, you have to do 4 M+16 a week and do X+Y to optimize your gear, because we dont want to carry you." Would that be unfair to Bob? Or was Bob being disrespectful to his raidteam, playing way above his level?

    The answers to this is obviously subjective, but i do know what the vast majority of players will say. And that is how things become "mandatory."
    "I like big pulls and i cannot lie, you other brothers cant deny, when a mob walks in, or maybe 10, all lined up for a spell, you press 2!"..

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinChan View Post
    it's like dragonriding being forced on players for a whole year.
    A lot of content requires dragonriding. Nokhudon Hold requires dragonriding. Amirdrassil raid requires dragon riding on a boss fight.

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