Patch 6.1 experien…..zzzzzzzz

Patch 6.1 is close to the most underwhelming patch Blizz has ever issued. It would absolutely win the prize, except that they did add some annoying, customer-hostile features that have generated quite a bit of (negative) feedback. Apparently they have implemented a policy often employed by politicians and movie stars, that any publicity/interest is good, no matter how awful the public response.

I will admit that when I logged on to my main after the patch I had a bit of fun just checking out some of the new stuff.  But, like this entire expansion, it was fun once on one character but after that it is boring at best and teeth-grindingly awful at worst.

So no, I will not be chasing all over Draenor on my alts to get a jukebox that plays the same elevator music I have heard over and over and over again for years in this game. I will be sticking to my iTunes playlists, thank you very much.

And no, I am not interested in publicizing all of my alts to everyone by joining Battle.net so that I can Tweet about how boring the patch is. The Battle.net requirement for using Twitter in game was a nice little last-minute gotcha by Blizz. A blue post yesterday explained that it was the only way they could implement parental controls, which I suppose is a decent reason, but — ummmm — just possibly this could have been explained IN ADVANCE?

Side rant: So, Blizz, it’s nice that you are concerned about all the innocent little children playing this game, really it is. It warms my heart. I mean that. However, I suspect your concern has more to do with possible lawsuits than any real worries about exposing children to the seamier side of social media. I say that because, damn, HAVE YOU LOOKED AT TRADE CHAT LATELY???? If you are suddenly so protective of young players in your game, maybe you could hire a couple of server trade chat bouncers to crack down on the vile, hate-filled, often threatening comments usually expressed in sexually explicit terms, and the filthy language deliberately misspelled so as to circumvent the language filter. Just sayin’. You know, since you’re so worried about protecting the little children and all.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest. Back to the patch.

I have not yet had the “pleasure” of taking any selfies in-game, because as usual the RNG gods have it in for me and I have not gotten the S.E.L.F.I.E mission on any of my characters. Not that I think this will be fun more than enough times to get the achievement, but — you know– it would be nice to have that opportunity.

Which brings me to my main observation about Patch 6.1. Even though Blizz admits there are problems with RNG (they did implement the bad luck streak fix for bonus rolls) — most especially the frustration players have when they are in a run of bad luck — they insist on making that the deciding feature on more and more aspects of the game. By doing so, they remove more and more control from players. For me, the truly fascinating part of this game was always the thinking part, embarking on Decision Tree X so as to achieve Goal Y. But lately I feel like it just doesn’t matter, since many decisions are no longer mine but instead a roll of the dice.

Everyone (I think) understands that the guts of this game is RNG — chance to land a killing blow, chance to win certain loot, chance that a mob will spawn, etc. But that doesn’t mean everything has to be based on a pseudorandom generator. And until recently there were many game features that were based on player choice. Choose to do dailies or not so as to get currency that resulted in gear. Choose to raid or not to get gear that way. Choose to level up a jewelcrafter so as to make your own gems or sell them for gold. Choose to tweak your gear stats with enchants, gems, or recently by reforging. Choose to have alts or not, along with a reasonable opportunity to actually play them.

Those things are gone, and Blizz keeps narrowing player options. For example, it is beyond stupid in my opinion to have the RNG method of learning new profession recipes for this patch. WoD already pretty much destroyed professions for those of us that enjoyed that aspect of the game, and now it seems like they are just rubbing it in. Why gate the availability of profession recipes FOR ENTIRE REGIONS AT ONCE? Just to stretch out the newness of the patch? News flash, Blizz, the patch stinks, and gating non-content is not going to make it less odoriferous. And why not at least make the profession recipes BoA? As it stands now, if the fur trader shows up in my leatherworker’s garrison, I have to log onto my tailor and beg someone to invite me to their garrison in order to get the tailoring recipes. Another news flash, Blizz, this does not force me to have more social interaction in the game, it only annoys me and forces me to spend valuable game time doing administrivia. I get enough of that in real life, thank you very much.

The only explanation I have for this entire patch is that it was the leftover punch list from the expansion. Blizz dragged their feet so long in getting WoD out, there were certainly a lot of things they knew were broken but hey the villagers were gathering with pitchforks and they had to push out the xpac or have their collective butts chased across the countryside. So they had a “fix later” list. Also, the patch was a great opportunity to give the citizens bread and circuses so as to distract them from the awfulness of the xpac. (“This blows, there’s no content, garrisons take up all my time, OOOHH LOOK, SELFIES!”)

And of course, the ever-vigilant Screw With the Players Department saw opportunities to add in annoying “features” such as RNG-based profession recipes.

All in all, 6.1 is a non-patch. Why bother, Blizz?

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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