Lately it has been challenging for me to come up with decent topics to write about in this blog. (Read the one from Wednesday and you will say something like “That’s for sure!”) We are pretty deep into summer game mode, I suppose — Patch 7.2.5 is old news, and 7.3 is months away. People are spending more of their leisure time in pursuits other than WoW, and I suspect a lot of Blizz devs are off on vacation or at least in a vacation mindset. This is a good thing, and I love summer, but it does make it tough to remain creative and thoughtful on a steady basis.

Thus, today I’ll do some housekeeping and clear out a few unrelated — and mostly undeveloped — topics that have been rattling around in my drafts folder.

Group finder for world quests/bosses. This is one of the best quality of life improvements Blizz has made in Legion, in my opinion. Except for the weekly world boss, I don’t often use it on my hunter because I can solo nearly everything, but I use it a lot on my alts, especially my squishier ones. I love that it is so easy, just hit a button on the quest tracker and you are good to go. The groups form quickly, do their thing, then disband immediately. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The only improvement I might suggest is that there be a clearer labeling of PvP and PvE realms, but that is minor. Good job, Blizz.

Argus innovations. As a disclaimer, I have not yet logged on to the PTR, so honestly I am writing in complete ignorance, but when has that ever stopped me? I am hoping to log on sometime this weekend, but meanwhile, based entirely on 7.3 notes, I have a couple of questions.

  • Does the concept of portals put players into even more restrictive cattle-chute type play? Will it compartmentalize new areas in such a way as to preclude meaningful exploration and — Blizz’s favorite word — “immersion”? Are the Argus portals a precursor to the main mode of transportation in the next expansion?
  • Does the lack of flying on Argus portend anything more sinister for the future of flying, or is Argus just a Timeless Isle kind of zone?
  • Will the requirement to complete quest lines in order to unlock new portalled mini-zones become yet another endless grind, all in the name of “content”? Will those quest lines themselves become as onerous as the profession ones are now, especially for alts?

Will we ever be free of garrisons? In WoD, a significant number of players (at least the active ones) expressed hatred of garrisons, almost from the start. The backlash was strong, yet Blizz responded by doubling down on them as WoD progressed. They repeatedly lied to us about the role of garrisons, at first saying they would be completely optional, then saying everyone had to have one but only the basic level, then requiring an advanced level garrison in order to experience the new Tanaan Jungle content.

And then, given this very strongly expressed player dislike of garrisons, Blizz slightly repackaged them as class halls for Legion — pretty much removing the WoD perks and leaving the crap parts. Each patch has introduced extensions to them, and apparently there will be more such extensions in 7.3.

I would love to see an absolute end to this concept in the next expansion, but I am not hopeful. Someone at Blizz loves them, and I predict they will continue to be crammed down our throats. And, even though they appear to be the perfect technical mechanism for something like player housing or guild halls, Blizz will never bow to these popular requests. We will continue to have the worst of all worlds.

Monetization of WoW PvE. A few days ago Blizz announced a Mythic Dungeon Invitational. This is an open competition for teams to go through a series of gates to be able to compete publicly for prize money by achieving top speeds on a Mythic+ dungeon. Ultimately the winning team will receive $50,000, and other finalists will share lesser amounts of prize money. Oh, and of course the races will be covered on Twitch for esports fans to follow.

We’ve all known this kind of competition was coming, it was only a matter of time before Blizz tried to capitalize on more than the PvP aspects of WoW as a spectator sport. And honestly, the handwriting was on the wall when they introduced the whole Mythic+ idea in Legion.

I am not sure I have any strong feelings one way or another about this. I am not fundamentally opposed to the whole esports phenomenon — it’s not really so different from any other spectator sport when you come down to it. It holds zero interest for me, but I can see where others might enjoy it.

The part that gives me pause is how it might affect the game I love to play. I say this because of a conversation we had last night in raid. Someone picked up a really awesome piece of gear using a bonus roll, but they could not use it. Of course, since it had been a bonus roll, they could not offer it up to the others on the team who could absolutely have used it, and they expressed frustration about this seemingly arbitrary rule. The reason Blizz has given for this rule is that “some” teams might abuse it and require everyone to use up bonus rolls in order to gear up others.

The thing is, the only teams likely to engage in this kind of behavior are elite teams who gear up their rosters through the (somewhat gray area) method of split runs. No normal guild team engages in this kind of activity. So basically Blizz has implemented a rule that prevents abuse by less than 1% of the player base, and the other 99% are disadvantaged because of it.

This is the kind of thing I worry about happening more often as a result of expanding professional competition in the form of the game I play. People competing for real money will inevitably push the envelope as much as possible in that pursuit. Blizz’s response to such pushing has often been to apply a bandaid rule designed to prevent the specific perceived infraction, regardless of the consequences to the vast majority of players who would never even consider such action.

And with that, my drafts folder is clean, and it is time for the weekend to begin. See you on the other side of it.

Oh, and Happy Bastille Day.


3 thoughts on “Housecleaning

  1. Hey Fiannor, great post 🙂

    I have no answer to the PTR questions/wondering, but I can understand where you are coming from, no doubt; I’d love an answer to those myself.

    Oh, how I wish we would be free of Garrisons/Class Halls too. I have no idea why they are kept in game. I guess they attract a certain player base, or keep those playing just a little longer…I really dislike them overall though, and always will; especially the fact that they are not optional.

    I do not want a “class base” or any of the sort; it feels as if they take focus away from the actual game. I wish there would be one major alliance/horde hub once again, like with Shattrath, without flying. Now Ironforge is almost empty these days.

    Aha, I see, thank you for clarifying that part with the fear of change in game, due to the Monetization of WoW PvE; I sometimes find it hard to really grasp what it might result in.

    I understand why you worry about that; its bound to bring in some changes to the game. I fear that Blizzards “major player base” slowly shifts too, and that I am certainly not a part of their “target audience”. Oh well.

    Anyway, great blog you have here, I havent gotten around to comment before, but here I am.

    I miss a “like” function to your posts, but it’s probably left out for a reason 🙂

    PS. I thought that you post from yesterday was very good!

    1. I think you are right on with your worry about sudddenly being removed from Blizz’s “target audience”. I am not exactly sure who that audience is now, and more to the point I am not really sure Blizz knows, either. I’ve written a couple of posts on the subject. Whatever that audience is or may become, I do think Blizz too frequently has knee jerk reactions to very small segments of the player base at the expense of the majority.

      Just for you, I added a “Like” button back in to the bottom of posts. But I have to tell you I pay almost zero attention to the results from it. Not that I am not happy when people “Like” a post, rather I am more impressed if people take the time to share their thoughts with me — whether they agree or disagree, or even better what lines of thought one of my posts may have caused them to pursue. I do not have a large reader base, but almost without exception the people who take the time to comment have put some thought into it and express themselves like adults. I do have a pretty severe anti-spam and anti-bile filter on the comment section, so comments that seem to come from toddlers having tantrums do not make it into print. First-time commenters have to get my manual approval before their comments sail through, and I also hold for approval any comment that includes a web link, so that I can do a cursory check to make sure it is not leading to some malicious site.

      Anyway, I added the button, so “Like” away! Or not, it’s up to you. 😉

      1. You might be right about that too; That Blizzard themselves do not know which audience to target. Or maybe they are trying to balance it; pleasing everyone, and then selecting which audience needs “the most pleasing”, in order to keep their interest – without losing the other target audience at the same time. Can’t be easy.

        Aha, I see, I will enjoy reading the other posts on that subject /goes hunting.

        Oh, hah, thank you so much for adding that Like Button 🙂 But you make a lot of sense with why you didn’t have it in the first place; I can understand what you mean; a simle Like without commenting can seem shallow, depending on the situation. But thank you 🙂

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