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News & Features Discussion  » World of Warcraft: Casual Play: WoW Dishes Out Casual Epics

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  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  1/04/07 10:51:33 AM#1

Our chronic casual gamer Steve Wilson returns this week with his weekly column. This time around, he's talking about World of Warcraft and the bility of casual players to gain epic gear.

I'm often grateful that there's one game out there that seems to be catering more frequently to the casual playstyle with every patch. World of Warcraft's latest patch once again shows that if they don't love the casual player then they are at least doing everything in their power to keep us around. Specifically, the changes to the battlegrounds have done more to put end level gear in the hands of the casual player than any other single event to date. Even with my paltry dozen hours a week (give or take a few hours) of play time I have managed to acquire the end level PvP weapon. And that's doing nothing more than something I already loved, fighting in the battlegrounds (at an hour a session as well).

You can read the whole column here

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  User Deleted
1/04/07 10:55:30 AM#2
I have no problems with the changes myself.
  Vinadil

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/05
Posts: 42

1/04/07 11:04:11 AM#3

The patch was by far one of the best they have released... getting close to what the system SHOULD have been like in the beginning.  Finally WoW is waking up to the fact that not everyone loves 40-man instances that require hours upon hours of work for months-on-end to finish.

To me it is not even about the time involved.  I have a bit more time than the OP here to invest, and I could run instances to get gear... but who wants to do that?  (Well obviously quite a few people... but not many in my guild)  This is a PERFECT solution for guilds like mine that are mostly PvP oriented and have a wide variety of players in them.  We have some extremely hardcore guys (10-16 hours a day) and some very casual folks (10-16 hours a month).  Now we can ALL participate together in an activity that we enjoy (BGs and such) and everyone gets the same benefit from it.  Sure the guys in green gear are not doing much more than harrassing the enemy, but who cares... its about community as much as accomplishment.  And, those greenies are becoming purply much faster than ever possible before with the new system.

My only beef so far is that it seems we have to wait until 70 for the next set of PvP rewards... don't know why Blizz thinks we need to spend 10 more levels of instances and grinding before we can use honor points for gear...

  Averki

Novice Member

Joined: 8/23/04
Posts: 4

1/04/07 11:19:49 AM#4
The only problem with the changes, and the rest of the upcoming content is that it completely devalues all of the time that players sunk into 40 man instance grinding, and the old pvp system.  Other games that have made changes this sweeping have at least given out crappy "veteran" rewards as status symbols of all the lost time....
  MillaMerani

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/04
Posts: 9

1/04/07 11:47:38 AM#5
I don't PvP so where are my casual epics?  One might say it is not real PvP at all, rather a massive honor farming fest, but still...
  Vinadil

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/05
Posts: 42

1/04/07 11:48:13 AM#6

Yea... I have heard the same... and in a way I felt that impact too.  I am in a mix of T1/2 gear, and now I see folks getting gear comparable or better in a matter of weeks... but all in all it makes the game more fun.  Our guild rarely ran BGs before this because the honor was meaningless and the people we played were idiots.  Winning every map every time because the opponents have no gear just stops being fun after a while.  And, since there was about ZERO motivation for the raiding crew to PvP they never stepped foot into the BGs.

Now, though, you have many geared out guilds participating in the action, and even the Puggers are getting better gear, and it makes for an all-around more enjoyable experience.  The more steps they get to making the playing field more equal, the more fun their game will become.  I think Blizz is finally learning that lesson.

  Vinadil

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/05
Posts: 42

1/04/07 11:51:16 AM#7
Originally posted by MillaMerani
I don't PvP so where are my casual epics?  One might say it is not real PvP at all, rather a massive honor farming fest, but still...

There is no part of WoW that does not require farming... so yea that should be nothing new to you.  The issue here is what you have to DO while putting in your time.  For those whose brain's go numb and eyes bleed when they see the same instance for the 20th time... but who don't mind running PvP instances (as they are at least a TOUCH different game to game), well this allows a more palletable grind.

 

I don't know if there is a way to remove WORK from REWARD, even in a game... and honestly I don't know if I would want to play such a game anyway.  The important part is making the "work" side enjoyable enough to do and making the "reward" side worth the investment.

  MillaMerani

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/04
Posts: 9

1/04/07 12:19:51 PM#8
Originally posted by Vinadil
Originally posted by MillaMerani
I don't PvP so where are my casual epics?  One might say it is not real PvP at all, rather a massive honor farming fest, but still...

There is no part of WoW that does not require farming... so yea that should be nothing new to you.  The issue here is what you have to DO while putting in your time.  For those whose brain's go numb and eyes bleed when they see the same instance for the 20th time... but who don't mind running PvP instances (as they are at least a TOUCH different game to game), well this allows a more palletable grind.

 

I don't know if there is a way to remove WORK from REWARD, even in a game... and honestly I don't know if I would want to play such a game anyway.  The important part is making the "work" side enjoyable enough to do and making the "reward" side worth the investment.


WORK  | GRIND =/= Fun

Many people justify the need for hard work to get an epic item by saying "EPIC means EPIC effort".

I say that's bullshit. EPIC effort should mean EPIC FUN! EPIC should be EPIC difficulty, but difficulty =/= grinding. Grinding is a simple time sink that the companies put into their games to keep you subscribed. Designing something that is based on grinding for honor/reputation/items does not require creativity.

Ok, they designed an armor upgrade quest. It could have been fun if the results were worthy of the effort, but the upgraded stats are just slightly better than those of the old items.

I guess Blizzard is aware of the issue because - as far as I know (I may be wrong, I only say what a guildmate and friend told me about his experience in TBC beta) - some of the Burning Crusade quest items/drops are actually better than T2 items so player like me who don't like the grinding/pvp'ing aspect of the game (I'm a questing freak so bear with me) will have a chance to catch up with the raiding guys.

Btw, I agree this was a positive patch.  The fact that it does not offer anything to non-PVP'ers does not detract from its positive effects.

Too bad, MMORPG's have not evolved to the point yet where dynamic content dominates the max level end-game, offering fun for all playstyles. Hell, people may argue that it is something that is nearly impossible to achieve, but the same could have been said about the MMO's of today just one decade ago.

  Balmer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/06
Posts: 8

1/04/07 12:59:21 PM#9
Originally posted by MillaMerani
Originally posted by Vinadil
Originally posted by MillaMerani
I don't PvP so where are my casual epics?  One might say it is not real PvP at all, rather a massive honor farming fest, but still...

There is no part of WoW that does not require farming... so yea that should be nothing new to you.  The issue here is what you have to DO while putting in your time.  For those whose brain's go numb and eyes bleed when they see the same instance for the 20th time... but who don't mind running PvP instances (as they are at least a TOUCH different game to game), well this allows a more palletable grind.

 

I don't know if there is a way to remove WORK from REWARD, even in a game... and honestly I don't know if I would want to play such a game anyway.  The important part is making the "work" side enjoyable enough to do and making the "reward" side worth the investment.


WORK  | GRIND =/= Fun

Many people justify the need for hard work to get an epic item by saying "EPIC means EPIC effort".

I say that's bullshit. EPIC effort should mean EPIC FUN! EPIC should be EPIC difficulty, but difficulty =/= grinding. Grinding is a simple time sink that the companies put into their games to keep you subscribed. Designing something that is based on grinding for honor/reputation/items does not require creativity.

Ok, they designed an armor upgrade quest. It could have been fun if the results were worthy of the effort, but the upgraded stats are just slightly better than those of the old items.

I guess Blizzard is aware of the issue because - as far as I know (I may be wrong, I only say what a guildmate and friend told me about his experience in TBC beta) - some of the Burning Crusade quest items/drops are actually better than T2 items so player like me who don't like the grinding/pvp'ing aspect of the game (I'm a questing freak so bear with me) will have a chance to catch up with the raiding guys.

Btw, I agree this was a positive patch.  The fact that it does not offer anything to non-PVP'ers does not detract from its positive effects.

Too bad, MMORPG's have not evolved to the point yet where dynamic content dominates the max level end-game, offering fun for all playstyles. Hell, people may argue that it is something that is nearly impossible to achieve, but the same could have been said about the MMO's of today just one decade ago.


It's posts like this that make me want to punch babies. 

This kind of move by Blizzard does nothing but degrade the people who put in actual effort to attain the necessary faction to have earned epic rewards. 

This casual vs. raider is a tired argument and ultimately, the direction of Blizzard currently will drive away hardcores because the poor, whiney casuals who think they're ENTITLED to the same rewards as those players who put in more effort, more hours, and undoubtedly more skill (read: have more experience) demand Blizzard cater to them exclusively. 

You want a casual game, go play phucking Sim City and GTFO of my MMO. I'm trying to actually achieve something...unlike you.

 

kruhm Xfire Miniprofile
  jrgambit

Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/05
Posts: 157

1/04/07 1:04:04 PM#10
Originally posted by Balmer


It's posts like this that make me want to punch babies. 

This kind of move by Blizzard does nothing but degrade the people who put in actual effort to attain the necessary faction to have earned epic rewards. 

This casual vs. raider is a tired argument and ultimately, the direction of Blizzard currently will drive away hardcores because the poor, whiney casuals who think they're ENTITLED to the same rewards as those players who put in more effort, more hours, and undoubtedly more skill (read: have more experience) demand Blizzard cater to them exclusively. 

You want a casual game, go play phucking Sim City and GTFO of my MMO. I'm trying to actually achieve something...unlike you.

 


Why dont you go play some asian grindfest and let the NON-RAIDERS (yes there is a thing as non-raiders, they can be hardcore or casual gamers too by the way) advance their characters.

--------------------
SWG - Killed by $OE
WOW - Retired
Playing WAR

  Paks

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/03
Posts: 263

1/04/07 1:13:37 PM#11
The initial change to how honor and items were earned in BGs was fine but the hotfix that reduced the honor you could get was a joke.  Getting honor IMO is more of a grind now then it ever was.  Couple that with the leeching that goes on in BGs (even when the rank system was still in) and the entire process ends up being broken.  (And seriously, how many of the players that reached the top tiers did it legitimately and didn't leech?)

The epics earned under the new system will be obsolete once TBC hits so the hotfix was not necessary, IMO.  They should have focused on fixing the problems with the BGs and the bugs the recent patch introduced.

Blizzard has the right idea but their implementation and subsequent changes were most assuredly flawed.
  achesoma

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 960

1/04/07 1:16:18 PM#12
lol there is still nothing casual about the new honor system.  hate to break it to you guys but if you plan on getting full HWL/GM set it will take you about a year, if you are truly a "casual player."  Not to meantion, in about 12 days it will no longer be end-game gear.  Like I said a million times before, there is no such thing as a casual MMO player. 

  Parsifal57

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/05
Posts: 268

1/04/07 1:24:11 PM#13
Originally posted by MillaMerani
I don't PvP so where are my casual epics?  One might say it is not real PvP at all, rather a massive honor farming fest, but still...

Likewise I don't PvP either, Blizzard as usual don't understand the problem and can't or more likely won't put the effort into a reasonable method for casual players who don't PvP and cant attend raids on any sort of regular basis. There have been numerous suggestions as to how this could be achieved but Blizz in their ivory tower seem unable to comprehend any of the MANY real issues with the game that currently exist and this attitude WILL hurt them badly in the end.

Regardling the Original post the current method of allocating casual epics via PvP is VERY DEFINITELY NOT A WIN FOR EVERYONE. If fact most people problem loose out because of this change because,

    1. People have worked for PvP epics in the past feel cheated (They did have to put too much time in for their rewards but the current         method is way too easy (A Blinding example of Blizzards overcorrection policies which have been all to apparent in the last 2 years).

    2. Raiders see a lot of the work they put into running instance like lab rats waster (rightly or wrongly)

    3. 'Casuals' , I use this work loosely, get rewards far too easily for too little input in the PvP arena and do not feel like they have achieved anything and push even harder to make good equipment available easier in the PvE side which devalues the game for everyone.

    4. True Casuals (People who do not PvP and attend raids rarely), feel isolated and ignored by Blizzard who seem intent on pushing everyone to PvP.

    The solution for Casual Epics for everyone would have been to have quest chains that take a specific amount of real  elapsed time to complete with cooldowns between key steps of the quest chain, ideally they should not require items that can only be obtained via raids and should ideally need a max of 5 man group to complete. The time for the casual quest chains needs to be set so that raiders and PvP'rs will always achieve their items before casuals on the quest chains (just to stop all the childish complaints) but at least then there is a method for people to obtain better equipment to grow their characters rather than the rut that a lot of people find themselves in.


    I know i'm dreaming because Blizzard will never actually sit back and think about what is right to implement with their current team because they are too arrogant and in some cases too lazy to see better approaches. There are many things that could be done to enhance the game , such as armor customization, better tradeskill support, housing (guild and Personal) better quest chains, much more land mass etc etc, but it will take a large drop in population for some of these things to become reality and with the current flock of sheep mentality thats unlikely to happen soon.

    I know I will be moving on this year to AoC or CoS or WAR, whichever one plays the best, i hope all three games will succeed so that that stagnating World in WoW gets a kick in the pants to revitalize it (BC is just going to add to the problems not solve them).

/end rant
  Vinadil

Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/05
Posts: 42

1/04/07 1:42:41 PM#14

I wonder what game you can name that gives an EPIC reward for anything less than an EPIC time commiment?

Take... Football.  What is the time commitment to win the SuperBowl?  Heck, what is the time commitment to win a High School championship... or even one GAME?

Basketball, Soccer, Baseball... yea just about any other game that is Multi-player is the same story.

Even games like chess require a large time commitment in order to achieve any sort of good victory or skill.  And some might consider playing chess a "grind", I mean you do just about the SAME THING every time you play right?

The term "grind" should not be defined by the task alone, but by a measure of a) How enjoyable the task is, b) How MUCH of the task you have to do to achieve the reward, and c) The reward being significant enough.

So, A + B = C means that I am not experiencing a grind.  That means I would be willing to do an UNenjoyable task for a SHORT period of time to obtain a GOOD result, or a semi-enjoyable task for a longer period of time to obtain the same result.  But, I would NOT be willing to do an unenjoyable task for a long period of time for said result.

If you are looking for some story-book ending where a hardy group of adventurers go out and slay the dragon in a 1 in a million fight... then I can suggest LOTS of good books to read, perhaps even some singly player games that might work for you... but there has not been ONE mmo that has done this, and I don't even know if it fits the genre.  If a game DID attempt it, then by default 1 million people would try the encounter and only ONE would succeed... giving them the epic story and the rest the natural defeat.  It is just not so EPIC if everyone can do it every time without any work.

  PsycoPanda

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/06
Posts: 15

1/04/07 1:45:54 PM#15
Are they going to release new pvp gear for level 70's when the expansion hits?  If they don't then nothing will have changed.  You'll still be running around in in adequate gear while the guy who farms Kharazan and Mount Hyjal four times a week blows you straight to hell.
  Phaelo

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/06
Posts: 7

1/04/07 2:00:25 PM#16

These changes make me sick. Getting a full set of high warlord or grand martial gear+weps used to mean you accomplished something, now it is meaningless. Same goes for the pvp mounts. you used to have to grind rep with a faction to exalted to be able to ride cross faction mounts, now everyone has a frickin kitty kat ooo so pretty! shiny pixels!!!! what does a casual need this stuff for anyway? so you can 'stand up' to a 'hard core' player in pvp? you lack the skill he does so your going to lose regardless of gear, they can afford to use consumables just to put you in your place, why does it matter getting smoked when you only play 2 hours a day anyway? casuals are a waste of server resources and BG slots. a hardcore player will allways be better than a casual no matter what, same as their will allways be casuals whining about how they can't get XXX but XXX can.

<-- 'casual'
<-- different types of 'hardcore'
<-- me loling@ casuals think they ever be on 'par' with 'hardcore' players

  vajuras

Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/06
Posts: 2857

1/04/07 2:10:01 PM#17
Yeah very smart move on Blizzard's part. I quit the game like many others because I just dindt have time to raid and I couldnt earn gear from pvp (I had already gotten my epic weapon from AV). now I'm seriously considering returning to the game cause my friends all seem very happy witht he new status quo
  vajuras

Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/06
Posts: 2857

1/04/07 2:17:38 PM#18
Originally posted by Phaelo

These changes make me sick. Getting a full set of high warlord or grand martial gear+weps used to mean you accomplished something, now it is meaningless. Same goes for the pvp mounts. you used to have to grind rep with a faction to exalted to be able to ride cross faction mounts, now everyone has a frickin kitty kat ooo so pretty! shiny pixels!!!! what does a casual need this stuff for anyway? so you can 'stand up' to a 'hard core' player in pvp? you lack the skill he does so your going to lose regardless of gear, they can afford to use consumables just to put you in your place, why does it matter getting smoked when you only play 2 hours a day anyway? casuals are a waste of server resources and BG slots. a hardcore player will allways be better than a casual no matter what, same as their will allways be casuals whining about how they can't get XXX but XXX can.

<-- 'casual'
<-- different types of 'hardcore'
<-- me loling@ casuals think they ever be on 'par' with 'hardcore' players

 

lol high warlord was a joke to many of us. High warlord rarely ever got respect on my pvp server. They were just nerds that had time to play 24/7. It didnt mean they had true skill. All they did was leech rep/honor from those of us that was really putting in hard work to win. there was this one player who ev1 knew they just went afk in every battleground. But because he was on 24/7 he still got high warlord even though most any player could kill him in a fair fight lol. if you think I'm lying just go to Mal'ganis realm forums and ask about Barlow lol. They had entire threads dedciated to this guy with documented evidence (screenshots) such as he never killed anyone, etc. I'm sure every realm had a 'fake' high warlord just like my old one

Not saying all high warlords blow but the old system was pretty flawed. If they want to really reward skill then I think the upcoming system in Burning Crusade Arena is the way to go. You should get credit for actual victories with small 2-5 man teams in the arena

  mindmeld

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/05
Posts: 224

Die trying

1/04/07 2:24:11 PM#19
The new settings for bg and pvp is pure gold for me before i didnt even venture to bg but now im prob gonna spend some cash on the expansion and start play again though i will aim for casual to middle or something about..


Prob gonna switch to conan when that get out but this will be fun for a while.
zeronizer Xfire Miniprofile
  JackDonkey

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/21/04
Posts: 384

1/04/07 2:44:37 PM#20
i went from blue to purple with 3 piece transcendance in 14 ZG, 1 AQ20, 15 MC's/Onyxia, and 6 BWL's that only made it to firemaw, that's just under 200 hours of raiding.  What about time to farm consumables? the only consumables I used were DM booze, so one tribute run held me over for a couple weeks, so that's what another 15 hours of tribute runs in that time.  Some priest I bought, then got in my first ZG raid like 4 days later, didn't know anyone on the server.

What is the current honor/hour now? 600? so 129,000 honor in the time it took me to get all purpled up in raiding. 215,000 honor if you're getting 1000 honor/hour.

Just imagine if raids were cross realm and had ques like battlegrounds, with an addition of a class limit, like needing at least 3 tanks and X amout of healers, and at least one of each other class or something.  The epics would be just as easy to get.  Just pretend the most perfect system is in place to work around the weekly reset system.  With all the zones they have now you could run one just about every night.  People would eventually learn the boss fights just like most people eventually learn english after being born, or learn to use the toilet, it'll happen and once it does the epics will flow.  Lets say MC was this way from the start I bet every single person in this game that's been lvl 60 for 2 months would think of that place like SUnken Temple, like not even give boss difficulty a second thought, I mean it might have taken a while for some of the tards to learn, but what's it been like 1.5 years since MC came out.

I got up to 19k honor with my blue warrior and gave up, I had already cancelled my account cause I liked my one button masher macros (my priest and warlock still have 51 unused talent points cause they're only fun with macros), but nerfing the honor after all the premades got most of their stuff and after saying they wouldn't nerf it that made me not question my decision to cancel.


Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
if I were to kill a titan tomorrow and no CCP employees showed up to say grats I would petition it.
Waiting for: the next MMO that lets me make this macro
if hp < 30 then CastSpell("heal") SpellTargetUnit("player") else CastSpell("smite") end

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