Category Archives: Opinion

Entitlement, Feats of Strength, & the Removal of In-Game Rewards

This is a lengthier discussion on something I posted on Twitter.

For some who read this, this is going to sound a little bit cold and maybe a touch heartless: you aren’t entitled to every achievement and mount in the game.

As 6.0 draws closer and closer, there’s a small cacophony going on in a few segments of the WoW community. I’ve seen it on the official forums, Twitter, and let me assure you, I’ve seen it a lot in-game. Trade chat, whispers, ignores–you name it, I’ve experienced it.

This outburst is related to the fact that there are many things that will be unobtainable after 6.0/Warlords. The two that spring to mind most quickly are the legendary cloak and the Normal & Heroic Garrosh achievements and their accompanying titles/mount. While the reasons stated for the request are often different, the statement itself is always the same: “Don’t remove them, I should be able to acquire them once they are no longer content.”

Let’s just stop right there for a second and talk about a good word: achievement.

Don't judge me.

Don’t judge me.

Of course, most of us who play WoW relate that word to the blingy bling that pops up when we do something cool (or sometimes ridiculous, stupid, tedious, and seriously-what-were-you-THINKING-with-this-one-Blizzard).

a·chieve·ment
əˈCHēvmənt/
noun
  1. 1.
    a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.
    “to reach this stage is a great achievement”

That is a stellar, 10-point word.

When I raid and we down bosses, it’s an achievement, an accomplishment. It is a thing we have done successfully with effort and skill. We put time and energy and practice and skill into raiding and we are rewarded for our efforts with gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

But everyone has different interests and skills in WoW, and while they often cross over (and some people are just boss at everything, P.S., I both love you and despise you), usually each player will have a focus–a thing that they like to do and are good at doing.

Though there are MANY examples of this, the most obvious to mention in relation to raiding is PvP. Some people are amazing at PvP. When they build up their rank and their points, when they win arena after arena or rated battleground after rated battleground, they also experience achievement. They also receive rewards of gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

You know what? I will never see those high-level PvP rewards. I don’t love PvP the way I love to raid. What little skill I have is focused on PvE, and that leaves PvP mostly out of reach for me. And you know what? That’s okay. I don’t expect to receive the rewards PvPers do. That’s their skill, and I am impressed. More power to them!

PvP? Nah, I'm good.

In the same way, there are those who will never see the Heroic raiding achievements, mounts, and titles. They’ll never have the highest level of raiding gear. And that should be okay, too.

Whatever you do in this game, whatever you’re skilled at, you have something available that allows you to say, “HEY, HERE I AM, THIS IS WHAT I’M GOOD AT!” PvE, PvP, pet battles/collections, reputation, professions, quests, leveling, even gold-making. I’ll never have the high-level PvP rewards, I’ll never have the best archaeology rewards (my eyes are bleeding just thinking about it), and I’ll definitely never see any awesome pet battle achievements.

But I have Heroic Siege under my belt. I have the titles and the mounts and the gear. It’s what I’m almost good at, it’s where I get my rewards.

Iron Juggernaut

I guess here’s where my issue with those who are making an uproar over the removal of these achievements: if you aren’t a raider and you haven’t put the time and effort into raiding, why do you feel entitled to the rewards of that section of the game?

It’s okay to be a little envious or a little disappointed that you’re not going to get something you want, but instead of dwelling on it, enjoy what you do well. Enjoy the aspect of the game you like. Put all of your effort and time into that thing and become the BEST at that thing. Get all of the rewards for that thing. I won’t expect to get the rewards from the thing you’re amazing at. Please don’t get angry about not getting the rewards from the thing I’m good at.

Addendum: When this comes up in Trade chat, the next message is usually, “But you sell Heroic Garrosh for gold, doesn’t that ruin the special-ness?” Well, I’d say that the people who spend their time, effort, and energy making butt-tons (yes, that’s an official measurement) of gold are allowed to spend that gold how they wish–gold-making IS their skill, and their reward for their effort is being able to buy whatever they want most, be it an insanely expensive pet, mount, PvP rating, or PvE achievements. 

Seriously, though, 800k gold for a Spectral Tiger? I’ll pass!

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The Value of a Copper

If you’ve played World of Warcraft for any length of time, you are familiar with both the changing value of gold over the past several expansions and the fact that someone is always going to bring it up in Trade Chat eventually. Until recently, I mostly stayed out of Trade, but there are always a few things that entice me out into the open, and this conversation usually works:

Random Monk #472: WTS [Pretty Cool Pet] 5k PST
Random Warlock #829: That’s not worth 5k, it’s like 2k.
Random Warlock #829: On my other server, it’s 500g or less.
Random Monk #472: It’s going for 7k on the AH.
Random Warlock #829: That’s stupid, it’s not worth that.

SoapboxGive me a sec to grab my soapbox…okay.

Value is not a static principle. At best, the value of anything is circumstantial, constantly in flux based on what is occurring around the assignment of value to a particular item or service.

It’s like this, K: The value of any item or service in WoW is whatever people are willing to pay for it at a given point in time. This system fluctuates and is self-regulating.

Here’s an example: If Random Monk #472 up there lists his [Pretty Cool Pet] for 5k and someone buys it, then good for him, he’s made some gold! If, however, he lists [Pretty Cool Pet] for 3 weeks at 5k and it never sells, then he has two options: keep the pet or lower the price. Self-regulating, see?

Then you throw in variables like competitive sellers–Random Paladin #386 undercut the monk and offered the pet for 3k, now the monk has to decide if he’s willing to sell the pet for less than that or if he should keep it–and you’ll see that prices really are continually in flux.

Each time one of these decisions is made, buyers and sellers are determining the worth of an item for themselves. In the above scenario, the monk has to ask himself: is the pet worth more than 3k to me? If it is, then he’ll keep it, and if not, then he’ll sell it for the lower price. Easy peasy.

When you say to someone, “It’s not worth that,” what you’re actually saying is, “It’s not worth that to me,” which is perfectly fine as long as you don’t claim to speak for the entirety of the server population. If [Pretty Cool Pet] isn’t worth 5k to you, then you have the option to go farm/capture the pet for yourself, and that’s a value-determining question in itself: what’s worth more to me right now, my time or my gold?

Next time you’re tempted to piss on someone’s gold-making Cheerios in Trade Chat, just don’t. Whether it’s a [Pretty Cool Pet] or a Heroic Garrosh kill, determine its value for yourself and let everyone else do likewise.

And to the Random Warlock #829’s of the world, I say:

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Why I Still Log On Every Day

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a buzz coming from Mr. and Mrs. WoW this week: a community project aimed at combating the negativity that tends to spawn at the end of an expansion by taking a look at the things that we still love about the game. We each pay $15 a month to log in–but what do we do once we’re there? For those of us who have stayed subscribed in pre-Warlords Warcraft, why do we log in?

Friends

Hands down, this is the number one reason I log on at any time other than raid time. I said it on Twitter jokingly but it’s not untrue: most of the time these days, WoW is an extremely interactive chat program. Real ID, guild chat, the best private channel in the entire game (sorry, I don’t mean to put down anyone else’s, but ours is the best, okay?), and sometimes Mumble–there’s almost always someone around to talk to.My Perch

There’s a reason my blog and Twitter have a billion screenshots of this spot. Most days, if you’re on Durotan or Ysera, you can find me on my perch or The Stoop, and if I’m not AFK, you can bet I’m sitting there talking to someone. I’m not going to get sappy, but I am going to say that I do care about the friends with whom I play WoW. They’re genuinely awesome people, and if I unsubbed and couldn’t chat anymore, I’d be bummed. 

Raids

I’ve said this a million times already in the past few years, and it hasn’t changed: I play to raid. Killing dragons with a bunch of people that I usually don’t hate is a good time. Most of the time. Except when I’ve got 5 fps for almost an entire raid night because I forgot to close background programs on my crap computer. 

lolcat_confiscated_computer

Okay, even then, I still enjoy raiding. If they took raids out of WoW, I’d stop playing. Maybe I’d go be bad at League of Legends some more. I hear Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a pretty good time…

The Carrot

Blizzard, as a company, is exceptionally good at carrots. I am not naive; I get that it’s intentional and it keeps us playing the game–and it totally works.

Right now, there are two carrots that I’m aiming for every week, though they look an awful lot like mounts:

Invinciblemountedknighthorseblack

For weeks, I solo-cleared ICC 25 & Heroic Lich King; I got tired of that and stuck a lockout on my rogue to use instead. There’s a moment when I loot his corpse (again) where there’s hope it’s going to be there–of course, all that’s on it are tokens and axes (again), but I’ll keep doing it until I get it.

Thankfully, flying to Karazhan is more time consuming than actually killing the Huntsman, but he disappoints me every week, too. Jerk. Keep your Warhorse, what do I care.

Those are my three main reasons for playing–what are yours?  Don’t forget to take a look at Mr. and Mrs. WoW’s series of posts and all of the bloggers who have contributed to the community project!

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Blizzcon, Warlords, & The Horizon: Part 1

It’s been a little over a week since the Blizzcon Opening Ceremony. I geeked out as I watched my virtual ticket over the weekend, and now that I’ve had a week to process everything, I want to join in the crowds voicing their opinion on what we all saw and heard.

World of Warcraft

First, of course, is World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. I was definitely more interested in Warlords than in Mists of Pandaria when it was first announced, but that’s not a good measure, because I ended up loving MoP. In fact, I’m still enjoying the heck out of Mists!

Warlords: Storyline

The premise of Warlords is great–go back and fight against the Big Bads of a bygone era, a new Horde crafted from an old brotherhood. Big characters: who doesn’t want to meet Durotan & Draka? Who wouldn’t want to face Ner’zhul before the first rise of the Lich King?

Facing down Rend as he was in Draenor is going to be brilliant, not to mention the fact that I love draenei and getting to work alongside original draenei in their homeland sounds like something I’d sign up for yesterday.

The concerns I’ve heard, though; are valid. Primarily:

  • Is the story too contrived?
  • Isn’t the alternate timeline thing a little confusing?
  • Are the female characters getting shuffled under the table for this expansion?

On the first and second points, I think they’re kind of combined. The alternate timeline idea makes the story feel more contrived than it might otherwise. If you aren’t sure how this is going to work, it’s basically like this (at least, this is my understanding of it):

Warlords: Parallel Timelines

The idea is that Garrosh goes not only back in time, but on an alternate timeline completely, goes back to before the orcs drink Mannoroth’s blood, and rallies them into an un-cursed Horde. I believe his plan is to bring them back to our current time and wipe us out because I guess he’s a little ticked about the whole Siege of Orgrimmar thing.

Does this make the story a little contrived? Honestly, yeah, I suppose it does, but I think I can overlook it for the sake of what’s going to be involved. Burning Crusade also felt a bit contrived, but in the end, a lot of people loved that expansion.

As for the last point, it’s valid, and I want to know more. I’ve heard there will be some female characters, particularly a draenei, that will be completely awesome, but I don’t know that it makes up for the fact that this is a pretty testosterone-driven expansion. The “boys’ trip” comment took me aback a bit, too. I’m withholding judgement until we get a better look at exactly what’s going down in Draenor, and I’m hoping they’ll surprise me.

Raiding

Obviously, raiding is a huge deal for me, so I was paying close attention to the raiding changes. The biggest change is, of course, the raid types:

New Raid Structure from Blizzcon

I’m not going to lie, the inner elitist in me (and it IS inner, I can’t stand on elitist ground, I hang out somewhere on the cliff of “managing somehow”) recoiled at first. Everything is flex? But, but, but–that–I–okay. It’s a change. We’re not usually great with change. Is it a bad change? Nah. Is it a dealbreaker? No way. It’s different, and we’ll make it work like we always have.

My guild’s primary focus will be Heroic and Mythic. This means that we’re going to have to sit 5 people when we do Mythic, and that’s going to make an interesting dynamic. I will say that I like the fact that this will require players to push hard–when you really want to raid the highest content and your spot is in jeopardy, you will work for it.

The unfortunate side of this is that there’s a good chance that even people who try really hard won’t make it into Mythic every week. Encounter balance will play a big role in how this works out. I can tell you I’ll be fighting with all I have for my Mythic spot.

Coming in the next post: Item Changes, Stuff I Geeked Out For, Hearthstone, & Heroes of the Storm.

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