Playing wow for gold? Nope

Aside

There is a spot-on post by Tobold which questions those players who play to acquire in-game currency (Optional Economies). It’s not that playing to get large amounts of gold is not a valid goal – it is; but some players do not care at all for the economies. It resounds for me as I am one of those players. Gold is just another token to get to the other end-goal.

With so much concentration on efficient gold farming and selling around, its good to see a blogger outlining that non-gold approaches are not silly. Playing for gold to me seems silly; I’d be better off working another job if I wanted to acquire extra money in my spare time. I don’t – I want to relax.

Random in Boss fights?

A good find about how good or bad it is for encounters in PvE to be heavily or lightly scripted, which is interesting given how much the degree of “random” affects fun.

Tobold wrote:

In my opinion there is too little randomization in MMORPGs. They are nearly totally deterministic. Before combat even starts you know what the monster will do, and what keys to press in which order to optimally defeat it. Thus combat involves no thinking, only execution.

As Craig Stern says, the solution is not making the result of button presses unpredictable, but to make the opponent unpredictable, or the starting situation. That is why card games work: The cards you draw are random, but what you can do with them is not. And in a MMORPG the monsters could be made more unpredictable as well. Why do people need to know in advance what the boss mob is going to do after X minutes to beat him?

posted by Tobold Stoutfoot at 8:54 AM on Nov 18, 2012

To be fair, its better to read the entire post and linked articles.

Would introducing more randomness be good?

I think it would be terrible – consider that if you really want to make the bosses challenging then you make them more intelligent…..say they don’t have a threat table anymore, they just crush anyone who tries casts a heal.

Same issue in pen and paper – for some reason (story) the big bad orc (high CR monster) wails on the fighter, not the cleric.

I can see the point about execution and predetermined strategies removing “creative” aspects, but really the 4th wall is so present in an MMO that it is just differing personal perspectives for how far the slider between real and scripted the entire game is. I also think that some random is ok, but too much will be very disruptive to the players, as their outcome for victory is too much outside their control.

The card game in Tobold’s example is not a good match to the game style events in an MMO, given how different the perspective is, but does help my point: who likes playing solitaire when the game cannot be won?

Trial of the Champion had the pvp based fight which was excellent, but it still came down to a set of abilities, and a priority based kill order. It was also hated by a few raiders.

Another random fight was Lord Ryolyth in Firelands – who was basically impossible if the randomness didn’t go your way. That is a shitty way to spend an evening.

Go have a read as the discussion on both Tobolds and Craig’s blog are good stuff. Happy Killing.

Cartoon + blog = D3 AH perfection

If you’re after a good short summary of the debate around Diablo 3 AH, the always online requirement, and the gamer culture of overreaction; just do this:

  1. Read Tobold’s blog post – Not separate features
  2. Read the Penny Arcade cartoon – Sound and the Fury
  3. Smile

Its like comparing apples to elephants to think that wow will be like the D3 implementation; and its even more like getting a chicken with ADD to do the comparison.

Happy gaming