Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Can I have a Legendary Ferrari?

(Continued from a Blessing of Kings comment)


Can I email Aston Martin then to make a cheap, super-fast, super-luxury, super-desirable (almost legendary) car with a couple of grand (in euros please) because I got a life and have no time to earn (farm?) the hundreds of grand needed?

In the debate of casual vs. hardcore, easy content vs. challenging content etc. …

I admit I can not have a clear opinion. Of course if I could get my hands on a Ferrari I would. Still, if all could get their hands on one it would loose its value as an exotic, luxury car. Whether we like it or not the ease of acquiring some items is what makes them more desirable or more valuable.

In current Wow the Ferraris are some mounts, derived from certain difficult achievements, unlike in the past where rare mounts were an occurrence of luck. Or to be precise Ferraris were some legendaries, or some Tiers. Now, if you kill this boss with a set of (difficult nonetheless) conditions you get a Ferrari (albeit with no technical advancements to other cars, just the novelty from looks). If you can't, you can settle with some slightly less cool mounts. Which themselves are better than the Yugo's you can purchase from Vendors.

Blizzard (or 'Disney' as Rohan and Tobold mention ;-p) changed its approach towards what we call casual players (I call them mainstream, ‘casual’ players often do not know how to get to Northrend...or even that Northrend exists) and allowed them deeper in the content. Unlike in the past if you are a mainstream player you can easily see:

* The story and the lore (could not to a great extent in the past)
* The encounters (at least in 10-mans, possibly 25-mans with much less effort than in the past)
* Wear Tier-7 or look-alike gear with formidable stats
* Gather reputation rewards easily
* Experience the 'bulk content' of the game

As a hardcore player you do all of the above but can differentiate to some extent with:

Completing difficult achievements or achievement-groups with some novelty rewards

Possibly get some of the rare-est end-game gear

I feel Blizzard has managed to get the structure of the reward hierarchy fairly right. Still it needs some tweaking to make it compelling to a larger (read: mainstream, not casual nor hardcore) player base. And we must also bear in mind we are at the beginning for this expansion cycle with one of the most important raids being a recycled version of a past one (which was mostly left inexperienced). I think Blizz ought to keep us in our toes with:

* Gradually increasing Instance difficulty - Blizz presumably tried to bring more players to the raiding world with Wotlk and gave them the opportunity to learn some basics. Now possibly they can hook more people into raiding.
* Introduce more than one instance levels per content patch. Ulduar, plus something else for example. People are becoming better and better into raiding and along with blizzard streamlining the raiding process people go over the content faster.
* Introduce more achievement-like rewards (achievements now work kind of like legendary quests)
* Introduce legendary item(s) to differentiate the elite from the mainstream
* Possibly introduce gear/reputation checks within reason.

As I said, I feel Blizzard managed to introduce a fairly good structure to the game for the rewards hierarchy. Now they need to enrich it, mainly to keep the mainstream players satisfied and offer some reasonable challenges. After all, they want to keep us hooked in the game – and that can not be done if we cruise through everything in a couple of months time.


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