Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The good and bad about changes to loot in 6.2 and a brief no-fly-zone opinion

Everyone knows that shitty feeling of killing a really hard boss and then all the loot is just rubbish. Blackhand, which took us so long to kill, we sharded 3 items, which seemed so horrible! You'd think that people could use this stuff!  But NOOOOOO...

Blizzard has seen that loot isn't as rewarding and decided to do something to try to fix that - which they has been listed as Item Level Ramp.
To address this, we are structuring Hellfire Citadel so that the Item Level of the loot awarded by bosses increases as players proceed deeper into the zone, culminating in Archimonde—providing both the ultimate challenge and the ultimate reward.
In theory I can see how that would work.  It would ensure that we take loot from the later bosses and it will feel more rewarding.  But you'd hope that the bosses are tuned correctly for that to happen (like you'd have to kill x boss and get the loot from that and get your gear up to scratch to be able to kill y boss, rather than just walking straight up to y boss and not doing x boss ever).  However, I think it would have been much more rewarding if certain items dropped from those hard bosses, that people would much rather have, rather than having a higher item level as you move through.  Or perhaps having some kind of upgrade item that drops from the harder bosses so you could upgrade some items.  But then I could see that if you did that, then people would not take the new loot item, and just go for the upgrade item.  However, with better secondary stats that may be overcome.

Another worrisome point is when those bosses are farm they just become pointless trash to slog through to get to the bosses you do want.  I actually like the "wings" raids like Blackrock Foundry (and Naxxramas and Icecrown Citadel) rather than the linear progression seen in most of the raids in Mists of Pandaria. Working on one section rather than getting through everything in order to get to the bosses you want seems much more time efficient, especially when the game these days has moved towards the 15 minute player rather than the 4 hour player.  I suppose one way to get around that would be some kind of portal that could be activated once you had killed the earlier lower ilvl bosses (like in ICC or Ulduar).

Then there is this secondary stats shuffling...
Inside Hellfire Citadel, you’ll see a wider range of high and low secondary stat values on items than you have in a long time. Alongside some tuning adjustments that should ensure your attuned stats are the right choice, this change should also make it easier for you to identify which items are good for you in a more interesting way than just “equip the highest Item Level.” Our goal is to help make Hellfire Citadel Raid items more distinct and meaningful to you, and we hope you’ll let us know how things feel once you start collecting your new gear.
Firstly, who the hell took something because it was higher item level.  Not me.  If it didn't have haste or mastery on it I was reluctant to touch it!  Would I take that versatility and crit item just because it was 6 item levels higher than my current item?  I might if it was 20 levels higher I suppose but with less throughput from lousy stats I'd be really dredging the bottom of the barrel with that loot!

Personal looting also has had some tweaking.
First, rather than treating loot chances independently for each player—sometimes yielding only one or even zero items for a group—we’ll use a system similar to Group Loot to determine how many items a boss will award based on eligible group size.
RNG at it's finest - it can work in your favour with 7 people getting loot in a raid of 20, or 1 person getting loot in a raid of 20 (I think it works as 1 loot her 5 people in group loot).  So now it looks like that it will always be at least 4 in 20 getting loot, but I wonder if people can get luckier than that and maybe get that 7 in 20 again.
We’re also increasing the overall rate of reward for Personal Loot, giving players more items overall to offset the fact that Personal Loot rewards can’t be distributed among group members. We know that finding that one awesome specific trinket to round out your gear set can be difficult with Personal Loot, and this should help increase your odds.
So does this mean more chance of getting crap I don't want?  Wouldn't it be great if  a boss dropped 3 items that I could use and if I rolled something it would be something I'd like, as opposed to a boss dropping 7 items that I could use and only 3 of them being usable?  Or does it mean that instead of a 10% chance of rolling a loot, now my odds are 20%?  I guess we'll see.  I've never been that lucky a roller.  And Luxy probably was way worse luck than me.
Finally, the most visible change is the new Personal Loot UI... The previous Personal Loot system celebrated your own rewards, but would bury what your groupmates received in the chat log.... Now when you loot an item, everyone in your group will see what you won!
I'm a bit funny about this - I suppose it is nice to see a little box on the screen saying "So-and-so and Whatsie just got these loots", but what's so hard about scrolling up? EPGP obviously announces it to the raid as well (which also gets rolled away in the loot scroll text), but I find this a strange thing to add.  I suppose a bit more fanfare when you roll an item is nice because shinies on your screen when you win loot is rather exciting.  I always love that pause when the dice are rolling because you KNOW that you're about to win something!

I went around looking at what other people thought about changes in 6.2 and all everyone is fixated upon is that flying will no longer be a thing.  Blizzard said they might not ever bring it back, and the number of people who are thinking of quitting WoW because of that is rather surprising. Or perhaps it isn't. It's like being given a taste of something that was not only efficient in terms of travel but also cheap, convenient and also we got to play with new mounts and take some cool screenshots.  And then it was taken away.  The favourite toy you didn't realise you loved so much was gone. With the huge outcry from the community it makes me wonder if they will bring it back. I guess it depends if people have genuine reasons rather than "I want it".

Godmother, AldshotfirstMataoka and Saya have all had their say on the no flying.  I am one of the ambivalent.  Yes, I miss flying. I like going back to Pandaria so I can fly. But if Blizzard thinks there is a reason why we shouldn't have flying - which I suspect is due to us not admiring the content they spent so long doing which should be appreciated from the ground level - then it is their game. We are playing it. We have a choice. Don't play it if you don't like it. That gets the message across louder than hurling abuse at devs and other Blizzard employees.

Whether flying is there or not I will still be playing.  I wonder how many of you out there will still be playing with me?

20 comments:

  1. To be honest, the main problem I have with WoD is not the lack of flying .. it is the seclusion. Although I do like the garrisons generally, I find that because I'm not in a town with other people at the end of the day, I feel isolated from the full World of Warcraft that has gone before .. I've missed entire holiday events because I wasn't aware they were happening .. because nothing in WoD areas that I visited indicated that they were happening. The theory behind a phased personal area was good, the execution, not so much.

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    1. You're right, the garrison is very lonely. I actually look at my mine with loathing! If I afk though I do spend time just bumming around in the garrison - often leaving my garrison open to "house guests" in group finder when I have kura, traders, or if people want to use my chanting hut or access a bank. At least then I get to see some people wandering around - and every now and then I can smile as someone stops to look at one or two of my monuments. Though it's still not very social, per se.

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  2. >Firstly, who the hell took something because it was higher item level.

    Lots of people. Higher ilvl = higher primary stats. For many specs that means it will be an upgrade, even if the secondary stats are not the best 2. It only becomes questionable if you are upgrading from warforged or socketed items, or 2 best stats to 2 worst.

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    1. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't take things because they are higher item level unless it's about to be sharded. I like certain stats! I won't hold back against something with stats I want but I won't take other items unless nobody else wants them.

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    2. +1 to Crooked! (-1 to Nav)
      from the Tyrant!

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  3. As for flight, their primary argument is that it interferes with the questing experience. I can totally see where they are coming from. However that doesn't mean there should be no flying forever. In fact being able to fly would be a massive incentive towards completing everything. If 6.2 is to be the last major patch, add a meta achievement that requires completing all leveling zones (including all bonus objectives), all dungeons, the garrison campaigns, the harrison questlines, whatever they add in tanaan jungle and anything else I've missed that would be spoiled by flying, and when that's done you have removed the major threats, it is no longer 'too dangerous to fly' and you can take to the skies. Better than a 'flight licence'.

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  4. Lack of flight really isn't a dealbreaker for me. I mean, sure, I certainly would be happy to see it return, but I didn't cancel because I couldn't use my flight form! I cancelled because I couldn't raid and didn't feel like there was much else to do that was of interest to me.

    Glad to hear that you guys are still raiding, even if bosses are being jerks and aren't dropping anything cool!

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    1. Well if life changes you always know you can come back :)

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  5. As long as there is a flight path within a minutes walk of the raid then I'm ok.

    If not, then I'll be on strike until Koda summons me.

    -Hwired

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    1. Hahahaha yeah. I swear Koda has a summon bot to go with her battle rez bot :p
      I enjoy using Aviana's feather to float into the instance but I rarely make it out of my garrison before Koda summons me.

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    2. Koda is rather cool like that :D

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  6. I do not like the idea of the item scaling up as you go further. When you are doing progression over a long course of time, of course when you kill the last boss you won't need anything. Because you killed the previous bosses 15 times each already. I have no problem with that.

    What I do have a problem with is when loot drops that no class in the raid can use. I swear one night we went through with one cloth wearer and every boss dropped cloth left and right, but we had 5 hunters and 3 shaman and not one single piece of mail dropped.

    I'd take smarter loot over increased item level any day of the week.

    As for flying, I can live without flight, I just do not like what this could lead to. Removing quality of life improvements because they "feel" like it is not good design. There is also the trust issue, which they lost all of mine, saying they would listen to the feedback of the players and then completely ignored them. They had no intention of listening to the players, they were removing fight from the get go.

    I personally think the best idea is that a person needs to unlock the loremaster achievement (account wide) to unlock flight. I mean, once you do that you have seen everything the ground has to offer, now let us get our quality of life improvement of flying. It is not much to ask.

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    1. That is a great idea - giving us flying once we've explored the world. Smart loot is also something I hadn't thought about. I see all you guys with great ideas and I wonder if Blizz wouldn't benefit from listening to you "ideas" people.

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  7. "Firstly, who the hell took something because it was higher item level."

    You might find this post interesting reading, Navi. http://talarian.blogspot.ca/2014/12/wow-why-rando-secondary-stats-matter.html

    On the flight issue, obviously I quit well before Draenor so I don't have that excuse, but a lot of my WoW identity revolved around being a Druid, and core to that was flight form. I did the questline for it back in BC, so there is a lot of investment in it for me. If I had that denied to me, I would be as devastated as many resto druids were when permatree form was removed originally.

    I don't buy the "it trivialises content" argument from Blizzard though. That is disingenuous at best. If they cared to, they could design content to allow flight to be meaningful without trivialising or circumventing anything. They don't want to make that effort, so to blame the players for having ways around their design decisions is just wrong. If they were honest about it, I would think better of them. As it is, I have no sympathy for them.

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    1. I don't think i was asking for sympathy for them, I think that people in general shouldn't stoop to being mean people just because they disagree with someone. Blizzard is a company, and I try to understand them by putting myself in the company's shoes. I made the game, I want to play it how I want it played, if I dislike how you're playing my game then I fix it so you can't play that way. If it was my dream or vision, and people didn't like it but I did, would I give a poo about what people thought if other people enjoyed my vision. I guess it's like reading my blog. If people don't like it, they don't read it, right? But I will not change how I write it, even if I lose readers. You can appreciate that, I'm sure - you have your opinions and you wouldn't change them for popular opinion.

      I'm not saying I don't appreciate a higher item level item. As the main DE'er I get to play with loot before I shard it to see what it's like. I look at my output, I look at the total of my hot ticks, and sometimes I am surprised how much better things are, and I will keep them. But it's also surprising how something you think would be better, kinda isn't.

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    2. I agree, it is their decision, and they can do whatever they want. The issue I have is how they frame it: they justify the decision by attempting to blame players for not playing the way they "should". I also agree that there is no excuse for being an arsehole to Blizzard or the people in it, but the sympathy I mentioned not having was for them having to deal with (civilised) backlash and critique for their decision and the way they've handled it.

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  8. The whole flying thing is great, as the speed is heaps better than a ground mount. I won't mind a ground mount, but only if the increase the speed to that of flying. Going from point A to point B by flying might take 20 seconds, but on a ground mount 50 seconds. If Bliz increases the speed so the time is halved, then I'd have no issues with the no flying.

    Ayelena

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    1. That would have been a good idea too, a ground speed increase!

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I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(