MMO Expansions and Sequels

I recent­ly read a post at Tobold’s about the nature of Bliz­zard expan­sions, and it got me think­ing.

I keep ref­er­enc­ing World of War­craft 2 in my posts (“Maybe Bliz­zard will change this in WoW2”). But it dawned on me that there’s real­ly no real dif­fer­ence between sequel and expan­sion with MMOs. We’re already play­ing World of War­craft 2. Bliz­zard is about to release World of War­craft 3.

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Raiding does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Max lev­el does not mean Skilled.)

There’s a class of play­er who feels that their sta­tus in the raid­ing game means that they’re Right. They label oth­er peo­ple noobs, and the sil­ly thing is that peo­ple believe them. “I have this awe­some item, you don’t, there­fore I know what I’m talk­ing about and you don’t.” This frus­trates me a great deal.

My guild recent­ly brought in a new recruit. Her main is a holy priest, just like me! I’ll call her Mary. She was very per­son­able, online a lot. She had raid­ed a lot in the orig­i­nal WoW, all the way through AQ40, which I’ve nev­er seen. She had tak­en over a year off from the game, and in her return was look­ing for a more relaxed play­time require­ment while still play­ing at a high lev­el. A per­fect fit!

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The Downside of Endgame Guilds

I’ve been read­ing Tobold and Pot­shot late­ly. They’re talk­ing about loot and game design as it relates to endgame guilds, specif­i­cal­ly guild hop­ping and pro­gres­sion prob­lems due to it. I haven’t seen a decent expla­na­tion of the prob­lem, but as a guild officer/leader I’ve seen it in action twice now, once with the orig­i­nal WoW endgame and now with the TBC endgame. I don’t have a solu­tion, but I can frame the prob­lem.

For me, the most fun time in WoW is right after an expan­sion hits, when there’s lim­it­ed col­lec­tive endgame explo­ration. All the con­tent is new and fresh, then I find myself group­ing with not just my long-term guild friends, but also my friends who left to get on the pro­gres­sion roller coast­er. It’s glo­ri­ous! This is what the first two months of TBC was like.

Then, endgame progress starts to hap­pen, and a tiered sys­tem begins to form.

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Fools, Silence, and Damage Reporting–supplemental

(Pre­vi­ous arti­cle)

While it’s a bad idea to link your dam­age meters over a com­mon chat chan­nel, it’s a very bad idea to link your dam­age report if you’re a dam­age deal­er and you’re that one dps’er who con­sis­tent­ly does less dam­age than the tank. What you’re try­ing to say is that you out­per­form the heal­er at doing dam­age, but what you’re real­ly say­ing is:

“The heal­er’s good enough to keep every­one alive and also do 30% of the dam­age that I’m doing.”

The heal­er’s dam­age is basi­cal­ly like the rock bot­tom of dam­age per­for­mance in a raid. Heal­ing does zero dam­age. You are also say­ing that you don’t under­stand groups enough to know what the dif­fer­ent roles do, but you aren’t going to let that slow your spam­ming down. This is a chain of thought that will imme­di­ate­ly lead oth­ers to group with you less, because vet­er­ans will sense that this is prob­a­bly the tip of the ice­berg:

  • you roll for gear that does­n’t apply to you and then throw a fit when some­one tries to tell you how your char­ac­ter works
  • you don’t under­stand or don’t care about crowd con­trol
  • you cry and blame some­one every time you die
  • you go afk with­out warn­ing
  • you com­plain about repair costs
  • you nev­er have elixirs/poisons/food buffs
  • you use curse words in a way that’s not inter­est­ing, rel­e­vant, or fun­ny

Not every­one is all of these, but usu­al­ly these char­ac­ter flaws don’t come in sin­gle serv­ings. Most peo­ple went to the all you can eat Buf­fet of Bro­ken.

And yes, this was all that a sin­gle dam­age meter post said. And inci­den­tal­ly, this per­son lived up to many of the above-list­ed pre­dic­tions.

Fools, Silence, and Damage Reporting

I healed through Mag­is­ter’s Ter­race this week­end to get a cou­ple of friend­ly guildies ready for MrT hero­ic. My wife, in the next room, said “What’s wrong?” I had­n’t even real­ized I sighed. “This new recruit just spammed his dam­age meters after our first wipe.”

I had for­got­ten about this lit­tle slice of the game. Of course, now my bliss­ful igno­rance has been shat­tered, but it’s a good top­ic of dis­cus­sion.

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