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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