Emblem Strategy for the Super-Casual

Update! This arti­cle is well-intend­ed but the truth has been revealed, and I guessed wrong. More infor­ma­tion in the arti­cleWrath Emblem Design Revealed”.

How­ev­er, it kills me to delete text, so I’ll leave it here any­way. Also as a reminder to myself that design is opaque.


Only raid or instance once a week? Won­der­ing what to do with those 25 or 30 emblems you’ve final­ly accu­mu­lat­ed? Like real-life mon­ey, don’t let those shiny tokens burn a hole in your pock­et.

“But, but, but how can I wait? Zomgepics!”

I know, I know. The siren call of zomgepics beck­on us all.

The emblem gear will (in all like­li­hood) be refreshed when a high­er tier of con­tent comes out, just like the Badge of Jus­tice sys­tem did in the Burn­ing Cru­sade. This means that your Emblems will (in all like­li­hood) appre­ci­ate in val­ue.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Emblem Strat­e­gy for the Super-Casu­al

Overview of Loot Systems

Zomgepics! The joy, the sor­row. The absolute headache for any­one run­ning a guild. This is a fol­lowup arti­cle to The Most Suc­cess­ful Loot Sys­tems.

Any sys­tem that involves large teams and lim­it­ed loot (for exam­ple, PvE raid­ing in World of War­craft) requires a sys­tem to sort that loot out. If your 25-per­son group takes down a raid boss, and that boss drops 4 items, how do you deter­mine who gets those items? It takes time and effort to raid, and some­one has to get gear before some­one else.

There are many, many kinds of loot sys­tems. How­ev­er, all of the ones I’m aware of fall into three broad cat­e­gories: earn and spend, high­er author­i­ty, and ran­dom. Con­tin­ue read­ing Overview of Loot Sys­tems

Game Terms Overcome

I saw the fol­low­ing title on my gmail home­page:

Wired: Awe­some­ly Bad Defense Trin­kets, Part II

…and thought, “A WoW the­o­rycraft arti­cle in Wired?! Is this a par­o­dy or…?”

It’s fun­ny, because of course the word trin­ket exist­ed before WoW. How­ev­er, in the last three years, I haven’t seen that word once out­side of a WoW con­text, while of course I’ve heard it many times in WoW.

Thus, trin­ket has been com­plete­ly co-opt­ed in my mind, and I will now have to trans­late back to nor­mal Eng­lish every time I see it. Grats to Bliz­zard on suc­cess­ful­ly hack­ing my basic lan­guage skills and point­ing them back to their sub­scrip­tion game.

And so, my sub­mis­sion to the imag­i­nary ver­sion of the above arti­cle: Dire­brew Hops. It’s zomgepic, but it won’t help you tank any­thing.

Historicity and WoW

In his excel­lent book “Man in the High Cas­tle”, Philip K. Dick talks about items and his­toric­i­ty:

She said, ‘what is “his­toric­i­ty”?’

‘When a thing has his­to­ry in it. Lis­ten. One of those two Zip­po lighters was in Franklin D. Roo­sevelt’s pock­et when he was assas­si­nat­ed. And one was­n’t. One has his­toric­i­ty, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has noth­ing .… You can’t tell which is which. There’s no “mys­ti­cal plas­mic pres­ence”, no “aura” around it.

[The Man in the High Cas­tle, pages 6566]

Why can’t our World of War­craft items have that aura?

Con­tin­ue read­ing His­toric­i­ty and WoW

Geeky Game Design and Automated Character Audits

My guild fell in love with be.imba and wowheroes a while back. Look, they have gear scores! Trum­pets played through­out the geeky core of the guild: “Final­ly! A way to grade and com­mu­ni­cate to peo­ple their rel­a­tive progress in the endgame!” For exam­ple: “Hey, you’re not ready for X because you don’t have Y score. Go hit some instances and hero­ics.”

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, some time cud­dled up to these tools have exposed why they can’t be used for this rea­son.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Geeky Game Design and Auto­mat­ed Char­ac­ter Audits