Gaming Masochism

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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Passionario » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:25 am

valura wrote:The game has evolved, and so should everyone playing it. Living in the past is something for old demented people, and regardless if statements about the past are true or false, clinging onto them and repeating them ad nausea will not bring back "the good ol' times", no matter how much you would like that.


I'd say that if someone wants to take a quick time trip to the past, more power to them. Hell, I signed out of a raid yesterday just so that I could spend the evening playing Planescape: Torment in peace. :D

Forcibly imposing our nostalgia on other players and developers, however, is another matter altogether.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Senador » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:04 am

The game has evolved, and so should everyone playing it. Living in the past is something for old demented people, and regardless if statements about the past are true or false, clinging onto them and repeating them ad nausea will not bring back "the good ol' times", no matter how much you would like that.


Remembering the past, and accepting that some things in the past might have been better than they currently are now, does not make one demented…

In fact, going back over the past and seeing things that may have been better is used in many things. In business, this is often referred to as “Lessons Learned” and is often used to refine current and improve them. Experiments aren’t always a success, and there are situations where going back is a good thing. Limited boss attempts was a change in the way the game evolved, but those that argued that the game didn’t have it previously weren’t demented; merely commenting that the change wasn’t necessary. Blizzard apparently agreed, as they have since removed that mechanic as well.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby mavfin » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:58 am

Simply put, what some see as 'challenge', others see as unnecessary tedium just designed to make you take longer. Blizzard has removed much of the latter from the game, and I think it's a good thing. Challenge still exists, although the top 1%, like Brekkie, may not think so, because the challenges are not catering to their rarefied air anymore.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby laterna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:27 am

mavfin wrote:Simply put, what some see as 'challenge', others see as unnecessary tedium just designed to make you take longer.


Its not quite that simple. For some who has been playing since launch, a lot of the fights just seem like a set of re-used mechanics in different arrangements. You might call me arrogant, but I fail one of these mechanics once every 500. A lot of wipes in my former guild were wipes, simply because other people failed. I didn't see challenge there, I simply saw "wipe another 10 times until person X gets it, and you move on" which for me is a time-consuming process, and not a challenge. I might have never achieved world 100th or something similar, but from seeing how I handle myself, and my overall personal scores in stuff like WoL, I know that if I so wished, I could have...

As you gain more experience in WoW it becomes a lot less challenging...
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Brekkie » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:30 pm

mavfin wrote:Simply put, what some see as 'challenge', others see as unnecessary tedium just designed to make you take longer. Blizzard has removed much of the latter from the game, and I think it's a good thing. Challenge still exists, although the top 1%, like Brekkie, may not think so, because the challenges are not catering to their rarefied air anymore.


Clarification:
I do not think that there is any sort of lack of challenging skill-checks in the game. I think it would be silly for anyone to claim that. If anything, there were too many this tier, and a lot of guilds died because of it. Difficulty in World of Warcraft is perfectly fine for the people who are seeking it in hard-mode raid content.

What I think is being lost is not difficulty or challenge or whatever you want to call it, it's depth.

For me, setting out to successfully do a backflip would be a very challenging task. I am particularly tall and ungainly and unsuited for acrobatics. It would be a challenge that would require a long time and a lot of work for me to complete. But it would not be a struggle that had much meaning to it. When I was finally successful, I would feel satisfaction that I had overcome a difficult challenge, but my satisfaction from the actual achievement, the ability to backflip, would be fairly minimal.

On the other hand, the challenge of learning Urdu while living and working in Punjab would be similarly difficult and time-consuming. When I completed the task successfully, I would feel pride in accomplishing a difficult task, but I would also feel the satisfaction given by the depth of the environment I was in, and how invested I was in the task in my day-to-day activities working among Urdu speakers. Putting a babelfish in my ear would certainly be much more convenient, relieve a lot of quality-of-life issues with the process of learning the language otherwise, and seem ideal on the surface. But what an experience I would have lost!

@Valura
I grant you that the laundry list of changes you quoted under each heading had the consistent overall effect of reducing the time taken by players to do certain things. But you are missing my point. My point is, at what cost does this increased convenience come?

Reputation:
Back in Vanilla, and in BC, you needed to grind dungeon/raid A to get rep with faction B, in order to obtain pattern C or item D. This often proved to be a timesink, for both casuals and (hardcore) raiders alike. Nowadays (starting in WotLK) you slap on a tabard for the faction you want/need reputation with, and go do the content you want/need, reeling in the reputation as you go. For example; there’s no need to run a couple of dozen HoO to get exalted with Ramkahen, even when there’s nothing to gain there except reputation. Result: People are wasting less time.

Cost:
-Instancing becomes an efficiency calculation game. Groups become ever more impatient, because it doesn't matter what instance you are in or whether this one requires special tactics or different handling, because it's all the same when I'm wearing my tabard. Every instance gets held to the standard of the easiest one, instead of the reverse, thus keeping the pressure on the developers to keep instances easy, and prevents the players from having impetus to improve or focus more.
-Because the particular instance doesn't matter, people cherry pick. You have players that ditch as soon as they see Oculus pop up. Certain dungeons see comparative disuse. Since the sole reason to go to a particular place becomes the drops, players stop going to those dungeons once they have the drops. Being able to find groups suffers. When the tank got his Sun Eatern in TBC, he had incentive to keep going back to Mechanar with other people because it was the place to get Sha'tar rep.

Travel:
Back in Vanilla, you had your 60% mount at 40, and a 100% mount at 60, and they were rather expensive (as was the riding skill). Then came BC, which introduced flying mounts at 150% and 280% respectively. Perhaps this made things too easy, but that’s up to debate. Then came WotLK which offered nothing new, except you had to pay extra to fly in Northrend, and buy Cold-Weather Flying. Now we have Cata, which again offers nothing new, but once more you have to cough up gold to be able to fly in Kalimdor. The introduction of Master Riding makes no change to it all, Blizz just offered a faster yet more expensive way of getting it, opposed to getting an (semi-)exclusive rare mount from a raid, or doing the Holiday Meta. Result: People are wasting less time.

Cost:
-The world became less big. To be quite honest I don't remember hearing a single time in Vanilla people complaining about the 20-minute or so ride/run/swim to Scarlet Monastery. Because it felt like a real world you were moving through. Why would the deep, dark, dungeon you were going to delve into the depths of be a convenient 30-sec flight away? Riding down through the jungle to Zul Gurub felt like part of the adventure, because you never knew what other players could be lurking along the way.
Short-cuts for the sake of convenience lost most of that, and I'm unconvinced the game was better off for it.

Experience:
Levelling a character from 1 to 60 back in Vanilla was a slow process, I’ll admit to that. When BC hit, Blizzard reduced the xp needed from 1 to 60. The same thing happened when WotLK hit, with xp needed from 1 to 70 being lowered. Now, with Cata, xp needed from 70 to 80 has also been lowered. The levelling process has not been destroyed by introducing heirlooms nor by rested xp, the continuous lowering of the required xp, the bonus experience given for using RDF and doing battlegrounds. It was the sum of all these that made levelling up a toon a trivial thing. Back in Vanilla, it took about an average player about 300-400 hours to level a character to 60. Nowadays, anyone with Wow experience, without using heirloom items, can level up a character to 85 in about 100 hours. Whether this is a bad thing, I’ll leave up to you, however I can totally see Blizzard’s point in doing this. People are less likely to ditch the game when a) a reroll doesn’t mean another couple of weeks/months of grinding, b) getting an alt up doesn’t mean another couple of weeks/months of grinding, c) they have more than 1 character at end-level. Result: People are wasting less time.

Cost:
-By treating something as if it is a waste of time that needs expediting, you send the message to the players that it IS a waste of time. But the leveling experience was one of the most rich parts of the game, and is even more so today. Especially with the much-vaulted lack of specific class-race combinations and the ability to race and faction change as part of the game, I am unconvinced that cheapening the leveling experience was necessary for quality of life issues.
-The message this sends is "this part is all bullshit, the real game starts with end-game raiding". I don't think that's a healthy message to send new players. Particularly for the people that are IN the end-game raiding community. It starts exacerbating lots of tension between perceived Haves and Have-nots, when really the difference should blurred by ramping progression of shaping players at the pace they are comfortable going. Instead we rush everybody to max level as fast as physically possible, dump them there without any real idea what to do, provide them nothing to develop them significantly as players, and then confront them with insurmountable brick walls of failure when they attempt to progress to what they are told is the next thing for them, the "real game".
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:13 pm

I think it's hard to look at Cataclysm and reach the conclusion that Blizzard is devaluing the leveling process. I think the leveling experience is great right now....it gives players meaningful options about what zones they want to level through as well as incentive to go back and revisit 1-85 again even if they've done it several times before.

Sure, the time to level to shorter than it used to be. However, the *quality* of that leveling time is much greater. "Gather 10 of these items with a 20% drop rate" did not make for an exhilarating game experience, and I'm not sorry to have a level experience that spends more time on story at the expense of such quests, even if the total time is greatly reduced.

Coming back to the game after a long absence, I'm not feeling pushed towards raiding at all. There's a lot of content to go through before raids are the only option, and I highly question the premise of the critique (the idea that players get shoveled to the end and then told "raid or GTFO")

Brekkie wrote:To be quite honest I don't remember hearing a single time in Vanilla people complaining about the 20-minute or so ride/run/swim to Scarlet Monastery.


Then you're looking through rose tinted lenses. I have many memories of the revolving group....struggling to get five people together for a dungeon, then waiting for people to get there, then having someone drop and having the process start over again.... While there's a reasonable argument the it's swung slightly too far in the other direction with players often never seeing the entrance portal for an instance, adding hours spent organizing groups and taking care of travel logistics is not something I find appealing at all. WoW is not my life, when I sit down to play I actually want to *play*.

In short, I think that the cost these changes come is that of grating against the feeling of nostalgia for long-time players. I can't honestly imagine this minority of players would be asking for these things if they hadn't been a part of the original game. As a long-time player myself, it's a cost I'm happy to "pay". Your example applies just as much to me: when looking for deep, meaningful experiences/accomplishments in my life WoW is not where I want those to be. While there are certainly opportunities to invest more for those that want that, the game is simply entertainment and I'm happy that the investment the game requires reflects that.
Last edited by Dorvan on Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Flex » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:34 pm

When the tank got his Sun Eatern in TBC, he had incentive to keep going back to Mechanar with other people because it was the place to get Sha'tar rep.


Selfish tank? It has lessened down now that the mains are geared and some of us are on the 5th alt but it was very common for us to run specific instances while gearing up as fresh 85s.

To be quite honest I don't remember hearing a single time in Vanilla people complaining about the 20-minute or so ride/run/swim to Scarlet Monastery


I bitched about every Un'goro to Winterspring flight ever just so I could turn in a quest that sends me back to Un'goro for a quest that takes me back up to Winterspring or Felwood again. Fuck that shit. I also bitched about the only flight point in Stranglethorn being in Booty Bay. I bitched about the run to Southshore. Oh, Felwood gets my hate too for having one flight point in the middle of nowhere. Travel is a very bitchy topic for me.

As for leveling, leveling is fine filled with richer stories, more meaningful quests and the feeling that worl has been impacted by the events that the lore said has happened. Part of that, of course, is that I've played through both pre and post loremaster and have a basis to compare it to. On the whole nothing in Vanilla or TBC reached the pathos that the Rhea quest line in Badlands contains.

The only possible issue is that leveling dungeons don't offer much of a challenge, but from what people have said vanilla ones didn't have strict reliant on role dynamics until you reached near level capped dungeons, which seemingly is always the case, even now.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby tlitp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:18 pm

Flex wrote:As for leveling, leveling is fine filled with richer stories, more meaningful quests and the feeling that worl has been impacted by the events that the lore said has happened. Part of that, of course, is that I've played through both pre and post loremaster and have a basis to compare it to. On the whole nothing in Vanilla or TBC reached the pathos that the Rhea quest line in Badlands contains.
(...)
from what people have said vanilla ones didn't have strict reliant on role dynamics until you reached near level capped dungeons, which seemingly is always the case, even now.

I. In no particular order :
Sadly, completing them at 80, for Loremaster, is a far cry of what they were back then. Sticking to the W3 theme, "but a shadow of their former self". Personally, I've managed to complete ~all (the scepter line only partially, it required significantly more grinding then) when they were current business, and then once again at 80 on an alt (yeah, Loremaster); simply put, there is no comparison.

II. Those people clearly haven't run SM:Cath in Vanilla. Especially with an under-leveled group. :P
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dantriges » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:27 pm

Oh I still remember when you had to go to the instance. Looking around for half an hour or an hour, then going there. I started when summoning stones were already available so you had to force someone else besides you to actually come over there.

And well, traveling through the jungle fearing the evil max level griefer? Not on a PvE realm anyways and I don´t think many people actually liked the excitement of griefers lurking around the corner.

Yeah and I still rmember people bitching about the Scarlet monastery ride or well about the stupid flight paths in certain areas. And the relief when flight points actually got introduced so you dn´t have to ride for 10 minutes the same old road thru Felwood, Duskwood, Stranglethorn or so to get your next quest.

And well the quest that sent you all over Azeroth? How many people actually did them after the first time. The people who are playing now are probably the people who played the game years ago. many know the geography of Azeroth already.

And well Endgame raiding as the point of where the game starts? Well isn´t this a common attitude since Vanilla? Never encountered many people who didn´t try to max level their toon as fast as they can. I level an alt to do something different than running the same old heroic or raid again but it´s the common attitude. The guy who introduced me to WoW actually urged me to stop reading quest texts when I started leveling my main.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Flex » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:50 pm

tlitp wrote:Sadly, completing them at 80, for Loremaster, is a far cry of what they were back then. Sticking to the W3 theme, "but a shadow of their former self". Personally, I've managed to complete ~all (the scepter line only partially, it required significantly more grinding then) when they were current business, and then once again at 80 on an alt (yeah, Loremaster); simply put, there is no comparison.


Not sure what level has to do with it, an engrossing story is an engrossing story, unless your implication is that a compelling quest can only be truly experienced at level.

II. Those people clearly haven't run SM:Cath in Vanilla. Especially with an under-leveled group. :P


To paraphrase the infamous quote: We don't need to clear all these guys, just pull the boss.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Paxen » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:05 pm

The problem with levelling these days is that it's like playing on Easy (or Casual, or whatever the setting below beginner is on single player games). It's almost impossible to fail. The mobs are no threat to you. The map even shows you in nice, big symbols where you need to go (not that players haven't used addons for that for a long time).

I like the stories and varied elements (I haven't been playing much lately, but I'm nearly done on my first post-cata lvl 60), but Gevlon (from Greedy Goblin) really nailed it when he called cata levelling "click-to-continue" movies.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:33 pm

...and if you're quoting Gevlon, you're already way off course for any sort of reasonable game design for WoW.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby masterpoobaa » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:06 pm

He does have a point though, especially for new-to-wow people leveling for the first time.
You can level from 1 to 85 without having to interact with another single human being, and its exceeding difficult to fail. Point and click 'adventure' where you can basically use 1-4 buttons for the entire process, quests taking you from zone to zone, popups when you level to remind you to put new talent points in or to visit the trainer and new gear dolled out at a steady rate.

Then once you hit 85 you have to learn how to function in a group, learn the unwritten rules of running 5mans and learn how to produce dps.

And you do see many of these players when running 85 normal dungeons.
They have green gear from leveling, a spec that appears to have been applied using a painball gun from 30yards, no gems or enchants and get excited when they manage to pump out a whopping 2.5k-3k dps at level 85. Usually on the wrong target.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby mavfin » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:35 pm

tlitp wrote:II. Those people clearly haven't run SM:Cath in Vanilla. Especially with an under-leveled group. :P


I've done it a zillion times, at level and under level. And I remember Vanilla very well. Much of what you are remembering as challenge and wonderful things, I remember as a bunch of tedious crap I had to do so I could do something else fun.

Millions of people play the game, and we don't all play it for the same reasons. You're very entitled to your opinion, but, you can't claim to speak for everyone. You can just speak for yourself and your little circle of friends. That's it. So, just because you don't like the direction the game is going, and most of your friends don't, doesn't mean Blizzard is doing it wrong. I'm sure they have a decent idea of what direction will keep the most subscribers, and it may not be the things we here at MTadin hold dear. Such is the way of the world.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:36 pm

I strongly disagree that leveling being easy is a problem. Players are going to run into challenges beyond what they'll be willing to put in at some point...why try to "weed them out" before letting them experience the leveling process?
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