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Gaming Masochism

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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby masterpoobaa » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:24 pm

Im not sure about 'trying to weed them out'
Thats where the art of design lies - to teach/educate/encourage players to experiment or try something different when a challenge is presented to them (while questing/exploring). Encourage them to form groups, work co-operatively to defeat a challenge.

*thinks*
Kinda what happened in the old vanilla/BC wow TBH. Elite mob quests. Quests to gather in the outside world that takes them into a dungeon.

But of course that suffered when there were not enough people doing quests. I remember how hard it was to complete the main shadowmoon quest chain when no-one in SMV interested.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:35 pm

Well, that's really the heart of the matter: elite quest designs aren't tenable unless you can guarantee a supply of interested parties, which is only present shortly after content is released or at level cap.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Koatanga » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:53 pm

I once played a text-based MUD (population at peak around 1000 concurrent players) in which a boat ride from the main continent to an island took 3 hours. It was obviously boring as hell to be on this boat with pretty much nothing happening for 3 hours - I generally logged off and returned 3 hours later to disembark.

For all of its time-sink boredom, what that boat ride did was to create a community of those people on the island. There were no global channels; you had to be in the "room" with someone in order to talk to them. There were certain meeting places where people gathered - generally around the healers' guild because combat classes didn't heal themselves. You got to know the people on the island.

Goods from the island sold for heaps on the mainland because people couldn't be bothered to make the long trip. This established a market and kept people going out to the island in addition to the favorable hunting at certain levels.

I don't think there's any place in WoW that takes more than a few minutes to get to. Once you get there, there are very few things that make much of a trade - some patterns is about it. There is no reason to socialise with anyone there, and if you do want to be social you can chat with your guild or in whispers to anyone.

Back in the old days of WoW, it took an hour to get a group together from the LFG channel. There was almost a community feel about the channel because it was usually the same people at a given time of night looking for people to run with.

Now, we barely grunt at eachother once LFG puts us together. We pull everything and AoE it down for the most part, but even when CC is needed, everyone knows moon for sheep and square for trap. Boss fights generally aren't explained unless there's a wipe. There is almost no reason to socialise, and when there is socialising, it's from one anonymous person you'll never see again to another, so the exchange is often rude because there is no repurcussion for being an asshat because your reputation in LFG means nothing.

So some time sinks have been removed, and things are technically a lot easier, but they are not necessarily better or more accessible. People new to the game are more inhibited about asking questions, because the only conversations they have with people start with "OMFG you tard mages don't use spirit why u roll on my gearz!". There are very few community-building devices.

That old text-based MUD I played had a Mentor society. This was effectively a guild of people who had a limited toolset granted by the GMs that they could use to assist new players. The toolset consisted of being able to talk with a new player over distance, being able to travel to where the new player was to help him if he needed it, and having a global channel to coordinate mentoring activity. There was a house the Mentors would operate from, and they could announce their availability to help new players, with the option for a new player to type a command that would take them to the Mentor on duty.

This meant new players socialised with friendly people from the start. They learned the basics of how to play and navigate the world, and they learned appropriate behaviour (this was an RP-enforced MUD). It was a fantastic system that greatly enhanced the accessibility of an otherwise reasonably complicated MUD. I wonder how much WoW could benefit from something like that.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby masterpoobaa » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:18 pm

Yes indeed.

Maybe repeated rewards if you come back and do the quest for a second time?
(with a level cap so you cant get 85's to trivialize the quests).

Achievements for doing group quests at sub level cap?

Zone wise 'port to me' facility while doing the group quest?

Juicy enough quest rewards (ring of blood springs to mind) that people will want to do group quests.

Anything really to encourage co-op play, including a much needed ranking system for LFD to discourage antisocial play.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Badenhawk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:39 pm

I'm firmly in the casual camp, so let me throw my two cents in for what it's worth A bit TL;DR but take it or leave it....

I get the sense that there's an undercurrent of "well, it was harder...er, i mean more challenging when I had to level up in vanilla and now all the new players have it easy". Although that's a cynical view, it's also understandable given the investment in time that most of the original players have done. But seriously, an hour doing a single quest to pick up 20 animal hooves with a low drop rate is tedious....3-4 months worth of grinding for something that, at the end of the day, is more about a pissing contest than improving the game experience is a recipe for disaster, especially if that's a requirement to get to the next level of a game. Hell, I see a rant at least once a month in PYF thread about not being able to get the bindings for Sulfuras....not that I'm trying to attack anyone that's got it or still trying, but after 4 years what purpose does a level 60 weapon serve in the game to a level 80-85 player, other than to say you got it? Is not revisiting this sort of grind really a bad thing?

Don't get me wrong, I think doing a quest chain to get a raid atunement (eg. Kara), even if it involves a few heroics along the way, as well as the odd end-of-chain elite outdoor group quest, is a good thing, as it does encourage teamwork and aims to make you prepared for higher challenges along the way. But I don't see what purpose is served by suggesting that the game should revert back to how it was in vanilla, unless you're advocating mass cancellations and smaller game populations from people who aren't in the top 5% of raiding guilds. Besides, for anyone who has a raiding toon this is a moot point - As Theck aluded to earlier, if you haven't cleared all the Heroic modes then there's still some challenge left for you, and then there's some new content just around the corner.

Brekkie has argued that the choices in the game are binary, and while I agree one some of his points, it's not just the choices BLizz gives us that contribute to the problem. If anything, when it comes to the hardcore vs casual argument I think the community at large has a lot to do with this. Consider the difference in behaviour:

*Hardcore - typically these are populated and often run by players of Vanilla vintage. These are the guys who are at level cap within 2-7 days of expac's being released and are raiding anywhere from then to a couple of weeks later. They have a fixed roster and strict rules for entry if they're replacing or rotating. In short, these are exclusive groups that don't lightly take on new players.

*Casuals - these are guys who paid their subscriptions and muddled their way to the level cap (or hardcore raiders who are taking a break and playing the AH or something). These are the guys who don't understand all of their abilities, turn up to dungeons in quest greens and who hop between guilds that are so disorganised that they can't organise dungeon runs or raid because they're also run by casuals who can't be arsed. So when they hit the level cap they're more likely to either throw in the towel or level a whole bunch of alts in the same way. If they're lucky, they get into a decent levelling guild run by people who show them how to play their class.

WoW is different to single player RPGs and some console games in that it doesn't make you do a quest to understand how to use the new ability you just learned, so one can plod along and get to 85 without really learning how to play, but anything after that is pretty much closed to them.

However, I would submit that there's a level in between. Players who are intelligent enough to take the time to learn about their class, abilities, mechanics and try to improve their game so that they can participate in end game content (that's the whole reason this forum exists if I'm not mistaken :D ). But, for whatever reason, they are time-poor or not a skilled as they could be (usually the two go hand-in-hand). They can get themselves into heroics and the odd pug-raid and be fairly successful, but when it comes to high-end stuff they're excluded from top guilds because they're either not skilled enough, can't meet the time commitments, or roles people prefer are full. They'll be happy pumping out heroics, grinding rep or doing PVP for a while, but they get frustrated because they're associated with casuals who are happy to plod along and can't go onto the next thing. So they get stuck in the LFD and get jaded, or if they're lucky they cobble together a guild of mates who are roughly at the same skill/time level.

I put myself in this category, and in the end it comes down to personal circumstances. I'm not a uni student who goes the classes 3 hours a day then plays WoW for 10. I could choose to raid between 12am-3am server time with some high-end guild somewhere if a game were that important, but that would be a serious detriment to a happy marriage/family life and my job performance and income would probably suffer as a result. My life choices mean that I get to play for about an hour a day, an hour that could be interrupted at any point by a screaming child. On that basis I wouldn't last long in a high-end guild. Because of that, I get lumped in with the casuals. Why would I want to spend that hour per day doing some meaningless grind for 6 months so that at the end of it I might be able to do end game content, but only if I meet the strict requirements of high-end guild that are running this content? By then those guilds have probably moved on to the next raid anyway.

So, I for one am glad that the game is more accessible, because it means that people like me can play it and still get some fulfilment out of it past the level cap. By suggesting that the tedious stuff from Vanilla should be reinstated, there's the inferrence that either 1) the divide between hardcore and casual should be even wider or 2) that this should only be a game exclusively for hardcore MMO players. If, as the original poster on the other forum suggests, the high-end guys are looking for exclusivity from the rest of the population, they need look no further than their own guild or their peer guilds. If that's not enough, then consider how many players got Shadowmourne before the content was nerfed?! It wouldn't have even been 1% of the population I'm sure.

If I've missed the mark then so be it, but that's my take on this topic.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Passionario » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:39 pm

masterpoobaa wrote: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.


And in the olden days, they'd show up in a mixture of "of the Wolf"/"of the Whale" greens, ill-itemized quest rewards and level 30 blues, using a ridiculous tri-spec (or a 41/0/0, because they never even found out that the other two talent trees existed) and doing DPS equal to the base damage of their wand.

So I'm not quite convinced that faster/easier leveling is the culprit here.

Koatanga wrote:I once played a text-based MUD (population at peak around 1000 concurrent players) in which a boat ride from the main continent to an island took 3 hours. It was obviously boring as hell to be on this boat with pretty much nothing happening for 3 hours - I generally logged off and returned 3 hours later to disembark.

For all of its time-sink boredom, what that boat ride did was to create a community of those people on the island. There were no global channels; you had to be in the "room" with someone in order to talk to them. There were certain meeting places where people gathered - generally around the healers' guild because combat classes didn't heal themselves. You got to know the people on the island.


And what are Shattrath, Dalaran, Stormwind and Orgrimmar, if not cleverly disguised small islands where people stand, wait and occasionally socialize with each other? Is there really a fundamental difference between waiting for a boat and waiting for one's zeppelin, arena queue, BG queue, LFD, raid invite time, AH timer, manually assembling dungeon party, and so forth? And communication is communication, whether it's done via /s, /1, /2, /g or /p.

People often blame Blizzard for creating an 'unnatural' environment where people stand and passively wait in cities instead of freely roaming the world. But if spontaneous socialization that arises from shared boredom is actually good for the game and its community, then they've been doing it right all along.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby tlitp » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:12 am

Flex wrote:
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.

Right, but the story alone is only a part of the experience. Being able to solo group (if not raid) quests pretty much kills both the immersion and the "social" factor.

Flex wrote:We don't need to clear all these guys, just pull the boss.

Yeah, why not ? Even better, let's just make raid loot available by picking flowers. :lol:
What makes a "boss encounter" is not the loot, and is not achievements/realm firsts. The trash packs between the twin emperors and C'thun, or those right before Naj'entus, are good examples of that. While I was still playing (early WotLK), I've seen with my own eyes level 80 characters wiping on the pre-C'thun boss.



PS. To all the folks (including the infamous Theck) that state things like "most people want this or that" : there hasn't been any serious statistical research (conducted by Blizzard itself, or a group of players, or a third party). As such, those statements are what they are... assumptions.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Paxen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:40 am

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


He's totally right in this case. Levelling is barely a game anymore. It's an enjoyable experience (I'll be starting another character when my hunter dings 60), but it's a stretch to call it a game.

It would be like Mass Effect only having the lowest difficulty setting, the one for people who are content to run around randomly and blow everything away just to see the story. I don't mind that existing at all, it's just a shame that in an MMO which can't have the higher difficulty settings, they went with the lowest one. If you had, say, 3 difficulty settings you could choose for levelling, I would be very surprised if more than 20% picked the current setting.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Flex » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:46 am

tlitp wrote:Right, but the story alone is only a part of the experience. Being able to solo group (if not raid) quests pretty much kills both the immersion and the "social" factor.


But it doesn't ruin the story. Which was my original point. The storylines used in questing now are much better which makes leveling a much more intriguing experience.

tlitp wrote:Yeah, why not ? Even better, let's just make raid loot available by picking flowers. :lol:
What makes a "boss encounter" is not the loot, and is not achievements/realm firsts. The trash packs between the twin emperors and C'thun, or those right before Naj'entus, are good examples of that. While I was still playing (early WotLK), I've seen with my own eyes level 80 characters wiping on the pre-C'thun boss.


I have no idea what this is about. Maybe your bias against the WotLK raid model?
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Passionario » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:08 am

Levelling was never risky, difficult or challenging, unless one wanted it to be. It was perfectly possible to reach 60 by autoattacking boars (or equivalent thereof).

One could argue that levelling via BGs (especially without blues and heirlooms) is this era's high-risk path, and that twinks from opposing faction are the new elite ogres.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:10 am

Paxen wrote:He's totally right in this case. Levelling is barely a game anymore. It's an enjoyable experience (I'll be starting another character when my hunter dings 60), but it's a stretch to call it a game.

It would be like Mass Effect only having the lowest difficulty setting, the one for people who are content to run around randomly and blow everything away just to see the story. I don't mind that existing at all, it's just a shame that in an MMO which can't have the higher difficulty settings, they went with the lowest one. If you had, say, 3 difficulty settings you could choose for levelling, I would be very surprised if more than 20% picked the current setting.


...then well yeah, you'd be very surprised. In any case, claiming it's a stretch to call it a game puts your bias in clear light. It's an activity with rules and goals for the purpose of entertainment...it's a game. Leveling is an easy game to be sure, but to say "if you don't fail at it along the way, it's not a game" speaks to the fact that you're coming from a particular "gamer" mindset more than it says anything about the game itself.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:16 am

tlitp wrote:PS. To all the folks (including the infamous Theck) that state things like "most people want this or that" : there hasn't been any serious statistical research (conducted by Blizzard itself, or a group of players, or a third party). As such, those statements are what they are... assumptions.


...that's the thing though: we don't just have to work off of assumptions, there's also evidence available. For example, achievement mining sites give us the opportunity to look at how people choose to spend their time within WoW. It's very possible to say "about X% of people in the game try raiding", "Y% do hardcore PvP", etc. So yeah, it's most definitely possible to extrapolate what people want from the game by how they spend their time, and it would be stupid to think that Blizzard doesn't keep even more detailed metrics internally.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby RedAces » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:19 am

hey,

Paxen wrote:I don't mind that existing at all, it's just a shame that in an MMO which can't have the higher difficulty settings, they went with the lowest one. If you had, say, 3 difficulty settings you could choose for levelling, I would be very surprised if more than 20% picked the current setting.


just skip a zone ahead (or half-a-zone) and you'll have the harder content.

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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Paxen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:20 am

Dorvan wrote:...then well yeah, you'd be very surprised. In any case, claiming it's a stretch to call it a game puts your bias in clear light. It's an activity with rules and goals for the purpose of entertainment...it's a game. Leveling is an easy game to be sure, but to say "if you don't fail at it along the way, it's not a game" speaks to the fact that you're coming from a particular "gamer" mindset more than it says anything about the game itself.


...

I admit that I actually struggle to comprehend your mindset.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 am

Paxen wrote:I admit that I actually struggle to comprehend your mindset.


I'm not sure what's so confusing about it, but I'm happy to answer any questions. There was a time when I really was really interested in the skill test aspect of WoW...when I did full time raiding at a fairly high level. Even then, however, story was always very important to me. Now I'm not into the raiding anymore, but I still enjoy the social and story sides of the game. Even though I *could* play the game in a way that pushes the limits of my abilities, I mostly prefer to go through the actions of playing the game, but (at least on the questing side) without the frustration of graveyard runs and trying the same quest over and over...that's simply not of any interest to me. I actually find that those things reduce the immersion of the game.

I understand there are plenty of people that disagree with that approach...people who only like to play games that are hard and involve a fair amount of failure before reaching the end. I respect that, but it's no longer what I'm looking for from WoW, and outside of the serious raiding community it's an approach to gaming I encounter a lot. Plenty of people brush it off as "lolbad", but I know my history and am long past trying to prove myself to others via a video game.
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