Monday, 7 November 2011

Shrouded by Mists of Loot

By now, I'm sure many of you have been enlightened with the intriguing thoughts of the Blizzard developer, Ghostcrawler. More specifically his thoughts and ideas about the current 'stat inflation' crisis, as such.

In short, a growing concern for developers and many players, is that the numbers (Especially the big exciting bold ones that flash across our screen), are spiralling out of control. No, it's not World of Warcraft's take on Skynet. We will not see giant yellow/green/red, heck throw in white, numbers descending on us and forcing mathematical equations on everyone, or anything nearly as brutal, at least for this expansion.

However, to the point, with a few examples put out there on how gear could turn out, at this rate, just within the next expansion, is clear. Where we once hoped to see damage in the hundreds, or thousands, we now see them approaching, and well beyond, the one hundred thousand mark!

Grand Marshal's Claymore
Now, with two possible solutions from the design team.

Mega Damage: Basically shortening, or abbreviating, large numbers into smaller forms. For example; using 1k instead of 1000. Or an imaginative 1 'mega damage'.

Item 'Squish': As the name states, bringing down items levels and condensing stat's across the board. Of course adjusting mobs and bosses accordingly too.

The second option, the subsidising of items levels/stats, seems to be the preferred method. Although the main worry is that many will feel nerfed.

Let's be honest, as players alike, numbers make us happy. The bigger they come the better. Who doesn't want to see your attacks and heals backed by uncomprehending numbers. However, with the second option in mind, we would see this disappear or at least diminish somewhat. "Pyroblast (with every buff imaginable) hits for... 5000.. Huh? What happened?! Hax!".

I'm sure like every change, we would soon adjust and begin to feel more comfortable with lower numbers knowing that we're still topping meters and what not.

Sulfuras, The Extinguished Hand
Anyway, with all this flowing through the community, I got thinking.

Has loot changed our motives in game? Has our perception of success evolved? What do I mean..

When your preparing away for your raid, whether it be theory-crafting, collecting consumables and the likes, what are you aiming for? When your actually in that strenuous encounter, what is flowing through your mind.

From my experience if content doesn't provide a reasonable reward, in a physical way (Yes, physical, in an in-game way), such as gear, many will not go out of their way to contend it. Why should they?

There are a few however, that still will. They will take up the challenge. Whether it be for the reputation of being first, for fun or just for the sake of it. But why, if it doesn't reward you with any gear?

The experience.

I feel that we, I have been guilty at some point, can become blinded by rewards. "How can you take on new content without gear?!", you say. Indeed, you may be right. In which the problem lies. I would prefer to take on the game in the most challenging way possible, if it meant that the experience would be second to none. Even if it meant that the rewards, i.e. gear, were not astounding. But knowing that I achieved victory in such conditions would, for me, outweigh any in-game rewards.

Though, I feel that many don't play for the same reasons.

Mean, you can earn all the gear to your hearts content. But outside of raid, or possibly battlegrounds/arena, what does it amount to? At least if you sacrificed your whole experience to obtain such items. You can stand in Stormwind AFK to display your feats, yes. However, what's it all worth if you only did it for 'the looties".

Sadly, it seems that the rewards do a good job to make up for it. At least from what I have gathered from many players.

As a word, I play to win yes. I am very competitive. But with that said I want to feel that adrenaline, that whole atmosphere because it means something to me, and my team, to achieve victory. The thrill for the kill. Not because the game is giving me rewards.

What are your driving tools? Are you driven for the win? Or is substantial bounty a real deal-breaker? Share your view!

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- Jamin


  1. The one thing that motivates me is to become better. To see my character progress, whether it be by gear, damage output or raid progress. Just the feeling of getting that one achievement that you worked so hard to get is enough for me to say "Wow, I did it!" I'll actually feel satisfied and proud of it. The same is when I get a new piece of loot that I worked hard to get, or finally getting that boss down that proved to be hard all night. Seeing an increas in my dps, maybe just be a few hundred.

    TL;DR, my drive is personal progress. I don't care how far others are, as long as I'm happy with the current state of my character.

  2. @Señor and The Queen

    I like your outlook. To be honest, I am inclined to say I share a similar view. It's a good balance.

    Learning to be content :)

    Thanks for sharing your view!

    - Jamin

  3. Frankly, I just wanna see the epic WoW story unfold. If I must I'll do it through Youtube movies made by people with more spare time to take on the challenges than me.

    But nothing beats getting in there and doing it yourself.

    Unless you're a bear tank who's either staring at the boss' crotch or his own Big Bear Butt all fight long (looking at you Prince Machezaar !!). :)

  4. @Vincent Vancalbergh

    Ah, your not the only one! However, I find it hard to watch 'spoilers'. Makes me feel like cheating. I agree, the thrill of doing it yourself is king!

    Haha, I like your analysis :P

    Drop by again,

    - Jamin


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