Let’s see if this does the trick.
Another test does the trickRead more →
Let’s see if this does the trick.
Another test does the trickRead more →
Some really interesting discussion today – from ongoing talk and experimentation with SWTOR’s Hard Mode Flashpoints, to a great discussion from Kurn on What To Do When You Know More Than The RL…
Enjoyed these posts? Please consider sharing them!Read more →
The Dragon Soul nerf is a non-issue, right? I mean, if you don’t like it, you can just turn it off.
I’ve heard that argument a lot in the last two months – and, indeed, I’ve been on record as saying that it does mitigate the nerf. All the time, though, I’ve had this sneaking feeling at the back of my mind that, like Ben Goldacre says, “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”.
Well, Adam Holisky made that argument as the conclusion of an article about the Dragon Soul nerfs yesterday, and it has prompted two of the deep thinkers of the blogosphere to rise up and present some pretty solid arguments that, well…
You can’t just turn the nerf off.
First up, we have The Renaissance Man from Children of Wrath. He argues the point from several angles, but his key point is that turning the nerf off requires absolute consensus in a raid – and he’s quoting Ghostcrawler in support of his point, too! –
“One of the primary arguments that people make against these kind of nerfs is that they wanted to see what the content’s really like, not to be given their kill as charity by the developers who take pity on them. The dissenters claim that they can simply turn off the nerf, and everything will be the same as it was before. This is not true. Raiding is a team activity. You need nine or twenty-four other players to go along with you in order to raid with any serious degree of success. While you might get enough satisfaction to justify turning off the debuff, you need consensus within the group. The odds of everyone in the group agreeing with you is slim, and even one person in the group who would rather raid with the debuff will put the group in a very awkward position. You’re asking them to sacrifice their personal progression, not for an achievement, not for loot, not for a mount, but for something even more trivial, for your pride. If they give in, then they feel resentful at your imposition, and if you give in, then you feel disappointed with the instance. Ultimately, the very fact that a choice had to be made alters the dynamic of the raiding experience, even if you choose to turn off the buff.”
At the end of his post, TRM says that “If Blizzard had made it an actual choice, they would have given an incentive to raid without the Power of the Aspects.”. And that’s where the second of the learned essays on the subject today, from Anafielle at Sacred Duty, picks up.
Her essay is reasonably long and worth reading in full – it totally changed my mind on the subject – but the key point she makes is that without some reason or reward for turning the buff off, saying “Just turn the buff off” is no different to saying “just raid without food and flasks”, or “just use the wrong number of healers” –
“Achievement and meta drakes require very weird strats. No one would do those fights in those ways without the achievement there, but it’s there, so we do. There’s an achievement in Ulduar and in TOGC for completing tasks in specific ilvls of gear. There were 22-man achievements in Naxx– same deal. There are even achievements for things like dealing with X number of pugs. And you know what? Some people really do farm trash for gear. So sometimes we do jump through those silly hoops– when we get a reward in return! (One day there will be an achievement for that, Esoth. One day.)
Farming is another example. Say I went and killed 1000 of a certain mob. I would be willing to bet no one sits around killing mobs because they want to kill 1000 mobs. But if they get reputation, or achievements, or a non combat pet, or just gold or a drop they want– then believe me, there will be people farming!
Rewards. A task with a reward is meaningful. A task without a reward is meaningless.”
Once again, today’s posts are on my “I hope Blizzard are reading this” list. I’d love a reward for completing DS without the Aspect buff – and it would indeed make the choice feel a lot more meaningful.
Do you think that people complaining about the DS nerf should just turn it off?Read more →
Sorry about the briefly broken comments – they’re now working again, so if you commented and it vanished, please do try again!
We had to turn the site off and on again, and it would appear that the database didn’t like us pulling the power very much.Read more →
We’ve all known someone in our lives who thought gaming was an inexcusable waste of time – or at least, I suspect most of us have.
For some of us, that person might even be us – or at least part of us. Bravetank’s back today, and she’s doing what she does best – writing a tremendously brave, honest post exploring the psychological side of gaming. Today, she’s talking about something that I think will resonate with a lot of people – the guilt of playing rather than doing something ‘productive’ –
“I’ve been really enjoying WoW lately but with that comes all the old guilt again. I work really hard at my job but cannot escape the guilt I feel at coming home and, after having some food, going on WoW to relax. The more I enjoy it – the guiltier I feel. I think I was happier having all the bad runs and aggro (literally and metaphorically). Perhaps that made it seem more like a job! The more I’ve enjoyed playing and gaining achievement, mounts, levelling, seeing new dungeons (I’ve discovered I haven’t done half the Burning Crusade dungeons- went in Magister’s Terrace for the first time yesterday) then the more guilty I’ve become.
And I don’t want to be. This is something both my husband & I enjoy, but I also have time for family, reading, exercise, my dog etc. And as I’ve said I work very hard (see I must convince you of that fact or that’ll be another three hours of stress) and I’m totally committed to my job. So why am I guilty about something that gives me pleasure? Would I feel the same if this was a more “conventional” hobby? I don’t know. “
I’m reasonably sure, based on private conversations, that this issue affects a lot of people, and I’d like to commend Bravetank for being so open in talking about how it affects her. We’re conditioned as a society to feel guilt about not working “hard” enough, even when there’s solid science out there to show that optimal working hours are far less than most people think. And perhaps this is why many of us can turn MMORPGs into a job themselves, with dailies, schedules, grinding, and so on.
(Or perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they’re so popular – because they can feel like a productivity simulator?)
At the same time, Brian “Psychochild” Green writes on the same topic today, and arguing that we desperately need to be ‘unproductive’ sometimes –
“As much as it would be awesome if we could be 110% productive all the time, our brains don’t work like that. A lot of research into learning and memory shows that we need sleep in order to better form memories. Introverts (which make up a sizable portion of creative types and programmers) get re-energized when we’re off on our own; so, if you do something that requires a lot of interaction with others, you might need to get away for a bit.
Also, our brains don’t automatically shut off if we are doing something else; I’m sure many people here have had the experience of our minds solving a difficult problem when we’ve moved on to something else. Sometimes doing something else that simulates the mind gets you unconsciously thinking about a problem in a different way. Games like RPGs tend to encourage problem solving and exploration, so it can put us in the right frame of mind. “
This is a sensible, well-argued post, and one that’s very timely. Brian also goes into some ways to tell if you’re gaming too much, or if it’s not having a positive effect on your life, which are also valuable. I’d perhaps have liked to see a few links to the science he references (hint – read Slack and Peopleware), but nonetheless, it’s a damn good thing to have someone reminding us that taking time out to play games isn’t just OK, it’s actively good for us.
Do you ever feel guilty about playing MMORPGs?Read more →
I’ll be honest, there’s no link between the last of today’s recommended posts – they’re just all really interesting, even if you don’t play the games they’re referring to.
Enjoyed these links? Please consider sharing them!Read more →
Well, it seems that the kerfuffle over SWTOR’s Heroic Flashpoints has broadened out into a general discussion of difficulty for DPS. And at the same time, elsewhere on the blogosphere other people are musing on the overlooked aspects of DPS difficulty.
Is being DPS hard? Is being pure DPS hard? Should it be? Let’s go to the phones…
Do you think DPS – or pure DPS – have it easier?Read more →
It’s a controversial time in the blogosphere! So controversial, in fact, that today there are multiple Strange And Somewhat Concerning things happening in multiple games, all on the same day.
So, buckle up, as we get down with the controversy goodness:
Blizzard have revealed that the minimum price for an item on the Diablo III Real Money AH will be $1.50 – but that they’ll take $1.25 for any successful sale.
SWTOR’s customer service seems to still be having problems.
Sony have made the curious decision to sell their EverQuest 2 servers in the EU to a third-party company – and one with a very bad reputation. Subsequently, critics on the SOE forums were banned for “excessive negativity”, according to some reports.
What do you think of these ongoing controversies?Read more →
Once again, the weekend has provoked a floor of interesting blogging. Here’s the cream of the crop from the last few days!
Enjoyed those posts? Please consider sharing them with others!Read more →
The MMO blogosphere isn’t short of controversy at the moment, it must be said. For me, that’s making it a really interesting time – there’s a lot of serious thinking going on, a lot of really interesting debate and discussion, and I’m starting to get the feeling that this is one of those times when everything’s genuinely changing and progressing.
Specifically, over this weekend there have been some great posts on a variety of the top controversies right now:
What do you think?Read more →