Are The Rep Grinds In Danger Of Killing Parts Of WoW?

It seems to be a bit of a macabre day today. First we’ve got EVE Online’s blogosphere, said by some to be in imminent danger of extinction, and now we’re talking about the reputation grind of Mists of Pandaria, which more than a few bloggers have claimed is or will choke off parts of the game entirely.

But is it that much of a problem? And for whom?

  • The Grumpy Elf is the second to sound the warning horn on the effects of rep grinds on alt characters“I am a grinder, I love to grind and I would gladly go through what could be an amazingly hard and long grind, but I will not do it another time on another character just to get some sort of profession item. It moves from the category of fun, which is doing it on my main, to work, which is doing it on an alt.”
  • Pike doesn’t understand why people are complaining about reputation grinds now, after the rep grinds of previous WoW expansions“Do you remember back in Burning Crusade when you had to be Revered with a faction just to run that faction’s heroic? Yeah. Later they changed it to Honored, but still!”
  • And Shy explains why she’s finding that she’s at a brick wall with her WoW play, as a casual player with nothing to spend Valor on unless she grinds“The only SOLO path of progression is doing dailies. You can run dungeons till you drop, but it doesn’t matter. Without doing the dailies you have nowhere to spend your valor.”

It doesn’t look like the rep grind discussion’s dying out any time soon. But why is it a bigger deal this time around? Will it screw up your alt play? And is it as bad as it looks for casual players?

Let us know what you think!

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Funky Bacon For America! Plus group size and more

Between EVE’s own council, the ongoing debate and occasional organised lobbying in the world of MMORPGs, we’re getting more political by the day. But could MMORPG players do a better job than our actual politicians? One blogger’s arguing so. Plus, two fascinating posts on the basis of MMORPGs – playing together.

  • Nozy Gamer suggests that some of the top journalists, podcasters and debate moderators in the EVE community would have done a lot better than certain better-known debate moderators“Am I idealizing the jobs not only these three but the entire Eve podcasting and radio community do? Perhaps. But I still maintain the hobbyists who are learning on the job still do a better job than the trained professionals.”
  • Tobold looks at the way that limited group sizes result in an exclusion-happy MMO environment“. That is more or less the principle behind Guild Wars 2 events: Any help is welcome! If you would add a 6th character with 10k dps to your existing 5-man group where everybody else does 20k, the added character would still help, not hinder the rest of the group.”
  • And Zubon considers the spectrum of alt-friendliness to alt-unfriendliness in modern MMOs“I have been calling this alt-friendliness, but in a broader view, this is easy grouping. Alt-friendliness means not needing an alt to play with your friend’s alt. “

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Player-First Storylines, Altaholic Bullet Points, and Building a Guild Site

And rounding off today, something for everyone, from guides, to humour, to thinking!

  • Stubborn at Sheep The Diamond writes his “must have in an MMO” list, and it’s an unusually detailed, well-considered and interesting bit of thinking“Exploration has been vastly underprivileged in the Bartle archetypes. Sure, people who like to explore can just go do it on their own, by why not reward them for what they do? Why not have Mount Stubborn for a few hours until the node spawns and someone else gets it?”
  • Zellviren at Unwavering Sentinel offers some thoughts on how to make a guild site a useful part of your guild’s life“The best websites, of any type, are almost entirely user-driven. You could create and administrate the greatest and most interactive site the universe has ever had the pleasure of clapping eyes on, but a community that doesn’t care about it will see it fail and devolve into a tumbleweed soundfile.”
  • Melmoth at Killed In A Smiling Accident offers 16 unwavering rules of altaholism / altitis“2. If at any point you consider yourself satisfied with both your character’s appearance and class, it is guaranteed that in the next five minutes you will see another player whose appearance or class appeals to you more than your current one.”
  • And Clockwork at Out Of Beta considers WoW’s frequent NPC-led raid endings, and asks if it’s possible to do them differently“I feel a bit like we’re dealing with the fictional Baron Munchhausen; the NPC’s are more or less helpless (have you seen how long it takes Tyrael to kill a Fallen?) and we’re actually the only reason they survive….and yet they act like they did all the work all along.”

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SWTOR Roundup: Slow Speeders, Keep Flipping and More

It’s a SWTORish world out there still, and over the weekend we’ve seen more and more comment on the game – including some answers as to how fast Bioware will be able to pump out new content!

  • Yes, Darth Hater (more or less established now as the WoW Insider of SWTOR) have datamined the -pretty lengthy – list of new features, quests, and so on in SWTOR 1.1 . Interesting stuff if you’re concerned about SWTOR’s longevity.
  • And on that subject… MMOQuests has been looking at the options available if they want to level an alt in SWTOR, and they’ve got some concerns“They’re visiting the same zones, collecting the same datacrons, and when I dislike a zone like Balmorra (those lifts.. that map.. OUCH) I have no alternate rout. “
  • Melmoth of Killed in a Smiling Accident has been pootling through SWTOR, and whilst he’s relaxed about his progress, he’d like his speeder to maybe pootle a bit less“I still fully expect to see some more adventurous sort overtake me on an untethered Mandalorian washing machine at full spin cycle, vibrating it’s way along in a random path which still somehow manages to run circles around my hovering industrial floor scrubber.”
  • And Player vs Developer is half amused, half concerned to see the old PvP problem of “Keep flipping” rear its ugly head in SWTOR PvP“As a result, when a lone Republic player shows up, the majority of the Sith do not attack that character, and berate those on their faction who do so. “

How’s your SWTORing this week?

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Danger: Playing Alts Can Harm Your Gameplay?

Vidyala has a great post fresh off the Manalicious press about how playing alts could do bad things to your playing ability. That’s a big statement given the perceived wisdom in character-centric games is that the more characters you play the better your overall knowledge of the game, but Vidyala’s got a good argument here.

First off, rest assured she’s not saying you should never ever play alts and there aren’t any benefits to doing so. What she is saying is that spreading your focus amongst several characters can get in the way of your concentrating on playing your main to the best of your abilities.

There’s just one possible pitfall, and I’m afraid it blindsided me…There’s no right or wrong way to play a game, there’s only deciding what’s right for you. But if you are a progression raider looking to maximize your play, I’m going to suggest something radical: playing too many alts might be hurting you, as it was me.

It’s one of those “so simple it’s obvious but I’d never have thought of it” things. Vidyala talks about how, once she realised how alting was affecting her playing her main mage, she buckled down and found she could vastly improve her playing. And she’s got some ideas about how to play alts while still focusing on your main, too. Now I don’t feel so silly for having so many warriors!

What do you think – is it a good thing to have alts of many different classes or not? Does it depend on what you aim to achieve in WoW?

_Quote taken directly from Vidyala’s post

You can find Vidyala’s Manalicious homepage here_

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Is the tail dying whilst the head keeps on?

We’ve seen a fair number of people asking if WoW’s dying lately – and even some evidence that Blizzard themselves are listening and fixing things. I’m pretty sure the “LFD now groups with your server first” fix was a direct result of all the comments on the blogosphere and forums talking about LFD’s loss of server community.

However, the talk of a rotting WoW is mostly focussed on the endgame – raids are too hard, heroics are too easy. Beruthiel from Falling Leaves and Wings has a different theory, based on the activities of people in her large, active guild – that actually, WoW’s dying because alts and levelling are failing.

Let’s take Brade, who is pretty much a machine when it comes to leveling, and it was something that he genuinely seemed to enjoy. He seems to have petered out at 4 max level alts. Instead, during his offtime, he’s been playing other games outside of WoW. It almost seems that he has little inclination or incentive to log in and level another character. He doesn’t chase achievements. He isn’t an instance fiend, like me. He isn’t as socially tied to the game as I am. And the alt grind seems to be less enjoyable this time around.

I am really interested by the metrics she asks about at the end of the article – how many players are hitting 85 month on month? What do the player hours trends look like? We’re never going to see them, but I wonder if there’s a way to extrapolate. I know that I for one, given the length and the easiness of most of the grind, have no intention of levelling anything from 1-85 any time soon.

What do you think? Are you levelling alts? Or are you checking out other games? And if so, what and why?

_Quote taken directly from Beruthiel’s post.

Falling Leaves and Wings’ homepage can be found at [http://fallingleavesandwings.wordpress.com/

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Has The Shattering Failed To Rock Your World?

Shintar’s bored of WoW and she’s wondering if she’s the only one. More specifically, she’s not that keen on the Shattering. Looking back on it, she says she has a few problems with it but they can all be summarised as how the whole thing was delivered. I gotta say, I agree with her.

The first problem for Shintar was the fact that the Shattering didn’t come with extra character slots, just waiting to be filled with new alts ready to explore Azeroth 2.0. She’s got a point when she says that many long-term players have a full list of characters on their home server and deciding where to roll a new alt or who to delete is like being left between a rock and a hard place. Not to mention the fact that Cataclysm arrived before most of us had got through the content – Shintar says she felt like she had to go back to her main then.

But then… the actual expansion came out. … Ever since then I keep meaning to go back to my little funky-coloured troll, but every time I log onto her I immediately miss my friends and find myself thinking about how I’m “wasting” valuable time that could be used to progress my main through the current endgame before it reaches its 4.1 “expiration date”, and anyway, the new low-level content is going to be around for a while. It’s kind of sad really.

Shintar’s highlighting other reasons the Shattering didn’t fit, too. Mostly she’s wishing that Blizzard had dealt with the Shattering differently and I completely agree with her. Shame we can’t change it now. Shintar’s geninely wondering if she’s missed something here or if others feel the same – and I’m with her.

Are you the same boat getting the same sinking feeling she is – is the Shattering failing to float your boat? Or are you having a whale of a time?

_Quote taken directly from Shintar’s post

You can find Shintar’s Priest With A Cause homepage here_

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