Free Gear! Just Click Here
So in a lot of the Blizzard interviews and editorials and
, I've been noticing a similar theme cropping up, and it seems to have informed Blizzard's game design philosophy a great deal. It goes something like this:
People go where the gear is.
Blizzard, it seems, has finally pegged us players for the greedy bastards we are. So what does this mean?
The Hunt For Lewtz
I can't find the post right now, but I remember Ghostcrawler pointing out in a speech that when Arena PvP was the easiest way to get good gear (back in TBC), people did that—in great droves. Even people (like myself) who weren't very fond of PvP, diligently queued up in teams with ironic names like "Ten Losses", and slowly scraped together arena points. I queued for AV for the extra honor hundreds of times, and blindly spammed healing spells on anyone I could find, never mind that I had no idea what I was doing. Why? Because at the time,
that was where the loot was.
I think a lot of the reason why the WotLK instances are easier than the TBC ones is because of this—because Blizzard realized that people who genuinely preferred PvE were doing PvP instead, because it was easier to get gear that way. Blizzard has stated that their philosophy is that people who like PvE should be able to PvE for their gear, and people who like PvP should be able to PvP, and this seems sensible to me—but it's a much more difficult balancing act than it seems, because
people go where the gear is.
How many of you remember when the LFG tool was first introduced? Blizzard was convinced they could create something that was better for finding groups than just spamming messages in the LFG channel, but it seemed that the playerbase didn't agree—finding a group took forever, because simply not enough people were using the tool. There were a number of blue posts in the following days where Blizzard seemed to be annoyed that people weren't giving the tool a chance. It was, after all, a self-fulfilling prophecy—no one used the tool, so there was nobody looking for a group when you used the tool, so the tool didn't find you a group, so you didn't use the tool. Blizzard seemed to be saying "Come on, guys, give us a chance!" But it didn't work.
A New Leaf
Compare this to the experience that people are having with the new Dungeon Finder. To be fair, the new Dungeon Finder is by far a superior tool—it's clear that Blizzard spent a lot of time improving it. But they also clearly said to themselves, "After how things went last time, we need to be 100% sure that people are willing to give this new tool a try." And how did they do that? By bribing us with
. Suddenly players are falling all over each other to use the Dungeon Finder to run heroics, because
it's the easiest way to get gear
The same thing happened with the individual instances. Blizzard noticed players were dropping rather than attempting to run
, so they tweaked the difficulty level—but they
added an extra chance to drop
to make sure we were giving them a chance. I expect that now that Blizzard has seen how quickly we scamper off in search of new lootz, we'll see a lot more of this behavior in the future.
Just wait—before long, we'll be getting emblems for using the in-game voice chat!
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