News Roundup: Valor Points, Professions in MoP, Player Feedback
In today's news roundup, Bashiok has been busy on the forums these past few days, covering professions, player feedback, and gearing up with
In Patch 5.3, item upgrades are returning at a reduced cost (0
instead of 0
) and several Shado-Pan Assault rewards are being moved down from Revered to a lower reputation requirement.
are sidelined for now, and making players rely so much on
at the start of the expansion was an oversight.
In response to players asking about in-game surveys to provide feedback, Bashiok explained that Blizzard already amasses an exhaustive amount of player data, from talents players pick to what dailies are the most popular. Of course, forum feedback is also useful as it provides insights into player choices.
There were also a few interesting content tidbits:
Black Temple was mean to be in the game at Burning Crusade's launch.
While most of Patch 5.3 was planned out a while ago, Battlefield: Barrens was only planned in 5.2.
Players gave lots of feedback on missing Heroic Dungeons at one point, so Heroic Scenarios are a nod to those players.
He also addressed some concerns about professions, alts, and the limitation in having
BoP. He did hint that towards the end of the expansion,
may become BoE, as past crafting items like
have followed suit.
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Player Feedback and Evaluating Data
I've taken some cold medicine, and I anticipate some meandering thoughts ahead, so please forgive me. And go easy.
1. They are accessible to everyone with an active account. Due to a myriad of reasons, not all players can or choose to post on the official forums to voice their opinions (ahem, players with "forum bans" or players who simply do not utilize the forums).
Totally agree with you there, the forums, fansites, front page, and even gaming-websites as a whole is just one slice of the playerbase. Most players don't learn about new patches until they log in when it's released. Which probably seems crazy to everyone here, but that's because you're the type of person that would come to a gaming forum, read the posts, and even less likely actually log in and post(!). Most or all of your friends are probably like you as well, because (unsurprisingly) we tend to make friends with people that are like us. It's that projection bias that makes it difficult to understand that there are people out there that are not like us. We love you for being who you are, passionate people coming and giving us feedback is a big reason for why we exist, but we all have to understand (and account for the fact that) most people just don't do that.
Still, I don't think surveys would be as useful as you may think.
3. Surveys tied to accounts allows developers a way to analyze a lot of player opinion data very quickly (who does and doesn't like x feature, their pve/pvp participation, subscription history, etc). This way, Blizzard can see what type of player likes which particular features, and can adjust accordingly.
We do have a lot of data already. We know what PvE/PvP participation is, we know how often people are using their farms, we know often often people take talents or glyphs, we know how often people are using specific abilities, we know subscription history, we know how often groups are clearing content, we know queue times, etc. We can anticipate what the majority of players are looking to do, and develop that content. Not too long ago Heroic dungeons were a big thing and a lot of people were upset and wanted more in this expansion, which isn't possible to pull off before the end of this expansion, but we did hurry to put together some challenging small-group content with decent rewards to see if we could scratch that itch with Heroic Scenarios. It will be interesting to see... well first what people think of them, and second how close it gets for people to filling that role, but also just how many people actually try them, considering how loud of an issue that was.
Ultimately though there is no right single way to gather feedback. We use a variety of methods and venues to see and experience how people are playing the game, what they think, and what they want. We're always looking for more, and certainly surveys could be a part of that, but we get so much feedback and data already I'm not sure the pros for surveys outweigh the cons.
I was hoping the last couple sentences would kind of cover that. We don't just look at game data. And, in fact, while it's super helpful, a static list of numbers and percentages isn't nearly as useful as hearing how people feel about something. How something feels is far more important that statistical balance.
was absolutely in development from the start.
was supposed to be in the game when BC launched. To keep from delaying it any further quite a few things didn't make the launch game that were supposed to, and were then added in major content patches.
was always on the feature list from before the expansion was released, and was always an intended raid.
We've gotten a lot tighter with our dev cycles, obviously, but that doesn't change that the vast majority of content you see throughout the life of an expansion is in some stage of development before an expansion ships - or in some cases just couldn't make the initial release. This go around I'd say the one big exception is the Battlefield Barrens event coming in 5.3, which wasn't something that was concepted until around 5.2 when we thought we really needed a bigger story lead up and tie-in to 5.4 as we didn't have one planned.
Professions in MoP
We like that people enjoy having alts. It's been a personal hobby of mine to continually level characters, and it's of course something a lot of people do. However, in some ways it works against some game systems that are intended to be a part of the MMO experience. Professions are one such system.
The intent with professions is that you can only have two, and for all the other professions you don't have you have to work with others within the game to get what you need. Say you're a blacksmith, and you can make an item another player or even that player's profession needs, and that interplay creates interpersonal interactions and even those small interactions feed into the larger social experience. Over the years a number of things have changed and lessened those interactions based around professions, but probably none more impactful than alts. With good intentions to help people catch up to the end-game, it of course allows for people to have more alts with more professions, which in turn reduces reliance on others and shrinks the reasons you have to interact with others.
Most people don't keep tons of alts geared up for end-game, but quite a few do have alts that are there to help 'feed' their one or two main characters. Which is where the binding comes in. You're playing on one character, getting motes/spirits, and wanting to transfer those to alts to make stuff, which then feeds back to your main in either the items made, or the gold from selling them. That's totally understandable, but really fundamentally goes against the intent of profession limits. It can also lessen the personal value of playing and connecting with a character. When you have everything, your personal connection to any one of those things is diluted, and you naturally care a little less about each.
I understand that may be a hard sell because it's a limitation and not letting people do whatever they want, but it's at least logical. I think it is, anyway. :) Maybe one solution is we could say you can only have two professions per Battle.net account! And really strong arm people into it, but of course that'd be a pretty negative change in taking so much away. Instead saying here's an item that we really want you to earn and use on the character you're playing and obtained it with to reinforce the value in playing that character (and not just shipping items off to crafting alts). People still have crafting alts, of course, and some choose to play them a little just to seek out the motes/spirits, and that's ok. What we don't want is to encourage the notion that you can just play one character and keep a cadre of alts that ensure you have everything you'll ever need. Working with others to achieve great things is by and large the overarching point of these kinds of games.
All that said we have tended to remove the soulbinding of these types of crafting materials as the expansion that introduced them draws to an end.
Valor Points and Gearing Up
I'm not sure. Do you feel like that was the best way to get Valor? It may be the slowest. Good for filling small gaps though. Get a few friends together, chain-run Challenge Modes = VP win.
(+Heroic Scenarios will also be a good source in 5.3, only need 2 friends, and no spec requirements)
I'll pass on the Zerg mode aka Challenge mode I don't want to play beat the clock for no reason.
... it's not for no reason, you get rewards based on your time.
Also, no one has ever called it Zerg mode before. And never should again.
Well it's just not really the right way to use the word, but anyway, even if you get Bronze (which is all you need to shoot for) that's 55
, which, for the time investment, is probably the fastest way to get
. This thread is about the OP not wanting to do dailies to get
, not your personal take on if you like Challenge Modes or not. But now that we're on the subject, cosmetic rewards are actually fairly highly sought after, and considering from tier to tier people may or more not like how their set looks, allowing people to get fairly rare pieces to transmog into has been a pretty popular and appreciated reward. If you don't like them that's cool, there's a lot of content and not everyone is going to like all of it.
You shouldn't be grinding any reps to get
gear. Those items aren't really worth going after any more. There's the
, but you get rep by downing each
boss each week, and there's no way to 'grind' that.
If you're working on
, hitting Honored is pretty quick, buy the belt for 300g and then only continue with it if you want to hit Exalted or want some of those other rewards. If you're just looking to gear up I'd probably stop there.
Check out the
Catching Up to 5.3 blog
for specifics on how to be gearing right now.
Yes by all means don't grind rep to get gear, BUT do the rep with Kirin tor to get gear??? Do you hear yourself?? Once again Blizz don't get it, the double gate for valor gear SUCKS! It does not matter if it takes a week, 3 weeks or 3 months to get to valor gear, it is the grind that is bad. I ran dungeons and scenarios and LFR to get valor points, now I gotta grind rep to get the gear.
No you don't. If you want to get that belt it's a pretty small time investment to hit Honored, but it's not necessary to hit ilvls to get into ToT LFR by any stretch.
We've spoken to that a few times, but essentially it was just an oversight in making
too much of the gearing process at the start, and there's really no point now in trying to force JP into the mix. The current progression works well, it's quick, it helps people get alts into the latest content, and we're not really looking to force a change just so
can feel better about themselves. (poor
, so lonely)
rewards are balanced against the difficulty of the content, and the time and organization it requires. If everything gave the same amount of valor it wouldn't be a choice, there would be 1 fastest and easiest way to get
because it would literally be the fastest and easiest way.
rep is gained by killing bosses, not doing dailies. But whatever, item upgrades are coming back in 5.3 (and they're cheaper) so that'll be a nice way to dump some
You can't discount the entire idea of running 5.0 LFR to gear up because drops are random. Sure you could still get some bad rolls and it may take you a bit longer, but there are many who (with a bunch of Elder Charms, aka bonus rolls) are able to completely gear up for ToT within two weeks.
If you want an absolutely reliable way to see an item, do something, and get that item no questions asked, you can do dailies to gain rep and get them for VP, but it's not going to be the quickest way.
This isn't a question of what you can and can't do, the only question is how you want to do it. The Catching Up to 5.3 blog assumes you want to gear up as quickly as possible.
Valor gear should not be gated by rep.
And what I want to do in many cases is gain rep... but you've left me with no options other than dailies to get rep reliably in virtually every case.
Yeah I think that's something we learned from and agree with to a point. The
is technically a rep, but the limit is determined by boss kills. VP items are intended to fill gaps when your boss kills don't give you the items you need. Instead of implementing yet another currency and 'boss kill tracking system' to allow you to fill in the gaps, your access to items is determined purely by killing bosses. Plus tying it to a faction helps make it feel like it's a part of the world and not just a static tracking system.
Most of the good SPA rep rewards are frontloaded at Neutral to Honored at least. You hit Friendly week 1, and Honored shortly after that. Getting to Exalted is almost purely vanity, since it's just a tabard and some shoulders that don't even have a socket. You also don't have to do dailies to unlock those 522s, just a week or two of LFR.
We tend to not want everything to be super formulaic. It gets tiresome when every tier of every expansion the same items are available in the same ways. Mix it up, etc. etc.
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