How WoW Can Milk My Cow

By “cow”, I mean “wallet”. I know, I know, it was very obvious to you all from the get go but I have at least 2.2 readers that wouldn’t have understood it so clarification was necessary.

I have rambled a lot about WoW lately and what I dislike about it and how I don’t want to give them my money. Like a two bit crack whore I almost broke down yesterday and resubscribed. I mean, my characters have been dormant for months and I had thousands of gold on my bank alt – what if my account was hacked? What alts DID I have when I left? So many important things crossed my mind and I actually went into my account page, hit the gigantic neon flashing “resubscribe NOW! NOW DAMN YOU!! “banner at the top of the page, and as fate would have it – my wallet was outside in my car. (I can leave it there. With my keys in the ignition. And the windows down. I live in Canada). Wow, that was a CLOSE one! OOOH wait, whats this? PAYPAL option? I have a PAYPAL account! Certainly my Paypal account is much easier for me to access RIGHT NOW instead of walking up the stairs out of my basement office, putting on my slippers, walking out to my car, disturbing the poor homeless guy who lives there (nights only, and he pees on my front lawn out of respect instead of the back seat), retrieve my wallet, and walk ALL THE WAY back inside. Wait – then I have to punch in 16 digits AND an expiry date. Pay Pal it is.

I jump to the Pay Pal site, fill it out, click “I agree” and heed the warning – “Paypal payments may take up to 60 minutes to process”. Fair enough. I walk to the corner store and buy Hernan the bum a coffee and some pop tarts. Sixty minutes up, and still no access. Check the account page again, the dreaded banner is still yelling at me. Check my Paypal account to be sure, and no transfer is either imminent nor has occurred. I dodged a bullet, or simply Blizzard doesn’t want me back. While I am a bit leary on what I agreed to purchase through Paypal via the Blizzard link (no viruses or spyware, I already checked!) there is definitely a problem there. Like an alcoholic who finds a can of beer behind his toilet after being 6 months sober, and who promptly pops it open and flushes it down the toilet, I feel free and relieved. I championed my addiction for another night. Even if only by accident.

I am still going to use the excuse I miss the good people I left there. I was actually sorta kinda popular among that group. They actually made me their Guild Leader (notice the capitalization for emphasis on importance!) for a solid 18 months before I cracked under the pressure and was taken away in a white little jacket. The reason why I actually almost sorta kinda tried to unsuccessfully resubscribe? Dual specs. I love the idea. My main is a druid (was.. then switched to a preleveled friends shaman for the better healing, then he returned from hiatus and had to give it back (after I had already left) so I am left with my druid). I love(d) my druid. I hated the spec issue, espcially as a healbot who preferred being a hybrid.

Now that I have calmed down and glad my resub didn’t bite, I realize the dual-talent-spec option isn’t enough. While sure, it saves the 10 minutes of finding a trainer and spending 50+ gold, and retraining your stuff, and reloading out your hotkeys/UI, it still doesn’t solve the real problem. Blizzard doesn’t mind giving you that 25 minutes of your life back for the convenience of being able to have multiple talent builds – I am actually surprised they don’t let you have THREE. Why? Because now you have to gear out EACH of the specs with topline gear to be effective. I hated raids that needed four tanks for 1 boss, then 1 for the next. To be “efficient”, you had to swap out players depending on the boss. This, and the new shiny talents, really solves that problem. Sort of. Your DPS will still suck as a Prot + Fury/Arms warrior if you have greens and blues. So you will STILL get swapped out if you aren’t main tank on boss #2. Unless you grind your life away and carry two raid sets.

I know, Wow_fanboi_2345, I can do heroics, blah blah blah. 637 badges is sooo much fun! What is that, wow_fangrrl_1982? Quit whining and LTP because WoW is so easy? Hell, I LOVE that WoW is easy! I really do. I am not worried about teh easy. I am worried about teh tedious. Easy can be fun. Tedious can’t. What Blizzard has brilliantly done here is basically doubling the gear needs for every single class. Mage? You need a Frost AND a Fire build. Look at the bosses we face tonight. Warrior? Prot (of course) and DPS. Druid? Tanking and Healing for you good man!

If Blizzard really liked you (us) they would change itemization – not provide a double-grind to the already solid grind. Easy in some cases, harder in others. I like to use arbitrary numbers, so here goes. ONE raid gear set regardless of spec. Change how your character USES that set. For example, I picked a random tanking helmet stats.

Crown of Dath’Remar
Binds when picked up

Head  

1611 Armor
+36 Strength
+91 Stamina
Meta Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +6 Stamina
Durability 100 / 100
Requires Level 70

Equip: Increases defense rating by 32 (13.53 @ L70).
Equip: Increases your dodge rating by 35 (1.85% @ L70).
Equip: Increases your parry rating by 33 (1.4% @ L70). 

That is the item you have. Don’t change a single stat, and it is the only helmet you need for your raiding level. In PROT stance, all “defensive” values stay the same. Switch to Berzerker stance, and the following magic occurs in your tooltip:

BERZERKER STANCE

  • Instant
  • An aggressive stance. Critical hit chance is increased by 3% and all damage taken is increased by 10%. Your DEFENCE rating turns into Attack Power. Your Parry Rating turns into +HIT. Your DODGE rating turns into HASTE. Or something like that, or some derivative of that, because we at Blizzard value you and your business and feel like 4 years of grinding for ONE raid set is enough. HAHA! Don’t forget the enchants you would have needed on TWO sets! That is expensive and would have taken even MORE grinding! BUT NO! We like you, so to save the TEDIOUS nature of our game, we will fix itemization instead of making you kill a boss 80 times to get two drops off of him, you only need to kill him 40x to get your drop. See? That is definitely love. Ask my wife.

Enchants would have to have triple purposes as well depending on your stance. Now, for classes without stances the change is easy as well – the spells THEMSELVES are the stance. Cast a spell in the frost school? It automatically changes your stat bonuses to fit the spell. Same with Arcane. Same with any tree for any class that doesn’t have stances. It is such an easy fix with a little math, and a little love, and Blizzard can milk me all the way home.

Of course my guild, and Blizzard, has nothing to fear – because we all know how much Blizzard hates anything to do with farming.

8 Comments

  1. Tesh

    Hmm… good call on the extra grinding. It’s funny… I don’t mind grinding so much in a nonsubscription game that I’m enjoying playing. I just take it at my own pace and do some Zen grinding when I feel like it. A subscription changes things, and I imagine that guild responsibilities would do so even more.

    I do wonder where this will go. I like the flexibility, and I could live with the grind… but I can see that it could turn out to be a wee bit onerous. Gear that morphs with spec would be a great solution.

    Reply
  2. Chris F (Post author)

    It doesn’t really effect the casual, more the raider. A casual running the 5 mans can get away with the greens. If you are doing ‘bleeding edge’ content you are screwed.

    For some reason I suppose it won’t bother the bleeding edge people anyway.

    This new itemization wouldn’t be much of a stretch – Blizzard did it previously with +healing also giving +spell damage so healing classes could quest effectively. It is just an extention of that premise.

    I am just being greedy. On less than 10 hours a week I was able to experience t5/t6 content because of the way our guild was designed. This change puts that out of reach for me.

    Reply
  3. Tesh

    It’s like staying current with the game is a part-time (or full-time) job. That strikes me as unhealthy, especially since you’re paying for it, not making a living at it. (The generic “you” there.)

    Reply
  4. Hez

    So… you’re going to be on and ready in time for the raid tonight, right?

    ROFL!!! I kill me…

    Reply
  5. Chris F (Post author)

    @Hez: Blame Paypal! Tell them I will be 5 minutes late I have to get my son to bed – hope they don’t kick me off the team for my tardiness! (Does 6 months count as “late”?)

    @Tesh: Work indeed. I used to sing tunes about how WoW had so many “second job” elements. The accomplishment of downing the boss for the first time with a group of online friends was a powerful force, however.

    Reply
  6. Tesh

    Oh, I definitely believe raiding with friends to be fun, if you do it right. I just resent game design that has you grind through an inordinate amount of work to get to the fun part. Not only is it bad design in the absence of the sub model, but with it, it’s just a blatant cash grab. Or milking, rather. 😉

    Reply
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