Thursday, September 27, 2012

More on Pandaria

My initial impression of questing in Mists of Pandaria was pretty negative.  The start of the Pandaren continent was purely linear and there was a very buggy bottleneck right at the beginning.  Fortunately that is not the case throughout and the questing options opened up a fair bit after the initial story arc finished up.  It felt a lot more like old school questing where there were lots of quest hubs with chains available but you could easily skip any of the hubs and go on to something else if you wanted to.  There are still plenty of quests with phasing and vehicles and other gimmicky mechanics but they are mostly smoothly integrated and I enjoyed them.  When you know that you can always wander away and try something else it makes things much better!  It will be frustrating to some extent that every alt who comes to Pandaria will have to do that first questline but as long as my options after that are wide open I can't be too displeased.

The new strategy of putting a ton of importance on farming mobs instead of playing the Auction House is an interesting one.  Much of the high end crafting involves killing huge numbers of monsters to get Spirits of Harmony to craft things.  No matter how rich you are it just won't be feasible to maintain an army of alts to make cash for you unless you have endless hours to farm up materials on each of them.  This is bad for me as I traditionally spend much of my time in WOW getting alts up to max level and making gobs of cash by manufacturing goods but I don't know if it is good for the average player.  It boils down very much to a right / left political debate - do we celebrate or denigrate captains of industry who become absurdly wealthy?

People who sit on the AH buying gear and flipping it for profit obviously bring no value; they just skim money off the top.  However, I didn't make my money doing that but rather in manufacturing.  I transmuted things into other things, crafted gear, and cut gems.  I added value by leveraging my skills and got rich in the process.  In traditional left wing propaganda I am a thieving, unscrupulous bloodsucker taking bread from the mouths of hardworking people.  In traditional right wing propaganda I am a job creator, an entrepreneur, someone who drives the whole of society forward by making things everyone needs.  Which limited vision is more appropriate here?  Though normally I swing to the left politically I figure I am actually doing good here. People want the things I make and I focus on making whatever it is that they want to buy.

If you buy the theory that manufacturers like myself bring value then presumably this change is a bad thing.  If I see that a particular item is out of stock on the AH I won't be able to fill that need.  Granted somebody else can do so but any given individual will only be able to make a couple of things and from past experience we know that this will not be enough.  There will be big gaps in what people want to buy because there simply won't be enough sellers.  On the other hand this will keep gold in the hands of the average player instead of the businesspeople and it is quite clear that the businesspeople have plenty of gold as it is.  Either way I assume that I will continue to squeeze out cash via cutting gems and transmuting goods with alchemy whenever there is a margin available.  The profits will never be as good as they were back in the day but I really don't need them to be... I figure I have enough money for a couple more expansions at least.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked how the questing diverged from the insipid two by two straight line that was Cata.

    I like what harmony does even if it is generally bad for me as a large-scale producer of goods. I would like harmony more if they were BoA.