Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To infinity

I saw an interesting discussion today about the way Mythic+ dungeons have worked out in WOW's latest expansion.  Basically the way it works is each week you get a key, which can be used to do a specific dungeon at a specific difficulty.  If you complete it in time, you get a key for a harder dungeon, and you can do that until you fail the timer.

In theory this means that players doing 5 person content can do it for a little while until they hit their difficulty cap and then they stop.  Just like raiding, there is a finite amount of stuff you can do in a week.  In theory.

In practice once people get done with their own keys they just split off into 4 person groups and advertise for noobs with keys that still work.  The noob gets hauled through the dungeon and everybody gets loot.  The supply of noobs with keys who are willing to be hauled through dungeons by geared players is huge, so people can effectively run Mythic+ dungeons all day every day if they feel like it.

If you happen to be a tank or healer with good gear you don't even need a group to do this, as your services will always be in demand and you can just run whatever dungeon you like forever using other people's keys.

Some people really don't like this, and I can see why.  If you are in the position where you can always be doing something to advance your character and you are a competitive person you will often feel obligated to do those things.  People feel guilty about not being as good as they could be, and mad at people who play 24/7 and are further advanced.

I am the type who isn't bothered by other people playing all day and being better.  I am old and my arms hurt if I play too much.  I have responsibilities that are more important to me than tiny marginal increases to my WOW character.  If someone else doesn't have those things, then they are welcome to be better than me.  I won't be that far behind, in any case, and I am not doing anything where being a tiny bit better is necessary.

It does sometimes get difficult to know when enough is enough though.  How do I decide when I have done all I should do for the day?  In older times in WOW I could just be done raiding and it was over.  Nothing productive to do.  I remember back in Burning Crusade when my best gear came from PVP so I 'had' to PVP all day, and raid all night, rarely getting gear from raids because it wasn't good for me.  That sucked.  Now it is similar because I can run Mythic+ all day if I want to and there isn't a good, clear boundary for when I am done.

I don't like entrepreneurship at least in part because I like having clear boundaries.  I like being able to walk away from my job at the end of the day and be done with it.  WOW is similar in that I like to be able to log off from the raid and know that I have enough gold to buy my potions and I have done the other maintenance required and the rest is just about fun.  With the current design that never happens.  I can always be hunting for better gear and more artifact power without any end in sight.

I like Legion a lot.  There are so many things to do!  But there are challenges with establishing boundaries on play for the good of the players, and you can't please everyone no matter how you do it.

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