Thursday, May 31, 2012

What would I change about WoW? Part 2

OK, here comes the fun part! What would I change to make the game more accessible to all players? By accessible, I mean that all content should be available in some form to all players, as long as they are all paying the same monthly subscription fee. Blizzard themselves have already stolen some of my thunder with changes like LFR, which opens up raiding to all players, and more recently, the elimination of faction-based gear enchants, which will greatly ease the process of getting toons raid-ready.

This leaves me with only 2 main changes that I would like to see in the game, that I feel unnecessarily keep content unavailable to the average player.

1. Gold sinks. I will admit that I don't understand why most of these are necessary. Are there really so many players at level 70 with piles of gold, that artisan flying needs to be 5000 G (or 4000 if exalted with faction)? The void storage cost of 25G per slot also strikes me as ridiculously high. Both artisan flying and void storage are extremely useful for all players, not just those who have made a killing on the auction house, so is it fair to price them out of reach for all but a few? I would suggest lowering the price for these two services, or making them single-purchase services so that you only have to raise the necessary cash on a single toon.

That said, I have very mixed feelings about the upcoming black market auction house, where highly-coveted items will be sold for tens of thousands of gold. On the one hand, I understand the need for at least some form of gold sink in a healthy online economy. I also feel that if you are indeed one of the few who has managed to acquire riches in WoW, then it makes sense for there to be some sort of reward. The other side of me, however, is still worried about the accessiblity issue. Could a player reasonably make a goal of raising enough money to play the black market AH, without drastically increasing their current playstyle and time investment? If the answer to that question is no, then this new feature will be excluding a large portion of paying subscribers. I will freely admit that this mainly bothers me because I will likely be one of the players excluded, and I hate seeing cool stuff in-game and realizing there is no way I will ever acquire them.

2. I do have a potential solution to making black market items, and other items currently available only to high-end raiders available to a larger population: make these items rewards through repeatable questlines. Put new NPCs in old raids, make it possible to enter these raids on a single toon rather than fudging the system with a F2P party member or whatnot, and make the raid into a progressive daily quest adventure. The quests can be difficult, and may need some time to complete; they shouldn't be a faceroll. Still, they will be a hell of a lot more fun and productive than simply farming the same old content for months, as you will be guaranteed some type of cool item (a mount or piece of gear) at its completion.

I have not problem with tiered content, as long as it is available in some form to everyone. So here we have 3 ways to obtain cool raid mounts and transmog gear, which you can choose from according to your playstyle and time investment: the traditional method of running heroic raids with your guild, the black market auction house for the money-makers, and raid questlines for everyone else.

This awesome mail helm dropped for my priest, boo!

3. I have one last suggestion that is not an accessibility issue but came up while I was thinking about the idea of raid questing: Make all bind on pickup items bind on account. Say I receive a totally cool piece of leather gear as a quest reward while I'm playing my shaman. It would totally rock to be able to send that gear to my druid to use for transmogging. In dungeons and raids, it would be necessary to make sure that players can only need on gear that their current toon can use, similar to the current system in LFR, to prevent needing on everything by people with many alts. However, on the occasion that you get a nice piece of gear on a greed roll that you can't use on your current toon, it would be great to be able to send that item to another toon rather than vendoring it.

And that's it for my suggestions! In the course of writing and researching this and the last suggestion post, in addition to a kitty health emergency at home (she's fine now), I haven't done much playing over the past few days. So I'm looking forward to getting back into the game this weekend and potentially getting two toons (Blatella and Gallore) to level 85!

1 comment:

  1. I've thought, in particular, about your point 3 - and BoA items in their current form can be used, then given to an(other) alt. I only have two Renowned Guild tabards for that reason. Once one toon is exalted with the guild, their tabard moves on.
    To mitigate this, there could be another type of item: BoA/E. Bind to Account, to character on Equip. Only one character gets to use it, but you can send it to any character you want! This would also benefit enchanters.