Forced content engagement

Some MMO devs seem to like dictating not only the rules of their game but also how we play them. Others are, perhaps, more content to give us a world and let us figure that out. This topic was originally drafted a few years back when I tried to do the required battleground PVP for the legendary cloak quest in WoW. It annoyed me at the time because the epic item chain held some nice little story scenes but it was locked behind an almighty grind and some content that I really, really didn’t want to do. But actually it’s not just my distaste for PVP that bothered me, it was more the feeling that Blizz’s dev team was being so directive in how they want the playerbase to engage with the game.

For another example take crafting in WoW has been for several expansions pretty useless if you actually want to make armour, you probably make more money out of selling raw materials than crafted gear. I had high hopes that the renewed emphasis on crafting professions in Legion would fix this but it’s no better since the crafted gear is poor compared to random gear drops and is heavily gated behind the crafting quest chain – which includes a lot of mandatory dungeon runs, some on heroic difficulty. Running the dungeons is nice enough but if you have a good number of alts it quickly becomes tedious, if I never have to run Eye of Azshara again, I will be very happy.

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Although there are many things I like about the current Legion expansion, the revival of 5-person content being one of them; the emerging emphasis on mythics does worry me. I’ve tried one so far and it felt like “5-person raiding”, i.e. all the pressure to perform and stress of raiding but with fewer people to carry the load. I have zero problem with Blizzard providing hardmode options for people, there are people in our WoW guild who are loving the challenge mythic+ offers, but why make two Suramar dungeons mythic only and the soon to be released Karazhan dungeon also mythic only?

I’m becoming more resistant to developers dictating how I spend my very precious free time as the years go by. Having to take time and overcome difficult challenges to make progress or get achievements is one thing, but having to jump through very obvious hoops, to be told I must do X to get to Y just *because* is not what I would consider good game design.

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4 Responses to Forced content engagement

  1. I feel you. WoW has a terrible habit of forcing people onto a very narrow progression path. It’s at the core of most of my many complaints with the game over the years. It’s like Blizzard has some pathological aversion to letting people decide how they want to play.

    Also agree on the increased emphasis on mythic dungeons. We said we wanted five mans to be an alternative to raiding, but apparently Blizzard interpreted that as “we want five mans to be exactly like raiding.”

  2. bhagpuss says:

    Curiously, given WoW’s borrowing of GW2’s clothes for Legion, dictating how players should play was an increasingly unwelcome aspect of Colin Johanson’s leadership. With him gone and Mike O’Brien in full charge that seems to be receding. All devs, though, in all MMOs that I’ve played regularly, are far too keen on “persuading” everyone to do all the things. They’re like over-enthusiastic hosts, insisting “but you simply *must* have some of this” even when you’ve already told them you don’t want any.

  3. Shintar says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I can understand your annoyance, on the other hand: Isn’t a bit of interconnectedness a good thing in an MMO? While I do see this kind of complaint often, I’ve also had comments on my blog saying things like: “I’m so glad that quest chain made me try out raiding/PvP, because I never would have otherwise but now I ended up loving it.”

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