Flamers and trolls aside, WoW Insider readers are generally a contentious lot. Their viewpoints are as divergent as the player demographics the site attracts – all types of players, from the casual to the hardcore. With this many angles to consider, WoW Insider becomes a melting pot of ideas and opinions, from the sublime to the ridiculous. (And let's face it – some of the so-called ridiculous ideas are the most entertaining to read.)
Yet this week, readers seemed to be more often of one mind than not – whether that agreement was ultimately to agree over the topic at hand or to agree to disagree. [1.Local] highlights several reader conversations that made the radar this week.
|Are PuG raiders disposable?
Readers agree: while guild-only raids are a good thing, dumping PuG players for latecoming guildies is not. "As someone who often PUGs due to my unstable schedule, I have to say that there are guilds who treat me like an extension of their guild," wrote Forcepath. "And I appreciate it. They know that 50% of the time, their guildmates aren't reliable enough that they can expect them to come to *another* Naxx-25, and that's where I come in. Myself and other PuGs are the reason some guilds can do Naxx-25, and the more that you treat PuG players well, the more often you can throw them on your friends list and say 'Hey, we're one man short -- wanna run Naxx-25?
"While I respect people who like guild-only runs, I personally am of the opinion that you shouldn't make a habit of kicking PUGs for guildies. As the OP says, it hurts your guild relations with the server (and that should probably be important to you) -- and it really is a jerk thing to do."
|Curtains for vanilla WoW
Leveling alts can seem boring and repetitive. Should Blizzard crank up leveling speed even more, offer ways to skip early levels, or even (gasp!) do away with Old World content altogether?
New players say they enjoy the content. "'Vanilla' WoW isn't vanilla when you're a new player – it's only that way if you've experienced the content before," said Frank. "Blizzard is right to leave it as-is for new players. Catering to the end-game people only would hurt the game in the long run, because there wouldn't be any way to get new people into playing."
At any rate, we would have to agree with this declaration from Aldheim: "Any man who would trade the Scarlet Monastery for quicker leveling deserves neither!"
"I think those who are pining for the Old World have to realize it isn't the same," observed email. "When I started my first 'toon, there were easily a dozen people who had just started with me. I felt like it was a world. I recently recruited a friend, and he honestly hadn't seen another character until I took him to Orgrimmar at level 15. It has changed a lot. The old dungeons are amazing, and I enjoy running around with our 'Muppet babies' and doing Old World content, but it isn't the same without tons of other people with you.
"I think what we all need is WoW 2 so everyone can get a taste of what it's like when everyone is on the same page starting."
Established players observe that maybe the idea that "the game begins at 80" sends the wrong message. "Sounds to me like folks need to go and play an FPS," concluded Plastic Rat. "If you hate leveling new characters, you hate running through Old World instances, and you hate gearing up, you're playing the wrong kind of game!
"I really wish the huge glut of ADHD kiddies drawn to this game with its increase in popularity will just hurry up and get bored so they can move on to 'The Next Big Thing,' and the rest of us can continue playing the MMO we want to play. I'm sick of game play being dictated by a bunch of people who think they want to play an MMORPG but actually want an action FPS."
"I'm going out on a limb here and feel the need to remind people that they're playing an RPG, which is about story and progression and all those other things that seem to get buried under the insistence that 'The end game is the game!'" agreed TemplarW20. "If you think everything should be static save the gear/powers/whatever you get from the raiding/PVP content, then maybe you should do as suggested above and look into the many FPS games that are available today."
|WI interviews WoW lead designer Tom Chilton
The possibility of player housing was top of mind for many who checked out WoW Insider's exclusive interview with Lead Developer Tom Chilton (aka Kalgan). But others simply don't get the fascination.
Sl0th explained: "Player housing appeals in different ways to different people. Moreover, it really depends on the setup of a game's systems as to whether there are practical draws involved. Historically, storage is a major draw of housing in an MMO. However, the sheer size of one's bank space in WoW coupled the numerous other ways to store non-soulbound items negates that draw.
"Another idea housing is good for is to open a player-run shop. But, again, WoW has a built-in system in the form of the Auction House that would make it unnecessary, if not impractical.
"I think the biggest draw, given the lack of practical applications, is to have a personalized place to come home to. It would be interesting if one could put things on display in a house. For instance, many people keep select pieces of old gear in their banks. I, for one, have a bunch of old BC tier pieces littering my main's bank along with a few odd pieces of gear I couldn't bring myself to part with. A house could be used to display that gear. But the novelty would wear off rapidly for most people were that the only application for a house. And one has to ask themselves how eager a player would be, aside from a Mage, to move their hearth stones from travel hubs like Shattrath or Dalaran to a home that will likely not have easy access to city portals? I'd wager not likely.
"In the end, to answer Rylia's question, the draw of a player housing, for WoW anyway, boils down to pure vanity. It would not serve anywhere near as practical a purpose in WoW as it does in other games. They will likely one day add some sort of housing system, be it for individual players/accounts or guild halls. But it seems, to me anyhow, completely reasonable that they haven't made it a priority."
|Readers gain Bloodlust over giving Bloodlust to Rogues
Readers were much more divided over the possibilities of giving a Bloodlust-like buff to Rogues. "I'm amazed at how many people are having hostile reactions to this idea," observed Sl0th (who evidently had a lot to say this week). "I think an armor penetration buff/debuff or even a critical strike boosting buff/debuff would fit far better with Rogue if they need more raid utility. Let the Shamans keep their Bloodlust/Heroism. Even with the new philosophy, classes should still retain at least one or two buffs that are all their own."
|Readers respond to add-on scuffle
There was plenty of strong reaction in the comments to this post about the Curse and WoW Interface vs WoWMatrix scuffle. Mr Magoo shared his view: "If was a more paranoid man, I would think Curse or WoW Interface people were posting here also. :) It seems like a clear-cut case of two businesses fighting it out, as is perfectly normal in the real world. The only weird bit is that their little fist fight has spilled out onto the street and everybody is pointing, laughing and shouting opinions. In the end, all that is going to happen is people will get/have got hurt, and the world will forget and move on.
"(Customers) are electrons. They take the shortest path. Whatever is easiest. 99% of them don't pay diddly and won't. Many would pirate the add-ons if they could. (P2P) Most could not give a toss about the add-on devs or their hard work (until it is gone, of course, and then they will cry). However, there are a core set of 'philanthropists' that WILL donate/pay and DO care. There are also some that would pay if there was a good reason to -- currently there is none. This is the market that this whole thing is about."
"WoW Matrix seems to provide the better client, as far as most of the public is concerned, and it runs well on any of the platforms people care about. They are effectively free, also, which is important and appears to only care about donations and delivering add-ons in the quickest and least fuss way possible (i.e., what the customer wants). The bad thing is that WM does not seem to care about the add-on guys or hosters at all. They can bellyache all they want about it, but the fact remains they were leeching and removing the revenue stream that others were counting on to host/develop their products. It also appears they were rather arrogant and naive on this point as to what could be done to stop them. In this case, I call that WM got what you would expect. (NB: I am not using the word "deserve" on purposed - that has no meaning in business! :) )
"The Curse client has, in the past, lost out to WM in all respects. I am using their current client (on Win), and to be honest, I can't see anything wrong with it. It works for me and is prettier than WM. I know Mac users are getting it rough.
"However, the main difference with Curse is that everything they do and say screams the fact that they are a slavering dog just chafing at the bit to create a situation where I am forced to give them money for hosting other people's hard work. I am sure they pay them a 'cut' and, like always, I am sure this cut is unfairly small since they, like the RIAA/MPAA, control the supply chain (for now, anyway, since WM has been hamstrung). Currently they are 'coercive' in that they are restricting bandwidth and features so forth to nonpaying customers, and I personally have no problem with this. I doubt if they actually manage to ruin WM that it will continue like this. They 'cunningly' used the 3.1 patch to launch their client/premium service and attack WM. One expects that they would continue in this vein once WM was gone.
"I don't think they are 'evil,' as this is just business. But in the spirit of the free market, I would warn against allowing Curse to become a monopoly of any sort. They tend to be ugly, expensive and ultimately terrible for consumers.
"WoW has laid down the law (or tried to) on this and made it clear that they want add-ons to be totally non-commerical ventures. Even donation buttons are out. As much as this is a threat to Curse, it could also be a massive win if they are smart enough. Many add-on devs will be throwing up their hands and go GPL as they are forced to open their source (whether they like it or not). However, Curse's revenue sharing could now become the main or even ONLY way for add-on devs to spin some cash for all their hard work. They could even allow the devs to put a donation button on things to boot. :) This would attrach addon devs like flies, I would imagine, and simultaneously block out WM, as they have a very good reason NOT to go GPL/etc and allow anyone to host their work.
"Hey, it is what I would do if I was stupid enough to try and make this a business. :)"
|Is 3.1 content boring?
In the end, whether readers agreed, or agreed to disagree, or fought tooth and nail to defend their own views, the discussion was the best part. "... I think we also need to remember that this is 3.1, not 3.3 that we're experiencing," wrote d503 in this analysis of patch 3.1 content. "The SWP patch and all its content was 2.4! The AQ patch was the also the third major instance to come out in the vanilla cycle. Clearly, we're building to something bigger here, and I don't expect that Blizzard would be able to turn around a 2.4-quality patch for every revision.
"That being said, I still disagree on the Argent Tournament. I think it's fun! I think Blizz identified that they needed to create a set of easy-to-do, conveniently located, and differently approached dailies that would help raiders offset the cost of raiding. I know doing my AT dailies prevents me having to reach into my coffers after a wipe.
"I would like to see PvP jousting at some point, where you could queue up like Arenas or something, that would at least make the game play of jousting more interesting. Maybe that's planned for the next phase of AT.
"Anyway, foot is out of mouth ... but the article was still pretty inflammatory! Thanks for keeping the spark alive. :)"