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Argent Tournament is for the casual player

Zach Yonzon

If it wasn't any more clear, Nethaera made a couple of responses in a thread over at the forums complaining about the itemization of Argent Tournament rewards. She reiterated that Blizzard's design philosophy behind the event was to cater to the "casual players who may not take part in regular raiding". She also teased that "there is more to the Tournament than what is currently available."

The original poster complained that there was no epic item for Restoration Shamans. Other players chimed in with how iLevel 200 items this deep into the expansion made no sense. On the other hand, the weapons are flat out awesome-looking, and fairly easy to get at a casual, if somewhat glacial, pace. Blizzard insists that the content is designed for the "fun and flavor" and in that sense the Argent Tournament probably works. Still, gear is a compelling reason to play -- something Blizzard has acknowledged on numerous occasions -- and this is why the Argent Tournament rewards are less than appealing. Particularly in a World of Warcraft where even casual players can PUG 25-man raids for a shot at iLevel 213 gear or higher. In the new, more accessible raid design philosophy, even casual players can experience the so-called endgame. That's the true success (or some may argue, the failure) of Wrath.

This brings us back to the question about the Argent Tournament. Who was it designed for? The even-more-casual player? I mean, the Argent Tournament dailies take about as much time as a couple of one-boss raids like Malygos or Archavon. At this point, the event quests and items are just about perfect for players questing towards Level 80, but beyond that it seems counter to the whole new raiding philosophy aimed at letting players experience the dungeons that Blizzard has worked so hard on. As hard as Ulduar is touted to be, even Blizzard predicts that it will be PUGgable at some point. What sense is there in the Argent Tournament then?

On the other hand, some of the coolest things from the tournament aren't epic gear but flavor items such as tabards, banners, and city-themed pets. It will be tedious to get, but they're there for those industrious (or casual) enough to grind for them. In the end, Blizzard stands by its direction for the Argent Tournament, with Nethaera's somewhat cheeky but appropriate "If it's not something of interest to you, then it's not something of interest to you," ending the argument. Of course, that neglects the possibility that maybe even non-casual players want to participate in this event. It should be noted that we're only seeing the first phase of the tournament, and the coliseum hasn't been constructed yet. Who knows what Blizzard might have up its sleeves then?

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