Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pondering Warcraft's path..narf!

I've been pondering a few things about Warcraft lately.  I've noticed a trend that has grown more and more pronounced of late.

(TwoTwilight jabs in two posts is a good start)

Blizzard is trying to outlaw cheating.  That's not something i think they should be working on.  Your with me right?


Whoh before you think I'm crackers let me explain.  I'm not talking about what we classically think of as cheating.  So no..
(The konami code, everyone knows it)
Or what formed my most vivid early feelings about cheating ..
(Ok now I feel old)
But rather the more harmless form of it.  Knowing too much about the game.

It used to be in Warcraft that those who had experienced and explored the game had an intangible edge over their fellow players.

"Need to know the best spec for a furry warrior?  yea I can help with that.  What about how to gear an Enchancement Shaman?  Sure that too.  here let me show you what to do to pick up a killer blue as you level so its super smooth."

that was he group i ended up in.  I may bot be able to remember how long to boil an egg but the tokens/badges/honor to pick up a sweet PvP trinket at 20?  yea I know that (its 20 honor now).

Blizzard has been pretty systematically hunting down the things that I knew and eliminating them.  Thats good right?  Everyone on even footing?
Id argue it isn't.  There's 'cheating' (OMG that jerk knows our spawn times he is a cheater) and cheating (That guy fired through the wall at me!).  Both have different effects that at a glace you can confuse as similar.

Knowing where to earn an offhand IL 52 with no level requirement more than a few would call cheating.  Youve come to know the system well enough you can move around in it and find the best paths.  The best of us help the other players to enjoy the perks of our knowledge too.  The worst use it to harass and dominate our fellows.

So while this...

May make for a more 'even' game it also makes for a more bland one.  more and more my knowledge is good for Darkmoon Herald trivia about the past and less about the game.

So if that's the problem how do we fix it?  Isnt that just giving some players an extra edge?

That's the thing of it.  Its not an extra edge.  Its an edge anyone can reach out and grab.   Knowing where mushrooms in Mario was gave you an edge a regular player didn't have.  Cheating to be given them was a different thing and was treated differently.  I think Warcraft could do with a bit more intelligence based gaming.  The group quests are a prime example.  If you figured out or managed to look up how to do them you got a huge shot in the arm for exp.  Blizzard...banned them because 'not enough people were doing them'.  I know groups took them on and I know I soloed many because I was careful.  How does their existence hurt the game?  The only answer I can find is if their perceived as being fodder for 'cheating' by the people who solo them.

The solution is easy.  leave content like this alone for those to tackle as pleases them.  If someone Pots buffs and solos it good for them.  if another player needs a group good for them too for enjoying the game the way they want to.

I think we've lost a great deal of  substance by beating it plain much like an autotuned song.  With millions of p-layers they have to not just answer to squeaky wheels.  The enjoyment Ive gained in helping my guildies and thet they have had in learning some new trick is something their computer models cant easily handle.

Remember cheating is often in the eyes fo the beholder.

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