As I mentioned I'm playing on a trial version of City of Heroes (CoH). I played it awhile back so it isn't new, but there have been some changes.
The most recent change is the introduction of Mission Architect. It allows players to create their own missions. Sounds like a great idea until you realize what players want to create and what players want to do lack imagination.
At first I spent some time doing the old missions I'd done before as a new player solo. With limited powers this is ZzzZzz. I eventually was sent to the Architect Entertainment building. There you can join groups to play through the player made stuff. You get auto-leveled to match the level of the mission. That is the mission was for level 52 so we all became level 50 heroes. Then we just went around killing stuff.
Some missions had a description and story. But the ones I did were "Kill all monsters." "Find remains, kill all enemies". And this is what chat consists of "LF AE" "LF AE team" "LFAET". Oh and costume contests.
I was reminded what was in store when I joined a group that was apparently powerleveling some friends. I got 5 levels in about 20-30 minutes if that. The problem with powerleveling, at least in City of Heroes, is there is no endgame! At least there wasn't really one when I played it.
I'm going to try to find an "interesting" mission before my trial is up. But I honestly can't figure out what would be interesting about it. Because I haven't seen anything yet added to the mission sandbox to make it interesting.
Jadyn commented a few posts back about how we are given so many rewards so easily its all becoming watered down and meaningless. Give it a quick read please. I've quoted the point here:
"In the end, you have to keep rewarding the person more and more, as the reward becomes more and more devalued in their eyes (even a real reward like candy follows this rule). You, myself, and a number of other people have been feeling burnout, right? But in some ways for some people, it feels different than normal. It's more like you've started to question the point of it all. And imho, a lot of it is coming from this cycle of behavior->reward."
I want to think my feelings on the matter are different maybe they aren't. Because I'm not burned out on the point of it all as I'm burned out on just being bored.
I really enjoy the rewards I receive from my "normal" amount of play. It's when I start to have to put an uncomfortable amount in my enjoyment wanes. I liked doing the Argent Tournament stuff at first, managing to make some easy gold and acquiring a few new pets, but eventually I got bored with it. There were rewards left to get and the effort hadn't increased in any way. But the difference is the effort would be MORE of the same.
Would I enjoy it more if there was only one pet that cost 400 Champion's Seals vs. 10 pets that cost 40 Champion's Seals each? Neither is appealing.
In other words making the reward rarer or harder to get doesn't make me want it more if the method of getting it isn't enjoyable. Also making the rewards plentiful doesn't make me want them more if the method of getting them isn't enjoyable.
The first time I "quit" WoW I had finally leveled to 60 which was max level at the time. I wasn't familiar with raiding, pvp wasn't really my thing, so I left easily.
There wasn't much thought to it. "I'm bored so I'm quitting". I had spent months in the game, but I didn't have this feeling of leaving behind something I had alot invested in. I didn't play for several months. And when I came back I didn't even come back to my original character. I started from scratch on a new realm.
The second time I "quit" I had spent much more time in WoW. I had more than one max level character, ran several dungeons to death and honestly I don't think I really wanted to quit. I can't remember if I called it a break, but it didn't take me long this time to start it up again.
Now I find myself in the middle. I'm bored but I really don't want to cancel my account.
It's too soon to say I'm done with WoW, but it looks like I'm headed that way.
I came across this description of an old Everquest expansion, The Shadows of Luclin: "The expansion focuses on high-level content, providing a number of zones meant to be used by large groups of players and many extremely powerful monsters to fight."
This coupled with a post from Tree Bark Jacket blog: "I am going to go out on a limb and say that most hardcore raiders don't want hard modes of existing content - they want content that only they will get to see, being truly skilled and dedicated players - a la old Naxx and Sunwell."
That got me to thinking, did "casual" players in EQ get upset that an expansion was created for a different type of player than them? Or did EQ even have casual players?
I've never fully empathized with this desire to see content that no one else gets to see. Instead I enjoy comparing experiences. "Remember how hard X was?" leads to a more conversation, "You should have been there when it was Y" leads to a one-sided story.
I know of two players grinding toward the Insane title.
If you aren't familiar with certain reputations let me explain why you earn that title:
Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers (Honored) - involves losing rep with some of the other factions you need to hit exalted with
Exalted with Everlook (Exalted) 1 of the 4 you lose rep with when grinding Bloodsail
Exalted with Ratchet (Exalted) 1 of the 4 you lose rep with when grinding Bloodsail
Exalted with Ravenholdt (Exalted) You must either be a rogue, have a rogue alt, employ a rogue or find an extremely helpful rogue to help you with this one
Exalted with Booty Bay (Exalted) 1 of the 4 you lose rep with when grinding Bloodsail
Exalted with Gadgetzan (Exalted) 1 of the 4 you lose rep with when grinding Bloodsail
Exalted with Darkmoon Faire (Exalted) rep via turn-ins that require either tons of patience or money to acquire
Exalted with Shen'dralar (Exalted) rep via turn-ins that require either tons of patience or money to acquire
I've already heard one person on my server has obtained the title, there may be more. But the two I know are hardly insane players. One has extra time to waste and the other simply takes his time focusing on this goal versus doing the myriad of other stuff the rest of us do.
Insane is relative. Some of us feel like the hours people spend raiding is insane. Did you hear about the group of players that stayed up using a shock toy to level? And what about the ones that grinding Grand Marshal back in the day? And then there are those non-gamers who can't believe we spend one minute of our time dressed up like an half-squid/half-goat man from outer space to begin with.
I fired up my very first mmo, City of Heroes, over the weekend because I wanted to play something else but not WoW.
I quickly picked a few elements of my superheroe's costume, choosing some new items that didn't exist back when I played and ran through the starter zone. I reached a common area, Atlas Park, and noticed familar comments in chat - costume contests, etc.
But you can't go back can you? If this had been my first time in City of Heroes I would have marveled, no pun intended, at the flames shooting from one players feet. Or been amazed at the 2 players hovering over a statue.
Just like when I saw the very first warrior in full matching armor back before tiers and dungeon sets.
"How do I get that?" "Where does that come from?" "Where can I get some of those?"
Once all of those questions are answered, once the mystery is gone you can't get that wonderment back. At least not by going back to old games you've left behind.
Sorry if this sounds depressing too, I'll address it when I get a chance.
A recent comment on the quote about WoW becoming a job: "I don't get it; exactly none of that stuff is compulsory.
I don't think the fun/job distinction is enforced by the game mechanics. I'm certainly still having fun :>
I have enjoyed your blog but it's getting a little depressing recently!"
I have to agree with the last sentence. My posts have been a little depressing. Maybe even a lot. :)
The actual quote wasn't made by me, but someone else a few years ago. The mention of attunements was probably a clue.
I've blogged about that quote before and when I get bored with WoW and start to think about how much time I've played, I come back to it.
Look at the things he mentioned years ago, some still true: how to farm for more gold, which gears to get next, showing up on time for raid plans, helping other people get keys, finishing quests, farming PvP for higher rank, selling items on auction house, etc.
Perhaps we don't have to worry about attunements or PvP ranks, but everything else is the same.
I can exist on the gold I make without even trying, however to get 100 mounts, I need to visit Greedy Goblin's blog and spend a lot of time learning how to not spend a lot of time earning gold.
I can not worry about what gear I need to obtain to raid, and when something drops and I pass on something I shouldn't pass on, end up having to spend more hours raiding to get it.
Helping others get keys is the outdated part of the quote. No more attunements, halfway decent gear is your key into raids now.
Finishing quests is pretty much the only part of this I don't mind. Having reached Loremaster however has no removed my desire to complete quests just for the heck of it.
You don't PvP for old ranks, but you still can PvP for Gladiator ranks. (Although now, if anyone else is like me, I don't know a Merciless Gladiator from a Barbarous one. Unlike how I knew a Grunt from a High Warlord.)
And selling stuff on the auction house is an easier and quicker way to make money. But if you don't have fun doing so it can almost be as bad as grinding mobs.
Now someone else, who is having fun playing WoW. Could take every one of these points and list how they enjoy them. Heck, I'm sure I've done it myself in this very blog at some point in the past few years!
So yes, my blog is depressing because of my outlook of WoW. I need to take a break. And after I'm done with the Fire Festivities I'm going to take one.
"There’s too much you have to think about in-game: how to farm for more gold, which gears to get next, showing up on time for raid plans, helping other people get keys, finishing quests, farming PvP for higher rank, selling items on auction house, etc.
In a nutshell, WoW is a giant blackhole. It attracted you with fun then turned it into a job."
Things have definitely slowed down for me in WoW. The biggest thing is work keeping me busy past normal hours and not feeling up to playing for very long.
Also this new guild just doesn't have a lot going on outside of raid time. I can't complain. I'm as much of the problem as anyone. When I log on to raid, I raid. Other times I log on to do things by myself not really desiring to take my Ulduar character to raids in Naxxramas and the like and that's what the few players in this guild do on non-raid days.
I was really excited about Ulduar and I think things would have been better if my guild hadn't melted down. This new guild fills my raid goals satisfyingly, but as I think about it I don't really have as much fun as I could have.
No I'm not looking for greener pastures, I'm tired of guild-hopping and this is coming from someone who has been in the same number of guilds as years I've been playing, that is I don't jump guilds hardly at all.
This new guild has me a little nervous. As far as I can tell the raid leaders aren't doing much of a job to find new recruits - we had to call a raid due to no-shows last week. And when you hear "everyone can recruit" without any semblance of organization about what exactly we need and how we should handle anyone interested makes me wonder how we'll get any "decent" players to fill the roster. Filling a raid is easy, filling it with competent players... yeah.
To be honest, if the raid starts to fall apart I won't really care. I sort of slipping back into raiding and I almost feel like I'll just slip back out again. No-shows don't help the situation. I use to say "I'll never be that type of raider, not showing up when people are depending on me. Now I feel like, that raider has the right idea! Show up when you feel like it, 24 other people be damned!" And that's where I am with the game again. That unnatural feeling to treat WoW like a game and not a job. Unnatural indeed. My desire to play is waning. Maybe its because its summertime and I know I shouldn't let it go to waste.
Not sure if I posted about this before, if I have then it just means it really bugs me.
I raid with this other healer who has yet to go a single raid without mentioning how good he is. I'll call him "Superhealo".
This could easily be ignored if Superhealo hadn't recently started straying into the "other healers suck" territory.
He raids *with* us. If one extra healer doesn't show up we might have a difficult time. And this is what Superhealo doesn't grasp. We are a team. All the time he mentions how great he is comes at the risk of camaraderie. The raid leaders don't seem to get it either, constantly patting him on the back.
I've played with better healers than him, ones with better situational awareness, that didn't need constant puffing up.
Life is short, so I'm working on letting this not bug me so much, but I will admit I sometimes think about skipping raids specifically because of Superhealo.
If any of the other healers feel like me, Superhealo will have to prove what he's said all along "I can heal this by myself."