I’m nowhere near even close to being a Mythic raider. However, I have a lot of people who Mythic raid in my acquaintance (including at least one who’s a close friend) and I get how much this stuff matters. That’s why this extended Tweet is my focus, because it makes a potent point… not simply for those at the front end of content consumption, but for everybody. You should read it all, of course, but it is these particular two paragraphs that matter the most:
The reason I’m here, talking about this, is those last three lines. Speaking as someone who’s given up even casual raiding for exactly this reason, it is an interesting issue to assess. ‘Optimal’ has always been an immensely subjective state of mind: what you might think is good, someone else will consider as woeful. What is average to one, will be amazeballs to another. One cannot help but think that ActiBlizz has far greater focus on providing content than concerns over how it is consumed, more so than has been the case for many years. In fact, very little if at all is now actively discussed over the state of the high end raider. Most of the time, we’re only interested in mechanics and execution.
It could almost be that Warcraft’s stopped catering to the Hardcore.
Now, before you light that torch, put down your pitchfork and consider what Legion’s doing for the overall player base, and not simply a fraction. If the modus operandi of this company has always been to simply provide content and allow individuals to consume it, we’d all still be in Vanilla (if I believe what I read in certain parts of the Internet.) That means that there’s a baseline level of competence required to complete every single aspect of gamplay. If there wasn’t you wouldn’t need iLevels, or indeed Artefact power, everyone could be an Ironman and just do the job in white gear. So, this therefore presumes that to get to a point (let’s say Mythic Raiding) that you will be judged on any manner of criteria: weapon strength, gear, suitability in raid team, how many hours you can give a week… but that’s all irrelevant as an individual if someone else in a team decides you’re not good enough, or your face doesn’t fit.
You could be Best Raider EU, but if you slept with the GM’s boyfriend after the last Guild Meet? Forget it. There’s a ton of other factors at play before you even start crunching numbers. However even that pales into insignificance if, like me, you suffer a crisis of confidence and decide you can’t do this any more. I really don’t want to take away the maths and the reasoning from this excellent and thoughtful mega-Tweet (and that’s why I made sure it got CC-d to @WarcraftDevs because they need to understand this argument) because if this was my life, and what I wanted was to be the best, I know EXACTLY how playing catch-up would feel. However I am the woman who, for several weeks, has played the game without grasping I had a third Relic slot. I am, like it or not, the average player now, and for me the notion of progression pretty much negates the desire to be first, every time I log in.
However, I do still believe the Hardcore’s getting a raw deal.
I still don’t understand why ActiBlizz, who are capable of so much magic now with raw numbers and scaling technology, don’t cut high end raiders a break sometimes, when it is abundantly apparent how much they care about the game to begin with. There, I said it: yeah, those people who have to my face on a Twitch livecast openly mocked for being happy I don’t raid. Yeah, you people who laugh at the scrubs and can’t understand why we’re happy not being relevant. I could sit here and state that if you could grasp that life wasn’t just Azeroth, that would help, but that takes away from the vast majority of decent, lovely people who really do have time commitments and just want to take part in this section of gameplay, who don’t need to be taught by attunement and gate jumping that this requires hard work. I genuinely believe AP scaling is an issue, and what worries me more is that, in the Artefact window, there’s space for more than one tab. At some point, Traits won’t be my only worry, will they?
What did you say about making this game simpler?
We have more story now than I know what to do with. I’m still not attuned to every 5 man, even now (gotta get on that, someone in Guild asked to go to the Court of Stars yesterday.) 7.1.5 will show the way forward, undoubtedly, for the Artefact ‘path’, as one assumes they’re not about to trash this system at the end of this Expansion. These worries are genuine and need at least an answer, and not just a ‘well, we don’t tell people how to play’ from ActiBlizz. The fact that they keep employing theorycrafters and number-crunchers from the Community of hardcore raiders (on a fairly regular basis) says to me that the outlooks and opinions of this sector obviously matter… but it must be said, the raiding community have garnered very little actual love so far this Expansion.
Maybe it is time that all that changed.