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There is a coda to yesterday’s post, and it has been highlighted by a series of comments by other people around a conversation placed in social media for a very specific reason. As is well established, Twitter’s not the place you go to explain or constructively discuss design reasoning. It’s a medium for quick explanation, and if you’re using Twit Longer to make your point you should be doing that on your blog. Oh yeah, you don’t have one of those any more because you left the game and made a massive great big goodbye post saying just that.

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In surprising news, none of this is about people. Of course, that’s not how things are rationalised well, it always helps to have someone to look to as an example. That’s why for so long the game relied on ‘personalities’ and ‘experts’ to pronounce what was good and bad in the process, and what players should be doing as an example of what was the best path to success. Because let’s face it, if you’re not playing an ActiBlizz game to win, why the fuck are you bothering? This is the company who celebrate every anniversary, that launch their products on a sea of alcoholic consumption that puts city bankers to shame. Everything this company does screams ‘be the best, be the top, be a winner’ or else why would so much money have been sunk into building that mentality into college students via an Overwatch ‘league’? This is a company who’s betting the future of gaming is contest, not enlightenment. Is it any wonder people who don’t own or enjoy that mentality struggle with trying to cope with the consequences?

As we arrive in 2017, I find myself grateful I’m playing in the team who’ll never get the winning place. I don’t have to worry about losing my sponsorship, because you don’t get any when languishing in mid-table mediocrity. In fact, all I have to concern myself with is the time I get to play, and not missing a raid start. I’m now really rather glad I never pushed into more podcasting, or went the full-on streaming route, because had I done so and become successful, it would have completely destroyed all the good I’ve now managed to generate in other parts of my existence. The only way you win at this, like the computer said in WarGames, is not to play. The moment you have something to prove or an image to maintain or a reputation to justify, you’re back in the race. It’s a contest from your first to the last breath, and when this isn’t the only thing in the Real World that matters?

Then you’re totally screwed.

This, for most of us, is the real truth to pull from the last few day’s wanking over AP ‘grinding.’ Up the sharp end it’s horrible and tough, but for someone who only just managed to max out their weapon in the last week? This is tuned exactly right. It’s cock on, like it or not, but I’m about as far away from the bright centre of competitive raiding as it is possible to get. So when you sit there and tell me to do shit based on a completely false perspective of that this game means in my shoes? It’s probably no wonder I laugh at you, because it’s roughly akin to Marie Antoinette telling the starving in France without bread to eat cake. This has nothing to do with age or demographic, and everything to do with the belief that somehow, you’re better than we are, because you do this differently. This is the true face of gaming elitism, and it’s only being further perpetuated by a company who seems to care more about winning above ever taking part.

I’d like to take the first day of 2017 to remind everybody that there are many ways to play this game, and mine’s no better than yours. It’s neither right or proper to suggest that there is one path, or that ActiBlizz design this game with certain paths in mind. In truth, what they do is attempt to give you stuff as distraction. Sometimes it works, and often when it doesn’t the reaction of the aggrieved is not to point this out with thought and in a dispassionate manner. In fact, the modern world DEMANDS you fix it and NOW or I’ll cancel my sub and strop off in the most view-worthy fashion possible. That’s the bigger problem, when all is said and done. They can’t fix it NOW when you need it to change so your raid team doesn’t implode. The solution is therefore for individuals to deal with the issues the game presents, and when they can’t do that?

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I’m sorry you think AP is broken. I don’t. I think it’s working just fine.

The question now becomes how players think this should be fixed, or if indeed it needs altering at all.

4 thoughts on “This Sporting Life

  1. Do you think, it’s fine for a dungeon to reward more AP than a World Quest in an elite zone? I think, that’s a problem that could and should be fixed although one could expect people to be glad for dungeons to be relevant.

    For me however, chaining dungeon runs for gear (which AP is) will never be an option. I’ve experienced how all of them get drawn together to a blur by the right amount of speed and repetition and no matter how much I hate the design of some dungeons (in MoP and Cata in particular), that wouldn’t do dungeons justice. It also devalues outdoor content for the models used in a dungeon are the same as in non-instanced content.

    AP isn’t nearly as universal as I hoped it’d be.

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    • Possibly design in having several alternate means to gather AP vs the time involved. There are many lower reward AP world quests I can solo, some I need help, others if you are not part of a larger group, or a solo Paladin, can be difficult. Dungeons require you to get 5 people, and are rewarded per boss down, but they take longer than a world quest to complete. I am about 60% to my last point, so the pace has been decent for me playing to a fixed amount of time to play each day.

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      • I’m not complaining about the time needed as a solo player at all. But certain people are able to run a dungeon in five to ten minutes. which is comparable to a world quest every few minutes. I’m having fun, you’re having fun but other people don’t. And yes, that’s because of their attitude but it’s not like they themselves would change their attitude any time soon. And if I was a designer, the flaws I see in the AP system would bother me.

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      • I agree. There are ways to abuse the system. I am on my last part. Got the achievement for unlocking all, but seeing that final amount to collect. Wow. That really took the wind out of me.

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