Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WotLK interview: Yes, we know you're bored

Haven't had any time to play for two days, but here's an interesting quote from Behind the Blue Curtain: Discussing Wrath of the Lich King with Jeffrey "Tigole" Kaplan:

The MMO Gamer: Probably the number one complaint I hear when speaking to the "average" WoW player, someone who logs in an hour or two a night, maybe raids with their guild on the weekend, is that once they hit 70, their day to day existence in the game consists of either farming for primals, grinding reputation, or doing daily quests. They seem to feel that's slightly monotonous.

Do you personally believe that's a problem in the game, and, if you do, do you have any plans to address it in Northrend?

Jeffrey Kaplan: I do think that's a problem, and I think it's a very true statement, what you said. What I really hope is that hitting level 80 is not the end, but just a milestone, a very momentous milestone.
The daily quests that I've really enjoyed lately are things like the fishing daily, the cooking, the battleground, the dungeon dailies, because they have randomization in it. So you don't feel like you're in a set pattern of activity every time you log in. I would rather players do daily quests for money than farm primals, which is a very repetitive sort of behavior.

So, I think we can do things to smooth out what feels like a grind, and make it not the same every day that you log in. I think that's when it becomes an issue, when you log in and do the same activity every time, because certainly when you're leveling up that’s not your experience.

And we all like "very true" statements, not just those that are "fairly true." ;^)

Look, the dailies are nice, and though we all know dailies are just about making it rain cash to make raiding more accessible, they really aren't a good answer to the end game boredom. I mean, look, what Kaplan's saying, whether he knows it or not, is that they're going to turn on the gold faucet and pour cash all over those who don't like farming so that only those insane enough to farm by default have to wax a million Enraged Air Spirits for Primal Air. Prices on everything will go up as the faucet opens wider, and soon everyone will be part of the never ending virtual economic bubble. Reminds me of Mobutu printing Zaires, where daily inflation approached the single digits.

The problem is that the daily quests really aren't all that exciting. They don't particularly engage a larger storyline. Though they change in character slightly, they really are still, "Kill X of Y and get Z gold," mechanizations. The bottom line is that dailies are bribes in virtual currency for you to keep playing. Maybe it's time to make some alternative to grinding, farming or questing, that allows soloers to access instances in a more satisfying way.

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