Friday, March 14, 2008

Time vs Talent

The new badge rewards have fanned the flames of the "ease of acquisition" debate. Raiders upset that nice gear is too easy to obtain on one side and players who can "easily" acquire 100s of Badges on the other side. Wait....who can obtain Badges of this quantity?

The old BoJ gear was quite nice and a bit more reasonable in terms of cost. Still a full clear of Karazhan nets 22 badges and takes.....what about 4 hours? (I have never completed this feat myself.) So, to get that nice new Druid tanking Chest: Embrace of Everlasting Prowess, I would have to run Kara 4 times plus another heroic? This isn't easy my friends. In my world, that is about 2 months of time if I were very lucky and my significant other thought that the Embrace of Everlasting Prowess's stats were worth the opportunity cost of having dinner on a whim with friends.

This brings me to my elephant in the room: There are two separate sets of people who play this game- those who are able to make the time commitment and those who are not. I am not able to make this kind of commitment. Recently, upon logging in, my options are:

1) /1 LF Heroic or LFG Heroic

2) Grind for gold to buy....the only two pieces of gear that would be upgrades for me that are crafted BoEs.

3) Grind gold to buy Coilfang Armaments to obtain the rep for Earthwarden. No other non-instance options for CE rep- tks Blizzard.

4) Go to BGs for almost guaranteed loss to obtain about 300 honor or so to put towards PvP gear.

These options are not that great. Grinding just isn't what this Druid wants to do. So, I seem to be hitting a wall. Well, new PvP gear and new Arena season may help with that, as these require much less time commitment, but still give me that good ole WoW fun. Additionally, some forayes into Kara may improve my gear enough to allow me access to ZA.

In summary, after arriving Karazhan-ready, players must choose how much time they want to spend in order to progress. Moving on from this point may require a considerable amount of dedication. Those with a guild running Kara once per week may have a reasonable chance to progress, while those unable to do so will certainly have a much harder time.

If I could have someone at Blizzard hear one request, it would be to make more encounters akin to Magtheridon's Lair, where only a limited amount of trash-clearing is necessary to have access to the real content- the boss fight. If instances could be significantly foreshortened, casual players would have much more chance of access to end-game content. Until then, this game is largely still a matter of time, more than skill.