Does Blizzard play ‘fair’ with game design?

The goal of any good game, especially an MMO, is to keep you playing. Even more so when they can happily charge you a monthly fee to do so. They want you logging in, usually daily, to keep you entertained and basically “hooked” on their product. It is not unlike a fast food restaurant or a food manufacturer. Is there a code of ethics they need to follow? Or is all fair in love and Warcraft?


Everlook, Winterspring.

I ask this question honestly. Back when Mists of Pandaria came out, I had to ask myself some tough questions. I was overwhelmed with content. By nature, I am an altoholic–this means that I play many different characters, usually on a daily basis. With all the content they had designed, it was rough on players like myself. You simply couldn’t play like you had during Wrath or Cataclysm. I was miserable for a few days, maybe even a week or two. Finally, I said F- it, and I slowed down and played “my way”. This means I fell way behind the “curve” as far as gearing my max level characters. I continued to level alts slowly, and run the farm on a few characters.

The tactics: Daily quests, profession cooldowns, weekly point caps, and weekly raid lockouts are some of the tools they use. With Warlords of Draenor, they have the Garrison producing more reasons to log in and check them every day. Follower missions, that reward all kinds of items, gold, and experience. Mines, that offer ore, an herb garden, and let’s not forget those work orders! There are a few dailies, but not even a fraction of what we had in Mists.

No one “makes” us log in, the Garrisons are a lot less hands on than the farm was in Cata, still, if you are an alt-lover, you probably find yourself logging onto a handful of characters and grinding out “chores” on your Garrison. Is this fair. Is it ethical? Is Blizzard on the up and up or are they using dirty tactics to keep us going?

To me Wrath and Cata were probably the “golden age” for many players. Whether you had one “main” you played or a bunch of alts, there was really a lot of freedom in your playstyle. You could run Wintergrasp all day and send tokens to your alts who then could buy gear. If you wanted to catch up on reputations, simply put on a tabard and run some dungeons. Could be 1, could be as many as you had time for. One of the biggest things, they implemented flying for your other characters, which you could purchase from your max level toon and send it to any alt. Originally it was 1000g and let them fly at level 70. Later on it was dropped down to 68 and learned at the trainer.

So how do you feel? Are you cool with the way Blizzard keeps us logging in or do you wish things were a little more forgiving if you miss a few days? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the space down below!

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4 Responses to Does Blizzard play ‘fair’ with game design?

  1. klokbok says:

    Wrath and Cata was alt friendly simply because there was nothing else to do but to roll an alt if you weren’t part of “end game” (raiding, that is). Up until the last few months of Cata, raids were the pinnacle of WoW – you “beat the game” when you beat the last boss on Heroic. for the majority of players this never happened of course – so we ended up with dozens of alts. Because starting anew was – and IS – in itself an end game.

    With LFR and DF, and BoA looms and account shared mounts and achies, we’re in a pretty good place for alts.

    Then came garrisons.

    All of a sudden I’m having not two mains, but 11 mains. For good and for worse. But you now what? Every expansion is a new game. You can’t expect to play WoD like you played MoP or Cata. You have to find that “special place” – be it focusing on a single character or micro managing thirty three of them. Chances are you put in about the same time. The important thing to find is, of course, the very simple question: Are you having fun?

    If you don’t, roll an alt. That is if you think that alts are fun (they are!) 🙂

  2. repgrind says:

    I have basically chosen to not care if my garrisons go untouched for a few days. I have characters spread across three servers. So, each day I pick a server, typically a 3-way rotation so they get equal playtime but that’s not rigid; heck, it’s my rule, so I am allowed to break it and play who I want. Anyway, whichever server’s ‘turn’ it is, I log onto the alts who have garrisons, empty their cache, set their missions, and then log onto the 100 on that server (I have 1 on each right now) and do ALL OF TEH THINGS in the garrison plus either LFR, garrison campaign, or run some old raids for pets and things. I may choose to level an alt on that server once I feel ‘done’ with the 100 for the day. I may even choose to level an alt *instead* of doing things with the 100. Basically, I don’t let the garrisons force me to log in. I do what I feel like doing.

  3. Dobablo says:

    I became a lot cooler with it once I decided to stop running garrison chores on all my alts. I don’t need the gold so why flog myself over a repetitive task when there is game-play to be doing.
    I do find myself getting a little twitchy about not logging in to use my daily cooldowns on my main.

    • oxxo910 says:

      I did the same. I found myself wanting to open the garrison on all my 90s. Once I got to #5, I was like, “I can’t keep this up”. Now, I only check 2 characters and even that seems like a chore. I think I am in a good place now.

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