I really hate the random number generator and I am pretty sure it is not all that fond of me either. At least if my love / hate history with it proves anything. There are some people that are lucky and then there are some people that are not. More often than not it seems everyone has what I call the "feast or famine effect", at least since the addition of personal loot.
I've been saying this since the loot system change in the DS LFR to the individual loot system. There are some times you will go in there and win something off every boss it seems and other times you will spend two months not seeing anything only to finally get that run where you win something off of almost every boss.
That is why I call it the feast or famine effect. I've had many people tell me the same thing so it is not just me seeing it. If anything I believe the feast or famine effect supports my opinion that there should be no such thing as depending on luck for something as important as gearing. It is not compelling game play, it is not motivating game play and it is not fun game play to have to sit around and wait for that one week where it seems you win everything.
Week one of this patch was a feast week for me. I won 4 pieces that first week and was clearly in feast mode. Remember, week one only had one wing of flex and no wings of LFR and the bosses we downed in normal mean nothing for feast week as I was tanking, not DPSing on my hunter. Which basically means the three pieces I won off four bosses in flex and the one piece off the celestial boss was me basically winning off almost every boss I faced that week. If that is not feast mode I do not know what else you would call it.
The week after I won one more piece as soon as the week started (so you could really say I was still working on the feasting from the previous week) and then that was it for that week and the weeks after as it turns out. As each week passed and I would run whatever was out in LFR, whatever was out in flex, and actually run normal on my hunter, which never saw me with less than 6 bosses in even our worse week, that meant I was killing a lot of bosses each week.
Adding the two world bosses to real raid bosses to all flex bosses and all LFR bosses and using three coins a week on top of whatever I managed to kill in normal you can easily say I was having, at worst, 30 chances for loot a week, more actually. And getting nothing. You can clearly see I was in famine mode, at least I can see that.
So after that initial week that saw me feasting, winning something off of nearly everything I killed, there was nothing. Random is random, sure. We all know that, we all understand that, we all accept that, but that does not mean we all think it is a good idea.
Last week after another week passed and having a total of 39 kills with a chance for loot at one level or another and getting nothing I was starting to get frustrated. I started the patch off so well, I was feasting, I was getting loot with anything I stuck an arrow into, it was like they were handing it out, like the gear tokens on the island, just do something, anything, and get loot.
I must admit I liked winning a lot that first week. It was a carry over from the last tier when I won nothing nearly all tier and then won 5 things in the last two weeks. It was famine all tier, never seeing a weapon, and then seeing not one, not two but three weapons in the matter of 2 weeks to end it out. I started to feast on weapons even after not getting any for 5 months previous to that.
You might be expecting me to start complaining about my bad luck right about now and I will of course, but not in the way you might expect. I can live with random, but I wish random was a little more balanced. There is no reason I should win 4 things on week one when I basically killed nothing and then basically nothing since killing many bosses each week. I think the game would be better designed if it gave me one thing a week for 4 weeks than to give me 4 in one and nothing in three.
Everyone likes those four drop weeks but no one likes the no drop weeks. Even the people that never complain about loot would have to admit that the feast or famine effect can be really annoying. Random is random, sure, but does it really need to be that bad? I am sure there has to be some way to balance things out where gear is a steady flow, a continued progression forward, instead of just waiting for that lucky week to come. Spread the wealth of gear over the course of time instead of giving me a wealth of gear one day and then nothing else for weeks.
What made me think about this? Feast week has come again for me and oddly enough this is the first week I have not run anything much. Of course as my luck will have it, the week my hunter is on feast week I am not running a lot on him. I healed the flex run, I only did bosses 4-7 on my hunter and I only did one wing of LFR, the last one. So not a lot of chances for loot this week but I already got 4 pieces of loot. Two from normal and two from LFR, including getting the forth piece for my 4 piece set.
I am currently sitting on feast week, I need to look into open raid or something to pick up some flex runs because maybe I can win a flex tier piece to replace that LFR tier piece. I am on feast week, if it is going to happen it will happen now so I hope I can get in on a run. Maybe I can set up another run in normal to continue where I left off, just have to make sure I have my tanks and healers so I do not have to switch to one of them. I am on feast week, I need to kill more bosses. This might be the last chance I have for loot for months with my luck.
Sounds exciting right? Knowing that whatever I kill this week I have a pretty great chance at getting gear because I am in feast week. I got 4 pieces already and I didn't even kill much this week. Sort of like the first week. Do I only get my lucky weeks on the weeks I do not run my hunter much? Fits my track record with luck, doesn't it. I have to make every effort to kill everything that might even have a small upgrade for me, because after this is over it might be a very long time before I see another piece thanks to the feast or famine effect.
And that is my problem with the random is random. No one likes getting nothing, but it feels so much worse when you get nothing for so long during that famine period.
Do you think something could be done to balance the feast or famine game play? What would you rather, get 4 pieces one week and then nothing for 6 or get 1 piece a week every week or two over those 7 weeks? I think I would prefer a system where you get one piece every week or two instead of this all or nothing approach.
Random is random, sure, but feast or famine sucks. I am not sure what is worse, not getting anything for weeks at a time or getting and lot one week and knowing that is a symbol telling you that you will not be seeing anything for a while once this week is done. I really do support the "earn" you gear approach where you get one piece every two of three weeks as long as you work for it. So much better than random, so much better than feast or famine.
Wish me luck on finding some flex runs, I am going to try to ride feast week as much as I can because I know I won't be seeing anything again when it is over for a long time.
The Queue: If you need me I'll be in Hyrule - *Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the *World of Warcraft*. Anne Stickney (@Shade...
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