Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Define Required

I've touched on the topic of required content before such as reputation being required or valor grinding being required or running the LFR being required.  There are always going to be people that say if you do not want to do it then don't.  There will always be people that say I don't want to do it but I fell required to do it to keep up.  What it really comes down to is how do you, as a gamer, define required.

I think when we, the players of warcraft, argue about it we are all wrong.  We view required from our own little world.  Even someone like myself who can argue both sides (and I will in a moment), my view is tainted because I am a player.  We need a view from the outside looking in and I got a taste of that the other day while talking about warcraft with a friend at a new years party.  But first, a small taste of one persons tainted view, arguing required from both sides.

The Required Argument:

My hunter is my main and as such I treat him as the character that needs to have everything and have them as soon as possible so I can be capable of doing the best I can as soon as I can.  The sad part is my hunter has still not stepped into a raid this expansion yet but from my point of view it was required of me to be raid ready to the best of my ability even if I am not raiding on that character as it is my main.

As such, it was required of me to get to 90 as soon as I could so I would be capable of raiding.  It was required of me to get all my reputations to max as soon as I could so I could buy valor pieces to fill the spaces if I did not get drops when I raided.  I was required of me to max valor every week and buy any piece that was an upgrade, itemizing which would be the biggest upgrade each week of course.

It was required of me to spam heroics once I got to 90 so I would have at least a level 463 in every slot.  I then was required to run the LFRs when they later came out if there were any that had any chance to drop anything that might be an upgrade as well as join any world boss groups I was capable of getting into even if I were in the middle of something else.  But that was not all, it was not just limited to what I did on the character I raided with, or intended to raid with in this case.

It was required of me to level my blacksmith so I could make my own belts, an engineer so I could make my own scopes, a jewelcrafter to make my own gems, an enchanter to make my own enchants, a leatherworker to make my own leg enchants, a scribe to make my own shoulder enchants, an alchemist to make my own flasks and of course a cook to make my own food all because I have always believed and will always believe a really serious gamer, even in the sense of casual raiding, should be capable of taking care of their own needs even when in a guild of helpful people that could make all those things for you.

So while anyone can say none of that was required and be right, in their mind, for me all those things were completely required.  Not one thing there was optional.  If I wanted to raid on my main and I wanted to be the best I could be I needed to do all those things.  It was not optional, it was required.  Even more so being a raid leader.  How could I ever expect someone else to put in the effort to be the best they can be on their main when I don't?

With all that said and done my hunter sits at a quite impressive (for someone that has not stepped into a raid) 491 item level and is ready to raid should I ever get the opportunity to do so and there are still upgrades to be had that I can get outside of raiding all because I did everything that was required of any serious gamer that wants to be the best he is capable of being with the tools available to him.

The Not Required Argument:

One of the characters that got leveled (and was intended to get the bracer enchants they decided to lock behind rep and I have done no rep on her) for my hunter to use their skills was my priest, a healer and more importantly an enchanter.  I made no special efforts with her as an alt when I leveled her, she was just a character I played to pass the time when I needed a break from the required grind on my main.  Not to mention all those quest rewards just waiting to be disenchanted.

I leveled her and did a few dungeons at max level as shadow.  After that I was capable of making a make shift healing set, with a few shadow type pieces here and there.  With a few LFRs here and there when I was bored and a sha group twice with some amazing luck as too win both tier pieces in the only two runs I did, without any coins of course because my priest has not done enough dailies at 90 to get any tokens, I was sitting at 473 item level and ready to roll into in any raid on the normal side.

I have not done any dailies for the gear factions and the few I have done are for the tillers to open the farm fully and she has not done even one since opening the farm.  This leaves me no valor to buy valor gear, no open gear faction to buy gear even if I had valor, and only a few runs here and there to work with that offered nearly no luck with exception of the two sha runs.

My priest is living proof that you can get raid geared without the need of doing any of those things I mentioned about with my hunter.  However, this is an alt, so I am more willing to hang the not required tag on her. My played time on her is less than 12 hours at 90 and remember, a lot of that time was spent getting tillers to exalted for the farm space.  I would guess her gearing up time would have to be in the 4 hour range, at most.  So you can get raid geared to start raiding in only 4 hours with no reputations and no valor.  So no, none of that other stuff is even remotely required.

See, I can argue both sides.

Required: A View from the Outside:

So there I was talking to a friend about the game on new years.  He does not play but he knows the game well.  He had even watched me play a few times but he said the game is just not for him because he does not have the time for it.

I explained that he could play once a week and do just fine.  Even once a month.  The game is very casual friendly.  I went into explaining those two examples, in lesser detail for him of course, about how doing both things leads to the same result a raid ready character and if both raided they would both end up in the same gear either way, raid gear.  One character I barely played and it could raid just the same as one I put a ton of effort into.

It was not exactly that which had put him off however.  It was the massive amount of required content I mentioned when we talked.  I never used the word required.  I said I used valor gear to buy the gear on one character and did not get valor gear on another and he had asked me a few questions about valor from that point.

I explained that you can earn a max of 1000 valor per week and have 3000 total on you at any time.  I explained some daily quests give you 5 each and that dungeons, raids, scenarios, could all get you valor as well.  Then he asked how much he gets and how long they take.  I thought I was about to reel him in, get us a new virgin sacrifice to the warcraft universe.  He had seen me play many times, had asked me questions on more than a few occasions and watched with nearly as much excitement as I have on a few occasions.

Then he said the required word.  The outsiders view, he said the required word.  I will share what he said as best I can recall, paraphrasing of course.

I would love to play but you know my work schedule.  I do not have the time required to play a game like that even if you say I can just play once in a while.  I would be limited on the times I can play so I would be limited on how much I can do.  Limited by the amount of reputation I can gain on any given day, limited by the amount of valor I can get in a week, even the dungeon runs you mention give you less when you run them a second time.  I would feel like I had to log in every day to as much reputation as I could, to do the one run each day that gives me more valor, to get to my valor cap each week.

I would want to do everything and not play half assed.  If the game has some catch up mechanic where I could grind all the reputation I wanted on the one day I was on or all the valor I wanted on the one day I was on, I might consider it.  But as long as they put limits on what I am capable of doing then doing them becomes something that is required and quite frankly I do not want another job.  If they ditched all the limitations I would join you but not like that, nope, I will never play that game like it is.

Definition of Required:

So now looking at his words I think I can define required content when it refers to warcraft.

Required:  Anything that is limited as a total number, a daily or a weekly basis is required if you want to keep up.

If you miss a week valor capping, you will never be able to catch up on that 1000 valor lost.
If you miss a day doing your dungeon run for 80 valor, you will never be able to do 2 the next day and get 80 each.
If you miss raiding one week, you will not get to down that boss twice the next week for two chances to get the piece of loot you needed and two chances to use coins.
If you miss doing some dailies, that is one days worth of dailies later you will be to getting to exalted.

If they wanted to remove the required stigma from the game you need to remove the caps.  At least, that is how the outsider explained it to me.

As a side note, I know why the caps are there and agree with them to a degree.  If everyone could run each raid 100 times a week to get the drops they wanted and get as much valor as they wanted to upgrade that gear then many people would have all the best gear all maxed out super fast and they could lose subscriptions of some people who feel there is nothing left for them to do or people that got burnt out.

That brings a question I have to ask, would they lose more subscriptions by giving people no limits as they would by making people feel as if things were required?  Like my friend that said he would never play a game that he could not play on his terms with his time schedule.

My personal opinion on the matter is that I believe they should keep the limits as they are but I will freely admit I believe that for purely selfish reasons.  I know if there were no limits I would be the idiot that would run each raid 100 times a week if I could just to get the drops I wanted.  With no limits I would get as much valor as needed to upgrade every piece of gear I got as soon as I got a new piece.  It would create a lot more work for me and I think there is already way to much to do in the game as is.  So for selfish reason I like the caps.  But I do agree 100% with my friends assessment.  Anything that, by capping total or limiting, by daily, or by weekly, makes it required.

Either way, if you think they are required or you do not think they are required, I think the outsider gave us a solid definition of required when it comes to gaming so I will end this post with repeating it.  No matter what we think, we play it, our view is tainted.  The view of an outsider says it best.

Required:  Anything that is limited as a total number, a daily or a weekly basis is required if you want to keep up.


  1. hiya Grumpy, yup, it's me again. I'll go away if you want, but my question to you is "who are we trying to keep up with?".

    Night Elf: "What does IDK stand for?"
    Dwarf: "I don’t know."
    Night Elf: "OMG, nobody does!"

    1. Good joke.

      As for keeping up, I want to keep up with myself. I believe that I should do everything within my power to be the best I can be. If I am not raiding that means capping everything otherwise to get gear.

  2. Just to clarify, have you done any regular raiding at 90 on any of your characters?

    1. Yes, I have done all my raiding tanking. Not a great deal however. Only run 2 hours a week so that is usually about 4 bosses, 5 at most.

  3. I definitely agree with the definition.

    I agree with your 'outsider' friend as well; it's why I don't recommend WOW to other people and it'll be the main reason for when I decide to quit playing.

    I agree that they need to keep the limits in the game but I think they could relax them a little bit without any negative effects. Weekly limits are more manageable just as your friend mentioned. The daily limits are the ones that really make the game feel like work. If I want to get my 1000 vp for the week in one day, instead of spread out over 7 days, I shouldn't be penalized. Same for the max weekly rep gains that can only be achieved from dailies, the daily crop planting, etc.

    Blizz worked really hard this expansion to get people logging in every day. However, a lot of the player-base can't do that and it got a lot of people burnt out.

    There is too much 'required' content this expansion.

    1. Personally I love it but then again I am a 7 day player most of the time. 6 days at the least. So it works for me, but I am a rare person, there are not as many 7 day players as you might think.

      They might have made a fantastic expansion for me but they kind of F'ed everyone else over to do it. They keep talking about giving options but in truth they have removed most of the options in their attempt to give more options.

      I would like the option back to do 7 heroics and cap. I liked the 150 per thing where I could log on tuesday and cap 2 characters super easy. Now it just seems like too much work. Once twice this expansion so far have I capped 2 characters.

    2. Concerning the dungeon part, I still don't understand why people still thinks they have to do one dungeon everyday.

      The only thing I might consider is that valor from dungeons is too low. Bupeople keeps thinking that dungeons is 80VP and the rest half of it, whereas in reallity it is 40 VP and the first one is double.

      The current system is somewhere between the previous two. If you can do a dungeon every day you will have less to do, but if you want to cap fast or can play extensively you still can do it in one day.

    3. I mix all three on my hunter. I do all the dailies on tuesday, one dungeon and 3 LFRs, on wednesday I do the other 2 LFRs, 1 dungeon and a few more dailies and I am capped.

      Honestly, I would really prefer the last expansion model. 7 dungeons and capped. I would rather be doing what I want to do instead of spending all that extra time capping doing LFRs I don't want to do, dailies I don't want to do and dungeons I don't want to do. Getting the required (capping) out of the way ASAP would be a welcome addition.

  4. Hm. I like caps for other reason. And the reason is simple. The game tends to favor people with time BUT WoW is one of the few thatdoesn't really give you an enormous advantage over people who have loads more time. Grinding out gear has to have a limit. See, if you removed the cap, I think your friend would feel even worse. Why? Because he'd have no place in a half serious raiding guild anymore. The 'serious' raiders would all be doing the raids 100 times a week and have upgrades, while your average time-limited player wouldn't. So they'd feel like this game is not about skill at all, but all about having time time time. Frankly, I think this is basically the reason for caps and not the other. I myself wouldn't be able to compete for a decent spot in realm progress ranks if there were no caps. I simply do not have the required time to grind to the fullest. I may find the time to grind the weekly cap, but that's about my limit.
    So this required thing... the limit is time, not the caps. Caps actually help out with the feeling of requirement a bit. Sure, I'd love if they didn't half the valor for doing stuff but in theory you can catch up with the valor cap. It's there. You missed out the rewards for one day or other but you can still make up for it by the end of the week. Maybe make the caps less harsh, so it doesn't feel like a burden, but keep the cap.

    Then again, there's the other side. If everyone would be able to get the best gear within a couple of weeks why even have gear at all? Would we even kill bosses anymore once we're done with them 100 times? What would be the point of it anymore? Get gear for what?

    1. Just going to use me as an example in an "if" situation.

      If I were to get the best of everything all upgraded on my hunter because I spent a ton of time running everything I could all the time I would then move to my other hunter and then my third hunter. And maybe my druid and priest and other priest. Or my shaman and two other shaman. Or my horde hunter and horde druid and maybe my horde priest too. How about my lesser played warrior, warlock, rogue and death knight or mage.

      No cap would mean I get everything on my hunter faster, IF I decided to do so but lets face it. Anyone, like myself, that would grind like a mofo to get max of everything on one character is not the type of person that has only one character, they have many.

      So no cap would just means I now have many I can gear up instead of having just a few geared up like normally. Not having a cap would not hurt the game at all. The few that it would hurt would be in the 0.001% range I am sure. That is about how many people have only one max level character and raid seriously.

      However, like I said, I still support caps. I just think they need to be more user friendly. Like making the valor cap a lot higher, 3K, and make it easier to get, none of this 80 first run and 40 there after. 150 per run, just like last expansion. Daily quests, 10 per. Stuff like that. It would leave people like my first a lot more room to play catch up and it would just mean the people that are always on get things a little faster and like I said, the people that would cap at 3K easily are not the type that have only one character, so it would not hurt game play in the slightest.

      With the faster release of content, faster maxing of characters would be to the advantage of the game. As long as content keeps coming quickly like it seems to be there is absolutely no reason to artificially hold people back with limits.

      If people are getting new things and moving up quickly, they stay interested. When people go weeks and weeks and weeks without any upgrades and seeing no personal progress, they will quit.