As soon as warlords is released it will become the 4th expansion in which I will be visiting the argent tournament. That means that content created in the wrath of the lich king has managed to pass the test of time better than anything blizzard has created since.
From the beginning when I did the argent tournament when it first came out because that is what we do as game player, to the second expansion where I went there, which was cataclysm, and did some dailies to get some pets to sell and to collect all the mounts, to the third expansion I went there, mists of pandaria, where I continued going there for pets, and come warlords which will be the 4th expansion I will be going there, again for pets, but with even more reason, should I want to build up some chaimpion seals if I ever want to buy some heirlooms they offer and to get all the banners from there that are now part of the toy box, and as a collector, that means I need to go get that.
Could it be that the argent tournament is quite possibly the absolute best questing hub ever released in the game in terms of lasting content?
Yes, the fact might be I could have got all those things way back in wrath. I could have gotten the mounts back then, could have gotten the pets back then, could have gotten the toys back then, and I could have purchased all the heirlooms with justice before they were removed. So basically you could say that it offers nothing more than it did in wrath, and you would be right. And that is part of what makes it so amazing. Nothing has been added to it since it was released and there is still, for most people, plenty of reason to still keep going back there many years later.
It is what it offered, and how it offered it, that makes it something that, in a game where content is fleeting, it is a lasting part of the game for so many people.
Nothing at the argent tournament was required when it first came out really and most definitely nothing now. I doubt a great many needed the gear from there when it first came out and I am sure, unless for transmog reasons, there is no one that needs the gear from there now. Everything the argent tournament offers was something that might have been desired by a person, but was not required for optional game play.
So with a massive amount of things that could tickle the fancy of nearly every type of player and the limited ability to get champion seals to only a handful per day, even if it is a generous handful, it kept people coming back.
In wrath I picked up my argent squire with my seals and then added the birdie, which I still suggest everyone make the effort to earn, it is cool to have a pet with the utility that the argent squire with the birdie offers. I purchased some pets back then and I would sell them on the auction house. They were a great way to make a little extra gold. I did, of course, buy the silver covenant mount, a hippogryph, because it is a hippogryph, and it looks awesome. And the pet, I bought the silver covenant pet as well. I never really bought too much otherwise, just pets to sell after I got what I wanted.
When cataclysm came out and there was a new mount achievement I saw myself looking for some mounts to get so I could reach the next mount achievement. It seemed that the argent tournament mounts were the only reputation mounts I never purchased. Most likely because I was busy spending my seals on pets to sell instead of on mounts. But throughout cataclysm I always went back there when I had some free time to knock out a few quests and build up some seals. Over the course of the expansion, with no rushing really, I managed to get all the mounts offered from the argent tournament.
With mists and the addition of pet battles, buying those argent pets for resale was something different. Before I did it because pet collectors wanted it. Because getting ones from the other faction could prove hard, because people liked pets. Now I was doing it because people wanted to battle pets. They were no longer just collectors, they were fighters. And unlike in the past were people would save up over time and wait to get a pet, when pet battlers need their pet, they want their pet. Which, for the person selling it, can be a very good way to make money. So thorough out mists, when I had some time here and there, I would pop by the argent tournament and do a few quests to save up for a pet.
With the addition of 6.0.2 I find myself, once again, looking at doing the tournament dailies. It will not take long to get the toys from there for my toy box. They only sell for 15 seals each and you get more than 15 seals a day, so I will be done with it rather quickly and if I do not slack off it will most definitely be before warlords actually launches, but the thought still sits there. Warlords will be the 4th expansion that the argent tournament is valuable content for.
People will be going back to get mounts, if they hadn't already, pets, if they want to, toys, to fill their toy box, gear, for transmog, and now heirloom gear that they need to save up for and not just grind one day and buy it, like with justice, or open their wallet and purchase it, like with guild heirlooms.
If you want these things from the argent tournament, you will need to spend some time at the argent tournament. If you want the mounts and banners you will need to not only get that specific base faction to exalted, but you will need to champion them. At a slow, but still moving nicely, rate of quest progression and seal collection, the argent tournament can take a fair deal of your time up. You will not open it all up over one day, or one week, but maybe one month. You will need to get all your factions base members at exalted, which means that the argent tournament might actually send you back to do other content, as well as sending you back, to itself, in the past, where it still remains as relevant as any content released today.
There is something to be said about a quest hub that remains largely unchanged and has been given no new short cuts to play catch up, that still remains active. Still remains important to so many people that are after something, be it mounts or toys or pets or heirlooms. And it keeps you coming back over and over and over to continue collecting seals.
As we enter warlords, I am returning to wrath once again. Say what you want about wrath or the argent tournament, but actions speak louder than words. Just go see how many people are there on a regular basis as testament to how well the content has lasted. Now that is how to design content to last.
So what is it that has made the argent tournament remain content that people have actively played in four consecutive expansions? Could it be because it has so much to offer? Could it be because it takes some time to progress through it and open it all up? Could it be that the currency comes in a smaller limited supply that keeps you coming back? Could it be because some of the items you could turn around and sell on the auction house? Or could it be because it was the first, and only, time that blizzard ever designed a quest hub just right? Maybe it is a little bit of all of them.