The spoon-fed era

The combination of:

  1. easy and abundant Emblems of such high iLevel,
  2. teleportation instantly to and from the instance,
  3. easy PUGs with cross-realms giving minimal waiting times and
  4. T9 raiders carrying people in random LFG groups

is creating a spoon-fed era.

I did a random LFG PUG and found myself zoning into Oculus. I like the new loading screens that came with 3.3. I was reflecting on the quality of graphic designers when the loading finished, and I’m in Oculus. Portalled to Oculus instantly; I didn’t have the previous painful flight to Coldara.

Immediately, party chat was saying:

[party] Ahh shit

[party] Damn it.

Within 10 seconds, they had all left the group. I didn’t even get a chance to negotiate with them.

I’d written earlier about how the new LFG system was well designed behaviourally and technically, with a great mix of rewards and removal of barriers.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the convergence of a few other factors to strengthen the system:

  • tier 9 raiders in the PUG system and obliterating all the content, thus able to carry the rest of the team, even if they’re undergeared, making 5-mans even easier and faster
  • timed release of raiding content, so that bored T9 raiders have nothing else to do.

I think Blizzard should reduce the bonus Emblems for doing a random PUG to 1 Emblem, from 2. The supply and demand will not change, since everyone has had a taste of a proven system and know it works, so will continue to subscribe. It’s Emblems per hour ratio will still be superior to anything else they can do with their time. But at least with only 1 Emblem, it will take a little longer for people to gear up.

But more so, the thing is, currently there are too many people playing with this sense of righteous entitlement to loot. Loot is being given to them too easily, they don’t have to work for it, they’re being spoon-fed.

This is creating the behaviour I saw in Oculus. Damn, that instance has been nerfed twice now; it’d be easy to complete. But no, these spoon-fed losers just zoned out; they didn’t even want to try.

I like that making epics attainable will ensure everyone can get into ICC and kill the Lich King in person. It means I can, someone who has had to re-roll a tank from scratch when I switched to Oceanic realms. I can be geared enough to MT Lich King eventually, and I’m grateful.

I have no problem with epics of one lower tier being available from Emblems. I’m not one who has complained about these welfare epics. I think it’s fine.

I don’t think the LFG system should be changed. It’s excellent.

I do think the reward of bonus Emblems could be reduced slightly to 1, even if that’s just lip-service to the social problem I’m talking about.

I do think some of these WoW players should be grateful for what they’re getting.

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31 comments to The spoon-fed era

  • Rhidach
    Twitter: Rhidach

    I was in an Oculus where two pugs split immediately. It’s infuriating.
    I think a big problem is the popular perception of the instance being impossible, which is so far from the truth, rather than these lazy dopes taking 20 minutes to actually find out for themselves.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    @Kadomi, you’re right. Maybe it’s not the vehicles per se, but their implementation in a zone which is confusing to navigate, and requires mount/dismount too often to cross platforms.

    @RJK, grats on the new two-hander!

    @Kenshi, So I said why are you healing and the response was. If I click healer I get a group quicker.” That is so sad. I hadn’t thought of that behaviour, but it’s predictable.

    @Everblue, about time we disagreed on something. :) You made an eloquent point: “You are playing an arcade game” which is something I’d had in the back of my mind but not been able to put my finger on it. I agree that’s a major issue with the immersion and a departure from MMO. I don’t know if I’d remove it though (ie. by deleting the teleport) because it’s a fundamental part of the LFG mechanics; but perhaps replace with a flight, say you’re picked up by a flying hippogryph/bat which takes you on an arc at very high speed to a spot near the instance.

    @Kuren, longer deserter buff (say 30 minutes) would make sense, since the only instance it’d be triggered by is Oculus :P … but then it’d also hit people like Bluedragon and Inoffensive too, who are clearly not losers since they read blogs. :)

  • Fonziefabio

    My problem with Occulus stems from the last boss.  He is very easy for a coordinated group, however for people who have no idea what they’re doing, it’s pretty dang hard.  I did it with random people once last week.  The person on the healing drake didn’t know how to heal and didn’t tell anyone this fact…even after I asked if everyone knew what they were doing.  We wiped three times on the last boss because of that.
    As far as the longer deserter buff…at the moment, the debuff is applied as soon as the entire group is ready.  Sometimes it only takes me 20 minutes to finish an instance.  If you make it longer than 15 minutes then there will be times when I get done with an instance but won’t be able to move on and do the next one.

  • Ramfell

    I personally think there should be a greater punishment for dropping an instance on purpose (excluding getting kicked) within 5mins (or similar timeframe) of zoning in.
    eg. Losing 2 Emblems of Frost/Triumph, extended deserter debuff of one hour, unable to enter any instances for one hour (stopping people dropping group for a guild run).
    Penalties like these would stop people dropping group and leaving 4 other players in the lurch. Players would soon learn that there is a commitment to using the Dungeon Finder tool.

  • Leucyte

    I’ve been taking a rather neutral stance on this matter previously, with some quiet ambivalence towards this spoon-fed era (very nicely put) but liking the possibility of gearing up my trusty ol’ pala in case I’d get the urge to do some healing once again, or tag along to an alt run of TotC. Until I actually went ahead and got an almost complete overhaul of the healing set, including two shiny T9 pieces, by running the new dungeons in normal mode as DPS for a few days. Not exactly a big sense of accomplishment.
    A matter far worse to me though, is how the emblem system now basically forces me to choose between getting behind in gearing in the early stages of new content, and logging on every day to grind through that dreadful old dungeon once again. Something I rarely care to do even with guildies unless the right people ask. But on the other hand, with the belated release of hard modes in ICC it might not matter much.

  • I think the gear matching thing with this LFG is flawed. As you say you end up getting fresh 80s getting loot thrown at them which is good for them but they have no real sense of achievment. On the flip side you get people who are geared up to the eyeballs complaining cause someone in the group isnt as l33t as them.

    I healed a random pug heroic on my druid the other day, resto being my offspec so ive not payed as much attention to the gear as my main (feral bear) spec. Before even saying hello some twat in my group from another server starts making sarcastic comments about the fact I had low quality gems in one of the sockets (in a blue item i might add).

    However dont get me wrong, on the whole I think this new system is great. Apparantly low level dungeons are getting properly run now (IE deadmines and the like) which makes a nice change and pugging those gives some really nice XP benefits ive heard.

  • Plagué

    Regarding the deserter buff it could work the same way as BGs; you get it if you leave before being finished. You could then lengthen the time of the debuff without affective fast-finishing groups.

    Alternatively, you have the current system and simply remove the debuff at the finish mark, again allowing for a longer debuff without punishing fast groups.

    As for the badge vs. time debate the obvious idea from Blizz is to fast-track ppl into the new content to allow more of the developer’s time/effort to be seen. Thus, I think Blizz would actually prefer the players to get badges fast.

    The real issue would be people leaving upon entering a dungeon because its not fun/fast, causing potential problems for the remaining players.

    If this problem only seems to occur in Oculus this instance could be removed from the list.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      Removing the debuff at finishing mark (ie. same time you get the daily reward) when combined with a longer deserter debuff that lasts if you don’t complete is a very good solution.

  • Psy
    Twitter: thelordpsy


    I’m a tier-10 raider.

    I need 1,415 Emblems of Frost.

    When the entirety of ICC is released, there will be 12 bosses in 10 and 25 dropping 2 badges each: 48 emblems. In addition to 14 emblems from daily heroics and 5 emblems from the raid weekly, that gives me 67 emblems each week. Since some of them are for Saronite, I can get extras from my alt who is geared enough for heroics and maybe the raid weekly, so an extra 19 per week for a total of 86 badges per week. At that rate, it will take me 17 weeks or just over 4 months. 4 months of doing the heroic daily every day, on two characters. 4 months of killing every boss in ICC twice; Which we can’t even do yet because it’s not all released, and serious raiders *won’t* be doing because working on hardmodes will almost guarantee that some bosses remain undefeated each week until it’s on farm.

    Dropping it to 1 emblem per heroic would change it to 7/week, reducing my emblem income to 72/week, or moving this to 20 weeks (5 months). That’s a terrible solution.

    You’ve claimed there’s no solution; There is. Take badges off of tier gear or remove current-tier badges from heroics entirely. I can understand Blizzard wanting top tier players to have some incentive to run heroics, but making it mandatory to run heroics repeatedly for a player to remain competitive is insane. It’s definitely not as bad as the farm-20-hours-for-potions days, but it’s the same concept, just significantly lighter.

  • I don’t have any problem whatsoever with the ease in farming badges, and the gear that you can purchase with said badges. The tiered badge gear that you can purchase is of a lesser quality than the tiered gear won via 10 and 25 person raids. The non-tier gear purchased with badges doesn’t come with the tiered set bonus. The gear that you can purchase is enough to step into raids and not be a complete burden to the rest of the raid members, but it will not allow you to perform as well in your role as someone equipping gear acquired from raiding will. I think this system accomplishes Blizzard’s goal of allowing more people to see end game content (a very common complaint from Burning Crusade), while still providing a challenge to the more hard core raider community vis-a-vis Hard Mode encounters and drop tables. As for comments regarding the general player base’s unappreciation for the relative ease in acquiring nice gear nowadays, I would like to gently counter that by hoping that people in fully staffed, competent, and enjoyable 25 person raiding guilds appreciate what “they” have. Not everyone is so lucky as to have that luxury. For example, I have a 9 month old baby, as well as a job that requires me to be on call – so my ability to raid reliably is near zero. Being able to acquire passable raiding gear with a minimal amount of time spent grinding allows me to join my raiding friends when the opportunity arises without having to be completely carried by them.
    .-= Lasciell´s last blog ..Back on track =-.

    • Psy
      Twitter: thelordpsy

      The tiered badge gear that you can purchase is of a lesser quality than the tiered gear won via 10 and 25 person raids.

      This is no longer true. In Ulduar, your only option for tier gear was to loot items and turn it into gear.

      In ToC, there were 3 levels; Level 1 was just badges, Level 2 was badges + Raid Token, Level 3 was just Raid Token; But while you can earn roughly 14 trophies per week for the level-2 set (I think that’s right) you max out at 4 per week for the Level 3 set, assuming you pulled Insanity. Which means your raiders still need badges to get their tier gear unless they sacrifice raid performance by ignoring upgrades until BiS (which is VERY frowned upon).

      In ICC, it’s worse; L1 is just badges, L2 is L1+ a raid token, L3 is L2+A better raid token. There’s no such thing as getting your tier gear without badges.

      Edit: Of course, if you *only* get badges, you’re not getting the best raid gear. My huge issue is that every tier Blizzard forces competitive raiders to farm Heroics, content that got old two months into Wrath.

      .-= Psy´s last blog ..World of Logs =-.

  • Samthoul

    This strikes a personal note with me, so much that I felt the need to chime in.  My DK just hit 80 a week or two ago, give or take.  He’s my first, but that’s something I take with some stride since that’s only the case because I quit after getting bored with the post-70 business in TBC before Wrath’s release.

    And immediately I have a dilemma.  On one hand, I can do things the old-fashioned way:  Run non-heroics until I can gear myself up enough to tank heroics (since I want to tank), then tank heroics until I can gear up enough, etc., etc. –or worse, I can gear up to dps heroics, THEN gear up to tank heroics.  Assuming I do the daily non-heroic, that will take a few weeks.

    But wait, what’s this?!  Blizzard tells me on the new dungeon-finder that I can queue for some heroics now–not all of them, but a few, even though my gear score is hovering around 2k (I don’t recall exactly).  So suddenly I have a new alternative.  I can run heroics as dps while I gear myself up to tank.  That’s as many as 7 triumph emblems a run, starting off (for sake of argument; I don’t know exact numbers, but I know some of you guys do).  Just doing non-heroics I only get 2/day until I get the gear.

    So is there any contest?  Of course not.  I’ll admit with only a little shame that for the last week or two I’ve been running heroics as a charity case, nowhere near pulling my weight compared to the rest of the team, and I’ve gotten some backlash for it.  I’ll get to that in a minute though.

    At first I was just astonished, because upon being ported into the first heroic, I’m seeing the rest of the party with gscores well above 4k.  That’s intimidating, but it occurred to me that while, indeed, there’s no way I can compete with these people in dps, that doesn’t mean that a group of people in gear on par with mine couldn’t finish a heroic dungeon–albeit perhaps with some weeping and gnashing of teeth.  It also occurred to me that these people wouldn’t be doing these dungeons at all if they had any more efficient way to get the emblems.

    So I’ve tried, as best I can, to be polite to people I catch through this tool, explaining at the beginning of any dungeon that I’m gearing to tank, since that’s my goal, but since I haven’t reached the mark I can’t queue to tank, and it’s ridiculously cost-ineffective to DPS poorly in hopes of being able to DPS better in hopes of eventually, someday, being able to tank.  Sometimes the talk goes well; sometimes it doesn’t.  As it stands after the first two weeks or so, I’m sitting at 519 defense thanks in large part to information here, and looking forward to filling in gaps in the rest of my setup to be able to tank heroics in a matter of days.

    And I have Blizzard to thank for it, and I am grateful.  Sincerely, utterly grateful.  To me it represents a step in the right direction in that if I make a character who by design can tank, and I desire to tank, it is no great leap from hitting 80 to being able to tank the content that people are running.

    But it comes at a cost, and the cost is pretty terrible.  The people I’ve run into through this business have been a mixed bag. Some have been perfectly understanding of my rationale and my process, but the ones who haven’t have been awful.  For the most part, the people I’ve run into in similar positions as I’m in have been equally humble, and for the most part very gracious to the exceedingly well-geared people pulling most of the weight.  But the sense of entitlement I’ve seen on people on the other end has been staggering.  ”STFU until you can do more dps than me,” “ur fail dk,” etc.  Childish, prima donna BS that everyone has run into in a PUG at some point in the past.  And it’s just utterly defeating.  It’s not my fault that you (poor 13-year-old who has no better way to get frost emblems, apparently) drew this lot any more than it is yours that I (brand new 80 who will have full T9 in another week or so) drew it.  Both of us have the system to thank.  Maybe I’m getting the better deal (of course I am), but I have no control over that either, other than the power to deliberately disadvantage myself just so I don’t have to put up with you.

    Now, if all of that was just something I could grit my teeth through, and write it off to running heroics when by all fairness I had no business there, I could swallow that.  But now I’ve made, thanks in large part to this same system, a very, very significant dent in my gear needs.  Tanking T9 definitely isn’t made for DPS, but my week’s worth of tanking gear can definitely outperform the brand new charity cases that are showing up.  I’m pulling more of my weight, and that feels good, even if it’s still “offspec” weight.  But the attitudes are still there.  There’s enough of a pattern to my gear now that I’m not getting much of the same comments anymore–people at a glance can see that I’m partially geared to tank; it’s been a few days since someone told me to put strength gems in my +defense gear’s gem slots, at least.  But now I’m seeing it aimed at the new guys on the bottom rung of the latter, and I can’t help but wonder what can be done.
    Here’s the TLDR:  This system changes the price of admission to high-end content.  The old cost was time, and lots of it, and I’m very sympathetic to those who put in the time, since I personally folded rather than put it in for TBC.  Frankly I still don’t have it now.  If I dinged 80 on my DK and realized there was no foreseeable way I could be tanking a heroic instance inside of a month of dailies, I’d probably quit again.  But this system puts my time at far less of a premium.  Instead, all I have to put up with is the extremely derisive remarks of the people who got the gear first because they got stuck with me (or whoever) instead of someone else who doesn’t need anything out of the instance except the two shiny frost emblems at the end.  I can’t help but wonder if the time would have been better… I take a small amount of comfort, at least, that others who have the same experiences I have with the PUG-is-faster mechanic that they will be better stewards of the advantages they have on people coming behind them than some of the people who came ahead of me.

    I think what Blizzard has done here is spoon-feeding in a way, but it’s important to recognize who’s holding the spoon.  It used to be the large guilds with a lot of resources who could hold it for their very exclusive membership; now Blizzard is holding it for everyone.
    I’m fine with that.

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