Expectations, Part 2

So, in my previous post, I explained what I saw.  Here, I’m going to discuss the community, and what I see as causing what Matt Rossi said to problably resonate with a lot of people…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think that the community’s expectations of both Blizzard and each other are highly broken. Let me explain:

First, the community expects something to replace anything that gets nerfed, dumbed down, or otherwise perceived to be made easier. I’m going to use the Zandalari Heroics, and the Elemental Heroics (the four heroics mentioned in Matt’s article) as an example, but it happens with raids as well.

When patch 4.1 dropped, several things were also changed in the Elemental Heroics, making them easier. Many folks (even those who no longer struggled with those encounters) agreed that in some cases it was very necessary to make the Elemental Heroics even vaguely accessible to someone who didn’t have a guild group to support them. Along with those changes, two new Heroics – the Zandalari Heroics – were added. These were more difficult than the Elemental Heroics pre-nerf. They were also exciting because they were new, challenging, and they awarded more Valor Points.

This makes a certain amount of sense. More difficulty = more reward. Fair enough. But now Blizzard has set a precedent, and there will be clamor if this precedent doesn’t continue. That is one point where the community is very broken – if the new content doesn’t follow the model of the old content by at least awarding more reward for more difficulty, then why bother with more difficulty?

But, let’s take this back to where we are. Two levels of difficulty. Two different amounts of VP gained. I’m good with that. I’m even happy with that. Now add the next element: Community perception. If you ask 10 WoW players,  I’m betting 7 of them will tell you that you need to run your 7 Zandalari Heroics every week (or an appropriate number to reach your Valor Point maximum along with your raiding) or you’re not playing end game right. Why? So that you can get your better gear as quickly as possible.

At the same time, the same people will tell you that they’re bored with the content a month after it’s been released. 6 months until the next content patch and they’re going bonkers, suspending their accounts or quitting the game altogether (or at least thinking about it while they continue to beat their heads against this expectation that they max their VP every week or might as well take a break)

And that, my friends, is where I think the community is the most broken. I remind myself that the most vocal people are always the most unhappy people. But I just don’t see why these expectations are there as a general rule.

I want to be clear here. I’m not talking about hard-core raiders. They’re a different breed altogether, and I think they take the grind of getting their weekly dungeons and their dailies in stride to be able to accomplish what they do.  But Casual Raiders (and don’t get me started on casual) seem to think they need to play like hard-core raiders to be able to accomplish anything noteworthy. 

There’s another thing I don’t understand about casual raiders. They see themselves as failing if they’re not right in the progression pack, and they see themselves as better than everyone else if they’re ever ahead of the curve.  I wonder if disgruntled prima-donas are the ones who cause all the drama – not the specific instance drama like loot going to the ‘wrong’ player, but the generalized drama that happens whenever a raid team gets stuck. If they expect everyone else to put in every ounce of time and effort because they themselves happen to have enough time to do so.

I’ve known a lot of casual raiders in my day, and before the ability to buy gear with points was added to the game, things were a lot simpler. You got you gear upgrades from raids. If you had done the quest or dungeon, or ground out the rep to get the piece that was best in slot before raiding, you were done with have tos.

So maybe the problem is the point system, not the community. But really, it does all boil down to how the community perceives the systems, and the community expectations.

Posted on August 29, 2011, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “If you ask 10 WoW players, I’m betting 7 of them will tell you that you need to run your 7 Zandalari Heroics every week”

    Yar, could be. I’s one of them other three buggers though. I’s lucky if’n I gets in one a week, yet I still carries me wait in the raid.

    Saw ya in the WoW Insider breakfast topic, thought I’d drop in and say “hi”

  2. If you couldn’t tell by the tone of my blog, I’m also one of those other three. 🙂 I haven’t even set foot in an 85 heroic yet, I’m too busy doing other stuff.

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