Hug a Goblin – The case for relisting Wowtokens (or not)

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The Wowtoken has been released, and things are starting to move. I do not know where prices will end up, but I do know it will be volatile because the buyers and sellers do not have matching needs.

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Token sellers want quick gold so will list immediately. The people selling their gold only need to buy one token per account per month and can do so at any time. What we need is an agent to allow market to operate efficiently with arbitrage smoothing out those timing differences. In short we need Goblin Speculators. Continue reading

Overpowering Raiders Leaves No Room for More Dungeons

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It would appear that a group of mythic raiders completed all current normal mode raid content in 5-man group thanks to the power of l33t gear. That made some people think about the impact on raiders struggling on normal mode. Others about power inflation through new raids tiers into and into the next expansion’s levelling world. My thoughts went in the direction of 5 man dungeons and how this turn off events makes it harder to introduce new groups mid-expansion.
Continue reading

It Is Impossible for Game Designers to Deliver Their Promises

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Prompted by a Psychochild blog in a blog post last week Tobold asked for games designers using Kickstarter to should stop selling cheap visions and focus on doing the hard work and delivering the product with the features they announced when doing the fundraising. I have a couple of issues with that request.

Design is an iterative process.
Especially in the early days, things change frequently. Ideas build on top of other ideas and the overall vision leads to a different destination I once heard a tale where an artist knew a sculture was hidden inside the block, but he wouldn’t know exactly what it looked like until he had removed the excess material from the slab and seen what lay beneath. I think game design should be operate in a similar aim. There are themes and general ideas, but if a developer comes up with a feature that does something better, then they shouldn’t be restricted to producing the original feature just because that is what they sold in their Kickstarter

Ideas people aren’t necessarily good at translating into reality.
Very few people are good at everything, so why should we expect good game designers to be also able to manage their products efficiently. Films have writers, directors and producers. Sometimes they are the same person, but they are frequently split out because different people have different strengths. While we might expect full blown gaming companies to split those jobs, Kickstarter-funded games are generally small and people donating to these products frown upon companies that hire people that aren’t directly involved getting their hands dirty in producing the final game. Until that changes and we allow people to focus on their strengths, I think we need to be a bit forgiving about project drift

Making games is hard
Finally, making games isn’t easy. Case in point, Overwatch. If a huge studio like Blizzard with creative ideas people, strong record of delivering results, and proven ability to create one of the most successful MMOs of all time can spend the best part of a decade plus millions of dollars yet still fail to produce an MMO then how could we expect a small-indy studio to deliver a product exactly in line with their original ideas, within on time and on budget?

Poor Communications Kill – Preventing misunderstandings

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One of the key reasons for games companies to talk to their players is to communicate expectations. Talking about upcoming features can perk up the player-base and get them excited about things to come. Over-promising or telling them about features and then not delivering them can result in disappointment.

This is not the dance studio I was expecting

This is not the dance studio I was expecting

Do you think that you’re a pathological liar? -(link)
I am going to be kind on the studios and assume that they don’t deliberately over-promise. That is a discussion for another day. My focus for today is on another matter. I will also assume that they are always telling the truth then an expected feature is not released and they state that it was always intended for a later patch. Of course, if that is the case, then they need to work a lot on their communication skills and management of player expectations. Continue reading

Twitter, it is a bit rubbish is it not?

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I’ve had a post lined up for months but never been able to put it exactly into words. I am still working on it, but needed to relieve myself of some quotes I picked up but needed to drop before the post became a thesis.

Twitter isn’t very good at expressing a point or discussing ideas.

It is incredibly easy to say the wrong thing or express yourself badly.

Putting your teams on Twitter with no training, you might as well just hand them a loaded gun. The ability to say whatever we want when we want to say it is extraordinarily dangerous.

— Tony Jones of Daybreak (via PCGamer.com) March 3, 2015

But ultimately if it is used well…

[WoW] What were they randomly thinking?

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edit — They changed the profession vendors so that everyone now gets the same vendor each day. There is still a 1/25ish chance of getting the correct vendor turn up at your garrison, but the vendors are the same across the whole server it should be a lot easier to find someone with a vendor if you have the correct day.

One in 25(ish). What were they thinking?

dice Continue reading

So you hate leveling, but have a problem with leveling speed buffs?

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Do you know what really wipes my raid? People who moaning about boosts to XP gains making leveling being too quick. (This post is brought to you by someone moaning about SW:TOR having a double XP event for subscribers). This is supposed to help other people and you have a problem with it. Let’s see how we can sort out your issues. Continue reading

Minor WoW Irritations – Logging the Sargerei Lumber

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Garrisons are nice. Sometimes we want to make our garrisons grow. To do that we need resources and one of the best sources of resources comes from cutting down trees and getting them processed at the lumberyard.

A Tree

This is a tree

Socrethar’s Rise in Shadowmoon Valley is a fantastic area for gathering resources especially lumber. Medium and larger trees are plentiful and there is minimal competition due to the high density of L100 and elite mobs. The garrison campaign quest includes the assembly of a Sargerei disguise allow you to pass amoung the otherwise hostile mobs unmolested. The disguise is a great asset when it comes to chopping down trees without interruption.

Unfortunately this bountiful harvest doesn’t last. The quest has to be completed if progress is to be made on the garrison campaign, and upon hand-in the disguise is lost. Part of your reward is a new disguise, but this is purely cosmetic and doesn’t cause the mobs to ignore you. Quest completion removes unfettered access to the best lumber gathering area in the game. It is an unfortunate example of the game punishing you if you want progress.

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