Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wishlist of sorts

Over the last week or so I've been discussing WoW with my brothers, Twitterati and in the comments of this blog quite intensively and I've come up with some things I would definitely like to see corrected or entered into the game. This is a kind of a wishlist of sorts, just to break the monotony of the negativity I have had lately.

The things are not in any certain order, just a list of things I would love to see ingame.

Scaling content/difficulty
The one issue we have had with my brothers (The Three Stooges label for more information) has been the fact that the instances are not suitable for a group of three at an appropriate level. Since we want to enjoy the game at our own pace and with our own company, this has posed the problem: either we enter the instances at higher level and overlevel the content and gear, or we just skip the content, or PUG. Last of which is out of the question due to our wish to tackle the content on our own.

This can also be seen at higher levels in other context: the challenge level of a heroic daily instance is completely different to a toon in item level 245 gear than for a toon in ilvl 200 gear. And the skill and knowledge of the instance is now not taken into account. This leads to the next 'bullet point'.

Power level information
There could be a sort of a power level indicator ingame giving at least a hint to the players in the group of the 'power level' of the toon entering the group. Instead of punishing the group for taking a lower power level toon in, the system could reward the higher power level players with extra badges/emblems or something. This is countered in EQ2 with it's mentoring system where a higher level character can 'lower' her level down to that of a lower level toon, while keeping the special skills and talents of the higher level. This higher level player gets additional reward in form of AP's, which is a system WoW doesn't incorporate (then again, EQ2 doesn't have emblems like WoW, so there is a way to counter this).

Instead of making the game harder for newcomers to join veterans ingame, this would reward the veterans to teach and endure the noob moments.

Guild housing/Player housing
In EQ2 one of the things I loved a lot was player housing. The making and decorating that small special hut of yours was probably the best thing in the game in addition to the vast and weird lore posed to a newcomer. I was promised before the launch of WoW. It was still promised after lauch, but then it was scrapped. Gevlon wrote his view on why it will not be implemented, and I can see his point. However, I can see another point which will prevent it's meaningful implementation, though.

Meaningful crafting
Crafting in WoW is a joke. It's not a minigame, it's not rewarding and it most certainly is not time effective. It's a chore, a toll and a burden to get some benefits. Sure, you can easily make money with it by crafting something, but it could be so much more.

First of all, the gear crafted is very, very seldom useful due to the fact that you overlevel it almost immediately. The meaningful gear you can craft is also very, very expensive to manufacture and it's more time effective to just level up and get better gear through questing and world drops, even. Let alone the lucky PUG into one of the instances.

This is also something that really blew my mind in EQ2: the crafting minigame, in which you could really create meaningful gear and stuff. Provisioner is not useless and is not mastered by everyone like in WoW, where everyone and their cousins are Master Chef's of sorts. Don't get me wrong: in EQ2 this requires dedication to build up the skills properly, but instead of being an overall chore, like in WoW, it is a minigame, taking time off from your actual questing. In EQ2 you could also level your crafting by making furniture and fluff which would be very much appreciated by the people who were deeply into the player housing, which I mentioned earlier. The crafting itself would easily pay back the money used into the materials, and not being such a money sink it is in WoW

Crafting should be revamped and made more equal, as inscription is currently the odd bird in the lot.

Purchase orders
It's no big secret that I meddle in AH with my banker toon. In fact it seems that I'm currently playing more with him during the week than my actual toons due to the fact that I'm trying to earn more gold than the gemming and enchanting of Laiskajaakko's gear takes.

There is one thing I have been yearning for as long as I've played the AH game: purchase order system. A system in which you post what you want to buy, how much and at what price. Lacking this, we're seeing some outrageous amounts of only bid based auctions in the auction house from people who clearly do not have time, will, intelligence or understanding to check the average price of the stuff, putting them on way too low bids and effectively wasting their time. Just a few calls of WTB [Crafting resources] insane amount of gold/full stack, COD results immediate contacts, both selling directly and complaining about the price, so there must be demand for such a system.

Naturally this would change the face of the AH system altogether, but it would help both the selling and purchasing parties to find each other easier and -I think- in the end equalize the outrageous price differences in certain materials and goods.


I have made reference on how I liked certain things in EQ2 and I can hear some of you asking why am I not playing EQ2 instead of WoW because of this hype. The reason is simply like the guys in Inside Azeroth point out time and again.WoW just is so smooth, polished, good clean fun until someone loses a kidney and it just keeps getting better and worse the more you play it. The polish comes into play in the overall graphics of the game, being smoothed out properly with the different layers blending easily into each other. Had I started with EQ2, I doubt I would have fallen in love with WoW so deeply: they are different, but they are so similar.

All in all, the basic gameplay is great and the stories and storytelling has improved a lot over the years. These minor things I've mentioned might change the gameplay to more enjoyable direction and might even help the newcomer to enter the last two stages of the game: grearing and raiding at the end game.

Now, the question is, what would be the things YOU would like to change and how?