Tag Archives: Guilds

Who matters most?

So apparently it’s a thing right now, where because a Mythic World First Guild decided to stop being a Mythic World First Guild that people are clamoring that Blizzard do something, because won’t you think of the poor Mythic World First Guilds?

As usual, I have some strong feelings about Mythic Raiders, raiding in general, and Blizzard’s “catering” to players.

When things come up about Group X vs Group Y in WoW, it always boils down to one thing – Whoever is talking thinks they deserve something, and the other side thinks they don’t deserve that thing.

So. Who deserves a thing in WoW?

Who deserves the gold? Who deserves the gear? Who deserves the mounts? The pets? The Titles? The Legendaries?

Does anyone disagree the answer is – People who spend time and money?

Those are literally the two most important things in most people’s lives after all. Time and Money. They are a weird balance board. It fluctuates at high and low ends of the spectrum obviously, and has weird connections to seemingly unrelated things. But despite how much I hate goblins – they aren’t wrong. Time IS money.

We can’t say “Well anyone who pays for WoW deserves all the things.” (Though I do actually think that SHOULD be true.) Because… well, we all pay for WoW right. If I have to run Stratholme 166 times to get my Baron Rivendare’s Charger, I don’t want someone else getting it just for logging in. (Honestly, I really don’t care, as long as *I* have the mount.)

So for WoW, the real thing isn’t money. Because we can’t BUY a thing straight up. And it’s actually not “fair” to gate things behind money like that. See, WoW is based on the precursor to Mobile Games Monetization. (It really is, even if they don’t have a direct route to a la carte purchasing – which they should if they wanted to make bank, but again I digress – the ability to buy with Dollars things that can be traded or sold in game for everything means that it’s doable.) Mobile Games are based on two ideas – more players is always better, even if 90% of the players pay nothing. And two (this is the important one for this conversation) Players are either going to give us time or money. That’s why all the “currencies” in mobile games are used to speed things up.

Do you want to spend a month farming a thing – or pay $10? As someone who earns more than $10 an hour – it’s TOTALLY worth it for me to throw $10 at a game (especially if I like it, support your game devs) over waiting a month. (Also I am wildly impatient.) There are people like me who don’t mind the money. There are other people who are super proud of reaching the same achievement without spending a dime.

But in WoW, this transaction – money to thing I want in game – is not direct. It’s very roundabout. I have to buy tokens, wait for tokens to sell, then trade gold for carries. For the sake of this discussion though, let’s assume this is not REALLY doable (since it’s cost prohibitive, and limited by Blizz since you can only buy so many tokens.) (Also, it’s how it was BEFORE the tokens, and I feel it still holds true.)

So then, if we all pay the same amount of money into Blizzard, shouldn’t we all get the same amount of stuff? All the mounts? All the pets? All the gear?

Hurm. That’s not very fun though is it? We enjoy the seeking, the striving to get a thing we want. So the currency Blizzard is asking for isn’t money, it’s time. They want us to spend TIME getting an item. Here’s where the breakdown happens though: Elitism – and players who think they deserve something because they “worked harder” for it.

If we go back to the mount example. An Elitist would say “Because I ran the dungeon when it was current, because I got the mount when it was a 1 in 1000 drop, I deserve it more than someone who farmed it at level 80.”

But they didn’t earn it the same way I did. They were just LUCKY. At 15 minutes a run, times a 166, it took me 2490 minutes to get my mount. That’s 41.5 HOURS. At minimum wage (in California), that’s over $400! FOR PIXELS! Someone who ran it at level, could have gotten it on their first run (okay probably not but rng is rng).

So which one of us DESERVES it more? Hint – both of us – we both worked for it, just in different ways.

Ah. That’s the key right there. We got the same result – we just got it in different ways. Also he got his like 6 years earlier than I did.

People talk about Mythic Raiding like it’s the people Blizzard is making the game for. It’s not. They make the game for all of us. If it was just for Mythic Raiders, do you REALLY think Pet Battles would be a thing? At all?

People talk about Mythic Raiding and say “Well if you were willing to devote the time to it, you could do it too!” Actually, it’s not about time. It’s about skill, what we find fun, and willingness to be unhappy while working towards a goal. How much time does a Mythic Raider spend playing WoW? 40 hours a week? Like a job?

My slash played, since 2005 when I started playing, averages out to 5 hours a day. That means in a week – I spend 35 hours playing – on average. Obviously some weeks are more (Legion launch!). Some are less (Person 5 get here faster!). But in the end, I spend almost as much time playing WoW as I do working.

The real question is – why is their 40 hours of play being valued at a higher rate than mine? Why is my 40 hours leveling and capturing pets not a valid path to a best in slot piece of gear? (Since that is ARGUABLY the goal of a game like WoW, a loot treadmill.) Why isn’t it valid that someone who PVPs 40 hours a week earn gear on par with Mythic Raiding? It is just a loot treadmill right? Aren’t we on the treadmill? Why don’t we get the loot?

Less than 1% of players saw Naxx. So they remade it for Wrath. And nerfed it. People were pissed. Why? Blizz was “catering to casuals”. No – Blizzard was catering to PLAYERS. People who paid money for their game, paid the sub, and likely spent just as much time as everyone else in game – but maybe weren’t driven to focus on raiding as the end all be all of the game.

Do I think people running a raid 40 hours a week deserve mounts/pets/titles/legendaries? Oh yes. Do I think people running dungeons 40 hours a week deserve mounts/pets/titles/legendaries? Yep, them too. Do I think people leveling pets 40 hours a week and beating the Celestial Tournament deserve mounts/pets/titles/legendaries? Hell yes, that shit is hard.

“But Joyia, if you make it so that people can get the best gear from running dungeons – people won’t run raids!”

Ahhh, that’s where the Mobile Game Monetization comes back in.

Mythic Raiders == the Whales. They put up with all the “pain and suffering and omg why would you do this this isn’t fun at all” and get the loot fastest. Us “filthy casuals” who spend just as much time in game if not more – we get it too. Just slower. And over a greater length of time. The currency here is just pain and suffering.

That’s why the progressive buff in ICC was such a great thing. (The Mythic raiders don’t need it or care, my little casual guild can progress to the end!) That’s why Badges of Valor were such a great thing. (You got it in a drop, that’s cool, but if I keep killing bosses I will get it in 3 weeks!) That’s why NOT REMOVING CONTENT LIKE THE GROVE WARDEN AND ICC MOUNTS IS SUCH A GREAT THING. (Seriously Blizz, put that shit back.)

We ALL pay to play the game. We ALL pay in time – casual and hardcore is NOT determined based on time spent – but rather the bullshit required to defeat a SINGLE aspect of an impossibly large game.

We ALL deserve the rewards and cool things that comes with it.

WTS Level 25 Guild, 250k, PST.

Guilds have always been a huge deal in World of Warcraft. As a long time player, both in and out of guilds, I can vouch for the fact that a good guild makes *all* the difference when playing. WoW is an interesting game, but is a great game when playing with other people. Of course the reverse is also true, other people can make this game terrible, but I want to focus on guilds.

Want to run a dungeon? Sure, it can be pugged through the Dungeon Finder, but having a guild run serves multiple purposes. First, you are playing with people you know. No drama over who pulled. No drama over who’s fault a wipe is. Also, you tend to work better as a team. Second, loot is so much easier to deal with. Players who will fight tooth and nail over the smallest upgrade in a pug will gladly hand over that same piece to a guildy. Not to mention that if all the people in the run are guildies, then every drop that is used is one more drop making your guild stronger. Add to this three – ventrilo is usually usable, four – breaks are generally accepted easier, and five – it’s just more fun to play with people you know, and there is really no reason to run in a non-guild group if you can get into a guild group.

In Cataclysm, they added a whole new level to guilds. Guild levels. Each guild can earn 25 levels. Each level comes with some special reward or perk. Everything from faster leveling to mounts and pets to increased skill ups and gathers! It is enough to make even the most anti-social want to join in and contribute. Also, contributing is simple. Every thing you do, very nearly, increases the xp of a guild. Leveling? 25% of your xp counts as guild xp! Battlegrounds? Kill those Horde for the good of your guild!

Now, many of the initial nay-sayers piped up with, “But that means mega-guilds will level faster!!! NO FAIR!” Well, yes, a guild with 70 active members is going to level faster than a guild with 7 active members. Logically that makes complete sense. So, Blizzard instituted a cap on the amount of guild xp earned each day. The daily cap on guild XP is 6,246,000 xp. That’s about the amount of personal exp it takes to level from level 83 to 84. No small feat.

I am currently in two guilds. One, a rather large progression raiding guild with about 40-50 active members. For the first week of guild leveling it takes about an hour, on average, to reach our daily xp cap. Even with the nerf (previously 100% of earned player xp went to the guild cap, now it is only 25%, when the 100% was active it took about guild about 30 minutes to hit cap, sometimes less). My other guild is a friends and family guild, that is literally me, and two other players. Now to be fair, I haven’t been playing those toons, and they didn’t have Cataclysm until Friday night, BUT regardless, on our best day, when all 3 of us were on, playing for a few hours, and leveling like mad we earned…. about 19% of our daily cap. This was post nerf, which means pre-nerf, just the three of us would have reached almost 76% of our daily cap. I am willing to admit that I still think these numbers are fair. We are 3 people. By no means a “real” guild. And my larger guild is the very definition of a guild, and an active one at that.

It never occurred to me that this would become a limiting factor. I mean, yes, I was aware of the desire to join a larger guild that had multiple perks (after all who can pass up 20% exp from mobs?) but I never really considered how long it would take to bring a guild up to max. I assumed that a large guild could do it quickly and a small guild it would just take time.

The total XP required for a guild to level from 1 to 25 is 845,670,000 – which translates to 136 days assuming the cap is reached on a daily basis.

136 DAYS. Meaning my little guild, playing our hardest, would be 680 days. THAT’S ALMOST 2 YEARS of solid play from 3 people. 2 YEARS?!? ARE THEY KIDDING ME?!? Now previously, we could “pad” our numbers by running old world stuff with a “guild” group and earning the achievements. But they removed that, so now, we can’t even do that. 2 years.

I was annoyed at this, until I was in Stormwind and saw someone selling a guild. Level 2 guild for sale, 6 tabs, 50k gold. Suddenly I had this image of end game guilds, creating a secondary guild, moving enough players into it to keep it capped every day, then SELLING it for huge sums.

The sadness is, this will limit the number of new guilds formed. People won’t want to be in a newbie level 1 guild. People will flock to the high level guilds to get their bonuses. People will put up with bad situations to stay with the perks a large guild has. Something like when a few friends of mine and I splintered from a dying guild to form our own won’t happen as often. I could see us staying in a negative guild just for the perks. Of course, this negative environment would make it likely for us to have bad experiences and end up leaving the game all together.

There needs to be a change, an adjustment, and some kind of account given to small guilds. You should chose a guild for the people, not for the perks. And yet, Blizzard is rewarding perk seeking behavior, for all their “bring the player not the class” they are now saying “seek out the bonuses instead of having fun”.