Optional, Redux
Posted by Blessing of Kings [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 October 2012, 1:30 am
I am kind of glad I am not raiding so far in this expansion. There's so much to do at level 90, and I'm having a lot of fun just taking it slowly. I've decided to focus on two factions: Golden Lotus and the Tillers. I do their dailies, and maybe an instance. I don't need to log in every day. Eventually I'll switch to another faction, maybe when I hit revered. But there's more than enough content to sustain me for a long while now.

Meanwhile, I look at all the raider blogs out there, and they're all tearing their hair out. So much stuff to do, and they all have to do it right now.

I wrote a post a couple years ago, Optional, that still applies today, more than ever:
Sometimes it seems like this genre has no concept of the term "optional". Something is either absolutely necessary, or it is useless. There doesn't seem to be any in-between.
As far as I can see, Blizzard has tried to thread the needle here. They've tried their hardest to make the factions optional, but still give good rewards for those who do them. Feasts give good stats, but if you focus on cooking, you can get a tiny bonus.

And yet, have they succeeded? I don't think so. Judging by the blogs in my reader, the higher-end raiders can't pace themselves, and look to be burning out.

I guess I'll end this post the same way I ended the post two and a half years ago:
Maybe it's better for the designers to assume that players will have no sense of moderation or sanity, and will take every possible step to gain any potential benefits. Then design the game to severely limit the amount of possible steps to keep players from hurting themselves.

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