Treating the symptoms

| Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Blizzard has been doing a lot of this. WoW is sick and Blizzard keeps giving it sedatives instead of medicine.

Sunwell is a great example of this.

1: Gear inflation. Item levels must go up and up and up. The result was that tanks got to Sunwell and were almost impossible to even hit. How did Blizzard treat this? Did they reduce gear inflation (nerf gear)? Or better, did they shift the focus of progress away from gear? Nope. They just stuck a dodge debuff on players and increased the hit rate of enemies, adding up to a 25% avoidance loss. That fixes nothing except creating the image of even higher gear requirements, making the real problem WORSE!

2: Holy paladins. They are really awful at multi-target healing. Terrible. But fortunately they can heal one person really well. In fact, according to devs, too well. What would be the solution? Well I'd nerf their single target healing, but to keep them balanced, I'd give a bit of AoE healing or maybe a HoT. Blizzard just threw in tons of AoE damage. Now for one raid holy paladins are absolutely awful and the real problem of extreme focus on single-target healing is not addressed.

Gold inflation: Blizzard caused this. They control the money it and money out in the economy. So why did they cause inflation? Well, they still haven't figured out that farming for raids is not much fun. But they were nice and made it easy to make gold for repair bills, which honestly are not a huge deal (to me at least). The real cost is consumables. Dailies put more gold into the economy, which should make it easier to buy pots and gems, right? Wrong. Handing out loads of gold for dailies just causes inflation, making all gold worth less. But it gets worse. By handing out gold directly, the incentive to farm is reduced. That lowers supplies and drives up the prices even further. At this point there's only one way to lower prices: reduce demand for consumables. Blizzard could retune encounters, but I can understand that they need to factor in some consumable use, otherwise players will use them anyway and have unintended advantages.

They took the other route: kill raiding. They started by making arena gear much more powerful for the amount of skill required to get it. I have no chance in hell of getting T6, but I was able to get a few pieces of S3 and now I could even buy S4 gloves. Compare that to T4 and you can see why I might have a reduced incentive to raid anything pre-T5. But why go for T5 when I can do Kara for a few weeks and get better gear from badges? Oh right, but raiding, killing it reduces demand for consumables, pushing down prices. However since we still have inflation all this does is make alchemy less profitable.

But hey, WotLK will fix it all, right? I'm not being entirely sarcastic, Blizzard did fix a lot of epic fail in TBC so it is reasonable to assume that WotLK will reduce the fail even further. But they did also introduce arenas.


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