Today’s patch to WoW (3.3.3) landed and with it a few changes that I feel impact the game quite a bit.Â Â The patch notes in their entirety can be found here, but a few points that I feel are the key ones to address:
– The Random Battleground system has been added! Similar to the Random Dungeon system in the Dungeon Finder, players can now queue for a random Battleground.
– The amount of Honor awarded for an Honorable Kill has been increased by 100% for characters of all levels.
– Items which previously required Marks of Honor will have their costs adjusted to remove these requirements.
– Honor costs have come down on a lot of items (not in the notes, but definitely they did come down.)
Okay, so whether or not these are “Good” changes for the game totally doesn’t matter because that’s up to the individual. What these changes have done though is definitely make the game much more accessible. Amazing how Blizzard tends to make WoW more and more accessible every patch when once it was thought that this was a game that could not possibly be more accessible to the masses.
Gear in WoW has always been this barrier in the way of doing something.Â Whether it’s doing the content that you want to do, or just doing the content for the sake of doing content and not worrying about ulterior motives, it’s in the way.Â At this point I think we should all stop fussing about it and just accept it: gear is in the way.Â That’s WoW.Â Patches like this which do not change that but make it so that the barrier can be overcome easier are definitely a plus in some way.
PvP gear is now easily obtained.Â It really is easy now.Â I’ve always felt extremely angsty about not being able to get the PvP gear and still PvE in the time that I have, and about having to do this inordinate amount of PvP that I don’t want to do in order to do the PvP that I do want to do when and how I want.Â After this patch I can PvP with my buds and we can get gear.Â Sounds good to me.
PvE is getting to be the way way.Â Since I last played it’s now even easier to get gear…. and I thought ToC was as easy as it could possibly get.Â Instances are loot pinatas and the badges rain from the sky like candy along with the gear.Â Â Again, it’s getting the loot to the player which removes the emphasis from the process of getting the gear while maintaining the gear being mandatory.Â So on one hand you have the ever increasing importance of gear and on the other you have the gear becoming less of the centerpiece… it’s odd, I know.Â For someone like me who focuses on the actual content — I’m the guy who likes slaying the dragon because there’s a story behind that dragon and the fight itself should be appreciated — it’s allowing me to focus on getting to that next fight.
What do you guys think?Â Should gear be really difficult to obtain or should it be easy?Â Should it be a milestone or should it be a gate?Â In my ideal design I’ve really been trying to find the sweet spot.Â Gear must bring with it a sense of accomplishment and pride, as well as a real sense that what you’re using is important to your survival.Â The process of obtaining the gear will be similar to having to go out and obtain the gear yet the focus won’t be the same.Â The focus will be shifted away from getting gear to get gear and on to getting gear because you want to improve your character.Â Technically they sound alike, but there’s a difference… perhaps a semantical one … that I think some of you will understand.Â I think SWG hit the nail on the head and Dark Age (pre-ToA) was really almost there as well.Â The gear is apart of a really much bigger picture (such as the RvR in DAOC).
I think this is one of those situations in WoW where a negative times a negative make a positive.Â Does that make sense?