Time seems to be the ultimate design boss that Developers need to conquer. Every expansion including the very first for WoW has always been something of a marketing research project, will players like this, they seem to be talking about that feature in those other games, can we put our own spin on things to give them something similar, how much time are people willing to commit to completing a task, fighting a raid boss before giving up and moving on, how much time are people playing the game.
And I think, or at least it is starting to feel to me, that they are pulling out all of the stops for trying to find out what we want to do in anticipation of the release of the movie. Trying like all groups that have done flex size raiding, to find that magic number of things to do, that will keep us engaged and coming back day after day. For someone like myself that has played coming up in 3 months time, 6 years of WoW, it is overwhelming how much there is to take part in, so much so that I am really not doing anything. If I were to compile a list it would be several pages long easily. And the majority of it are things that cannot be checked off as a simple, I will just do this a few days and have it done.
I finished the Hydraxian Waterlords. Yay for exalted!! And it was kind of a let down that there was no fan fare, no Lord Hydraxis letter in my mail. There is probably a tabard, there is always a tabard. And the day they add the tab to store them all on, I suspect I will be doing a great deal of traveling to purchase all those that I have gotten rid of due to no bank space. There is only 1 more BC rep I need to complete, and that is Ogri’la, and I suspect I am getting near ready to tackle them.
I am no stranger to putting in the time and effort to achieve a goal. It was a promise I made to myself once I had gotten my first to level 80, that I would find the time some day to go back and do all the things I passed over in those couple of months it took to get to 80 the first time. Yeah, I had grand plans to do it all with an appropriate level character, but I realized that while that may be a noble goal, it comes down to how much time will it take.
My gaming life in WoW has become a mental exercise each night in how much time will something take me vs the potential reward. Do I want to travel to Stratholme to try for the mount, do I go up to Arathi Highlands to work on Ravenholdt rep for awhile, do I queue for an LFR, do I accept the quest to go farm Apexis crystals. There is so much to weigh out that invariably I end up spending most of my night working on guild things, cleaning the bank, checking the repair expenditures, looking over the mats available for the raid teams, reading guild chat, glancing at trade for anyone asking questions, looking for help, or a guild. And then I log out, feeling like I accomplished nothing, even though I did. What I did do, which has become clear to me, are routine daily chores. And that is a problem.
Gaming should not feel like a set of chores you need to do in the allotted time you have to play in a day or evening. I think someone mentioned the other day, that many, and I do mean many, felt the followers in our Garrison, would be doing many of these chores for us, in stead they give us bonus materials, but we still need to supply them with raw materials that we either need to farm up, or go to the AH to buy. Perhaps it is a thing they just could not get to work, perhaps they looked at it that we would just set them and forget them and not come back to the Garrison. Only they know, and perhaps those that were in the beta testing may have had hints to what actually made it to final from testing.
Time seems to be the biggest hurdle they have to clear in designing not only the next expansion, but to salvage this one. My fear is that as we are all growing older, having families, jobs, careers, is that we will eventually say that it takes to much time to research and figure all these things out by going to other web sites, that there is not time to actually play the game. There needs to be better communication of what things are, how they work, what you need to do, even in summary form, On WoW’s webs site, not other fan sites that devote a considerable amount of resources to making guides so that they can get clicks. I agree they are valuable to figure out the more complex nature of features, but there should be more information readily available, through the desktop launcher. Going to the Forums to find out information can be a daunting task, the search feature can give results too old if worded incorrectly.
In a nut shell, things are taking to much time, and the one thing I don’t have is…