Tobold's Blog
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Long term design flaw

There is a billion dollar pro sports industry based on the idea that watching somebody really professional excelling at a game is more fun to watch than watching some local kids playing the same game. While I still play World of Tanks regularly, I'm pondering why the game isn't more fun. And I do think that one of the design flaws the game has is that it gets less interesting at higher levels. Watching good players in high tier battles is far more boring than low tier battles full of noobs. A game of World of Tanks in which everybody is playing as professionally as possible is going to be a boring draw, because defending is more often than not more efficient than attacking. All the action the game has comes from people who either don't know better, or are just plain impatient and attack anyway. And sometimes they get lucky and attack where the defense was weakest, and then they win.

My problem with that is that the who progress and reward structure pushes me to higher tiers. I should pursue tank lines to tier X. I should farm credits in tier VIII premium tanks, as they give the most credits per battle. Instead I am playing lower tier regular tanks, where I would have to pay gold to convert the experience points I make with them, and earn a lot less credits. Many of the missions either can't be done with lower tier tanks at all, or are just far more difficult, e.g. if you have to deal a specific minimum amount of damage.

On the positive side, if you opt out of the whole tech tree climbing thing, World of Tanks can easily be played for free.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Fire Emblem: Harry Potter

Hmmm, there seems to be a small typo in the title of my post. :) The game is actually called Fire Emblem: Three Houses, on the Nintendo Switch. But as the game mainly plays in a school, which teaches magic among other things, there is a certain Harry Potter vibe to the game. At the core this is a game of the Fire Emblem series, with a solid turn-based tactical combat system. Around this core system is constructed a story in which you teach a class of students of one of three possible "houses" of the school. The students are then your units in battle, and so there is a whole art around selecting what skills to teach them, because those in turn unlock various character classes.

And then there is another layer built around that, one in which you manage relations between your avatar and the students, as well as between students. Improve relations and your units will support each other better in battle, but also you'll get to see a cut scene of the interaction between the two characters, which reveals a part of their individual story. Thus a good amount of time is spent running through the school and talking to people, doing minor quests, and following the many different story threads.

The advantage of that system is that it improves replayability. Just choose a different house next time around, and you will have a base set of different characters, which will have different interactions and cutscenes with each other. The first part of the main story will remain the same, but the house story and side stories will be different. However right now I am not very worried about replayability, because this is not a short game. I'm 25 hours in, and because I am not rushing it I am only in chapter 8 out of 21. Apparently you can get through just the main story in 40 hours if you don't do extras, but why would I want to? While I haven't seen it myself yet, there is apparently a New Game Plus mode in which you can play a different house the second time around without completely losing everything from your first game.

I very much like the combat system of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. And I like the training system. I do find the way to tell a story by dialogues between the different characters interesting; but I have to admit that at some point where I had done a lot of battles in series and thus improved a lot of relations between my students, sitting through dozens of cutscenes got a bit tedious. And while you can travel within the school by fast travel, I am not a big fan of the fact that one has to explore every corner of the school manually every month to find hidden items and books that improve your professor level.

Overall however I find that Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a very good game, and I can recommend it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Zeitgeist 5E - Session 2

In the previous session we started playing the Zeitgeist Adventure Path for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. In this session we played the first act of The Island at the Axis of the World. Now I had already played the same adventure with a different group in 4th edition D&D. However 5E is somewhat faster than 4E, my new group is somewhat faster than my old group, and the new group also plays longer sessions (6 hours on a Sunday afternoon, as compared to 3 hours a weekday evening for the old group). So we are covering a lot more ground and will get through the adventure in fewer sessions.

Now I had several reasons for wanting to play this campaign again. It is a very good campaign, at least the early part that I want to play. And it is somewhat more open to different groups solving the same problems in different ways. Last but not least I had spent a considerable amount of money at the time of the 4E campaign to have all the battle maps printed in poster format, and wanted to reuse them.

Traditionally in D&D the players only play their own characters, and the DM plays all the NPCs, and all the world around the players. Besides that being a lot of work for the DM, it also has the disadvantage that you can end up with long sequences in which the narrative isn't interactive at all. The DM talks and talks, and the players slowly fall asleep. So for the start of this session I had something different in mind. I let the players not only introduce their characters, but also let them decide on the nature and organization of the Royal Homeland Constabulary of which they are part now. Does the RHC wear uniforms? Are they helpful to the people, or are they a feared secret police kicking in doors and kidnapping dissidents in the night? Do they accept bribes? If somebody from a crowd protests by throwing a tomato, do they reply by throwing a fireball or do they use a more commensurate response avoiding collateral damage? All of these things aren't detailed in the adventure. So I told the players that it was up to them to decide, and that the rest of the RHC would adopt the same culture as they did. That worked brilliantly, leading to a lot of interactive discussion, and a much better identification of the players with the constabulary.

I am not going to re-tell all the details of the story, which I have journaled before. What we played through was mainly a "skill challenge", a 4E concept adapted to 5E here, in which the group as RHC constables identified trouble-makers in a crowd at the occasion of the launch of the RNS Coaltongue. And after that we played through the main event of this part of the adventure, the sabotage of the RNS Coaltongue, in which servants of the sister of the king tried to kill the king by blowing up the ship.

Having played the 4E version I immediately noticed that the 5E version was missing the fire sprites in that encounter. The remaining saboteurs, a sorceress, an assassin, and two engineers, looked a bit underpowered compared to an experienced group of five level 3 characters. So I added the fire sprites back in, using the magma mephits from the Monster Manual. That turned out to be a very good idea, because even with them the fight itself still was easy enough. The difficulty instead was that with the fire sprites added, the sorceress and the engineers had enough time to complete the steps of the sabotage, overheating the boiler and rusting shut the furnace door as well as the relief valves. So once all enemies were dead, the group was on a clock with a boiler that was building up pressure and would explode in 12 turns.

Most of the group basically attacked the steam engine, destroying the furnace door to get it open again, and breaking open a relief valve. That slowed down the pressure buildup, but didn't stop it. So they started to remove the heat source from the furnace, but that resulted in them taking fire damage. Finally the warrior, Fernand, had the brilliant idea to use the ships magic weapon, which was drawing its energy from the furnace. Compared to the previous group the success was one step less, because the 4E group had managed to not disturb the king and the party while dealing with the sabotage. This group had already raised the alarm and started launching the lifeboats.

The last bit we played was the aftermath of the event, in which the group was told what their next mission is. The king's sister has re-captured Axis Island (where the intro adventure played) from Danor. To prevent another war with Danor, the group has to infiltrate the island and the main fortress on that island, open the sea gates, and thus allow the king's fleet to take the fortress, arrest the king's sister, and hand the island back to Danor. That will be for the next session.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Top of the Tree

I've been playing World of Tanks a lot since I came back from holidays. As a result I reached the tier X tank of the August Top of the Tree event, the STB-1, already yesterday, just two weeks after having started working on that tank line. Which is just as well, because I didn't really like any of the tanks from tier IV to IX. The tier III tank is still one of my favorites, and the STB-1 is pretty good. But I am not sure whether I will end up playing it a lot. Because I am not really sure why I should play a tier X tank in World of Tanks. I'm at the top of the tree and wonder where to go from there.

Of course the underlying question here is what your personal win condition is. Curiously the tier X tanks don't tick a lot of boxes of possible win conditions. Playing a tier X tank doesn't advance you towards other tanks, unless you pay a lot of gold to convert the xp you gain to free xp (which I admit doing). They are also lousy credit earners, you often lose money playing them, and would be better off playing a tier VIII premium tank instead. The only personal goal that tier X tanks are really good at is if your goal is to challenge yourself. The average WN8 in a tier X game is noticeably higher than the average WN8 in lower tier games. However for me that is just a reason to not play tier X games, because I am not really skilled enough for the top league. If your personal goal is to improve your WN8, you better keep out of these tier X games.

World of Tanks does a really bad job at matching people with other players of the same skill. It simply doesn't regard past performance, or how well equipped a tank is, at all in the matchmaking. As a result I am often in completely unbalanced games, where one side just roflstomps the other in under 5 minutes while losing under 5 tanks themselves. I don't find those games much fun, even if I happen to be on the winning team. I would imagine that the best players also don't find it much fun to play with mediocre players like me, or worse. So it seems that tier X developed as a sort of refuge for the better players to be able to play among themselves. But from a game design point of view that isn't optimal, because it makes a goal that is perfectly attainable for the average player, reaching the top tier, rather unattractive in the end. Why would I want to strive towards tier X tanks, if I then don't play them?

On the positive side World of Tanks has a lot of tank trees. So I can do those top of the tree events, and then move on to another tank line while waiting for the next event. The middle of the tree is more fun than the top.


Monday, August 12, 2019
Tobold on YouTube?

mbp asked the interesting question "Could you ever see yourself starting a Youtube channel?" and I think the answer is long enough to justify its own blog post. Unless you just want the short answer, which is "No!".

In real life a lot of communication in non-verbal. How other people perceive you depends a lot on your looks, your body language, your verbal tone, and some other factors. While the 7% rule is probably overstating this, the influence of non-verbal elements on popularity is undeniable. With a blog you get around that; as long as the design isn't too off-putting, people only see the words, so that is all they have to judge the content. On YouTube you can't avoid verbal tone, and most YouTube content creators also show themselves, opening up a can of worms of judgment of your looks and body language. Disguising yourself as somebody young and attractive doesn't always work. But if I would put the real me on YouTube, I don't think I would have much success. I'm in my mid-50's, have just an average face, and I speak with a noticeable German accent.

Now if you are an idealist, you will probably say that this doesn't or shouldn't matter. In the real world it unfortunately does. Look at the most successful content creators, they are often young and attractive. I recently searched on YouTube for videos on 3D printing, and I stumbled upon a young Chinese lady who had accumulated a sizable subscriber base by doing her tech unboxing videos in a rather skimpy outfit. Believe me, nobody wants to see me in a skimpy outfit. :)

The other problem of a YouTube channel is identity. I have two identities on the internet. One with my real name, which I use on sites like LinkedIn, and where people searching for my name can find my scientific publications, my patents, and other work-related stuff. The other identity is the Tobold one, which is about games and other private interests, like 3D printing. While it isn't impossible to find out my real name, because I haven't gone to great lengths to hide it, the separation of the two identities is good enough for a regular Google search, which is all I am trying to achieve with it. I want my professional contacts to find my professional information, and my game contacts to find my game information. While I don't mind any more about colleagues finding out that I am also a gamer, I don't want a professional acquaintance to have that of me as first impression. Putting my own face on YouTube would link my two identities more than I would care for.

The final reason for me not being interested in starting a YouTube channel is that it requires more effort than typing to do it well. You can see the difference in quality between a YouTube channel with lots of subscribers and a YouTube channel nobody watches. You can't just turn on your laptop webcam and microphone and start blurting out content, you need better equipment, and decent skills in video cutting and editing. That is more effort than I am willing to put in these days, especially since I don't have a strong focus on a single theme anymore.

So, no, I don't think I'll ever start a YouTube channel. I feel more at ease with the written word. And I don't think I would have as much success as my blog once had if I switched to a different medium.

Friday, August 09, 2019
Changing the content of your channel

Yesterday I was going through the list of YouTube channels I have subscribed to over the years, and unsubscribed to those that were no longer relevant to me. Sometimes my interests had changed, sometimes the channel had changed because the interest of the content creator had changed. I actually came across one video in which a content creator explained why he didn't want to make his channel about popular Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition any more, because his personal interests had shifted towards a much less well-known and much less popular game. He had my fullest understanding. Been there, done that, went down to about 1% of the number of readers that I had at the height of this blog.

Of course the decline in readership of this blog had multiple reasons. My interests changed, the interests of my readers changed, MMORPGs went out of fashion, blogs went out of fashion, and so on. Now I produce a lot less content than I used to, and I only post what is relevant to me. Apart from coming across the occasional Google Analytics automated e-mail, I don't even follow anymore how many people read what I am writing. So while I think that I am very much the source for the decline in readership, I also think that even if I had tried to keep it up, that would only have delayed the inevitable decline. Internet fame is fickle, and not easily transferable; I couldn't easily have re-invented my blog as a successful YouTube channel with a different subject and kept my "fame".

Now luckily I avoided most monetization options on my blog. I never ran ads or posted paid-for content. I accepted the occasional review copy of a game, and put up a "pay Tobold a coffee" button, but that never resulted in much more than coffee money. As far as I understand YouTube and Twitch, monetization is more or less automatic these days, and unless you get "demonetized" for some misbehavior, you make some money from views and subscriptions. Thus for the few really popular content creators on YouTube and Twitch, the income becomes significant enough for at least a sizable side income stream, if not the main income stream.

So I would think that if you make a good amount of money from content creation on your channel on YouTube or Twitch, you would be much more reluctant to radically change that content. If you have achieved some fame for streaming game X in which you are very good, saying that you will stop playing game X, and will play game Y instead, which you are still learning, will lose you a lot of subscribers. Especially if Y is less popular than X. However if you stick with game X forever, you still risk losing your subscribers over time, either because they feel that your spark has gone out, or because their interests change over time as well. We live in a world in which games are abundant, attention spans are short, and relevance is fleeting. Me, I'm happy that I stuck with my day job, and stayed true to myself in the content I still create.

Thursday, August 08, 2019
World of Tanks - Czech Holidays

In order to make World of Tanks more interesting, Wargaming is running events. Permanently. You can't actually log into the game and find that there is no event going on, there is always *something*. However many of those events are kind of forgettable. You have to fulfill a minor requirement, like being among the top 10 players on your team (which, out of 15, isn't much), and get some minor reward like double crew xp for that battle. Often you get an event reward without even having read what the requirements were, because you don't have to do anything special. So in my mind events are just some free rewards added onto my regular gameplay.

But for World of Tanks' 9th anniversary Wargaming released both a big patch, 1.6, and a series of larger events, starting with something called the Czech Holidays. And that event comes with a twist: There are two different sets of event missions; one you can do with any tank from wide range of tiers, the other set requires you to play a specific tank, the Skoda T 27. Which is a premium tank, that would cost you at least €35.78 (you can buy it in a bundle with other stuff for up to €99.99). If you do the event missions with any old tank, you get some rewards. If you do the missions with a Skoda T 27, you get the same rewards plus some additional rewards which are much better. For example if you do the whole set of 10 missions in the Skoda T 27, you'll end up with a complete female crew with Brothers in Arms perk, several crew training manuals, half a million credits, and a bunch of other stuff.

After overcoming the first "I must buy this tank" reflex I looked a bit closer at the conditions, and the whole thing looks like a trap to me. Not just because I would need to buy that €35 tank which isn't actually all that good. But because the event is limited in time: Every day one more mission unlocks; you don't have to do that mission on that day, but if you skip a day, you'll need to do more missions on the later days. For the last mission you only have one day, because then the event ends and you can't complete it any more. And while the first missions are easy enough (earn 250 base experience twice), the last missions are actually pretty hard (be among the top 3 players on your team twice). Not impossible (even I am among the top 3 players on my team sometimes), but certainly hard to do with that specific tank if you aren't a really good player.

In the end I realized that the event was quite appropriately named, Czech Holidays. If I was still on holidays and could play several hours of World of Tanks every day, I would probably buy the Skoda T 27 and load up on tons of rewards which would then make it very easy to play through the Czech tech tree later. But as I am back to work, and just play a bit of World of Tanks in the evenings, I can't even be sure to be able to complete all the missions in a tank of my choice. If I tried it in the Skoda T 27, I would probably become very frustrated and bored of that tank by the end, being forced to play nothing else for hours. So I'm setting myself a goal to rather do the low reward path of this event, and my aim would be to complete at least mission 7 out of 10, not all 10 of them. As I said in an earlier post, setting yourself realistic goals is the way to go if you don't want World of Tanks to frustrate you. And it saves me €35.78.


Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Open world games are getting less combat-centric

I used to have a quick way to evaluate whether I liked or game or not: I would just look at the combat. If I didn't like the combat system, I knew that the game would make me spend a significant portion of my time in combat, and so it was better not to play it. The rule doesn't apply so much anymore. I don't really like the combat system of let's say Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; but that doesn't matter, because the percentage of time I spend in combat has shrunk, and has become more optional. I don't need to kill all the mobs, just to gain xp and loot. I can play for hours exploring, gathering, cooking, and solving puzzles in shrines, without combat being necessary. I do have to do some combat to finish the game, but I can actually get stronger for combat without doing combat, and then the fights are easier.

I just started Assassin's Creed: Origins, and it is a bit the same thing. I don't like the combat system very much. But again there is a lot of other stuff to do in the game, and you can replace some of the regular hand-to-hand combat with a different sort of gameplay, either by sneaking or by sniping. Assassin's Creed: Origins even has game settings for people who don't like combat, making combat much easier. That way you still "do" combat where appropriate for the story, without it becoming the focus of the game, or an obstacle that prevents you from playing the rest of the game.

Of course that only works for these open world games, in which there are a lot of other things to do. You couldn't diminish the importance of combat from games like League of Legends or World of Tanks or Fortnite, because the rest of the game is just there in support of the combat which is the core of the game. But the more playing a game resembles living in a virtual world, the more it becomes possible to tone down the importance of combat, and keep players occupied with things like crafting or building. People don't play Minecraft because of the combat system.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

World of Tanks is both an incredibly rewarding and an incredibly frustrating game, depending on what goals you set yourself. It also heavily rewards you spending money. But spending money helps very little in winning battles (although one might argue that a few of the premium tanks you can buy are overpowered, certainly not all of them); however spending money helps enormously with you progressing along the tech trees. Ridiculously so, I would say.

I am currently doing the Top of the Tree event, which gives various bonuses, rewards, and discounts if you move up one particular tech tree. This month it is the Japanese medium tanks. It is just August 3, and I am already at tier VII, because I spent some money. Normally a player who doesn't spend money gets double xp for his first win in any tank, and quintuple xp for his second win if he is playing a tank of the current Top of the Tree line. For 10 bucks I get those quintuple xp also for the third and fourth win. Plus I still had some extra "5x XP" bonuses from previous purchases. Having a premium account gives me 50% more base xp (base xp means it is then multiplied by all those 5x bonuses). And 5 times per day I can add another 3x base xp after any victory. So I had games in which as a free player I would have gained 700 xp, and because I had all those bonuses I ended up with 10,000 xp. Okay, that is only for the first handful of wins, but it is a huge boost. 100k xp doesn't look so daunting if you make 10k in a single game sometimes.

The other big boost comes from the so-called "free xp". Normally one gets very little free xp, e.g. my 10k xp game only gave 51 free xp. However any xp you make on tanks that don't need xp anymore, as in fully researched tanks and premium tanks, can be converted for gold into free xp. I always wait until there is an event on which gives a better exchange rate, 40 free xp for 1 gold, and then I spend a pile of gold. As a result, whenever I get to a new tank in any tech tree, I don't have to drive around with it stock; I can at least spend the free xp for a better track, engine, and gun, so the new tank already starts with competitive equipment. I don't spend the free xp to research tanks, but skipping the stock tank grind is already a huge boost.

Now normally with such good progress in the external rewards / level structure of a game, I should feel like a king. Instead I still feed like a n00b, after over 10,000 battles. The problem is that at the higher tiers I often get into games in which the average player has already 30,000 battles and the good players have much more. Normally in a PvP game after some time you don't feel like a n00b anymore, because there are lots of newer players that are clearly less skilled than you are. In World of Tanks there hasn't been much influx of new players, and "new player friendliness" is rather a weak point of the game. Veterans do more to scare new players away than to attract them, by farming those new players in low tier games for stat padding. So I don't often get into a situation where the knowledge and skills I have certainly acquired over those 10k battles actually lets me outplay somebody lacking that experience. It's a Catch 22 situation, because other new players certainly experience the same, that they never really progress visibly towards veteran status, and thus they leave, making the problem worse.


Thursday, August 01, 2019
Third party D&D products

I just pledged $20 on Kickstarter for Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition. It is a product with content for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, but it isn’t made by Wizards of the Coast. This particular product is from Nerdarchy, better known for their YouTube content, but there are a bunch of small companies out there that do D&D stuff. I frequently buy collections of D&D material in pdf format as Humble Bundles for cheap. But I also bought Beadle & Grimm’s silver edition of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which isn’t cheap at all, albeit somewhat less expensive than their ludicrous platinum edition sets.

As one would expect, the quality of third party prducts for D&D varies, more than the quality of the WotC products does. But some stuff can be exceptionally good, e.g. ENsiders Zeitgeist adventure path, or it can simply be useful for a specific situation, like I hope the Out of the Box product is. Besides quality, prices also vary in a wide range, and not necessarily correlated with quality. Of course in the case of the Beadle&Grimm’s stuff, the adventure itself is a WotC product, and you pay extra for additional materials like maps and handouts, not for the writing of the adventure.

One problem with getting additional materials is the addition of shipping costs. I pledged $20 for the pdf only version of Out of the Box. The $50 pledge of the hardcover version adds another $24 for shipping to Belgium, and the $115 pledge with maps and tokens costs $70 to ship. As much as I love D&D battle maps, I think I’ll make my own in this case.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Lowering expectations

While I haven't been playing World of Tanks during my holidays, I did watch some streams on Twitch. One of the most popular WoT streamers is Quickybaby, and what he did in July was work on the hardest series of campaign missions, which give one of the best tanks in the game as reward. That was instructive insofar as this was visibly frustrating even to one of the very good players of the game. And it made me think that enjoyment of World of Tanks doesn't necessarily come from playing well, but from achieving the goals that you set yourself. Set your goals sufficiently high, and even a top player experiences a lot of setbacks and frustration. Set your goals low, and even a mediocre player can achieve them.

Quickybaby has an overall win rate of 60%, which is about the best you can hope for if you play really, really well. But if you do a bit of basic math, 60% win rate obviously means that 40% of games don't work out as you wanted them to. And I would argue that if you have no control over the 40% of games that you lose, it stands to reason that there is a similar amount of games where you end up winning, but that win also wasn't controlled by you, but would have happened with or without you. So even a top player is "carrying" only 20% of his games. A mediocre player is rarely carrying his games, and the outcome is mostly determined by other players.

It is that overwhelming influence of other players, even on the results of very good players, that made those missions so frustrating for Quickybaby. The missions frequently required a great outcome in several games in a row. If you play a couple of great games and then fail, you need to start over. If you fail not because of your own mistakes, but because of the way your team played, that can be extremely frustrating. You can even fail because your team is too good compared to the enemy team, and the battle ends before you have reached the required number of kills or damage.

On the other end of the spectrum, World of Tanks has a lot of goals that you can't possibly fail. There are easier campaign missions, where instead of having to do let's say 15,000 damage in 3 battles, you have to do 15,000 damage in as many battles as it takes. Sooner or later you'll get there. Progressing along a tech tree from tier 1 to 10 is the same thing; it might take you a while, but as you always gain some xp in every battle and can't lose any xp, one day you'll certainly make it.

So unless you absolutely need a specific reward from a specific campaign or event, you can often just set your goals yourself at a level which isn't frustrating for your particular skill level. For example I am hearing a lot of bad comments on the current Homefront event, because reaching the top reward is hard and a big grind. For me that same event is a lot more fun, because I just want to reach tier II with some tanks and get the camo rewards. As permanent camo isn't cheap if you buy it in gold, I'd even say that those camo rewards are pretty generous compared with the effort you need to put in to get them. You need 35 division points to get that reward, and each battle gives you between 4 and 10 points. I got my first camo after 7 battles, which isn't too bad, considering the disadvantages of a late start. Getting all three Russian camos is basically just a question of showing up, and if I do well occasionally, I could get some of the American / British ones as well. Even the worst possible outcome of a battle, I lose and place last in the team, still advances me not too slowly towards my goal. So there is very little frustration involved.

Now you might argue that if you don't set yourself very challenging goal, you also don't have that much pleasure from achieving them. But I would say that I'd rather try to achieve challenging goals in real life, where the rewards are more real. As the rewards of video games are just virtual, I'm okay with just putting in some virtual effort. :) In the end the purpose of a game is to have fun, and frustrating yourself by overly ambitious goals isn't going to achieve that.


Monday, July 29, 2019
WoW Classic

A reader asked me about my thoughts on WoW Classic. I'm not planning to go anywhere near it. I'm simply not interested at all. I am even convinced that a good number of players who are interested in WoW Classic will be thoroughly disappointed. Because you simply can't turn back time.

We had a great time in World of Warcraft when it was still young, 15 years ago. But we were 15 years younger as well, and very enthusiastic about this new experience, unlike anything we had played before. And that enthusiasm made us willing to do things which in hindsight are a bit crazy: playing long hours, organizing our lives around raid schedules, accepting all sorts of bugs and inconvenient game mechanics as well as weird rules on how to distribute raid loot. Today we still remember how we first brought down Onyxia, but we don't remember so well what we had to go through to get there.

I think that people will flock to WoW Classic to try to recreate those experience. Some are already planning their Molten Core raids. However for a lot of people that will end up with the realization that you start WoW Classic at level 1, and that it takes bloody forever (compared with today's WoW leveling speed) to get to level 60. Most of your friends are gone. And that even if you arrive at "putting the band back together", that band now consists of a bunch of grumpy middle-aged men, who aren't willing to take the same shit as 15 years ago.


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